World’s biggest chess championship faces axe over ?300k tax bill – Telegraph.co.uk

But so-called “mind-sports” were not included in the Revenue exemption, leading to an appeal by the English Bridge Union which was thrown out.

Entry into the UK Chess Challenge costs schools ?40 for 30 pupils and ?15 for every 15 thereafter.

“I’m not saying?chess?should be a considered a sport,” Mr Basman said. “It is not a sport – it is a valuable mental activity that benefits children.

“But the Government should recognise that. For organised?chess?tournaments like the UK?Chess?Challenge to continue to benefit our children it needs this help.

“The Government pours ?300 million a year into physical sport but spends nothing on mental sport, and then goes after the guy who does.?

“They should value the?Chess?Challenge. I’m not doing this for money. My profit is seeing children’s education being improved.”

The annual competition spans eight months and has a prize fund of ?12,000.?This weekend the top 60 players will gather?in?Loughborough, Leics, to?battle it out?for the top prize of ?2,000.

Former winners include several of England’s young stars, including?Cambridge University student?Yang-Fan?Zhou, who is on the brink of taking the esteemed Grandmaster title.

“What we try to do is produce champions, the children who go on to run the country,”?Mr Basman said.?”We have had the top girl in England, Akshaya Kalaiyalahan,?come through in the competition.

“She is now a teenager but first played when she was six because she was desperate to win one of our mascots.

World’s biggest chess championship faces axe over ?300k tax bill – Telegraph.co.uk


World’s biggest chess championship faces axe over ?300k tax bill – Telegraph.co.uk

But so-called “mind-sports” were not included in the Revenue exemption, leading to an appeal by the English Bridge Union which was thrown out.

Entry into the UK Chess Challenge costs schools ?40 for 30 pupils and ?15 for every 15 thereafter.

“I’m not saying?chess?should be a considered a sport,” Mr Basman said. “It is not a sport – it is a valuable mental activity that benefits children.

“But the Government should recognise that. For organised?chess?tournaments like the UK?Chess?Challenge to continue to benefit our children it needs this help.

“The Government pours ?300 million a year into physical sport but spends nothing on mental sport, and then goes after the guy who does.?

“They should value the?Chess?Challenge. I’m not doing this for money. My profit is seeing children’s education being improved.”

The annual competition spans eight months and has a prize fund of ?12,000.?This weekend the top 60 players will gather?in?Loughborough, Leics, to?battle it out?for the top prize of ?2,000.

Former winners include several of England’s young stars, including?Cambridge University student?Yang-Fan?Zhou, who is on the brink of taking the esteemed Grandmaster title.

“What we try to do is produce champions, the children who go on to run the country,”?Mr Basman said.?”We have had the top girl in England, Akshaya Kalaiyalahan,?come through in the competition.

“She is now a teenager but first played when she was six because she was desperate to win one of our mascots.

World’s biggest chess championship faces axe over ?300k tax bill – Telegraph.co.uk


India capable of making strong moves at Chess Olympiad – Sportstarlive

It is the Olympics for chess players. It is also the equivalent of tennis?s Davis and Fed Cups. As many as 176 countries will compete at the Chess Olympiad, the opening move of which will be made at the Azerbaijan capital of Baku on Thursday. And India is a serious contender for medals, even in the absence of its best players.

In the last edition of the Olympiad in Norway two years ago, India?s men had won the bronze, after starting out as the 19th seed. In spite of the large number of participating countries, only 20 countries have ever won a men?s team medal in the 82-year-history of the Olympiad.

This time, India is seeded 11th. The team would have to play once again above its strength to reach the podium, but the five young men are certainly capable of that. They would be up against some of the biggest names in chess who have come together to form quite a few dream teams.

Russia is the top seed, with an average Elo rating of 2760. The team would be led by Vladmir Kramnik, who had announced his arrival on the global chess scene with a sensational show at the 1992 Olympiad in Manila. Included only because of the insistence of Garry Kasparov, he scored 8.5 points out of nine to help Russia, competing for the first time as a country after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, take the gold; he was just 17 then.

The Americans, with an average rating of 2740, are seeded second. In their team are two of the world?s biggest names in chess, Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura.

China, which had surprised many by winning its maiden gold last time, is seeded third, with an average rating of 2735. India has a rating of 2651. Among those seeded above the team are Azerbaijan, Ukraine, France and Poland.

Harikrishna to lead

World No. 16 P. Harikrishna will lead the Indian challenge. Vidit Gujarathi, B. Adhiban, S.P. Sethuraman and Karthikeyan Murali are his teammates, while R.B. Ramesh is the coach once again.

India is seeded higher in the women?s event. With an average rating of 2410, it is seeded fifth, behind China (2528), defending champion Russia (2493), Ukraine (2485) and Georgia (2474).

Dronavalli Harika, ranked fifth in the world, is the biggest star in the team. The others in the team are Padmini Rout, who had won an individual medal at the last Olympiad, former World junior champion Soumya Swaminathan, Tania Sachdev and Pratyusha Bodda.

Koneru Humpy, the World No. 2, is of course conspicuous by her absence. She has never enjoyed a great relation with chess administrators in the country. She had demanded FIDE to take action against her last year following her withdrawal from the Commonwealth championship in Delhi. The complaint, however, was dismissed.

Five-time World champion Viswanathan Anand hasn?t shown much interest at the Olympiad, either. He has said in the past that he was not very comfortable with the format.

But most of the top stars, including World champion Magnus Carlsen, would be in Baku. He will lead Norway, which, however is not among the leading nations, with an average rating of 2613.

India capable of making strong moves at Chess Olympiad – Sportstarlive


Playing Chess with God – Jerusalem Post Israel News (blog)



The world in general, and the Middle East in particular, has been likened to a giant chessboard with two arms coming out from heaven picking up chess pieces representing nations and moving them around. Man?s decisions determines the direction of the pieces. As one piece is moved, the opponent responds in tandem according to his own set of values, strategies and ideals.

This is what appears to be happening from the natural, human perspective but there is another force at work in the world and it is spiritual. To some this may sound strange but to the Christian, Jew and even the Muslim, this is a truth. Faith and religion are at the core of the world?s problems and the source of all unrest.

Much of the world, if not the universe, is defined or given definition by a God-centered world-view. There are atheists and agnostics to be sure, but when analyzing the Middle East, religion is a major factor scientifically, socially, culturally, and politically.

Regarding the Middle East, we have history on the human side describing the origins and the cultural make-up of various countries with their respective geopolitics. This history includes God?s sovereign role as well. Both are described in detail in the world?s oldest book, the Bible. In it we learn the history of the Middle East and its various people groups to include the Jews who have a very long and deep rooted connection to the land of Israel. Outside of faith and religion, there is no other plausible explanation as to why the tiny speck of land known as Israel is the most hotly contested piece of real estate in the world and the Temple Mount the most sought after possession.

In the Bible we read of God?s manipulation of kings and governments and of what has happened to nations which sought to do harm to Israel and the Jewish people. The God of the Bible is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. His promises are sure and He cannot lie neither does He change. Therefore the Bible, God?s Word, is the only reliable source from which we can gain a true and accurate account of the Jewish people and their attachment to the land of Israel which so many today are trying to deny or erase.

In the beginning, God established a perfect system to govern and guide mankind. When that which is perfect is tampered with it results in imperfection. When we breach the laws of God or attempt to change His natural order, there are serious consequences. Turning away from God always results in harm and disorder. Being just and fair, God imposes His will on no one. He gives us the ability to choose and this is what separates man from the animals. When we choose God?s ways we can be sure we?ll be blessed. So in the natural order of things, God?s laws of nature cannot be broken without negative repercussions and mankind is busy today breaking them left and right.

The same is true on the cosmic chessboard of world affairs. All our human moves of the chess pieces result in positive, beneficial rewards if done according to God?s will or we suffer negative consequences. When people transcend or break the standards established by God, this spells trouble.

We are living in a time when the world is turned upside down calling evil good and good evil. We have broken and are continuing to break the moral and ethical laws of God and the negative consequences of our actions and decision are manifesting in our homes and families, schools, governments, places of worship, courts, and in our communities as well as on the international level. The results of our misdeeds are in the news every day and what we are seeing is a world in turmoil – a world that is unstable and growing more so every day.

Christians are taught in the New Testament of the Bible that as the end of time approaches there will be ?wars and rumors of wars.? It goes on to say that people will become lovers of themselves not caring for the welfare of others, lovers of money, proud and arrogant, abusive, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good and preferring evil, reckless, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but without God. In short, we will be like Sodom and Gomorrah; embracing and celebrating sin and turning away from that which is right and pure. It?s easy to see that as the world distances itself farther and farther from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, our families, our societies and our governments are spinning faster and faster out of control. Look at the United States. A country which was once abundantly blessed is now rapidly becoming almost third world. There is rioting in the streets. A complete lack of respect for authority. Police are being gunned down. Children are murdering parents and vice-versa. Gender is no longer defined by birth but is now a matter of choice. Same sex marriages, which violate God?s natural order for pro-creation, are now the norm. Clubs glorifying Satan are petitioning their way into public schools. The door has been opened wide for pedophiles to harm children by making bathrooms places of gender neutrality. Meanwhile, the courts have outlawed prayer to God in public places. The Ten Commandments have been removed from public property. School children are often forbidden to read the Bible or pray at school even when on their own time. Abortion is acceptable. Free speech has been outlawed if such speech involves God. Christians and Jews are being ridiculed for their faith but the religious beliefs of Muslims and others is being fervently protected. Political scandals are no longer shocking. Lies and cheating are almost expected behaviors.

God is moving the spiritual pieces on the chessboard according to how we humans move our natural chess pieces. The farther away from Him we move, the farther away moves His hand of protection. God?s strategy was clearly defined through Moses to the Israelites. He revealed what was going to happen if the Israelites disobeyed and, by extension, the rest of the world as well. Living contrary to the Sovereign of the Universe has serious consequences. Is it too late to turn back? The world?s decline did not happen overnight. If positive change is to take place, it must first start in the heart. Christians must rise up and be true and fervent in our faith. Not just when people are watching but, more importantly, when we think we are all alone. When Christians closely follow the teachings of Christ, genuine love is the outward manifestation of this relationship.

The world needs to get it right because in the end God is going to say ?Check mate? and we Christians will either hear the words, ?Well done thy good and faithful servant,? or ?Depart from me for I never knew you.? The choice is ours.

?















Playing Chess with God – Jerusalem Post Israel News (blog)


Cheque, mate: World’s biggest chess championship faces axe over ?300k tax bill – Telegraph.co.uk

But so-called “mind-sports” were not included in the Revenue exemption, leading to an appeal by the English Bridge Union which was thrown out.

Entry into the UK Chess Challenge costs schools ?40 for 30 pupils and ?15 for every ?15 thereafter.

“I’m not saying?chess?should be a considered a sport,” Mr Basman said. “It is not a sport – it is a valuable mental activity that benefits children.

“But the Government should recognise that. For organised?chess?tournaments like the UK?Chess?Challenge to continue to benefit our children it needs this help.

“The Government pours ?300 million a year into physical sport but spends nothing on mental sport, and then goes after the guy who does.?

“They should value the?Chess?Challenge. I’m not doing this for money, my profit is seeing children’s education being improved.”

The annual competition spans eight months and has a prize find of ?12,000.?This weekend the top 60 players will gather?in?Loughborough, Leics, to?battle it out?for the top prize of ?2,000.

Former winners include several of England’s young stars including?Cambridge University student?Yang-Fan?Zhou, who is on the brink of taking the esteemed Grandmaster title.

“What we try to do is produce champions, the children who go on to run the country,”?Mr Basman said.?”We have had the top girl in England, Akshaya Kalaiyalahan,?come through in the competition.

“She is now a teenager but first played when she was six because she was desperate to win one of our mascots.

Cheque, mate: World’s biggest chess championship faces axe over ?300k tax bill – Telegraph.co.uk


Cheque, mate: World’s biggest chess championship faces axe over ?300k tax bill – Telegraph.co.uk

But so-called “mind-sports” were not included in the Revenue exemption, leading to an appeal by the English Bridge Union which was thrown out.

Entry into the UK Chess Challenge costs schools ?40 for 30 pupils and ?15 for every ?15 thereafter.

“I’m not saying?chess?should be a considered a sport,” Mr Basman said. “It is not a sport – it is a valuable mental activity that benefits children.

“But the Government should recognise that. For organised?chess?tournaments like the UK?Chess?Challenge to continue to benefit our children it needs this help.

“The Government pours ?300 million a year into physical sport but spends nothing on mental sport, and then goes after the guy who does.?

“They should value the?Chess?Challenge. I’m not doing this for money, my profit is seeing children’s education being improved.”

The annual competition spans eight months and has a prize find of ?12,000.?This weekend the top 60 players will gather?in?Loughborough, Leics, to?battle it out?for the top prize of ?2,000.

Former winners include several of England’s young stars including?Cambridge University student?Yang-Fan?Zhou, who is on the brink of taking the esteemed Grandmaster title.

“What we try to do is produce champions, the children who go on to run the country,”?Mr Basman said.?”We have had the top girl in England, Akshaya Kalaiyalahan,?come through in the competition.

“She is now a teenager but first played when she was six because she was desperate to win one of our mascots.

Cheque, mate: World’s biggest chess championship faces axe over ?300k tax bill – Telegraph.co.uk