RECENT ratings and changes for the top 10 international grandmasters from a World Live rating list are: 1. Veselin Topalov 2813.0 (no rated games in period), 2. Vishy Anand 2788 (no rated games in period), 3. Levon Aronian 2773.4 +5, 4. Magnus Carlsen 2772 (no rated games in period), 5. Vladimir Kramnik 2771.6 +12.6, 6. Peter Leko 2761.9 +5, 7. Teimour Radjabov 2756 (no rated games in period), 8. Boris Gelfand 2755.9 +0.9, 9. Vassily Ivanchuk 2755.8 +52.8, 10. Alexander Morozevich 2750.0 -1. Nigel Short and Rustam Kasimdzhanov have rejoined the 2700 club.
Anand, the reigning world champion, is reported to have said at the recent chess festival in Zurich: ‘‘Obviously the average age of the top players is going down. I mean we always had prodigies in chess but they tend to peak much faster as well. And here I think we can see the role of computers. We can also see the role of computers in the other thing where chess seems to go faster. There are more tournaments played and if you have an idea, you can use it once maybe but in a week everybody has already worked it out whereas that ability to handle information was much slower before.’’
English grandmaster Nigel Short, three times Commonwealth champion, resigned from his position as president of the Commonwealth Chess Association some time last year. Ignatius Leong of Singapore, a long-serving official of the World Chess Federation, was elected to the position in his stead.
Dvoris v Svidler: white plays, black wins
This year’s Commonwealth championship was planned to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia. Because of certain unresolved issues raised by the Malaysian Chess Federation, the event has been rescheduled for Singapore as part of the 2009 Singapore Chess Festival.
The festival will comprise a Commonwealth Open Championship, a Singapore Open, a Commonwealth Age-Group Championships for players under 20, 16 and 12 years of age, and a Challengers Tournament. These events start on December 9 (arrival of the players) and conclude on December 15 (their departure).
Here is a game from the recent Rising Stars vs Experience match in Amsterdam. GM Ljubomir Ljubojevic (2553) — GM Daniel Stellwagen (2630) Opening: Slav Defence. 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.00 00 9.Qb3 Qb6 10.Nh4 Nbd7 11.Nxf5 exf5 12.Rd1 Rac8 13.Bd2 c5 14.Bb5 Rfd8 15.a5 Qd6 16.dxc5 Bxc5 17.Be1 Qe7 18.Nd5 Nxd5 19.Rxd5 g6 20.Rad1 Nf6 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8 22.Rxd8+ Qxd8 23.Bc4 Qc7 24.g3 Bd6 25.Qd3 Be5 26.b4 Ne4 27.Kg2 Kg7 28.b5 Nd6 29.Bd5 Qc5 30.a6 bxa6 31.bxa6 Qb6 32.Bb3 Qc6+ 33.Qd5 Qxd5+ 34.Bxd5 Nb5 35.f3 Bd6 36.Bc4 Na3 37.Bc3+ Kf8 38.Bd3 Bc5 39.e4 fxe4 40.fxe4 Ke7 41.Kf3 Kd6 42.Kf4 h6 43.Bg7 Kc6 44.Ke5 Be7 45.Bxh6 Nb5 46.Be3 White wins 10.
Last week’s solutions: (1) After the astonishing 1.Qe3+ Kxe3+ 2.Rg3+ K moves, it’s stalemate. (2) Key 1.Qh5, threat 2.Qg6#. If 1...N random+ 2.Rb7#, or 1...Ne7+ 2.Rg2#, or 1...Rxg7 2.Qf7#, or 1.Ke6 2.Qe5#. Phil Viner