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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 Chess Olympiad 2016 Chinese Championship 2016 Sinquefield Cup 2016 U.S. Championship 2016 U.S. Women's Championship 2016 Women's World Championship 2016 World Championship 2018 Chess Olympiad 22014 Sinquefield Cup 22014 U.S. Championship 2Mind Games 2016 60 Minutes A. 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    Monday
    Oct102011

    Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2011, Round 9: Carlsen Beats Ivanchuk, Plus Aronian and Vallejo Win

    A full report, to say nothing of the games, will have to wait until later today. (UPDATE: That time has come - see below.) In brief, though, Magnus Carlsen convincingly defeated Vassily Ivanchuk (for the second straight cycle), and catches him in first place with a round to go.

    Levon Aronian has long been kryptonite for world champion Viswanathan Anand, and it happened again today. It may have been good preparation rather than over the board genius, but one way or another Aronian destroyed Anand in just 25 moves.

    Remarkably, that puts Anand in clear, dead last place with a round to go, as Francisco Vallejo leapfrogged him out of the basement with a win over Hikaru Nakamura. Nakamura had been worse, but in mutual time trouble had fought his way out and could start enjoying an extra pawn. The only problem...Nakamura - of all people! - lost on time on move 40. (UPDATE: As already noted in another post, Nakamura had enough time to make a final move, but misunderstood or was misinformed by an arbiter and thought he had already made the time control. As a result he went for some orange juice, coming back to find he had lost on time.)

    So the current standings (in 3-1-0 scoring) look like this:

    1-2. Carlsen, Ivanchuk 14 (Carlsen leads on tiebreak with 5.5 points on "normal" scoring to Ivanchuk's 5)
    3-4. Nakamura, Aronian 11 (both have 4.5 in normal scoring)
    5. Vallejo 10 (3.5)
    6. Anand 9 (4)

    UPDATE: Here are the last-round pairings:

    • Ivanchuk - Aronian
    • Anand - Vallejo
    • Nakamura - Carlsen

    Tournament site here, games (with my comments) here.

     

    Monday
    Oct102011

    More Jay Whitehead Resources

    I noted Jay Whitehead's passing last week, but was unable to provide any interesting links about the man's history. Since then this short but useful post has appeared. It includes a couple of photos (with links to background information about them) and links to an old profile piece on Whitehead. Fans of old games will also appreciate links to collections of pre-1867 chess games Whitehead helped compile.

    HT: Brian Karen

    Sunday
    Oct092011

    Kasparov Beats Short, Sadler Wins Oslo, And More

    Garry Kasparov is still retired, only peeking up from time to time for little blitz events and/or rematches with former opponents. This time he played an eight-game blitz match (5' + 3" increments) against Nigel Short; it was their third match. The first was a rapid match in 1987 with six decisive games: Kasparov won 4-2, losing games 3 and 6. Then they played a world championship match in 1993, a 12.5-7.5 drubbing in Kasparov's favor that wasn't even as close as the lopsided score might suggest. (It was 10.5-4.5 after 15 games!)

    This time it was closer, a 4.5-3.5 squeaker for the former world champion. Kasparov generally had the better of it in the first three games, but they were all drawn. Games four and five were deserved Kasparov wins, and it looked like the rout was on. Surprisingly, it didn't materialize. Short won games six and seven to level the match, and had White for the final game. Fortunately for Kasparov and his fans, he rose to the occasion, as he almost always used to before his collapse in the second Deep Blue match in 1997. He won a very good game against 4.Ng5 in the Two Knights to eke out an overall victory.

    Another event finished today, the Swiss-system tournament in Oslo. As noted yesterday, Matthew Sadler had already clinched first place with a round to spare, but he finished in style by defeating the strong Russian GM Sergey Volkov. Sadler's score of 8/9 (2849 TPR!) gave him a 1.5 point margin of victory over Sipke Ernst and two full points over the next group of players. If he keeps this up, he might wind up in elite events again.

    There were three decisive games in the Governor's Cup in Saratov, Russia: Morozevich beat Vitiugov, Alekseev defeated Ponomariov and Ni Hua was upended by Alexander Moiseenko. The three winners co-lead the tournament with 1.5/2; as you may recall, all six games were drawn in round 1.

    Nothing happened today in the Karpov tournament in Poikovsky. That has been true for the most part even when they've had rounds, but this was a rest day so the players had an excuse.

    Saturday
    Oct082011

    Notre Dame 59, Air Force 33

    Crunch. That's four in a row, seven to go (including the bowl game).

    Next victim: USC, alma mater of O.J. Simpson and other savory characters. That's in two weeks, so you'll have plenty of time to clear room on your calendar!

    Time for some world-class musical entertainment:

    Saturday
    Oct082011

    Notre Dame vs. Air Force, Underway (Updated)

    It started about 20 minutes ago, on NBC. So far, so good: Notre Dame leads 14-0. The juggernaut is on the move! (And no matter what, there won't be any draws.)

    UPDATE: It's halftime and ND leads 42-16, having scored touchdowns on every offensive possession. Pity that there's no resignation option in football!

    Saturday
    Oct082011

    Sao Paulo/Bilbao 2011, Round 8: Ivanchuk Draws; Carlsen, Nakamura Win

    In the first cycle, Magnus Carlsen was winning against Francisco Vallejo, but first missed the win and then lost on a blunder. This time, Vallejo came out of the gate in good shape, but Carlsen gradually improved his position, exploited Vallejo's ever-present time trouble and pulled out a win. This kept Vallejo in last, while Carlsen gained some ground on Vassily Ivanchuk.

    Also gaining grounds and maintaining a tie for second with Carlsen is Hikaru Nakamura. Not all was clean and clear in the first part of the game, but in the ending Nakamura beautifully outplayed Levon Aronian to take the full point. (Or rather, three points!) Aronian played on longer than etiquette would normally dictate, and it almost worked! Nakamura got a bit sloppy in the piece up ending, but at the key moment played 71.Nd7 (after serious thought), and it was good enough.

    Finally, Ivanchuk had some pull against the world champion, but Viswanathan Anand is a great defender and managed to use Ivanchuk's time trouble to equalize and perhaps a tiny bit more. It wasn't enough to play for a win though, and the game was drawn in a longish knight ending.

    Standings After Round 8 (of 10) (Remember, it's 3-1-0 scoring, traditional scoring is given in parentheses):

    1. Ivanchuk 14 (5)
    2-3. Nakamura, Carlsen 11 (4.5)
    4. Anand 9 (4)
    5. Aronian 8 (3.5)
    6. Vallejo 7 (2.5)

    Round 9 Pairings (on Monday; tomorrow is a rest day):

    • Carlsen - Ivanchuk (obviously a huge game for the final standings!)
    • Vallejo - Nakamura
    • Aronian - Anand

    Official site here, games (without comments today - sorry!) here.

    (Blog note: You'll see if you click on the games link that they are numbered 3999, 4000 and 4001. That's how many games and fragments (mostly games) I've presented since I started blogging in 2005. Most of the games have been annotated, so that's a lot of work over the years!)

    Saturday
    Oct082011

    Other Events: Draw, Draw, Draw, Draw, Draw, Draw, Draw...

    In Poikovsky, the players were up to their usual miserable tricks: four draws in five games, three of them very short. (23, 23 and 26 moves.) Only Bacrot decided to play a real game, and he was rewarded, grinding out a tough win against Caruana in 78 moves. After five rounds there have been five decisive games, and Bacrot, Karjakin and Efimenko lead with +1 scores. Twenty draws four rounds remain. Hopefully none of these guys gets invited back next year.

    Yesterday, I had expressed hope that the Governor's Cup in Saratov, Russia would prove more exciting. How could it not with players like Morozevich, Shirov and Ponomariov? Sure, Leko's playing, but he has been a pretty feisty player so far this year. So what happened in round 1? Six games, six draws. It's not as bad as it sounds, though. One game was a little short (30 moves), one a little long (57), and most went to around the time control on move 40. So there was an effort, just no wins.

    In Swiss events it tends to be different, and in Oslo the increasingly unretired Matthew Sadler continues to shine. He won in round 8 with Black against Elsness, the only player within half a point of him going into the round. Ironically, the four players in the next score group...you guessed it - drew - and now Sadler leads the next group (of 9 players!) by a whopping 1.5 points with one round to go. His TPR so far has been 2819, which bodes pretty well for his continued return.

    Friday
    Oct072011

    Sao Paulo/Bilbao, Round 7: Ivanchuk Loses To Vallejo, Still Leads

    By a significant margin too, thanks both to his excellent play overall and the 3-1-0 scoring system. It helped too that Vassily Ivanchuk lost to the tailender while the four players tied for second drew with each other and thus didn't gain much ground.

    Ivanchuk always seemed to be in some trouble against Francisco Vallejo, who has forgotten the "script" so far in the Bilbao leg of the event. After harrowing mutual time trouble, the result was an easily won rook ending for the Spaniard, which he soon converted.

    Viswanathan Anand and Hikaru Nakamura seemed to be playing blitz chess, at least through the early 20s. Oddly, it looked like Anand blundered a pawn for nothing, but apparently they were just following theory! (Considering that White got nothing in either game, perhaps the sac is as good as a blunder?) It was a pretty sleepy Berlin, but one of Anand's moves made a huge impression on me at the time: 32.g5!! It looks like a blunder, but it's a remarkable move. White has no obvious threats, but it turns out that the coordination of Black's pieces is just poor enough that he must show a little accuracy to maintain equality - despite being two up in an endgame.

    Finally, Levon Aronian and Magnus Carlsen played a game that featured an exciting blow-for-blow tactical sequence that resulted in a drawn ending.

    Standings After Round 7 (3-1-0 scoring, normal scores in parentheses):

    1. Ivanchuk 13 (4.5)
    2-5. Carlsen, Nakamura, Anand, Aronian 8 (3.5)
    6. Vallejo 7 (2.5)

    Round 8 Pairings:

    • Ivanchuk - Anand
    • Nakamura - Aronian
    • Carlsen - Vallejo

    Official site here, games (with my comments) here.

    Friday
    Oct072011

    The Daily Update: Oslo, Poikovsky and Saratov

    In Oslo, Matthew Sadler defeated Viktor Mikhalevski yesterday to take a full-point lead; today he drew with Sergei Tiviakov. Only one player, IM Frode Elsness, managed to use that opportunity to come to within half a point of Sadler. Sadler has 6/7, Elsness has 5.5 and four others have five points apiece. Elsness will have White against Sadler tomorrow; if he loses, Sadler will guarantee himself at least a tie for first.

    In Poikovsky, there were five draws, but only one was particularly quick. (Onischuk - Efimenko, 1/2-1/2 in 15.) Even so, wake me up when it's over.

    Let's hope for better in the Governor's Cup in Saratov, Russia. This is a 12-player round-robin with eight members of the 2700 club, including Ponomariov, Morozevich, Leko and Shirov. I believe it starts on Saturday (i.e. today or tomorrow, depending on your time zone).

    Thursday
    Oct062011

    This Week's ChessVideos Show: Yours Truly vs. Browne

    In my post remembering the late Jay Whitehead, I mentioned that he showed me an opening idea he had prepared for Walter Browne that I - unexpectedly - had the opportunity to use against the 6-time U.S. champion several months later. It was an exciting game that was lost forever - or so I thought - but to my amazement and delight someone posted the game score in the comments section of that post.

    Happily, it's a very rich game with all kinds of things going on: attacks, passed pawns, tactics, imbalances, weird pawn structures and the list goes on. Naturally, I'm biased to find the game an interesting one, but I think many of you will, too. You can find the game score in the aforementioned comment, and here you can watch my video presentation of the game. It's free (free registration required) and available on-demand for the next month or so. Check it out!