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 Rapid & Blitz Championships 2017 World Team Championship 2018 British Championship 2018 Candidates 2018 Chess Olympiad 2018 Dortmund 2018 European Championship 2018 Gashimov Memorial 2018 Gibraltar 2018 Grand Chess Tour 2018 Grenke Chess Classic 2018 Grenke Chess Open 2018 Leuven 2018 Norway Chess 2018 Paris 2018 Poikovsky 2018 Pro Chess League 2018 Sinquefield Cup 2018 Speed Chess Championship 2018 St. Louis Rapid & Blitz 2018 Tal Memorial 2018 U.S. Championship 2018 Wijk aan Zee 2018 Women's World Championship 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 Abhijeet Gupta 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 Arkady Dvorkovich Arne Moll Aron Nimzowitsch Aronian Aronian-Kramnik 2012 Arthur Bisguier Arthur van de Oudeweetering Artur Yusupov Arturo Pomar Ashland University football 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 Charles Krauthammer 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 openings chess politics chess psychology chess ratings chess strategy chess variants Chess24 Chess960 ChessBase DVDs ChessBase Shows ChessLecture Presentations ChessLecture Videos 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 Donald Trump 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 politics 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 Genna Sosonko Georg Meier Georgios Makropolous GGarry Kasparov Gibraltar 2011 Gibraltar 2012 Gibraltar 2013 Gibraltar 2014 Gibraltar 2015 Gibraltar 2016 Gibraltar 2017 Giorgios Makropoulos 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 Informant 134 Informant 135 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 Cole 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 Komodo 12 Korchnoi Kramnik Kunin Lajos Portisch Larry Evans Larry Kaufman Larry Parr Lasker Lasker-Pelikan Latvian Gambit Laurent Fressinet Laznicka Le Quang Liem LeBron James 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 Glickman Mark Taimanov Markus Ragger Marshall Marshall Gambit Masters of the Chessboard Mateusz Bartel Matthew Sadler Maurice Ashley Max Euwe Maxim Matlakov 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 Notre Dame hockey 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 Parham Maghsoodloo 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 Loman 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 Sam Shankland 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 Shreyas Royal 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 11 TCEC Season 12 TCEC Season 13 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 Vidit Gujrathi 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 2018 Dortmund (3)

    Monday
    Jul162018

    Dortmund 2018, Round 2

    Greetings again, Caissaic comrades! We're back again with Round 2 coverage of Dortmund, with this round featuring a bit more blood than yesterday.

     The game Meier-Giri, however, certainly did not provide any hemoglobin for viewing pleasure. Meier is known for having a very technical style that often verges towards peaceful, and Giri is almost notorious for his ability to force draws and avoid danger. (As an aside, as to the latter, this strikes me as particularly unfair - Giri has a tremendous sense of humour about these aspersions, so he doesn't actively attempt to disperse these barbs, but his rating and results deserve far more than chuckles. He's one of the best players in the world, and 99.9% of players can't even imagine playing up to his level.) Meier (via his usual 1. Nf3 move order) deployed the Catalan, which in my eyes is in need of a major rejuvenation - Black has discovered quite a few equalizing methods against this once feared squeezing weapon, and it's been quite awhile since I've seen Black in any form of trouble in a top level game. The game quickly zoomed towards opposite coloured bishops and an efficient liquidation towards peace.

    Nisipeanu-Duda (the Battle of the Hyphenation) finished quickly as well, but with a decisive result. Nisipeanu chose a 3. Bb5+ Sicilian, and the game found its way to one of the biggest traditional main lines of the Rossolimo. Duda was the first to play an offbeat move, with 10...Ng8 being a very strange choice (10...Ne4 is by far the usual choice, with hundreds of master games). I'm not sure if this discombobulated Nisipeanu, but the game took a strategically interesting path - Duda very confidently castled queenside, and the game was set for a fascinating battle with central pressure, dueling outposts, and opposite side pawn storms. Suddenly, however, Nisipeanu dropped a pawn! I'm not sure if this was a sacrifice, or a failure to recognize that 19. b4 g4 20. b5 is an in between move that maintains the balance. Whatever it was, Duda snatched off the pawn and very confidently converted his material edge with zero counterplay.

    The most incredible game of the day has to be Wojtaszek-Kramnik. Kramnik took a break from his usual QGD/Semi-Tarrasch adventures to give the Nimzo a try, and Wojtaszek tried a slightly offbeat Bg5/e3 mixture that has recently seen a couple of outings in top flight chess - it is most notorious for featuring in last year's game Bai Jinshi-Ding Liren, which in my eyes was the most beautiful game of 2017 (which I have listed in the game link in the notes, if you haven't partaken of the aesthetic experience). This game took a much more tranquil course, with Kramnik turning the tables on his usual Semi-Tarrasch adventures and taking on an isolated but passed d pawn for himself. The game was following a logical course, with Black perhaps having a slightly better side of a draw...and Kramnik suddenly sacrificed his queen! Kramnik had a high profile explosion of overly optimistic decisions in the recent Candidates tournament (which produced some slightly harsh but hilarious memes), and this decision certainly continues the trend. Neither player handled the resulting imbalance in the most efficient way, and the evaluation pingponged between equal and better for White. Wojtaszek seems to have missed a clear chance for an edge with 41. Qf6 (the move after the time control - a somewhat cursed move number!), and immediately afterwards the players found their way to a repetition.

    Finally, the game Kovalev-Nepomniachtchi was another Rossolimo, with White transitioning from a Lopez style structure to a bit of a Meran/c3 Sicilian structure. White never really gained anything from the opening, with his pawns on a5 and e5 allowing outpost squares more than really cramping Black. 26. Nxe6 essentially turned out to be a fancy transmutation of material, with White gaining a knight, rook, and pawn for a queen. I'm surprised Nepo allowed so much liquidation - he very quickly traded into an ending where White has bishop, rook, and two pawns for the queen. There were a couple of moments where Nepo appears to have been in real danger, and Kovalev was always playing "for two results only". Kovalev missed some opportunities to test Nepo more thoroughly, but with a completely open board and the queen's propensity for sudden checking mechanisms (see yesterday's Nepo-Giri game!) making technical progress would have been quite difficult. Peace was agreed to on move 90.

    Games here.

    Sunday
    Jul152018

    Dortmund 2018, Round 1

    [Note from DM: You're in for a treat! I'm going to be busy with this and that for a couple of weeks, so you, dear readers, are in for an upgrade. Enjoy!]

    Greetings, fellow chess enthusiasts! My name is John Cole, and for the next couple of weeks I'll be helping out Dennis by temporarily taking the reins of his esteemed blog. As a brief introduction: Dennis and I are both Indiana residents and both slightly antiquated, quasi-retired FIDE Masters. We share an admiration for Kramnik and share a dislike of existentialism, and we've both grown slightly stodgier in our playing style after the fiery tactical skirmishes of our youth.

    Today marked the kickoff of the beloved Dortmund tournament, a chess symposium that has regularly come together since 1973. The most prominent regular competitor, of course, is Vladimir Kramnik, who is justly celebrated for having won the event a record 10(!) times. His next closest rivals to success this year are Anish Giri, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Jan Krzysztof-Duda, and Radoslav Wojtaszek. In my eyes, Krzysztof-Duda is a very notable participant to watch – he has recently overtaken Wojtaszek as not only the Polish champion but the #1 rated Polish player. He's a very young and brilliant player, but possesses a very mature style – gone are the “old days” of the cliché of the young firebrand tactician who can be worn down by a wily positional veteran. Krzysztof-Duda has a completely universal style, and could absolutely prevent Kramnik from adding to his abundance of accolades. Grizzled tournament veterans Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Vladislav Kovalev, and Georg Meier round out a small but potent field.

    Today's round featured very cautious and cagey play in all four games. The least interesting of the quad was Kramnik-Nisipeanu – Kramnik went into a QGD Exchange, and Nisipeanu made a interesting psychological decision by using a top level drawing line that Kramnik himself has used somewhat frequently. Kramnik was the victim of a very high profile drubbing in this line on the Black side at the hands of Carlsen in the 2016 edition of Norway Chess, but in today's game Black was nowhere close to defeat. Nisipeanu varied from Kramnik's play against Carlsen with 12...f5 instead of the previous 12...Nb6. The pawn structure for both sides eventually got mangled into various tangles with no remaining breaks and nothing to do but sign the peace treaties.

    Nepomniachtchi-Giri featured the Petroff, a solid Black choice that will only continue to gain in popularity with Caruana's steady advocacy. White's response seemed somewhat milquetoast after 9. Nc3 – White took on doubled c pawns, was deprived of his light squared bishop, and didn't achieve c4 to liquidate his pawn weaknesses. However, Giri allowed genuinely dangerous attacking chances with 18...b4?! (better is 18...Rcd8 with a typically solid Petroff position) – Nepo could have instantly retorted with 19. Bxh6! gxh6 20. Qxh6 with a dangerous attack, as 20...Qd6 is met with the nasty 21. Re6! with an inferno on the kingside. However, Nepo let this pass, and the game drifted into a fairly equal queen endgame. However, a moment of drama was reserved for Giri's choice of 46...Qxa4?? (initiative almost always matters more in queen endings than material - 46...Qc2+ keeps the draw secure), when 47. d6 Qc2+ put White on the verge of pushing through. However, 48. Kf3? returned the game to a draw - 48. Ke3! allows White's king to eventually escape the checks.

    Wojtaszek-Meier featured an English Defense, a very rare guest at the top of world chess. Wojtaszek chose 4. e4, which looks quite natural but is currently theoretically quite sound for Black (4. a3 is considered to be more challenging, with d5 to follow). Meier's choice of 6...e5 looked like it might inject the game with fervor, but the game quickly went into a Maroczy structure with some minor pieces traded off (which typically is favourable for the defending side). Even with Wojtaszek's choice of queenside castling, Black's restraint structure of d6 and f6 prevented any pawn breaks and kept the game well within equality.

    Finally, Duda-Kovalev featured a strange Rubinstein from White - Duda's early choice of Nf3 eliminates a lot of favourable delayed Saemisch plans that White might otherwise utilize. Black gained a fairly comfortable position with hopes of a light squared bind, but 17...Nd6 seemed unnecessarily flamboyant. White had at least a symbolic advantage against the doubled pawns, but the structural weaknesses on the light squares made progress very problematic. White eventually left Black with five(!) pawn islands, but couldn't find a way to break through. More detailed game analysis with the included link, and we'll see you for Round 2!

    Game link here.

    Saturday
    Jul142018

    Dortmund Underway

    Vladimir Kramnik's favorite event starts today: the Sparkassen Chess-Meeting in Dortmund, Germany. He has won the tournament 10 times, but not since 2011. Can he win it this year?

    Here are the pairings for round 1, which is underway:

    • Wojtaszek (2733) - Meier (2628)
    • Duda (2737) - Kovalev (2655)
    • Kramnik (2792) - Nisipeanu (2672)
    • Nepomniachtchi (2757) - Giri (2782)

    Radoslaw Wojtaszek is the defending champion. While Kramnik is the rating favorite (by a small margin), I expect Ian Nepomniachtchi to win the event. Normally I'd say Giri, but at the moment he might be in a spot of trouble against against Nepo; further, his results against Kramnik are typically pretty poor, and he's going to have Black against him in round 6. Also, Nepo has White against Kramnik in round 5, so the tournament sets up very well for him. But we'll see, and it's a bit ungenerous to go against the defending champion - maybe Wojtaszek will make it back-to-back titles.