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 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 Championship 2016 World Junior Championship 2016 World Open 2017 Women's World Championship 2018 Chess Olympiad 22014 Sinquefield Cup 22014 U.S. Championship 22016 Chess Olympiad 2Mind Games 2016 60 Minutes A. Muzychuk A. Sokolov aattacking chess Abby Marshall Accelerated Dragon ACP Golden Classic Adams Aeroflot 2010 Aeroflot 2011 Aeroflot 2012 Aeroflot 2013 Aeroflot 2015 Aeroflot 2016 AGON Agrest Akiba Rubinstein Akiva Rubinstein Akobian Akshat Chandra Alejandro Ramirez Alekhine Alekhine Defense Aleksander Lenderman Alekseev Alena Kats Alex Markgraf Alexander Alekhine 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 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 Anders Ericsson Andrei Volokitin Andrew Martin Andrew Paulson Android apps Anish Giri Anna Ushenina Anna Zatonskih Anti-Marshall Lines Anti-Moscow Gambit Anti-Sicilians Antoaneta Stefanova Anton Korobov apps April Fool's Jokes Archangelsk Variation Arkadij Naiditsch Arne Moll Aron Nimzowitsch Aronian Aronian-Kramnik 2012 Arthur van de Oudeweetering Artur Yusupov Arturo Pomar 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 Bilbao 2010 Bilbao 2012 Bilbao 2013 Bilbao 2015 Bilbao 2016 Bilbao Chess 2014 bishop endings Bishop vs. Knight Blackburne blindfold chess blitz blitz chess Blumenfeld Gambit blunders Bob Hope Bobby Fischer Bogo-Indian 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 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 books chess cartoons chess documentaries chess engines chess history chess in fiction chess in film chess in schools Chess Informant chess lessons chess politics chess psychology chess ratings chess strategy chess variants Chess24 Chess960 ChessBase DVDs ChessBase Shows ChessLecture Presentations ChessLecture.com ChessUSA ChessUSA blog ChessVibes ChessVideos Presentations Chigorin Variation Chinese Chess Championship 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 Dave MacEnulty Dave Vigorito 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 Dortmund 2010 Dortmund 2011 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2013 Dortmund 2014 Dortmund 2015 Dortmund 2016 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 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 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 Gata Kamsky Gelfand Gelfand-Svidler Rapid Match Geller Geneva Masters Georg Meier GGarry Kasparov Gibraltar 2011 Gibraltar 2012 Gibraltar 2013 Gibraltar 2014 Gibraltar 2015 Gibraltar 2016 Giri Go Grand Chess Tour Grand Prix 2014-2015 Grand Prix Attack Greek Gift sacrifice Grenke Chess Classic 2013 Grenke Chess Classic 2015 Grinfeld Grischuk Grob Gruenfeld Defense Grünfeld Defense Gulko Gunina Guseinov Gustafsson Gyula Sax Hannes Langrock 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 insanity Inside Chess Magazine Ippolito IQP Irina Krush Irving Chernev Ivan Bukavshin Ivan Sokolov Ivanchuk J. Polgar 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 Grefe John Watson Jon Lenchner Jon Ludwig Hammer Jonathan Hawkins Jonathan Speelman Jose Diaz Jose Raul Capablanca Ju Wenjun Judit Polgar Julio Granda Zuniga Kaidanov Kalashnikov Sicilian Kamsky Karen Sumbatyan Karjakin Karpov Karsten Mueller Kasimdzhanov Kasparov 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 Korchnoi Kramnik Kunin Lajos Portisch Larry Evans Larry Kaufman Larry Parr Lasker Lasker-Pelikan Latvian Gambit Laurent Fressinet Laznicka Le Quang Liem Leinier Dominguez Leko Leonid Kritz lessons Leuven Rapid & Blitz Lev Psakhis Levon Aronian Lilienthal Linares 2010 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 Taimanov Marshall Marshall Gambit Masters of the Chessboard Mateusz Bartel Maurice Ashley Max Euwe Maxim Rodshtein Maxime Vachier-Lagrave McShane Mega 2012 mental malfunction Mesgen Amanov Michael Adams Miguel Najdorf Mikhail Antipov Mikhail Botvinnik Mikhail Osipov Mikhail Tal 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 Negi Neo-Archangelsk Nepomniachtchi New In Chess Yearbook 104 New York Times NH Tournament 2010 Nigel Short Nihal Sarin Nikita Vitiugov Nimzo-Indian NNotre Dame football Norway Chess 2013 Norway Chess 2014 Norway Chess 2015 Norway Chess 2016 Notre Dame basketball Notre Dame football Notre Dame Football Nov. 2009 News Nyback Nyzhnyk Oleg Pervakov Olympics 2010 Open Ruy opening advice opening novelties Openings openings Or Cohen P.H. Nielsen Pal Benko 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 Phiona Mutesi Pirc Piterenka Rapid/Blitz Polgar Polgar sisters Polugaevsky Ponomariov Ponziani Potkin poultry Powerbook 2011 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 Ragger rapid chess Rapport Rashid Nezhmetdinov rating inflation ratings Ray Robson Regan Reggio Emilia 2010 Reggio Emilia 2011 Reshevsky Reti Reuben Fine 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 Rubinstein French 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 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 Sergey Erenburg Sergey Fedorchuk Sergey Karjakin Sergey Kasparov Sergey Shipov Sevan Muradian Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Shamkir 2015 Shamkir 2016 Shankland Shipov Shirov Short Sicilian Sinquefield Cup sitzfleisch Slav Smith-Morra Gambit Smyslov So-Navara Spassky spectacular moves Speelman sportsmanship Spraggett St. Louis Chess Club St. Louis Invitational stalemate Staunton Stephen Hawking Stockfish Stockfish 4 Stonewall Dutch Suat Atalik Super Bowl XLIV Susan Polgar 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 Tashkent Grand Prix Tbilisi Grand Prix 2015 TCEC TCEC Season 8 TCEC Season 9 TED talks Teimour Radjabov Terekhin The Chess Players (book) 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 Vienna 1922 Viktor Bologan Viktor Korchnoi Viktor Moskalenko Vincent Keymer Viswanathan Anand Vitaly Tseshkovsky Vitiugov 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 Wil E. Coyote Wilhelm Steinitz 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 Zug 2013 Zukertort System Zurich 1953 Zurich 2013 Zurich 2014 Zurich 2015 Zurich 2016
    Saturday
    Nov262016

    This Week's World Chess Column: Xiong and Sevian

    Jingoism or patriotism? Let's be kind and assume it's the latter, as my column this week looks at some recent achievements by two of the United States's top young talents, Jeffery Xiong and Sam Sevian.

    Saturday
    Nov262016

    The World Champion in 2030?

    It's a wee bit early to crown anyone as the 2030 World Champion, but if you'd like an early candidate born in this decade you could do worse than to suggest 3-year-old Mikhail Osipov.

    Sure, he lost, but it was to Anatoly Karpov. Not bad for a near-toddler!

    Saturday
    Nov262016

    538 on the World Championship Match

    538 refers to a subsite on ESPN's webpage, run by Nate Silver and his merry band of statisticians. There's an article on the match there now, and the one statistical claim they offer is that Magnus Carlsen has a 38% chance of winning the match in 12 games, Sergey Karjakin only a 10% chance, with a 52% probability that the match will go to tiebreaks. (The odds for each player in those tiebreaks wasn't offered.)

    HT: Ron Fenton

    Thursday
    Nov242016

    2016 World Championship: Carlsen Wins, Equalizes the Scores

    It took ten games, but Magnus Carlsen finally got his first win, and thereby evened up the match with two games to go. It wasn't a perfect game, but it was a good, hard-fought, well-earned victory by Carlsen in his signature style, posing problem after problem and turning a tiny advantage into a 75-move win.

    The big question, which will undoubtedly be addressed in the press conference, is why Sergey Karjakin twice rejected an idea that would have given him a draw (or an advantage, if Carlsen chose to play on): on both moves 20 and 21 the move ...Nxf2+ forces White to repeat moves or stand worse with a material deficit. So it was a good win by Carlsen, but if Karjakin ends up losing the match he may have years of nightmares and regrets about his missed opportunities in games 9 and 10.

    Game 11 is on Saturday (Friday is a rest day), and then game 12 is on Monday after a further rest day. Meanwhile, here is game 10, with my notes. (They're not as thorough as they could have been for a grand battle like this, but it is Thanksgiving here in the U.S.)

    Wednesday
    Nov232016

    2016 World Championship, Game 9: Karjakin Misses a Chance to Extend his Lead

    Sergey Karjakin still leads by a point with three games to go, but today he had a great chance to give himself a two-point lead over Magnus Carlsen.

    The game was a very theoretical Neo-Archangelsk (aka the Malaniuk Variation, the Tkachiev Variation, the Yurtaev Variation...or maybe something else) that followed a Nakamura-Kasimdzhanov game from 2014 until Carlsen's 21...cxb3. Play carried on without anything too dramatic happening until move 38, when the general contours from 20 moves ago were still in place. White had an extra, passed d-pawn and the bishop pair, which was compensated by Black's healthy pieces and White's very ugly kingside pawn structure.

    Here, Carlsen made a bad but understandable decision to reroute his knight to f5. Short of time, he played 38...Ne7, and now Karjakin thought for around 25 minutes, using almost all his remaining time. He had two options: 39.Bxf7+ and 39.Qb3. The latter move was best, and probably what he would have played with less time on the clock. Instead, he had enough time to delve and (I conjecture) spot some subtle resources for Carlsen that he didn't manage to overcome to his own satisfaction at the board, and so he chose 39.Bxf7+. As it turns out 39.Qb3 would have won, or at the very least have given him very serious winning chances, while his 39.Bxf7+ allowed Carlsen to reach a drawn ending.

    A narrow escape for the champion, who was also in trouble in game 5 after missing real opportunities in games 3 and 4. Not all is lost for him, of course: he still has White in games 10 (tomorrow/today = Thursday) and 12, and only needs one win to force a rapid playoff. Only three games remain, but there have been at least three world championship matches where a player won in the final game to save his title, so it can be done. (The three are Lasker-Schlechter in 1910, Kasparov-Karpov from Seville in 1987, and then Kramnik-Leko in Brissago in 2004.)

    The game, with my notes, is here.

    Wednesday
    Nov232016

    TCEC Season 9 Superfinal: Stockfish Enjoys a Big Lead Over Houdini at the Halfway Point

    The TCEC Season 9 Superfinal is a 100-game affair, and after 50 games an early iteration of Stockfish 8 is leading handily against Houdini 5, 28-22, with nine wins against three losses. Every game pair has the engines taking opposite sides of the same preselected opening line, which makes Stockfish's lead even more impressive. Two of Houdini's three wins came in openings where Stockfish won its white game as well. So barring some really big improvements coming down the pike from Houdini or Komodo, it looks like the free engine, Stockfish, is also the best one.

    Tuesday
    Nov222016

    Book Review: Liliana Najdorf, Najdorf x Najdorf

    Liliana Najdorf, Najdorf x Najdorf (Russell Enterprises, 2016). 208 pp., $24.95. Reviewed by Dennis Monokroussos.

    Even when I was a kid 35-40 years ago, the name "Najdorf" (pronounced "nigh-dorf", but often mispronounced "nodge-dorf") was much more closely associated with the opening variation in the Sicilian rather than with the man himself, the Polish-born Argentinian grandmaster Miguel Najdorf. This is how it was in the United States, at least; perhaps in Europe and especially South America things were different. It's true that even in the early 1980s Najdorf (1910-1997) was already quite old by the standards of professional chess, but given his greatness as a player and his larger than life persona, his relative obscurity in the broader chess world is unfortunate.

    The book Najdorf x Najdorf (presumably this is to be read as "Najdorf by Najdorf"?) is not a chess biography, though there are 25 games. One is his immortal game with Glücksberg, annotated by Najdorf himself, twelve of his best and most notable games annotated by Jan Timman (who also supplied the Foreword). These 13 are given after the biographical portion, and there are another twelve distributed throughout the rest of the book. (These are briefly annotated by Taylor Kingston, who also translated the book, fact-checked it, and included various appendixes.) In addition to those 25 games, there are also two brief fragments from Najdorf's games, along with the famous Alekhine-Böök game. There is therefore enough chess material to satisfy fans looking for great games and looking for a hint of how strong he was throughout his career.

    The heart of the book, however, is the biography; mostly a memoir, authored by his daughter Liliana. Najdorf had two families: one in Poland, which was destroyed by the Nazis, and then a second one in Argentina. Najdorf was Jewish, and was playing in the Chess Olympiad in Buenos Aires when the Germans invaded Poland. Najdorf did what he could from Argentina to rescue his wife Genia and infant daughter Lusia, but he could not save them. During and then after the war Najdorf stayed in Argentina, remarrying and having two more daughters, Mirta and Liliana. (He outlived his second wife, Eta, who died of natural causes in 1982, and a third wife, Rita, as well; she died in 1996, one year before he did.)

    Some attention is given to Najdorf's chess career, but not too much, and what's there isn't of the usual "and then he went there and scored X/Y, taking 1st place, and then he traveled to..." material characteristic of chess biographies. Three themes run throughout the book: Najdorf's families, Najdorf's adventures (which includes chess but isn't limited to it), and Najdorf's gargantuan personality. Any chess player who has read stories about Najdorf will have some idea about Najdorf's gregariousness and volubility, and these traits pervaded his entire life, both for good and for ill. It helped make him rich as an insurance salesman and businessman, and made him friends and gave him influence with people of all stations all over the world. When it came to his personal relationships, especially with those in his family, however, it sometimes made things difficult, and that is clearly true in his relationship with Liliana.

    This does not mean that it was a bad relationship, only one with difficulties. In the Prologue, Liliana calls him a "crazy, intolerable, marvelous old man", and at the end of chapter 1, which is also a sort of prologue, she says this:

    To say he was larger than life strikes me as an understatement. I look for synonyms that will help me to define him, and in those words I find him: passionate, disproportionate, ostentatious, gigantic, extraordinary, overwhelming, marvelous. Wise.

    I must have inherited his tendency to excess, because I cannot choose, and I feel that every one of these adjectives fits.

    It is a book for you if you are interested in the human side of chess, and the actual chess content is a nice bonus.

    Monday
    Nov212016

    2016 World Championship, Game 8: Carlsen Self-Destructs, Karjakin Wins!

    Neither Lasker-Schlechter nor Anand-Gelfand managed to finish with all draws, and now Carlsen-Karjakin won't either. Sergey Karjakin opened the scoring with a win, and now leads 4.5-3.5 with four games remaining (assuming the match goes its full length and doesn't go to tiebreaks).

    Magnus Carlsen had White and played the Zukertort System of all things, trying as always both to surprise Karjakin and to reach a position with play. He may have surprised Karjakin, but when it came to creating chances he was less successful. If anything, it was Karjakin who had a little opportunity on move 19, and maybe Karjakin's decision to forego this chance, as well as some other opportunities in the match, dulled Carlsen's sense of danger.

    Carlsen kept taking risks, avoiding options on moves 24, 28, and 31 that would in each case have led to a speedy draw. Carlsen finally went too far with a blunder on move 35. Both players were in time trouble though, and Karjakin blundered right back on move 37, restoring equality.

    After the time control Carlsen could have drawn more than one way, but unfortunately for him he recovered his appetite and once again started playing for more. In fact this was more dangerous for him than for Karjakin, but even after a sloppy 49th move the position remained defensible. On move 51, however, he erred again, and after two precise moves by the challenger the game was over.

    Will Carlsen stage a successful comeback, or will Karjakin's lifelong ambition be realized? We'll see starting on Wednesday, as Tuesday is a rest day. Meanwhile, here is today's game, with my annotations.

    Sunday
    Nov202016

    2016 World Championship and Drawing Festival, Game 7

    Sergey Karjakin wasn't having much success as White in the Ruy Lopez, so today he tried something different and played 1.d4. The game started as a Slav that quickly transposed into a Queen's Gambit Accepted, and while the opening was different the result was the same as in all the other games of the match so far: a draw. Maybe Karjakin had a chance for a small edge early on with 11.Qxd8+; after his 11.Nd2 it was Carlsen who was a little better. That didn't last very long, but even so, after 16...Rc8 Carlsen invited Karjakin to win a pawn at the cost of allowing an essentially drawn (just about dead drawn) ending. The game ended after 33 moves, and tomorrow (Monday) it will be Carlsen's turn to see if he can make something of the White pieces.

    Here's today's game, with my notes.

    Sunday
    Nov202016

    2016 World Championship: Game 6 Also Drawn

    That makes six out of six. It's good for building the tension!

    Game six was, like game 4, a Closed Ruy, but after 8...0-0 9.h3 Bb7 10.d3 Carlsen went for a Marshall approach this time with 10...d5. His 14th move was a novelty, and while there are a couple of spots where Karjakin might seek improvements in the future, Carlsen had no trouble at all as the game actually went. After three very long and tough games, this one was very short, finishing in just 32 moves, and gave the players half a rest day before the official one on Saturday. (The game, with my notes, is here.)

    The match is half over, and in keeping with rules that have been standard for several matches the color order now switches: Karjakin will have White in the odd-numbered games, starting with game 7, today (Sunday).