Thursday, December 20, 2007

Kamsky wins World Cup 2007 to challenge Topalov

I believe except Anand and Kramnik, the only 2 other players who can really have a chance against Topalov are Ivanchuk and Kamsky. Chuky is out already, so Kamsky is the one who should win the cup and challenge Topalov. And this is exactly what happened. This way, we will get a great competition between Topalov and America's hope Kamsky while we already have the greatest match after Kasparov-Karpov era waiting for us - World Chess Championship 2008 between Anand and Kramnik. I believe people will like to see a Anand-Topalov, Anand-Ivanchuk and Anand-Kamsky match in future as opposed to anyone else you name it - Shirov? Nah, he already lost to Anand big time earlier. Aronian, not enough to be the top of the world yet. Carlsen, count for him in future, not now. Kamsky was particularly tough for Anand in past while Topalov can beat anyone any day. Ivanchuk is in his career peak now and can pose trouble to any of Anand, Kramnik, Topalov, Kamsky. Lets see how it goes.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Anand Runner Up in World Blitz Championship

Anand became runner up after a costly blunder in the last round against Ivanchuk in the 2 days 38 round world blitz championship. Despite a very bad 1st day, Anand showed a great come back in second day by winning games in row and catch up Ivanchuk by round 29. In the last round decider game, both Anand and Ivanchuk had 24.5 points with 1.5 points ahead of the nearest trailer. Anand was completely winning the game but overlooked a night fork by Ivanchuk , proving anything can happen in a 4 minutes plus 2 seconds increment blitz game. Anand is the classical and rapid world chess champion and world bliz runner up.

Final Standings (38 rounds)

Place SNo. Name Fed. FIDE Total S.B. Wins
1 16 Ivanchuk, Vassily UKR 2787 25.5 480 19
2 4 Anand, Viswanathan IND 2801 24.5 437 18
3 3 Grischuk, Alexander RUS 2715 23.5 430.5 14
4 7 Kamsky, Gata USA 2714 23.5 429 16
5 8 Kramnik, Vladimir RUS 2785 21.5 393.75 13
6 1 Leko, Peter HUN 2755 21.5 392.5 13
7 9 Rublevsky, Sergei RUS 2676 21.5 385.75 16
8 18 Morozevich, Alexander RUS 2755 21 378.5 16
9 17 Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2714 20.5 352 15
10 13 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar AZE 2752 18.5 344.75 13
11 20 Adams, Michael ENG 2729 18.5 337.25 13
12 11 Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR 2705 18 339.5 15
13 5 Kasimdzhanov, Rustam UZB 2690 17.5 319.75 11
14 2 Dreev, Alexey RUS 2607 17 313.5 12
15 14 Gelfand, Boris ISR 2736 17 310.75 10
16 6 Savchenko, Boris RUS 2583 17 291.5 13
17 19 Shirov, Alexei ESP 2739 16 298.75 11
18 12 Karpov, Anatoly RUS 2670 14 252 8
19 10 Bacrot, Etienne FRA 2695 12 235 9
20 15 Korotylev, Alexey RUS 2600 11.5 205.25 7

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Vishy Anand is the new World Chess Champion

At last my wait for this day finished. Anand played a super double round robin tournament in Mexico to come out clear winnerof the tournament and new World Chess Champion scoring 9 our fo 13 with 4 wins and 10 draws. He is the only undefeated player in the tournament. He played great chess here showing his deep preparation and spirit and defending nicely at bad times throughout this championship.

Gelfand played a very nice tournament trailing Anand by a point at the finish but a last round victory by Kramnik ensured the equal 8 points for both of him and Kramnik and hence Kramnik became runner up in baclose score calculation.

Its fun time now to enjoy for Indians. They have recently won the Tewnty20 World Cricket Championship and now the world chess championship.

Congratulations to Anand! Enjoy the success.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

World Chess Championship 2007 Starts Tomorrow

After a long wait, I will be able to follow a great encounter amongst the 8 strongest chess players in the world now. Yes, Mexico World Chess Champinship 2007 starts tomorrow. It will be category 21 double round-robin tournament. Here is a table that details the participants.
Player Nat. Rtn Birth
Vishwanathan Anand IND 2792 1969
Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2769 1975
Alexander Morozevich RUS 2758 1977
Peter Leko HUN 2751 1979
Levon Aronian ARM 2750 1982
Peter Svidler RUS 2735 1976
Boris Gelfand ISR 2733 1968
Alexander Grischuk RUS 2726 1983
Well, I have been waiting to see Anand to be the champion of the chess world. However in recent years the championship has been captured by Kramnik and Topalov instead. This show is the best and probably one of the last few chances of Anand, considering his age, to prove his supremecy once again. The various online polls show Anand as top favorite closely followed by Kramnik. In fact, in a recent interview kasparov nominated Anand as the clear favorite. However, Kramnik is in great shape and Aronian is the other contender for the crown with a good result against both Anand and Kramnik. The other five participants are also capable of making good results in any event. It will be a memorable battle amongst all of them.

Courtesy to Susan Polgar's Blog, here is the official link to watch the games live in action.

Here are a few more articles on this.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Anand won Mainz Rapid World Chess Championship for 10th Time

Yes, Anand is still the best rapid chess player. He has won the final against Aronian with a black piece win in the 4th game to take revenge of the loss in Chess960 final against him just a few days back. Now all the eyes on Mexico Classical World Chess Championship. Go Anand, go!

Here is what Anand remembers about his Rapid World Championship Titles during last one and half decade.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Fide Candidates Match 2007 Round 1

The Candidates Matches for the 2007 World Chess Championship Tournament was held in Elista, Russia, from May 26 to June 14, 2007. A total of 16 candidates played two rounds of six-game matches to fill four places in the 2007 World Championship in Mexico City. The prize fund was US $40,000 per match, most of the money ($320,000) coming from a personal fund of FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, FIDE ($160,000) and the general sponsor, Rosenergomash.

In the most excitng competition of round 1, Aronian and Carlsen faught head to head until Aronian won the last 2 tie blitz games to score a 7-5 win when the classical games drew at 4 draws and 1 win each. leko outplayed Gurevich the same was as Kamsky demolished Bacrot (
3.5 - 0.5). Rublevsky defeated Ponomariov and Bereev defeated Polgar by 3.5 - 2.5 margin while Grishchuk comfortably overcame Malakov (3.5 - 1.5). In the other tie-breaks of Shirov vs Adams and Gelfand vs Kasimdzhanov the outcome was identical 5.5 - 3.5 in favor of Shirov and Gelfand respectively. Now we will be looking forward to Round 2 fights that will decide the rest 4 World Chess Mexico 2007 participants.

Round 2 Pairings:

Aronian vs Shirov -
I am expecting a very interesting battle.
Grishchuk vs Rublevsky - I think Grishchuk will win.
Gelfand vs Kamsky - My bet is on Kamsky.
Leko vs Bareev -
I am quite sure about Leko.

FIDE press director Peter Rajcsanyi summarized the event so far as follows:

The first round of the candidate matches resulted in many colorful and fire-packed games, a few real blunders (from among which many were made in the longer-time-control games), several good combinations, interesting rook sacrifices, not too many draws and a friendly atmosphere among the players, audience and officials.

The outside temperature was high and on many boards there were heated-up struggles in the main playing hall, too. The overall quality of the games is good and the excitement created by the arrangement of bringing all candidate matches into one place pleased most of the local and Internet spectators. On the Internet, the average number of daily visitors reached the sixty thousand level.

Magnus Carlsen is the hero of the first round – no doubt. He became the chess idol of the young Kalmykian girls who may or may not know chess (as he enjoys the same status in Norway, too) while his stamina as well as consistency has been admired all over the world by chess players. His friendly style, delightful and disarming smile and the candid answers pleased media people in the press center all the time. He successfully used the whole chess armory available for him although finally it was not enough against Aronian now. Next time, who knows…

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Voted Anand for Chess Oscar 2006

I just voted Anand at for Chess Oscar 2006. The interface is non-intuitive and I am surprised with their look and feel choice. Here is whom I voted:

1st: Anand
2nd: Kramnik
3rd: Topalov
4th: Radjabov

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Anand is the highest rated chess player now

Anand deserved it a long time back. But better late than never. Vishy Anand is the highest rated chess player in the world from this April 2007 rating list. He was consistently in the top 3 rated chess player for more than a decade-and-half. Congratualtions to Anand! I hope he will continue to reign for a long time.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Painting of Great Chess Players by Fernando Arrabal

Seated: The chess champions Mikhail Tal (1936-1992), José Raúl Capablanca (1888-1942), Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941), Wilhelm Steinitz (1836-1900), and Bobby Fischer (b. 1943). Standing: Boris Spassky (b. 1937), the playwright Arrabal (b.1932), and Alexander Alekhine (1892–1946). On the right-hand side: Paul Morphy (1837-1884), François-André Philidor (1726-1795) and Ruy López de Segura (1530-1580). In photos on the left-hand side: Vasily Smyslov (b. 1921), Machgielis (Max) Euwe (1901–1981), Anatoli Karpov (b. 1951), Judit Polgár (b. 1976), Tigran Petrosian (1929-1984), and Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-1995). Click picture to enlarge.

A wonderful Chess Painting that I found on the net today.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Anand Leading Linares

The traditional Linares tournament, which since 2006 has been split in two halves, started 17th February at the state theatre in Morelia, Mexico. Eight participants are Topalov (2783), Ivanchuk (2750), Leko (2749), Morozevich (2741), Svidler (2728), Carlsen (2690), Anand (2779) and Aronian (2744). The official web site is so slow that I opted out for ICC live broadcast and analysis as well follow-ups on Chessbase, Chess Ninja, Susan's blog, Chessvibes and blog on Carlsen.

I am particularly happy to see Anand coming back with great spirit showing his class after last 2 consecutive wins against Morozevich and Carlsen. I wish Radjabov would play the tournament although Ivanchuk is no less attractive replacement to him. As of my writing now, round 5 is going in full swing where Topalov seems to have tied down Carlsen strongly.

Standings After Round 4:

Update: After 7 rounds that conclude the first half in Moreila, Anand and Carlsen are leading with 4.5 points each.
Update: Until 9th round Anand was leading with Carlsen and then today at 10th round Anand again defeated Carlsen with a brilliant knight sacrifice, which folks there were not sure whether really winning. However Carlsen understood better and refused to take the knight and played a series of good defensive but couldn't avoid defeat.

Update After Round 12: Anand drew with Aronian to lead the table with 7.5 points. Carlsen is closely following him (7.0) after today's draw with Topalov. Svidler defeated Leko to trail Carlsen with 6.5 points putting Leko in the bottom of the table alone. Morozevich defeated Invanchuk to make the playing ground even for both of them coupled with Topalov at 5.5 points. Chessbase got a new look today.

Final Update: Anand won Linares/Moreila 2007 with 8.5 points, a full point ahead of Carlsen and Morozevich. One good thing is that Anand is going to be the highest rated chess player in April's FIDE rating list. He has been consistently the #2 or #3 player in the world last 10 years following mainly Kasparov and sometimes Kramnik and Topalov. I wish Anand becomes the world champion this year in Mexico. Here is the final standings.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

MSA for USCF Members

USCF has provided an excellent tool for its members to analyze their tournament records. Its a software named MSA that allows you to see your performance chart, number of games against all the players in USCF rated tournaments. Its free for personal use. I downloaded it in my desktop and here is my perrformance chart.

You may download it from here.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Review of Rapid Chess Improvement by Michael de la Maza

Rapid Chess Improvement (Everyman Chess)

Michael de la Maza

Date: 2002-06-01 — Book

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Last week I bought and skimmed through this book on rapid chess improvement technique that Michael de la Maza introduced. The 3 messages that got reading this book are -

  • Develop Chess Vision. Its a less discussed topic in chess and Michael did a good job bringing it front. However, he over-emphasized it. I can never imagine finding time to go through the chess vision drills that the author was talking about, because that time can be better utilized in other areas of chess improvement. Well, may be I think so because I am already a strong Class B player. But for someone who has time and is a Class C or D level player (or lower), it may be of use. My opinion for class C or D level players would be to try a few hours with queen and knight and ignore the rest, certainly not 2 or 3 weeks. You better use that time studying end games.
  • Study and practice chess Tactics as much as possible. Tactics is the heart of chess. I can think of studying chess as learning tactics and learning strategy. Michael emphazied tactics over strategy until someone is an Expert level player. This emphasize is correct to some extent, however, not making someone completely ignorant about Strategy. I thank the author for emphasizing tactics and crticize the author for consdering learning strategy as waste of time. I can't imagine how I would be able to get a complete appreciation of chess without reading a book like Nimzowitch's My System.
  • Use CT-Art 3.0 to sharpen up your tactics and follow Seven Circles program. Any program that teaches you tactics, gives lot of tactical puzzles will do. In fact, I decided to buy Fritz 10 instead of it. However, as CT-Art is specially focused on this area, its really worth. Now whether you will follow author's unique invention of seven circles or you want to go your own way depending on your schedule, profession, life style is upto you. Seven circles is, no doubt, a good way to go if you dont want to create a schedule yourself. I used to solve chess puzzle books earlier that contained lot of combinations and that also worked well in my early chess endevours. Still, I give credit to Michael to make it straight forward by putting a calculated discipline in this process of learning tactics.
Now about the rest of part of book, its written in an inspirational way which may make bring you back to the chess board even if you gave up playing chess for a while. However, most of them are not fact, these are like opinions, guesses, hopes etc. The way he talks about only to look for next 3 or 5 move possibilities for traps, tactics etc makes me think that every move is a chess math and a player is a chess machine who doesn't know or see larger view of chess as a game. The authot constantly says you dont need to learn anything other than tactics, which is so wrong. About opening, we know that its true, we only need to understand a handful of opening ideas but I can't accept misguiding average chess players to hold them of learning end games and chess strategies. The claim of gaining 200 or more rating points are too much to guarantee follownig Michael's recipe of rapid chess improvement, although its not atypical of weak players gaining rating points quicky as they learn chess more. Studying tactics relligiously will make a player's rating improve a lot but a rate of improvement can't be guaranteed like what Michael is claiming. I think these portions of the book made Silman say in this critical review of this book at as criminal and ignorant.

Even though I disagree with Michael's vision to chess as a move by move mathematical puzzle only, I am happy that this book is around. I would give this book 3 stars unless the author would fill soem of the pages with unnecessary contents and some misleading messages other than the emphasize on chess. Its certainly not among the very good chess books, however, for weaker and busy palyers, the re-wording of practice tactics again and again will be really helpful. I can definitely say I didn't learn anything new reading this book accept knowing the name of CT-Art 3.0 as a good tactics trainer which inspired me to decidde that I will buy Fritz 10 soon. After playing around with Fritz for a while if I find Fritz can't be configured to give me tactical puzzles, I will purchase CT-Art 3.0 as well.

A few references for your own exploration.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Topalov, Radjabov and Aronian Won Corus 2007

Corus 2007 tournament at Wijk aan Zee took place from January 13 to 28 2007. Topalov, Radjabov and Aronian won group A which had an average rating of 2719 (category 19). Group B was won by P Eljanov while Group C by Polish GM M Krasenkow with whom I played an excellent game almost 10 years earlier in my home country Bangladesh.

Radjabov was leading in the beginning but in the middle the tournament edge shifted back to Topalov. Aronian played consistently and with a last round win he joined to share the title with 8.5/13 each. Kramnik was the only undefeated player in the tournament with balanced play scoring 8. I am upset that Anand lost to both Topalov and Kramnik and couldn't win any game against his last 3 comparatively weaker opponents and resulted in 7.5 that will loose him a few ELO points. I hope he will consolidate himself and will be back in great spirit at mexico world chess championship later this year. I see Shirov and Carlsen in the bottom of the chart at 4.5 each.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dreev Wins 5th Parsvanth Chess Tournament In New Delhi

GM Alexey Dreev of Russia wins 5th Parsvanth International Chess Tournament that took place in New Delhi, India between 14th January to 22nd January 2007. There were 13 GMS from India, Bangladesh, Russia, Egypt, Ukrain, Uzbekisthan among the 345 participants. The 18-year-old Hyderabad teenager Gogineni Rohit completed his third and final International Master-norm and maiden Grandmaster norm to secure a runners up position. Dreev, who has an ELO rating of 2658, defeated B Adhiban in the 10th and final round to finish a clear winner with 8.5 out of a possible 10 points to bag the purse of Rs two lakh in the Swiss-league tournament played at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium. Half a point behind Dreev were seven players (jointly 2nd to 8th) -- Rohit, GM Ahmed Adly of Egypt, GM Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh, four-time national champion of India Surya Shekhar Ganguly, IM Enamul Hossain and IM Abdulla Al-Rakib of Bangladesh, and IM Vikramaditya Kamble of India. All these players got a little over Rs. 50000 for their efforts. Ahmed Adly finished the second runner up and Rahman and Ganguly were fourth and fifth after the tiebreak was resolved under Bucholz system. First GM of Indian-subcontient, Niaz Murshed of Bangladesh, scored 7 out of 10 to be placed in the 25th position (jointly 18th to 42nd).

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My Game Against GM Susan Polgar

GM Susan Polgar, 4-time Women's World Champion, gave a simultaneous chess in Atlanta, Georgia as part of Kay Umeakunne's Mighty Knights and Lady Bughouse chess camps in June 2005. She was at Stonecrest Mall Borders in Lithonia, Georgia one day earlier giving a lecture, conducting a Q&A, and signing copies of her new book A World Champion's Guide To Chess. The Simultaneous Exhibition was held at the Mountain Park Activity Building, Stone Mountain where we 21 chess players participated in 21 different boards.

Date: 06/24/2005 Atlanta, Georgia
Event: Simultaneous Display By GM Susan Polgar

White: GM Susan Polgar (2570)
Black: Ashik Uzzaman (1642)

I was 1 hour late to arrive the stone mountain as I lost the road in the hill. After taking help from an old man, I could manage a taxi cab and when I reached the Mountain Park Activity Building, I narrowly managed to join the simul providing my entry fee. Among the 21 boards, Kazim's game finished last and all lost except me. I accepted a draw offer from her after 33 moves in a winning position, showing honor to a grand master. Though its not a serious game, but for an average player like me, its a good achievement.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Amazon Short - An Evolutionary Theory of Chess

An Evolutionary Theory of Chess

Garry Kasparov

Date: 2006-11-10 — $0.49 — DVD / VHS

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I finished my first Amazon Short today: An Evolutionary Theory of Chess by Garry Kasparov.

I was amazed to see the idea of short electronic-article-like book while surfing Kasparov's My Great Predecessors series in in early December 2006. I bought and read all the 5 volumes of Kasparov's My Great Predecssors and was looking for the new arrivals in this series. I came accross this $0.49 book (or should I call it e-article) and purcahsed it in advance as it was not published that time. Last weekend, I thaught to look for whether its already published and found yes - it was. I downloaded a PDF copy to my laptop at that time but today during lunch break I printed it and read. Kasparov talked about the past chess figures and evolution of chess through them as a beginner's game to a master's game in last 150 years and emerging into the computer age of chess as the last evolution in playing chess or chess styles. I liked this short book.

Entering 1800 club in chesslive

Last week I broke 1800 (and thus entered the category A club) after starting to play chess on chesslive for a few weeks. Right now I see my rating is 1815, and last night it went upto 1827. My USCF standard rating 1767 and rapid rating 1801 justifies my correct chesslive rating well. I also participapted in a rapid tournament there and gained 7 tournament game points. For some reason, last 2/3 days I missed one-move queen-loss or piece-loss in rapid games several times. If I can check those correctly from now on, I believe I can break the 1900 mark soon.

Lets see how it goes.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Google Search Engine Customized For Chess

I have added in this site a Google search engine customized for chess today. Google Co-op provides facilities to create customized search engine and thus I created one, added around 20 web sites in the engine and plugged in this blog's left navigation panel. Feel free to use it and let me know if you want to include some nice chess web sites, blogs or forums in this engine.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Life's too short for chess

Life's too short for chess. The chess pieces are the block alphabet which shapes thoughts; and these thoughts, although making a visual design on the chess-board, express their beauty abstractly, like a poem. … I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists. That was said by Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968), French artist.

The Arab traveler Al-Biruni rediscovered chess in Indus valley now in present day Pakistan. He is considered responsible for reintroducing ito the Islamic world, and thence to medieval Europe in tenth century. Archealogists have found artifacts resembling to chess pieces in the ruins of Moenjodaro in Indus valley. It Is believed that the ancient name of the game of chess was Chatrunga and It was played in Indus valley since 1000 BC or more. The centuries old story of "Sessa" the inventor of the game of chess goes some thing like this. Sessa traveled to Persia and presented his invented game to the King. He went to Persia because nobody appreciated his work in India. And Persia was famous those days for art, culture and education. The game was liked by the king so much that he asked Sessa to ask for recompense whatever he wished.

Sessa modestly requested to be given one grain of wheat for the first square of the chess board, two for the second, four for the third and so on doubling each time up to 64th square. Eventually the wise men of the king added the numbers 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 etc and found the sum of series to 64 terms or levels and concludeded that was not enough wheat in the kingdom to meet the demand of Sessa. Can you work out that sum?

"Life's too short for chess" is a quote attributed to Henry J. Byron.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Queen Ending

I won a recent game in ChessLive at 80 moves after a careful queen endgame. I relaized that my many years earlier end game study was helpful to win this. To see the game click on the link or at the final position image.

Queen Ending Against McGolden

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

New Rating List January 2007 & Review of Chess Year 2006

Topalov topped recently published FIDE rating list (Jan 2007) followed by Anand and Kramnik despite his lose to Kramnik in the unified world chess championship match.

Last year was another eventful for chess. Other than Topalov-Kramnik match that Kramnik won there was Kramnik Fritz 10 match where Kramnik lost. The other events are -

Corus Wijk aan Zee A Group: =1-2 Anand, Topalov =3-4 Adams, Ivanchuk
Corus Wijk aan Zee B Group: =1-2 Motylev, Carlsen 3 Almasi
Keres Rapid: =1-3 Ivanchuk, Karpov, Kasimdzhanov
Linares/Morelia: 1 Aronian =2-3 Topalov, Radjabov
Cuernavaca Young Masters: =1-2 Ponomariov, Vallejo Pons 3 Nakamura
Amber Rapid (not blindfold): 1 Anand =2-3 Topalov, Aronian
Karpov Poikovsky: 1 Shirov =2-5 Ponomariov, Zvjaginsev, Dreev, Bareev
Bosnia: =1-3 Nisipeanu, Carlsen, Malakhov
MTel Masters: 1 Topalov 2 Kamsky 3 Anand
Aerosvit Foros: 1 Rublevsky 2 Ivanchuk 3 Bologan
Tomsk Izmailov Rapid: 1 Karjakin 2 Rublevsky 3 Kasimdzhanov
Biel: 1 Morozevich =2-3 Carlsen, Radjabov
Leon Rapid: 1 Anand
Sparkassen Dortmund: =1-2 Kramnik, Svidler =3-5 Adams, Leko, Gelfand
Villarobledo Rapid: =1-4 Anand, I Sokolov, Korneev, Ponomariov
Staunton Memorial: 1 I Sokolov, 2-3 Timman, Adams
Rishon FIDE Blitz WCh: 1 Grischuk 2 Svidler =3-4 Radjabov, Anand
Essent Hoogeveen: =1-2 Mamedyarov, J Polgar
Cap d'Agde Rapid: 1 Radjabov 2 Karjakin
Capablanca Elite: 1 Ivanchuk 2 Bareev 3 Miton
Tal Memorial: =1-3 Leko, Ponomariov, Aronian
Russian Ch Superfinal: 1 Alekseev 2 Jakovenko 3 Inarkiev
Torre Memorial: 1 Ivanchuk 2 Bruzon
Pamplona: 1 Morozevich 2 Jakovenko 3 Shirov

I am looking forward to personally visit World Chess Championship 2007 that will be hosted in Mexico city.