Monday Recap: TCEC 13 Superfinal Underway, Svidler Catches Shankland, IOM Continues
Monday, October 22, 2018 at 10:42PM
Dennis Monokroussos in 2018 Isle of Man, Peter Svidler, Sam Shankland, TCEC Season 13

Time for a quick look at the landscape. First, the TCEC Season 13 Superfinal is underway. Stockfish beat Komodo in game 1, with White, and the game 2 rematch with Black will be drawn sooner or later, even if it takes the 50-move rule to put the game out of its misery. Only 98 games to go, after this one.

Sam Shankland won game 1 of his six-game match with Peter Svidler yesterday; today, Svidler returned the favor; both players won with White. Svidler had a small edge out of the opening, but Shankland's errors on move 20 and especially move 21 landed him in a lost position. A bit of carelessness by Svidler no move 30 gave Shankland a brief chance to survive, maybe, but his 31st-33rd moves put an end to Black's hopes.

At the Isle of Man, once again the very top players went undefeated, but - once again - didn't win all their games. (I believe that one and only one 2700 lost in round 3 - see below.) Now, after three rounds, only six players still have perfect scores. Here are the top pairings for round 4:

1. Jeffery Xiong (!) - Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (who had his birthday today; he's 28)

2. Wang Hao - Erwin L'ami

3. Arkadij Naiditsch - Pavel Tregubov

Lots of great players have 2.5, including Boris Gelfand and Levon Aronian, who are paired on board 4. Other stars with 2.5 points are Wesley So, Alexander Grischuk, and Sergey Karjakin. The lowest-rated player in that scoregroup is young superstar Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, who drew Peter Leko in round 2 and beat Pavel Eljanov (2703) in round 3. (He'll have Vidit in round 4.)

How tough is the tournament? Anish Giri, Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, and Hikaru Nakamura are all stuck on 2 points apiece.

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