Coming Soon: Longgang, Sharjah, and St. Louis
Monday, March 20, 2017 at 4:00PM
Dennis Monokroussos in 2017 U..S. Championshp

After a relative dearth of top chess events, there will be three tournaments featuring elite players starting within a week.

The first is a round-robin event in Shen Zhen, China, the Longgang Chess Grandmaster tournament. It is a double round-robin with six players all rated well over 2700: Anish Giri (2771.3), Michael Adams (2762.6), Ding Liren (2759), Pentala Harikrishna (2755.1), Yu Yangyi (2749.6), and Peter Svidler (2746.8). The tournament "starts" on Wednesday, but it's possible that the opening ceremony will take place then and play will open the following day.

Next is an open event, the Sharjah Open in the United Arab Emirates. It may not be as prestigious as the other two events mentioned here, but will five 2700+ players it will be worth at least the occasional sidelong glance. The big guns here are Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2772), Radoslaw Wojtaszek (2738), Yuriy Kryvoruchko (2707.9), Maxim Matlakov (2707.4), and Arkadij Naiditsch, who is officially 2702 but 2697.2 on the live rating list. According to the website, the event begins tomorrow - but again, this may only refer to an opening ceremony rather than the start of play.

Last but not least, an event with only three players over 2700, but two of them are over 2800 and the other is close to 2800 and has surpassed that spectacular figure for much of the past two and a half years. I'm referring to the U.S. Championship, where world #2 Wesley So (2822) will try to take the title from defending champ Fabiano Caruana (world #3 at 2817), Hikaru Nakamura (#6 in the world, 2793), and nine other strong and hungry contenders.

Predictions on the latter event? Until So stops winning event after event, I see no reason to abandon him as the favorite.

[Note: The post has been changed to correct my erroneous statement that So rather than Caruana is the defending U.S. champion.]

Article originally appeared on The Chess Mind (
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