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 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 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 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 Blaise Pascal 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 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 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 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 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 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 Markus Ragger 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 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 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 Wijk aan Zee 2017 Wil E. Coyote Wilhelm Steinitz 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 Zug 2013 Zukertort System Zurich 1953 Zurich 2013 Zurich 2014 Zurich 2015 Zurich 2016
    Monday
    Dec192016

    2016 London Chess Classic: So Wins The Tournament

    The last round turned out to be an anti-climax. Wesley So drew quickly and easily with White against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, and waited to see if Fabiano Caruana would catch him by winning with Black against Anish Giri. That never looked likely to happen, and it didn't: Giri drew for the ninth time in nine games, and So's +3 score (6-3) gave him clear first, to go along with his overall victory in the Grand Chess Tour. Caruana finished in clear second, and there was a three way tie for third, another half a point back. Two of the three were Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik, who drew with each other, and the third was Hikaru Nakamura, who drew with Michael Adams.

    There was one decisive game on the day, as Levon Aronian not only failed to take advantage of a better position, but somehow lost the thread in an equal position after the time control to lose to Veselin Topalov. Topalov could have finished at -7, but instead pulled up to a -5 score, while Aronian finished at -1 rather than in the tie for third place.

    The last round games, without annotations, are here.

    Saturday
    Dec172016

    2016 London Chess Classic: The Leaders Draw; So Clinches Overall Grand Chess Tour Victory

    For Hikaru Nakamura to overtake Wesley So in the overall Grand Chess Tour standings, a lot of things would have had to go right for him in today's round and in the final round tomorrow, but having drawn his game with Levon Aronian and with So having held against Fabiano Caruana, that ship has sailed. So has won the overall tour and the accompanying $100,000 bonus. By drawing with Caruana, who was and still is the only player within half a point of him, he is in a great position to win the London Chess Classic as well.

    So and Aronian had the black pieces, and both were very well-prepared in the openings, equalizing fully and drawing easily. Two other games were drawn, but with more drama.

    Vladimir Kramnik gave 1.e4 another punt, something he's been doing a fair amount lately, and Anish Giri played the Najdorf. The last two rounds saw Black get blown away in the Delayed Poisoned Pawn variation, but Kramnik played 6.g3 and went for a purely positional approach. Giri did his best to spice the game up, even giving up a piece for a few pawns. The game finished peacefully, but not from a want of effort or because the game lacked interest.

    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave continued his streak of unsuccessful openings, this time against Michael Adams. Adams equalized with Black pretty easily in a 4.d3 Berlin, and event obtained the advantage. To hold, MVL wisely gave up a pawn to reach a rook and four pawns vs. rook and three pawns ending, with all the pawns on the same side.

    Finally, Veselin Topalov managed yet another loss; his present score is one out of eight. (Granted, that's still one point more than almost everyone reading this would score, but for Topalov it's a disaster - he has lost almost 27 rating points and has fallen out of the top 18 in the world for the first time in more than two decades.) Today's suffering came at the hands of his conquerer in their 2010 World Championship match, Viswanathan Anand. Anand was ready with a great new idea in a major line of the 5.Bf4 Queen's Gambit Declined: 12...b5! Soon White was in serious trouble, but as has happened more than once in the tournament, Anand let his advantage slip away. Fortunately for him, but not for his snakebitten opponent, White's position remained precarious, and Topalov made further errors and lost. (The games are here, unannotated except for Topalov-Anand. That game has enough analysis to make up for the other four, and then some.)

    Here are the last round pairings:

    • Aronian (4) - Topalov (1)
    • Anand (4.5) - Kramnik (4.5)
    • Giri (4) - Caruana (5)
    • So (5.5) - Vachier-Lagrave (3.5)
    • Adams (3.5) - Nakamura (4.5)

    Friday
    Dec162016

    Coming Events (Mostly Rapid and Blitz)

    The FIDE Open in London and the British Knockout Championship started with the London Chess Classic, but finished two days earlier. Why? To make room for one more event: the Super Rapidplay, which runs on Saturday and Sunday, open to all those who played in the aforementioned events (excepting the Classic, of course).

    Then there's the Nutcracker Battle of the Generations, a Scheveningen-style event with Boris Gelfand, Alexander Morozevich, Alexei Shirov, and Alexei Dreev on the Experience side and Vladimir Fedoseev, Daniil Dubov, Vladislav Artemiev, and Grigoriy Oparin representing the Youth. The top scorer overall qualifies for next year's Zurich Chess Challenge, which is now the Korchnoi Zurich Chess Challenge. The present event takes place in Moscow from the 17th through the 22nd.

    Young superstars Richard Rapport and Wei Yi will play a six-game match in China from the 19th to the 24th of this month.

    An event that's already underway is the European Individual Rapid and Blitz Championship in Tallinn, Estonia; it started on the 14th and runs through the 18th. The rapid portion is over, and Alexander Riazantsev won on tiebreaks ahead of Maxim Matlakov; both players scored 9.5/11. Three players finished with 9 points apiece, and the bronze went to Rauf Mamedov on tiebreaks. (Full results here.) The blitz tournament takes place Saturday and Sunday (i.e. today/tomorrow and the next day).

    Last but certainly not least, and after all the aforementioned events have come to an end, the World Rapid and Blitz Championships take place in Doha, Qatar from December 25 (Merry Christmas!) to the 30th.

    Friday
    Dec162016

    Short Defeats Howell to Win British K.O. Championship

    One of the concurrent events in London alongside the Chess Classic is, or rather, was, the British Knockout Championship. Other than Michael Adams, who is playing in the Classic, all the top British players participated, and in the finale Nigel Short defeated David Howell 3.5-2.5 to take the title. The first three games were drawn, and then the player with White won the remaining games, all of which can be found here.

    Friday
    Dec162016

    This Week's World Chess Column: A Look at the London Chess Classic Open

    With one round to go (as of the column's submission) Etienne Bacrot led the London Chess Classic Open with 7/8, half a point ahead of three other players, including Chithambaram Aravindh. Aravindh had led until losing to Bacrot in round 8, and had been playing exceptionally well, so in this week's column I looked at several of his games and a couple by Bacrot.

    (For those curious about the rest of the story: Bacrot drew quickly in the last round and was caught by his countryman, Sebastien Maze, who also defeated Aravindh. As far as I can tell, there was no playoff and Bacrot was the nominal winner on tiebreaks.)

    Friday
    Dec162016

    2016 London Chess Classic, Round 7: Four Draws and a Spectacular Nakamura Win

    There was only one decisive game in round 7, but it was a very good one. After losing with Black in a Delayed Poisoned Pawn in round 6, Hikaru Nakamura decided to try things from the white side against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Like Fabiano Caruana the day before, he too was successful, winning a spectacular (though slightly imperfect) game.

    The other four games were drawn, three of them in the Queen's Gambit Declined with 5.Bf4. Two of them (So-Kramnik and Aronian-Anand) were short draws, of interest only to those concerned with making short, comfortable draws with Black. In the third game, Anish Giri managed to get a position where he could bother Veselin Topalov forever, and given Topalov's extremely bad form in the tournament the situation seemed exceptionally promising. Unfortunately for Giri, when Topalov did give him chances he didn't do anything with them, and eventually Giri stopped trying after 67 moves. That stopped the bleeding for Topalov, while giving Giri his seventh consecutive draw in the tournament.

    The fourth draw was an English Opening between Mickey Adams and Fabiano Caruana, a correct draw where Adams enjoyed a slight pull throughout. Caruana found an elegant way to eliminate his problems by sacrificing a pawn to reach a drawn opposite-colored bishop ending.

    (Today's games are here, with my annotations.)

    Caruana thus remains in second place, half a point behind So, and they play tomorrow with Caruana getting the white pieces. Nakamura is a further half a point behind, and will need everything to go right for him and wrong for So in the next two rounds if he is to have a chance of overtaking him in the overall standings for the Grand Chess Tour. Here are tomorrow's pairings:

    • Nakamura (4) - Aronian (3.5)
    • Vachier-Lagrave (3) - Adams (3)
    • Caruana (4.5) - So (5)
    • Kramnik (4) - Giri (3.5)
    • Topalov (1) - Anand (3.5)

    Friday
    Dec162016

    2016 London Chess Classic, Round 6: So Wins Again, Still Leads

    It's back to the good old days of rounds 1 and 2, as round 6 emulated its great predecessors in seeing three decisive games out of the five. Those decisive games were important ones for the leaderboard, too, especially Wesley So's win over Veselin Topalov, whose rating is diving faster than a submarine trying to avoid detection. So is at +3, and now rather than leading four players by just half a point he has opened up a larger lead against all but one of his pursuers - Fabiano Caruana.

    Topalov - So started out as an interesting game, but Topalov's odd 18th move immediately got him in serious trouble, and just nine moves later it was time to pack it in. Caruana's win over Hikaru Nakamura was a very different affair, an example of spectacular preparation by Caruana that landed on Nakamura like a ton of bricks. His subsequent play wasn't perfect, but it was good enough to reel in the full point, pushing Nakamura out of the tie for second and almost out of contention for overall victory in the Grand Chess Tour, which is nearly but not quite guaranteed to go to So.

    The third decisive game on the day kicked another second-placed player a full point behind Caruana when Levon Aronian lost to Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Vachier-Lagrave has had trouble in the opening all tournament long, and here too, with White, he was worse early on. Aronian missed a good chance for a serious edge, and in the leadup to the time control (but not in serious time trouble) made a series of serious errors leading to a speedy loss.

    The other games were drawn. Vladimir Kramnik got nothing on the white side of a Zukertort System against Mickey Adams, while drawing specialist Anish Giri had excellent winning chances with Black against Viswanathan Anand, but couldn't convert his advantage. (The games, with my notes, are here.)

    Here's what's coming up in round 7:

    • Aronian (3) - Anand (3)
    • Giri (3) - Topalov (.5)
    • So (4.5) - Kramnik (3.5)
    • Adams (2.5) - Caruana (4)
    • Nakamura (3) - Vachier-Lagrave (3)

    Wednesday
    Dec142016

    American Chess Magazine: Issue 1

    Chess in the United States is going swimmingly, with three players in the top eight in the world, the Olympic title, a host of talented juniors, two big chess hubs (New York City and St. Louis), universities that import GMs by the barrel-full, and super-sponsor Rex Sinquefield, for starters. Russia still has an overall edge based on their longer history and deeper infrastructure, while China and India will be hard to keep up with due to their population advantages, but the U.S. is clearly one of the world's chess super-powers and should remain there for the foreseeable future.

    One area of chess where it is most decidedly not a super-power, however, is in the realm of chess publishing. The best chess book publishers are in Europe, while the United States Chess Federation's magazine, Chess Life, is not up to the standard of a publication like New in Chess.

    This may be changing, however - thanks, ironically, to the Serbian juggernaut that is Chess Informant. They (particularly Josip Asik) are the publishers of a new and very impressive periodical called American Chess Magazine (henceforth ACM). This, like the Informant itself, is intended to be a quarterly, and the first issue, for fall-winter 2016/2017, is now in print.

    The issue is a monster. The pages are just short of A4 size - 8.3" x 11", the same as contemporary issues of New in Chess Magazine (NICM). Like NICM it is a full-color magazine, but where NICM has "only" 106 pages per issue, ACM weighs in at a hefty 152 pages. (To be fair, NICM comes out 8x/year, twice as often as ACM is going to - at least at this point.) The magazine looks nice, and more importantly, is packed with content; there is very little filler, nor are the pages littered with ads.

    You can find much more about the issue here, including a full table of contents and a short video preview that will offer a great overview of what you can expect from the magazine. The price is a bit high as magazines go - $29.95 for the first issue - but I would expect that price to go down somewhat as subscribers, and subsequently the number of advertisers and the amount they'll need to pay for ad space, both increase. The publication deserves a worldwide audience, as the overwhelming majority of the content is of general interest and not centered on the distinctively American chess scene.

    One more comparison with NICM, which has a cover price of $12.99 per issue. I counted up the number of games, game fragments, and other chess content in both magazines, and here are the results:

    NICM 2016, issue 7: 17 annotated games, three unannotated games, 14 annotated game fragments, three unannotated game fragments, one opening article, and nine tactics puzzles.

    ACM: Fall-Winter 2016/7: 26 annotated games (some very deeply), one unannotated game, 26 very lightly annotated games (near the end of the magazine, showing some highlights from relatively minor U.S. events), 25 annotated game fragments, an openings article by Baadur Jobava in which he looks at four different opening lines, an endgame column by Jonathan Speelman, 14 tactical puzzles and two compositions.

    Lest you think that ACM neglects NICM's strengths, like interviews, profiles, and recaps, it isn't so: ACM has done a fine job there, too. So I'd recommend giving ACM a try, at least if you're a fairly strong player - at least 1800 or so, or rapidly heading for that figure. (At least if you're buying it almost entirely for the high-level chess content. As with NICM, there is plenty of prose, too, so readers who want to enjoy it as a magazine and are content to browse the games primarily for pleasure should ignore the rating caveat offered two sentences ago.)

    Full disclosure: I was asked to join the editorial staff, and while I wasn't involved in any way with the first issue, it is quite possible that I will be involved in the near future. I think the review was objective and my enthusiasm is genuine and merited, but I'm not neutral here: I want the publication to succeed (provided that they continue to put out a good product).

    Wednesday
    Dec142016

    Super-Prodigy Watch: Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu

    The Chess Classic is the main event in London, but it's only one part of a larger chess festival. There's also the British Knockout Championship (it's up to the final match between Nigel Short and David Howell, tied after three consecutive draws) and an Open event too. One of the players in the latter is an Indian named Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu*. Oh, and he's 11 years old, having become the youngest IM in chess history earlier this year, when he was still just 10 years of age. He lost an ending he should have drawn to a GM in round 4, and then today overpressed and lost to an FM, so his chances of achieving a GM in this event are almost certainly gone. Nevertheless, he has excellent chances of breaking Sergey Karjakin's record for the youngest GM in history, as he still has more than a year to do it.

    For further reading: his Wikipedia page is a good place to start, and the links therein - especially Leonard Barden's article - are worth your time as well.

    * And some people think typing "Nepomniachtchi" is annoying, or even "Monokroussos". Never assume things can't get worse, or at least more challenging!

    Wednesday
    Dec142016

    2016 London Chess Classic: So Still Leads After Five Rounds

    Heading into the tournament's only rest day, Wesley So still leads the London Chess Classic after three consecutive draws, but he is just half a point ahead of four pursuers: Hikaru Nakamura, Levon Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik, and Fabiano Caruana.

    Each of the first two rounds had three decisive results, while the last three rounds combined have added only three more decisive results to the tally. It's not for want of trying, however; several games nearly finished in a win before the defender escaped with a draw. Here's a quick recap of rounds 3-5.

    In round 3, Nakamura avenged his first round loss to So on his (Nakamura's) birthday by defeating Viswanathan Anand on his. Anand had a decent position out of the opening, but a series of strange tactical errors - by both players - brought both players to 50%. That was the only win of the round, but Veselin Topalov had chances to defeat Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. In the end MVL escaped with a draw, and while Topalov only received half a point from the game, it's the only half a point he has acquired in the whole tournament through round 5. Aronian, Caruana, and Anish Giri enjoyed advantages against So, Kramnik, and Michael Adams, respectively, but were probably never too close to winning.

    Nakamura was the only winner in round 4 as well, after Topalov went crazy with White trying to make something happen. The result was a practically lost position coming out of the opening, and while Topalov may have had a fleeting chance at a fortress with 44.Rxf3 (instead of the hopeless 44.Kxf3 chosen in the game) Rxe2+ 45.Rxe2 Qxe2+ 46.Rf2, the overall trend was very much against him, and Nakamura pulled to within half a point of the leader. Anand-Adams and Caruana-Aronian were stable draws, but So had excellent winning chances against Giri, winning a pawn in the ending, while Kramnik also forced Vachier-Lagrave to defend for a long time. Giri and MVL played excellent chess, and held the draws.

    In round 5 someone other than Nakamura won, but Topalov was again the victim. This time it was Adams who exploited the Bulgarian's bad form. Actually, "bad form" is a misnomer. Topalov just played very aggressively - too aggressively - and Adams played a great game to neutralize his opponent's dangerous but ultimately unsound attack. Adams's preparation was very deep, deep enough that although he had to work out the problems with Topalov's idea on his own, he knew that the engine didn't approve of his opponent's choice. That can be a big advantage: even if you don't know what's wrong with your opponent's choice, you know that something's wrong with it, and the task is just to work it out!

    Speaking of deep preparation, Giri and Anand both produced startling ideas in their games that let them both easily equalize and draw with Black. For Anand, it was 10...Bxa3!? vs. So, while for Giri it was the at-best-temporary exchange sac 12...b6 against Aronian. In the other two games there was more drama. Nakamura pushed hard against Kramnik, hoping for a third consecutive win and a share of the lead, but Kramnik's excellent defense saved the day. Vachier-Lagrave's situation against Caruana was more dire, but when Caruana played the flashy 24...Rd2 rather than the pedestrian - but stronger - 24...Nb4, he was able to escape. (Round 3-5 games here, but without annotations.)

    Wednesday is a rest day, and on Thursday play resumes with the following pairings:

    • Vachier-Lagrave (2) - Aronian (3)
    • Caruana (3) - Nakamura (3)
    • Kramnik (3) - Adams (2)
    • Topalov (.5) - So (3.5)
    • Anand (2.5) - Giri (2.5)

    Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 382 Next 10 Entries »