Στο Δημαρχιακό Μέγαρο Θεσσαλονίκης βρέθηκε ο πρώην παγκόσμιος πρωταθλητής στο σκάκι Γκάρι Κασπάροφ, δίνοντας έναν και μοναδικό αγώνα χάντικαπ απέναντι σε τέσσερις νεαρές σκακίστριες.
Ο Κασπάροφ αντιμετώπισε τις Σταυρούλα Τσολακίδου, παγκόσμια πρωταθλήτρια κορασίδων, την Ελισάβετ Παπαθανασίου, πρωταθλήτρια Ελλάδας νεανίδων, την Κατερίνα Πάσογλου, πρωταθλήτρια Θεσσαλονίκης και την Ευαγγελία Μαστρακούλη, 2η πρωταθλήτρια Θεσσαλονίκης κορασίδων.
Ο θρυλικός σκακιστής ήρθε αντιμέτωπος με τη Σταυρούλα Τσολακίδου, παγκόσμια πρωταθλήτρια κορασίδων, την Αναστασία Αβραμίδου, πρωταθλήτρια Ευρώπης παγκορασίδων, την Κατερίνα Πάσογλου, πρωταθλήτρια Θεσσαλονίκης και την Ευαγγελία Μαστρακούλη, 2η πρωταθλήτρια Θεσσαλονίκης κορασίδων.
Τη διοργάνωση ανέλαβαν η Ένωση Σκακιστών Θεσσαλονίκης και η Αντιδημαρχία Αθλητισμού Πολιτισμού και Παιδείας του δήμου της πόλης, και προσέλκυσε μεγάλο εύρος κοινού που έσπευσε να παρακολουθήσει τον Ρώσο πρωταθλητή.
Την ώρα που ήταν προγραμματισμένη η έναρξη του τουρνουά στους χώρους του Δημοτικού Μεγάρου Θεσσαλονίκης επικρατούσαν θερμοκρασίες 36-37 βαθμών Κελσίου, ωστόσο δεκάδες φίλοι του αθλήματος έσπευσαν να παρακολουθήσουν την προσπάθεια των τεσσάρων κοριτσιών απέναντι στον θρύλο του αθλήματος, που υπομονετικά έστεκε απέναντί τους παρακολουθώντας τις κινήσεις τους.
Πολλοί από τους θεατές μάλιστα που κατέκλυσαν το ισόγειο του Δημοτικού Μεγάρου απαθανάτιζαν με κάμερες και κινητά τον μεγάλο αθλητή, που έδωσε μια μοναδική… παράσταση.
For the first time since his retirement in 2005 Garry Kasparov will play chess against some of the best players on the planet.
The 13th world champion agreed to meet the top three finishers of the 2016 U.S. Championship in a blitz tournament. That turned out to be the top three seeds, Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So.
The Ultimate Blitz Challenge, a special exhibition tournament, will be held on Thursday 28 April and Friday 29 April at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. On both days you can watch the games live on the US Chess Champs website starting from 12:50 pm, which is 7:50 pm CEST, 1:30 pm New York and 10:50 am Pacific.
In a way it's a historic event: For the first time in 11 years that Garry Kasparov will play against three players from the current top 10 if we take the April FIDE rating list for classical chess.
The four players will face each other in three round-robins per day, for a total of 18 games.
There will be small breaks between rounds (1-2 minutes) and longer breaks between each round-robin (10-15 minutes).
The time control will be game in five minutes with a three-second delay (not increment).
The prize fund, provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis via its main benefactor Rex Sinquefield, provides a total prize fund of $50,000 for the blitz event. Garry Kasparov has generously offered to donate his prize winnings to support the U.S. Olympiad team. In the event of tied final scores, prizes will be divided evenly.
The prizes will be awarded as follows:
4th: $ 5,000
Who will win?
Kasparov has played a few blitz events since he retired, for instance against Anatoly Karpov in 2009 and several matches against Nigel Short. Last year he defeated Short 8.5-1.5. This time it will be different, with Kasparov (53) playing three top players all half his age or less. (It may be noted that Bobby Fischer was four years younger than Kasparov now, when Fischer played Boris Spassky in 1992 in Sveti Stefan!)
After he finished his game in the final round of the U.S. Championship, Hikaru Nakamura spoke with Maurice Ashley about facing Kasparov.
Nakamura: “It shall be interesting to see how Garry does against us.”
Ashley: “How Garry does against you guys as opposed to how you do against Garry? The trash talking starts early!”
Nakamura: “If you look at something like basketball, people try to say Steph Curry is better than Michael Jordan. Just looking at the different eras of players especially in chess, it should be interesting. A lot of people seem to think that with every passing generation players are just simply better than the previous generation. That's why I think it will be more interesting from Garry's point of view than from ours.”
Ashley: “Because you're supposed to be better.”
Nakamura: “We're supposed to be but many people consider him the best player ever, so it will be interesting at any rate. It will be fun.”
Kasparov, who was sitting in the studio a few meters away, said that he was happy to see that Nakamura eventually finished in the top 3 of the U.S. Championship. "I want to see how I will do against one of the best blitz players in the world.” About his chances, he only said: “Whether they're better or not, you know, God knows, but they're definitely much younger!”
Who do you think will win the Ultimate Blitz Challenge? Let us know in the comments and/or in the poll on our homepage!
The ninth game of the Women’s World Chess Championship Match finished with a victory of Hou Yifan and with the final score 3:6 she became the Women’s World Champion for the fourth time. It was the last and decisive game of the Match. Maria Muzychuk chose to play Sicilian Defence and managed to get playable position with chances for the both sides. Hou Yifan needed a draw to win the Match while Maria Muzychuk had to play for victory in order to continue the fight.
Hou Yifan decided to exchange queens and after 15 moves transferred the game into the complex ending. White had pawn advantage on the Queen’s side, while Black arranged the conter play on the opposite side of the board. The position was about equal and the most logical outcome would have been a draw but Maria was not always doing the strongest moves but those which would give her some chances to continue the struggle. However, Hou Yifan played very precisely and after 46 moves the game was over.
At the press conference both players thanked their teams, organizers and chess fans. According to Maria Muzychuk, she had the best team in the World as she was getting the positions after the opening one can only dream about. “I’m glad that this Match happened in Lviv and many chess fans could attend it”, added Maria.
“I would like to thank my team and fans. Despite the 6 hours of difference with China I know that many people were following my games,” said Hou Yifan.