From the Writer's desk

A few days ago, I came across a post by famous Chess photographer and author David Llada. He shared this wonderful picture given below, with the caption "Not a Hollywood star, but a chess celebrity. Can you recognize him?". I thought for some time - at first I thought it was Capablanca, but that was not it. Some other people answered Nezhmetdinov or Frank Marshall - no, not them either! I finally got to the answer from a comment - this is Andor Lilienthal.

Photo: Edward Winter's Chess Notes archives

Lilienthal! I vaguely recalled the name - I had come across his name when I read about Lasker and Capablanca, and the games of that era. However, this photo quickly peaked my interest. Indeed, the guy looks like a protagonist in a Film Noir! Once I started reading about him, I realized I have been living under a rock. How did I not hear of him before - Andor Lilienthal lived till the age of 99, and holds the unique distinction of playing against 10 male and female World Champions. Before his death in 2010, he was the only living player in the World to have defeated Jose Raul Capablanca and Alexander Alekhine!

Andor Lilienthal gives a simultaneous exhibition! Photo: FIDE Archives

Lilienthal was among the first 27 original Grandmasters who were awarded the title by FIDE in 1950. He was born on 5th May, 1911 in Moscow, but moved to Hungary soon afterwards.He represented Hungary in 3 Chess Olympiads, and moved back to USSR in 1935 where he played several Russian Championships. This man had a very unique chess career - he was a very strong player who defeated no less than 6 World Champions, qualified to the Candidates in 1948. Afterwards, he served as the trainer of two great Soviet World Champions - Tigran Petrosian and Vasily Smyslov!

Lilienthal at the Turin Chess Olympiad in 2006! Photo: Woodpusher/Wikipedia

Another very interesting story I came across was about his relationship with Bobby Fischer. When Bobby Fischer noticed Lilienthal in the audience at his 1992 return match against Boris Spassky, Fischer greeted him with the remark "Pawn e5 takes f6!", a reference to Lilienthal's fantastic win against Capablanca in 1935. Fischer was hiding from the US authorities after this match - during this period, he stayed in Lilienthal's apartment in Budapest for a month! Fischer approved of only 3 chess players to carry his coffin at his funeral - Andor Lilienthal, Lajos Portisch, and Boris Spassky.

To the end – always animated when talking about chess! Photo: Slobodan Adzic

Lilienthal's home country Hungary went on to produce many great players - Judit Polgar, Peter Leko, Andras Adorjan, Lajos Portisch just to name a few! The Chess Olympiad 2024 will be held in Budapest, Hungary this year. I found Andre Lilienthal to be a fascinating character in my brief readings about him - if you have more stories/ information resources about the great man, please email us at! - Himank Ghosh

Velammal AICF WGM 2024 R4: Mary emerges sole leader

WGM Mary Ann Gomes defeated WGM Uurtsaikh Uuriintuya (MGL) to gain sole lead at Velammal AICF WGM Round-Robin 2024. Mary scored an emphatic victory to move ahead of the rest at 3.5/4. WIM Sakshi Chitlange won her game against WIM M Mahalakshmi when the latter made a one-move blunder. It could have been a different outcome had she not made the blunder as her opponent made an inaccuracy. V Rindhiya outplayed WGM Nino Maisuradze (FRA). WIM Mounika Akshaya registered her first victory of the event against WIM Monnisha G K. WGM Altan-Ulzii Enkhtuul (MGL) missed a win against WIM Angela Franco Valencia (COL). Today is the second of the three double rounds. Round 5 starts at 10 a.m. IST. Photos: FI Niklesh Jain

AICF WGM Round Robin Round 4

This week, we introduce the ChessBase India Weekly Solving Challenge! This new column is all about solving chess compositions, which are artistic puzzles derived not from real play but artificially put together to demonstrate intricate themes and strategies. The first episode poses you three directmates....

Position 01

White to play and mate in 2

A directmate in two moves is commonly known as a two-mover. Thus, White is to play here and mate Black in two moves against any defence. The main idea of this problem is not difficult to spot, but it requires precise execution. There are red herrings you might end up falling for. Watch out for Black's defences! 

Position 02

White to play and mate in 3

A directmate in three moves is called a three-mover. On some reflection, two moves that should jump at you here are 1.Qg6 and 1.Nge4. Both threaten mates in 1. However, these have simple refutations (spot them!). The key is much more subtle.

For the 3rd and final position + more details, check out the article on our newspage linked below!

ChessBase India Weekly Solving Challenge - 01

Send your solutions to Please state your name and mention “Weekly Solving Challenge” in the subject of the mail. We will publish the detailed solutions of all 3 positions in the next Weekly Solving article on our newspage - you will find it linked in our next newsletter!


László Schór, Die Schwalbe 1938, 1st Prize

White to play and mate in 2


1.Qe6! threat: 2.Qxc4# 

1...Na3 (Nc~) 2.Nf2# 

1...Ne3 2.Rd2#

1...Ne5 2.Qd5# 

1...Qc3 2.Nc5#

1...Qd4 2.Ne1#


Srihari L becomes the first International Master from Pondicherry

19-year-old Srihari L became Pondicherry's first International Master on 11th February 2024. The teenager earned his maiden IM-norm at Chhattisgarh CM Trophy GM Masters 2022 in Raipur, Chhattisgarh. A little over 15 months later, he earned his second IM-norm at 51st Rilton Cup 2023-24 in Stockholm, Sweden. Almost five weeks later, he delivered a dominant performance at 17th Tamil Nadu IM-norm Round-Robin 2024. He scored his final IM-norm and reached an exact 2400. He also won the tournament and finished a staggering 2.5 points ahead of the rest. His journey towards the GM title continues.

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Aditya Mittal astounding at 125th anniversary of Werder Bremen with a 2713 performance

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World Junior U20 Championship 2024 will take place at Gandhinagar, Gujarat this June

FIDE World Junior Under-20 Chess Championship 2024 will take at Gandhinagar, Gujarat from 1st to 14th June. Registrations is on. The deadline for players with personal rights is on 1st April 2024. For additional players and accompanying persons, it is on 1st May 2024. The total prize fund combining Open and Girls category will be €10000 along with Gold, Silver and Bronze medal and a trophy each. Check out the announcement to know the eligibility criteria for participation. The tournament regulations and invitation is also available. Photo: FIDE

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29-year-old quadriplegic, the first Neuralink user, plays chess online using BCI

29-year-old Noland Arbaugh became the first user of Neuralink. He mentioned in the livestream that about eight years ago, he had a freak diving accident. It dislocated his C4 and C5 which made him quadriplegic. He is paralyzed and has no sensation of movement below the shoulders. "I love playing chess and so this is one of the things that you all have enabled me to do. Something that I wasn't able to do much, the last few years." - Noland says while we see the cursor moving on the screen controlled by his brain which is named, brain computer interface. Check out this fascinating piece of technology which could possibly help a lot of people getting various stuff done. Photo: Neuralink live stream

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