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FIDE celebrates its 95th anniversary


Today, July 20th, is the 95th anniversary of the founding of FIDE, during the 8th Summer Olympics Games in Paris, 1924. Traditionally, since it was proposed by UNESCO in 1966, this date not only marks the anniversary of our organization, but also the International Chess Day. Ours is the only sport which has a special worldwide celebration day dedicated to it, showing that chess is a unique game that unites people over the globe.

This year, to celebrate International Chess Day, we launched a social media campaign under the hashtag #InternationalChessDay.


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Both semi-final matches are decided before tie-breaks at the FIDE Grand Prix organized by World Chess in Riga.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave eliminates Alexander Grischuk after a thrilling game, while Shakriyar Mamedyarov draws and qualifies against Wesley So.

Both second games of the semi-finals were launched symbolically by special guests. Latvian artist and songwriter Markus Riva opened the encounter between Wesley So and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, while FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich kicked off the other battle between Alexander Grischuk and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.



The game So-Mamedyarov began on an amusing note. The American left the choice of the first move to Markus Riva, upon which Mamedyarov himself suggested the dubious 1.a4. The musician obliged and the battle began in a relaxed atmosphere. For the record, Wesley So obviously corrected the unofficial first move and played 1.Nf3 instead. Following his loss yesterday, the question remained open whether he would go all-or-nothing, or rather stay true to his quiet style and try to squeeze a win from a technical game. Sometimes, circumstances are such that you do not have a choice. The Azeri played the solid Queen’s Gambit Accepted and reached a symmetric pawn structure. Wesley So definitely kept a symbolic advantage throughout, but this proved insufficient to shake Mamedyarov’s resistance. The Azeri held the draw and thus qualified to the final.



Arkady Dvorkovich guessed Grischuk’s first move correctly, as he played 1.d4. What nobody could have figured out, though, is that Grischuk would sidestep Vachier-Lagrave’s beloved Grunfeld opening with the rare and eccentric 3.h4. The fight transposed into the realm of a Benko Gambit, when the French, famously called MVL in the chess world, decided to sacrifice a pawn with 3…c5 4.d5 b5. This setup is considered risky at the highest level, but the premature advance of White’s h-pawn changes the situation, as it creates long-term weaknesses on the kingside. In such tense positions, the value of every move is very high, and any mistake can tip the scales decisively. With hindsight, Grischuk was not happy with 15.Re1 and he might have been well-advised to accept his opponent’s subsequent draw offer. The Russian played on but it turns out that he slightly over-estimated his chances. The return of the rook with 18.Rf1 felt like a concession, which MVL exploited in a very powerful way. The whole sequence of moves, starting with 19…Rfc8 and running up to 26…Rc2, completely shook the Russian. Grischuk ended up in time trouble and understandably failed to put up the strongest resistance. After the time-control, the French increased the pressure with 42…g5 and eventually broke the white position. In the post-game interview, a clear-headed Grischuk showed exemplary fair-play and praised his opponent for his brilliant game.

Since no tie-break will be needed, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave will have two rest days until the start of their match on Monday.

Besides all happenings on the chess board, the organizer of the Grand Prix Series, World Chess, announced the signature of an agreement with the company Algorand on Friday. Thereupon, Algorand becomes the Official Blockchain Partner of the FIDE Grand Prix Series.

After the rapid and the blitz tournaments, the Mikhail Tal Memorial proceeds to several youth events. A tournament for children aged under 14 started on Friday in the National Library of Latvia, the same venue as the FIDE Grand Prix. The President of the International Chess Federation Arkady Dvorkovich attended the opening ceremony and wished all young participants good luck. This tournament will run until July 23.


Semi-finals, game 2:

So – Mamedyarov ½ - ½ (0,5 - 1,5 on aggregate)

Grischuk – Vachier-Lagrave 0 - 1 (0,5 – 1,5 on aggregate)


Pictures can be downloaded from Dropbox

Text by Press Officer Yannick Pelletier; Photo courtesy: World Chess


Leading partners supporting the FIDE Grand Prix Riga 2019 include: 

EG Capital Advisors as the Official Partner 
PhosAgro as the Official Strategic Partner 
Kaspersky as the Official Cybersecurity Partner

Information for the press: https://worldchess.com/news/2189  
Official website https://worldchess.com/news/2089  


About FIDE
The International Chess Federation (FIDE), is recognized by its members and the International Olympic Committee as the international federation in the domain of chess, the supreme body responsible for the sport of chess and its Championships. FIDE has the sole rights to organize the World Chess Championships and the Chess Olympiads. 
Contact: press@fide.com

About World Chess
World Chess is a London-based media company. It's a commercial partner of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), and official broadcaster for FIDE events. World Chess organized the World Championship Matches in Russia, USA, and the UK. It revolutionized chess by signing the biggest media partnerships in the history of chess. World Chess is also developing Armageddon, the chess league designed for television. It operates worldchess.com
Contact: media@worldchess.com

About PhosAgro
PhosAgro is one of the world's leading vertically integrated phosphate-based fertilizer producers in terms of production volumes of phosphate-based fertilizers and high-grade phosphate rock with a P2O5 content of 39% and higher. The Company is the largest phosphate-based fertilizer producer in Europe (by total combined capacity for DAP/MAP/NP/NPK/NPS), the largest producer of high-grade phosphate rock with a P2O5 content of 39%, a top-three producer of MAP/DAP globally, one of the leading producers of feed phosphates (MCP) in Europe, and the only producer in Russia, and Russia's only producer of nepheline concentrate (according to the RAFP). 

PhosAgro's main products include phosphate rock, 39 grades of fertilizers, feed phosphates, ammonia, and sodium tripolyphosphate, which are used by customers in 100 countries spanning all of the world's inhabited continents. The Company's priority markets outside of Russia and the CIS are Latin America, Europe and Asia. PhosAgro's shares are traded on the Moscow Exchange, and Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs) for shares trade on the London Stock Exchange (under the ticker PHOR). Since 1 June 2016, the Company's GDRs have been included in the MSCI Russia and MSCI Emerging Markets indexes. 

About EG Capital Advisors
EG Capital Advisors is a UK-headquartered asset management company which offers strategies across multiple asset classes. Specialist areas of focus include emerging markets high yield debt, pre-IPO private equity and biotec public equity. www.egcapitaladvisors.com

About Kaspersky
Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity company, which has been operating in the market for over 21 years. Kaspersky's deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into next generation security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company's comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. 
Learn more at www.kaspersky.com

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RIGA, July 18 (LETA) - Latvian chess grandmaster Igor Kovalenko rolled over some of his opponents "like a tank" to win the Mikhail Tal blitz chess memorial on Thursday, the winner told LETA after the tournament.


The winner of the blitz event named his victory over Russian chess player Vladimir Fedoseev the decisive feat in the tournament, while Fedoseev, who on Wednesday won the rapid chess competition, highlighted his win over Azerbaijan's grandmaster Gadir Guseinov.

"Both tournaments had strong lineups with many grandmasters," Aris Ozolins, President of the Latvian Chess Federation, said at a news conference which was held after the competition at the Radisson Blu Latvija hotel. "Kovalenko's victory in the blitz is, therefore, all the more pleasing. Moreover, he celebrated a very convincing victory in tough competition, beating the runner-up by half-point."

"It was a very good event, one of the strongest tournaments in the Baltic states in recent years, both in terms of organization and the lineup of participants. It is highly important for chess players to rehydrate, and the sponsors took care of this, providing mineral water and Coca-Cola. Also, the hall where we played was spacious and the air was fresh," the blitz winner Kovalenko said, adding that he always strives for success in chess.

"I always want to get first place. In that respect, I am more an optimist, even utopist. I want to win each game, but this time I could afford a tie in the end," the Latvian chess player said. "I did well. Remembered my youth. I took the 5th place in the rapid chess event and fought for medals until the last round. There was a disappointment after the ninth round when I had gained a better position against David Navara but the game ended in a tie."

On Thursday, Kovalenko won the blitz chess event very convincingly. "I suppose the game against Fedoseev in the 7th round was the decisive one," the winner said. "I think he lost a won game against me. I breathed a sigh of relief as I achieved a tie, but later I fared even better and managed to win. At that point, opponents started fearing me. I, on the other hand, played effortlessly and in some games rolled over my opponents like a tank."

The Latvian grandmaster's future plans include a tournament organized by Riga Technical University and the World Cup in two months' time at which Kovalenko will represent the Baltic states.

Fedoseev, the winner of Wednesday's rapid chess tournament, finished second in the blitz. "I played very well. I had not played that well this year yet," the Russian grandmaster commented his performance in Riga. "It was a wonderful tournament with many strong chess players. In many games, everything was decided in the end-game where having stronger nerves was crucial."

Fedoseev named the 9th round game against Azerbaijani grandmaster Gadir Guseinov his most important match at the tournament.

The last international tournament of the Tal Memorial, the Riga Holidays 2019, which will be played by children, is scheduled to begin July 19 at the National Library of Latvia.

The total prize fund of the tournaments is EUR 35 000, EUR 25 000 for the rapid chess tournament and 10 000 for the blitz tournament. Entry is free of charge for the spectators.


The Rapid and Blitz Tal Memorial was organized by the Latvian Chess Federation and sponsored by Rietumu BankCoca-ColaTolmets and Latvijas Balzams.


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Latvian superstar Mairis Briedis kicks off the semi-finals of the FIDE Grand Prix organized by World Chess in Riga.

Shakriyar Mamedyarov beats Wesley So, while Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Alexander Grischuk make a draw.


The Riga FIDE Grand Prix had the great honour to welcome Mairis Briedis to kick off the semi-finals on Thursday. The WBC World Diamond Champion and current WBO cruiserweight World Champion, who was awarded the Order of the Three Stars in 2017, opened the game between Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Alexander Grischuk with the move 1.e4. The Russian chose the Berlin Defence, which is considered one of the most solid openings nowadays. He obtained a fine position but got careless with the move 17…Bg5, instead of 17…Bf5 for instance. He had missed the strong resource 21.Rd3 which poses black tremendous problems. After thinking for half an hour, Grischuk came up with the only defensive plan, the advance of his queenside pawns. In the post-game interview, both Grand Masters suspected that there might be a study-like win for white, but they did not see anything concrete. Vachier-Lagrave made a good practical attempt but his opponent found the accurate 26…b3 and secured a draw.



The game between Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Wesley So took an unexpected turn of events shortly after the opening. The Azeri chose a fighting line in the Catalan, where the pawn structure is damaged for both sides. Generally, black is supposed to be alright there, but the white pair of bishops is a long-term asset to reckon with. After Mamedyarov’s novelty 14.a3, meant to prevent a possible exchange of queens by Qb4, the American sank into thought and played the inexplicable mistake 15…c3. He apparently considered his position to be worse, but there was no reason to burn bridges yet. After that, Mamedyarov won two light pieces for a rook and converted with exemplary technique. Wesley So now finds himself in an all or nothing situation and will have the white pieces on Friday.



The former World Champion Mikhail Tal was a passionate blitz player. It is therefore a fitting tribute to include a tournament with this time-control in the Mikhail Tal Memorial in Riga. The crowd could not be more delighted to see their local Grand Master Igors Kovalenko win the event. He actually dominated the field with an impressive score of 12 out of 13. Second was Vladimir Fedoseev with 10,5, ahead of four Grand Masters with 10. The Rapid and Blitz Tal Memorial was organized by the Latvian Chess Federation and sponsored by Rietumu Bank, Coca-Cola, Tolmets and Latvijas Balzams.




Semi-finals, game 1:

Mamedyarov – So 1–0

Vachier-Lagrave – Grischuk ½ - ½


Pictures can be downloaded from Dropbox

Text by Press Officer Yannick Pelletier; Photo courtesy: World Chess




Leading partners supporting the FIDE Grand Prix Riga 2019 include: 

EG Capital Advisors as the Official Partner 
PhosAgro as the Official Strategic Partner 
Kaspersky as the Official Cybersecurity Partner

Information for the press: https://worldchess.com/news/2189  
Official website https://worldchess.com/news/2089  


About FIDE
The International Chess Federation (FIDE), is recognized by its members and the International Olympic Committee as the international federation in the domain of chess, the supreme body responsible for the sport of chess and its Championships. FIDE has the sole rights to organize the World Chess Championships and the Chess Olympiads. 
Contact: press@fide.com

About World Chess
World Chess is a London-based media company. It's a commercial partner of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), and official broadcaster for FIDE events. World Chess organized the World Championship Matches in Russia, USA, and the UK. It revolutionized chess by signing the biggest media partnerships in the history of chess. World Chess is also developing Armageddon, the chess league designed for television. It operates worldchess.com
Contact: media@worldchess.com

About PhosAgro
PhosAgro is one of the world's leading vertically integrated phosphate-based fertilizer producers in terms of production volumes of phosphate-based fertilizers and high-grade phosphate rock with a P2O5 content of 39% and higher. The Company is the largest phosphate-based fertilizer producer in Europe (by total combined capacity for DAP/MAP/NP/NPK/NPS), the largest producer of high-grade phosphate rock with a P2O5 content of 39%, a top-three producer of MAP/DAP globally, one of the leading producers of feed phosphates (MCP) in Europe, and the only producer in Russia, and Russia's only producer of nepheline concentrate (according to the RAFP). 

PhosAgro's main products include phosphate rock, 39 grades of fertilizers, feed phosphates, ammonia, and sodium tripolyphosphate, which are used by customers in 100 countries spanning all of the world's inhabited continents. The Company's priority markets outside of Russia and the CIS are Latin America, Europe and Asia. PhosAgro's shares are traded on the Moscow Exchange, and Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs) for shares trade on the London Stock Exchange (under the ticker PHOR). Since 1 June 2016, the Company's GDRs have been included in the MSCI Russia and MSCI Emerging Markets indexes. 

About EG Capital Advisors
EG Capital Advisors is a UK-headquartered asset management company which offers strategies across multiple asset classes. Specialist areas of focus include emerging markets high yield debt, pre-IPO private equity and biotec public equity. www.egcapitaladvisors.com

About Kaspersky
Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity company, which has been operating in the market for over 21 years. Kaspersky's deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into next generation security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company's comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. 
Learn more at www.kaspersky.com

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Dear Sirs,

We have been alerted by some Federations and partners that they have received some emails impersonating FIDE President, Arkady Dvorkovich. Please note that his only official email address is fidepresident@fide.com.

If you receive a suspicious email and are uncertain of its validity, please forward it to office@fide.com. Do not respond to the message or provide any information until you confirm the legitimacy of the message.

Here are some useful guidelines on how to deal with these cases:
https://www.itgovernance.co.uk/blog/5-ways-to-detect-a-phishing-email
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Russian chess player Vladimir Fedoseev triumphed in Mikhail Tal rapid chess memorial. Igor Kovalenko showed the best result among all Latvian players taking up the 5th place.

Riga, 17th of July, LETA.-

The Tal Memorial was organised to celebrate Mikhail Tal (1936-1992), the 8th World Chess Champion, who was born and lived in Riga. Tal is to this day considered as one of the most brilliant and creative chess-players in the history of the game. Thanks to his original approach to the game and aggressive attacking style he was called "the Magician from Riga".

The event gathered almost 300 players from 25 countries as well as an impressive amount of 55 grandmasters. As Aris Ozolins, the President of Latvian Chess Federation proudly mentioned during the press conference - this was the first-ever event in Latvia with so many grandmasters participating. All players had 15 minutes for the game plus 5 seconds for every move played.

The total prize fund of the tournaments is EUR 35 000, EUR 25 000 for the rapid chess tournament and 10 000 for the blitz tournament. Entry is free of charge for the spectators.

First six rounds of the Tal Memorial were held on Tuesday and this day was dominated by Miguel Munoz from Spain, who won all of the games, becoming a sole leader. There was a big group of strong players ready to use his mistakes – a group of five players with 5.5 points and even more with 5 points, among them the Latvian players Kovalenko and Nikita Meshkov.

In the decisive phase of the tournament on Wednesday, Vladimir Fedoseev from Russia, who was the strongest among all players and has not lost a single game among 273 players in 11 rounds, scored 8 wins and drew three games, overall collecting 9.5 points. It was a deserved win for Fedoseev who played an impressive tournament, winning every game. The Russian grandmaster was really happy and in the interview after the closing ceremony he admitted that this was a really important victory for him because this has been a really tough year for him and the results have not met his expectations.

The 2nd place with 9 points was taken by the Czech grandmaster David Navara. Navara participated in the prestigious Grand Prix knock-out event at the Latvian National Library but lost in the first round and decided to enter the rapid chess memorial. The organisers and the chess fans were really pleased with that because the Czech player is a true genius of chess and a true fighter.

Places 3 to 9 were shared among the players with 8.5 points. The player with the best tie-break and the winner of the 3rd place was the talented young player from Germany, Rasmus Svane, who seemed to be very surprised with his great success himself.

The Latvian top player Kovalyenko also gathered 8.5 points. The important victory in the last round over the Romanian player Constantin Lupulescu ensured him the 5th place.

The top female player was Alisa Galliamova, the former runner-up at the Women's World Chess Championship and the bronze medalist of the European Women Chess Championship 2017, which were held in Riga as well. The second women prize was won by the 9th time Latvian Women Champion Laura Rogule and the third place went to Inna Gaponenko.

On Thursday, the second part of the Memorial - a blitz tournament, will be held in the "Omega" hall of the Radisson Blu Latvia hotel. This time the participants will have three minutes for the game and two seconds for each move. The competition will take all day and end at 19:30 with the closing ceremony and press conference. There is even a possibility that more participants of the Grand Prix will join the event as well.

The Rapid and Blitz Tal Memorial was organized by the Latvian Chess Federation and sponsored by Rietumu Bank, Coca-Cola, Tolmets and Latvijas Balzams.



Photos: Zane Bitere & Paula Čurkste (LETA), and Niki Riga.



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Football star Māris Verpakovskis kicks off the tie-break matches of the FIDE Grand Prix organized by World Chess in Riga.

Shakriyar Mamedyarov, Alexander Grischuk and Wesley So join Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the semi-final.


The FIDE Grand Prix organized by World Chess in Riga welcomed a very special guest at the start of the tie-break matches on Wednesday. Football legend Māris Verpakovskis kicked off the day by playing 1.d4 in the game between Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Jan-Krzysztof Duda. The Azeri Grand Master was delighted to see the star who had spent two seasons at the FC Baku.
This first rapid game was rather shaky, as Mamedyarov got a significant advantage before blundering inexplicably with 29.h5. Two pawns were gone, but Duda’s king proved vulnerable enough for white to reach a draw by perpetual check. The Pole started the second encounter in typical “Mamedyarov style”, by pushing his g pawn very early on. Indeed, the Azeri has won several brilliant games in different openings with the idea Rh1-g1, followed by g2-g4-g5. Was this strategy too provocative from Duda? His opponent commented afterwards that he knew precisely how to react, and that the key was not to be scared of the white attack. Mamedyarov simply centralized his forces, convincingly repelled the aggressive attempts of his opponent, and cashed in the whole point to qualify to the semi-final.



Another match finished after the first set of rapid games. Alexander Grischuk knocked out Yu Yangyi thanks to a win with the white pieces in the first game. In the post-match interview, the Russian praised 14.Bc7 as a strong novelty which poses new problems in this line. He was, however, not too happy with his further move 16.h3, which he considered primitive. After that, Yu Yangyi obtained enough activity for his damaged pawn structure. He commented afterwards that the whole game had been hard, but that he might have held if he had not blundered with 27…Bb4. After that, there was no coming back. Grischuk won a pawn and converted it in the endgame. Yu Yangyi’s attempts to create some active play in the second game did not prove fruitful, as the Russian defended confidently to obtain his qualification.



Sergey Karjakin had won a thrilling tie-break match last Sunday, but the one he disputed against Wesley So remained quiet for a long time. In view of their very solid opening repertoire with the black pieces, both players neutralized each other, thus leaving their fate to blitz games. There, the rhythm changed completely. The American mixed up some moves in the opening and eventually went wrong with 11.Nc3, allowing the powerful Ne5. Not wishing to end up in a bad and passive position, he decided to sacrifice his queen for two pieces and two pawns. As Karjakin commented after the game, his position was perhaps close to winning, but the white moves were easier to find under time pressure. The Russian indeed played inaccurately and somewhat lost control, before collapsing with the terrible blunder 30…Rd6. In game 6 he tried to avoid mainstream openings, which is a common strategy in must-win situations, but rather ended up in trouble. Wesley So played forcefully with 18…d4 and launched a strong attack which he would certainly have concluded in a game with longer time-control. But blitz chess often witnesses turnarounds, and Karjakin somehow survived the attack. He imperceptibly took the upper hand and could have turned the tables on move 33, had he not overlooked a perpetual check. With this draw, Wesley So qualifies and will meet Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the semi-final. The other match will bring together Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Alexander Grischuk. The first games will start on Thursday at 15:00 in the National Library of Latvia.



The rapid tournament of the “Mikhail Tal Memorial” saw the victory of Vladimir Fedoseev from Russia with 9,5 out 11. The Czech David Navara did well to extend his stay after his premature elimination from the FIDE Grand Prix, as he took the second place with 9 points, ahead of seven players 8,5 with points. This whole festival will go down in history as being the first chess tournament being sponsored by Coca Cola.




Round 2, tie-break results:

So – Karjakin 3,5 – 2,5

Mamedyarov – Duda 1,5 – 0,5

Yu Yangyi – Grischuk 0,5 – 1,5


Pictures can be downloaded from Dropbox

Text by Press Officer Yannick Pelletier; Photo courtesy: World Chess

  


Leading partners supporting the FIDE Grand Prix Riga 2019 include: 

EG Capital Advisors as the Official Partner 
PhosAgro as the Official Strategic Partner 
Kaspersky as the Official Cybersecurity Partner

Information for the press: https://worldchess.com/news/2189  
Official website https://worldchess.com/news/2089   


About FIDE
The International Chess Federation (FIDE), is recognized by its members and the International Olympic Committee as the international federation in the domain of chess, the supreme body responsible for the sport of chess and its Championships. FIDE has the sole rights to organize the World Chess Championships and the Chess Olympiads. 
Contact: press@fide.com

About World Chess
World Chess is a London-based media company. It's a commercial partner of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), and official broadcaster for FIDE events. World Chess organized the World Championship Matches in Russia, USA, and the UK. It revolutionized chess by signing the biggest media partnerships in the history of chess. World Chess is also developing Armageddon, the chess league designed for television. It operates worldchess.com
Contact: media@worldchess.com

About PhosAgro
PhosAgro is one of the world's leading vertically integrated phosphate-based fertilizer producers in terms of production volumes of phosphate-based fertilizers and high-grade phosphate rock with a P2O5 content of 39% and higher. The Company is the largest phosphate-based fertilizer producer in Europe (by total combined capacity for DAP/MAP/NP/NPK/NPS), the largest producer of high-grade phosphate rock with a P2O5 content of 39%, a top-three producer of MAP/DAP globally, one of the leading producers of feed phosphates (MCP) in Europe, and the only producer in Russia, and Russia's only producer of nepheline concentrate (according to the RAFP). 

PhosAgro's main products include phosphate rock, 39 grades of fertilizers, feed phosphates, ammonia, and sodium tripolyphosphate, which are used by customers in 100 countries spanning all of the world's inhabited continents. The Company's priority markets outside of Russia and the CIS are Latin America, Europe and Asia. PhosAgro's shares are traded on the Moscow Exchange, and Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs) for shares trade on the London Stock Exchange (under the ticker PHOR). Since 1 June 2016, the Company's GDRs have been included in the MSCI Russia and MSCI Emerging Markets indexes. 

About EG Capital Advisors
EG Capital Advisors is a UK-headquartered asset management company which offers strategies across multiple asset classes. Specialist areas of focus include emerging markets high yield debt, pre-IPO private equity and biotec public equity. www.egcapitaladvisors.com

About Kaspersky
Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity company, which has been operating in the market for over 21 years. Kaspersky's deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into next generation security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company's comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. 
Learn more at www.kaspersky.com

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All return games of the second round of the FIDE Grand Prix organized by World Chess in Riga end in a draw. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is the only player qualified directly to the semi-final.

Tuesday marks the start of other chess events alongside the Grand Prix, with a very strong rapid open named after Mikhail Tal.


The second day of the quarter final matches were launched with the formal execution of the first move by a special guest. The Vice-President of the International Chess Federation Lukasz Turlej played 1.e4 for Maxime Vachier-Lagrave against Veselin Topalov. In a must-win situation after his loss on Monday, the Bulgarian relied on his old love, the aggressive Sicilian Opening. Vachier-Lagrave had a surprise ready, the recent idea 4.Ba4. Not aware of the nuances of this move order, Topalov failed to find a promising continuation and offered a draw as early as move 12. The French accepted instantly, as he thus qualified directly to the semi-final. Right after the game, Topalov explained that the final position is not only unpleasant, but offers him no perspective to play for a win whatsoever.

Next to finish were Wesley So and Sergey Karjakin. The American chose the aggressive line 4.f3 against the Nimzo-Indian, which he commented afterwards as being Mamedyarov’s usual way to tackle Karjakin’s favourite defence. “There must be a good reason for this, and I noticed that Sergey always goes for a different set-up against it. Therefore, “he added with a smile,” I looked at all possible variations here!” Despite being quite rare, the reaction 7…c5 had not escaped So’s attention. But he had focused only on the immediate exchange on d5 and not 8…0-0. The battle unfolded evenly and the position was equal when the two players signed the peace agreement on move 19. Both are very tough mentally and strong rapid and blitz players. Their tie-breaker on Wednesday promises to be hard-fought.

The game between Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Jan-Krzysztof Duda bore definite similarities to their encounter of the day before. Black treated the opening rather passively and White obtained a large space advantage. The critical moment occurred when the Azeri decided to bring his knight to c6, thus forcing his opponent to exchange it. A far-advanced passed pawn appeared on this square that looked like a thorn in black’s position. But Duda defended resourcefully, first by solidly blockading this pawn, then by pushing his own pawns on the queenside. As he admitted after the game, he was relieved to finally play some active moves and understood that his position was in fact quite resilient. After some more attempts, a visibly disappointed Mamedyarov offered a draw. In the post-match interview, Duda felt that his chances were probably higher at rapid and blitz than in classical. The tie-break is likely to be heated.

For the second time, Alexander Grischuk felt like he had escaped from a bad position against Yu Yangyi. The Chinese indeed obtained a pleasant position on the white side of a Catalan. In his usual witty and self-deprecating manner, Grischuk mostly blamed his suffering on early dementia, adding that he could barely remember the lines he had looked at the same morning. Memory aside, he recovered his faculties in time and found some creative resources to hold the balance. In view of his legendary composure in tense situations, as well as his impressive record in rapid and blitz chess, the Russian can be considered the favourite in the tie-break. But Yu Yangyi has proven in his previous epic match against Aronian that he was a tough fighter to reckon with.

All three tie-breakers will start on Wednesday at 15:00 in the Ziedonis Hall of the National Library of Latvia.

The International Chess Federation always encourages local organizers of such prestigious events to prepare side activities linked to chess. The Latvian Chess Federation, therefore, stages the “Mikhail Tal Memorial” from July 16 to 23. It features a rapid tournament on the first two days, a blitz tournament on the 18th, and a youth tournament over 5 days until the 23rd. All details and results of the first day can be found on the website https://talchessmemorial.com/.


Round 2, game 2:

So – Karjakin ½ - ½ (1 - 1 on aggregate)

Mamedyarov – Duda ½ - ½ (1 - 1 on aggregate)

Yu Yangyi – Grischuk ½ - ½ (1 - 1 on aggregate)

Vachier-Lagrave – Topalov ½ - ½ (1,5 - 0,5 on aggregate)

 

Text by Press Officer Yannick Pelletier; Photo courtesy: World Chess

 

 

 

  




Leading partners supporting the FIDE Grand Prix Riga 2019 include: 

EG Capital Advisors as the Official Partner 
PhosAgro as the Official Strategic Partner 
Kaspersky as the Official Cybersecurity Partner

Information for the press: https://worldchess.com/news/2189  
Official website https://worldchess.com/news/2089  
An official photo gallery is available via Dropbox


About FIDE
The International Chess Federation (FIDE), is recognized by its members and the International Olympic Committee as the international federation in the domain of chess, the supreme body responsible for the sport of chess and its Championships. FIDE has the sole rights to organize the World Chess Championships and the Chess Olympiads. 
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Lausanne, July 16th, 2019.-

FIDE herewith officially confirms that during round three of the open tournament in Strasbourg, Grand Master Igors Rausis (CZE) was inspected by the arbiters, who found hard evidence of computer-assisted cheating. GM Rausis admitted using a smartphone for help during the game in public comments.

FIDE as a responsible international body is reluctant to comment officially on any additional details before this case is thoroughly investigated by FIDE Fair-Play Commission and FIDE Ethics Commission make a decision.

FIDE is committed to fair-play principles, and we are adjusting the regulations in order to fight any kind of cheating, including computer-assisted cheating, with maximal effectiveness as stated in the resolution approved at the FIDE Presidential Board meeting two weeks ago.

We will make all necessary efforts to successfully fight cheating, and we are going to make punishments for violations more severe. However, we urge the entire chess community to respect the law and let us work diligently for the benefit of chess.
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Madrid, July 16th, 2019.-


We are very excited to announce that the International Chess Federation has signed a new cooperation agreement with the Olympic Channel. This partnership to collaborate on content will provide further media coverage to our activities, including highlights from the main competitions, special features involving chess stars, and cross-promotion.

The International Chess Federation joins the Olympic Channel family of 91 federation partners which includes International Sports Federations (IFs), recognized federations and organisations, multi-sport organisers and non-recognised federations. "The Olympic Channel provides a platform for the promotion of all sports and athletes within the Olympic Movement," said Mark Parkman, general manager of the IOC's global Olympic Channel. "We look forward to working together to help expand the reach of these sports and athletes to fans and new audiences around the world."

The Olympic Channel is an over-the-top (OTT) global media destination where fans can experience the power of sport and the excitement of the Olympic Games all year round. Offering original programming, news, live sports events and highlights, the Olympic Channel provides additional exposure for sports and athletes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in 11 languages, and is available worldwide at www.olympicchannel.com, its mobile apps and on connected TV devices.


Press release at the Olympic Channel corporate website.


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