Sep 172018
John Curdo, 86, 
Wins 934th Chess Event

John Curdo, 86, of Auburn Wins 934th Chess Event in Worcester…What an amazing feat!

While athletic sports heroes come and go, who keeps track of people in mind sports who have won or tied for first in 900-plus organized and many USCF-rated chess events over eight decades (since 1948)? This writer does, and a few other stoic chess historians such as George Mirijanian of Fitchburg also do. 

John Curdo, 86, of Auburn, has outlived many in his own fan club, but he keeps on going most Thursday nights at Donna Alarie’s Greater Worcester Chess Club that runs at least one nationally rated tournament each month at the Hibernian Cultural Center, Temple Street in Worcester.

Curdo notched his 934th victory by grinding out three wins and one draw against strong competition who has studied his club and tournament games for decades, and a few who have taken lessons from him even before he became a Central Massachusetts resident decades ago after living in Billerica, Chelmsford and Lynn many of his earlier years.

Curdo dominated the 10-player Open section of the August Amiable Open by defeating Hermenegildo Neto, Donna Alarie, and Rawl Rutter and drawing Michael Odell, who took second. In the Under-1750 section, 11 battled in the summer classic event directed by Alonzo Ross, assisted by Alarie and Rutter who are the club’s most active certified TD’s. The rating report crosstables are in the US Chess Member Service area along with every USCF rated tournament since 1992, though many of the individual results of the rated and unrated events from the 50-plus years from 1939-53 have been lost.

What is so very amazing to me, who has been organizing, directing and reporting on chess events for 49 years, is that John Anthony Curdo was winning tournaments (like the 1948 Mass. Open) before I was born (in 1951). What is doubly amazing was that I competed in hundreds of rated events (mostly before 1990 with a peak rating of 1790, and never won a single event or class prize. If winning 934 events over the board (not online) is amazing, knowing someone who competed in that many events and made such a contribution to New England chess, has been one of my great life pleasures of 67 years, even if I never compete in another chess tournament during my lifetime.

Stephen Dann, New England Chess Organizer



John Curdo, 86, Wins 934th Chess Event
Source: Boylston Chess Club Weblog

Sep 172018

2018 Canadian Olympiad Teams and Board Order

The line-up and board orders for the Canadian Olympiad teams have been updated:


  1. GM Eric Hansen
  2. GM Razvan Preotu
  3. IM Nikolay Noritsyn
  4. GM Evgeny Bareev
  5. GM Aman Hambleton

Captain: FM Victor Plotkin


  1. WIM Agnieska Matras-Clement
  2. WGM Qiyu Zhou
  3. WIM Maili-Jade Ouellet
  4. WFM Svitlana Demchenko
  5. Lali Agbabishvilli

Captain: GM Gergely Szabo


  • GM Alexandre LeSiege was originally on the team, but had to withdraw due to a family emergency. The next eligible player, IM Raja Panjwani, was unable to substitute at such short notice. GM Bareev agreed to replace LeSiege; the fact that he has played little since scoring +3 =3 -4 as Canada’s board 1 at the 2016 Baku Olympiad probably explains why he will be board 4, even though his FIDE rating is the highest in Canada.
  • GM Anton Kovalyov, who won the silver medal on board 2 at the 2016 Olympiad, declined to play in the Olympiad as it is organized by the thuggish Zurab Azmaiparashvili. (more here)
  • WIM Yuanling Yuan, Canada’s #1 FIDE-rated woman,  was not eligible as she had not played enough games prior to the selection period. She does still play, including events in London’17 and Biel’18, and may well return to the team for more Olympiads.
  • This will be the first Olympiad for Razvan, Agnieska, and Svitlana.
  • The Women’s team is in their exact FIDE-rating order. 
  • All the players on the women’s team speak English as a second, or third, or fourth language:
    1. Polish
    2. Chinese
    3. French
    4. Russian
    5. Georgian

2018 Chess Olympiad: Batumi, Georgia

The Chess Olympiad is an 11 round Swiss-system 4-player team tournaments, held in two sections: Women and Open. It is held every two years and is the largest elite level tournament on the chess calendar. In 2016 a total of 304 teams were entered in the two sections, with the USA taking the Open and China winning the Women’s.

The 43rd Chess Olympiad will be held in Batumi, Georgia — on the east coast of the Black Sea, just north of Turkey — September 23 – October 7, 2018.


Olympiad Homepage

Canada’s Top FIDE ratings

Live Coverage

the ChessBrah twitch channel will feature free live commentary by GMs Yasser Seirawan and Robin van Kampen, and will have links to Vlogs from GMs Hansen and Hambleton.

2018 Canadian Olympiad Teams and Board Order
Source: Canadian Chess

Sep 172018

Dealing with subjects such as aesthetics and gender is generally prone to criticism. After all, the concepts that are used as bases for analysis tend to compel some degree of subjectivity. Nevertheless, AZLAN IQBAL has been exploring this issue for years. After publishing a controversial article a couple of years ago, he informs us about the improvements made to his original research. The question remains the same: do women play more beautiful chess than men? | Photos: Pascal Simon / Simon Bohnenblust
Revisiting whether women play more beautiful chess
Source: Chess News