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    1948 World Chess Championship 1959 Candidates 1962 Candidates 2.c3 Sicilian 2.f4 Sicilian 2011 European Team Championship 2011 Russian Championship 2012 Capablanca Memorial 2012 Chess Olympiad 2012 European Women's Championship 2012 London Chess Classic 2012 U.S. Junior Championship 2012 U.S. Women's Championship 2012 US Championship 2012 Women's World Chess Championship 2012 World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2013 Alekhine Memorial 2013 Beijing Grand Prix 2013 European Club Cup 2013 European Team Championship 2013 FIDE World Cup 2013 Kings Tournament 2013 London Chess Classic 2013 Russian Championship 2013 Tal Memorial 2013 U.S. Championship 2013 Women's World Championship 2013 World Blitz Championship 2013 World Championship 2013 World Rapid Championship 2013 World Team Championship 2014 Capablanca Memorial 2014 Chess Olympiad 2014 London Chess Classic 2014 Petrosian Memorial 2014 Rapid & Blitz World Championship 2014 Russian Team Championship 2014 Sinquefield Cup 2014 Tigran Petrosian Memorial 2014 U.S. Championship 2014 U.S. Open 2014 Women's World Championship 2014 World Blitz Championship 2014 World Championship 2014 World Junior Championships 2014 World Rapid Championship 2015 Capablanca Memorial 2015 Chinese Championship 2015 European Club Cup 2015 European Team Championship 2015 London Chess Classic 2015 Millionaire Open 2015 Poikovsky 2015 Russian Team Championship 2015 Sinquefield Cup 2015 U.S. Championship 2015 Women's World Championship KO 2015 World Blitz Championship 2015 World Cup 2015 World Junior Championship 2015 World Open 2015 World Rapid & Blitz Championship 2015 World Team Championships 2016 2016 Candidates 2016 Capablanca Memorial 2016 Champions Showdown 2016 Chess Olympiad 2016 Chinese Championship 2016 European Club Cup 2016 Isle of Man 2016 London Chess Classic 2016 Russian Championship 2016 Sinquefield Cup 2016 Tal Memorial 2016 U.S. Championship 2016 U.S. Junior Championship 2016 U.S. Women's Championship 2016 Women's World Championship 2016 World Blitz Championship 2016 World Championship 2016 World Junior Championship 2016 World Open 2016 World Rapid Championship 2017 British Championship 2017 British Knockout Championship 2017 Champions Showdown 2017 Chinese Championship 2017 Elite Mind Games 2017 European Team Championship 2017 Geneva Grand Prix 2017 Grand Prix 2017 Isle of Man 2017 London Chess Classic 2017 PRO Chess League 2017 Russian Championship 2017 Sharjah Masters 2017 Sinquefield Cup 2017 Speed Chess Championship 2017 U..S. Championshp 2017 U.S. Junior Championship 2017 Women's World Championship 2017 World Cup 2017 World Junior Championship 2017 World Rapid & Blitz Championships 2017 World Team Championship 2018 British Championship 2018 Candidates 2018 Chess Olympiad 2018 Dortmund 2018 European Championship 2018 European Club Cup 2018 Gashimov Memorial 2018 Gibraltar 2018 Grand Chess Tour 2018 Grenke Chess Classic 2018 Grenke Chess Open 2018 Isle of Man 2018 Leuven 2018 London Chess Classic 2018 Norway Chess 2018 Paris 2018 Poikovsky 2018 Pro Chess League 2018 Shenzhen Masters 2018 Sinquefield Cup 2018 Speed Chess Championship 2018 St. Louis Rapid & Blitz 2018 Tal Memorial 2018 Tata Steel Rapid & Blitz 2018 U.S. Championship 2018 Wijk aan Zee 2018 Women's World Championship 2018 World Championship 2018 World Rapid & Blitz Championship 2019 Abidjan 2019 Aeroflot Open 2019 Biel 2019 Capablanca Memorial 2019 Champions Showdown 2019 Dortmund 2019 Du Te Cup 2019 European Championship 2019 Gashimov Memorial 2019 GCT Paris 2019 GCT Zagreb 2019 Gibraltar 2019 Grand Chess Tour 2019 Grand Prix 2019 Grenke Chess Classic 2019 Karpov Poikovsky 2019 Lindores Abbey 2019 Moscow Grand Prix 2019 Norway Chess 2019 Norway Chess blitz 2019 Pro Chess League 2019 Riga Grand Prix 2019 Russian Team Championship 2019 Sinquefield Cup 2019 St. Louis Rapid & Blitz 2019 U.S. Championship 2019 Wijk aan Zee 2019 Women's Candidates 2019 World Team Championship 2020 Candidates 2020 Chess Olympics 2022 Chess Olympics 2024 Chess Olympics 22014 Sinquefield Cup 22014 U.S. Championship 22016 Chess Olympiad 22019 GCT Zagreb 22019 Wijk aan Zee 2Mind Games 2016 2Wijk aan Zee 2017 60 Minutes A. 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Coyote Wilhelm Steinitz William Golding William Lombardy William Vallicella Willy Hendriks Winawer French Wojtkiewicz Wolfgang Uhlmann Women's Grand Prix Women's World Championship World Champion DVDs World Championship World Cup World Cup 2009 World Cup 2011 World Cup 2011 World Junior Championship World Senior Championship WWesley So WWijk aan Zee 2012 Xie Jun Yasser Seirawan Yates Yermolinsky Yevseev Yoshiharu Habu Yu Yangyi Yuri Averbakh Yuri Razuvaev Yuri Vovk Yuri Yeliseyev Yuriy Kuzubov Zaitsev Variation Zaven Andriasyan Zhao Xue Zhongyi Tan Zug 2013 Zukertort System Zurab Azmaiparashvili Zurich 1953 Zurich 2013 Zurich 2014 Zurich 2015 Zurich 2016 Zurich 2017
    Friday
    Sep132019

    Excuses, Excuses (Updated)

    Sorry everyone, my main computer had been in the shop, and I'm swamped with the start of a new academic semester. We'll do what we can to get things back on track shortly.

    Some recent stories worthy of note: Ultimate Moves was mostly successful for the U.S. players, as Fabiano Caruana easily dispatched Garry Kasparov (though the latter was often his own worst enemy), Wesley So crushed near-namesake Veselin Topalov, and Hikaru Nakamura came back from a terrible start to defeat Levon Aronian. Only Peter Svidler successfully upheld the cause for the rest of the world, besting Leinier Dominguez.

    The world's hitherto second oldest-living grandmaster, Pal Benko, has passed away. He was 91. I didn't know him well, but did interact with him several times during my time in New York. He was very approachable, and was never made to feel as if I was supposed to genuflect in the presence of a two-time Candidate. He was a great player in his peak, and was even better known as an endgame specialist and study composer. Rest in peace.

    The World Cup started a few days ago; tomorrow (or today, for those of you in Europe) is the second day of round 2. There have been a few upsets so far, and one vulnerable favorite is Nakamura, who was manhandled by Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu in the first game in round 2. Among the underdogs, Indian super-prodigy Nihal Sarin is one to watch. He defeated the favored Jorge Cori 2-0 in the first round, and defeated Eltaj Safarli in the first game of round 2. If he finishes Safarli, however, he'll have a big task in round 3, with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov his likely opponent.

    Finally, here's an interesting story: The grandmaster diet: How to lose weight while barely moving. Of course there's a little snark (already evidenced by the title), but it's a good article overall. (One correction though: the world championship Kasimdzhanov won wasn't a six-game match. That was just the final stage of the event, and there were eight games in that match, and 30 overall. He played for three and a half weeks, with just three days off along the way. That makes his losing 17 pounds far more comprehensible, though it's still a significant figure. (Adding my own experience to the mix, when I was 16 I played in a U.S. Open, and wound up losing 12 pounds over the two weeks.)

    In case anyone is wondering, the blog won't continue. This is my "penance" for being delinquent in dispatching the books.

    UPDATE 1: This series on Vladimir Kramnik's training camp with six Indian child prodigies is interesting as news, but also for the insights we can enjoy from the few snippets we're granted. This is the last entry; you might scroll to the bottom for all the links and start with the first one first.

    UPDATE 2: Nakamura is out of the World Cup. Rats.

    UPDATE 3: The world's greatest football team (okay, college football team) is now 2-0, pasting Louisville 35-17 in week one and terrifying New Mexico 66-14 yesterday (still today for some of you). Oof.

    Monday
    Sep022019

    Update on Events

    I hope everyone enjoyed the Sinquefield Cup, won by Ding Liren in an impressive playoff victory over Magnus Carlsen, and is enjoying the start of the Champions Showdown. This too is in St. Louis, with the matches Kasparov-Caruana, Aronian-Nakamura, Topalov-So, and Svidler-Dominguez. Some long-time readers may remember my asking about en passant errors, and the recent goings-on in St. Louis have supplied two examples of this. The first came in the first round of the Sinquefield Cup, when with oodles of time on the clock Ian Nepomniachtchi threw away an easy draw against Viswanathan Anand, while the second came a few moments ago when Hikaru Nakamura blundered an equal, sharp position against Levon Aronian. (To be fair, the preceding move was a losing move, so it only counts as an "en passant error", as I meant the term in my old blog post, if he was counting on the follow-up.)

    As for books, I will start selling them tomorrow.

    Wednesday
    Aug212019

    More Books

    Here's a new batch. Again, if you're interested, let me know. Sales start soon!

     

    ECO A, 2nd Edition

    ECO B, 3rd Edition

    ECO C, 3rd Edition

    ECO D, 3rd Edition

    ECO E, 3rd Edition

    Encyclopedia Modern Chess Opening 1

    Encyclopedia Modern Chess Opening: Semi-Open Games

    Encyclopedia Modern Chess Opening: Sicilian Defence

    Mikhail Gurevich E97

    Ivan Sokolov E32-39

    Viswanathan Anand B66

    Evgenij Svesnikov B22

     

    James Rizzitano, Play the Najdorf Sicilian

    Lasha Janjgava, The Petroff

    Or Cohen, A Vigorous Chess Opening Repertoire

    Andrew Greet, Play the Queen's Indian

    Sergey Kasparov, Steamrolling the Sicilian

    John Emms, Play the Najdorf: Scheveningen Style

    James Magner, M.D., Chess Juggler

    Matthieu Cornette, The Complete Kalashnikov

    Jon Edwards, Sacking the Citadel

    Grigory Bogdanovich, The Zukertort System: A Guide for White and Black

    Andrew Greet, Play the Ruy Lopez

    John Watson, A Guide to the Modern Benoni

    Kiril Georgiev, Squeezing the Gambits: The Benko, Budapest, Albin and Blumenfeld

    Alexander Delchev & Evgenij Agrest, The Safest Grunfeld

    Mihai Suba, Dynamic Chess Strategy

    Hans Ree, My Chess Career

    Sergey Kasparov, A Cunning Chess Opening for Black: Lure Your Opponent into the Philidor Swamp!

    Saturday
    Aug172019

    Sinquefield Cup Starts Today

    I assume you're all aware that the 2019 Sinquefield Cup starts today - in just under an hour and a half, to be more precise - and the St. Louis Rapid & Blitz finished a few days ago with Levon Aronian eking out a victory, finishing half a point ahead of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Ding Liren, and Yu Yangyi. Most notable, of course, was the absolutely disastrous performance of Magnus Carlsen, who lost TEN games, went -1 overall, and fell from the #1 spot in both rapid and blitz. I won't be covering the Sinquefield Cup, but as long as I'm hanging around I thought I'd mention it, as a PSA.

    Friday
    Aug162019

    Books!

    Ok, everyone; it's a bit overdue, sorry, but here's a first (big) batch of books I'd like to send to new homes. Contact me (via the contact link or by leaving a comment on here, which I won't post to the web) to let me know what books you might be interested in. There are more books yet to come, and I'll worry about sorting and pricing them later. (If everyone expresses an interest in some very narrow subset of books, and no one is the least bit interested in the huge majority, then spending a ton of time tidying things up is more or less pointless.)

    Here's what I've got so far:

    NIC Yearbooks: 66, 79-123

    Informants: 16-18, 24-35, 38, 107-119, 122-133

    Peter Kurzdorfer, Reaching the Top?!

    Alexey Bezgodov, The Liberated Bishop Defence

    Benjamin Hale, ed., Philosophy Looks at Chess

    Glenn Flear, The Ruy Lopez Main Line

    Evgeny & Vladimir Sveshnikov, A Chess Opening Repertoire for Blitz and Rapid

    Dorian Rogozenko, Anti-Sicilians: A Guide for Black

    Sergey Kasparov, The Exchange Sacrifice

    Mark Dvoretsky & Artur Yusupov, Opening Preparation

    Daniel Lowinger, The 3…Qd8 Scandinavian: Simple and Strong

    John Nunn & Tim Harding, The Marshall Attack

    Julian Hodgson, Secrets of the Trompovsky

    Graham Burgess, The Complete Alekhine

    Jacob Aagaard, Queen’s Indian Defence

    Carsten Hansen, Guide to the English Opening: 1…e5

    Joe Gallagher, Play the King’s Indian

    A.C. van der Tak & Friso Nijboer, Tactics in the Chess Opening-1: Sicilian Defence

    A. Raetsky & M. Chetverik, Starting Out: Queen’s Gambit Accepted

    Richard Palliser, Starting Out: d-pawn Attacks

    John Nunn, The Complete Najdorf 6.Bg5

    Hikaru Nakamura & Bruce Harper, Bullet Chess: One Minute to Mate

    John Emms, The Scandinavian

    Chris Baker, A Startling Chess Opening Repertoire

    Carsten Hansen, The Symmetrical English

    Krzysztof Panczyk with John Emms, Archangel and New Archangel

    Jacob Aagaard and John Shaw, eds., Experts vs. the Sicilian

    David Vigorito, Chess Explained: The Main-Line Slav

    Reinaldo Vera, Chess Explained: The Meran Semi-Slav

    James Rizzitano, Chess Explained: The Taimanov Sicilian

    Alex Yermolinsky, Chess Explained: The Classical Sicilian

    Mikhail Golubev Understanding the King’s Indian

    Alexander Morozevich & Vladimir Barsky, The Chigorin Defence According to Morozevich

    John Emms, Beating 1.e4 e5

    James Vigus, Play the Slav

    Nigel Davies, Gambiteer II

    John Emms, Glenn Flear, and Andrew Greet, Dangerous Weapons: 1.e4 e5

    Kiril Georgiev & Atanas Kolev, The Sharpest Sicilian

    Alexander Khalifman, Opening for White According to Kramnik (volume 2)

    Alexander Khalifman, Opening for White According to Anand (volumes 1, 4, 6-11, 13, and 14)

    Alexander Delchev & Semko Semkov, The Safest Sicilian

    Mihai Suba, The Hedgehog

    Tony Kosten, The Dynamic English

    Atanas Kolev & Trajko Nedev, The Easiest Sicilian

    Jonathan Hilton & Dean Ippolito, Wojo’s Weapons: Winning With White (vols. 1-2)

    Victor Bologan, The Chebanenko Slav

    Viktor Moskalenko, The Fabulous Budapest Gambit

    Viktor Moskalenko, The Flexible French

    Viktor Moskalenko, Revolutionize Your Chess

    Jesus de la Villa, Dismantling the Sicilian

    Johan Hellsten, Play the Sicilian Kan

    David Vigorito, Understanding the Marshall Attack

    Milos Pavlovic, Fighting the Ruy Lopez

    Achilles Zagrophos, Music and Chess: Apollo Meets Caissa

    Anatoli Vaisser, Beating the King’s Indian and Benoni

    Adrian Mikhalchishin & Wit Braslawski, Hanging Pawns

    Maurice Ashley, Chess for Success

    Steffen Pedersen, The Main Line French: 3.Nc3

    John Fedorowicz, The Complete Benko Gambit, 2nd Edition

    Colin McNab, The Fianchetto King’s Indian

    Jouni Yrjola, Easy Guide to the Classical Sicilian

    Jacob Aagaard, Easy Guide to the Sveshnikov Sicilian

    Jonathan Rowson, Understanding the Grunfeld

    Yuri Yakovich, The Complete Sveshnikov Sicilian

    John Nunn & Graham Burgess, The Main Line King’s Indian

    John Nunn, The Classical King’s Indian

    Semko Semkov, Kill KID 1

    Tony Kosten, Easy Guide to the Najdorf

    Jacob Aagaard, Easy Guide to the Panov-Botvinnik Attack

    Daniel King, Winning With the Najdorf

    John Emms, Play the Open Games as Black

    Stewart Reuben, The Chess Organiser’s Handbook

    Larry Kaufman, The Chess Advantage in Black and White

    Steffen Pedersen, Easy Guide to the Bb5 Sicilian

    Steffen Pedersen, Easy Guide to the Sicilian Scheveningen

    Mikhail Golubev, Easy Guide to the Dragon

    Peter Wells & Viacheslav Osnos, The Complete Richter-Rauzer

    Roman Pelts & Lev Alburt, Comprehensive Chess Course, Volume 1

    Roman Pelts & Lev Alburt, Comprehensive Chess Course, Volume 2 (2nd ed.)

    Al Woolum, The Chess Tactics Workbook, Expanded 4th Edition

    John Cox, The Berlin Wall

    Mihail Marin, A Spanish Repertoire for Black

    Mihail Marin, Beating the Open Games

    Milos Pavlovic, The Cutting Edge: The Open Sicilian 1

    Milos Pavlovic, The Cutting Edge: Sicilian Najdorf 6.Be3

    Victor Mikhalevski, The Open Spanish

    Ivan Sokolov, The Ruy Lopez Revisited

    Steve Giddins, The French Winawer: Move by Move

    Evgeny Sveshnikov, French Defence Advance Variation (volumes 1 & 2)

    Evgeny Sveshnikov, The Complete c3 Sicilian

    Zhanibek Amanov & Kostya Kavutskiy, Modernized: The Open Sicilian: A Complete Repertoire for White

    Alexey Dreev, The Meran & Anti-Meran Variations

    Alexey Dreev, The Moscow & Anti-Moscow Variations

    Konstantin Sakaev, The Petroff: An Expert Repertoire for Black

    TN!! The Best Theoretical Novelties

    Ruslan Scherbakov, The Triangle System

    Boris Alterman, The Alterman Gambit Guide: White Gambits

    Boris Alterman, The Alterman Gambit Guide: Black Gambits 1

    Boris Alterman, The Alterman Gambit Guide: Black Gambits 2

    Danny Gormally, Play Chess Like the Pros

    Amatzia Avni, Creative Chess

    Simon Webb, Chess for Tigers, 2nd ed.

    Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam, The Day Kasparov Quit

    Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam, Finding Bobby Fischer

    Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam, Linares! Linares!

    Genna Sosonko, Smart Chip from St. Petersburg

    Genna Sosonko, Russian Silhouettes

    Jeroen Bosch & Steve Giddins, eds., The Chess Instructor 2009: The New in Chess Compendium for Chess Teachers, Coaches and Parents

    Colin Crouch, Modern Chess: Move by Move

    Kevin Goh Wei Ming, The Sicilian Najdorf 6.Bg5

    Mark Dvoretsky, Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual, 2nd ed.

    Dejan Antic & Branimir Maksimovic, The Modern French: A Complete Guide for Black

    Victor Bologan, Bologan’s Black Weapons

    Victor Bologan, Bologan’s Ruy Lopez for Black

    Bogdan Lalic, The Grunfeld for the Attacking Player

    Viktor Moskalenko, The Perfect Pirc-Modern

    Alex Fishbein, The Scotch Gambit

    Carsten Hansen, The Chameleon Variation

    Daniel Parmet & Jeremy Kane, Chicago Blaze: The Inside Story of Chicago’s First Professional Chess Team

    Sergei Tkachenko, Alekhine’s Odessa Secrets: Chess, War and Revolution

    Saturday
    Aug032019

    Open Thread

    This won't be an "ask me anything" thread, as I've never been interested in making this blog about me personally and am not about to start doing so now, as the doors are slowly creaking to a close. But I'm open to questions about all sorts of chess matters, and - with some trepidation - maybe we can take a careful step or two in the direction of philosophy and religion/Christianity as well. Politics, as usual, is a no-go. I have striven, however imperfectly, to make this a place where people can go to enjoy chess and their fellow chess players. Despite many solicitations, I have kept advertisers off the site, and in general have done my best to make sure that the only thing that will annoy my readers is me - not that that was ever my goal, of course. (Except maybe, a tiny bit, when pushing Notre Dame football.)

    So: if you have questions, whether for me or your fellow readers - or both - have at it. In the meantime, I'll start working on posting books for sale over the next few days.

    Saturday
    Aug032019

    Instructional Material

    Really, I'm going. But this looks good, so I thought I'd plug it. One book that I've recommended to friends and students since forever is Andy Soltis's Pawn Structure Chess, and the newer, most sophisticated book by Mauricio Flores Rios called Chess Structures: A Grandmaster Guide is another book I regularly recommend. IM Sam Collins' six-volume DVD set, linked to above, is on a big discount (less than 40 USD) and seems to me a work along the same lines as the books mentioned above. I just bought it myself and recommended it to several of my students, so there's not even a whiff of an ulterior motive. (For those of you who remember my ChessBase shows, that was nine years ago. I've had no professional relationship with the company since then.)

    Check it out, and see what you think. The reason I think the works linked to above are valuable is that pawn structures and the middlegame themes that arise in those structures recur, and they appear across different openings (and often with reversed colors). It's not enough to "know" your openings, in the sense of memorizing various sequences of moves that end with the desired chess punctuation mark; one has to know what to do when the middlegame rolls around. One very good but undervalued way of doing that is to look at tons of games that start at or near the place where your opening analysis ends, but another is to look at typical games based on the resultant structure. This is valuable even if the position isn't identical to anything in your prep. It might even be from a different opening, but it may not matter that much. Understanding common plans, maneuvers, pawn breaks, and typical endings will give you a big advantage against a player who only knows the same "official" theory that you know.

    Saturday
    Aug032019

    Now for Something More Important

    You'll never guess which college football team has the most unfair schedule for the 2019 season. (Okay, maybe you will.) Here's a hint:

    One last time!

    Saturday
    Aug032019

    In the Meantime...

    It's terribly tempting to write a catch-up post, while we're closing up shop, to give the results of recent events. I will do so, but only in the most minimal way. Four big events have finished since we stopped covering tournaments: Dortmund, the Riga Grand Prix, Biel, and the Paris GCT Rapid & Blitz. Here, in brief, is what happened:

    1. Dortmund was won by Leinier Dominguez, who scored 4.5/7. The winning margin was as slim as could be - he finished a mere half a point ahead of Ian Nepomniachtchi, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Richard Rapport and Teimour Radjabov. All but Nepo went undefeated ;he won three games (against the three tailenders) but lost to Dominguez (a 25-move massacre) and Rapport.

    2. The Grand Prix tournament in Riga had a weird format: a knockout event, but with extra points given to players who won their knockout in the classical (pre-rapid & blitz tiebreaks) stage. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov defeated Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the Armageddon game to win the final; in the previous three stages, MVL won all his mini-matches in the classical portion while Shakh needed a playoff to get by Jan-Krzysztof Duda in the quarterfinals.

    3. Biel was more of a mixed strength event, but its field of eight included two 2700s, and three players who either were 2700 or are or have been very close to it. In the end, the runaway winner was Santosh Gujrathi Vidit with 5.5/7, a point and a half ahead of Uzbeki prodigy Nodirbek Abdusattorov and two points ahead of Sam Shankland and Peter Leko. (Shankland is still just over 2700, while Jeffery Xiong, thanks in part to his fine performance in the concurrent Biel Master Open, is now the 6th U.S. player rated over 2700.

    4. Finally, the Grand Chess Tour Rapid and Blitz event in Paris featured more choking than a cinematic double-header on the Heimlich maneuver and tracheotomies, but despite a 1-4 finish and an overall blitz performance that cost him 102 rating points, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won when Alexander Grischuk and Ian Nepomniachtchi repeatedly found ways not to catch the collapsing MVL. Amazingly, Viswanathan Anand came out of nowhere on the last day to finish a hair's breadth short of Vachier-Lagrave, coming up half a point short but leapfrogging Grischuk and Nepo in the last round to take clear second. MVL has often come up just short in high-pressure situations against his fellow elites, but I wonder if surviving this event to finish first will help him get over the psychological hump. Sometimes a little luck at crucial moments in one's career can be what one needs to progress to the next level.

    For example, I don't remember Magnus Carlsen being an especially "clutch" player before the London Candidates. It's not that he was a choker, but I don't remember him being some sort of beast in high-pressure situations, either. And in that event, he nearly collapsed in the end, and was only bailed out by Vladimir Kramnik's overpressing against Vassily Ivanchuk, who played like a lunatic against everyone there but Kramnik (and Carlsen, in the antepenultimate round). But since then, Carlsen has been an unstoppable force when it matters - the only real collapse I can think of was at the end of the World Blitz Championship in Berlin a few years ago (the one where Ivanchuk beat him in one of the last rounds, jumping in his chair after making the winning move). Other than that, he has been a beast. Maybe having survived his ordeal, MVL will graduate as well.

    Next up: the Grand Chess Tour goes to St. Louis, first for a rapid & blitz event like the one that just finished in Paris, followed by the Sinquefield Cup with a classical time control. Carlsen will be in action there, and if he can continue the form he has shown thus far this year he should manage to break his official peak rating, his peak live rating, and get within sniffing distance of 2900.

    Wednesday
    Jul242019

    Book Sales: Hopefully Starting Next Week, Two Weeks at the Latest

    The plan is to post a list of books next week, and then to announce a day and time when the ordering will begin, so that everyone has as fair a chance as possible to order the books they want. Stay tuned!