Saturday, July 19, 2014

Arianne Caoili in "Shall We Dance?"

Aussie chess fans will remember with some amusement, I think, Arianne Caoili's suddenly rise to fame years ago when she appeared on Australia's "Dancing With The Stars". Now living mostly in Armenia, with you-know-who, it looks like she's reprising that brief stint as a celebrity in yet another dancing show.

This one's apparently called, "Shall We Dance?"Here you can see the Aussie WIM jivin' with her partner, some bloke named, Suren.

And in this other video, the boyfriend, Lev Aronian, even makes an appearance.

Kirsan: Olympiad Will Be in Tromso

Who didn't see this coming? The open letters are flying around as usual. Norwegians on one side and FIDE as well as the Russians on the other.

They can fire off the bluster all they like, but at least now any talk of moving the event to Russia is finally put to rest. In this interview with Goran Urosevic, Kirsan confirms it: "[The Olympiad] will stay in Tromso. The General Assembly adopted Tromso and there is no further discussion."

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Russian Threat To Norway Olympiad

Just a few weeks ago the upcoming Tromso Olympiad took a brief dive because of some uncertainty over sponsorship money. Thankfully, the tournament was brought to level again when the Norwegian government finally confirmed funding of 12 million NOK. But now, only a fortnight from the start of proceedings, new turbulence has hit the event.

As far as I can tell, this new set of problems is related to the organisers' decision to exclude from Tromso as many as ten teams, one of which is the Russian women's side who, of course, won the 2010 and 2012 women's events. Expectedly, that's pissed off the Russians.

The situation is so bad that there is a suggestion that FIDE, with help from no less than Russian prez Vlad Putin, might yank the whole thing out of Norway and move the event to Russia! Well, at least one blogger seems to think that this is a dead certainty: Canadian GM, Kevin Spraggett.

Frankly I think either Spraggett or his source is pulling our legs. Just imagine the lawsuit that FIDE and the Russians will have to face from the Norwegians. Never mind the compo for travel. For their troubles, the Norwegians will want more than $2 million.

Anyway, I think the Olympiad will happen in two week's time. In Tromso. With the Russian women.

Monday, July 07, 2014

50 Moves Magazine

Wow! This one's completely out of the blue. Some young Aussie chess guys just launched a digital startup called "50 Moves". Basically, it is an online chess magazine. From the very professionally designed website it looks like this is going to be  a well organised publication. It certainly looks like plenty of planning has gone into this venture before final rollout. But what's really impressive is the roster of contributors, consisting mainly of Australia's new masters and the legendary, GM Ian Rogers.

The first issue will be on 1 August, just in time for the Olympiad.

Now I have just had a quick look at the site. I don't see any mention of an app. Hopefully, these guys will release at least one for the iOS.