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Snowdrops with a good start against Oldhands

The team of legendary grandmasters (Wolfgang Uhlmann, Fridrik Olafsson, Oleg Romanishin and Vlastimil Hort) will compete in two round scheveningen match called Snowdrops and Oldhands – Czech Coal Chess Match 2012 with the rising generation of women grandmasters (Valentina Gunina, Tania Sachdev, Alina Kashlinskaya, and Kristýna Havlíková) from the 8th December till the 16th December at Hotel Zámeček in Poděbrady.

The time limit of a game is 90 minutes for 40 moves with additional 30 minutes till the end of the game plus 30 seconds for each completed move. The guest of honor is Yuri Averbakh, the oldest living grandmaster of the world. The tournament is held by the society Šach Mat ltd. and the civic association Prague Chess Society.

Snowdrops take R1 with 3,5-0,5

Round 1 was played today with the team of Snowdrops having the white color. Tania Sachdev gave the direction of the young team, by closing her game against Uhlmann at move 29. Valentina Gunina followed suit and won at move 39, right at the same time Vlastimil Hort did the decisive 38… d4 blunder against Kashlinskaya. Havlikova – Romanishin was the longest game of the day, which finished in a 59 moves draw. Thus, the Snowdrops take the lead 3,5-0,5 after day 1.

Tomorrow the Oldhands will have white, the pairings are Uhlmann – Gunina, Olafsson – Sachdev, Romanishin – Kashlinskaya, and Hort – Havlíková.

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GM Vlastimil Hort (2455)

HortGrandmaster Vlastimil Hort is a living legend of Czechoslovakian chess. He was born on 12 January 1944 in Kladno. He drew attention to himself with his style of chess game already in his childhood and since he reached 14 he used to be a regular contender in the final of Czechoslovakian adult championships. Ever since he was a young student, his game has been known for a superb feeling for position and his sensitive technique. He gained the international master title when he was 18 and he reached the grandmaster norm three years later. In 60s he played for his country at Chess Olympics and European championships. In 1963 he was a part of the winning team of the University Students Chess World Championship. He won several times Czechoslovakian championships (1970, 1971, 1972, and 1975). He won tournaments in Havana and Luhacovice in 1971, in Reykjavik 1972, at Sunny Beach and Hastings in 1974, in Banja Luka in 1976, in Stip, in Polanica Zdroj and in London in 1977. He was second at prestigious tournament at Wijk aan Zee in 1967 and 1975. In 1970 he was nominated to play the fourth board in the team of „the rest of the world“ against USSR team. On his board he beat a grandmaster Lev Pulugaievsky (with three draws). He reached his biggest success at the international tournament in Manila in 1976, where he shared a second place with Pulugaievsky and he got on to candidates tournament in 1977. During the match with Boris Spassky he lost 1:2 (with 15 draws). In 1977 he played a simul in Reykjavik with 550 contenders with a result 477:10 (with 63 draws) and he also played a blind simul against 22 players. After leaving Czechoslovakia he won the West Germany championship in 1987. In 2008, during a match of Snowdrops versus Oldhands, he reached the highest rating performance (ELO 2685) out of all of the other players. He did not miss any of the matches of Snowdrops versus Oldhands.

GM Wolfgang Uhlmann (2319)

UhlmannHe was born on 29th March 1935 in Germany. He acquires the GM title in his 21 years. He was a multiple champion of the German Democratic Republic. He represented his country on eleven chess Olympics, except the last one he played always on the first board. In 1964 he was the best player of the Olympiad and two years later he was bronze in the individual evaluation. He won or shared the first place in a number of prestigious tournaments, such as Erfurt 1955, Hastings 1958/59, in 1965/66 he shared first place with Boris Spassky. Uhlmann played in Marianske Lazne the famous interzonal tournament in 1961 and he participated in the match of Snowdrops versus Oldhands at the same place in 2008 and in 2010.




GM Fridrik Olafsson (2419)

OlafssonBorn on 26th of January 1935 in the capital city of Iceland, Reykjavík. He won the Icelandic Championship in 1952 for the first time, one year later he was succesfull on the Scandinavian Championship, which he won again in 1971. In 1956 he reacged the title of International Master and in 1958 the title of Grandmaster. Fridrik’s best result in World Chess Championship competition was in the 1958 Interzonal tournament at Portorož, where he finished equal 5th-6th and where he beated also Robert Fischer. He was succesfull on many different tournaments. He won in Reykjavík in 1957 and 1966, in Wijk aan Zee 1976, he shares the 1st place in Hastings 1955/56 with Viktor Korchnoi. Fridrik Olafsson is also the author of several books, among them his autobiography from 1976. He was on the important position of President of FIDE from 1978 to 1982.







GM Oleg Romanishin (2530)

RomanishinOleg Romanishin (born 10th of January 1952 in Lviv, Ukraine) is the youngest represent of the „Oldhands“ of this year and he is also the only player being on the match Snowdrops vs. Oldhands for the first time. He was very talented already when he was young and he became the winner of the European Junior Championship in 1973. One year later, he shared the 2nd place with Mikhail Tal, Boris Gulko and Rafael Vaganian, when finishing nearly behind the winner of the Championship Tigran Petrosian. He won various international tournaments during his chess path, for ex. Odessa 1974, Novi Sad 1975, Hastings 1976/77, Leningrad 1977, Polanica Zdroij 1980, Moskva 1985, Reggio Emilia 1986 or Debrecen 1990.

He attracts the chess fans by his extraordinary aggressive playing style, acquired maybe partly thanks to Mikhail Tal, one of his coaches. In respect of chess opening theory, he has a reputation for the use of rare, offbeat and sometimes, long since discarded systems.



IM Valentina Gunina (2514)

GuninaValentina Gunina (born on 4th of February 1989 in Murmansk in Russia) is the actual women champion of Europe. This year, she was a member of the gold russian team on chess Olympics in Istanbul and she also won the World Championship in rapid chess. Last year she won a Russian Women Chess Championship.




IM Tania Sachdev (2400)

SachdevTania was born on 20th of August 1986 in Delhi. She started to play chess thanks to her mother Anju. In years 1995 – 2006 she represented India in many World Championships. The greatest success she achieved in 1998 at the World Championship in Oropesa del Mar in the category of Girls U12, where she took the third place. In 2006 and 2007 she became the Indian woman champion and a year later won the Asian Chess Championship in Teheran. She became the eighth Indian Woman Grandmaster. Tania Sachdev is often called India’s most glamorous Chess Player, because beside chess she is also successful in world of modelling. For example Tania appeared as a model during India Fashion Week in 2009. But she announced that she would fully concentrate on chess for the next couple of years as she aspired to become the women’s world champion. In 2009, she was awarded the Arjuna Award by the Government of India. In 2012, she represented India at the Women’s Olympiad in Istanbul, where Indian team finished on 4th place and in the individual game she won the bronze medal.




WGM Alina Kashlinskaya (2344)

KashlinskayaAlina Kašlinskaja, born on 28th of October 1993 in Moscow, became the youngest Woman Grandmaster in Europe when she was only 15 years old. Alina has already played in Czech republic, on GM tournament in Mariánské Lázně in 2009, where she beated Pavel Šimáček in a very nice game. Except chess, she compose poems and songs likewise (see




WIM Kristýna Havlíková (2310)

HavlíkováKristýna Havlíková (born on 22nd of July 1992 in Pilsen) is actually the number two of czech women rating. She has represented Czech republic on last two chess olympics (Chanty Mansijsk 2010 and Istanbul 2012) and on a various other tournaments. She took a 4th place on the World Championship uder 18 years in Porto Carras in 2010.








The oldest living grandmaster of the world, 90 years old Yuri Averbakh, is a guest of honor of the chess match Snowdrops vs. Oldhands 2012. On Wednesday the 12th of December at 3 p.m., you can come to listen his lecture about the history of chess game in Europe and in Russia.

Yuri Averbakh was born on the 8th of February 1922 in v Kaluga, Russia. His father was German and atheist, his mother Russian and Eastern Orthodox, Yuri himself calls himself a fatalist. He became an International Grandmaster in 1952 and he qualified to the famous Candidates´ tournament in Zurich in 1953. In 1954 he won the USSR Chess Championship ahead of players including Mark Taimanov, Viktor Korchnoi, Tigran Petrosian, Efim Geller and Salo Flohr. He won also the international tournaments in Vienna 1961 and in Moscow 1962.

For long years, he was general editor of the magazine “Shakhmaty v SSSR“ and president of Soviet Chess Federation. He has published more than 100 chess studies. He wrote also several chess books, mainly about endgame theory and he was interested about the chess history as well. His last book for the moment are the memories of a life in the chess world called Centre-Stage and Behind the Scenes.

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