The role of technology in chess and cheating

At the start of the 2015 World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, where security was tight so that watches and pens were not allowed in the playing hall, GM Hikaru Nakamura of USA tweeted:

I beg to differ. The proliferation of cheating in chess tournaments was brought about by the level of sophistication in our technology today, so that watches (or smartwatches for that matter) and even pens can be used to cheat in chess games. Thus, it is not cheating per se that forced players to part with their watches and pens during games. Instead, it is advancements in technology that made cheating more accessible, thus thrust tournament organizers to be stricter about their rules.

2015 (Chess) World Cup is happening in Baku, Azerbaijan 

The 2015 Chess World Cup is happening in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, from 10th September to 5th October. It is a 128-player knock out event where the top two players qualifies for the Candidates tournament next year, the qualifying tournament for the World Championship.

Continue with the knockout pairings tree»

Wesley So in Tata Steel Masters 2015 Chess Tournament

Eight rounds down, five more to go for the 2015 edition of Tata Steel Masters Chess Tournament, and Wesley So is planted on 2nd place (after tiebreaks are applied), and just half a point behind the World Champion, Magnus Carlsen. This happened after 3 wins and 5 draws (with 0 loss).

Standings after 8 rounds in Tata Steel Masters 2015

Standings after 8 rounds in Tata Steel Masters 2015

Wesley So vs. Levon Aronian in Round 3 of Tata Steel Masters 2015. Photo credit: Tata Steel Chess.

Wesley So vs. Levon Aronian in Round 3 of Tata Steel Masters 2015. Photo credit: Tata Steel Chess.

Wesley’s first win came from his game against Levon Aronian of Armenia in Round 3. Replay the game: Wesley So vs. Levon Aronian Rd. 3 Tata Steel 2015. Continue reading

Measure Your Computer's Power with Fritz Chess Benchmark

With great power comes great… a strong chess machine.

This is especially true with computers. With greater computer processing power, the deeper the analysis it can afford given a certain position, and the faster it gets to come up with the better play. Thus, the computer becomes a stronger chess player.

But how do you measure your computer’s power especially when compared to another computer of different specs and processor?

Chessbase has come up with the Fritz Chess Benchmark program that comes packaged with every Fritz chess program it ships.

Using the Fritz Chess Benchmark utility, here’s my result with the current machine I’m using:

The result shows it’s got 4 processors (CPU’s), 7.87 times faster than a lowly Pentium 3 1.0GHZ machine, and computing at 3,777 Kilo Nodes per second. Check out the specs of this machine »

Wesley So in the Tata Chess Tournament 2011

Just as the 73rd Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk Aan Zee, which was formerly known as the Corus Games, also one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world of chess, is about to end, we’re bringing you some highlights about the Group B category at which our very own GM Wesley So is a proud participant.

We’re bringing you this sad note, however, that just like last year where Wesley pulled off a bad loss from a blunder move out of the critical moment of the tournament against the then champion of that category, GM Anash Giri, this time he did it again, on a critical game…when everything matters…down the stretch…of the tournament against GM Luke McShane.

On round 12 (out of 13) while still on top of the tournament, Wesley So as black is up by a knight as early as the 16th move. All he could have done is stabilize his position and secure his king from immediate attack, and he could possibly cruise to a clear win. However, he made a bad move on move 24 that gave up that earlier advantage and even his chances against McShane. Read more and replay the game »

Wesley So Drew a Winning Position Vs. Akobian

Indeed, Philippines’ pride GM Wesley So spoiled the fun for his Filipino chess fans when he drew a winning position against Varuzhan Akobian in the Corus Chess 2010 Group B in Wijk aan Zee, in Netherlands.

In this particular game, Wesley might have overlooked a better play on the 25th move with (25. Rxc4) instead of his conservative (25. Re3). This could have led to an endgame where he’s up by one pawn plus a solid pawn structure on the King side.

Continue reading

Fritz12 Licensing: Activating and Deactivating the Software

fritz-12-2Recently, I got Chessbase’ Fritz12 that I ordered online. Before I installed it, I was looking for any mention in the Terms and Conditions in the usage of the software regarding multiple installation. I’m particularly interested if I am allowed to install the same in multiple computers, and what happens if I reinstall the OS or change computers.

Unfortunately, there were no written Terms and Conditions in the booklets or manual that came with the DVD disk, nor in the actual contents of the disk. I scrounged the internet about it to no avail. I even emailed their helpdesk, and this is what they have to reply:

Yes, you are welcome to install and to activate the program on both of your computers.

Nothing helpful at all. Continue reading

Playing Chess Online via FICS (Part 1)

Unlike other sports or games, chess could probably benefit the most with the advancement of the internet. With the internet you can sit in one corner of your room and play chess against other players from around the globe.

I have searched through the web on ways to play chess online. There are correspondence chess (or conventionally called e-mail chess) which I initially was hooked into. But I missed where the real action is with correspondence chess, that which to make the right move under the right amount of pressure—time. Continue reading