Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Idaho Becomes the First to Offer a Statewide Chess Curriculum

Idaho Becomes the First to Offer a Statewide Chess Curriculum as a Strategy for Learning for All 2nd and 3rd Graders

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - March 25, 2008) - America's Foundation for Chess (AF4C) today announced that Idaho is the first state to approve the use of the First Move™ chess curriculum in all second and third grade classrooms statewide.

"We're thrilled to have the enthusiastic support of the State of Idaho and its school officials who recognize the unique value proposition of chess as an education strategy," said Wendi Fischer, Vice President of America's Foundation for Chess. "We have over 25,000 students using the First Move curriculum across 18 states and the reaction from students, teachers and parents has been outstanding as the benefits extend far beyond the classroom."

Teachers in Idaho state schools will have the opportunity to teach the First Move curriculum as part of their standard in-class program. "The reaction to the pilot program has been excellent and we are looking forward to expanding First Move into more schools this Fall," said Tom Luna, State Superintendent of Education, State of Idaho.

About America's Foundation for Chess

America's Foundation for Chess (AF4C) is a nonprofit organization committed to making chess a larger part of America's educational and cultural fabric. AF4C's unique First Move™ program offers a professionally designed, standards-based class curriculum utilizing the game of chess as a learning tool for all second and third grade students. Integrated as part of the standard classroom curriculum, the program is designed to support teachers' existing academic, social and emotional goals for their students. Students learn to make better choices by thinking ahead, thinking analytically, and thinking of consequences: essential life skills. The First Move™ program has nearly 25,000 student enrollees and is rapidly expanding across America so that it will soon become a regular part of every child's classroom experience. AF4C's national office is located in Kirkland, Washington. For more information visit www.AF4C.org

Friday, March 07, 2008

Support Gata's Quest for the World Championship

March 3, 2008

There is nothing more exciting for U.S. chess than Gata Kamsky's run for the World Championship. Later this year, Gata will face former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in a match, while current world champion, India's Viswanathan Anand, defends his title against his predecessor, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia. Victory against Topalov will mean a title match for Gata in 2009. Read Gata's own Chess Life annotations from his World Cup win in the March Chess Life Magazine.

This will be Gata's third attempt to climb the Olympus of chess. In 1993, the rival organisations FIDE and PCA each held Interzonal tournaments. Kamsky qualified from both, and proceeded to wipe out one top GM after another in the two parallel world championship cycles. As FIDE attempted to establish a successor to the title vacated by the formation of the PCA by Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short, Gata decisively defeated Anand, 6-4 (on the Indian's home turf!), and two others in matches before finally succumbing to Anatoly Karpov, 7.5-10.5, in their 1996 FIDE World Championship match.

In the PCA cycle, Gata demolished first Kramnik, 4.5-1.5, and then Short, 5.5-1.5, before Anand avenged the above-mentioned defeat, 6.5-4.5.

Gata needs YOUR help. Preparing properly for his high-caliber match with Topalov is an expensive proposition. Bulgarian support for Topalov has been strong, and our support for Gata will need to match theirs. To that end, the Gata Kamsky International Chess and Sports Foundation has been established, and is in the process of securing 501(c)3 status. Donations can be made to:

The Gata Kamsky International Chess and Sports Foundation,
P.O. Box 204,
Massapequa Park, NY 11762.

The USCF fully endorses the foundation and urges you to donate whatever you can to this effort. Let's help Gata continue Bobby Fischer's legacy!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Grand Prix Participants Announced

Today, FIDE has published the list of confirmed participants for the first Grand Prix series. Kramnik, Anand, Topalov and Morozevich are not playing, but still the average rating is above 2700.

Svidler Peter RUS 2763
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 2760
Leko Peter HUN 2753
Ivanchuk Vassily UKR 2751
Aronian Levon ARM 2739
Gelfand Boris ISR 2737
Radjabov Teimour AZE 2735
Carlsen Magnus NOR 2733
Karjakin Sergey UKR 2732
Adams Michael ENG 2726
Kamsky Gata USA 2726
Jakovenko Dmitry RUS 2720
Cheparinov Ivan BUL 2713
Grischuk Alexander RUS 2711
Bacrot Etienne FRA 2700
Wang Yue CHN 2698
Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2681
Navara David CZE 2680
Gashimov Vugar AZE 2665
Pelletier Yannick SWZ 2600
Al Modiahki Mohamad QTR 2569

Average rating: 2709

Tactics Puzzle

Black to move and win

Saturday, March 01, 2008