"Snow Drops" lead against "Old Hands"

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Small lead for Snow Drops against Old HandsThree rounds so far have been played in this year's edition of the Czech Coal Match, and the team of "Snow Drops" (Humpy Koneru, Anna Muzychuk, Kateryna Lahno and Jana Jackova) are in the lead: 7 points versus 5 for the "Old Hands" (Jan Timman, Vlastimil Hort, Robert Hübner and Viktor Kortchnoi).

The Czech Coal Chess Match 2009, a double-round Scheveningen match, takes place November 28 - December 5 at the Chrystal Palaca Hotel in Marianske Lazne (the former Marienbad), Czech Republic. The rate of play is 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes and 30 seconds increment to finish the game. The tournament is organized by the Prague Chess Society.

Last year the "Snow Drops" versus "Old Hands" tournament was very even but nevertheless it was won by the quartet of men (Anatoly Karpov, Vlastimil Hort, Fridrik Olafsson and Wolfgang Uhlmann). Of the four ladies (Viktorija Cmilyte, Anna Ushenina, Jana Jackova and Katerina Nemcova) it was the Czech number one, Jana Jackova, who was the most successful. She managed to take down former world champion Anatoly Karpov already in the first round.

This year the "Snow Drops" team is a bit stronger, led by the world's number 2 player Humpy Koneru, and after three rounds they are leading with a small margin: 7-5. And again it was Jana Jackova who started strongly; this time with the black pieces she defeated the now 78-year-old Viktor Kortchnoi in the first round. In the next round she would lose to Hübner with White, while Koneru defeated Hort. Yesterday Muzychuk also beat Kortchnoi, and by now we've already mentioned all decisive results so far in this friendly tournament.

Rounds start at 16:00 CET (except for the last round which starts at 13:00 CET), live here.

Czech Coal 2009 | Schedule & results
Czech Coal 2009 | Schedule & results
Czech Coal 2009 | Team results
Czech Coal 2009 | Team results
Czech Coal 2009 | Individual results
Czech Coal 2009 | Individual results

Games rounds 1-3

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Chrystal Hotel

The venue, like last year, is the Chrystal Palace Hotel in former Marienbad

Opening Ceremony

Music at the opening ceremony...


...and the eight participants presenting themselves


Arbiter Pavel Votruba and guest and former FIDE President Fridrik Olafsson


Another famous guest: Mark Dvoretsky, together with organizer Pavel Matocha..


...and perhaps the most famous guest: 10th World Champion Boris Spassky


Round 1: Viktor Kortchnoi vs Jana Jackova...


...a win for the Czech lady


These organizers know how to set up a commentary room. There's the live boards, there's Chessbase and there's GM Marek Vokac, sometimes aided by Boris Spassky


Anna Muzychuk vs Jan Timman


Robert Hübner versus Kateryna Lahno


Timman and Lahno analyzing, Spassky kibitzing


Pavel Matocha with Bessel Kok


A unique experience for Humpy Koneru: advice from Olafsson, Dvoretsky, Timman and Spassky!

Photos by Vladimir Jagr, courtesy of the tournament website


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