A nice interview with Arshak Petrosian, a grandmaster, and the trainer and father-in-law of Peter Leko, here.
17-year-old Chinese super-GM Wei Yi is not only one of the world's strongest and most promising chess players, he's also one of the most exciting. He finished tied for second in the just-completed 7th HD Bank Cup in Vietnam, but when it came to aggressive, attacking chess he was number one. I look at five of his games from the tournament, including his one loss, in this week's World Chess column, hot off the press. Enjoy!
The film came out last year, and many of you may have seen it already. I just noticed it on Netflix and watched it there, so those of you who have it and haven't yet seen the movie now have your chance.
The final match of the 2017 Women's World Championship, between Zhongyi Tan and Anna Muzychuk, was decided in a rapid playoff today after four classical games left them in a 2-2 tie. Tan held a draw in the first rapid game, with Black, and then won the last game with White, which you can replay here with my light comments.
Congratulations to the new champ, who will defend her title next year against fellow Chinese star Ju Wenjun. The latter qualified by winning the 2015-2016 Women's Grand Prix, and the forthcoming match will be held in Khanty-Mansiysk.
The (just-completed) Women's World Championship brought Georgian great Nona Gaprindashvili (women's champ from 1962-1978) to mind, so my World Chess column this week takes a look at a brilliant tactical slugfest she won on her way to the top.
Raymond Smullyan was primarily a mathematician and logician, but he achieved a degree of fame in the chess world for his ingenious retrograde analysis puzzles. The idea is that one is given a position, and the task is not to figure out what to do next, but what must have happened for the current position to arise, for it to be legally possible. Ken Regan has a couple of recent posts on Smullyan on his blog, here and here. (They're not only about Smullyan, though, but the second one in particular presents a couple of retrograde problems from Smullyan's work, though the first is given with a small modification by Regan.)
Smullyan was a very entertaining writer, so if those retrograde analysis puzzles pique your interest I'd heartily recommend checking out or getting his books on the subject (here and here - but find a cheaper copy, obviously).
Raymond Smullyan, R.I.P.
Not much happened today in the final rounds of the Women's World Championship and the Aeroflot Open. The final classical game of the former event was drawn in 24 moves, so Anna Muzychuk and Zhongyi Tan will finish things off in a rapid (and if necessary, blitz) playoff tomorrow.
As for Aeroflot, Nikita Vitiugov gave up trying to leapfrog Vladimir Fedoseev pretty quickly, agreeing to a draw with White in just 20 moves. It's easy to criticize his decision, but his moves were reasonable and in the final position the following line looks forced: 20...Rxd4 21.Qxd4 Qxd4 22.Rxd4 Bxa3 23.Ra4 Bd3 24.Rb3 Bc2 25.Rbxa3 Bxa4 26.Rxa4 and then most likely 26...Rd8, when Black's active rook makes up for White's (about to be) passed a-pawn. Evgeny Najer also failed to win (with Black against Yu Yangyi), so Fedoseev took clear first with 7/9, half a point ahead of Vitiugov, Najer, and Vladislav Kovalev, who defeated Denis Khismatullin with the black pieces in a strange game.