Links

This form does not yet contain any fields.
    1948 World Chess Championship 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 Rapid & Blitz World Championship 2014 Russian Team Championship 2014 Sinquefield Cup 2014 U.S. Championship 2014 U.S. Open 2014 World Championship 2014 World Rapid Championship 22014 Sinquefield Cup 22014 U.S. Championship 60 Minutes A. Muzychuk A. Sokolov aattacking chess Abby Marshall Accelerated Dragon ACP Golden Classic Adams Aeroflot 2010 Aeroflot 2011 Aeroflot 2012 Aeroflot 2013 Agrest Akiba Rubinstein Akiva Rubinstein Akobian Alejandro Ramirez Alekhine Alekhine Defense Aleksander Lenderman Alekseev Alena Kats Alex Markgraf Alexander Alekhine Alexander Grischuk Alexander Ipatov Alexander Khalifman Alexander Morozevich Alexander Onischuk Alexander Stripunsky Alexandra Kosteniuk Alexei Dreev Alexei Shirov Alexey Bezgodov Almasi Amber 2010 Amber 2011 Amos Burn Anand Anand-Carlsen 2013 Anand-Gelfand 2012 Anand-Gelfand World Championship Match Anand-Topalov 2010 Anastasia Bodnaruk Anatoly Karpov Andrei Volokitin Andrew Martin Andrew Paulson Android apps Anish Giri Anna Ushenina Anna Zatonskih Anti-Marshall Lines Anti-Moscow Gambit Antoaneta Stefanova apps April Fool's Jokes Archangelsk Variation Arkadij Naiditsch Arne Moll Aron Nimzowitsch Aronian Aronian-Kramnik 2012 Artur Yusupov Astrakhan Grand Prix 2010 attack attacking chess Austrian Attack Averbakh Baadur Jobava Bacrot Bangkok Chess Club Open Bazna 2011 Becerra Beliavsky Benko Gambit Bent Larsen Berlin Defense Biel 2012 Biel 2014 Bilbao 2010 Bilbao 2012 Bilbao 2013 Bilbao Chess 2014 bishop endings Bishop vs. Knight Blackburne blindfold chess blitz blitz chess Blumenfeld Gambit blunders Bobby Fischer Bologan Book Reviews books Boris Gelfand Boris Spassky Borislav Ivanov Borki Predojevic Boruchovsky Botvinnik Botvinnik Memorial Breyer Variation brilliancy British Championship Bronstein Bronznik Brooklyn Castle Browne Brunello 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 Charlie Rose cheating Cheparinov chess and education chess and marketing chess cartoons chess history chess in fiction chess in film Chess Informant chess lessons chess psychology chess ratings chess variants Chess960 ChessBase DVDs ChessBase Shows ChessLecture Presentations ChessLecture.com ChessUSA ChessUSA blog ChessVibes ChessVideos Presentations Chigorin Variation Chinese Chess Championship Christiansen Christmas Colle combinations Commentary computer chess computers correspondence chess Corsica Cyrus Lakdawala Danailov Daniil Dubov Dave MacEnulty Dave Vigorito David MacEnulty David Navara Davies Deep Blue Deeper Blue defense Delchev Ding Liren Dmitry Andreikin Dmitry Gurevich Dortmund 2010 Dortmund 2011 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2013 Dortmund 2014 Doug Hyatt Dragoljub Velimirovic draws dreams Dreev Dunning-Kruger Effect Dutch Defense DVD Reviews DVDs Dvoirys Dvoretsky Easter Edouard Efimenko Efstratios Grivas endgame studies endgames Endgames English Opening Esserman Etienne Bacrot European Club Cup 2012 European Club Cup 2014 European Individual Championship 2012 Evgeni Vasiukov Evgeny Sveshnikov Evgeny Tomashevsky Exchange Ruy Fabiano Caruana Falko Bindrich farce FIDE Grand Prix FIDE Presidential Election FIDE ratings Fier fighting for the initiative Finegold Fischer football Francisco Vallejo Pons Fred Reinfeld French Defense Ftacnik Gadir Guseinov Gajewski Gaprindashvili Garry Kasparov Gashimov Gata Kamsky Gelfand Gelfand-Svidler Rapid Match Geller Geneva Masters Georg Meier GGarry Kasparov Gibraltar 2011 Gibraltar 2012 Gibraltar 2013 Gibraltar 2014 Giri Grand Prix Attack Greek Gift sacrifice Grenke Chess Classic 2013 Grinfeld Grischuk Grob Gruenfeld Defense Grünfeld Defense Gulko Gunina Guseinov Gustafsson Gyula Sax Hans Ree Harika Dronavalli Haworth Hedgehog Hennig-Schara Gambit Henrique Mecking HHou Yifan highway robbery Hikaru Nakamura Hilton Hjorvar Gretarsson Hort Horwitz Bishops Hou Yifan Houdini 1.5a Howard Staunton humor Humpy Koneru Ian Nepomniachtchi Icelandic Gambit Igor Kurnosov Igor Lysyj Iljumzhinov Ilya Nyzhnyk Imre Hera Informant Informant 113 Informant 114 Informant 115 Informant 116 Informant 117 Informant 118 Informant 119 Informant 120 insanity Inside Chess Magazine Ippolito IQP Irina Krush Ivan Sokolov Ivanchuk J. Polgar Jacob Aagaard Jaenisch Jaideep Unudurti Jakovenko James Tarjan Jan Timman Jay Whitehead Jeremy Silman Jimmy Quon John Grefe John Watson Jon Lenchner Jonathan Hawkins Jonathan Speelman Jose Diaz Judit Polgar Julio Granda Zuniga Kaidanov Kalashnikov Sicilian Kamsky Karjakin Karpov Karsten Mueller Kasimdzhanov Kasparov Kavalek Ken Regan Keres KGB Khalifman King's Gambit King's Indian King's Tournament 2010 Kings Tournament 2012 Kirsan Ilyumzhinov KKing's Gambit KKing's Indian Klovans Komodo Korchnoi Kramnik Kunin Larry Evans Larry Kaufman Larry Parr Lasker Lasker-Pelikan Latvian Gambit Laznicka Le Quang Liem Leinier Dominguez Leko Leonid Kritz lessons Lev Psakhis Levon Aronian Lilienthal Linares 2010 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 Marshall Marshall Gambit Masters of the Chessboard Mateusz Bartel Max Euwe Maxime Vachier-Lagrave McShane Mega 2012 mental malfunction Mesgen Amanov Michael Adams Miguel Najdorf Mikhail Botvinnik Mikhail Tal Mikhalchishin Miles Minev miniatures Miso Cebalo MModern Benoni Modern Modern Benoni Moiseenko Morozevich Morphy Movsesian Müller music Nadareishvili Naiditsch Najdorf Sicilian Nakamura Nanjing 2010 Navara Negi Neo-Archangelsk Nepomniachtchi New In Chess Yearbook 104 New York Times NH Tournament 2010 Nigel Short Nikita Vitiugov Nimzo-Indian NNotre Dame football Norway Chess 2013 Norway Chess 2014 Notre Dame football Notre Dame Football Nov. 2009 News Nyback Nyzhnyk Olympics 2010 Open Ruy opening advice opening novelties Openings openings Or Cohen P.H. Nielsen Parimarjan Negi Paris Grand Prix passed pawns Paul Keres Pavel Eljanov pawn endings pawn play pawn structures Pesotskyi Peter Heine Nielsen Peter Leko Peter Svidler Petroff Philadelphia Open Phiona Mutesi Pirc Piterenka Rapid/Blitz Polgar Polgar sisters Polugaevsky Ponomariov Ponziani Potkin poultry Powerbook 2011 problems progressive chess QGD Tartakower QQueen's Gambit Accepted queen sacrifices Queen's Gambit Accepted Queen's Indian Defense Radjabov Ragger rapid chess Rapport Rashid Nezhmetdinov rating inflation ratings Ray Robson Regan Reggio Emilia 2010 Reggio Emilia 2011 Reshevsky Reti Rex Sinquefield Reykjavik Open 2012 Richard Reti Robert Byrne robot chess Robson Roman Ovetchkin rook endings RReggio Emilia 2011 rrook endings RRuy Lopez RRuy Lopez sidelines Rubinstein rules Ruslan Ponomariov Russian Team Championship Rustam Kasimdzhanov Ruy Lopez Ruy Lopez sidelines Rybka Rybka 4 S. Kasparov sacrifices Sadler Sakaev Sam Collins Sam Sevian Samuel Reshevsky Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2011 Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2012 satire Savchenko Schliemann Scotch Four Knights Searching for Bobby Fischer Seirawan self-destruction Sergei Tiiviakov Sergey Karjakin Sergey Shipov Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Shankland Shipov Shirov Short Sicilian Sinquefield Cup sitzfleisch Slav Smith-Morra Gambit Smyslov Spassky spectacular moves Speelman sportsmanship Spraggett St. Louis Invitational stalemate Staunton Stockfish Stockfish 4 Stonewall Dutch Suat Atalik Super Bowl XLIV Sutovsky Sveshnikov Sveshnikov Sicilian Svetozar Gligoric Svidler 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 Teimour Radjabov Terekhin The Chess Players (book) The Week in Chess Thessaloniki Grand Prix Three knights Tigran Petrosian Tim Krabbé time controls Timman Timur Gareev Tomashevsky Tony Miles Topalov traps Tromso Olympics 2014 TWIC types of chess players Ufuk Tuncer underpromotion Unive 2012 University of Notre Dame upsets US Championship 2010 US Championship 2011 US Chess League USCF ratings USCL V. Onischuk Vachier-Lagrave Vallejo van der Heijden Van Perlo van Wely Varuzhan Akobian Vasik Rajlich Vasily Smyslov Vassily Ivanchuk Vassily Smyslov Velimirovic Attack Veresov Veselin Topalov video videos Vienna 1922 Viktor Bologan Viktor Korchnoi Viktor Moskalenko Viswanathan Anand Vitaly Tseshkovsky Vitiugov Vladimir Kramnik Vladimir Tukmakov Vugar Gashimov Vugar Gashimov Memorial Wang Hao Wang Yue Watson Welcome Wesley Brandhorst Wesley So Wijk aan Zee 2010 Wijk aan Zee 2011 Wijk aan Zee 2012 Wijk aan Zee 2013 Wijk aan Zee 2014 Wil E. Coyote Wilhelm Steinitz Willy Hendriks Winawer French Wojtkiewicz Women's Grand Prix Women's World Championship World Champion DVDs World Cup World Cup 2009 World Cup 2011 World Cup 2011 World Junior Championship World Senior Championship WWijk aan Zee 2012 Yasser Seirawan Yates Yermolinsky Yevseev Yu Yangyi Yuri Averbakh Yuri Razuvaev Zaitsev Variation Zaven Andriasyan Zhao Xue Zug 2013 Zukertort System Zurich 1953 Zurich 2013 Zurich 2014
    Saturday
    Sep062014

    Notre Dame 31, Michigan 0 (And Lucky Not To Lose By 38)

    Sadly, a foolish and completely unnecessary penalty on the final play of the game (or rather, what would have been the final play of the game) prevented Notre Dame from making it 38-0. Even so, it was a comprehensive beating of one of their long-term rivals in what will unfortunately be the last game the two teams will play for the foreseeable future (excluding potential bowl games).

    Look out, NCAA, Notre Dame is for real this year. Michigan was well-regarded before this game, ranking from #25 to #32 in the three major polls. We should move up a few spots from #16 (#15 in two other polls) by next week.

    Record so far: 2-0.

    Next victim: Purdue.

    Tune time!

    Saturday
    Sep062014

    Sinquefield Cup, Round 10: Three Draws Finish The Tournament

    And fairly peaceful draws at that, but after nine very exciting rounds at the Sinquefield Cup it's hard to begrudge the players the relative day off.

    The first game to finish went only 19 moves and featured two of the most combative players in the world and a situation where one might normally expect a big fight, but it was not to be. Veselin Topalov was apparently surprised by the particular line of the Berlin Magnus Carlsen chose, and without making a dent on theory the game ended in a quick repetition. If Topalov had won he would have taken clear second and jumped to #3 on the rating list, but in the final position the players agreed that playing on would have entailed more risk for White than for Black.

    The second game to finish was Levon Aronian vs. Fabiano Caruana. Even in this game it was Caruana who had what slight chances there were for a decisive result, but fatigued and possibly a bit undermotivated he didn't play energetically enough and Aronian managed to equalize. Concerned he might even be getting a little worse, Caruana offered a draw at the first available moment, on move 30, and Aronian accepted, happy to put a very unsuccessful tournament behind him.

    Finally, Hikaru Nakamura and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave made it to the time control and a bit further, but the game was equal all the way (but with play) and the draw was a normal result there too. (All three games here, with some comments and game citations for the first two.)

    An anti-climax, yes, but what an amazing tournament for Fabiano Caruana! His final score of 8.5/10 put him three points ahead of the second-place finisher (Carlsen 5.5, Topalov 5, Aronian & Vachier-Lagrave 4, Nakamura 3). He gained 35 rating points to take second on the rating list by a massive 43 point margin, has reached a rating level previously achieved (and surpassed) by only Magnus Carlsen and Garry Kasparov, and his 3097 TPR is unsurpassed in the history of chess (in events of this sort). Speaking of Kasparov, he himself said that this was the most amazing tournament performance he had seen, better than anything he achieved and even than Anatoly Karpov's 11/13 in Linares 1994. While I don't think it breaks his heart to put someone else's performance ahead of Karpov's, it is true that the players are getting better and better, and on top of that Caruana really had no lucky games; if anything, he was a bit unlucky against Carlsen in round 8 and Nakamura in round 9. (On the other hand, Karpov was close to winning three of the four games he drew in Linares, so we shouldn't be too quick to bury that event in the sands of time.) At any rate it was a fantastic performance by Caruana. Bravo!

    And now for dessert: rumors are floating that he may switch back to representing the USA. He was asked about it in the post-game press conference, and his "I don't want to say anything about this" seems like the kind of remark that suggests that it may in fact be in the works. (Yessssss!)

    Looking forward, it should be noted that while the Sinquefield Cup is over the festivities in St. Louis are not. First, the final press conference will begin momentarily. Second, on Monday they will have the "Ultimate Moves" competition. Here's how the tournament site describes it:

    Ultimate Moves will feature eight two-man teams made up of a GM and an amateur player each. The teams will compete in a double-round knockout bracket, with teammates alternating moves in games with a time control of 15 minutes and 2-second increments. Stay tuned for more details.

    Third and better still, Aronian and Nakamura are reportedly playing a 6-game Chess960 match on Tuesday, and as they are both former world champions at that version it should be especially entertaining to see.

    Saturday
    Sep062014

    Notre Dame To Slaughter Some Wolverines Tonight

    Sharjah is fine and the Sinquefield Cup was great, but the apotheosis of the week is coming in an hour when #16 Notre Dame chews up and spits out the Michigan Wolverines in a home game. The drubbing starts in about an hour (7:30 p.m. ET) and will be televised on NBC.

    Saturday
    Sep062014

    Hou Yifan Ties For First In Sharjah, Wins Grand Prix Series

    Hou Yifan and Ju Wenjun finished with identical scores of 8.5/11 in the Sharjah Women's Grand Prix, allowing the former to win the overall series ahead of Humpy Koneru. Humpy needed to finish this event tied or better with Hou, but had a disappointing tournament and finished three full points behind.

    This means that Hou Yifan will be in a world championship match in 2015, either as the champion (if she wins the women's knockout world championship this October, in which case Humpy Koneru will be the challenger thanks to her second place in the Grand Prix series) or as the challenger (in which case Humpy is out of luck, unless she happened to win the KO).

    As for the rating hunt, Hou finished at 2667.2, leaving her eight points behind Judit Polgar (once it's official and gets rounded down). Sharjah co-winner Ju Wenjun even managed to pass Humpy Koneru for third on the women's list, thanks to the enormous combined swing of 41 points.

    Saturday
    Sep062014

    Sinquefield Cup, Round 9: Three Draws; Missed Opportunities for Caruana & Carlsen

    The Sinquefield Cup is winding down and the players are perhaps starting to run out of gas. Fabiano Caruana played 38 very good moves against Hikaru Nakamura on the white side of a Berlin ending and had him at death's door. Fatigue and moderate time trouble struck, and he made an inaccuracy on move 39 and a big oversight on move 40. Even after the time control he still had some winning chances, but he failed to make anything of them and Nakamura drew comfortably by the end.

    Likewise, Magnus Carlsen seemed to be grinding his way to a win against Levon Aronian, but shortly before cashing in he saw the right idea but talked himself into a different move (or at least a different move order), one which didn't work. Aronian escaped.

    Veselin Topalov could have caught up with Carlsen in second place with a win over Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, but although he obtained an advantage with Black he couldn't turn it into a win, so he remains in clear third.

    The tournament ends tomorrow (though there will be some other events following it), and these are the pairings: Aronian - Caruana, Topalov - Carlsen, Nakamura - Vachier-Lagrave.

    Games here (the Caruana & Carlsen games are annotated), tournament site here.

    Thursday
    Sep042014

    Sinquefield Cup, Round 8: The Streak Ends, But Caruana Clinches Tournament Victory With Two Rounds To Spare

    The dreams of a 10-0 whitewash by Fabiano Caruana are over, sadly, but he "console" himself with the fact that he has clinched clear first in the strongest tournament of all time. That puts a cool $100,000 in his pocket, and he will be #2 in the world at the tournament's end. Moreover, his current rating of 2836.1 puts him at #3 all time, behind only Magnus Carlsen and Garry Kasparov. Pretty incredible company. His TPR of 3247 isn't too shabby either.

    In today's game he was close to a win against Carlsen, but 26.0-0 let the foot off the gas and Carlsen scraped his way to a drawish ending, one which Caruana didn't seem too intent to try to win. From the perspective of tournament victory, a draw was sufficient, and for all his strength and ambition even Carlsen cannot hope to make up a three point deficit in the two remaining rounds.

    In the game between Levon Aronian and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave Aronian had a huge advantage on the white side of a Philidor with 5.g4, but let his opponent slip away with a draw. Finally, Veselin Topalov won on the black side of a Berlin endgame against Hikaru Nakamura - convincingly, too.

    The rest of the tournament is now something of an anti-climax, but it would still be nice to see Caruana do some more damage and not call off the dogs just yet. The round nine pairings are Caruana (7.5) - Nakamura (2!!), Carlsen (4.5) - Aronian (3) and Vachier-Lagrave (3) - Topalov (4).

    Tournament site here, games here (without comments).

    Thursday
    Sep042014

    Hou Yifan Clinches First in the Grand Prix Series, Guarantees Herself a Slot in the 2015 Women's World Championship Match

    Hou Yifan hasn't yet won the final event of the Grand Prix series (in Sharjah), but she doesn't need to. All she needs is to finish ahead of Humpy Koneru, and that is now guaranteed, as she has a three point lead over her rival with two rounds remaining. This means that if Hou loses her title in the women's world championship knockout tournament in October, she'll have qualified for a match with the knockout winner next year. If on the other hand she wins the KO, then since FIDE apparently doesn't want to watch Hou play a match against herself Humpy will get to face her by virtue of her second-place finish in the current Grand Prix series.

    Two other bits of interest from the tournament. First, while Hou has had an excellent tournament, she's currently in second behind her countrywoman Ju Wenjun, half a point behind. Second, while Hou was at one point very close to overtaking Judit Polgar for #1 on the women's rating list, draws in the last two games have pushed her back a little, and she trails Polgar by 6.5 points. Not a lot, but probably enough for Polgar's lead to survive for at least another month.

    Wednesday
    Sep032014

    Sinquefield Cup, Round 7: Caruana 7-0!

    The "impossible" continues to be not only possible but actual at the Sinquefield Cup, as Fabiano wins yet again. With his second victory over Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the tournament Caruana improves to 7-0, guaranteeing himself at least a tie for first in the tournament. (In case there is a tie, there will be a playoff.) Caruana played the solid Queen's Gambit Declined, but Vachier-Lagrave was ambitious (as he should be with the white pieces). Unfortunately, his accuracy didn't live up to his ambition, and the strange 14.Qa4 led to all kinds of trouble. Soon he was a pawn down with a vagabond king, and Caruanaadministered yet another drubbing of a top-10 opponent. Incredible.

    Nevertheless, a glimmer of suspense remains in the tournament, as Magnus Carlsen still has a tiny chance to end the tournament equal with Caruana. Today he did what he needed to do against his regular customer, Hikaru Nakamura. (Their cassical score, excluding draws, is now 11-0 for Carlsen.) Nakamura played a Slav line he has used before, but goofed something up very early and was almost losing after 11 moves. Carlsen had a very easy time of it, and with 4/7 and Caruana on tap for tomorrow he can still fight for first, or at least to make it a good tournament. Caruana will have the white pieces, and has remained level-headed throughout the tournament, so chances are he won't implode out of dizziness.

    The third game, between Veselin Topalov and Levon Aronian, was drawn.

    The games, with my notes to the first two, are here. Tomorrow's pairings are Nakamura (2) - Topalov (3), Aronian (2.5) - Vachier-Lagrave (2.5), and Caruana (4) - Carlsen (7).

    Tuesday
    Sep022014

    Sinquefield Cup, Round 6: Caruana 6-0!

    If this keeps up, is anyone going to care about the world championship in a couple of months (assuming it happens)? Fabiano Caruana is putting on a spectacular, almost unique demonstration in the history of chess. Four rounds remain at the Sinquefield Cup, but Caruana's 6-0 score and three point lead over his closest pursuer (some guy named Magnus Carlsen) have the tournament all but over. The real drama is in seeing how far the streak can go, and if he can maintain the combination of perfect preparation and incredible form he has shown so far.

    Today's victim was Veselin Topalov. Topalov played a new move with Black in a Taimanov Sicilian, but there was no opening surprise from the Bulgarian. Caruana replied immediately, and soon it was Topalov who was on his own. Some little inaccuracies led to a vulnerable position, and that vulnerability turned into collapse after 23...Nc6? 24.Bxe6! Black was unable to put up much resistance, and Caruana finished accurately and in style.

    The other two games were drawn, but Carlsen had terrific winning chances against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, though maybe there was no clear way to win by force. Carlsen enjoyed a superior ending with opposite-colored bishops and an extra pawn, but the Frenchman's strong defense saved the day. In the other game Hikaru Nakamura briefly had good winning chances against Levon Aronian. Aronian's 26...d3 was inaccurate and probably would have cost him his d-pawn had Nakamura played 28.Be3 followed by Rb3. Instead the American played 28.Bd2, and Aronian's problems were over.

    The games, with my notes, are here.

    Tomorrow's pairings are Carlsen (3) - Nakamura (2), Vachier-Lagrave (2.5) - Caruana (6), Topalov (2.5) - Aronian (2).

    Sunday
    Aug312014

    Sinquefield Cup, Round 5: Caruana 5-0 (Updated)

    Prior to this round Fabiano Caruana was 0-3 against Hikaru Nakamura in decisive games played with a classical time control, but that didn't stop the golden boy of the Sinquefield Cup. He outplayed his opponent with the black pieces, and while he could have won a little more easily it was still a convincing victory overall, and he now enjoys a remarkable 5-0 score at the halfway point.

    Two other players won today, and share second place. Magnus Carlsen slowly ground out a win in a rook ending against Levon Aronian (winning, like Caruana, with Black) while Veselin Topalov won on the white side of a Najdorf against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Both players looked very good in winning, and as both Carlsen and Topalov are very dangerous once their confidence levels go up it's too soon to hand first prize to Caruana. On the other hand, Caruana will have White against both players in the second cycle, making it that much more difficult for them to catch up.

    This is especially so with tomorrow's rest day, which might serve to break Caruana's rhythm a bit. So far, however, this is one of the great starts in tournament chess history, going 5-0 against the world's #1 and #2 (former #2 now) and three other players in the top ten.

    Round 6 pairings (Tuesday): Nakamura (1.5) - Aronian (1.5), Caruana (5) - Topalov (2.5), Carlsen (2.5) - Vachier-Lagrave (2)

    Games later.

     UPDATE: Games here. I've annotated Nakamura-Caruana in some detail and offered a brief explanatory note at the end of Topalov vs. Vachier-Lagrave.