Links

This form does not yet contain any fields.
    1948 World Chess Championship 1959 Candidates 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 Capablanca Memorial 2015 Chinese Championship 2015 European Club Cup 2015 European Team Championship 2015 London Chess Classic 2015 Millionaire Open 2015 Poikovsky 2015 Russian Team Championship 2015 Sinquefield Cup 2015 U.S. Championship 2015 Women's World Championship KO 2015 World Blitz Championship 2015 World Cup 2015 World Junior Championship 2015 World Open 2015 World Rapid & Blitz Championship 2015 World Team Championships 2016 2016 Candidates 2016 Capablanca Memorial 2016 Champions Showdown 2016 Chess Olympiad 2016 Chinese Championship 2016 European Club Cup 2016 Isle of Man 2016 London Chess Classic 2016 Russian Championship 2016 Sinquefield Cup 2016 Tal Memorial 2016 U.S. Championship 2016 U.S. Junior Championship 2016 U.S. Women's Championship 2016 Women's World Championship 2016 World Blitz Championship 2016 World Championship 2016 World Junior Championship 2016 World Open 2016 World Rapid Championship 2017 British Championship 2017 British Knockout Championship 2017 Champions Showdown 2017 Chinese Championship 2017 Elite Mind Games 2017 European Team Championship 2017 Geneva Grand Prix 2017 Grand Prix 2017 Isle of Man 2017 London Chess Classic 2017 PRO Chess League 2017 Russian Championship 2017 Sharjah Masters 2017 Sinquefield Cup 2017 Speed Chess Championship 2017 U..S. Championshp 2017 U.S. Junior Championship 2017 Women's World Championship 2017 World Cup 2017 World Junior Championship 2017 World Team Championship 2018 Candidates 2018 Chess Olympiad 2018 World Championship 22014 Sinquefield Cup 22014 U.S. Championship 22016 Chess Olympiad 2Mind Games 2016 2Wijk aan Zee 2017 60 Minutes A. Muzychuk A. Sokolov aattacking chess Abby Marshall Accelerated Dragon ACP Golden Classic Adams Aeroflot 2010 Aeroflot 2011 Aeroflot 2012 Aeroflot 2013 Aeroflot 2015 Aeroflot 2016 Aeroflot 2017 AGON Agrest Akiba Rubinstein Akiva Rubinstein Akobian Akshat Chandra Alejandro Ramirez Alekhine Alekhine Defense Aleksander Lenderman Alekseev Alena Kats Alex Markgraf Alexander Alekhine Alexander Beliavsky Alexander Grischuk Alexander Ipatov Alexander Khalifman Alexander Moiseenko Alexander Morozevich Alexander Onischuk Alexander Panchenko Alexander Stripunsky Alexander Tolush Alexandra Kosteniuk Alexei Dreev Alexei Shirov Alexey Bezgodov Almasi AlphaZero Alvin Plantinga Amber 2010 Amber 2011 American Chess Magazine Amos Burn Anand Anand-Carlsen 2013 Anand-Gelfand 2012 Anand-Gelfand World Championship Match Anand-Topalov 2010 Anastasia Bodnaruk Anatoly Karpov Anders Ericsson Andrei Volokitin Andrew Martin Andrew Paulson Android apps Anish Giri Anna Muzychuk Anna Ushenina Anna Zatonskih Anti-Marshall Lines Anti-Moscow Gambit Anti-Sicilians Antoaneta Stefanova Anton Korobov Anton Kovalyov apps April Fool's Jokes Archangelsk Variation Arkadij Naiditsch Arne Moll Aron Nimzowitsch Aronian Aronian-Kramnik 2012 Arthur Bisguier Arthur van de Oudeweetering Artur Yusupov Arturo Pomar Astrakhan Grand Prix 2010 attack attacking chess Austrian Attack Averbakh Awonder Liang Baadur Jobava Bacrot Baku Grand Prix 2014 Baltic Defense Bangkok Chess Club Open Baskaran Adhiban Bazna 2011 Becerra beginner's books Beliavsky Ben Feingold Benko Gambit Bent Larsen Berlin Defense Biel 2012 Biel 2014 Biel 2015 Biel 2017 Bilbao 2010 Bilbao 2012 Bilbao 2013 Bilbao 2015 Bilbao 2016 Bilbao Chess 2014 bishop endings Bishop vs. Knight Blackburne Blaise Pascal blindfold chess blitz blitz chess Blumenfeld Gambit blunders Bob Hope Bobby Fischer Bogo-Indian Bohatirchuk Bologan Book Reviews books Boris Gelfand Boris Spassky Borislav Ivanov Borki Predojevic Boruchovsky Botvinnik Botvinnik Memorial Branimiir Maksimovic Breyer Variation brilliancy British Championship British Chess Magazine Bronstein Bronznik Brooklyn Castle Browne Brunello Bu Xiangzhi 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 drugs chess and education chess and marketing chess books chess cartoons chess documentaries chess engines chess history chess in fiction chess in film chess in schools Chess Informant chess lessons chess politics chess psychology chess ratings chess strategy chess variants Chess24 Chess960 ChessBase DVDs ChessBase Shows ChessLecture Presentations ChessLecture.com ChessUSA ChessUSA blog ChessVibes ChessVideos Presentations Chigorin Variation Chinese Chess Championship Chithambaram Aravindh Christian faith Christiansen Christmas Colin Crouch Colle combinations Commentary computer chess computers correspondence chess Corsica Cristobal Henriquez Villagra Cyrus Lakdawala Danailov Daniel Parmet Daniil Dubov Danny Kopec Danzhou Danzhou 2016 Danzhou 2017 Dave MacEnulty Dave Vigorito David Bronstein David Howell David MacEnulty David Navara Davies Deep Blue Deeper Blue defense Dejan Antic Delchev Denis Khismatullin Ding Liren Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam Dmitry Andreikin Dmitry Gurevich Dmitry Jakovenko Dominic Lawson Dortmund 2010 Dortmund 2011 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2012 Dortmund 2013 Dortmund 2014 Dortmund 2015 Dortmund 2016 Dortmund 2017 Doug Hyatt Dragoljub Velimirovic draws dreams Dreev Dunning-Kruger Effect Dutch Defense DVD Reviews DVDs Dvoirys Dvoretsky Easter Edouard Efimenko Efstratios Grivas Eltaj Safarli Emanuel Lasker Emory Tate en passant endgame studies endgames Endgames English Opening Ernesto Inarkiev Erwin L'Ami Esserman Etienne Bacrot European Championship 2015 European Club Cup 2012 European Club Cup 2014 European Individual Championship 2012 Evgeni Vasiukov Evgeny Bareev Evgeny Najer Evgeny Sveshnikov Evgeny Tomashevsky Exchange Ruy expertise Fabiano Caruana Falko Bindrich farce FIDE FIDE Grand Prix FIDE Presidential Election FIDE ratings Fier fighting for the initiative Finegold Fischer Fischer-Spassky 1972 football Francisco Vallejo Pons Fred Reinfeld French Defense Fritz 15 Ftacnik Gadir Guseinov Gajewski Gaprindashvili Garry Kasparov Gashimov Gashimov Memorial 2017 Gata Kamsky Gawain Jones Gelfand Gelfand-Svidler Rapid Match Geller Geneva Masters Georg Meier Georgios Makropolous GGarry Kasparov Gibraltar 2011 Gibraltar 2012 Gibraltar 2013 Gibraltar 2014 Gibraltar 2015 Gibraltar 2016 Gibraltar 2017 Giri Go Grand Chess Tour Grand Chess Tour 2017 Grand Chess Tour Paris 2017 Grand Prix 2014-2015 Grand Prix Attack Greek Gift sacrifice Grenke Chess Classic 2013 Grenke Chess Classic 2015 Grenke Chess Classic 2017 Grinfeld Grischuk Grob Gruenfeld Defense Grünfeld Defense Gulko Gunina Guseinov Gustafsson Gyula Sax Hannes Langrock Hans Berliner Hans Ree Harika Dronavalli Hastings Hawaii International Festival Haworth Hedgehog helpmates 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 Ignatius Leong Igor Kovalenko Igor Kurnosov Igor Lysyj Iljumzhinov Ilya Makoveev 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 Informant 124 Informant 125 Informant 126 Informant 127 Informant 128 Informant 129 Informant 130 Informant 131 Informant 132 Informant 133 insanity Inside Chess Magazine Ippolito IQP Irina Krush Irving Chernev Ivan Bukavshin Ivan Sokolov Ivanchuk J. Polgar Jacek Oskulski Jacob Aagaard Jaenisch Jaideep Unudurti Jakovenko James Tarjan Jan Gustafsson Jan Timman Jan-Krzysztof Duda Jay Whitehead Jeffery Xiong Jeremy Silman Jim Slater Jimmy Quon Joe Benjamin Joel Benjamin John Burke John Grefe John Watson Jon Lenchner Jon Ludwig Hammer Jonathan Hawkins Jonathan Speelman Joop van Oosterom Jose Diaz Jose Raul Capablanca Ju Wenjun Judit Polgar Julio Granda Zuniga junk openings Kaidanov Kalashnikov Sicilian Kamsky Karen Sumbatyan Karjakin Karpov Karsten Mueller Kasimdzhanov Kasparov Kavalek Keanu Reeves Ken Regan Keres KGB Khalifman Khanty-Mansiysk Grand Prix Kim Commons king and pawn endings King's Gambit King's Indian King's Tournament 2010 Kings Tournament 2012 Kirsan Ilyumzhinov KKing's Gambit KKing's Indian Klovans Komodo Komodo 11 Korchnoi Kramnik Kunin Lajos Portisch Larry Evans Larry Kaufman Larry Parr Lasker Lasker-Pelikan Latvian Gambit Laurent Fressinet Laznicka Le Quang Liem Leinier Dominguez Leko Leon 2017 Leonid Kritz lessons Leuven Rapid & Blitz Leuven Rapid & Blitz 2017 Lev Psakhis Levon Aronian Lilienthal Linares 2010 Linder Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu 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 Markus Ragger Marshall Marshall Gambit Masters of the Chessboard Mateusz Bartel Matthew Sadler Maurice Ashley Max Euwe Maxim Rodshtein Maxime Vachier-Lagrave McShane Mega 2012 mental malfunction Mesgen Amanov Michael Adams Miguel Najdorf Mikhail Antipov Mikhail Botvinnik Mikhail Golubev Mikhail Osipov Mikhail Tal Mikhalchishin Miles Mind Games 2016 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 Nihal Sarin Nikita Vitiugov Nimzo-Indian Nino Khurtsidze NNotre Dame football Nodirbek Abdusattarov Nona Gaprindashvili Norway Chess 2013 Norway Chess 2014 Norway Chess 2015 Norway Chess 2016 Norway Chess 2017 Notre Dame basketball Notre Dame football Notre Dame Football Nov. 2009 News Nyback Nyzhnyk Oleg Pervakov Oleg Skvortsov Olympics 2010 Open Ruy opening advice opening novelties Openings openings Or Cohen P.H. Nielsen Pal Benko Palma Grand Prix 2017 Parimarjan Negi Paris Grand Prix Paris Rapid & Blitz passed pawns Paul Keres Paul Morphy Paul Rudd Pavel Eljanov pawn endings pawn play Pawn Sacrifice pawn structures Pentala Harikrishna Pesotskyi Peter Heine Nielsen Peter Leko Peter Svidler Petroff Philadelphia Open Philidor's Defense philosophy Phiona Mutesi Pirc Piterenka Rapid/Blitz Polgar Polgar sisters Polugaevsky Ponomariov Ponziani Potkin poultry Powerbook 2011 Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu Prague Chess Train problems progressive chess prophylaxis Qatar Masters 2015 QGD Tartakower QQueen's Gambit Accepted queen sacrifices Queen's Gambit Accepted Queen's Gambit Declined Queen's Indian Defense Rabat blitz 2015 Radjabov Radoslaw Wojtaszek Ragger rapid chess Rapport Rashid Nezhmetdinov rating inflation ratings Ray Robson Raymond Smullyan Regan Reggio Emilia 2010 Reggio Emilia 2011 Reshevsky Reti Reuben Fine Rex Sinquefield Reykjavik Open 2012 Reykjavik Open 2017 Richard Rapport Richard Reti Robert Byrne robot chess Robson Roman Ovetchkin rook endings RReggio Emilia 2011 rrook endings RRuy Lopez RRuy Lopez sidelines Rubinstein Rubinstein French Rudolf Spielmann rules Ruslan Ponomariov Russian Team Championship Rustam Kasimdzhanov Ruy Lopez Ruy Lopez sidelines Rybka Rybka 4 S. Kasparov sacrifices Sadler Saemisch 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 Erenburg Sergey Fedorchuk Sergey Karjakin Sergey Kasparov Sergey Shipov Sevan Muradian Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Shamkir 2015 Shamkir 2016 Shamkir 2017 Shankland Sharjah Grand Prix 2017 Shenzhen 2017 Shipov Shirov Short Sicilian Sinquefield Cup sitzfleisch Slav Smith-Morra Gambit Smyslov So-Navara Spassky spectacular moves Speelman sportsmanship Spraggett St. Louis Chess Club St. Louis Invitational St. Louis Rapid and Blitz 2017 stalemate Staunton Stephen Hawking Stockfish Stockfish 4 Stonewall Dutch Suat Atalik Super Bowl XLIV Susan Polgar 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 TCEC TCEC Season 10 TCEC Season 8 TCEC Season 9 TED talks Teimour Radjabov Terekhin The Chess Players (book) The Simpsons The Week in Chess Thessaloniki Grand Prix Three knights Tibor Karolyi Tigran Petrosian Tim Krabbé time controls time trouble Timman Timur Gareev Tomashevsky Tony Miles Topalov traps Tromso Olympics 2014 TWIC types of chess players Ufuk Tuncer Ultimate Blitz Challenge 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 value of chess van der Heijden Van Perlo van Wely Varuzhan Akobian Vasik Rajlich Vasily Smyslov Vassily Ivanchuk Vassily Smyslov Velimirovic Attack Vera Menchik Veresov Veselin Topalov video videos Vienna 1922 Viktor Bologan Viktor Korchnoi Viktor Moskalenko Vincent Keymer Viswanathan Anand Vitaly Tseshkovsky Vitiugov Vladimir Fedoseev Vladimir Kramnik Vladimir Tukmakov Vladislav Artemiev Vladislav Tkachiev Vlastimil Hort Vlastimil Jansa Vugar Gashimov Vugar Gashimov Memorial Walter Browne Wang Hao Wang Yue Watson Wei Yi Welcome Wesley Brandhorst Wesley So Wijk aan Zee 1999 Wijk aan Zee 2010 Wijk aan Zee 2011 Wijk aan Zee 2012 Wijk aan Zee 2013 Wijk aan Zee 2014 Wijk aan Zee 2015 Wijk aan Zee 2016 Wijk aan Zee 2017 Wil E. Coyote Wilhelm Steinitz William Golding William Lombardy William Vallicella Willy Hendriks Winawer French Wojtkiewicz Wolfgang Uhlmann Women's Grand Prix Women's World Championship World Champion DVDs World Championship World Cup World Cup 2009 World Cup 2011 World Cup 2011 World Junior Championship World Senior Championship WWesley So WWijk aan Zee 2012 Yasser Seirawan Yates Yermolinsky Yevseev Yoshiharu Habu Yu Yangyi Yuri Averbakh Yuri Razuvaev Yuri Vovk Yuri Yeliseyev Yuriy Kuzubov Zaitsev Variation Zaven Andriasyan Zhao Xue Zhongyi Tan Zug 2013 Zukertort System Zurab Azmaiparashvili Zurich 1953 Zurich 2013 Zurich 2014 Zurich 2015 Zurich 2016 Zurich 2017

    Entries in 2017 Isle of Man (7)

    Sunday
    Oct012017

    Isle of Man, Final Round: Carlsen Draws Quickly to Clinch Clear First; Nakamura, Anand Tie for Second

    As at least one chess blogger suggested yesterday, a draw between Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura was very likely, and it would quite possibly be a short draw. Sure enough, it took just 18 moves and less than half an hour for them to repeat moves and call it a tournament. Carlsen thus clinched clear first with 7.5/9, while Nakamura guaranteed himself at worst part of a four-way tie for second.

    Viswanathan Anand joined the tie by beating Hou Yifan with surprising ease. It's not so surprising that Anand would beat Hou, especially with the white pieces, but it is surprising given the insipid line he chose against her Petroff. He was able to build from a tiny initiative, and after a brief flurry of complications won a pawn, which he converted in a queen and rook ending.

    The other players who could have caught Nakamura drew their games. This was not so surprising in the all-2700 clash between Richard Rapport and S.G. Vidit, but it was much more surprising that Pavel Eljanov couldn't defeat the hitherto little-known and much lower-rated Indian GM S.D. Swapnil. He was close for a while, but couldn't put him away. So all four players finished with 6.5 points, and were caught by five others, including Vladimir Kramnik, Fabiano Caruana, Mickey Adams, Emil Sutovsky, and Alexei Shirov.

    It was a good comeback for Kramnik, who repaired some of the damage done earlier in the tournament, but still lost 8.4 rating points overall. On the other hand, it was a great event for his surprise conquerer, James Tarjan, who demonstrated his fine eye for cheapos once again in defeating Alexandra Kosteniuk today. He finished with 5.5 points, gained 30 rating points, and had an excellent TPR of 2671 - which was 11 points higher than Kramnik's.

    The top TPR of the tournament belonged to Carlsen, of course, who achieved an outstanding 2903 TPR. (Caruana and Nakamura were tied for second, with 2831 TPRs, and Anand was next at 2806. Then Swapnil and Aleks Lenderman finished with 2768 TPRs - big congrats to both of them.) Carlsen added 11.4 points to his rating, and what was recently a tenuous gap between him and his closest pursuers has expanded again, and he is 36.4 points ahead of world #2 Levon Aronian.

    The full results are here, and a final selection of games from this tournament is here.

    Saturday
    Sep302017

    Isle of Man, Round 8: Carlsen Crushes Caruana, Leads Nakamura by Half a Point Entering the Last Round

    And since they haven't played so far, that means that they're paired for the last round. If Hikaru Nakamura can defeat Magnus Carlsen, he takes clear first; if not, Carlsen takes clear first. Nakamura's career record against Carlsen is extremely bad, as just about everyone knows, but it hasn't been that bad the last couple of years. However, he'll have the black pieces tomorrow, and I suspect he'll be satisfied with a draw, even a quick draw, unless he gets a really promising position out of the opening. The young Nakamura would try to win at all costs, but these days he's less willing to burn his bridges against anyone and everyone. With a draw, the worst he would do is share 2nd-5th places, in which case he makes a little less than £12,000, and a maximum of £25,000. If he wins, he makes £50,000, but if he loses, it'll be in the low four figures - not exactly cab fare, but it will feel like it. It's possible that Carlsen will feel ambitious, but I doubt it: better to pocket the money and clinch the victory - his first victory in a classical tournament this year.

    Enough speculation; time for a recap. Fabiano Caruana had White against Carlsen today, and surprised the champ with 15.g4. After a long thought Carlsen played 15...Qe7, which was apparently a surprise for Caruana. White was better for a while, but starting with 22.Bc2 he lost the thread, and Carlsen was all over him. Caruana was already lost when he played 35.Qe3??, which lost on the spot to 35...Bf4. A very convincing victory by Carlsen, and a game Caruana would like to forget.

    Nakamura had an easier time of it with White against Emil Sutovsky. Sutovsky played the Queen's Gambit Accepted, which isn't his normal repertoire choice (that would be the Gruenfeld). Nakamura was surprised by 8...c5, but not impressed by it. Once Nakamura spotted 16.d5 he understood that Black was busted, and he went on to win comfortably.

    The remaining game featuring players who could have kept pace with Nakamura was S.G. Vidit-Pavel Eljanov, which finished in a short, probably correct draw. Maybe White could have kept a pull with 29.Qc6, but after 29.Qxf7+ Kxf7 30.Rd5 Rc8 they called it a day.

    Vidit and Eljanov has 6/8; here's how the other six-pointers got there. Viswanathan Anand defeated Laurent Fressinet with Black in a Giuoco, Richard Rapport beat Ivan Sokolov when the latter blundered in an equal position, S.D. Swapnil defeated Nigel Short in one long game while Hou Yifan beat Sebastian Bogner in another. Hou is now one win away from surpassing her previous career best rating of 2687. Unfortunately for her, this will be difficult, as she'll have Black against Anand in the last round.

    Leading last round pairings:

    Carlsen (7) - Caruana (6.5)
    Anand (6) - Hou (6)
    Eljanov (6) - Swapnil (6)
    Rapport (6) - Vidit (6)

    Lower boards of interest: Vladimir Kramnik overcame S.P. Sethuraman with great difficulty, but overcome he did to reach 5.5 points. He'll have Black against Gawain Jones in the final round. Varuzhan Akobian and Aleks Lenderman had a spectacular draw that Akobian should have won. Both players are also on 5.5 points, and will face Caruana and Peter Leko, respectively. Jan Timman finally lost a game, to David Howell, blundering horribly in a slightly worse position. Alexei Shirov showed a little of his trademark "fire on board" style, outfoxing Alexandra Kosteniuk in a complicated middlegame. He too is at 5.5 and will have White against Howell in the last round. Finally, Tarjan rides again, drawing Vishnu Prasanna (2543) with Black. He'll finish the tournament with the white pieces against Kosteniuk (2552).

    Some games (with varying degrees of commentary) here; tournament site here.

    Friday
    Sep292017

    Isle of Man, Rounds 5-7

    But mostly rounds 6 and 7. My comments about round 5 will be limited to the difficulties experienced by two members of the semi-old guard: Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand. Kramnik's travails were already noted in the preceding post, while Gelfand's suffering began in that round. After a solid 3-1 start, he lost in round 5 to S.P. Sethuraman, and from a position that would normally be impossible to lose. He was clearly better in a rook and bishop ending with even material, but hallucinated his way into a lost bishop ending a pawn down.

    In round 6, he doubled down on this, losing to Anna Zatonskih from a winning position. To her credit, she made things tricky in time trouble and devised a dastardly trap, but normally Gelfand would have cashed in on at least one of the winning positions he enjoyed in the game. After this, he took a bye to stop the bleeding.

    Speaking of players who needed byes, Hou Yifan took one after playing her fourth female opponent in a row, and has bounced back against the men, winning in round 6 and 7. She has five points and plays Sebastian Bogner in round 8.

    Another player who has bounced back a bit is Kramnik, who won with White in round 6 (no problem there - he has gone 3-0 with White, albeit against much lower-rated opposition) and then finally won a game with Black in round 7, employing the Benko Gambit for the first time in his life (or so said the commentators at one moment; is should be checked to see if he transposed into one via a King's Indian or a Benoni). Despite all his miseries in the tournament, he has 4.5 points and will play Sethuraman in round 8.

    James Tarjan, one of the players who contributed to Kramnik's earlier sorrows, has continued to play well. He bounced back from his unnecessary loss to Niclas Huschenbeth in round 4 by drawing with Sabino Brunello (2555), beating Pavel Tregubov (2589), and drawing with Rasmus Svane (2595). His 4-3 score is good for a 2654 TPR.

    Still one more member of the old guard deserves some praise: Jan Timman. Like Tarjan, he's both 65 and has the initials "J.T." More relevantly, he has also had success against elite players. No wins over 2800s, but four draws against players who are or have been rated over 2700. That's a fine result, and he has gone undefeated so far. He gets another 2700 in round 8, David Howell.

    Two noteworthy norm aspirants are Aman Hambleton and Ramesh Praggnanandhaa. Hambleton is well-known for his mighty beard, which he intends to keep until he achieves his third GM norm. He had been in the running until he lost a defensible ending to Gabriel Sargissian in round 6. Praggnanandhaa is a 12-year-old who has already achieved a 2500 rating (and is already the youngest IM ever, achieved at the age of 10 years, 10 months, and 19 days), but has no norms. If he can achieve them in the next five months or so, he can break Sergey Karjakin's record for the youngest GM ever. He was in the running until round 7, but his loss to Varuzhan Akobian probably put an end to his hopes in this tournament. He's playing an untitled 2384 in round 8, which seals it.

    Now let's turn to the leaders. Going into round 6 there were two tournament leaders, Pavel Eljanov - who won this tournament last year - and the world champion, Magnus Carlsen. Carlsen cheekily played Owen's Defense with Black, albeit against 1.Nf3 rather than 1.e4 (after the latter move it's considered somewhat dubious), and won with remarkable ease. That gave him the clear lead, and although he only drew against the fast-rising Indian star Santosh Gujrathi Vidit in round 7 (with difficulty, with White) he's still half a point ahead of his pursuers.

    The most notable among them is perhaps Fabiano Caruana, who will have White against Carlsen in round 8. He drew in round 6 and defeated Gawain Jones in round 7, thanks largely to some fine preparation. He has 5.5/7, as does Hikaru Nakamura, Eljanov, Vidit, and Emil Sutovsky.

    Another half a point back is a large group that includes Viswanathan Anand and Hou Yifan, along with the U.S. players Akobian and Aleks Lenderman. Lenderman remains undefeated after drawing his last four games; his TPR is 2793, 6th highest in the tournament. (The top two TPRs, by a long way, belong to Carlsen and Caruana at 2893 and 2873, respectively.) Unfortunately for American fans, Akobian and Lenderman are paired for round 8.

    Here are the leading pairings for round 8:

     

    • Caruana (5.5) - Carlsen (6)
    • Nakamura (5.5) - Sutovsky (5.5)
    • Vidit (5.5) - Eljanov (5.5)

     

    Finally, here is a selection of games from the past three rounds.

    Tuesday
    Sep262017

    Isle of Man, Round 4: Mostly Draws on the Top Boards

    There are no more perfect scores, as the four players coming into the round 3-0 drew their games. Rustam Kasimdzhanov split the point with Magnus Carlsen, and Aleks Lenderman did the same against his World Cup victim (and defending Isle of Man champion) Pavel Eljanov. Lenderman had the best chances of the four to collect a full point, but in the end could do no better than draw with an extra pawn in a rook ending.

    Most of the players with 2.5/3 drew, but three players made it to 3.5: Julio Grand Zuniga, Laurent Fressinet, and Santosh Gujrathi Vidit. A huge group of 28 players is another half a point behind.

    In other stories: Vladimir Kramnik defeated a very low-rated player (by his standards) to get back to 50%, while James Tarjan played very well for most of the game against Niclas Huschenbeth before finally going astray and losing in a double rook ending. In her fourth consecutive game with a female opponent, Hou Yifan won to get back to +1, and in round 5 she is playing...no one. At first I thought she might have withdrawn in protest, but it seems she has taken a half-point bye for the round.

    Some top pairings for round 5:

     

    • Carlsen (3.5) - Granda (3.5)
    • Eljanov (3.5) - Kasimdzhanov (3.5)
    • Vidit (3.5) - Lenderman (3.5)
    • Caruana (3) - Xiong (3)
    • Anand (3) - Grandelius (3)
    • Sargissian (3) - Nakamura (3)
    • Adams (3) - Shirov (3)
    • Sethuraman (3) - Gelfand (3)

     

    Fressinet (3.5) took a half-point bye.

    Tuesday
    Sep262017

    Adventures at the Isle of Man

    This has really been an exciting and entertaining tournament so far, with some big upsets and great stories. We've already looked at some round 1 highlights, and we'll skip over round 2 to turn our attention to round 3.

    The first and biggest story: Vladimir Kramnik lost again, to James Tarjan! Tarjan is a grandmaster and was a fine player in his day - more than 30 years ago! He gave up the game in his early 30s and became a librarian, only re-emerging in the last three years or so. His results have been very good for a 65-year-old who quit playing for 30 years, but not up to his old standard. But today the American GM notched the biggest scalp of his career, upsetting a player rated nearly 400 points above him.

    When I was a kid I lost to Tarjan in an open tournament here in the U.S., and was he incredibly gracious to nobody me in the post-mortem. He was one of the nicest guys I came across, so I'm especially happy for him after his success today. Indeed, watch this video - you have to have a heart of stone not to be happy for the guy.

    Watch live video from Chess on www.twitch.tv

    This is good news for the U.S. in another way: Kramnik is now in a big hole in the race for the Candidates spots based on ratings. Unless something dramatic happens - and it might - those spots will go to Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So. More good news for the U.S.: Aleks Lenderman is 3-0, having defeated Francisco Vallejo Pons today when the latter failed to hold the notorious rook vs. rook and bishop ending.

    But back to feel-good stories of the Tarjan variety. You may recall that 70-year-old FM Zaki Harari had near-2700 GM Maxim Rodshtein beat in that round, but repeated moves rather than landing the knockout blow. Well, no problem: today he had another chance against a GM, Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant, and this time he won. Granted, she's not at Rodshtein's level, but it was still a major upset. Good for Mr. Harari!

    A sadder story, of sorts, is the unbelievable saga of Hou Yifan. You might recall at the start of the year she was extremely irritated at getting paired with seven female players in the first nine rounds, and she protested in round 10 by playing an absurd opening (against her male opponent) and resigning after five moves. There was no evidence that anyone had cooked the pairings to give her a disproportionate number of female opponents, but she wasn't so sure, and was certainly unhappy about it.

    Here we are, months later in a different location. Who do you suppose she has faced this time? Round 1: Alexandra Kosteniuk (draw). Round 2: Elisabeth Paehtz (win). Uh oh. Round 3: Nino Batsiashvili (loss). UH OH. If she doesn't withdraw or hire protestors to block access to the tournament hall, the absurdist drama will continue in round 4, when she's due to face Yuliya Shvayger. You've gotta be kidding. It's pretty incredible that between the two events she's facing 11 women in 14 rounds, even though they are heavily outnumbered by the male players in the tournament.

    At the top, Magnus Carlsen leads the small group of players with 3-0 scores; today he defeated American youngster Jeffery Xiong, though the win wasn't quite as convincing as it might have seemed. In round 4 he'll have Black against Rustam Kasimdzhanov, a former FIDE World Champion and Fabiano Caruana's second. The other 3-0 pairing is a World Cup rematch, with Lenderman getting White against Pavel Eljanov, who happens to be the defending champion of this tournament. 19 players have 2.5 points, including Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, and Viswanathan Anand.

    Some games here, with brief comments.

    Saturday
    Sep232017

    Isle of Man, Round 1: Caruana Beats Kramnik UPDATE: Harari-Rodshtein Miracle Save

    There's plenty of chess remaining in this tournament (it's just round 1 at the Isle of Man), and Vladimir Kramnik is playing in at least one more event before the final rating tallies are in for the Candidates, but Fabiano Caruana helped himself a great deal today by defeating Kramnik in their round 1 matchup in the Isle of Man tournament.

    An obvious question: why in the world are Caruana and Kramnik playing in round 1 of an open tournament? The answer is that John Saunders persuaded the organizers to have random pairings for round 1. The upshot is that all sorts of pairings resulted: GMs vs. IMs, higher-rated GMs vs. lower-rated GMs, Magnus Carlsen playing a 2100, and in this case, two players from the world's top five facing each other.

    Pairings will return to normalcy tomorrow, but this experiment will have done its damage to Kramnik's chances. It's not just the loss, but all the low-rated players he'll face as a result of his so-called Swiss gambit. But congratulations to Caruana, who hasn't clinched a trip to Berlin but has greatly increased his chances of getting back there.

    As for the game, have a look here. A few games remain in round 1, most notably Zaki Harari, rated just 2027, enjoying the better chances against Maxim Rodshtein (2699 on the Live List).

    UPDATE: Rodshtein finally broke under the pressure, but in a totally won position with plenty of time on the clock Harari repeated moves. (At least it seems he had plenty of time, according to the transmission. Maybe it was inaccurate and Harari was living off the increment. But even if he was down to 31 seconds he could have done it - especially if he repeated once to gain a minute. In a low-pressure situation Harari probably would have found the right move in a 3-minute blitz game, maybe even in bullet) Harari repeated moves. He only needed to spot one good move, and it wasn't a difficult one, either. A real pity, but congrats to the massive underdog for gaining half a point and giving his elite opponent a real scare. Have a look.

    Saturday
    Sep232017

    Isle of Man Starts Today With Carlsen, Kramnik, Caruana, Anand, Nakamura, ...

    It's an open event, but the Chess.com Isle of Man International is extremely strong - have a look here at the top 20 playing in the Masters event. The action starts at 1:30 p.m. local time (= 8:30 a.m. ET, or 90 minutes after the start time for the World Cup). It's a smooth transition from one super-event to the next.

    In fact, this tournament, like the World Cup, is a big deal for the 2018 Candidates, as Vladimir Kramnik and Fabiano Caruana - who are playing - are competing with Wesley So - who is not - for two ratings slots in the latter event. So there's plenty at stake here in addition to the prize fund, bragging rights in a tournament with Magnus Carlsen, and all the other usual competitive aims the players may have.