Links

This form does not yet contain any fields.
    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 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 2019 Norway Chess 22014 Sinquefield Cup 22014 U.S. Championship 22016 Chess Olympiad 2Mind Games 2016 2Wijk aan Zee 2017 60 Minutes A. Muzychuk A. Sokolov aattacking chess Abby Marshall Abhijeet Gupta Accelerated Dragon ACP Golden Classic Adams Aeroflot 2010 Aeroflot 2011 Aeroflot 2012 Aeroflot 2013 Aeroflot 2015 Aeroflot 2016 Aeroflot 2017 AGON Agrest Akiba Rubinstein Akiva Rubinstein Akobian Akshat Chandra Alejandro Ramirez Alekhine Alekhine Defense Aleksander Lenderman Alekseev Alena Kats Alex Markgraf Alexander Alekhine Alexander Beliavsky Alexander Grischuk Alexander Ipatov Alexander Khalifman Alexander Moiseenko Alexander Morozevich Alexander Onischuk Alexander Panchenko Alexander Stripunsky Alexander Tolush Alexandra Kosteniuk Alexei Dreev Alexei Shirov Alexey Bezgodov Almasi AlphaZero Alvin Plantinga Amber 2010 Amber 2011 American Chess Magazine Amos Burn Anand Anand-Carlsen 2013 Anand-Gelfand 2012 Anand-Gelfand World Championship Match Anand-Topalov 2010 Anastasia Bodnaruk Anatoly Karpov Anders Ericsson Andrei Volokitin Andrew Martin Andrew Paulson Android apps Anish Giri Anna Muzychuk Anna Ushenina Anna Zatonskih Anti-Marshall Lines Anti-Moscow Gambit Anti-Sicilians Antoaneta Stefanova Anton Korobov Anton Kovalyov apps April Fool's Jokes Archangelsk Variation Arkadij Naiditsch Arkady Dvorkovich Arne Moll Aron Nimzowitsch Aronian Aronian-Kramnik 2012 Arthur Bisguier Arthur van de Oudeweetering Artur Yusupov Arturo Pomar Ashland University football Astrakhan Grand Prix 2010 attack attacking chess Austrian Attack Averbakh Awonder Liang Baadur Jobava Bacrot Baku Grand Prix 2014 Baltic Defense Bangkok Chess Club Open Baskaran Adhiban Bazna 2011 Becerra beginner's books Beliavsky Ben Feingold Benko Gambit Bent Larsen Berlin Defense Biel 2012 Biel 2014 Biel 2015 Biel 2017 Bilbao 2010 Bilbao 2012 Bilbao 2013 Bilbao 2015 Bilbao 2016 Bilbao Chess 2014 bishop endings Bishop vs. Knight Blackburne Blaise Pascal blindfold chess blitz blitz chess Blumenfeld Gambit blunders Bob Hope Bobby Fischer Bogo-Indian Bohatirchuk Bologan Book Reviews books Boris Gelfand Boris Spassky Borislav Ivanov Borki Predojevic Boruchovsky Botvinnik Botvinnik Memorial Branimiir Maksimovic Breyer Variation brilliancy British Championship British Chess Magazine Bronstein Bronznik Brooklyn Castle Browne Brunello Bu Xiangzhi Budapest Bundesliga California Chess Reporter Camilla Baginskaite Campomanes Candidates 2011 Candidates 2011 Candidates 2012 Candidates 2013 Candidates 2014 Capablanca Carlsen Caro-Kann cartoons Caruana Catalan Cebalo Charles Krauthammer Charlie Rose cheating Cheparinov chess and drugs chess and education chess and marketing chess books chess cartoons chess documentaries chess engines chess history chess in fiction chess in film chess in schools Chess Informant chess lessons chess openings chess politics chess psychology chess ratings chess strategy chess variants Chess24 Chess960 ChessBase DVDs ChessBase Shows ChessLecture Presentations ChessLecture Videos ChessLecture.com ChessUSA ChessUSA blog ChessVibes ChessVideos Presentations Chigorin Variation Chinese Chess Championship Chithambaram Aravindh Christian faith Christiansen Christmas Colin Crouch Colle combinations Commentary computer chess computers correspondence chess Corsica Cristobal Henriquez Villagra Cyrus Lakdawala Danailov Daniel Parmet Daniil Dubov Danny Kopec Danzhou Danzhou 2016 Danzhou 2017 Dave MacEnulty Dave Vigorito David Bronstein David Howell David MacEnulty David Navara Davies Deep Blue Deeper Blue defense Dejan Antic Delchev Denis Khismatullin Ding Liren Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam Dmitry Andreikin Dmitry Gurevich Dmitry Jakovenko Dominic Lawson Donald Trump Dortmund 2010 Dortmund 2011 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2013 Dortmund 2014 Dortmund 2015 Dortmund 2016 Dortmund 2017 Doug Hyatt Dragoljub Velimirovic draws dreams Dreev Dunning-Kruger Effect Dutch Defense DVD Reviews DVDs Dvoirys Dvoretsky Easter Edouard Efimenko Efstratios Grivas Eltaj Safarli Emanuel Lasker Emory Tate en passant endgame studies endgames Endgames English Opening Ernesto Inarkiev Erwin L'Ami Esserman Etienne Bacrot European Championship 2015 European Club Cup 2012 European Club Cup 2014 European Individual Championship 2012 Evgeni Vasiukov Evgeny Bareev Evgeny Najer Evgeny Sveshnikov Evgeny Tomashevsky Exchange Ruy expertise Fabiano Caruana Falko Bindrich farce FIDE FIDE Grand Prix FIDE politics FIDE Presidential Election FIDE ratings Fier fighting for the initiative Finegold Fischer Fischer-Spassky 1972 football Francisco Vallejo Pons Fred Reinfeld French Defense Fritz 15 Ftacnik Gadir Guseinov Gajewski Gaprindashvili Garry Kasparov Gashimov Gashimov Memorial 2017 Gata Kamsky Gawain Jones Gelfand Gelfand-Svidler Rapid Match Geller Geneva Masters Genna Sosonko Georg Meier Georgios Makropolous GGarry Kasparov Gibraltar 2011 Gibraltar 2012 Gibraltar 2013 Gibraltar 2014 Gibraltar 2015 Gibraltar 2016 Gibraltar 2017 Giorgios Makropoulos Giri Go Grand Chess Tour Grand Chess Tour 2017 Grand Chess Tour Paris 2017 Grand Prix 2014-2015 Grand Prix Attack Greek Gift sacrifice Grenke Chess Classic 2013 Grenke Chess Classic 2015 Grenke Chess Classic 2017 Grinfeld Grischuk Grob Gruenfeld Defense Grünfeld Defense Gulko Gunina Guseinov Gustafsson Gyula Sax Hannes Langrock Hans Berliner Hans Ree Harika Dronavalli Hastings Hawaii International Festival Haworth Hedgehog helpmates Hennig-Schara Gambit Henrique Mecking HHou Yifan highway robbery Hikaru Nakamura Hilton Hjorvar Gretarsson Hort Horwitz Bishops Hou Yifan Houdini Houdini 1.5a Howard Staunton humor Humpy Koneru Ian Nepomniachtchi Icelandic Gambit Ignatius Leong Igor Kovalenko Igor Kurnosov Igor Lysyj Iljumzhinov Ilya Makoveev Ilya Nyzhnyk Imre Hera Informant Informant 113 Informant 114 Informant 115 Informant 116 Informant 117 Informant 118 Informant 119 Informant 120 Informant 121 Informant 122 Informant 124 Informant 125 Informant 126 Informant 127 Informant 128 Informant 129 Informant 130 Informant 131 Informant 132 Informant 133 Informant 134 Informant 135 insanity Inside Chess Magazine Ippolito IQP Irina Krush Irving Chernev Ivan Bukavshin Ivan Sokolov Ivanchuk J. Polgar Jacek Oskulski Jacob Aagaard Jaenisch Jaideep Unudurti Jakovenko James Tarjan Jan Gustafsson Jan Timman Jan-Krzysztof Duda Jay Whitehead Jeffery Xiong Jeremy Silman Jim Slater Jimmy Quon Joe Benjamin Joel Benjamin John Burke John Cole John Grefe John Watson Jon Lenchner Jon Ludwig Hammer Jonathan Hawkins Jonathan Speelman Joop van Oosterom Jose Diaz Jose Raul Capablanca Ju Wenjun Judit Polgar Julio Granda Zuniga junk openings Kaidanov Kalashnikov Sicilian Kamsky Karen Sumbatyan Karjakin Karpov Karsten Mueller Kasimdzhanov Kasparov Kateryna Lagno Kavalek Keanu Reeves Ken Regan Keres KGB Khalifman Khanty-Mansiysk Grand Prix Kim Commons king and pawn endings King's Gambit King's Indian King's Tournament 2010 Kings Tournament 2012 Kirsan Ilyumzhinov KKing's Gambit KKing's Indian Klovans Komodo Komodo 11 Komodo 12 Korchnoi Kramnik Kunin Lajos Portisch Larry Evans Larry Kaufman Larry Parr Lasker Lasker-Pelikan Latvian Gambit Laurent Fressinet Laznicka Lc0 Le Quang Liem LeBron James Leinier Dominguez Leko Leon 2017 Leonid Kritz lessons Leuven Rapid & Blitz Leuven Rapid & Blitz 2017 Lev Psakhis Levon Aronian Lilienthal Linares 2010 Linder Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu Loek van Wely Lombardy London 2009 London 2010 London 2011 London Grand Prix London System Lothar Schmid Luke McShane Macieja Magnus Carlsen Main Line Ruy Malakhov Malcolm Pein Mamedyarov Marc Arnold Marc Lang Marin Mariya Muzychuk Mark Crowther Mark Dvoretsky Mark Glickman Mark Taimanov Markus Ragger Marshall Marshall Gambit Masters of the Chessboard Mateusz Bartel Matthew Sadler Maurice Ashley Max Euwe Maxim Matlakov Maxim Rodshtein Maxime Vachier-Lagrave McShane Mega 2012 mental malfunction Mesgen Amanov Michael Adams Miguel Najdorf Mikhail Antipov Mikhail Botvinnik Mikhail Golubev Mikhail Osipov Mikhail Tal Mikhail Zinar Mikhalchishin Miles Mind Games 2016 Minev miniatures Miso Cebalo MModern Benoni Modern Modern Benoni Moiseenko Morozevich Morphy Movsesian Müller music Nadareishvili Naiditsch Najdorf Sicilian Nakamura Nanjing 2010 Natalia Pogonina Navara NDame football Negi Neo-Archangelsk Nepomniachtchi New In Chess Yearbook 104 New York Times NH Tournament 2010 Nigel Short Nihal Sarin Nikita Vitiugov Nikolai Rezvov Nimzo-Indian Nino Khurtsidze NNotre Dame football Nodirbek Abdusattarov Nona Gaprindashvili Norway Chess 2013 Norway Chess 2014 Norway Chess 2015 Norway Chess 2016 Norway Chess 2017 Notre Dame basketball Notre Dame football Notre Dame Football Notre Dame hockey Nov. 2009 News Nyback Nyzhnyk Oleg Pervakov Oleg Skvortsov Olympics 2010 Open Ruy opening advice opening novelties Openings openings Or Cohen P.H. Nielsen Pal Benko Palma Grand Prix 2017 Parham Maghsoodloo Parimarjan Negi Paris Grand Prix Paris Rapid & Blitz passed pawns Paul Keres Paul Morphy Paul Rudd Pavel Eljanov pawn endings pawn play Pawn Sacrifice pawn structures Pentala Harikrishna Pesotskyi Peter Heine Nielsen Peter Leko Peter Svidler Petroff Philadelphia Open Philidor's Defense philosophy Phiona Mutesi Pirc Piterenka Rapid/Blitz Polgar Polgar sisters Polugaevsky Ponomariov Ponziani Potkin poultry Powerbook 2011 Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu Prague Chess Train problems progressive chess prophylaxis Qatar Masters 2015 QGD Tartakower QQueen's Gambit Accepted queen sacrifices Queen's Gambit Accepted Queen's Gambit Declined Queen's Indian Defense Rabat blitz 2015 Radjabov Radoslaw Wojtaszek Ragger rapid chess Rapport Rashid Nezhmetdinov rating inflation ratings Ray Robson Raymond Smullyan Regan Reggio Emilia 2010 Reggio Emilia 2011 Reshevsky Reti Reuben Fine Rex Sinquefield Reykjavik Open 2012 Reykjavik Open 2017 Richard Rapport Richard Reti Robert Byrne robot chess Robson Roman Ovetchkin rook endings RReggio Emilia 2011 rrook endings RRuy Lopez RRuy Lopez sidelines Rubinstein Rubinstein French Rudolf Loman Rudolf Spielmann rules Ruslan Ponomariov Russian Team Championship Rustam Kasimdzhanov Ruy Lopez Ruy Lopez sidelines Rybka Rybka 4 S. Kasparov sacrifices Sadler Saemisch Sakaev Sam Collins Sam Sevian Sam Shankland Samuel Reshevsky Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2011 Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2012 satire Savchenko Savielly Tartakower Schliemann Scotch Four Knights Searching for Bobby Fischer Seirawan self-destruction Sergei Tiiviakov Sergei Tkachenko Sergey Erenburg Sergey Fedorchuk Sergey Karjakin Sergey Kasparov Sergey Shipov Sevan Muradian Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Shamkir 2015 Shamkir 2016 Shamkir 2017 Shankland Sharjah Grand Prix 2017 Shenzhen 2017 Shipov Shirov Short Shreyas Royal Sicilian Sinquefield Cup sitzfleisch Slav Smith-Morra Gambit Smyslov So-Navara Spassky spectacular moves Speelman sportsmanship Spraggett St. Louis Chess Club St. Louis Invitational St. Louis Rapid and Blitz 2017 stalemate Staunton Stephen Hawking Stockfish Stockfish 4 Stonewall Dutch Suat Atalik Super Bowl XLIV Susan Polgar Sutovsky Sveshnikov Sveshnikov Sicilian Svetozar Gligoric Svidler Svidler-Shankland match sweeper sealer twist Swiercz tactics Tactics Taimanov Tal Tal Memorial 2009 Tal Memorial 2010 Tal Memorial 2011 Tal Memorial 2012 Tal Memorial 2012 Tarjan Tarrasch Tarrasch Defense Tashkent Tashkent Grand Prix Tbilisi Grand Prix 2015 TCEC TCEC Season 10 TCEC Season 11 TCEC Season 12 TCEC Season 13 TCEC Season 8 TCEC Season 9 TED talks Teimour Radjabov Terekhin The Chess Players (book) The Simpsons The Week in Chess Thessaloniki Grand Prix Three knights Tibor Karolyi Tigran Petrosian Tim Krabbé time controls time trouble Timman Timur Gareev Tomashevsky Tony Miles Topalov traps Tromso Olympics 2014 TWIC types of chess players Ufuk Tuncer Ultimate Blitz Challenge underpromotion Unive 2012 University of Notre Dame upsets US Championship 2010 US Championship 2011 US Chess League USCF ratings USCL V. Onischuk Vachier-Lagrave Valentina Gunina Vallejo value of chess van der Heijden Van Perlo van Wely Varuzhan Akobian Vasik Rajlich Vasily Smyslov Vassily Ivanchuk Vassily Smyslov Velimirovic Attack Vera Menchik Veresov Veselin Topalov video videos Vidit Gujrathi Vienna 1922 Viktor Bologan Viktor Korchnoi Viktor Moskalenko Vincent Keymer Viswanathan Anand Vitaly Tseshkovsky Vitiugov Vladimir Fedoseev Vladimir Kramnik Vladimir Tukmakov Vladislav Artemiev Vladislav Tkachiev Vlastimil Hort Vlastimil Jansa Vugar Gashimov Vugar Gashimov Memorial Walter Browne Wang Hao Wang Yue Watson Wei Yi Welcome Wesley Brandhorst Wesley So Wijk aan Zee 1999 Wijk aan Zee 2010 Wijk aan Zee 2011 Wijk aan Zee 2012 Wijk aan Zee 2013 Wijk aan Zee 2014 Wijk aan Zee 2015 Wijk aan Zee 2016 Wijk aan Zee 2017 Wil E. 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 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
    Monday
    Dec032018

    Speed Chess Championship: The Grand Finale

    I remembered that it was scheduled for after the Carlsen-Caruana match, but didn't remember that it was so soon afterward. The (Chess.com) 2018 Speed Chess Championship took place November 30 through December 2, and it was won by...well, I won't tell you here - if you want spoilers, check out the comments section. What I'll do here is provide some links:

    Semifinal 1: Wesley So vs. Jan-Krzysztof Duda: Video here.

    Semifinal 2: Hikaru Nakamura vs. Levon Aronian: Video here.

    Final Match: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

    Sunday
    Dec022018

    Regan & Lipton on "A Tiebreak Win and the Problem of Draws"

    IM Ken Regan and his blog partner R.J. Lipton weigh in on the Carlsen-Caruana match and draw [yuk, yuk] their own conclusions. The ideas discussed there are interesting, but they surrender a pure classical world championship while not going over to an explicit all-around world championship, an option mooted in my previous post. But they are offering solutions to a different issue than I raised in the previous post, though there is some overlap. Their focus is on the problem of (too many) draws; mine is on dealing with drawn matches that purport to determine the world champion at classical chess.

    Hopefully we'll have everything fixed soon, and FIDE will follow our suggestions to the letter. Sounds good and likely, right? Right?

    Friday
    Nov302018

    Should the World Championship Be Changed?

    There are many ways in which the world championship can be changed, and in fact has already been changed over the past 132 years since the first official championship in 1886. Most of the time it has been contested in a match, but the rules have varied greatly. For starters, some have been first to n wins, and some have been best-of-n games, and n has varied in each case. I think, but might be mistaken, that the two subtypes have been combined before: first to n wins, but with a cap on the total number of games. (Which was the case in the Candidates final between Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi in 1974 that wound up as the de facto world championship match, but I think it happened in at least one official match as well.)

    There's also the question of tied matches. Many world championship matches have finished their official course in a tie, with some ending there leaving the champion as champion, while others have gone on to a playoff. And there too there have been differences. The 1892 match between Wilhelm Steinitz and Mikhail Chigorin continued with classical games played at the same time control (though its rules were different enough that the parallel is imperfect), but recent playoffs have gone to rapid games, and had they been tied would have continued with blitz. This may be an improvement on giving the champion draw odds (indeed, this is a big plus in my opinion), but it does raise a question: does the winner of such a match deserve the title of classical world champion? If not, what exactly is the nature of the winner's championship title?

    Another format is a round-robin event; this was used in 1948 after Alexander Alekhine's death in 1946 left the champion's title vacant, and then again in 2007 as part of the reunification process bringing the Garry Kasparov-Vladimir Kramnik legacy portion of the title back under the auspices of FIDE. Still another format is the knockout tournament, used five times by FIDE during the divided era to determine a champion. Those too would mix time controls, and indeed the first final in that format required a rapid playoff between Anatoly Karpov and Viswanathan Anand to determine a champion. (Karpov won that playoff 2-0.)

    Many questions and proposals can come to mind, but I want to focus on two. First, what does it mean to say that someone is the world champion? Second, how can one arrange for this particular championship title to be fairly and appropriately contested? Let's consider each in turn.

    What does it mean, or should it mean, to be the world champion? Does it mean that the person is the strongest player in all forms of chess? If so, why is there a world correspondence championship, a world rapid championship, and a world blitz championship? No doubt a world bullet championship would find lots of interested parties as well. There's little doubt that Magnus Carlsen would be great at all of these other disciplines (and that he is is already well-known in the case of rapid and blitz, where he has won world championships, and in bullet too he has proven to be a beast in online competitions), but those titles are kept distinct anyway. "The" world championship really seems to be the classical world championship. This is fine--but then why is it being settled with rapid games?

    So to turn to the second question, I'll propose a series of ways this situation can be resolved, noting difficulties with each. (That there are difficulties doesn't mean that any option is fatally flawed, only that it has its own distinctive problems.)

    1. Co-Champions!

    There are competitions that allow for this; why not the world championship? If the match comes to its natural terminus without a winner, then instead of arbitrarily allowing the champion to keep the title or switching to a non-classical time control, declare both players champion.

    Problems: It's unlikely to be a fan favorite - we tend to want winners and losers. For many chess players, draws are a bane even when they are rare, hard-fought, exciting, well-played and full of content. Calling the world championship match a draw will be even worse in their eyes. Nor will the outside media think much of it, and so it's bad for publicizing the game. Another difficulty is that it's ahistorical: we haven't done things this way in the past. We like having the totemic figure of a single world chess champion ruling over the chess world. Still another problem, even more serious than the foregoing: what happens in the next cycle? Will there be a three player match-tournament, and if they finish in a tie a four-way event, a five-way event, and so on ad infinitum? Or will the co-champions get thrown back into the pool?

    About this latter idea: while the suggestion of co-champs is unlikely to find many if any takers (well, maybe Mikhail Chigorin, Karl Schlechter, David Bronstein, Vasily Smyslov, Anatoly Karpov, Peter Leko, Boris Gelfand, Sergey Karjakin, and Fabiano Caruana would like it, if retroactively applied), the reductio ad absurdum of bigger and bigger world championship match-tournaments could be mitigated if the title is no longer determined by head-to-head matches but round-robins, knockout events, or even a sort of grand prix system. More on that later.

    2. The Champion Keeps The Title

    This is entirely arbitrary and has nothing to do with chess skill. It may reflect nothing more than the greater age of the incumbent champion. Suppose players X and Y follow the exact same trajectory in their careers, but player X is older and thus peaked first. Upon reaching the age of X's peak, Y hits that same peak, and both players remain alone on that plateau for years to come. How would it make any sense for X to be the world champion that whole time despite never being stronger than Y, and never defeating Y? There is no chess-based justice to incumbency for its own sake. While the co-championship idea is the least practical solution, this one seems the most morally problematic. (Incidentally, I put my money where my mouth is on this one. I won a king-of-the-hill competition, toppling an incumbent who had draw odds in our match, and immediately renounced that privilege for any future title defenses as well as one other built-in advantage held by the reigning champion. The prestige of the champion's title, and the fact that there's no need to qualify for the next championship event, are enough. The aim shouldn't be to turn a championship title into a tenure track position.)

    3. Unlimited Matches!

    This may have been a good idea a long time ago, when top players were weaker than they are today and, more to the point, knew an awful lot less. Nowadays we might all die of old age before such a match finished, if the players don't die of exhaustion first. There are also logistical problems with venues - do organizers want to commit to a venue for six months? That's how long the first, unfinished match between Karpov and Kasparov went before it was abandoned, replaced by a 24-game rematch.

    4. Best-of-X Games, Followed by Two-Game Mini-Matches

    Carlsen and Caruana are tied after 12 games? No problem: they play two more classical games. Still tied? Two more games, and so on. This is a version of the previous solution, but a much more practicable one. The earth may be swallowed by the sun before one of them managed to win six games, but the first to win one? That's doable. There could still be a logistics issue, but it's a lot easier to see this approach resulting in a winner in a manageable time frame. It's not guaranteed, but it's reasonable. By the way, I think this was the policy in the world championship match between Steinitz and Chigorin back in 1892, so it wouldn't even be a novelty.

    5. Other Classical Formats.

    I'll mention three options here. First, a tournament (like Mexico City in 2007); second, a knockout event (like the ones FIDE used during the split era, and which live on as the World Cup); finally, a Grand Prix system (a series of classical tournaments followed by a final with fewer players, whether just two or a greater number).

    5a. Regarding the first, the strength is that more players are involved, and the world champion's advantages as the incumbent are greatly reduced. It's nice for the fans, too, as there are likely to be more exciting games than in a one-on-one match, and more openings will be tested. A drawback is that this becomes just one more tournament. We've already got the Grand Chess Tour and other round-robins for the super-elite; this would only be one more event of a very familiar kind. It also undermines the glamour of the world championship title, for what that's worth to us as chess fans and to the outside world when it comes to attracting interest from the mass media.

    5b. Regarding the second, this really makes for an exciting and dramatic event. There will be tons of games, so until the very end chess fans will have loads of games to look at and loads of interesting openings to examine. But it also devalues the title by turning the event into a semi-random crap shoot. The event is almost certain to be won by an elite player, but it's also almost certain to see many elite players flame out very early on. (Remember Carlsen's early exit from the last World Cup, in round 3, at the hands of Bu Xiangzhi.)

    5c. The third system would be new - or at least new to chess - as a way to determine the champion. This method has the virtues of 5a and 5b while avoiding their vices. A fair number of players will be involved up until the final event, which makes for more games and more spectator interest, and because the Grand Prix system involves multiple preliminary tournaments before the final it avoids the randomness of the World Cup-style event. And because it ends in a small final - four players, or maybe just two - the final maintains at least something of its traditional gravitas. (If it is a final four, is it all-play-all or a knockout to reach the final two?) There are still some questions: will the final be long enough? And what if it finishes in a tie? There's something to be said for this method, but it may not be a full answer in itself when it comes to the problem that motivated this post.

    6. A Broader Format: The All-Around World Championship.

    That label is not quite correct, as correspondence and (perhaps?) bullet won't be included, but as the people behind the Grand Chess Tour have introduced a universal rating system that incorporates one's classical, rapid, and blitz results in some weighted fashion, perhaps it's time to conduct a world championship that explicitly and intentionally turns the event into a kind of triathlon. All sorts of options are available for choosing the number of games and how to weight them, but I'll offer the following to get ball rolling.

    Classical games: 12 (as now), with a 4x weight. (In other words, they are scored on a 4-2-0 system.)

    Rapid games: 12, with a 2x weight (i.e. a 2-1-0 system).

    Blitz games: 24, weighted normally (i.e. on the traditional 1-½-0 system).

    To sum up: the blitz games are each worth half of what rapid games are worth, but because there are twice as many that segment counts for as much as the rapid segment, and the blitz and rapid segments together are worth as much as the classical portion: 48 points are up for grabs in each.

    The strengths of this system are that it takes all three time controls into account, and since rapid and blitz events are common these days, no longer limited to training games and mere recreation, skill at each will be rewarded and considered part of what it is to be a total player. It will be more exciting for the fans and the general media, at least once the faster games are underway. It also reduces the pressure for any one particular game while creating a greater sense of urgency for the player who is comparatively weak at one of the disciplines.

    There are drawbacks, but most are easily managed. For instance, one might complain that my version will take too long: the 2½-3 weeks for the classical games, and then another week or so for the rapid, and then a couple more days for the blitz - not counting rest days. Fair enough; the event could be shortened a little, or we might just say that it's a world championship and you're playing for a million dollar prize fund. Tough it out!

    Another objection: All these proposals, including this radical one, have been offered because the specter of a tied match is such a terror. Well, this format could also result in a tie, though it's admittedly rather unlikely. But since it is possible, how is this a good solution? In reply I would first emphasize the unlikeliness of a tied finish, especially compared to what we have at present. Still, the tie is possible, so what then? Here I think an Armageddon game would make sense--but I'm not sure what time control would be best for it. I'm inclined to think that something like the "bid Armageddon" game used in some U.S. Championships a few years back could work nicely. Those were rapid games, and since that's the intermediate time control it seems fairer than a blitz Armageddon battle. The way the bid version works is that both players say how much - or rather, how little - time they're willing to take with Black, together with draw odds, against White's full hour (or whatever amount is decided upon). The low bidder then gets Black, draw odds, and exactly the amount of time on the bid.

    Still another objection: This is too radical. The current system also gives some, limited weight to one's rapid and blitz abilities, but the proposal here weights it far more heavily. Indeed, even if, say, Caruana had won the classical portion of the match by a game or two, it's very possible, given the disparity in their rapid ratings and especially their blitz ratings that Carlsen would have come back in the second and third parts of the match and still managed to win going away. I'm ambivalent about this criticism. On the one hand, I'm sympathetic to it; on the other, I'm inclined to think that if Carlsen (or someone else someday) is so much better than his peers in shorter time control games then that's just how it is. His challengers will have to step up their game. Still, one can argue about how much weight should be given to each time control; my suggestion above was meant only to get the ball rolling.

    Let's bring this long post to an end. I trust you'll have some feedback on all of this, and will have thought of (or know of) some alternative systems of your own that might be even as good or even better. There may well be other games, sports, and other game theory scenarios that face similar problems, and better solutions are already known but haven't been implemented or even considered for chess. So have at it, especially you mathematician types out there!

    Tl;dr version: If the world championship match is really the classical world championship match, it shouldn't be settled by rapid and blitz games. But it should be settled in some way. I proposed a wide variety of options, and the three I found most interesting and palatable were these: (1) A Conservative Approach: Two-game classical mini-matches after the tie until there's a winner; (2) A Grand Prix Format with preliminary tournaments followed by a final four and/or a final two (possibly needing to incorporate (1) in case of a tie); (3) change the world championship to an all-around world championship with classical, rapid, and blitz segments, with a rapid bid-Armageddon game in the very unlikely event that a playoff is needed.

    Wednesday
    Nov282018

    World Championship, Rapid Tiebreaks: Carlsen Wins 3-0 to Retain His Title

    First it was seemingly impossible for anyone to win a game, and then it was almost impossible for anyone not to. Or rather, for Magnus Carlsen not to. After 12 consecutive draws to open the match, Carlsen blanked Fabiano Caruana 3-0 in the playoff to retain his championship title for at least another two years.

    In the first game, the evaluation see-sawed between a serious advantage for Carlsen and equality (but not a safe equality) for Caruana until a final error in a rook and pawn ending cost the American the game.

    Game 2 was another Sveshnikov Sicilian, continuing the debate from game 12, and again it was Carlsen who felt more at home in the complicated position than Caruana. Caruana's 21.c5 was rash, but he still would have been in the game had he played 26.Bd4. Instead, he played 26.c7 and resigned just two moves later, about to lose tons of material.

    Caruana did his best to make a fight out of it in game 3. He managed to keep the tension and achieve a playable position, while Carlsen did his job and kept things under control. A draw was the logical result, but the need for Caruana to avoid the draw at all practically all costs led him to make too many concessions, and Carlsen made it three for three in the tiebreaks. (The games, with my abbreviated commentary, are here.)

    Carlsen remains the champ, and Caruana will be automatically seeded into the next Candidates, when he can try again. In the last three cycles he has gone one step further than the one before, so maybe next time he will follow in the footsteps of Vassily Smyslov, Boris Spassky, Garry Kasparov, and Viswanathan Anand by bouncing back from a loss (or a non-win) in his first world championship match to a success the next time around. We'll see, but for now, congratulations to Magnus Carlsen!

    Tuesday
    Nov272018

    This Week's Free Chess Lecture Video: Remember When Carlsen Won Games

    This is tongue in cheek, naturally. Though Magnus Carlsen is on a 17-game winless streak, he wouldn't have any trouble winning games against the likes of someone like me. That "battle" is unlikely to occur any time soon though, so if you want to have a "Carlsen wins!" fix, you can take a look at my video of a fascinating game he played when he was 13 against GM Leonid Yurtaev. The video will be available on demand for the next two weeks, for free, to ChessLecture.com members. (You can create a free membership if you don't already have one.)

    Monday
    Nov262018

    World Championship, Game 12: On to Tiebreaks **UPDATED**

    Today's game was very strange, and a close shave for Fabiano Caruana. Caruana had the white pieces and allowed the Sveshnikov again, and Magnus Carlsen was the first to deviate. The first deviation was 8...Ne7 instead of 8...Nb8 as played in games 8 and 10, and then 12...h5 was a novelty of sorts.

    But only of sorts: the move was known as a general idea, when Black had played 11...Qb8 rather than 11...Bf5, and it had also been played in a TCEC game this year between Houdini and Stockfish. Caruana was nevertheless unprepared for this, and already started burning time on the clock. He had an opportunity to kill the game by making a draw by repetition, and he repeated once before continuing.

    This was a brave decision, but it could have been a very costly one. He was behind on the clock (and fell further and further back as the game progressed into the middlegame), underprepared, and was progressively outplayed. But then Carlsen started playing badly, perhaps in part because he never slowed down as his advantage grew. Caruana would have been in big trouble - very possibly just losing - after 25...b5 or 25...exf4 26.Bxf4 b5, and later (though perhaps slightly less severely) in case of 29...Ba4 30.Rcc1 b5.

    And then on move 31, with a position that was still better and still contained some promise, Carlsen offered a draw. I wasn't watching the live stream, but it's possible that Caruana dislocated his shoulder by reaching out too quickly to offer a handshake. There was no risk to speak of, not to mention a hefty lead on the clock and at least mild time trouble for Caruana. Carlsen's "favorite historical player" - himself several years ago - wouldn't have let Caruana off the hook like this, but would have kept trying.

    He didn't, and so after a final rest day the match will be settled, one way or another, and even if every single game finishes in a draw, on Wednesday. The procedure, as you might recall from the Kramnik-Topalov, Anand-Gelfand, and Carlsen-Karjakin matches is to play four rapid (25'+10") games. That was enough to settle the three aforementioned matches, but in case it's still tied after this they'll play best-of-two blitz mini-matches (5'+3"). There will be no more than five such mini-matches, and if it's still tied at that point they'll end the madness with an Armageddon game. White will have five minutes, Black four, and a three-second increment starting from move 61. Black will have draw odds in that game, so even if all 27 games in the match finish in a draw there will at least be a match winner.

    Carlsen's rapid rating is 91 points higher than Caruana's, but in their rapid games with each other the score is an even 2-2, with draws. In blitz, by contrast, Carlsen is 172 points higher and has a big plus score, so while anything can happen in a two-game blitz mini-match, Caruana's best chance will be to win the rapid.

    Here's today's game, without notes. (Analysis will come later.)

    **UPDATE** Here's the game, with my analysis.

    Monday
    Nov262018

    Ken Regan on the Match Through Game 11

    Here is an excellent recap of some aspects of the match by IM and computer science professor Ken Regan, focusing especially on game 6 and chess engines. Definitely worth your time!

    Sunday
    Nov252018

    Alpha Zero on the Carlsen-Caruana Match

    Thanks to GM Matthew Sadler, Alpha Zero has been analyzing the games of the Carlsen-Caruana World Championship match, and you see his commentary and some of the analysis here.

    Sunday
    Nov252018

    Notre Dame 24, USC 17

    It wasn't beautiful or even close to beautiful, but it's a win. After falling behind 10-0, Notre Dame recovered to score 24 consecutive point, only giving up a garbage-time touchdown at the end thanks to the glorious "prevent defense", which often serves only to prevent a team from winning. Anyway, they did what they had to, and ought to qualify for the playoff in early 2019.

    Record so far: 12-0.

    Next victim: Unknown, possibly Clemson.

    Tune time!

    Saturday
    Nov242018

    World Championship, Game 11: Draw #11

    Is Magnus Carlsen already playing for the tiebreak? He did go into a main line against Fabiano Caruana's Petroff, but his 12.Kb1 Qa5 13.c4 went into an ending that caused the challenger only minimal problems. The game went to move 55, but the draw was a heavy favorite from move 16 on. Carlsen managed to reach a pawn-up opposite-colored bishop ending, one in which there was only one test Caruana needed to pass, and he did.

    My guess is that Carlsen has no confidence in his preparation in a classical context, so he's saving some interesting ideas for the rapid (and, if necessary, blitz) games when Caruana may not have enough time to work out any little surprises. Before he gets there, however, he'll have to survive with Black in game 12. That game will be on Monday - Sunday is a rest day - and if it's still tied they'll have another rest day on Tuesday before finishing the match on Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, here's the game, with my abbreviated comments.