Sad news that the young (20 years old) and very strong (2658) Russian grandmaster Ivan Bukavshin has died, apparently of a stroke. Aside from complaining of a headache in the evening before his death, there doesn't seem to have been any indication that anything at all was wrong with the young man's health. Very sad.
The Rilton Cup finished last week and produced two new members of the 2700 club, Jon Ludwig Hammer (actually, he had made it over before dropping below the magic number) and Maxim Rodshtein, who won the event with 8/9 and a terrific 2876 TPR.
HT: Marcus Uneson, who also drew my attention to the game Krasenkow-Hammer, which Hammer called the best game he ever played. (Note especially his 31st move.)
[Update: Fixed Rodshtein's score - see the comments section.]
Coming soon to a U.S. Championship near you, or right after it. Garry Kasparov will join the top three finishers from that event in a two-day round-robin blitz event upon the Championship's conclusion. It will be interesting to see Kasparov take on someone more or less his own size (assuming the top three is populated by the likes of Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, and Wesley So), even if he's strategically scheduling it so they'll be pre-exhausted by the tournament.
More on both events, here.
It's not a new article, but it's useful mini-summary of the benefits of the game for those of you who want to persuade school administrators to start a chess program, or perhaps hope to persuade your older relatives to give the game a go.
HT: Mike Landers
ChessBase has picked their top 10 games of the year, but the voters get to decide the final rankings. Whatever the final standings, and notwithstanding the possibility that some other game or games should have been there instead, the 10 games they've given are all spectacular and worth seeing or even revisiting.