Ponkratov leads in St. Petersburg

The "100 Years of Mikhail Botvinnik" International Chess Festival is underway in St. Petersburg. It's a 9-round Swiss event that forms part of the Russian Cup. After 6 rounds the leader is the Chelyabinsk (the Russian city, not the opening variation) grandmaster Pavel Ponkratov, on 5.5/6. Half a point behind are 8 players.

100 years since Botvinnik's birth

The 17th August marks 100 years since the birth of Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik, the sixth World Chess Champion (1948-1957, 1958-1960, 1961-63), the first Soviet World Champion, a Doctor of Technical Sciences and a Professor.

Averbakh on Botvinnik

Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik (1911-1995), three-time World Champion and the "patriarch" of Soviet chess, would have turned 100 today. Who better, then, to recall the living figure behind the legend than the world's oldest grandmaster, Yuri Averbakh? 89-year-old Averbakh is currently acting as the chief arbiter at a veterans' event to mark Botvinnik's centenary (as we reported yesterday, Viktor Korchnoi leads). He talked to Yuri Vasiliev of Sport Express about the Botvinnik he remembers.

Korchnoi leads Botvinnik Memorial

An international veterans tournament is being held in the ancient Russian town of Suzdal (near Moscow) in honour of the centenary of Mikhail Botvinnik’s birth. The players are competing in rapid chess (25 minutes + 10 second increment).

Kramnik to retire in four years?

After Vladimir Kramnik’s lively performance at the Russian Championship Superfinal, where he scored 3 wins and 2 losses in only 7 rounds, he gave a press conference for RIA Novosti. He discussed his performance, the upcoming Botvinnik Memorial and also talked about his plans to retire from chess at around age 40.

Good Svidler, bad Svidler

After his loss in the final round of the Russian Championship Superfinal Peter Svidler gave an interview to Kirill Zangalis of Soviet Sport, where he talked about his unstable form and his record of winning the Russian Championship six times.

Swiercz and Cori – prince and princess of chess

In a dramatic final round at the World Junior Championships in Chennai, India, Dariusz Swiercz of Poland and Deysi Cori of Peru managed to win their games and overtake the leaders at the start of play.

Russian Superfinal ends in Moscow

The Russian Championship Superfinal held in the Botvinnik Central Chess Club in Moscow is over. Peter Svidler, who’d won the title the day before, lost in the last round to Alexander Morozevich. Vladimir Kramnik beat Alexander Galkin with the black pieces, while Ian Nepomniachtchi – Sergey Karjakin and Artyom Timofeev – Alexander Grischuk finished drawn.

Svidler demonstrates title-winning game

Peter Svidler's intelligence and self-deprecating humour makes his chess commentary a delight, and his demonstration of the win against Ian Nepomniachtchi that guaranteed him the Russian Championship was certainly no exception. It was again transcribed by Vladimir Barsky in his big 6th round photo report for the official website, and I've translated it below.

RIP Candidates Matches?

Emil Sutovsky, a member of FIDE’s World Championship Committee, has revealed that the next event to decide the World Championship challenger will be an 8-player double round-robin tournament.