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 Chinese Championship 2017 Geneva Grand Prix 2017 Isle of Man 2017 PRO Chess League 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 Team Championship 2018 Chess Olympiad 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Grenke Chess Classic 2015 (8)

    Monday
    Feb092015

    Grenke Chess Classic, Round 7: Carlsen Wins In An Armageddon Victory over Naiditsch

    The final day of the Grenke Chess Classic was exciting and very, very strange. Entering the final round, Magnus Carlsen and Arkadij Naiditsch were tied for first, with Fabiano Caruana half a point behind. Carlsen had White against Etienne Bacrot, Naiditsch had White against Levon Aronian, and Fabiano Caruana had Black against David Baramidze. On paper Naiditsch had the fewest winning chances, Carlsen the next move and Caruana the best opportunity to come out with a victory; after all, Baramidze was the lowest-rated player in the tournament, and was firmly ensconced in last place while on a four-game losing streak.

    As it turned out, all three games were drawn, but only after many adventures. Bacrot achieved a lost position in two stages. First, he would have been absolutely fine after the obvious 22...Ne4, but misassessed something and played 22...Nd5, allowing 23.e4. That got him in trouble, but if he had taken the somewhat lucky chance that 27...Nhf4 afforded him he would have been fine. After 27...Re2 he began to slide, and Carlsen was soon winning. He had his choice of wins, and he saw some of them too. Unfortunately, the way he chose allowed Bacrot some serious counterplay against White's king, and Carlsen had to allow a repetition to avoid losing.

    Naiditsch was also better against Aronian, significantly and persistently better, too. Aronian defended well, however, and it doesn't appear that Naiditsch ever enjoyed a decisive advantage.

    Caruana tried for a very long time against Baramidze, and after around six and a half hours, on move 71, he got his one and only chance to win the game. Unfortunately, 71...Kd4 was not an easy move to play, and Baramidze finally escaped with a draw after 85 moves.

    Before turning to the playoff, let's make mention of the one remaining game. Michael Adams initially had nothing against Viswanathan Anand when they reached a single rook ending after White's (Adams's) 30th move. Had Anand played 30...Ra4 it would have been almost dead even, but Anand's 30...Rd7 gave Adams a nibble. From there, nothing much happened until move 55, when Anand chose to play 55...Rd5. As Adams hadn't made any progress with the previous sort of position, this concessive approach seemed wholly unnecessary, even if the position was still drawn after the pawn sac. From there, absolutely nothing happened until move 84, when Anand played 84...Ke5?? and essentially lost the game in one move. Any move that maintained the status quo would have drawn, but Anand's move allowed White to push his pawn to h7 rather than just h6, which in turn allows White's king to achieve a decisive penetration into Black's camp.

    On to the playoff. Carlsen and Naiditisch were to play a couple of 10-minute games. If they remained tied after that, then a couple of five-minute games, and if that didn't settle the issue it would be time for an Armageddon game (White gets six minutes for the whole game; Black gets five minutes plus draw odds.) Carlsen won the first 10-minute game with the white pieces and was in excellent shape in the second game until he goofed with 25...h4 26.g4 Nxf4+ 27.Kh2 Rg5. White was winning after 28.Nxf4, and while Carlsen had the occasional chance in the players' mutual time trouble the trend was almost always in White's favor, and Naiditsch finally won.

    Carlsen began the five-minute games with the white pieces, but this time Naiditsch held the first game comfortably. In the second game, Naiditsch outplayed Carlsen in the early going and enjoyed a pleasant edge. The big upset didn't materialize though. Carlsen held and then took over, and Naiditsch ultimately did very well to save the game.

    So it came down to an Armageddon game, and Carlsen had White this time too. The game got interesting in a hurry after Naiditsch's 13...Be6. It seemed to drop a pawn, but after 14.Qxa6 Qc7 it looked like Carlsen had dropped an exchange. Maybe, but he had compensation for it just as Naiditsch did for the pawn. Ultimately, White had the same micro-edge he had before Naiditsch's pawn sac. Soon the game was trending in Carlsen's favor, and Naiditsch had one last chance to stop the train. Had he played 22...g6 it would have been anybody's game. Instead, he played 22...Qb4, which was a mistake, and followed this up with an outright blunder on move 23. After that there was no saving the game, and under other circumstances Naiditsch would have resigned earlier than he did, on move 32.

    It was a great tournament for Naiditsch, and hopefully he will get another top class invitation or two thanks to this performance from an event outside of Germany. For Carlsen, this was his 23rd super-tournament victory, which puts him in a tie with Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand. Good company, and he achieved this a lot more quickly than they did.

    Games here, sans notes.

    Final standings:

    • 1-2. Carlsen, Naiditsch 4.5 (out of 7)
    • 3-4. Caruana, Adams 4
    • 5-6. Bacrot, Aronian 3.5
    • 7. Anand 2.5
    • 8. Baramidze 1.5

    Sunday
    Feb082015

    Grenke Chess Classic, Round 6: Naiditsch & Carlsen Still Lead With One Round to Go

    Arkadij Naiditsch and Magnus Carlsen started round 6 of the Grenke Chess Classic with a half point lead over Fabiano Caruana, and that's how they finished the round as well. Three of the four games were drawn today, with Viswanathan Anand beating the only player who has had a worse tournament than he has; namely, David Baramidze. Baramidze is by far the lowest-rated player and had already lost three games in a row, so this wasn't much of a surprise.

    As for the leaders, Carlsen drew comfortably and quickly against Caruana on the black side of a Berlin, while Naiditsch also drew with black, though Etienne Bacrot made him work a bit longer and harder to get his half a point. Finally, Michael Adams had very good winning chances against Levon Aronian on the black side of an English, but couldn't figure out how to put him away. (The games, with brief notes, are here.)

    The final round pairings are:

    • Adams (3) - Anand (2.5)
    • Naiditsch (4) - Aronian (3)
    • Carlsen (4) - Bacrot (3)
    • Baramidze (1) - Caruana (3.5)

    If Carlsen ties for first on points, then he wins on tiebreaks as he will have won more games than either Naiditsch or Caruana. If Caruana wins tomorrow while Carlsen & Naiditsch draw their games, he (Caruana) will take second because he'll have won one more game with the black pieces than Naiditsch did. I'm not a huge fan of rewarding the ability to win more games than to avoid losses, but I can live with it as *a* tiebreaker. But I've always thought that head-to-head should be the first tiebreaker, and find it irritating that Naiditsch could beat his main rival and come in second (or even third) in spite of that. Unfortunately (from my perspective, but not from any anti-Carlsen animus), head-to-head is their third tiebreaker.

    Saturday
    Feb072015

    Grenke Chess Classic, Round 5: Carlsen Catches Naiditsch

    As usual, Magnus Carlsen has bounced back from a loss in style and with a vengeance, and after his second straight win in the Grenke Chess Classic he has caught up to Arkadij Naiditsch. Both players have 3.5 points out of five, and lead their closest pursuer by half a point with two rounds to play.

    Carlsen was playing the tournament tailender and bottom seed, David Baramidze - with the white pieces, to boot, so his win isn't exactly shocking. Still, it was a nice, typical Carlsen win: he chose a variation (within a mainline opening, it's true) that was slightly off the beaten path, offering a position with plenty of play and no easy way for Black to simplify the position. He maneuvered, increased the tension and created imbalances, and in due course Baramdize erred. 28...Re6 wound up a waste of time, and a further error on move 38 took away all hope.

    Naiditsch had White against Fabiano Caruana, and to his credit he did what few super-GMs are willing to do: allow the Marshall Gambit. For once someone seemed better prepared than Caruana in the opening, and although Naiditsch returned the extra pawn his bishop pair looked very strong, and he surely had good winning chances. Caruana defended well, and although he had to suffer for a long time he never broke, and he remains in the hunt for first - especially given his pairing for the next round.

    The day's other winner was Levon Aronian, who improved his lot in life by adding to Viswanathan Anand's recent miseries. Anand had outplayed Aronian on the black side of a Ragozin, and was building a promising kingside attack before playing 23...Nh6? I suspect he missed something like 24.e4 Qxf3 (Anand played 24...Bxc5) 25.Qxg5+ Kh7 26.e5+ Bf5 27.Bxf5+ Nxf5 28.Rc3! Aronian wasn't immediately winning, but Anand didn't adapt well to the sudden change, and he was losing just a few moves later and then resigned somewhat prematurely.

    Finally, Etienne Bacrot was the only player to make a good case for the black pieces in any of the games, and enjoyed a winning advantage against Mickey Adams. Adams defended well, and like Caruana, saved half a point after a lot of suffering.

    The games are here (I've analyzed the two decisive results), and the pairings for the penultimate round are:

    • Anand (1.5) - Baramidze (1)
    • Caruana (3) - Carlsen (3.5)
    • Bacrot (2.5) - Naiditsch (3.5)
    • Aronian (2.5) - Adams (2.5)

    Friday
    Feb062015

    Grenke Chess Classic, Round 4: Naiditsch Wins Again, Still Leads; Carlsen Beats Anand

    Round four of the Grenke Chess Classic was an exciting one, featuring two games that were settled by blunders. In both games the player with Black won and the player trying to conduct a kingside attack lost.

    Since he is leading the tournament and defeated Magnus Carlsen in round 3, we'll give Arkadij Naiditsch his due and start with his game. Playing his countryman David Baramidze, he came up with a very provocative way of meeting the English. The position was practically begging for Baramidze to attack, and he took up the challenge with gusto. First he sacrificed a pawn, then the exchange and a pawn - which he turned into a full rook sacrifice, and then another piece. The last one was one sac too many, and just five moves later Baramidze realized the attack was out of gas, and resigned. Without the last sacrifice, the game would have remained unclear and anything would have been possible.

    Carlsen had trouble with the black pieces against Viswanathan Anand in their world championship match last year, and today he switched openings again, opting for a Stonewall Dutch. After 19...e5 the board quickly opened up, and Carlsen's brave - and correct - 25...Bb2 raised the stakes. White's attack had better break through, or Black's a-pawn would soon promote. Play continued logically through Black's 31st move, but on move 32 Anand made an amazing blunder, 32.Rd7?? It wasn't difficult to refute, and the oddness was compounded by the fact that Anand only spent 52 seconds on the move. Anand wasn't speaking afterwards, so it's unclear if he overlooked something that happened in the game or if he hadn't found the right move (32.Re6). Anyone can overlook something, but the speed with which he executed the blunder was remarkable, especially given that he wasn't in time trouble.

    The other games were drawn. Fabiano Caruana had chances for more against Michael Adams, with the last opportunity coming on move 32. After Caruana played 32.Bc4 rather than 32.Kf3, Adams was able to limp home with a draw. The opening between Etienne Bacrot and Levon Aronian was unusual and interesting before it resolved into a very equal QGD-like structure.

    The games (with my notes) are here, and these are the pairings for tomorrow's round 5 (of 7):

    • Aronian (1.5) - Anand (1.5)
    • Adams (2) - Bacrot (2)
    • Naiditsch (3) - Caruana (2.5)
    • Carlsen (2.5) - Baramidze (1)

    Wednesday
    Feb042015

    Grenke Chess Classic, Round 3: Carlsen Loses to Naiditsch, Who Leads With Caruana

    Round 3 of the Grenke Chess Classic wasn't a display of great chess players at their best, and that could be why it was such an entertaining round. Maybe the one draw wasn't terribly interesting, as Etienne Bacrot and Viswanathan Anand drew in a theory-heavy line of the Berlin ending, but the other three games were lively and decisive.

    The game of the round was of course the battle between Arkadij Naiditsch and Magnus Carlsen, or "Magnus Jobava" as some dubbed him after his questionable piece sacrifice on move 10. Neither human insight nor computer calculation could justify the sacrifice, and Naiditsch looked likely to win until his 31st move. After that a tense equality prevailed for almost 20 moves, but then Carlsen got in trouble again starting with 49...Kf6. (Or maybe before then. 49...Rf4 maintains equality, but Black has to find a lot of subtle and accurate moves to keep that equality.) The final error was 55...Rc7, after which Naiditsch accurately calculated things to the end, and won.

    Two additional Magnus Carlsen-related tidbits. First, this is his second straight loss to Naiditsch; the first loss was in the Tromso Olympics last year. The second was noted by Carlsen in a tweet: this is his fourth consecutive third-round loss. The first three came in the Sinquefield Cup, the match with Anand, and at Wijk aan Zee. He didn't win the Sinquefield Cup, but he went on to win the other two, and as he's only half a point back with four rounds to go his situation is far from hopeless.

    Naiditsch leads though, and so does Fabiano Caruana the latter defeated Levon Aronian. Aronian has been playing poorly (by his exalted standards) since last year's Candidates' tournament, and today's game won't do anything for his confidence. He started with a perfectly decent position, but a series of inaccuracies and errors (perhaps especially on his 31st and 34th moves) left him lost at the time control, and he resigned after Black made his 40th move.

    Finally, Michael Adams bounced back from yesterday's loss to Carlsen with a win over David Baramidze. They played a Closed Ruy with 6.d3, and Adams didn't have much until Baramidze blundered with 16...Ne7?? Adams spotted the position and obtained a won position, and Black's dubious piece sacrifice on move 25 eliminated any last chances he might have had to hold the game.

    Tomorrow (Thursday) is a rest day, and on Friday they'll play round 4, with these pairings:

    • Anand (1.5) - Carlsen (1.5)
    • Baramidze (1) - Naiditsch (2)
    • Caruana (2) - Adams (1.5)
    • Bacrot (1.5) - Aronian (1)

    In the meantime, you can see today's games, with my brief notes, here.

    Tuesday
    Feb032015

    Grenke Chess Classic, Round 2: Carlsen Wins, Leads

    A long day, so a quick summary of the round 2 action at the Grenke Chess Classic: Magnus Carlsen ground down Michael Adams, helped a bit by the latter's time pressure. Oddly enough, this was the only win of the day; in fact, it is so far the only win of the entire tournament.

    It's not that no one else has come close, though. Viswanathan Anand enjoyed a winning double-rook ending against Arkadij Naiditsch, but active play by Naiditsch and hesitant play from the former champ allowed the German #1 to escape.

    The other German entrant, David Baramidze, had an easier time of things on the way to his draw with Levon Aronian. (Having the white pieces certainly didn't hurt.) Aronian was doing fine until he played 20...Be6; after that he was in some trouble until Baramidze played 25.b4. After that the players hoovered up everything and finished the game.

    Finally, Fabiano Caruana was seriously better, off and on, against Etienne Bacrot, but it was never a comfortable and stable plus. The position remained complicated throughout, and at times Bacrot was even a little better. Such unbalanced and volatile positions are just very hard to play. The game marked a milestone of sorts: while it's only on the live list and isn't official, it is the first time in about half a year that someone other than Caruana was world #2, and the first time ever that Alexander Grischuk has held that spot.

    Games with computer analysis on the Chess24 site, here.

    Monday
    Feb022015

    Grenke Chess Classic, Round 1: Four Draws

    I commented in my preview that this looked like a tournament that was bound to have lots of decisive games, so of course all the games in round one finished in a draw. (I'm sticking to that prediction!) The games were more interesting than the results may suggest, and in at least two of the games one of the players was in some trouble.

    There were two marquee games, beginning with Levon Aronian vs. Magnus Carlsen. Aronian didn't get anything from the opening, an Exchange Queen's Gambit, but he outplayed Carlsen in the middlegame and was pushing for something serious until an error on move 37 (time pressure?) let Carlsen escape. In the second time control Carlsen even enjoyed an edge of his own, but it wasn't enough to win against Aronian's sturdy defense.

    The second headline game saw Fabiano Caruana take on Viswanathan Anand, but if there was a dud in the round this was it. Anand had the advantage out of the opening, but a series of wholly unforced concessions in pursuit of a draw left Caruana with the upper hand. Anand has been in the habit of doing this for a long time, but so far only Carlsen has proved able to punish the ex-champ for it.

    Etienne Bacrot and David Baramidze drew the shortest game of the round, but if Bacrot had played 27.fxg4 instead of 27.Nce4 it might still have been the shortest game - the difference being that Bacrot probably would have won. After his missed that opportunity, a perpetual check ensued almost immediately.

    Finally, Arkadij Naiditsch was Black in a Tarrasch French against Michael Adams, and somehow managed to outplay Adams in a very drawish position. If Naiditsch had played 40...Ng4+ instead of 40...Kf6, Adams may have had a tough time saving the point.

    Tournament site here, games (with my very brief notes) here, and the round 2 pairings are Anand - Naiditsch, Carlsen - Adams, Baramidze - Aronian and Caruana - Bacrot.

    Sunday
    Feb012015

    Starting Tomorrow: The Grenke Chess Classic in Baden-Baden

    In case you're not particularly excited by open events like Gibraltar, fear not: the next super-GM round-robin tournament begins tomorrow in Baden-Baden, Germany. The Grenke Chess Classic is an eight player single round-robin tournament with the following lineup:

    • Magnus Carlsen (2865)
    • Fabiano Caruana (2811)
    • Viswanathan Anand (2797)
    • Levon Aronian (2777)
    • Michael Adams (2738)
    • Etienne Bacrot (2714)
    • Arkadij Naiditsch (2703)
    • David Baramidze (2594)

    The mixed field should keep the number of decisive games up - something which is rarely a problem in any case when Carlsen, Caruana and Aronian show up.

    Will Caruana and Aronian bounce back from poor performances in Wijk aan Zee (and not only there)? Can Anand keep the magic from 2014 going in the new year? And will Carlsen be able to put some more distance between himself and the chase pack than he did in Wijk aan Zee?