My World Chess column this week has a look at some of the late grandmaster Arthur Bisguier's best games. Back in his heyday, he was a very strong player, with wins against a good number of the world's top players. (His list of victims includes Fischer, Spassky, Keres, Larsen, Gligoric, Portisch, Reshevsky, Taimanov, Najdorf, Szabo, Benko, to name some players who made it to at least the Candidates stage.) He had a refreshingly direct style which meant that when he won, it was often in very entertaining style - as you'll see.
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As mentioned in the previous post, there was yet another event before the main event and the blitz tournament in Zurich, and that's the exhibition game between tournament sponsor Oleg Skvortsov and Viswanathan Anand. Skvortsov is a pretty strong player in his own right, as an amateur, and he pushed Anand to do something special. You can read all about it here, in this week's column.
But only on tiebreaks. Wang Hao's score of 7/9 was matched by Baskaran Adhiban, Martyn Kravtsiv, Yuriy Kryvoruchko, S.P. Sethuraman, and Saleh Salem (representing the UAE, the home country). In my World Chess column on the Sharjah Masters, I take a look at a couple of the key moments that enabled him to take first rather than the fast-rising Adhiban or Kravtsiv.
Top to bottom, the Du Te Cup in Shenzhen, China, was an even stronger tournament than the still ongoing U.S. Championship. The event finished a few days ago, and was won by Chinese super-GM Ding Liren. It could have been a four-way tie for first, but a hard-fought win in the last round over Pentala Harikrishna made the difference, as I detail in my column.
As he has been for some time now, Wesley So has been playing extraordinarily good, successful chess in one event after another. One event that may have slipped below your radar is the PRO League, a slow-moving team tournament which culminates this weekend. I say a bit more about the event here, and present two of So's more recent games from the tournament. There were many to choose from, as his score there is an insane 26-2, including a 12-2 score against grandmasters.
17-year-old Chinese super-GM Wei Yi is not only one of the world's strongest and most promising chess players, he's also one of the most exciting. He finished tied for second in the just-completed 7th HD Bank Cup in Vietnam, but when it came to aggressive, attacking chess he was number one. I look at five of his games from the tournament, including his one loss, in this week's World Chess column, hot off the press. Enjoy!
The (just-completed) Women's World Championship brought Georgian great Nona Gaprindashvili (women's champ from 1962-1978) to mind, so my World Chess column this week takes a look at a brilliant tactical slugfest she won on her way to the top.
This was a lot of work, but I think or at least hope you'll all agree that it was worth it. Did I mention that it was a lot of work? Have a look: all the chess from last Sunday's episode of "The Simpsons", with Magnus Carlsen.
In addition to the ongoing Women's World Championship and Grand Prix tournament in Sharjah, there's a high-level league competition that's nearing its end. The PRO Chess League sponsored by Chess.com is winding down (it finishes on March 11), and while it's only rapid play (15'/game, plus 2" increments per move) some of the world's absolute elite is participating, including Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So, and Fabiano Caruana - the world's three highest-rated players.
In last week's World Chess column, I cover one game from that event, Wesley So's win over Cristian Chirila. So grinds out a win in a long same-colored bishop ending, and while Chirila could have drawn with best play it was still a very impressive performance by So - good technique both objectively and from the practical perspective as well. It, and the league's games in general, are very much worth a look.