The headline is slightly misleading, as the Chess Cafe website didn't shut down for the past six months, but many of its regular columns were on hiatus from the start of the year. Happily, the columns (including Mark Dvoretsky's) are being updated once again, so those of you who have forgotten about the site over the past half year may wish to renew your acquaintance with it.
In the previous post I linked to a short interview of Viswanathan Anand focusing on his performance in last month's world rapid & blitz championships, and in that article he singled out several games of special importance. Those games, with my brief notes (including his win over Magnus Carlsen), can be replayed here.
Once again "our" man on the scene Jaideep Unudurti has scored an interview with ex-world champion and current world championship contender Viswanathan Anand. It's a short piece and there's no "red meat" about the coming title tilt with Magnus Carlsen, but there are some interesting comments about the recently completed World Rapid & Blitz Championships, especially the rapid portion of the event.
It's worth a look, and I hope to present the games Anand referred to in a subsequent post.
This time, we'll have a look at an exciting Dragon from round 6 of the World Rapid Championship. The game was drawn and generally well-played, but both players may have missed some chances. It looks like it's of theoretical significance as well, so Dragoneers and prospective St. Georges should check it out.
And more too, including the latest video entry with Magnus Carlsen & Espen Agdestein discussing his (Carlsen's) play in the World Rapid Championship. Have a look.
In the game we presented yesterday, Baadur Jobava was the hero, defeating Shakhriyar Mamedyarov with some brilliant attacking play. Today we see Jobava in the opposite role, in the role of attacking victim. The game was played in the very next round of the World Rapid Championship, which ended last week, and the winner of the game was tournament runner-up and #1 rated (in rapid) Fabiano Caruana. Caruana's win wasn't as nice as Jobava's in the previous round, but it was attractive nonetheless and worth a look - enjoy!
In addition to providing data on the classical ratings of all players over 2700 FIDE, the Live Chess Ratings site now includes rapid and blitz ratings for those top players as well. (In case you're wondering, Fabiano Caruana is #1 in rapid with a 2857.6 figure, ahead of Magnus Carlsen's 2855.4; in blitz, Carlsen has a preposterous Elo of 2948, more than 42 points ahead of second-placed Hikaru Nakamura, 68 points ahead of Ian Nepomniachtchi and 98 points ahead of Levon Aronian. It's good to be king.)
The site also tracks the top ten women (and has for some time), and it's interesting to see that Hou Yifan (at 2648!) has closed to within just 28 points of Judit Polgar. It's about time someone did, and I'm hoping for a match between the two women sometime relatively soon.
Every now and then the past few days I've been browsing some of the many games from last week's World Rapid Championship, and some have caught my eye. One exceptionally impressive game was the round 4 battle between Baadur Jobava and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, won in brilliant style by the creative young Georgian grandmaster. As usual, he punted a slightly offbeat opening (the Veresov with 3.Bf4), and is also usual he managed to orient himself better in the unfamiliar setting than his opponent.
In this game, Jobava went all-out for the initiative, and managed to turn it into a sustained attack. Keeping it going required energetic and imaginative play, and rather than continuing to load on the adjectives I'll invite you to have a look and see for yourself. Very impressive chess, especially when played with a time control of game in 15 minutes, with only a ten second increment per move!
Watching the video coverage of round 2 of last week's World Rapid Championship, I found myself especially curious about the following position, which arose after Gadir Guseinov played 16.c3 against Magnus Carlsen:
Black has a pretty fair amount of force pointed at White's king, so it wouldn't be too surprising if Carlsen had something here. Does he? Have a look, take your time, and when you think you've got it all worked out, click here.