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SLU Chess Looks Ahead to Final Four – The University News

Posted: January 23, 2020 at 6:41 pm

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Photo Courtesy of Saint Louis University

Photo Courtesy of Saint Louis University

Photo Courtesy of Saint Louis University

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The SLU chess team finished 2019 with a string of high finishes in recent tournaments. They now look forward to the Presidents Cup, or Final Four, the collegiate national championship of chess in early April.

After taking the Midwest Collegiate Chess and Blitz Championships in October, the team travelled to China in November and took third place at the World Prestigious University Chess Invitational, placing ahead of prestigious universities such as Harvard and Oxford. The team also defeated its host, Nankai University.

SLU chess team coach and grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez, the first grandmaster from Central America, stated that this was the teams first time competing internationally as a team, although most of the teams members have competed extensively as individuals in the past.

Then, SLU finished again in third place at the competitive Pan-American Intercollegiate Chess Tournament, which determines which teams compete in the Presidents Cup in New York. The Pan-American Tournament is different from most collegiate chess tournaments in its structure.

Ramirez explained, Its a very unforgiving tournament, simply because its a very short event. Tournaments of this strength are usually nine rounds long, which gives a little more wiggle room for mistakes In this case we had it really rough. We got defeated by Texas Tech, which is one of the best universities in the country, and the fact that we got matched in the last round with number one by rating, which is Webster University.

SLU went on to defeat Webster, which has won five of the last seven national championships, in the last round of the Pan-American Tournament. SLU Chess Team grandmaster Alex Ipatov, currently ranked 142nd amongst active players in the world by the International Chess Federation, defeated Aleksander Lenderman, ranked 131st, of Webster, which Ramirez said was the highlight of the tournament. Ipatov commented, [Beating Webster] felt very good. They are our arch-rivals and the highest ranked collegiate team in the nation. We are second.

In 2018, SLU placed fourth at the Presidents Cup. Fellow St. Louisian Webster University also qualified, whose team has won the Presidents Cup five times in the last seven years. SLU will again face off against Webster and Texas Tech, as well as the University of Texas at Dallas in New York this April. In contrast to other tournaments, the Presidents Cup features only classical chess, in which matches can last for hours as opposed to minutes in blitz or other formats. In addition, teams aggregate scores are as important to winning the tournament as victory in individual matches.

Founded in 2015, the team has expanded from five to thirteen members, which allows them to field multiple sets of players within a single tournament. The SLU Chess Team features six male and two female grandmasters. Ramirez commented that the team has also grown closer and developed more chemistry in a relative short period of time since its founding.

Another factor conducive to the teams success and in attracting new talent is St. Louiss chess environment. Ramirez said, Theres no other city that has the current chess ambiance in the U.S. or maybe in the world. I think for chess players its kind of a mecca. Theres always top level chess, lectures, opportunities we have the resources to be one of the best.

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SLU Chess Looks Ahead to Final Four - The University News

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January 23rd, 2020 at 6:41 pm

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Start of the Gibraltar Chess Festival 2020 – Chessbase News

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1/21/2020 The 18th Gibraltar International Chess Festival starts today at the Caleta Hotel on the east side of the Rock of Gibraltar. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov tops the starting ranking list, joined by fellow "2700 club" members Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Wang Hao, Veselin Topalov, David Navara, Le Quang Liem and Kirill Alekseenko. Anatoly Karpov opened the festival with a simultaneous exhibition. Live games and commentary with GM David Howell and Fiona Steil-Antoni from 14:00 UTC (15:00 CET, 9:00 EST). | Pictured: Mayor of Gibraltar John Gonalves, made the first move on the top board at the start of the 2020 Gibraltar Masters with top seed GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov from Azerbaijan. Currently No.8 in the world he played his first round game against 12-year-old Candidate Master Raahil Mullick from India. Photo: Niki Riga

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The Gibraltar International Chess Festival 2020 starts today and runs over nine rounds through January 30th. It is the 18th edition of the tournament, which takes place, as usual, at the Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar and is directed by GM Stuart Conquest.

In the Masters tournament, 240 players are in attendance, including almost 100 grandmasters. The top seeds areShakhriyar Mamedyarov and Maxim Vachier-Lagrave, but also five other grandmasters rated over 2700. In addition, many other grandmasters with well-known names play along, including Vassily Ivanchuk and Michael Adams. Notably absent this year is the U.S. Champion Hikaru Nakamura who has been a Gibraltar regular in the past. The top-ratedwoman in the field is Anna Muzychuk 59th onthe overall list.

Official teaser video

Players receive 100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes until the end of the game plus 30 seconds per move startingfrom move one.

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With 17 players each, England and Spain unsurprisingly have strong contingents, but they are surpassed by the Indian delegation, which comprises 29 players,led by Adhiban Baskaran, and featuring future starsPraggnanandhaa and Gukesh.

The Fashionable Caro-Kann Vol.1 and 2

The Caro Kann is a very tricky opening. Blacks play is based on controlling and fighting for key light squares. It is a line which was very fashionable in late 90s and early 2000s due to the successes of greats like Karpov, Anand, Dreev etc. Recently due to strong engines lot of key developments have been made and some new lines have been introduced, while others have been refuted altogether. I have analyzed the new trends carefully and found some new ideas for Black.


...240 Players

Gibraltar is known in part for its high prize fund specifically for women, with the top scorer taking home GBP 20,000,ensuring once again that many women take part in the Chess Festival. Notable namesincludeAlexandra Kosteniuk, Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, Lei Tingje,Tan Zhongyi and many more.

Continuing a trend, the Tehran Times recently reported that Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, the strongestwoman from Iran and eighth best player in the country overall, as well as number 13 in the women's world rankings, had announced her withdrawal from the country's national team on her Instagram account.

For many years, the Gibraltar Open was one of the best attended open tournaments in the world, a successor to the long-running Aeroflot Open. In recent years theIsle of Man has outstripped Gibraltar in this respect, particularly last year when the tournament was upgraded to a qualifying event for the FIDE candidates tournament. But the Gibraltar Chess Festival remains a first-class destination and its Masters group one of the absolute top opens. It is popular among players not only because of the high prize money, but also because of its friendly and fun-filledatmosphere.

In addition to the Masters, amateur and challenge tournaments are offered, as well as a blitz tournament and a number of other side events.

Master Class Vol.6: Anatoly Karpov

On this DVD a team of experts looks closely at the secrets of Karpov's games. In more than 7 hours of video, the authors examine four essential aspects of Karpov's superb play.


The 12thworld champion in simultaneous action

Former World Champion Anatoly Karpov opened the festival with a simultaneous performance on 29 boards, which Karpov won with 27-2 (+25, = 4).

Translation from German and additional reporting: Macauley Peterson

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Start of the Gibraltar Chess Festival 2020 - Chessbase News

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January 23rd, 2020 at 6:41 pm

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Tata Steel Chess: Carlsen puts the brakes on Firouzja – Chessbase News

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The 82nd edition of the chess festival in Wijk aan Zee takes place from January 11th to 26th. The Masters and the Challengers are both 14-player single round robins.Rounds start at 12:30 UTC, except January 16th in Eindhoven,when it starts 30 minutes later.

A lot has been said about Alireza Firouzja's performance at his first appearance in the traditional tournament of Wijk aan Zee. After eight roundshe was sharing the lead, having beaten the likes of Vladislav Artemiev and Anish Giri. But the toughest challenge was yet to come, as he was paired up against world champion Magnus Carlsen in round nine. It was their first classical encounter. Would the youngster continue to amaze by breaking the champ's streak? Or would Carlsen show who's boss when it mattered the most?

In the end, the Norwegian prevailed, outplaying his opponent from a complex middlegame position. The loss does not discredit Firouzja's performance, however, as this is literally the first time he finds himself facing a line-up made up mostly of 2700+ players. Moreover, the youngster will get a chance to show what he is made of in round ten, when he will have the black pieces against sole leader Fabiano Caruana. Perhaps the fact that he lost the lead against the strongest player in the world will alleviate the pressure, allowing him to show his best chess against the world number two.

We will see these two facing each other multiple times in the future Alireza Firouzja and Magnus Carlsen| Photo: Alina l'Ami

Carlsen's strategy in the opening worked to perfection, as he later explained that he was striving to keep most pieces on the board. Slowly but surely, the world champion showed his class by executingaccurate plans while his opponent had trouble finding his way in the midst of a highly strategic battle. Much like in his previous win over Nikita Vitiugov, it was not a one-movetactical oversight what provoked Carlsen's opponent to collapse:

Navigating the Ruy Lopez Vol.1-3

The Ruy Lopez is one of the oldest openings which continues to enjoy high popularity from club level to the absolute world top. In this video series, American super GM Fabiano Caruana, talking to IM Oliver Reeh, presents a complete repertoire for White.


As Constantin Lupulescu mentions (see full annotations below), Firouzja's plan to take the knight to e3 after 20.f1 is not really effective, as the piecewould defend more effectively from a3 after 20.b1. By this point, White's position was quite uncomfortable nonetheless, but the plan suggested by Lupulescu seems to give him better chances.

After the text, Carlsen continued to put pressure on his young rival, until pragmatically finishing him off with a series of exchanges:

Firouzja resigned after 38...xf2+ 39.xf2 xf1, as40.xf1 xd2 41.xe5 can be responded with 41...c3, and Black wins. Coming from a slow start, in which he drew seven games in a row mostly from inferior positions Carlsen was visibly happy after this victory. He quipped:

I'm very happy, obviously. As happy as you can be beating a 16-year-old and moving to 'plus two' in round nine.

The seven-time winner of the elite tournament in Wijk aan Zee also pointed out that he is still in contention for first place:

Now I'm only half a point behind with four rounds to go, so the math suggests that I'm a candidate [to win the event].

The Norwegian will face an out-of-form Vladislav Kovalev with White in round ten.Will a third win in a row leave him tied for first before the final sprint? We'll have to wait and see. For now, we can enjoy Lupulescu's annotations of what in factwas the onlydecisive game of the day:

Master Class Vol.8: Magnus Carlsen

Scarcely any world champion has managed to captivate chess lovers to the extent Carlsen has. The enormously talented Norwegian hasn't been systematically trained within the structures of a major chess-playing nation such as Russia, the Ukraine or China.


More videos at the official YouTube channel

We just mentioned the fact that Kovalev has not shown his best form in Wijk this year. He was alone in the cellar of the standings table before taking advantage of Jeffery Xiong's strange handling of a clearly better position, and on Tuesday he found himself defending an inferior position with the white pieces from as early as move 10. Jorden van Foreest approached the opening creatively, going for a line that gave up his queen from the get go. Oddly enough, however, Kovalev chose a differentpath:

In the post-game interview, Van Foreest explained that his rival was only prepared to face 9...a5 and not the Dutchman's 9...dxe5 (see diagram). Given the unorthodox nature of the position, Kovalev spent almost half an hour here, and instead of opting for 10.e6 xe6 11.xd8 xd8 he played the incorrect 10.f3, allowing 10...bd7, when Black is already in the driver's seat.

Van Foreest had a strong initiative and seemed to be en route to get a win that would leave him tied with Caruana atop the standings, but he failed to correctly assess the potential endgames that might arise. Credit must be given to Kovalev for his stubborn defence, which led to the game ending in a draw, as there was no way for Black to break his opponent's fortress:

Chess Endgames 7 - Endgame Principles Weaknesses & Fortresses

The 7th volume of this endgame series deals with many different aspects of endgame play: the art of pawn play, weaknesses, converting an advantage, stalemate, fortresses, the art of defence and typical mistakes. Learn how to convert an extra piece or an exchange or how to exploit space advantage and better mobility. The themes the art or defence, fortress and stalemate are also intertwined. If your position has a solid fundament then you may surprisingly reach a fortress which might even be based on a stalemate.


Black captured White's last queenside pawnbefore the time control was reached and tried to break this fortress position for over 30 moves. But to no avail. Kovalev saved the half point and Van Foreest missed his chance to go into the final four rounds sharing the lead.

A game to keep an eye on Vladislav Kovalev v Jorden van Foreest| Photo: Alina l'Ami

Vladislav Artemiev and Jan-Krzysztof Duda also failed to make the most of superior positions, as they ended up drawing their games with Yu Yangyi and Jeffery Xiong respectively. Constantin Lupulescuanalysed these games, praising in both cases the resilience shown by the players defending with the black pieces. The remaining three draws finished after 31 moves or fewer, with Vishy Anand the first one calling it a day an understandable decision, given how disappointed he might have been after having misseda huge chance to take down Caruana in the previous round.

All games of the Masters available at

Vladislav Artemiev chatting with starorganizer Jeroen van den Berg| Photo: Alina l'Ami

In the Challengers, the fight to get a spot in next year's Masters continues to heat up. Top seed David Anton and local favourite Erwin l'Ami won key match-ups to catch Pavel Eljanov in the lead on 6 out of 9 points. L'Ami defeated Rauf Mamedov, while Anton got the better of Nils Grandelius. Much like Carlsen, Anton started slowly and is now rising through the ranks with two consecutive wins in rounds eight and nine. The Spaniardwill be facing co-leader Eljanov on Wednesday in what will surely be the highlight of the day in "Group B".

All games of the Challengers available at

A Dutch meeting Erwin l'Ami might face Anish Giri in next year's Masters section | Photo: Alina l'Ami

A Classical Guide to the French Defence

This DVD gives you the key to start out with the French Defence. GM Yannick Pelletier is a specialist of this opening, and believes that the most efficient way to understand its ideas, plans, and typical structures is to study classical lines.


GM Yannick Pelletier reviews the action of the day

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Tata Steel Chess: Carlsen puts the brakes on Firouzja - Chessbase News

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January 23rd, 2020 at 6:41 pm

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‘Logic and strategy’: Annual MLK chess tournament brings Bloomington-Normal students together with fun, sportsmanship – The Pantagraph

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Mack Lee, 10, a member of the Thomas Metcalf School chess team, studies the move of his opponent, Kelsey Jaynes, 9, a member of the Northpoint Elementary School chess team, in the Martin Luther King Scholastic Chess TournamentonMonday, Jan. 20, 2020, at Illinois State University's Bone Ballroom. Lee won the game.

TaiLynn Jiardina, 7, a member of the St. Mary's Elementary School chess team, considers options in her game with Shourya Jain, 8, of the Benjamin Elementary School chess team during the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Chess Tournament Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, at Illinois State University's Bone Ballroom. Jain won the game.

Proctor Mike Schulte of Kalamazoo, Mich., right, listens to Weber Sweeney, 7, of the Prairieland Elementary chess team explain how he and his opponent, Braxton Iliff, 6, of the Thomas Metcalf School chess team, came to a draw inMartin Luther King Scholastic Chess TournamentonMonday, Jan. 20, 2020, at Illinois State University's Bone Ballroom in Normal.

Eliot Ash, 9, a member of the Thomas Metcalf School chess team, watches a nearby contest as he played John Austin, 11, an independent competitor, as they competed in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Chess TournamentMonday, Jan. 20, 2020, at Illinois State University's Bone Ballroom. Austin won their game.

Proctor Jacob Davis of Normal made a ruling during the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Chess TournamentMonday, Jan. 20, 2020, at Illinois State University's Bone Ballroom.

Max Palacios, 13, a student at Germantown Middle School, stacked chess pieces during a timeout in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Chess TournamentMonday, Jan. 20, 2020, at Illinois State University's Old Main Room.

Fallen chessmen were lined up along the table at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Chess TournamentMonday, Jan. 20, 2020, at Illinois State University's Bone Ballroom.

Chess competitors hung out together in groups between matches at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Chess TournamentMonday, Jan. 20, 2020, at Illinois State University's Circus Room.

Prairieland Elementary School players Nikita Kolekar, 11, Mariah Walter, 11, and Nimita Kolekar, 11, practiced between games at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Chess TournamentMonday, Jan. 20, 2020, at Illinois State University's Circus Room.

Thomas Liu, 9, Dunlap, thought hard about his next move as he played Rajeeth Ganesan, 11, of the Benjamin Elementary School chess team during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Chess Tournament Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, at Illinois State University's Bone Ballroom.

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'Logic and strategy': Annual MLK chess tournament brings Bloomington-Normal students together with fun, sportsmanship - The Pantagraph

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January 23rd, 2020 at 6:41 pm

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Chess: Carlsen secures record but draws threaten chances of victory at Wijk – The Guardian

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Iranian exile Alireza Firouzja, 16, shares the lead at tournament in the Netherlands after an impressive win against Anish Giri

Stefano Tatai v Sergio Mariotti, Rome 1972. Queen and four pawns each, so seemingly anybodys game, but can you find a winning move for Black (to play)?

Magnus Carlsens streak of 113 games without defeat is a new landmark in the 29-year-old Norwegians career but its climax has been six lacklustre draws at Wijk aan Zee which threaten to derail his impressive record there.

Carlsens halved games in the first four rounds completed an unbeaten sequence which broke Sergei Tiviakovs 2004-05 record of 110 against weaker opposition. Arguably the champions splendid run at the elite Tata Steel Wijk tournament of seven victories and a second place in eight attempts is a still more outstanding achievement.

Carlsen has been struggling and his Wijk record is in serious danger. His fifth draw, scored on Thursday against his former aide Daniil Dubov, followed a similar pattern to his four previous halves. Dubov stood better for most of the game, despite playing Black against Carlsens favourite 3 Bb5 Sicilian. After his fourth draw, against Jorden van Foreest, 20, Carlsen quipped Im saving bad positions every game. Whats not to like?

In Fridays sixth round Carlsen halved as White in only 28 moves and less than two hours play with his old rival Fabiano Caruana, Americas world No 2 and Carlsens 2018 title challenger.

Nine points from 13 games is the normal winning score at Wijk, a total which Carlsen achieved in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019. To reach it in 2020 he now needs five wins and two draws.

Meanwhile Alireza Firouzja, 16, who recently quit Iran due to its policy of banning games against Israeli opponents and is widely tipped as a future world champion, scored another important win when he outplayed the Netherlands draw specialist, Anish Giri, in a delicately skilled endgame.

After five of the 13 rounds Firouzja (stateless) and Wesley So (US) led with 3.5/5, followed by three players on 3/5 and another five, including Carlsen, on 2.5/5. Firouzja v Carlsen, eagerly awaited following their controversial game at the World Blitz, will be in round nine on Tuesday.

Even now, with Carlsens record seemingly done and dusted, there is a rival grandmaster claimant. GM Bogdan Lalic, who represents Croatia but is a longtime English resident, played 175 games unbeaten between September 2010 and October 2011, including 151 against opponents with official Fide ratings.

The quality of Lalics opponents was lower even than Tiviakovs, and he agreed many short draws with weaker rivals. Once the player sitting on the adjacent board had difficulty writing down the long name of his own opponent on the score sheet, and by the time he had done so Lalic had agreed his draw and departed.

At the end of the 13-month period Lalics Fide rating was lower than when it started. His performance is not in the same league as Carlsen, nor with Ding Lirens earlier 100-game streak, but Lalic is a solid GM, currently unbeaten after seven rounds of the Prague Open, and there is no official requirement of the parameters for an unbeaten record.

Almost everyone attributes the longest winning streak of 19 or 20 games to Bobby Fischer at the 1970 interzonal and his 1971 candidates matches against Mark Taimanov, Bent Larsen and Tigran Petrosian (one opponent, Oscar Panno, resigned on move one as a schedule protest).

The longest top level winning streak is actually 25 games by the first official world champion Wilhelm Steinitz. It took him nine years, Steinitz won his final 16 games at Vienna 1873, crushed Joseph Blackburne 7-0 in their 1876 match, then won his first two games at Vienna 1882.

A record of a different kind was created this week when Quique Setin became the new Barcelona manager. The 61-year-old has played chess at a sufficiently high level, although more than 20 years ago, to have an official Fide international rating of 2055, expert standard.

His game in a 2002 simultaneous display by the then world champion Vlad Kramnik has been preserved and shows that Setin knew theory well and kept the Russian legend at bay until he was eventually overrun by a crushing attack.

Setin very likely ranks as the all-time chess No 1 among football managers, with his only rival Ossie Ardiles of Tottenham and Argentina. The competition is much stronger among professional GMs and IM players, where Carlsens former coach Simen Agdestein, Bela Soos of Romania, and Vlastimil Jansa of the former Czechoslovakia all played soccer internationally.

In 1992 when Agdestein competed at Hastings after drawing a match 2-2 against Anatoly Karpov, he stated in an interview with the Guardian that he had found it harder to play against the ex-world champion than against the legendary Italian defender Franco Baresi, who had been Agdesteins direct opponent on his international debut.

3654 1...g4+! 2 Qxg4 (if 3 Kxg4 Qf5 mate) Qf5! and Black won the pawn ending after 3 h5 c4! 4 h6 Qxg4+ 5 Kxg4 Kf6 6 h7 Kg7 and Blacks b pawn queens.

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Chess: Carlsen secures record but draws threaten chances of victory at Wijk - The Guardian

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January 23rd, 2020 at 6:41 pm

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Chess Market 2020: Industry Size & Share evolution to 2024 by Key Development, Growth Insight, Status, Top Players in the Industry, Trends ad…

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Chess Market 2020: Industry Size & Share evolution to 2024 by Key Development, Growth Insight, Status, Top Players in the Industry, Trends ad...

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January 23rd, 2020 at 6:41 pm

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Might & Magic Chess Royale Is the Most Insane Game Ubisoft Has Ever Made –

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It seems like Ubisoft has officially settled into the nice, comfortable territory of pumping out mediocre mobile games for easy cash. | Source: Ubisoft

Chasing trends is just part of the gaming industry. It happened with the MMO genre, then with first-person shooters, and we all know what Fortnite did to battle royales. Ubisoft seems to finally be taking trend-chasing to its logical conclusion with Might & Magic Chess Royale.

As you can probably guess from the title, Might & Magic Chess Royale is a combination of two distinct genres. It seeks to marry battle royale games with Auto Chess. If youre thinking that sounds mental, then youre not alone.

Might & Magic is a classic series. I have many fond memories of it even of the disappointing titles! I began to have my doubts when Ubisoft announced that awful mobile game. But after this, its clear theyve dived off the deep end with a Scrooge McDuck-style cash grab.

Whats ironic is that this trend-chasing strategy is doomed to fail. There are two reasons for this:

The battle royale feature is bad enough, but the fact that Might & Magic Chess Royale tries to chase after auto battlers like Auto Chess just adds insult to injury.

Whoever came up with this idea deserves a real pat on the back. Taking two popular things and mashing them together? Im sure thats never been done before.

Whats even worse than the shameless trend-chasing is how terrible the gameplay looks.

Its a straight-up Auto Chess rip-off, but it pits 100 people against each other in quick succession. This isnt a new game; its barely even a new game mode.

By the time your franchise has descended this low, its time to admit that you need to give up. It seems like Ubisoft has officially settled into the nice, comfortable territory of pumping out mediocre mobile games for easy cash.

Another one bites the dust.

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.

Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:38 PM UTC


Might & Magic Chess Royale Is the Most Insane Game Ubisoft Has Ever Made -

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January 23rd, 2020 at 6:41 pm

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Battles Of The Blindfold Chess Wars –

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My last article was about howGeorge Koltanowski slowly got better and better as a chess player; first in the early/mid 1920s (boring and slow), and then in 1928 when he embraced dynamics. Though he was a strong player at that point, he was even better with his eyes shut!

It was thought that Francois Philidor(French, 1726-1795) was the first person to challenge in two or three games without being able to see. However, blindfold chess was known far earlier by Arabian, Persian, Greek, Italian and even Spanish players. According to Muhammad bin Omar Kajina, there had been several players who would contest four or five blindfold games simultaneously in the 16th century.

After Philidor, Alexander McDonnell(Irish, 1798-1835) settled in London in 1820 and became a very strong blindfold player. A famous quote by McDonnell is the joke that the only things which spoil chess are the board and men.

George Koltanowski. Photo via Wikipedia.

Though there are many ways to play blindfold, eventually certain basic rules were accepted. Here is what Koltanowski said about blindfold exhibitions:

Let me try to explain what a blindfold exhibition represents. I sit with my back to the players and tell my moves to the teller, who goes from board to board making the moves for me. He tells me that moves my opponents have made. I give my replies as quickly as possible. I see no board and write nothing down on paper. This is pure memory, a king of momentary memory which has been developed to such an extent that I can now play 15 games simultaneously each day without feeling the strain.

Eventually, using those particular rules (there are other rules too), the chess gods jumped into the fray!

Finally, I have to mention Janos Flesch (Budapest), who played 52 games blindfold in 1960. However, it wasnt accepted since he was allowed to consult the scoresheets during the games.

In my first article about Koltanowski, I only looked for tournament games and nothing about blindfold. However, Kolty was not just playing tournament chess; he was also starting to train himself for blindfold. He played some blindfold games (to really see what he could do) and in 1921 he and some of his friend were addicted.

This is what Koltanowski said:

We played blindfold chess wherever we weredancing, hiking, on buses and trains; wherever two of us happened to be, we would begin a blindfold game. All over Antwerp people shook their heads at this babbling crew.

A year later I was playing 16 games blindfold, which represented a new Belgian record. In 1924, while in the Belgian army, I played 20 at Naur, a sorts of pay-off for having nothing to do but peel potatoes for two hours a day.

Here are some of Koltanowskis best (or most fun) blindfold games. Oh, every time you see a "Mynheer X" or "Senor X," it means Kolty didn't know the man's name.





Black played very well, but a blunder gave Kolty the chance that he was hoping for.


Kolty said, This was an exhibition in which I played against eight consulting teams of two players each. Dont forget that White was blindfolded, while his two opponents could see.





Kolty really enjoyed this game, and he gave quite a few notes. You will like the game and notes!

GAME 10:

GAME 11:

GAME 12:

GAME 13:

GAME 14:

GAME 15:

Kolty:The 1937 tour created some sort of a world record. I played 26 exhibitions in 26 days in 26 different cities, each nights event being a 10-board blindfold demonstration. I made a score of 94 percent in the 260 games, a result which is comparable to the best obtained in any chess masters tour on any country!

GAME 16:

GAME 17:

GAME 18:

Koltanowski, who had adventures in all of Europe and South America, permanently moved to San Francisco in 1947. He died in 2000 (96 years old).

Read the original here:

Battles Of The Blindfold Chess Wars -

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January 23rd, 2020 at 6:41 pm

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AICF issue: Madras HC to hear case on conduct of elections – Times of India

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CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Friday will hear the case related All-India Chess Federation (AICF)'s elections.

According to a senior AICF official, clarity on the election date would be emerged tomorrow as the High Court would hear a case in this connection. He said a majority of the electoral college has submitted an affidavit in his support.

The AICF secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan said on Thursday, 43 affidavits have been filed in the Madras High Court saying the minutes of the federation's general body meeting held on December 28 last year were valid.

"Forty-three affidavits have been filed with the Madras High Court saying the minutes of the AICF general body meeting held in Bhopal on December 28 last year, circulated by me is valid," Chauhan told said.

He also alleged that the rival camp led by president PR Venketrama Raja would make attempts to delay the elections by filing more cases.

"The rival faction will file more cases in a bid to delay the elections," he said.

Chauhan further said there would be clarity on the AICF elections date on Friday as the High Court is hearing the case.

The secretary and the Federation president Venketrama Raja have been at loggerheads over various issues.

Chauhan claimed the 43 affidavits were given by representatives of 19 state chess associations and six office- bearers of the federation.

One of decisions taken at the Bhopal general body meeting was to call a special general body meeting on February 9 in Ahmedabad to elect new office bearers for AICF.

Excerpt from:

AICF issue: Madras HC to hear case on conduct of elections - Times of India

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January 23rd, 2020 at 6:41 pm

Posted in Chess

10 best auto chess and auto battle games for Android! – Android Authority

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The various characters work together with synergistic abilities to give you an edge in battle. Each game has its own variation of this core mechanic, but they all function about the same way. This list is young much like the genre itself and we promise to improve it with each update. Here are the best auto chess games and auto battle games for Android!

Price: Free to plaly

Arena Allstars is a fairly decent auto battler. Players have access to a bunch of different maps, characters, and various game modes. It boasts matches with up to seven players along with a co-op mode if you want to play with friends or strangers. It also has a campaign, a practice mode, tournaments, and nice little things like emotes. The game seems to tick all of the boxes and most players seem happy enough. Most of the complaints either deal with connectivity issues or minor bugs with AI opponents not taking the damage they should. We assume these are all temporary issues, though. The game is free to play with an optional battle pass if you want to unlock premium content.

Price: Free to play

Arena of Evolution: Red Tides is another auto chess game that seems to hit most of the right notes. It has over 50 pieces to collect and use for your team. Additionally, players get eight player free-for-all PvP, and fairly standard auto chess mechanics. The game also lets you send and receive heroes to other players and features global servers for better or for worse. A lot of the games complaints comes from Internet connectivity issues. However, aside from that, the experience is solid all around. The developers also intend on adding cross-play between PC and mobile in a future update so check back for that if it interests you.

Price: Free to play

Auto Chess by Dragonest Games has a lame name, but its actually a solid game. It was among the first wave of auto chess games on mobile. It features seven-player free-for-all battles, an esports league, and, if you do well in the esports league, actual cash prizes. Thankfully, the game is actually quite easy to learn with one of the friendlier UIs weve seen in an auto chess game. We feel like this one is great for beginners to the genre and the difficulty only scales up from there as you face more and more competent opponents. Its biggest flaw is the finicky cloud saving feature. Be extra careful if you intend to uninstall and reinstall or buy a new phone because a lot of people have lost their save data.

Price: Free to play

Auto Chess Legends is another competent auto battler. The game boasts 15 minute matches (at the most), over 50 heroes to play with, a variety of game modes, and plenty of special events to keep things fresh. This one felt like one of the simpler auto chess games on mobile and its another one we recommend to new players in the genre. However, despite its simplicity, there are flaws. You can buy heroes and that introduces a potential pay-to-win mechanic, although we didnt noticed anything too nasty in our testing. This one has the potential to be great or bad and it seems like the developers havent quite made their choice yet. Its a fun game for the time being.

Price: Free to play

Badland Brawl is probably the simplest auto battler on the list. It uses a 2D, side-scroller map versus the traditional chess board style setup. Thus, this is an excellent game for beginners to the genre. However, the core premise is the same. You drop characters onto the board and they do battle with your opponents characters. The winner is the last one standing. It has a bit of a gacha element but its nothing too serious. Additionally, you can watch other people play the game if you dont feel like it. We may catch some flak for this pick, but we think its a good starter auto battler for folks new to the genre.

Price: Free to play

Chess Rush is another decent auto battler with all of the common core elements. You place characters, they synergize, and you beat your opponents if you outwit them. The game has over 50 characters along with various game modes, including two versus two, four versus four, and eight player free for all. It also includes a Turbo Mode with matches that last about ten minutes. It hits almost all of the right marks and that makes sense. This is a Tencent game, developers of Arena of Valor and PUBG Mobile. Aside from some connectivity issues, most people seem to enjoy the game and its nice to see bigger mobile game developers in the genre.

Price: Free to play

Clash Royale is the mainstream option for an auto battler. It most of the same elements as other games in the genre. You play characters on a board, they attack the other player, and the last one standing wins. This one is quite a bit different in execution, though, and has many game play elements from Supercells other hit game, Clash of Clans. Additionally, the game is a one versus one duel where most auto chess games have larger free for all modes. We would understand if you dont consider this a pure auto battler experience, but it fulfills all of the qualifications, even if its a bit closer to a deck-building game.

Price: Free

Dota Underlords is the most recognizable name in auto chess. The whole genre originated from a Dota 2 mod. The genre took off from there and Dota Underlords is the mobile version of the mod. It is your standard auto chess game so you should know how it works by now. You get heroes, you place them down, make synergies, and try to beat your opponents. Plus, the game includes an offline mode and a seasonal rotation that removes heroes and items in order to add new ones and keep things fresh. Its also in the only totally free auto chess game on the list. Its not perfect, but its solid.

Price: Free to play

Hearthstone is another game that may not fit here exactly, but its still an auto-battler and it belongs on a list like this. Its one of the most famous deck-building auto-battlers on any platform and most people know how it works. You build a deck, start a duel, put down your cards, and do battle. The last person standing wins. The game includes a few different game modes, cross-platform play with PC, and its a fairly mature game. Its not quite the same as most of the others on the list, but its close enough in most circumstances.

Price: Free to play

Magic Chess: Bang Bang is a return to the typical auto chess experience. There are over 50 heroes to play, eight player PvP, and the usual strategy that comes with an auto-battler. Were at the end of the list so there isnt too much to say here. It plays like you would expect with a decent UI and relatively simple learning curve. The micro-transactions arent as friendly as some others, but we didnt run into many problems with it. Its fairly decent overall.

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10 best auto chess and auto battle games for Android! - Android Authority

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January 23rd, 2020 at 6:41 pm

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