CHESS

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODMOVIES -

TWO FOR­MER world cham­pi­ons, Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kram­nik, head the field in the Lon­don Clas­sic which be­gins to­day.

A spe­cial Pro-Celebrity Chal­lenge was held at the Olympia Au­di­to­rium on Tues­day with TV, mu­sic and sports stars team­ing up with the grand­mas­ters and fac­ing off against another pro-celebrity team.

Games were played over 10 min­utes with a 10-sec­ond in­cre­ment and were broad­cast live. Lawrence Trent and Mal­colm Pein were com­men­tat­ing and Mal­colm Pein was the Mas­ter of Cer­e­monies. Each win­ning team would re­ceive £5 000 (R85 000) for their favourite char­ity.

The seed­ings for the Lon­don Chess Clas­sic Su­per Six­teen rapid were also made. The play­ers were di­vided into four groups con­sist­ing of one from each pool in a draw done by the chess team of Raven- scroft Pri­mary School in Ne­wham, Lon­don – the first school to take part in the Chess in Schools and Com­mu­ni­ties scheme in 2010. The school has ex­celled in lo­cal com­pe­ti­tion and will re­ceive an award for out­stand­ing achieve­ment from the Bri­tish Chess Ed­u­ca­tional Trust at the Lon­don Chess Clas­sic next week.

The Lon­don Su­per Six­teen is the crown jewel of the Lon­don Chess Clas­sic. This rapid tour­na­ment brings the top rapid play­ers of the world and the best Bri­tish play­ers to­gether in an ex­cit­ing event.

● In Moscow, at the “Dig­i­tal Oc­to­ber” cen­tre of tech­nolo­gies, the friendly “Bat­tle of Gen­er­a­tions” match be­tween Alexei Shi­rov and Daniil Dubov ended in a 5-1 vic­tory for Shi­rov. The match be­tween Shi­rov, 41, and Dubov, 17, was the brain­child of Rus­sian busi- ness­man Oleg Skvortsov, who also spon­sored it. A true chess lover, Skvortsov also spon­sored the Aro­nian-Kram­nik match in 2011, the Zurich Chess Chal­lenge and a match be­tween Dmitry An­dreikin and Ian Ne­pom­ni­achtchi.

● A tour­na­ment known as the Snow­drops ver­sus Old Hands, be­tween over-70s and young fe­male play­ers ended with the girls win­ning hand­somely. The “Old Hands” were GM Ios­sif Dorf­man, 61 (France, 2580) GM Boris Gulko, 66 (US, 2543), GM Borislav Ivkov, 80 (Ser­bia, 2408) and GM Wolf­gang Uhlmann, 78 (Ger­many, 2334).

The Snow­drops were rep­re­sented by GM Vik­torij Cmi­lyte, 30 (from Lithua­nia, rated 2506), IM Maria Muzy­chuk, 21 (Ukraine, 2491) WGM Alina Kash­lin­skaya (20, Rus­sia, 2422) and WGM Nas­tas­sia Zi­az­i­ulk­ina, 18 (Be­larus, 2350).

In the old days of the Soviet Union, you could not be­come a Soviet mas­ter un­less you beat an es­tab­lished mas­ter. In the 1950s and ’60s, there was a se­ries of tour­na­ments in Cape Town to bring on young­sters. Simmy Lewis ran the tour­na­ments named af­ter his Oran­jezicht home, Charn­wood.

● The Closed Cham­pi­onship takes place at the Foun­tains Ho­tel, in St Ge­orge’s Mall, from Jan­uary 3 to 12.

● Our ju­niors are head­ing for the an­nual ju­nior cham­pi­onship at Dur­ban’s In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre. This is also the venue elect for the 2014 World Youth.

● Send your com­ments and news to thechess­nik@gmail.com.

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