Links

This form does not yet contain any fields.
    1948 World Chess Championship 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 U.S. Championship 2015 Women's World Championship KO 2016 World Championship 22014 Sinquefield Cup 22014 U.S. Championship 60 Minutes A. Muzychuk A. Sokolov aattacking chess Abby Marshall Accelerated Dragon ACP Golden Classic Adams Aeroflot 2010 Aeroflot 2011 Aeroflot 2012 Aeroflot 2013 Agrest Akiba Rubinstein Akiva Rubinstein Akobian 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 Stripunsky Alexandra Kosteniuk Alexei Dreev Alexei Shirov Alexey Bezgodov Almasi Amber 2010 Amber 2011 Amos Burn Anand Anand-Carlsen 2013 Anand-Gelfand 2012 Anand-Gelfand World Championship Match Anand-Topalov 2010 Anastasia Bodnaruk Anatoly Karpov Andrei Volokitin Andrew Martin Andrew Paulson Android apps Anish Giri 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 Astrakhan Grand Prix 2010 attack attacking chess Austrian Attack Averbakh Baadur Jobava Bacrot Baku Grand Prix 2014 Baltic Defense Bangkok Chess Club Open Bazna 2011 Becerra Beliavsky Benko Gambit Bent Larsen Berlin Defense Biel 2012 Biel 2014 Bilbao 2010 Bilbao 2012 Bilbao 2013 Bilbao Chess 2014 bishop endings Bishop vs. Knight Blackburne blindfold chess blitz blitz chess Blumenfeld Gambit blunders 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 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 engines chess history chess in fiction chess in film Chess Informant chess lessons chess psychology chess ratings chess variants Chess24 Chess960 ChessBase DVDs ChessBase Shows ChessLecture Presentations ChessLecture.com ChessUSA ChessUSA blog ChessVibes ChessVideos Presentations Chigorin Variation Chinese Chess Championship Christiansen Christmas Colle combinations Commentary computer chess computers correspondence chess Corsica Cyrus Lakdawala Danailov Daniel Parmet Daniil Dubov Dave MacEnulty Dave Vigorito David Howell David MacEnulty David Navara Davies Deep Blue Deeper Blue defense Dejan Antic Delchev Denis Khismatullin Ding Liren Dmitry Andreikin Dmitry Gurevich Dmitry Jakovenko Dominic Lawson Dortmund 2010 Dortmund 2011 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2013 Dortmund 2014 Doug Hyatt Dragoljub Velimirovic draws dreams Dreev Dunning-Kruger Effect Dutch Defense DVD Reviews DVDs Dvoirys Dvoretsky Easter Edouard Efimenko Efstratios Grivas endgame studies endgames Endgames English Opening Esserman Etienne Bacrot European Championship 2015 European Club Cup 2012 European Club Cup 2014 European Individual Championship 2012 Evgeni Vasiukov Evgeny Najer Evgeny Sveshnikov Evgeny Tomashevsky Exchange Ruy Fabiano Caruana Falko Bindrich farce FIDE Grand Prix FIDE Presidential Election FIDE ratings Fier fighting for the initiative Finegold Fischer football Francisco Vallejo Pons Fred Reinfeld French Defense 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 Giri 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 Ree Harika Dronavalli Hastings Hawaii International Festival Haworth Hedgehog 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 Igor Kurnosov Igor Lysyj Iljumzhinov 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 insanity Inside Chess Magazine Ippolito IQP Irina Krush Ivan Sokolov Ivanchuk J. Polgar Jacob Aagaard Jaenisch Jaideep Unudurti Jakovenko James Tarjan Jan Gustafsson Jan Timman Jay Whitehead Jeremy Silman Jimmy Quon John Grefe John Watson Jon Lenchner Jonathan Hawkins Jonathan Speelman Jose Diaz Ju Wenjun Judit Polgar Julio Granda Zuniga Kaidanov Kalashnikov Sicilian Kamsky Karjakin Karpov Karsten Mueller Kasimdzhanov Kasparov Kavalek Ken Regan Keres KGB Khalifman 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 Larry Evans Larry Kaufman Larry Parr Lasker Lasker-Pelikan Latvian Gambit Laznicka Le Quang Liem Leinier Dominguez Leko Leonid Kritz lessons Lev Psakhis Levon Aronian Lilienthal Linares 2010 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 Marshall Marshall Gambit Masters of the Chessboard Mateusz Bartel Max Euwe Maxime Vachier-Lagrave McShane Mega 2012 mental malfunction Mesgen Amanov Michael Adams Miguel Najdorf Mikhail Botvinnik Mikhail Tal Mikhalchishin Miles 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 Nikita Vitiugov Nimzo-Indian NNotre Dame football Norway Chess 2013 Norway Chess 2014 Notre Dame basketball Notre Dame football Notre Dame Football Nov. 2009 News Nyback Nyzhnyk Olympics 2010 Open Ruy opening advice opening novelties Openings openings Or Cohen P.H. Nielsen Parimarjan Negi Paris Grand Prix passed pawns Paul Keres Pavel Eljanov pawn endings pawn play pawn structures Pentala Harikrishna Pesotskyi Peter Heine Nielsen Peter Leko Peter Svidler Petroff Philadelphia Open Phiona Mutesi Pirc Piterenka Rapid/Blitz Polgar Polgar sisters Polugaevsky Ponomariov Ponziani Potkin poultry Powerbook 2011 problems progressive chess QGD Tartakower QQueen's Gambit Accepted queen sacrifices Queen's Gambit Accepted Queen's Gambit Declined Queen's Indian Defense Radjabov Ragger rapid chess Rapport Rashid Nezhmetdinov rating inflation ratings Ray Robson Regan Reggio Emilia 2010 Reggio Emilia 2011 Reshevsky Reti 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 rules Ruslan Ponomariov Russian Team Championship Rustam Kasimdzhanov Ruy Lopez Ruy Lopez sidelines Rybka Rybka 4 S. Kasparov sacrifices Sadler 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 Fedorchuk Sergey Karjakin Sergey Shipov Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Shankland Shipov Shirov Short Sicilian Sinquefield Cup sitzfleisch Slav Smith-Morra Gambit Smyslov Spassky spectacular moves Speelman sportsmanship Spraggett St. Louis Invitational stalemate Staunton Stockfish Stockfish 4 Stonewall Dutch Suat Atalik Super Bowl XLIV 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 TED talks Teimour Radjabov Terekhin The Chess Players (book) The Week in Chess Thessaloniki Grand Prix Three knights Tigran Petrosian Tim Krabbé time controls Timman Timur Gareev Tomashevsky Tony Miles Topalov traps Tromso Olympics 2014 TWIC types of chess players Ufuk Tuncer 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 van der Heijden Van Perlo van Wely Varuzhan Akobian Vasik Rajlich Vasily Smyslov Vassily Ivanchuk Vassily Smyslov Velimirovic Attack Veresov Veselin Topalov video videos Vienna 1922 Viktor Bologan Viktor Korchnoi Viktor Moskalenko Viswanathan Anand Vitaly Tseshkovsky Vitiugov Vladimir Kramnik Vladimir Tukmakov Vladislav Artemiev Vugar Gashimov Vugar Gashimov Memorial Wang Hao Wang Yue Watson Wei Yi Welcome Wesley Brandhorst Wesley So Wijk aan Zee 2010 Wijk aan Zee 2011 Wijk aan Zee 2012 Wijk aan Zee 2013 Wijk aan Zee 2014 Wijk aan Zee 2015 Wil E. Coyote Wilhelm Steinitz Willy Hendriks Winawer French Wojtkiewicz Wolfgang Uhlmann Women's Grand Prix Women's World Championship World Champion DVDs World Cup World Cup 2009 World Cup 2011 World Cup 2011 World Junior Championship World Senior Championship WWijk aan Zee 2012 Yasser Seirawan Yates Yermolinsky Yevseev Yoshiharu Habu Yu Yangyi Yuri Averbakh Yuri Razuvaev Yuriy Kuzubov Zaitsev Variation Zaven Andriasyan Zhao Xue Zug 2013 Zukertort System Zurich 1953 Zurich 2013 Zurich 2014 Zurich 2015
    Sunday
    Feb222015

    Tbilisi Grand Prix, Round 7: Jakovenko Closes on Tomashevsky

    Evgeny Tomashevsky continues to lead the Tbilisi Grand Prix after his third straight draw, and Dmitry Jakovenko has cut the lead to half a point. Tomashevsky had the white pieces against Peter Svidler and perhaps tried to catch the Gruenfeld specialist by surprise with a sideline. Perhaps he did, as Svidler used about an hour from move 13 to move 16, but it wasn't enough for an advantage. Svidler worked everything out, and soon Tomashevsky headed for a draw by repetition.

    Meanwhile, Jakovenko was building an advantage against Anish Giri's Dutch. Jakovenko's line is conceptually interesting, taking on a weak queenside structure in return for activity and the chance to swap off the right pieces. White was better throughout, though his advantage only grew decisive in the second time control.

    Giri had already joined Hikaru Nakamura as a charter member of the ex-2800s club before this game, but this solidified his membership. Another new member is Alexander Grischuk, whose loss to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is a bit hard to explain. Grischuk seemed to be doing just fine, but 17.Ra5 was a serious error that was soon compounded by 19.Bf4. As a result of these errors Black was up two pawns with a monster passer on d3, and while work remained to be done there was little doubt about the result from then on.

    The third victor of the day was Baadur Jobava, who outplayed Leinier Dominguez in one of the former's pet lines, the reversed Philidor.

    Four rounds remain. Behind Tomashevsky (5 points) and Jakovenko (4.5) there's Teimour Radjabov and Rustam Kasimdzhanov (4 points apiece), followed by Giri, Mamedyarov and Dominguez with 3.5.

    Saturday
    Feb212015

    Tbilisi Grand Prix, Round 6: Radjabov, Svidler Win; Tomashevsky Still Leads by a Point

    The relative standings at the top are almost identical to what they were coming into the 6th round of the Tbilisi Grand Prix. Evgeny Tomashevsky still leads by a point (now with 4.5 points) ahead of five other players. Coming into the round one member of the quintet was Alexander Grischuk, but he has been replaced by Teimour Radjabov, who defeated him speedily in a Najdorf Poisoned Pawn. The other four players are the same: Leinier Dominguez, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Anish Giri and Dmitry Jakovenko.

    Radjabov reintroduced the e5 line into top-level chess about a decade ago, when he crushed Viswanathan Anand with it in a blitz game. Since then there has been an explosion of theory on the variation, but it isn't clear that today's game will open a new chapter. Radjabov's 16.Be2 was a rare move, and in the two previous games to see this Black was doing okay. 16...Nxg3 was played in a comparatively low-level OTB game (the computer claims this is equal) and 16...Qa1+ occurred in a high-level correspondence game, albeit back in 2009. The computer likes the latter move, and Black won both games. If this line has a future, it will be with 16...Qa1+ but not Grischuk's 16...Nc5. White was clearly better after that move, and further errors by Grischuk on moves 18 and 20 sealed his speedy demise. Black resigned on move 24, faced with massive material losses or mate.

    The day's other winner was Peter Svidler, who defeated Dmitry Andreikin with White in a 4.d3 Berlin. Svidler saddled his opponent with a weak queenside structure, and even though Andreikin was probably okay the position wasn't very comfortable to play. Eventually he dropped a pawn on the queenside, and got caught in a catch-22. His king needed to rush to the queenside to deal with the a-pawn, but when it turned into a rook ending it was one that would have been drawn if his king were on the kingside. Cut off on the d-file, it was lost and he soon resigned.

    Round 7 is tomorrow, and Svidler will have Black against Tomashevsky then.

    Friday
    Feb202015

    Tbilisi Grand Prix, Round 5: Tomashevsky Still the Sole Leader

    Evgeny Tomashevsky continues to lead in Tbilisi, and by a full point, but he looked a bit shaky today. Anish Giri was clearly pushing Tomashevsky for a long time, despite playing with the black pieces, and if he had won they'd have been tied for first with 3.5 points apiece. Tomashevsky had to defend for a long time, but he was up to the job and held. Giri thus remains tied for second, and has joined Hikaru Nakamura as the latest member of the prestigious (but undesirable) ex-2800s club.

    Another player in the five-way tie for second is Rustam Kasimdzhanov, who is having an excellent tournament with three wins in his last four games. (Recall that he was much better if not winning against Alexander Grischuk in round 1 before going astray and losing. Had he won that game and everything else gone the same way, he'd have been tied for first at this point.) Today he won quickly against Peter Svidler, who was under pressure but still alive until he played 23...Rf7. It was a logical move, but too passive - he needed to play 23...Rc4 instead, keeping the rook active and annoying White's pieces. After the game move, White had a free hand and ransacked Black's position.

    Leinier Dominguez is also tied for second after a long win against Dmitry Andreikin. Andreikin attempt at a kingside attack was rebuffed, and after 29 moves he was down a piece and simply lost. That he hung on as long as he did was a testimony to his resilience as a defender (not to any bad sportsmanship), and Dominguez had to play very well to convert his extra material into a full point.

    Dmitry Jakovenko and Alexander Grischuk are also in the tie for second after their game, a very short draw by repetition in a Modern Benoni.

    Turning to players who are further back, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Teimour Radjabov drew what looked like a very correct Poisoned Pawn Winawer, while Baadur Jobava defeated Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in a game that was anything but correct. First Mamedyarov was (much) better with Black in one of Jobava's 1.b3/2.Bb2/3.Nc3 oddities, and later the evaluation went up and down like the mercury in a thermometer going from the oven to the freezer and back again. Finally, it looked like they were headed for a draw by perpetual check, but Mamedyarov uncorked 26...Kf7??, which loses the queen or walks into mate in two. Mamedyarov clearly didn't see the latter, as he made the next move and only then resigned before the mate appeared on the board.

    Thursday
    Feb192015

    Zurich 2015: Nakamura Wins After An Armageddon Win Over Anand

    The Zurich Chess Challenge came to an unusual and controversial conclusion today, and in the end Hikaru Nakamura was the winner in an Armageddon game. We'll get back to this, but first, there was a rapid event.

    Viswanathan Anand entered the rapid round-robin with a one point lead over Nakamura, a two-point lead over Vladimir Kramnik and a massive three point lead over everyone else. Despite this, he was somewhat fortunate to reach an Armageddon match at all. Anand drew the first game against Kramnik and Nakamura beat Fabiano Caruana, cutting the lead to half a point. In round 2 Anand lost to Levon Aronian, but as Nakamura lost to Kramnik Anand kept his half-point lead over Nakamura while Kramnik closed to within a point. In round 3 Anand beat Caruana while Nakamura drew with Sergey Karjakin, so the gap between them went back to a full point. Kramnik stayed within striking range, catching up to Nakamura by defeating Aronian.

    The fourth round was huge for Nakamura. He defeated Anand in their head-to-head game, catching up to him in first place, while Kramnik lost what was at one point a winning position against Karjakin. Nakamura got a second bit of fantastic news after the round: it was suddenly decided that in the event of a first-place tie, the rules that had been agreed upon before the tournament would be thrown out the window. Rather than using Sonneborn-Berger tiebreaks, a tie would be settled by blitz games. As Anand would have won on tiebreaks, this was obviously a boon to Nakamura's chances.

    In the last round Kramnik bounced back with a win over Caruana, and he became the winner of the rapid portion of the tournament. That didn't help him win the overall event, however, as the leaders drew: Anand with Karjakin and Nakamura with Aronian.

    So it was on to blitz for Anand and Nakamura--or was it? Initially the clocks were set for a 4' + 3" blitz game, and Nakamura was sitting at the board waiting for Anand to show - but he didn't. Nakamura was called away from the board, and some time later he came back, as did Anand, with the clocks reset for an Armageddon game. Anand got five minutes, Nakamura four minutes plus draw odds. Anand probably should have told the organizers to take a flying leap, as his great predecessors Bobby Fischer, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik surely would have done. No doubt he would have done it in a very gracious way, but that is what he should have done. If it's necessary to declare a winner I'm all in favor of playoffs as a way of breaking ties, but this was ridiculous. You simply don't change rules - rules that weren't unfair to begin with - right at the very end of a tournament, especially without the players' prior consent.

    Instead, Anand played, and played badly. He chose the same line of the QGD he had used to defeat Magnus Carlsen in game 3 of the last world championship match and to defeat Nakamura in their classical game in the tournament, but the third time wasn't the charm. His plan with 9.g4 was simply bad, and Nakamura was winning while he was still in the opening. Whether his subpar play was due to the poor opening idea or a lack of emotional stability due to the rule change, Anand was mercilessly crushed in 29 moves.

    In conclusion, it was yet another very good event for Nakamura, who has gone from success to success the past several months. It was also a good event for Anand, at least as far as the classical portion is concerned, and a nice way to bounce back from the disaster in Baden-Baden. Kramnik also had a reasonable tournament: an undefeated 50% in the classical portion was par for the course, and a win in the rapid should boost his confidence a bit. For the other three players, it was a tournament to forget.

    Wednesday
    Feb182015

    Korchnoi Interview

    With the assistance of Gennadi Sosonko, here.

    Wednesday
    Feb182015

    Tbilisi Grand Prix, Round 4: Tomashevsky Wins Again

    Evgeny Tomashevsky continues to impress in the Tbilisi Grand Prix, and after only four rounds he leads by a full point. Today's win came with the black pieces against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, so it isn't as if he's beating weak players. (Not that there are any weak players in the Grand Prix.)

    There was only one other winner on the day, and it was Alexander Grischuk. Grischuk bounced back from yesterday and reconsolidated his spot as the world's #2, defeating a struggling Baadur Jobava. Jobava's bad form from Wijk aan Zee (a -7 score) appears to be continuing, and he already has three losses here as well.

    Tomashevsky has 3.5, Grischuk, Anish Giri and Dmitry Jakovenko have 2.5, and tomorrow all of the players get a day off.

    Games here.

    Wednesday
    Feb182015

    Zurich 2015, Round 5: Anand Finishes the Classical Stage in the Lead

    All three of today's games finished in a draw, so the classical stage of this year's Zurich Chess Challenge has come to an end with Viswanathan Anand in the lead. Anand drew pretty comfortably with Black against Sergey Karjakin, and most of the way he was even a bit better. There were no big advantages on either side of the Hikaru Nakamura - Levon Aronian or Fabiano Caruana - Vladimir Kramnik games either, so everyone should enter tomorrow's rapid action on an emotionally even keel. (Games here, without annotations.)

    Current Standings:

    • 1. Anand 7 (out of 10)
    • 2. Nakamura 6
    • 3. Kramnik 5
    • 4-6. Karjakin, Caruana, Aronian 4

    Tomorrow they will play a rapid (25' + 20") round robin, and their scores will be added to their current totals. The point values will be the traditional ones: a win will be worth one point, a draw half a point and a loss adds nothing.

    A few days ago I neglected to mention the results of the second day of the rapid match between Viktor Korchnoi and Wolfgang Uhlmann. Here too they took turns winning, and the match finished in a 2-2 tie. On day one the players won their White games; on day two they both won with Black.

    Tuesday
    Feb172015

    Tbilisi Grand Prix, Round 3: Tomashevsky Beats Grischuk, And Leads

    Evgeny Tomashevsky is a very strong Russian grandmaster, but as there is no shortage of elite players from that country he has generally gone unnoticed in the West, except perhaps during the 2013 World Cup when he made it to the semi-finals, defeating Alejandro Ramirez, Wesley So, Levon Aronian, Alexander Morozevich and Gata Kamsky before losing (a match he could have won) to Dmitry Andreikin. Today he reminded the chess world of what he could do, dispatching co-leader and world #2 Alexander Grischuk pretty convincingly with White in a King's Indian. He now leads alone with 2.5/3, but with plenty of chess yet to be played. (It's an 11-round tournament.)

    There were two other decisive results. One featured the aforementioned Andreikin, who lost with White to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. The other was an instructive game for amateurs, a speedy loss by Baadur Jobava to Dmitry Jakovenko. (Incidentally, both Mamedyarov and Jakovenko are tied for second with 2/3, along with Anish Giri.) In an isolated d-pawn (IQP) position Jobava tried to whip up a quick attack with h4-h5. That's a common idea in IQP middlegames where Black has a pawn on g6, or is likely to put one there in the near future, but when the pawn is on g7 and is staying there, and White doesn't have a queen and bishop battery on the b1-h7 diagonal it's very rare. Some of us might be rather frightened by such an attacking idea, especially when it comes from a player of Jobava's stature, and that's what makes Jakovenko's play so instructive. He reacted very healthily, putting his pieces where they belonged, making appropriately active moves, and taking material as appropriate without fearing any ghosts.

    I've annotated that game, and included the other games as well (without notes) here. For more on the tournament, here's its webpage.

    Tuesday
    Feb172015

    Zurich 2015, Round 4: Anand Beats Nakamura to Take Over First

    It was a strong game by ex-champion Viswanathan Anand, who leapfrogged former leader (and for now, former 2800 player) Hikaru Nakamura by beating them in their head-to-head game. If I'm not mistaken, this was the first time he had beaten Nakamura (at least in classical chess), and it came at a propitious moment in the tournament. There's still plenty of action left, as tomorrow's game is only the end of the classical portion of the Zurich Chess Challenge and will be followed by a rapid round robin; still, this was a big victory for Anand.

    They briefly followed the line in which Anand beat Magnus Carlsen in game 3 of last year's title match, but Nakamura played 7...Nh5 rather than 7...c6. The move Nakamura chose has been considered very satisfactory for Black, and everything looked fine for him for quite a while. After a while, though, it looked like Nakamura had a bit of a dilemma. If he didn't swap everything off on the queenside he'd remained cramped, but if he did open the board White would have the option of playing on both wings with his extra space.

    These dilemmas persisted throughout the game. For instance, when Black played 22...h5 it weakened the kingside, but if he didn't do it Anand would have achieved further progress by playing h5 himself. Another hard choice came a couple of moves later, after 24.fxe5. If the bishop retreated to d8 it would have kept White's rook off of b6. That's a good thing for Black, and he probably should have done that. If he had, however, then his kingside would be even more barren, and had White built up an attack with Nf4, g4 and so on, and crashed through, then "geniuses" like me might have picked on him for not keeping his bishop on the kingside to protect his king. In this game, though, Anand crashed through on the queenside, and Nakamura's attempt to create counterplay on the kingside came too late to save the day.

    The other two games were drawn. Levon Aronian was better with White against Fabiano Caruana in a Lasker QGD thanks to White's customary space advantage. The question in such cases is usually whether the player can maintain his extra space and then turn it into a different sort of advantage, and in this game the answer was negative: he couldn't. Finally, Vladimir Kramnik couldn't make any headway against Sergey Karjakin in a Reti...or was it an oddball Closed Sicilian? I have almost no idea about how to classify their opening, except to say that it was more of a success for Black than for White.

    The (unannotated) games are here, and these are the pairings for round 5:

    • Caruana (3) - Kramnik (4)
    • Nakamura (5) - Aronian (3)
    • Karjakin (3) - Anand (6)

    Monday
    Feb162015

    Zurich 2015, Round 3: Nakamura Outprepares Karjakin, Wins, and Joins the 2800 Club

    Now there are ten lifetime members of the 2800 club, though the last two to make it - Anish Giri yesterday and Hikaru Nakamura today - have "only" achieved it on the Live List and not yet on an official FIDE list. Still, it's enormously impressive accomplishment, as was the preparation with which he achieved it.

    Facing Sergey Karjakin in round 3 of the Zurich Chess Challenge Nakamura went for a very sharp line of the English, where he was armed to the teeth with some great computer analysis. Karjakin claimed afterwards to have had the analysis as well:

    The worst way to lose a game is, when you know the line until a draw, but, can not remember how it goes and get a losing position immediately.

    I disagree. To my mind it's far, far worse to lose a game when you blow a winning position, especially with a lot of money or a title or a norm at stake. Or suppose you lose on time in a winning position because you lost track of the move number and went to get some orange juice, thinking the time control had been made. (That actually happened to Nakamura a few years ago - at least the losing on time part. He may not have been winning when that happened, but he certainly wasn't losing.) To blow a draw because you forget something in an incredibly complicated line you didn't expect and that you might have prepared somewhere between one to five years ago is hardly in the same category. What happened to Karjakin is annoying, sure, but there's a big difference between merely having the analysis somewhere and remembering that analysis. Here's an amusing parallel:

    With the win Nakamura is in clear first with 2.5/3 with just two rounds of classical chess to go - or rather, 5/6. Viswanathan Anand is a point (4/6) behind after drawing a tough game against Fabiano Caruana. First he was worse, bordering on seriously worse, until Caruana played 24.Nc2? That was a serious error that left Anand with a significant advantage, but he was unable to maintain it and the game was agreed drawn shortly after the time control. Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik drew their game as well. Aronian had the upper hand throughout and won a pawn; it just wasn't enough to win the game. (The three games are here, including notes to Nakamura's win.)

    Here are the pairings for round 4:

    • Kramnik (3) - Karjakin (2)
    • Anand (4) - Nakamura (5)
    • Aronian (2) - Caruana (2)

    Page 1 ... 3 4 5 6 7 ... 303 Next 10 Entries »