International Master and computer science professor Ken Regan has been mentioned with some regularity in these "pages", and it's time once more to draw attention to some of his recent work. On his (co-authored) blog, Gödel's Lost Letter, he has three recent posts on the recently concluded world championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin.
It was another exciting round, with three decisive games and not a single 1.e4 e5 snorefest.
The game of the round was a thriller between Veselin Topalov and Fabiano Caruana, an Advance French that went back and forth a few times before Caruana turned the tables one last time with the brilliant 36...Re8. It has been rumored that if he - Caruana - manages a +4 score in the tournament that he will overtake Magnus Carlsen for the #1 spot on the rating list. That seems wrong, but he would at least get very close to him on the list. Right now he is within 14 points, the nearest anyone has been to Carlsen in a very long time.
Another bit of big news on the rating list is that Wesley So has become the 12th player in history to achieve a FIDE rating of 2800, though for now it's only on the live list, where he is 2803.2. He defeated Mickey Adams to notch his second win of the tournament, and as a result he's in clear first. For Adams, it was his second straight defeat, and like yesterday he blundered at the end of the time control; a bit less egregiously in today's game, but not by much.
The third winner was Viswanathan Anand, who was unafraid of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and his Najdorf. With some nice preparation Anand came out of the opening with a serious advantage, and while he may not have prosecuted this advantage in the best possible way MVL's position was always difficult, and a blunder on move 29 sealed his fate.
Anish Giri and Hikaru Nakamura played past the first time control, but it never looked too frightening for Black and a draw was always the likeliest result. Vladimir Kramnik and Levon Aronian also drew, but theirs was a wild affair before it settled down to a drawn ending.
The games are here, and tomorrow's pairings look like this:
- Aronian (1.5) - So (2)
- Adams (0) - Giri (1)
- Nakamura (.5) - Anand (1.5)
- Vachier-Lagrave (.5) - Topalov (0)
- Caruana (1.5) - Kramnik (1.5)
In this week's World Chess column I take a look at a couple of impressive victories by Stockfish 8 over Houdini 5 from the recently completed TCEC Season 9 Superfinal. They're beautiful games, well worth a look.
The London Chess Classic got off to an entertaining start in the first round, with three decisive games out of five and only one 1.e4 e5 opening. Part of what made the day entertaining was the presence of blunders - at least two of them. Hikaru Nakamura more or less lost his game with Wesley So, with White (and on his birthday), thanks to 13.Ne2?, while Mickey Adams blundered a piece to Levon Aronian, missing a simple two-move sequence when he played 33...Ka8. The day's other winner was Vladimir Kramnik, who beated arch-nemesis Veselin Topalov in a brisk 28-mover. Caruana - Anand and Vachier-Lagrave - Giri were drawn, and all five games can be replayed here (with notes to the decisive games).
Round 2 Pairings:
- Kramnik (1) - Aronian (1)
- Topalov (0) - Caruana (.5)
- Anand (.5) - Vachier-Lagrave (.5)
- Giri (.5) - Nakamura (0)
- So (1) - Adams (0)
No blitz event for this one: they just show up and start playing, and the pairings are already out for the 2016 London Chess Classic. Here is what round 1 looks like, coming this Friday and starting at 4 p.m. local time (= 5 p.m. CET, noon ET):
- Levon Aronian (2785) - Michael Adams (2748)
- Hikaru Nakamura (2779) - Wesley So (2794)
- Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2804) - Anish Giri (2771)
- Fabiano Caruana (2823) - Viswanathan Anand (2779)
- Vladimir Kramnik (2809) - Veselin Topalov (2760)
That last pairing looks like trouble, but maybe having them get their game out of the way will help them both have a normal tournament, especially if it's a draw. Anyway, it should be a great tournament, and hopefully there will be very few Ruys and Giuocos after the 1.e4 e5 overdose at the Carlsen-Karjakin match.
With a score of 38.5-9.5, GM Timur Gareev finished his 48-board blindfold simul successfully, setting a new world record in the process. That's a remarkable feat, but I wonder how long the record will last - perhaps previous record-holder Marc Lang will try to one-up him, and then vice-versa? We'll see; for now, you find a brief report on the event, and the games, here.
Despite losing the last game, it was a dominant performance overall by Stockfish 8, going +17-8=75 to win season 9 of the Top Chess Engine Competition (TCEC). Congrats to the Stockfish team!
It would be nice if there were more information given here, but the map and stats on this page are still good for a few minutes' entertainment.
HT: James Turnbull
Six games remain in the 100-game superfinal between Stockfish 8 and Houdini 5, but since Stockfish already leads by a surprisingly healthy 52-42 score it has clinched overall victory in season 9 of the TCEC (Top Chess Engine Competition). Congratulations to their team, and thanks to them for keeping their program free to all of us in the chess world.
The very strong Chinese Chess League sees action this weekend - starting in about 15 minutes, in fact - and finds a number of 2700s (both domestic and imported) in action: Ding Liren, Yu Yangyi, Dmitry Andreikin, Wang Hao, Richard Rapport, Ernesto Inarkiev, Bu Xiangzhi, and Wei Yi. And while you're waiting for that to start, there was plenty of big Bundesliga action yesterday, starring traditional super-power OSG Baden-Baden. Their team is absurdly loaded: Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Viswanathan Anand, Peter Svidler, and so on. Lots of other great players were in action yesterday as well, so do check it out - top-level chess continues in the aftermatch of the Carlsen-Karjakin match.