Mikhail Solodovnikov

Mikhail Solodovnikov is an entrepreneur, media producer, and chess enthusiast. In the following article, Misha Solodovnikov discusses news from around the world of professional chess competition.

With the World Chess Championship kicking off in April, the international chess climate is heating up, but 2023 has already brought avid fans and players multiple notable events to hold them over until the real Championship.

Mikhail Solodovnikov observes how, from Poland winning the first Chess Olympiad for the disabled to a teenager beating the mighty Grandmaster Serei Karyakin, the global chess world has been well worth watching over the last few weeks.

Poland Makes History by Winning the First Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities
Poland solidified itself in chess history by snagging the victory in the world’s first Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities. The Polish players conquered all their matches (six total), taking the Olympiad gold home for the first time since 1930.

Silver was awarded to the International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA), and the Philippines got the bronze medal.

Misha Solodovnikov comments that this event celebrating diversity has instantly become an iconic part of chess history. Hosted by the Serbian capital, the tournament allowed players with disabilities to show off their chess skills on a worldwide stage.

It was a fun-filled six days wherein 26 teams competed for the title. Mikhail Solodovnikov explains that Poland’s team, headed by esteemed Grandmaster Marcin Tazbir, clinched the win by accruing 12 match points. The visually impaired Grandmaster described the win as a success for the country and the wider chess community as a whole.

Teenage Girl Beats Notorious Chess Grandmaster

Onlookers were shocked when the 18-year-old female chess player from Kazakhstan, Bibisara Assaubayeva, beat the famous Grandmaster Sergei Karyakin during the Chess Stars International Tournament in Moscow.

Asaubaeva, history’s first Muslim woman to win the women’s World Blitz championship twice, reigned supreme in the tournament on January 26, 2023. This adds to her already formidable list of achievements, including holding woman grandmaster and international master titles.

After the match, Karyakin commended her performance, stating that she is a “world champion” and praising her playing skills.

Astana to Host 2023 World Chess Championship in April

Mikhail Solodovnikov notes that an all-new world champion will be crowned this year in Astana, Kazakhstan, after the International Chess Federation (FIDE) confirmed the city’s status as host for the World Championship match in a few months.

Grandmasters Ding Liren and Ian Nepomniachtchi are set to face off at the event, with a prize purse of a whopping $2 million.

The former is currently ranked number two in the world, with the latter coming in at number three. Thus, many are expecting this to be one for the history books.

Fans can expect to see 14 games played during the World Championship, which will occur from April 7 to May 1.

Mikhail Solodovnikov explains that the initial 40 moves of every game are time-controlled to 120 minutes (two hours), with players getting 60 minutes for the next 20 moves. The remainder of the game is 15 minutes, with 30-second increments per move starting at the 61st play. And, if tied, the Championship will be decided through a rapid chess playoff session.

It’s time to get excited for the Astana-based 2023 World Championships!

The Game Has Seen a Resurgence in Online Gaming Platforms as Well

Chess has seen quite the resurgence in recent years, especially online. The arrival of online chess platforms and the popularity of streaming platforms have contributed to a boom in interest in the game. Mikhail Solodovnikov provides some insights as to how Chess has gained popularity, below:

The Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit” has had a unique, yet profound impact on the world of chess. The show’s popularity has led to a surge in interest in the game, particularly among women and girls. reported a 215% increase in new female members and a 600% increase in Google searches for “how to play chess” since the show’s release in 2020.

Mikhail Solodovnikov says that many online chess tournaments have become more prevalent than ever before, also. Platforms like and regularly host online tournaments that are open to players of all skill levels. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, online chess has become a popular way for players to mingle during lockdowns and has continued on ever since, as an alternate means of entertainment, and the ability to test your skills against competitors all over the world.

Twitch has become a hub for chess streamers, with popular players like Hikaru Nakamura and Alexandra Botez regularly streaming their matches and providing commentary for their followers. This has helped to make chess more accessible and entertaining to a wider audience.

Like many other industries, Misha Solodovnikov explains that artificial intelligence (AI) has made significant strides in the world of chess gaming. Notably, in 2021, the computer program Leela Chess Zero defeated the reigning TCEC champion, Stockfish, in a historic match. This achievement highlights the potential for AI to push the boundaries of human understanding of the game.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, chess has experienced a renaissance in recent years thanks to a combination of factors such as online platforms, streaming services, and the inclusion of the game in many popular TV shows. The future of chess looks bright, with increasing numbers of players and fans from all over the world.