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High-schoolers are ruling the 44th Chess Olympiad

The 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India is currently on Round 6 with India B and Armenia having a perfect 10/10 score at the Open Section. 16-year-old Gukesh and 17-year-old Abdusattorov are victorious so far, winning big against Alexei Shirov and Fabiano Caruana respectively.

Photos: Lennart Ootes // FIDE

India B Team is packed full of prodigies and until Round 5 it proves that it can be more dangerous than India A, with exceptional board results! 16-year-old Gukesh has a perfect 5/5 score after defeating Alexei Shirov yesterday to lead his team to the absolute 10/10 score joining Armenia at the top.

With this win, Gukesh moves to 2714.1 and world No. 27! It’s most likely that Gukesh will finally become the 3rd youngest player in history to be rated above 2700 on an official FIDE rating list!

Another prodigy, the 17-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov, who won against Fabiano Caruana on Round 4 also has a 5/5 score after beating Slovakia’s Jergus Pechac.

After his loss against Abdusattorov and his fast draw on Round 5, the once World No.2 Fabiano Caruana has now dropped to No.9, in danger of slipping out of the Top 10.

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Challenge Anyone on FIDE Chess Arena — New Feature

FIDE Chess Arena, the official gaming platform of the World Chess Federation, is adding challenges feature that allows players to challenge anyone who is active on the platform, including elite grandmasters and friends alike.

Challenging your friend or a chess icon is easier than ever with the new ‘Challenges’ feature available on the Arena. A new challenge button is added to the players’ profiles. When the player is online, the button is always active. When you click on the button, you can choose the format of the challenge (rated, unrated) and a time-control. If your opponent accepts the challenge, the game starts immediately. The opponent also sees the list of challenges in his main menu but it does not interfere with his ongoing game. If the player goes offline, all challenges are automatically cancelled.

“Being able to challenge anyone on the Arena takes the experience to a whole new level,” says Ilya Merenzon, CEO of World Chess, the company behind the FIDE Chess Arena. “We are very excited to help users have an opportunity to play with their chess heroes, like Vidit or Daniil Dubov, Arena ambassadors, as well as other top players, as well as the whole community,” adds Merenzon.

The ‘Challenges’ feature comes on the heels of the complete revamp of the Arena gaming interface, including introduction of the new features, such as Zen Mode, chats, Arena-type tournaments, and more.

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Olympiad 2022: 17-year old Nodirbek Abdusattorov beats Fabiano Caruana

Monday’s round in the 44th Chess Olympiad was certainly eventful with Uzbekistan holding the strongest team USA to a draw after 17-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov beat Fabiano Caruana on board 1.

Photo: Lennart Ootes // FIDE

The chess world applauded Uzbeki GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov earlier in 2021 after beating the World Champion and dethroning him as the World Rapid Champion. Abdusattorov not only became the youngest Champion in Rapid, but also won some of the strongest players in the world like the 2021-2022 Challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi to show character, and consistency in his playing style.

Abdusattorov is currently playing at the Olympiad 2022 representing his birth country, Uzbekistan, which formed a team of young but promising players. In Round 4 Uzbekistan faced the big rating favourites in the open section, USA, to hold a draw after Abdusattorov beating World No.5 (now World No.8 on live ratings ) Fabiano Caruana on top board.

Caruana stayed loyal to his dynamic style and sacrificed two pawns to create compensation. On the other hand, Abdusattorov stayed calm, finding one precise move after the other until reaching a winning position with two “clear” extra pawns to grab a desired point!

Abdusattorov gained 6.3 rating points in this game alone (12.9 total in the Olympiad), and is currently the fourth highest-rated junior player in the world, with a remarkable 2689.9 rating!

After Monday’s results five teams remained on top of the standings with 8 match points: India 2, Armenia, Israel, England and Spain.

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The 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India started today

All eyes are on Chennai for the most prestigious chess event until today, the 44th Chess Olympiad, which will be held from July 28 to August 10. With 187 countries registered, India now holds the world record in terms of the number of participating countries in a single edition of the Olympiad.

Photos: Lennart Ootes, Madelene Belinki //

The strongest female chess player, Judit Polgar was speaking at the greeting session conducted by the All India Chess Federation (AICF) at the Chess Olympiad venue in Mamallapuram, Chennai. FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, AICF President Sanjay Kapoor and AICF Secretary and Olympiad Director Bharat Singh Chauhan were also present at the occasion.

“I am very happy to be here in the Olympic village. It is amazing to see the interest and passion of the people here. The enthusiasm in the organising committee is amazing. To get ready for this Olympiad in just four months is incredible. [...] I have spoken to other people and see them appreciating the effort, and I already feel from a distance that this Olympiad is going to be very special.” Judit said.

Later, an outstanding opening ceremony was held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai. More than 20,000 players, coaches and local chess enthusiasts watched the ceremony live, an event full of music, color, and history. After a marathon afternoon, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the event open. “There are no losers; only winners and future winners” Modi said.

Today, the first round of the Olympiad started with the Indian Minister of Sport Anurag Thakur, All India Chess Federation President Sanjay Kapoor, Minister of the Tamil Nadu Government S Meyyanathan and FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich making the ceremonial first moves.

The main focus will be undoubtedly on the team results, as every match is a joint effort to earn a match victory. However, individual achievements are also highlighted at Chess Olympiads. The Russian federation was excluded because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the Chinese federation decided not to participate, as protection against the pandemic. Thus, the USA is clear favourite in the Open while India is favourite to win the Women’s Olympiad.

Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, Levon Aronian, Leinier Dominguez and Sam Shankland have an Elo average of 2771, far ahead of Azerbaijan (2705) and India which misses former World Champion Vishy Anand. “I am playing very few events these days and after playing many Olympiads, I thought it was time for the younger ones to play. India has many talented youngsters like Nihal, Praggnanandhaa, Gukesh, Arjun and a few more.” Anand said.

For women, number one seed is India, with Humpy Koneru, Harika Dronavalli, Vaishali Rameshbabu, Tania Sachdev and Kulkarni Bhakti.

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Carlsen didn’t retire from chess, won the Super United Croatia 2022

The reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen won the Super United Croatia Rapid & Blitz tournament, the third tournament of the Grand Chess Tour 2022, a couple of days after his official withdrawal from the World Championship cycle.

Photo: Lennart Ootes, Grand Chess Tour

The Super United Croatia Rapid & Blitz was the midway point of the Grand Chess Tour and took place July 20-24 in Zagreb, Croatia. The format was a round-robin of rapid chess followed by a double round-robin of blitz among 10 top GMs; Carlsen, Mamedyarov, Saric, Firouzja, Nepomniachtchi, Vachier-Lagrave, van Foreest, Dominguez, Topalov, and So.

The tournament was the first for the World Champion after his announcement that he won’t defend his title against Ian Nepomniachtchi. Carlsen made it clear that giving up the title doesn’t mean that he retires from chess, which was reinforced by his win at the Super United Croatia.

Carlsen won the tournament with a round to spare after a great 2nd day and a stabilising final day, with Firouzja and MVL finishing just half a point behind, after Magnus lost his last two games. The Norwegian finished on 22.5 points out of a possible 36 to pick up $40,000 for winning.

“The 2nd day was a bit tough for me, and the rapid in general was not so good, but I think I was lucky that nobody really had a superb performance. For instance, Maxime and Alireza had great performances today, but they didn’t do so well on the other days. Overall, the two last games… it’s a pity to bow out in such a way, but to be honest, I was really tired throughout the day today. I was just trying to get through it, and once the tournament victory was there you don’t care so much. Overall, a great experience to be here, I really, really like the city, it’s just a very good atmosphere here and at the tournament as well, and I hope to be back.” Carlsen said to Alejandro Ramirez for the Saint Louis Chess Club

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