Archive for 2007
We are pleased to report that Alexandra had a great success at the annual New Year Blitz tournament, organized by the Deputy Economy Minister Arkady Dvorkovich in Moscow. After qualifying in the semifinals, she won convincingly the final with 8 points out of 9, ahead of GM Najer (2635) 7, GM Dlugy (2518) 6.5, GM Alekseev (2716) 6, GM Bareev (2653) 4.5, GM Vasiukov (2492) 4, etc. We have all of Alexandra’s games in video and by popular demand will soon post some online. By the way, we will be soon closing the Christmas competition, hurry to send your answers, free prizes are ready to be won!
Yesterday December 23 Alexandra’s Chess School for boys and girls Under 7 organized the First Alexandra Chess Cup, in two categories, birth date after 2000 (up to 7 y.o.) and birth date after 2002 (under 5 y.o.). For most kids this was their first chess tournament ever, and it was most successful, Alexandra handed every kid prizes and they were all very happy. Alexandra announced that this tournament will be held each year, another building block in proving to kids that Chess is Cool! Watch the photos of the event.
Have a look at this excellent 43-minute documentary by Davide Fasolo about 12 chess professionals talking about their passion. The movie features Anatolij Karpov, Levon Aronian, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Michele Godena, Fabio Bruno, Rusudan Goletiani, Elisabeth Paehtz, Ennio Arlandi, Martha Fierro, Daniele Genocchio, Marl Quinn, and Alex Wohl. We have two versions for you to chose from: A Flash version and a Quicktime version. Enjoy. For reference, here is the link to Davide Fasolo’s web site.
CHRISTMAS COMPETITION!! To celebrate its great success and the soon-to-come 50th episode, Alexandra’s new video podcast , CHESS KILLER TIPS, is hosting a Christmas Chess Competition, with many chess prizes to be won! Chess books, chess software and other chess gifts are ready to be sent to you. To win, you need to send in the best answers to the following three chess puzzles: ONE (white plays and wins), TWO (black plays and wins), THREE (white plays and wins). The deadline is set to December 24, 2007. Send us your detailed solutions, together with your name, age if you’re less than 18 years old, and mailing address for the prize. We’ll publish the solutions and names of the winners in one of the next Chess Killer Tips podcasts, as well as here on our home page. Good luck!
We have a gift for you: Alexandra Kosteniuk comments in great detail and in video format her blitz game against GM Zoltan Almasi (ELO 2691) at the Moscow World Chess Blitz Championships Qualifyers of last week. The game demonstrates important ideas in the Berlin Wall Defense of the Ruy Lopez. Watch Alexandra show you each move, in a 11-minute video file (approx. 76 MB, please be patient while it loads, it’s worth it), either in Flash or in Quicktime. If you’d like to analyze the game further, you can download the pgn file. Please send Alexandra comments if you like these videos and would like more of them, or if you have any problems watching them.
The excellent European Chess Magazine "Europe-Echecs" just came out, and Alexandra, victorious from the European Team Championships, graces its cover. The magazine features an interview, photos, and commented games by Alexandra. You can see the cover in higher resolution by clicking here.
Exclusive: Alexandra Kosteniuk comments for you the most important blitz game of the year, the one that decided the World Blitz Champion title, between Vishy Anand and Vassily Ivanchuk. The game was won by Ivanchuk who took the title. Watch Alexandra show you how he did it, in a 10-minute video file (approx. 60 MB, please be patient while it loads, it’s worth it), either in Flash or in Quicktime. If you’d like to analyze the game further, you can download the pgn file with the key variations explained. Enjoy!
Tonight Alexandra Kosteniuk took part in a friendly closed blitz tournament in Moscow, with select GM’s playing as well as two of the highest Russian government officials, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov and Deputy Economy Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, both avid chess players, and supporters of Russian chess. In the blitz tournament Alexandra shared first place with GM Vasiukov with 9/11, then GM Vaisser 8.5, WGM Zhukova 8, GM Dlugy 7, etc. Watch Pufichek’s photo album by clicking here.
It was undoubtedly the strongest blitz tournament in the world, held in Moscow’s famous Central Chess Club, the World Blitz Championship Qualifyers, with over 60 Grandmasters (men). There were only two women that hold that supreme GM title that were invited to play, Alexandra Kosteniuk and Kateryna Lahno. They both did a respectable 9.5 points, with Kateryna beating GM Smirin 2-0 and Alexandra beating GM Naiditsch 2-0, both 2639 ELO, among several upsets suffered by the men. That’s what we call girl power! We have all games in video and will soon post the best ones on Chessmovies (Quicktime) and Tubechess (Flash).
Pufichek’s photo album is ready for you to view, we will add new photos in the next days.
Watch the short news clip (hosted by Tubechess) that aired tonight, filmed at the Moscow airport Sheremetievo upon arrival of the triumphant Russian teams (men and women) from Crete. The clip features Alexandra Kosteniuk and Petr Svidler, and it is in Russian.
PHOTOS OF EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS. Pufichek brings you a special gallery of smiling European champions, taken during the prize giving ceremony in Crete last night. We remind you that for the first time since the Soviet years, Russia has been able to regain both men and women’s titles simultaneously, it’s a great achievement for the men (Svidler, Morozevich, Grischuk, Alekseev and Jakovenko) and for the women (Kosteniuk, T. and N. Kosintseva, Kovalevskaya, Korbut). The Russian champions earned each a Gold team medal, and no less than 8 medals for top board results. Congratulations!
BREAKING NEWS! Both Russian teams, men and women, have won their sections in the 2007 European Chess Championships!! Grandmaster Alexandra Kosteniuk, leader and first board of the Russian women’s team, is pleased to congratulate her fellow team-members T. and N. Kosintseva, E. Kovalevskaya, and E. Korbut, in a well deserved success. See the final results and the individual performances.
Top 3 (women): 1. RUSSIA 2. POLAND 3. ARMENIA. Alexandra will also get in addition to the Gold team medal a medal for being among the highest individual performance on the first board (2587 ELO).
Watch Pufichek’s photos in the best photo album of Crete 2007.
Today was a key day and all eyes were turned to Table 1 – Board 1: Grandmaster Alexandra Kosteniuk beat GM Zhaoqin Peng and led her team to a 3.5 – 0.5 win. The Russian women’s team is in top position ahead of Poland going into the last round.
Make sure to visit our monster photo album. We’d also appreciate if you could vote for Alexandra’s new free video podcast Chess Killer Tips either in Podcast Alley or in iTunes, so she can go up in the podcast rankings and show more people that chess is cool!
Pufichek has posted on Chesspics more than 150 photos of the participants of the 2007 European Team Championships in Crete. The collection is growing daily and promises to be the top chess photo album of the year. Have a look at it and vote for your favorite players.
As far as the competition is concerned, in the women’s section, it’s a fight between top teams Poland and Russia. Today on table one Russia beat Georgia, with Alexandra Kosteniuk drawing ex-world champion Maia Chiburdanidze on board one.
Alexandra and her team have started quite well at the European Team Championships in Crete by winning their first three matches, against Israel, Armenia and Bulgaria, then drawing against Hungary and Poland. Alexandra has a score of 3.5/4 up to now. Look at our new photo album, and vote for the photos you like best.
Did you know that Alexandra has already published 45 episodes of her Chess Killer Tips Free Video Podcast? Short 2-4 minute instructional videos, entertaining and instructive, and sure to make you a better chess player. In both MP4 and Flash formats. Check’em out!
Alexandra will leave tomorrow morning for Crete to participate in the European Team Chess Championships. The Russian Women’s team will have a very strong team composed of Alexandra Kosteniuk, Tatiana and Nadezhda Kosintseva, Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, and Ekaterina Korbut.
We have lots of material from Villandry, so if you have not yet seen it all, here are the links: photos, Alexandra’s 5-minute video report (MP4, Flash), Chess Killer Tips 44 (MP4, Flash), Chess Killer Tips 45 (MP4, Flash), Chess is Cool Podcast Episode 27 (MP3), and a TV program with Alexandra speaking French (MP4, Flash). Please vote for the photos and the videos using 1 star for lowest up to 5 stars for best. Enjoy
Alexandra just got back from the beautiful Château de Villandry Chess and Music Festival, where she reached the final and only lost in the tie-break against GM Fressinet. We have very nice exclusive photos for you to watch. We now also have finished a superb 5-minute video that will make you feel sorry for not being with us in Villandry last weekend If you prefer the Flash version click here). Thanks to the castle owner Henri Carvallo for his wonderful Chess and Music Festival, it was a great success. We look forward to coming back to Villandry next year!
We are pleased to present to you an 11-minute video of Alexandra on French TV during the Villandry 2007 Chess and Music Festival. Note that it is the first time Alexandra gives an interview in French, her native language being Russian and the foreign language she learned first is English. Press here to watch this video in MP4 or here for Flash.
The match for the main prize of the 2007 Villandry Chess and Music Festival was fascinating. After losing her first game in the main match, Alexandra created a sensation and came back to win her second game with Black after more than 200 moves, to tie at 1-1. That proved quite exhausting, and she finally lost the blitz tie-break 0 – 2. Congratulatipons to Laurent for his winning the 2007 Villandry trophy.
Alexandra played her friend Almira Skripchenko in the semi-final of the 2007 Chess and Music Festival in Villandry. The match ended with 1.5 – 0.5 in favor of Alexandra. We have recorded both games and will soon be able to present them to you in video. In the second semi-final, Laurent Fressinet beat Viktor Korchnoi after a fierce battle and a 1-1 tie in the main part of the match. Tomorrow in the final Alexandra will play GM Laurent Fressinet.
Alexandra has been invited to the beautiful and well-known Château de Villandry, one of the best jewels of the Loire castles, 250 kilometers south of Paris, on October 20-21, 2007. She will play a series of rapid games, together with GM Viktor Kortchnoi, GM Laurent Fressinet, and WGM Almira Skripchenko. The festival will include classical music composed by Philidor (chess player and composer), played by the excellent pianist Natacha Kudritskaya. See the official event poster.
Our photo album of Alexandra’s trip to Gmunden, including the simul is online. Enjoy!
We hope you will enjoy the 10 minute video of Alexandra commenting her blitz game against Jackova. Click here to see it.
Alexandra just came back from a long chess weekend in Gmunden, Austria. On Friday she participated in a fun blitz tournament, scored 9/13 and got the highest rating performance, beating I. Krush, J. Jackova, and both T. and E. Paehtz. We have all of Alexandra’s blitz games in video and will soon be able to present them to you. On Saturday, Alexandra took on 26 players of all levels in the beautiful Esplanade in front of the Traunsee lake. Tomorrow we’ll post a nice photo album of the event.
Today September 12 is the 20th birthday of Alexandra’s little sister, Oxana. We would like to congratulate Oxana, and wish her lots of happiness, love, and many new and exciting events in her life. Oxana has just started her 4th year at the Moscow State University, in the Journalism Department. She’s currently working at the company Sportbox, writing daily chess news. If you know Russian, you can read them here.
Alexandra Kosteniuk and Garry Kasparov will be the guests of honor at the 17th Senior World Championships 2007 in the charming town of Gmunden, Austria, on September 21 and 22, 2007. Alexandra will play a blitz tournament on Friday night at 9 PM and on Saturday at 3 PM she will give a simultaneous exhibition to Austrian fans. The organizers have secured to fans of Alexandra up to three free spots in the simul, so if you have any chance to make it on the 22nd of September to Gmunden, please send us an email and we will reserve a free spot for you. Only 3 free spots available, so hurry!
You did it! Thanks to many of you, Alexandra’s CHESS KILLER TIPS video podcast made it to #1 of all video podcasts (1,146 entries), as compiled by the well-known podcast aggregator Podcast Alley. Among all podcasts in the world (audio and video), Chess Killer Tips is ranked #24 out of over 34 thousand podcasts. If you haven’t voted yet, you can continue to do so here. Already 20 episodes out and getting close to 1,000 subscribers in less than one month, is that not a good way to promote chess? Please send feedback and ideas for future episodes.
UPDATE: Today August 13, thanks to your votes, Alexandra’s new chess video podcast “Chess Killer Tips” is up in position #28 (on the Top 50 List) out of 34,223 registered podcasts of all genres at Podcast Alley, which is an incredible success and the best possible promotion for the game of chess. We would be grateful if you could please cast your VOTE for Chess Killer Tips simply entering your email address then confirming the vote when you get the email from Podcast Alley. If many of you vote, Chess Killer Tips can make it to the top 10, and then it will be on Podcast Alley’s Front Page, which will give more exposure to Chess, that would be so nice. Voting and watching the podcast is totally free, and we hope you enjoy it as much as Alexandra enjoys recording them. Links: CKT in iTunes, CKT-016 (MP4), CKT-016 (Flash), Chess Killer Tips Home Page.
Thanks to all of you who have sent emails to Alexandra and asked how her daughter Francesca is doing. Well we are pleased to report that Francesca is doing fine, she passed the 4 kilo mark, and today she even was a mini chess star in front of the camera. You can read more about her and see the last photos on Francesca’s personal web site.
Alexandra is pleased to introduce to you her new project: the new free chess video podcast "Chess Killer Tips". Each podcast is a short educational video of about 3 minutes, with a chess position to think about. After a short introduction to the position, you have a chance to press "pause", and when you are ready you can continue and watch Alexandra talk about the position and give the solution or best continuation. Alexandra is putting a great deal of effort into her new podcast and sincerely hopes you will like it. She will gladly listen to your comments and suggestions. You can download the videos automatically for free on iTunes (direct link to the podcast on iTunes), or else at the main site. She already published 11 episodes, watch the last one in MP4, or in Flash, and the first one in MP4 or Flash. If you regularly watch Alexandra’s Killer Tips, you will improve at chess, guaranteed!
After a long break, Alexandra just published today a new episode of her audio podcast Chess is Cool. It’s less than 7 minutes long in MP3 format and you can download it either via iTunes, or via our Podcast Page, or simply listen to it by clicking here. Find out what Alexandra has been doing and what she’s working on right now.
As you can see on the following chart compiled by FIDE, average ratings of women chess players have improved over the last 7 year. In the year 2000 the average rating of the top 50 women in the circuit was 2444 ELO, whereas now it is 2463 ELO. More talented young players have arrived and top tournaments are clearly more competitive than they used to be years ago. Congratulations to all women who are doing their best to improve in the tough world of competitive chess. Now to be fair let us note that the average of men rating has also increased over the same period in approximately the same manner, but it’s good to see that women are not losing ground.
Alexandra continues in the world chess elite and is rated World Top 6 on the official July 1, 2007 FIDE rating list. Her rating stays at 2515 ELO, as last rating list of April 1, 2007. You can see all details by clicking here. One major improvement in the top 10 is the 4th position of Chinese Hou Yifan, she was only 8th a year ago, and she is one of the youngest players in the circuit.
Several people have asked us how to buy Alexandra’s new book “Play like Kosteniuk”, with over 100 positions from her games, with solutions. A handy book to take along and train your brains. We have some in stock and Alexandra will gladly autograph a copy for you for the discounted price of only $5.99 instead of the regular price of $9.99 (Payments via Secure Paypal). Order your copy while supplies last by clicking here.
It is with immense happiness and emotion that Alexandra and her husband Diego announce the birth of their daughter Francesca Maria. Francesca was born 2 1/2 months premature, weighing only 1.46 kilos at birth, and spent 8 weeks at the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Today June 19, Francesca has made tremendous progress and was allowed to go home to her parents. You can read about Francesca’s progress on her Official Web Site. Thanks to all of you who sent emails with good wishes the last two months, they helped Alexandra in this very stressful period at the hospital.
Alexandra was overwhelmed by the large number of correct answers to her last chess puzzle (1. Ra3+! bxa3 2. b3 mate), so she has decided to give 20 free copies of her new book Play like a Champion as prizes. To the left is a collage of some of the great chess photos that people sent in for extra credit (those entries had more chances to be chosen). Thanks to all of you who have sent Alexandra good wishes about her baby, she is very thankful to all of you. Alexandra has just written to the winners asking for their mailing addresses. Winners come from Switzerland, Singapore, Finland, USA, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, Palestine, Indonesia, Germany, UK. Chess allows you to make friends all over the world! Chess is cool!
Alexandra is really glad that her latest book has been published, “Play like a Champion“, 192 pages, with 103 examples from her games, with diagrams and solutions, that she will give away 10 copies of the book to people who solve correctly the mate in 2 position of the diagram to the left. It’s mate in two moves, white plays and whatever Black plays it’s mate the next move. Send the solution to Alexandra by email and she will randomly pick 10 winners. People who send alongside their solutions, also their photos with a chess set or chess motive get extra credit! We’ll get the book in stock on June 3 and we’ll send the prizes then. Good luck!
Some of you already knew it, and many guessed it… Alexandra is extremely pleased to present to you a superb and exclusive Chesspics photo album by photographers Pierre-W. Henry and Pufichek taken on April 19, of herself, almost 7-month pregnant, in the beautiful gardens of Vizcaya in Miami, Florida. Feel free to rate any of the photos you like from 5 (best) to 1 (worst). Enjoy! Thanks to all of you who have already sent emails of congratulations for Alexandra’s pregnancy. There is nothing better than the gift of life! Thanks to Chesspics for hosting the album and to Miss Boll for the beautiful green chess board.
We’re finally working on our photo albums, and we have the first one ready, of Alexandra’s Goodwill appearance at the 2007 Florida Superstate IV Scholastic Chess Championship in Miami last weekend. Enjoy the 70 pictures of our photoalbum by clicking here. More albums to come very soon.
Thanks to Peter Burton for the superb photo of his 4 year old granddaughter Bryony in front of a beautiful chess set. Peter is teaching Bryony how to play chess and he must be doing a great job, because she thinks it’s the coolest of all games. According to Peter she gets excited and happy when Peter offers to play chess with her. Alexandra wishes Bryony good luck in the learning of the wonderful game of chess and hopes to meet her across the board in a few years, that would be so cool!
According to the new FIDE rating list which was published today April 1, there are only 7 women in the world rated above 2500 ELO points, and GM Alexandra Kosteniuk moves up to the #5 spot from the #6 spot last quarter. She has 2515 ELO points and is training hard to continue to improve. The top women apart from Alexandra are Judith Polgar (HUN), Humpy Koneru (IND), Pia Cramling (SWE), Zhu Chen (QUA), Yifan Hou (CHN), and Maia Chiburdanidze (GEO). Thanks to all these brilliant women for making chess so cool!
Yesterday Alexandra took some time off to go and see the Tennis Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, she will be watching all semi-final and final matches. Photos to come.
Last weekend was a superb chess Festivity at the Florida Scholastics in Miami. Alexandra was there all along the tournament, giving a simul, running a puzzle competition, reviewing games with kids, signing autographs, and she was interviewed by the local TV station for a program to promote the game of chess in schools. Thanks to Alexandra’s partner Excalibur Electronics (maker of the “Alexandra the Great” Chess Computer), nice prizes were given to the top girl in all 11 sections. There is great talent in Florida, congratulations to all players! Come back soon to see the photo album of the whole weekend.
Mark your calendars! Alexandra will be a guest of honor at the 2007 Florida State Scholastic Championship (Superstate IV), in Miami on March 23, 24, and 25. To mark a good start to the collaboration with the Miami-Dade county Public Schools, she will sponsor gifts to the top girl finisher in all sections, and will give a free simul and go over games for participants of the Superstate Competition. Alexandra will bring along many gifts, there will be plenty for all visitors! Come and meet Alexandra, get her autograph, let her show you how cool chess really is! You can find more about the tournament by clicking here. Click here for exact times of Alexandra’s events.
After her long European travels, finally Alexandra is back in Miami, training and enjoying the nice weather. She will stay here till the big summer events and for the next competitive chess season. She has brought many photos for which we will make many photo albums for you, as well as much other material that you will certainly enjoy. More to come very soon!
We have just received two past issues of the excellent chess magazine Black & White. In the first one you can see Alexandra Kosteniuk’s game against Zhukova from the Torino Olympiads (very well commented), and in the second one you can read the whole article relating to last year’s Chess960 World Championship. You can find out more about Chess960 (Fischer Random Chess) on the site www.playchess960.com. We remind you that in August 2007 in Mainz Alexandra will defend her Chess960 Women World Champion title against Natalia Zhukova.
Alexandra Kosteniuk is starting the year 2007 with an ELO rating of 2515, she’s now ranked 6th in the world, behind Judith Polgar (HUN), Humpy Koneru (IND), Pia Cramling (SWE), Zhu Chen (QAT), and Xu Yuhua (CHN), and ahead of all the other women chess players of the world. Only 8 women in the world have a rating over 2500 ELO. It’s great when there is potential to improve, and Alexandra certainly is up to the challenge! Besides that, Alexandra hopes that 2007 will be a successful year for you, dear visitors, and that it will be filled with happiness, good health, love, and of course many happy moments with the coolest game among all: Chess!