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Natalia Pogonina vs. the World at

User Rating: / 0
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 15 December 2009

An epic struggle: thousands of chess amateurs and pros against one of the top women players in the world.  Your move and commentary may make the difference between a won and a lost game. Do you think you can handle the pressure of team-working and withstand the tough opposition? Take the Natalia Pogonina challenge & try to beat a grandmaster!, the most popular chess website in the world (almost 1 million members), offers you this exclusive opportunity. Feel free to join now!

Starts Dec. 24, 2009 - a Christmas present for chess fans
Time control: 1 day per move

Natalia Pogonina: "I have received lots of challenges from all over the world. However, I have never played correspondence chess, and was so busy that I couldn't accept a single invitation. Therefore, I'd like to pay my debt to all of my chess fans, and compete against their combined efforts.
Hope we will all enjoy the process a lot!  Good luck, guys! "

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 15 December 2009 )

Victor Korchnoi: Greatest Insults

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Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Victor Korchnoi
, a living chess legend and probably the strongest vice-champion ever, is playing actively and successfully at the age of 78. However, this remarkable grandmaster is known not only for his chess masterpieces. His eccentric behaviour and poisonous insults towards his opponents have become famous not only among his colleagues. Victor is a fierce fighter, and one of the most bitter chess critics ever. Let's enjoy some of his greatest escapades:

No Chess Grandmaster is normal; they only differ in the extent of their madness

Viktor Korchnoi

Korchnoi vs. Sofia Polgar.
Punch line: "It is the very first and very last game in your life you won against me"

(Press "Read more" to see other entertaining videos)

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 December 2009 )

Russian Women Superfinal-2009: Preview

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Written by Peter Zhdanov   
Saturday, 05 December 2009
Tatiana and Nadezhda Kosintsevas, and Natalia Pogonina at the 2005 Superfinal

The Russian Women Superfinal is one of the strongest annual female events in the world. Only the best Russian chess players qualify for it, and have a chance to decide who the #1 is.

The field for this year is also quite respectable:

GM Kosintseva, Tatiana 2522 (#8 in the world women rankings)
IM Kosintseva Nadezhda 2518 (#9)
WGM Pogonina Natalia 2501 (#15)
IM Galliamova Alisa 2460 (inactive)
IM Romanko Marina 2449 (#43)
WFM Gunina Valentina 2446 (#46)
IM Zaiatz Elena 2390 (#79)
WGM Stepovaia Tatiana 2384 (#82)
WGM Bodnaruk Anastasia 2372 (#90)
WGM Manakova Marina 2344 (#121)

As the Women World Champion GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (2517, #11) is not participating, there are three 2500+ rating favorites in the tournament. They are the reigning Women European Champion Tatiana Kosintseva, the reigning Women Russian Champion Nadezhda Kosintseva and Natalia Pogonina - I bet you know who she is.

The media has been reporting that Natalia won't take part in the event since she has recently given birth to a child. Naturally, that could have been the case since, as you might have guessed, she doesn't have much time for chess now. Nonetheless, Natalia has been missing chess so much that she decided to play in the event anyway! A brave and risky step that is.

Nickolai has already expressed his interest for chess!

P.S. The left panel of the website now features a poll on your favorite in the Superfinal. Pick whoever you like best, and may the strongest player win!

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 06 December 2009 )

Pogonina vs Dzagnidze (video by kingscrusher)

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Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Yet another video from Tryfon Gavriel aka kingscrusher. Today's episode features my game against GM Nana Dzagnidze from the Women European Championship-2009. Hope you'll enjoy it!

You can find a few other video-annotated games of mine at my Youtube channel.

P.S. Thanks a lot for all the congratulations on the birth of our child! You have been so kind!

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 November 2009 )

Natalia Pogonina: the birth of a son!

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Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Monday, 23 November 2009

Natalia and Nikolai, November 23

I have been receiving many messages asking why I have missed a few recent important chess events. As you can now see, the reason is that I recently gave birth to a child. We decided to name him Nikolai in the honor of a good friend of our family.

Thanks for your support & see you at the upcoming exciting chess tournaments! I will continue to do my best to promote chess, become a better player myself & help others do it.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 23 November 2009 )

Pogonina vs. Romanko (video by kingscrusher)

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Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Saturday, 21 November 2009 admin Tryfon Gavriel (aka kingscrusher on Youtube, Twitter, ICC, etc.) continues his quest by video-annotating another memorable game of mine. Victory in this critical last round game of Moscow Open-2009 allowed me to win the prestigeous tournament 1 point ahead of the competition. Have a great time watching it!

Pogonina-Stefanova (annotated by kingscrusher)
Lomineishvili - Pogonina (annotated by kingscrusher)

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 22 November 2009 )

Getting better in chess: the critical mistake to avoid

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Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Saturday, 21 November 2009

Every day I get a lot of fan mail (thanks, guys!), and many of the messages are dedicated to the evergreen subject how do I get better in chess? I am trying to do my best & offer individual advice to everyone. However, there is a very widespread case which can be addressed in this note.  Let me quote one of the recent e-mails first (slightly edited for anonymity purposes):

I would like to ask you a question about learning the right way of
thinking in chess. I hope you have time to answer me. If not, I'll

I'm an amateur and I'm working a lot on chess trying to improve. Last week
I read the book The Improving Chess Thinker by Dan Heisman. It focuses on
our thought processes in chess. I have the impression now that the way I
think during the game is not always as structured and disciplined as it
should be. Sometimes I move without looking closely enough at the

Now my question to you is: how do you think we (amateurs) can develop a
correct way of thinking during the game? Did you receive a special
training for this? What would be your advice be?

I hope I don't waste your time with these questions.

And heres my answer (also with small edits and additions):

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 21 November 2009 )

Pogonina vs. Stefanova (video by kingscrusher)

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Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Friday, 20 November 2009

My good friend from England Tryfon Gavriel (aka kingscrusher on Youtube, Twitter, ICC, etc.) has video-annotated my game against ex-Women World Champion GM Antoaneta Stefanova from the North Urals Cup-2007 super tournament.

Hope you'll like this lovely video!

Lomineishvili - Pogonina (annotated by kingscrusher)

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Last Updated ( Friday, 20 November 2009 )

Women don't play chess

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Written by Natalia Pogonina   
Tuesday, 17 November 2009

(An ad from Women's Health)

Pretty witty, isn't it?

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 November 2009 )

Kramnik wins Tal Memorial-2009!

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Written by Peter Zhdanov   
Saturday, 14 November 2009

Vladimir Kramnik - photo courtesy of ChessPro

Vladimir Kramnik won one of the greatest chess tournaments ever - Tal Memorial-09, I category FIDE (with an average rating of 2764 and 10 of the top-12 players in the world involved). The Russian ex-world champion has demonstrated great chess skills, exceptional fighting spirit and excellent opening preparation. Actually, it looks as if he could have even scored more points than he actually did, but +3 out of 10 is still a great result.

The chess genius Vassily Ivanchuk had White against Kramnik in the last round and had excellent winning chances. However, after Kramnik's brilliant defence and some inaccuracies by the Ukrainian GM, he had to succumb to a draw, which secured him the 2nd place with...Magnus Carlsen. All eyes were on the 2800-rated Norwegian chess prodigy, but a flue and solid play by his opponents allowed him to score "only" +2. To be honest, the result could have been much more modest given that Ponomariov blundered against him right in the opening, while Leko managed to lose an unsophisticated endgame with better chances for him!

A ridiculous loss in less than 30 moves (one of the worst in his career) by World Chess Champion Vishy Anand against Grand Prix winner Levon Aronian left them sharing spots 4-5 in the final table.

Boris Gelfand has once again proved that he is a solid player of world class caliber. Thus, his result (4.5 out of 9) is not a susprise for anyone.

By winning a nice endgame in the last round, ex-FIDE World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov ended the tournament at -1. Not a great results, but Ruslan has demonstrated nice technique and high fighting spirits.

Five-times Russian champion Peter Svidler is definitely not satisfied with their performance - not a single win, and only 3.5 out of 9. Let's just say that the tournament has been unfortunate for them - Svidler was already tired after the EuroCup.

The amazing Alexander Morozevich is a person who ia admired by fans all over the world (just look at the results of our poll on the left panel of At the same time, his imaginative and risky play often doesn't score well against the top world grandmasters. So, with 3/9 Alexander shared the last place - a bad beating, but we're sure he'll be back! The same can be said about Peter Leko - an ex- world championship challenger, he seemed to be out of form and was looking forward to a vacation with his beautiful wife.

Other important things to be noted: excellent coverage of the event, including online video broadcast & audio commentary by editor of 64 Chess review magazine Mark Glukhovsky, GM Gennah Sosonko, and other notable commentators - GM Alexander Grischuk, GM Sergey Shipov. Too bad the commentary was only in Russian. Excellent PR - even special trams with pictures and quotes of the participants. High attention from the chess fans - all the playing hall and press center have constantly been crowded (almost like in the good old days), and thousands of people have been watching the games live at various chess servers.

Final standings:

Table is courtesy of Chessbase

On a personal note: I have visited two Tal Memorials so far, but the 2008 one has become truly special for me, since there I have met Natalia Pogonina for the first time. From then and on, this is one of my most favorite chess events, and I'm very happy and proud that Vladimir Kramnik, a symbol of chess & a Russian great champion, won this tournament! Mine and Natalia's prediction regarding the winner of the memorial has come true!

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 15 November 2009 )
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