Monday Summary: All Draws in China, Few Upsets in the Women's World Championship, Computer Chess Updates
Monday, November 5, 2018 at 12:39PM
Dennis Monokroussos in 2018 Shenzhen Masters, TCEC Season 13, Women's World Championship

The Shenzhen Masters (aka the 2nd DT Cup) is super-strong, but, so far, not super-interesting. All six games in this six player double round-robin have been drawn, and no one has even come close to enjoying a decisive advantage. There is one game I would point you to, however, and that's the round 2 contest between Ding Liren and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. MVL did a nice job of defending rook and three pawns vs. rook and four pawns, and did so all the way to the end with rook and one pawn vs. rook and two. Normally this wouldn't even be worth mentioning, but you may remember that during the Olympiad there were players who really should have known and done better losing similar endings. Normally GMs show the requisite technique, and annotators everywhere pass over the game, or that stage of the game, with minimal commentary (if any). The olympic failures (pun intended) remind us that the technical task isn't trivial, so it's worth paying attention when someone demonstrates the right way to do the job, as MVL did.

The first round of the FIDE Women's (knockout) World Championship ended today, and as one would expect from the first round of a knockout most of the favorites advanced. There were three reasonably significant upsets, though: Mo Zhai of China overcome a rating difference of 129 points to defeat Russian star Olga Girya 2-0, Jiner Zhu (also of China) beat Georgian Lela Javakhishvili 2-0 despite the latter's 98-point rating advantage,  and the biggest upset was Iranian Mobina Alinasab overcoming a 259 rating point deficit to defeat Elisabeth Paehtz 1.5-.5.

Both matches featuring U.S. players went to tiebreaks, and both tiebreaks were decided 2-0 in favor of the higher-rated player. American Irina Krush thus prevailed 3-1 over the slightly lower-rated Ukranian player Inna Gaponenko, and her reward is a pairing with defending champion and top seed Ju Wenjun (of China, of course). The other American, Sabina Foisor, lost her tiebreak playoff to former women's world champ Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria.

TCEC: The Top Chess Engines Competition is near the end of its 13th season, and Stockfish is close to clinching. After 86 of 100 games it leads Komodo 46.5-39.5, leading 12-5 in decisive games. (Both engines won all but one game with the white pieces.)'s Computer (blitz) Championship: Stage 2 is a bit past the halfway point, and Stockfish leads with 70.5/94. Houdini is in second with 68/94, Komodo is in third with 57.5/94, and Lc0 has 56/94. As the top 4 engines progress to the final and the fifth-place engine is already 9.5 points behind Lc0, it's a pretty safe bet that the top four will be in the final four.

Article originally appeared on The Chess Mind (
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