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    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 Chess Olympiad 2016 Chinese Championship 2016 Sinquefield Cup 2016 U.S. Championship 2016 U.S. Junior Championship 2016 U.S. Women's Championship 2016 Women's World Championship 2016 World Championship 2016 World Open 2018 Chess Olympiad 22014 Sinquefield Cup 22014 U.S. Championship 2Mind Games 2016 60 Minutes A. 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    Wednesday
    Nov302011

    Round 1 Pairings for the 3rd London Chess Classic

    Nine players, nine rounds. The twist is that the player with the bye will have commentary duties in the press room. The first guest commentator will be Nigel Short when the 3rd London Chess Classic kicks off this Saturday at 2 p.m. local time (= 9 a.m. ET), and the games he'll comment on are these:

    • Kramnik - Nakamura (back to the King's Indian?)
    • Aronian - McShane
    • Carlsen - Howell
    • Adams - Anand

    (The full list of the tournament's pairings can be found, inter alia, here.)

    Tournament predictions, readers?

    Wednesday
    Nov302011

    A Grandmaster Norm Tournament in St. Louis

    Such events go on everywhere, so this is primarily for the interest of my American readers. The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis is running an invitational norm tournament that started yesterday. Round 1 is in the books and round 2 is underway - you can read a thorough recap of yesterday's action here.

    Monday
    Nov282011

    FM Marc Lang Sets A New Blindfold Simultaneous Record

    46 games! The story doesn't have the poignancy of Miguel Najdorf's record of 45 games, set in 1947 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but it's a tremendous feat all the same. More details and a brief video clip here; much more on the official site.

    Monday
    Nov282011

    News About and From Different World Championships

    1. Let's start with the Women's World Championship. We've already reported on Hou Yifan's triumph, but before leaving that event completely readers may wish to read this interview with the champion.

    2. Next up, the World Senior Championship took place in Opatija, Croatia, and finished up on Sunday. Vladimir Okhotnik won the Open event with 9/11 while Galina Strutinskaya won the Women's section with 8.5/11.

    3. From one end of the age spectrum to another: the World Youth Chess Championship finished on Saturday. This tournament - or rather, group of tournaments - took place in Caldas Novas, Brazil and determined 12 world championship titles: open and girls' titles for U18, U16, U14, U12, U10 and U8. GMs Ter-Sahakyan and Cori won the U18 and U16 Open titles, respectively, and I'll also note that the aptly named American Liang Awonder won the U8 Open title. It sounds a little silly at first to have a world championshp for seven-year-olds, but considering that Awonder sports an 1872 rating, maybe it's not silly after all. (HT for this item and its predecessor to Chess Today.)

    4. Finally, a bit of news about the "real" world championship which will see challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel take on champion Viswanathan Anand next year in Moscow. It's nothing earth-shaking, but it's nice to see that the contracts have been signed and things are moving along smoothly - this hasn't always happened with title matches, after all. For readers who know Russian, the original story is here; for the rest of us, go here.

    Sunday
    Nov272011

    Vallejo Pons - Harikrishna From the CECLUB 2011 Event

    Reader Vishal Khombare found a recent game between Vallejo Pons and Harkrishna especially worthy of note, and sent it my way for publication here. I'm not quite as high on the game as he was, but it was a long, rich and entertaining battle, and I'm happy to share it with all of you, with some notes. Have a look.

    Sunday
    Nov272011

    Stanford 28, Notre Dame 14

    Inconceivable!

    Actually, I was surprised that Notre Dame had as many chances as they did. Stanford was the better team, but the possible worlds where ND managed to win don't seem so distant from the actual world. Next year looks pretty good for the Irish.

    But first, there's a (non-BCS) bowl game to win!

    Saturday
    Nov262011

    The Luck of the Irish to Crush the Luck of the Cardinal

    It's fall and it's Saturday, and that means it's time to confuse new readers once again by talking college football. More precisely, it's time to predict the obvious: another smashing victory by the University of Notre Dame's college football team, with this week's victim being the Stanford Cardinal. (It should be "Cardinals", but past beatings by Notre Dame probably made the last "s" fall off.)

    On this occasion, Notre Dame will be doing Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck a favor. Luck is universally expected to be the first pick in next year's NFL draft, and that means he's going to play for a genuinely lousy team. (The worse the record, the earlier in the draft a team picks.) Having had a successful college career, Luck is too used to winning, and will have a tough time adjusting to the inevitable pains he'll suffer in his first season or two. By crushing him today, Notre Dame will help ease that transition to the pro game. Everyone wins! (Except Stanford.)

    The whuppin' starts at 8 p.m. ET (a little less than 20 minutes from now) and will be televised on ABC.

    Friday
    Nov252011

    Are Ratings Inflated? Some Evidence For A Negative Answer

    Most of us - and that would include many elite players with a vested psychological interest in a negative answer - are inclined to say yes. In fact, it's not just "yes" but "yes, obviously; everyone knows this".

    It turns out that "everyone" may be wrong. IM Ken Regan, GM Bartlomiej Macieja and Guy Haworth have co-authored an academic paper (Regan and Haworth are computer scientists, Macieja studied physics) arguing that ratings have remained stable since their inception. Their paper offers an objective method to examine the issue, and the data tested by that method support their surprising conclusion.

    To grossly oversimplify, their test procedure is to use a computer engine to examine players' games, comparing their moves (post-opening) to those found by an engine. This generates what they call an Intrinsic Performance Rating (IPR), and a large sample size reveals that ratings and IPRs correlate over time; ergo, no inflation.

    Don't buy it? That's what the paper is for: check out all the gritty details for yourself!

    Friday
    Nov252011

    Forthcoming Events: London, Wijk aan Zee

    With the Tal Memorial behind us, destined to be remembered as a tournament to be forgotten (yes, I know what I just wrote!), it's time to look to the next super-event or two.

    First up is the 3rd London Chess Classic, which starts in about a week (December 3-12, officially, which probably means that play begins on the 4th). Five players from Moscow will show here as well: Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, Viswanathan Anand, Vladimir Kramnik (the world's top four players by rating) and Hikaru Nakamura. Joining them is the English contingent of Michael Adams, Nigel Short, Luke McShane (who very nearly won the tournament last year) and David Howell.

    Come January, it will again be time for the wonderful annual event in Wijk aan Zee. The 74th edition of this Dutch tournament, currently sponsored by Tata Steel, will run from January 13-29. As usual there will be three groups, each comprising 14 players. The A-group is especially formidable, with Carlsen, Aronian, Karjakin, Topalov, Ivanchuk, Gashimov, Kamsky, Nakamura, Radjabov, Gelfand, Giri, Caruana, Navara and van Wely. The B-group seems a bit weaker than I remember it from past years, with no 2700s and only five 2600s (Motylev, Bruzon, Harikrishna, Potkin and Tiviakov), but there are several other near-2600s, and the presence of the youngster Nyzhnyk and the legendary Timman it should still be strong and entertaining. Finally, the C-group isn't terribly strong, but the participation of "comeback kid" Matthew Sadler will make it worth some attention. (HT on Sadler and the C-group to Daniel Parmet.)

    Friday
    Nov252011

    This Week's ChessVideos Show: Meeting Provocation

    In this week's ChessVideos show, I take a look at a fascinating battle between Zoltan Almasi and Gadir Guseinov played earlier this year. The game began as a normal (hyper-) Accelerated Dragon: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Nxd4 7.Qxd4, but took a twist when Black played 7...Bg7 rather than the usual and obvious 7...d6.

    Guseinov's move invites - practically begs for - the push 8.e5. But should White play that way? It's an obvious move, but surely Black realized that too, and very likely prepared the move in advance. So what's the right way to react? It's a question not only for Almasi on this occasion but all of us when we're faced with similarly provocative moves by our opponents. I offer some answers to this general question, and show how Almasi handled it as well. It turned out that Guseinov's idea isn't as bad as it looks, but Almasi found a great way to pressure Black. Home prep or not, Guseinov was soon taken by surprise, and proved unable to solve his problems at the board.

    Have a look for yourself. As always, the show is free (one-time only free registration is required) and will be available on-demand for the next month or so.