World Mind Games begin today

by Alejandro Ramirez
12/12/2013 – The World Mind Games begins today in Beijing, China. Some of the best players of the world have been invited to play in an unique event that challenges them not only in rapid chess, but also in blitz and the new "Basque" system in which players play two rapid players against their opponent simultaneously: one with black and one with white! Opening Ceremony and preview of the event...

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SportAccord Mind Games will be held in Beijing, China between the 12th of December and 20th December 2012. The World Mind Games was held for the first time in 2008 and consisted of 5 disciplines: chess, bridge, draughts (checkers), go, and xiangqi (Chinese chess). SportAccord, the organizer of the Mind Games, is the umbrella organization for both Olympic and non-Olympic sports as well as for major organizers of conferences and sporting events.

The chess section brings the best players of the world in blitz and rapid chess, excluding quite possibly Magnus Carlsen and the ones playing in London. Even then the tournament is incredibly competitive. This is the amazing list of players:

MEN Player Fed. WOMEN Player Fed.
  Karjakin, Sergey RUS   Koneru, Humpy IND  
  Grischuk, Alexander RUS   Hou, Yifan CHN  
  Aronian, Levon ARM   Muzychuk, Anna SLO  
  Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar AZE   Dzagnidze, Nana GEO  
  Dominguez Perez, Leinier CUB   Lagno, Kateryna UKR  
  Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR   Kosteniuk, Alexandra RUS  
  Radjabov, Teimour AZE   Gunina, Valentina RUS  
  Le, Quang Liem VIE   Stefanova, Antoaneta BUL  
  Wang, Hao CHN   Ju, Wenjun  CHN  
  Wang, Yue CHN   Sebag, Marie FRA  
  Nepomniachtchi, Ian RUS   Zhao, Xue CHN  
  Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime FRA   Kosintseva, Tatiana RUS  
  Kamsky, Gata USA   Cramling, Pia SWE  
  Leko, Peter HUN   Ushenina, Anna UKR  
  Ivanchuk, Vassily UKR   Paehtz, Elisabeth GER  
  Giri, Anish NED   Cmilyte, Viktorija LTU

The players will participate in the following events:

Rapid Chess – Men & Women

For all rapid chess competitions each player will have 20 minutes plus 10 seconds per move, starting from move one (G20’+10”), for the whole game.

Blitz Chess – Men & Women

For all blitz chess competitions each player will have 3 minutes plus 2 seconds per move, starting from move one (G 3’+2”), for the whole game.

Basque System – Men & Women

This will be a rapid chess competition where each player will have 20 minutes plus 10 seconds per move per game, starting from move one (G20’+10”), for the whole game. Two games will be played simultaneously against the other opponent, one with white pieces and one with black.

Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony was as usual quite spectacular, with several shows for the audience. China is well known for their protocol and they did a fantastic job as usual:

The entrance of the Chinese flag could not be missed

The players entered in a slightly less than organized form

The five games pressent in the games: Xiangqi, Draughts, Go, Chess and Bridge

The Cuban delegation: Yanelys, wife of Leinier Dominguez (center) and to the right is International Arbiter Serafin Chuit Perez

Peter Leko and Maxime Vachier-Lagraeve share some tips on the unusual Basque system

The top rated players in each section: Levon Aronian and World Champion Hou Yifan

Kosteniuk and Ju Wenjun were the ambassadors to the ceremony representing chess


Thursday, December 12th 14:00-19:00    Rapid Event: 1-4 rounds (men), 1-4 rounds (women)
Friday, December 13th 14:00-19:00    Rapid Event: 5-7 rounds (men), 5-7 rounds (women)
Saturday, December 14th 14:00-19:00    Blitz Event: 1-10 rounds (men), 1-10 rounds (women)
Sunday, December 15th 14:00-19:00    Blitz Event: 11-20 rounds (men), 11-20 rounds (women)
Monday, December 16th 14:00-19:00    Blitz Event: 21-30 rounds (men), 21-30 rounds (women)
Tuesday, December 17th 14:00-19:00    Basque System: 1-3 rounds (men), 1-3 rounds (women)
Wednesday, December 18th 11:00-16:00    Basque System: 4-5 rounds (men), 4-5 rounds (women) &
Closing Ceremony


The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.


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