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 Blitz 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 European Club Cup 2018 Gashimov Memorial 2018 Gibraltar 2018 Grand Chess Tour 2018 Grenke Chess Classic 2018 Grenke Chess Open 2018 Isle of Man 2018 Leuven 2018 London Chess Classic 2018 Norway Chess 2018 Paris 2018 Poikovsky 2018 Pro Chess League 2018 Shenzhen Masters 2018 Sinquefield Cup 2018 Speed Chess Championship 2018 St. Louis Rapid & Blitz 2018 Tal Memorial 2018 Tata Steel Rapid & Blitz 2018 U.S. Championship 2018 Wijk aan Zee 2018 Women's World Championship 2018 World Championship 2018 World Rapid & Blitz Championship 2019 Aeroflot Open 2019 Champions Showdown 2019 Gibraltar 2019 Grand Chess Tour 2019 Norway Chess 2019 Pro Chess League 2019 Wijk aan Zee 2020 Candidates 2020 Chess Olympics 2022 Chess Olympics 2024 Chess Olympics 22014 Sinquefield Cup 22014 U.S. Championship 22016 Chess Olympiad 22019 Wijk aan Zee 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 Gukesh Dommaraju 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 Jorden Van Foreest 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 Kateryna Lagno 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 Lc0 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 Mikhail Zinar Mikhalchishin Miles Mind Games 2016 Minev miniatures Miso Cebalo MModern Benoni Modern Modern Benoni Moiseenko Morozevich Morphy Movsesian Müller Murali Karthikeyan music Nadareishvili Naiditsch Najdorf Sicilian Nakamura Nanjing 2010 Natalia Pogonina Navara NDame football Negi Neo-Archangelsk Nepomniachtchi New In Chess Yearbook 104 New York Times NH Tournament 2010 Nigel Short Nihal Sarin Nikita Vitiugov Nikolai Rezvov 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 Sergei Tkachenko 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 Svidler-Shankland match 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 14 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 Gorgiev 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 Kovalev 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 Sam Shankland (23)

    Thursday
    Feb142019

    The Next Big Event: The 2019 Champions Showdown

    Hopefully everyone is enjoying Valentine's Day with someone they love. (Unless you're a little kid, in which case all that romantic stuff is icky. For you, be happy - the day is almost done!) Here's some good chess news to go along with your romantic bliss: a very high-level rapid & blitz event starts in less than a week.

    It's the 2019 Champions Showdown in St. Louis, and it features the United States' Fab Five (note the extra pun, free of charge) taking on five challengers from the rest of the world (ROW). There will be three days of rapid play and two days of blitz, and these are the matchups:

    • Fabiano Caruana vs. Pentala Harikrishna
    • Hikaru Nakamura vs. Jan-Krzysztof Duda
    • Wesley So vs. David Navara
    • Leinier Dominguez vs. Veselin Topalov
    • Sam Shankland vs. Richard Rapport

    I'm pretty excited about the event, and it will be nice to see Caruana and especially the long inactive Dominguez back in action. I think the Americans will be favorites on every board, though I wouldn't be shocked to see the ROWers win one or two of the first, fourth, or fifth matches.

    Here are the specifics:

    The event runs from February 20-24, and play each day starts at 1 p.m. local time (= 2 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CET). The first three days will be devoted to rapid chess, the last two to blitz. There will be 12 rapid games - 4 per day - and 24 blitz games - 12 per day. The rapid time control is 15' + 10" (an increment, thankfully, not the abominable Bronstein delay) and the blitz control is 3' + 2". The rapid games are scored 2-1-0, the blitz games 1-.5-0, with the prize money in each match awarding $36,000 to the winner and $24,000 to the loser. If the match finishes in a tie, that's it: the money is split and there's no playoff.

    Thursday
    Jan312019

    Sosonko & Shankland, Good News and Bad News

    Jokes about Gennadi Sosonko as a sort of chronicler for the grim reaper have been going around for at couple of decades now. If Sosonko writes about you, there's a kind of good news, bad news to it: the good news is that if he does, you're somebody in the chess world; the bad news is that if he does, you're probably dead. (That may or may not be bad news for you, but it's at least sad for your loved ones.)

    Sam Shankland may be the moderately grim reaper. If you lose to him in the last round of an event (or at least your last round), the good news is that you're clearly a really strong player. The bad news is that it might be your last serious game: he sent Judit Polgar into retirement in the 2014 Chess Olympiad (I can't believe it has been four and a half years! I initially wrote "2016", but then checked to make sure), and now he has sent Vladimir Kramnik out of professional chess as well. It's possible that there's no causal relationship between their losses to Shankland and their retirement, but you can't be too careful: make sure your favorite players don't face him in the last round of a major tournament.

    Sunday
    Jan272019

    2019 Wijk aan Zee, Round 13: Carlsen Draws, Wins the Tournament

    There wasn't much drama today in the final round of the 2019 Tata Steel Chess Tournament, either in the Masters Group or even in the Challengers event. There could have been. Anish Giri had the white pieces against Magnus Carlsen, and with a win he'd have vaulted Carlsen and taken clear first. And in the Challengers event Vladislav Kovalev was only half a point ahead of Maksim Chigaev and Andrey Esipenko. But there were no fantastic finishes. Carlsen drew with complete ease, and the question early on was only if he might win or at least try to win the game. And it was even worse in the Challengers event: Kovalev won in 24 moves when his opponent blundered into a mating attack, and for good measure both Chigaev and Esipenko lost their games. So Carlsen won the main event, Kovalev the Challengers, and the latter will be promoted to the Masters event next year.

    As for the rest of the Masters games: Richard Rapport blitzed Jorden Van Foreest off the board in just 21 moves, mostly due, I'd say, to the latter's poor preparation for the line that came up. (His novelty on move 12 - undoubtedly not the result of prior preparation, landed him in a lost position.) The other win took longer: Vladimir Kramnik once again went into self-destruct mode, avoiding a simple draw for a more complex position where only Sam Shankland could play for a win. Shankland took his chance and gave the former world champion his sixth defeat of the tournament. The remaining games were drawn between 19 and 35 moves. (The games, with my notes to Giri-Carlsen, the two decisive games, and Kovalev's last-round win are here.)

    Here are the final standings:

    • 1. Carlsen 9 (out of 13)
    • 2. Giri 8.5
    • 3-5. Nepomniachtchi, Ding, Anand 7.5
    • 6. Vidit 7
    • 7-9. Radjabov, Shankland, Rapport 6.5
    • 10. Duda 5.5
    • 11-12. Fedoseev, Mamedyarov 5
    • 13-14. Kramnik, Van Foreest 4.5

    And just for fun, the final standings of the Challengers group:

    • 1. Kovalev 10 (of 13)
    • 2-4. Gledura, Esipenko, Chigaev 8.5
    • 5-6. Korobov, L'Ami 7.5
    • 7-8. Maghsoodloo, Bareev 7
    • 9. (Lucas) Van Foreest 6
    • 10. Keymer 5.5
    • 11. Praggnanandhaa 5
    • 12-13. Saduakassova, Paehtz 3.5
    • 14. Kuipers 3

    Saturday
    Jan262019

    2019 Wijk aan Zee, Round 12: Carlsen Wins Again, Leads Giri By Half a Point Going Into Their Last-Round Showdown

    Last year Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri tied for first in the Tata Steel Chess Tournament, and in this year's edition they are once again the only contenders for first. Last year, Carlsen defeated Giri in a playoff; this year, a playoff is impossible, as Carlsen enters the round half a point ahead of his rival and they face off in the last round. (I suppose one could consider it a de facto playoff: an Armageddon game with a classical time control. If Carlsen wins or draws, he wins the tournament; if Giri wins, then he does.)

    They entered the round tied for first after Giri got a colossal gift from Sam Shankland, who resigned in a completely drawn position. In this round Giri got a second gift, as Teimour Radjabov offered a draw (which was of course accepted by Giri) in a won position. Not a dead or obviously won position, but a winning one all the same. Even with all the freebies Giri is enjoying, Carlsen still enters the last round as the sole leader after grinding out a victory against Jan-Krzysztof Duda. No freebies, just hard work: he obtained an advantage in the early middlegame and never let go. Duda didn't make it easy for him, but he was still forced to surrender after 71 moves.

    Ian Nepomniachtchi entered the round only half a point behind the leaders, but now he's a point and a half behind after getting clobbered by Shankland. Perhaps trying to hard to get a complicated and untheoretical position Nepo played an experimental line, a Pirc with ...e6. The combination of ...g6, ...Bg7, ...Nf6 and ...e6 generally don't go very well together (to oversimplify a bit: if you want to play a Pirc, avoid ...e6; if you want a Hippo, don't play ...Nf6), and they went dreadfully wrong in this game. Shankland played natural, healthy, aggressive chess, and won convincingly.

    Ding Liren and Viswanathan Anand could have remained a point behind Carlsen, had either defeated the other. That still would have left them mathematically eliminated from the race for first, after Carlsen's win, but at least they'd be a bit closer. It was a very good game, with Ding playing 1.e4 - an unusual first move for him - and having some deep preparation. Anand defended well, and 28...Rd6 was a beautiful idea that led to an ending where White's had no way to use his material advantage.

    Finally, Vladimir Kramnik made it two consecutive wins by defeating Vladimir Fedoseev in a queen and rook ending, while Shakhriyar Mamedyarov bled some rating points by drawing with Jorden Van Foreest. Kramnik is now "only" -18.7 for the touranment, while Mamedyarov is a ghastly -26 on the live rating list. And Santosh Vidit Gujrathi was winning against Richard Rapport, but after he missed the right way to prosecute his attack the game finished in a draw.

    The tournament site is here, the games (with light comments, though not about photons) are here, and these the pairings for the final round, tomorrow:

    • Giri (8) - Carlsen (8.5)
    • Nepomniachtchi (7) - Radjabov (6)
    • Kramnik (4.5) - Shankland (5.5)
    • Mamedyarov (4.5) - Fedoseev (4.5)
    • Rapport (5.5) - Van Foreest (4.5)
    • Anand (7) - Vidit (6.5)
    • Duda (5) - Ding (7)

    In the Challengers Tournament, the sole leader is Vladislav Kovalev, who came into the event as the second seed. He has 9/12, good for a half-point lead over 16-year-old Andrey Esipenko and Maksim Chigaev. Unfortunately for Chigaev and Esipenko, they're both playing Black against strong opponents (Gledura and Bareev, respectively) while Kovalev has White against bottom seed and co-cellar dweller Stefan Kuipers. One never knows for sure, but the odds of Kovalev's getting clear first and securing qualification to next year's top group look awfully good.

    Friday
    Jan252019

    2019 Wijk aan Zee, Round 11: Giri Gets a Gift, Co-Leads with Carlsen

    Well, that was embarrassing. Sam Shankland lost by resigning to Anish Giri in a theoretically drawn position. What's worse is that he didn't have to find anything. All he had to do was retreat the king, and the job would be done. It's remarkable that so studious a player as Shankland was unfamiliar with this particular fortress - it's a bit like Viktor Korchnoi once asking an arbiter if castling queenside was legal if the rook passed over an attacked square. That's chess for you: there's so much to know that it's possible for a 2700 not to know an elementary draw known to many club players.

    It was a big gift for Anish Giri, who thereby caught up with Magnus Carlsen in first place with two rounds to go after the latter drew quickly and easily with Black in a Sveshnikov against Teimour Radjabov. They are half a point ahead of Ian Nepomniachtchi, who bounced back from yesterday's loss by defeating Vladimir Fedoseev. Nepo had a serious, evening winning advantage early on in an Advance Caro-Kann, let it slip, and then won the game a second time when Fedoseev faltered just before (and after) the time control.

    Ding Liren and Viswanathan Anand are a further half a point behind. Ding drew with Richard Rapport in all of 16 moves, while Anand came close to achieving something with White against Jan-Krzysztof Duda. Close, but Duda had the one tempo he needed to equalize.

    The last two games were decisive. Santosh Vidit Gujrathi defeated the plummeting Shakhriyar Mamedyarov with Black, and pretty easily, too. Meanwhile, Vladimir Kramnik finally won a game - with great difficulty - against Jorden Van Foreest. Kramnik was winning smoothly early on, and was on the way to what would have been an attractive attacking game. He missed his best opportunity, and after further inaccuracies Van Foreest equalized. But Kramnik started grinding and kept on grinding, and in the second time control Black made several errors to lose in a double bishop ending. Even with the win Kramnik is still alone in last place, half a point behind Van Foreest and Mamedyarov. Both Kramnik and Mamedyarov have lost 23 points in what has proved to be a disastrous event for them. (Tournament site here, games here, with notes to Kramnik's and Giri's games.)

    But enough about their woes. The race for first is where the action is, and five players are still in the hunt. Better still, the pairing for the last round is Giri-Carlsen. First we have round 12, and here are the pairings:

    • Carlsen (7.5) - Duda (5)
    • Ding (6.5) - Anand (6.5)
    • Vidit (6) - Rapport (5)
    • Van Foreest (4) - Mamedyarov (4)
    • Fedoseev (4.5) - Kramnik (3.5)
    • Shankland (4.5) - Nepomniachtchi (7)
    • Radjabov (5.5) - Giri (7.5)

    Just think: if Carlsen and Giri draw, Nepomniachtchi wins, and either Ding or Anand wins, there will be a four-way tie for first entering the last round. And if we add to that a draw between Van Foreest and Mamedyarov and a Kramnik win there will be a five-way tie for last. It's impossible to happen in this event, but has a tournament ever finished with half the players tied for first and the other half tied for last? My favorite oddball super-GM tournament result was Linares 2001, when Kasparov finished in first with a +5 score while the other five players (Polgar, Karpov, Leko, Shirov, and Grischuk) tied for second=last place with -1 scores.

    Sunday
    Jan202019

    2019 Wijk aan Zee, Round 7: Five Leaders

    It's getting bunchy at the top of the 2019 Tata Steel Chess Tournament, as Viswanthan Anand's win over a plummeting Vladimir Kramnik made him the fifth player in the event with a +2 score as the tournament passed the halfway point. Anand was doing fine with Black, with a roughly equal position where he had an extra pawn and Kramnik had the bishop pair. Had Kramnik played 36.c4, insuring that he could regain the sacrificed pawn at will, he'd have enjoyed a small edge with slight winning chances and almost no risk. Perhaps Kramnik felt he was maintaining more position the way he played it, but that proved all to the good for Anand. He kept his extra pawn, got active, and went on to win in the second time control.

    That put him into a tie for first with Magnus Carlsen (who had to suffer a bit with black against Vladimir Fedoseev), Anish Giri (white in a short, sharp draw with Ding Liren), Ding Liren (see the previous clause), and Ian Nepomniachtchi (who had Jan-Krzysztof Duda on the ropes but couldn't put him away). As for Kramnik, he's tied for last place with Jorden Van Foreest, who lost a knight ending to Sam Shankland. That brought Shankland back to 50%, and was his first win after failing to convert winning positions in rounds 1 and 2.

    Teimour Radjabov is only half a point behind the leaders after clubbing Santosh Vidit into a brutal submission. Vidit was already in trouble in the opening after a promising piece sac by Radjabov, and while the game went 36 moves it wouldn't have been out of place for Vidit to resign on move 20.

    Finally, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Richard Rapport drew their game at the time control. Mamedyarov had a meaningful advantage through much of the middlegame, but it slipped away as the time control neared.

    No analysis today, I'm afraid, but the games can be replayed here. Here are the pairings for round 8:

    • Carlsen (4.5) - Rapport (3)
    • Anand (4.5) - Mamedyarov (3)
    • Duda (3) - Kramnik (2)
    • Ding (4.5) - Nepomniachtchi (4.5)
    • Vidit (3.5) - Giri (4.5)
    • Van Foreest (2) - Radjabov (4)
    • Fedoseev (2.5) - Shankland (3.5)

    Saturday
    Oct272018

    Saturday Summary: Two Leaders Entering the Final Round of the IOM; Svidler Wins his Match

    The pre-World Championship match festivities are winding down; the match between Peter Svidler and Sam Shankland is over, while there's just one round left to play at the Isle of Man. (But don't fret: there's the Shenzhen Masters starting November 4 with Ding Liren, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Anish Giri, Yu Yangyi, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, and Nikita Vitiugov. There's no getting away from big chess anymore.)

    Starting with what has finished: Svidler had some advantage with White, but not enough to cash in with a win (and probably not a lot of motivation to do so, either). Shankland drew, so Svidler won the match 3.5-2.5. This was pretty close to what one would expect from their ratings, with Svidler gaining two points from the match. The undercard maintained its "perfection", as Vladimir Fedoseev and Jorden Van Foreest drew all six of their games, and thus the match.

    The Isle of Man International finishes tomorrow (Sunday), and the trends were reversed in today's penultimate round. The number of leaders had been increasing every round; now it has shrunk to two. The nine super-GMs had been performing well, with at least eight of the nine enjoying great chances to win the tournament. Now only one of the big nine is within half a point of the lead, and he's not one of the two leaders. Here's the run-down:

    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Wang Hao were among the co-leaders, but after their (clean) draw they're half a point back. The next two games involving co-leaders were decisive, however. Arkadij Naiditsch defeated Hikaru Nakamura, first obtaining a positional advantage and then surviving the up-and-down tactical play that resulted from Nakamura's objectively dubious piece sac on move 26. Naiditsch was short of time though and it wasn't a bad practical chance. Nakamura managed to equalize, but then was worse before having one brief chance to be better with 35...Nf4. After 35...Re5? White was (again) winning, and didn't give Black any more opportunities.

    Radoslaw Wojtaszek was the other winner, defeating Michael Adams thanks mostly to Adams' blunder on move 15. It cost him the exchange, and Wojtaszek duly converted his advantage.

    Jeffery Xiong was the last co-leader, but in his long game with Vladimir Kramnik he was always playing defense. He was in trouble shortly after the first time control, but when Kramnik played 46.Bxf2 instead of 46.Kg1 Xiong was able to escape.

    All the games featuring players half a point out of first finished in a draw except for Gawain Jones vs. Levon Aronian. Jones won pretty convincingly, as if he was the former world's #2 rather than a consistent mid-to-upper 2600-level player. Congrats to Jones!

    Here are the leading pairings for the final round:

    1. Naiditsch (6.5) - Wojtaszek (6.5)
    2. Xiong (6) - Jones (6)
    3. Grischuk (5.5) - Vachier-Lagrave (6)
    4. Wang Hao (6) - Anand (5.5)

    The next eight boards are all 5.5 vs. 5.5 pairings, but they are of course outside of the race for first.

    Friday
    Oct262018

    Seven Lead at the Isle of Man; Status Quo Everywhere Else

    1. There were lots of draws at the top in round 7 (of 9) at the 2018 Isle of Man International. The six leaders drew their three games, and only one of the nine players entering the round half a point out of first managed to win. Thus Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Arkadij Naiditsch, Hikaru Nakamura, Jeffery Xiong, Wang Hao and Radoslaw Wojtaszek remain tied for first, now with 5.5 points apiece, and thanks to Michael Adams' win over Abhijeet Gupta he too shares the lead.

    Of the leaders, only Vachier-Lagrave had anything like serious winning chances, but the board was such a mess he preferred the safety of a speedy perpetual. On move 21, it was better to be greedy and recapture with the king, and even after that it wasn't necessary to repeat. That's easy to say with a computer running, but that it's easy doesn't make it false.

    In the next score group, both Vladimir Kramnik (against Vladislav Artemiev) and Richard Rapport (against Gawain Jones) should have won, but they didn't. They're still very much in the hunt with two rounds to go; here are the pairings for round 8:

     

    1. Vachier-Lagrave (5.5) - Wang Hao (5.5)
    2. Naiditsch (5.5) - Nakamura (5.5)
    3. Wojtaszek (5.5) - Adams (5.5)
    4. Kramnik (5) - Xiong (5.5)
    5. Jones (5) - Aronian (5)
    6. Giri (5) - Rapport (5)
    7. Anand (5) - Artemiev (5)
    8. Parligras (5) - Grischuk (5)
    9. Karjakin (5) - Sethuraman (5)
    10. So (4.5) - Shirov (5)

     

    For those who occasionally ask how the top players would do in open tournaments, and if their ratings are protected by their playing mostly amongst themselves, see for yourselves. Except for So, the nine super-GMs are all no more than half a point out of first, and even So, who is having a relatively poor event - the worst of the bunch - is only down 7 rating points for the event.

    2. Game five of the Svidler-Shankland match was drawn. Shankland got nothing from his last white game, and will have to win the last game with Black to tie the match. Game five of the Fedoseev - J. Van Foreest was drawn, just like the first four.

    3. TCEC Superfinal: 26 games are finished, and Stockfish leads 3-0 with 23 draws against Komodo. Only 74 games remain.

    4. Chess.com Computer Chess Championship, Blitz edition. It has been a while since we updated this one. As suggested in the post's title, though, there's nothing new to report, except that more games have been played and we've all aged. Stockfish leads with 92.5/102, five points ahead of Houdini. Lc0 has played one more game, and has 79.5/103, while Komodo is battling with Ethereal and Fire for fourth, not far behind Lc0. All three engines have played 102 games, and Ethereal has 77.5 points while Fire and Komodo have 77. This is just stage 1, with the top 10 engines making it to stage 2 and then the top 4 from stage 2 playing in the third and final stage. So...it'll be a while before it's all over.

    Thursday
    Oct252018

    Six Lead the Isle of Man; Svidler Beat Shankland to Take the Lead

    There were four leaders coming into round 6 of the Isle of Man International, and now there are six. Three were among yesterday's co-leaders, and three are new. The inherited leaders are Jeffery Xiong, Wang Hao, and Arkadij Naiditsch. Naiditsch took the day off, while Xiong made Wang Hao suffer for a long time before acquiescing in a draw.

    The fourth pre-round co-leader, Abhijeet Gupta, had a tougher time, losing quickly to Hikaru Nakamura. Gupta played an interesting pawn sacrifice for play, but in the tactical flurry that followed he was outcalculated by Nakamura and resigned rather than surrendering the exchange. Nakamura thus joined the leaders, as did Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Radoslaw Wojtaszek. MVL sacrificed two pawns for tons of play, although his opponent (Rinat Jumabayev) was objectively okay it was the sort of position where the mistakes are waiting to be made. He "found" one of them with 33.f4, and four moves later it was over. Not all "equal" positions are equal for mere mortals. Wojtaszek's win came mostly due to a blunder. He had some advantage against Rasmus Svane, but nothing near decisive until 21...Nfd7?? 22.Qxf7+! Qxf7 23.Nxf7, when Black can't take on f4 due to 24.Nd6+. From there Wojtaszek had an easy time converting his advantage.

    Mircea Parligras nearly made it a septet, as he was much better-to-winning against Sergey Karjakin for a long time. It came down to a rook ending, and when Parligras missed the subtle 81.Rd4, preferring instead 81.Rd3, Karjakin managed to sneak out with a draw.

    Here are the top pairings for round 7:

    1. Vachier-Lagrave (5) - Naiditsch (5)
    2. Nakamura (5) - Xiong (5)
    3. Wang Hao (5) - Wojtaszek (5)
    4. Artemiev (4.5) - Kramnik (4.5)
    5. Sethuraman (4.5) - Anand (4.5)
    6. Rapport (4.5) - Jones (4.5)
    7. Adams (4.5) - Gupta (4.5)
    8. Antipov (4.5) - Giri (4)

    Also in the 4-point score group are Levon Aronian, Wesley So, and Alexander Grischuk.

    In the match between Peter Svidler and Sam Shankland, Svidler took his first lead of the match with a crushing win in game 4; (up to?) two games remain. Shankland was doing fine with Black, but 18...h4 was a bad idea. Technically, it wasn't a mistake; after 19.Bg5 he could have played 19...Be7!, threatening ...e5, and only after White's queen quits the d-file would he take on g3. But instead he played the natural 19...hxg3, winning a pawn but coming under a crushing attack after 20.Bxf6 gxf6 21.Qh6. Svidler finished in style, but for the most part it was pretty straightforward (though attractive). My guess is that Shankland missed either 19.Bg5, 19...Be7, or Svidler's terrific 25.Kh1, with the idea to meet 25...gxh2 with 26.Rg1+! with a speedy mate. (The undercard match between Vladimir Fedoseev and Jorden Van Foreest had another draw: 4 for 4.)

    Selected games (mostly annotated) from the two events, here.

    Tuesday
    Oct232018

    Tuesday Roundup: Shankland-Svidler, TCEC 13 Superfinal, IOM (Updated)

    A quick recap, especially since many of my readers will be watching game 1 of the World Series tonight and/or the HBO special mentioned in the previous post.

    Let's start with the TCEC 13 Superfinal. It's already 4-2 in Stockfish's favor against Komodo (only 94 games to go). The reason I'm mentioning the match again is that games 7 and 8 are (and will be) King's Gambit Accepteds, to coin a word, so they should be entertaining.

    Game 3 of the match between Sam Shankland and Peter Svidler was drawn, making it 1.5-1.5 at the halfway point. Svidler has White in game 4. On the undercard between Vladimir Fedoseev and Jorden Van Foreest, game 3 was also draw--that's three for three so far.

    Finally, the round 4 results at the Isle of Man tournament were pretty conventional. Among the perfect scores, Jeffery Xiong drew with White against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, while in the other two games the higher-rated player had White and won: Wang Hao against Erwin L'Ami and Arkadij Naiditisch against Pavel Tregubov.

    The highest-rated players in the 2.5 point score group - Levon Aronian, Wesley So, Alexander Grischuk, and Sergey Karjakin - all drew, but plenty of other 2.5 pointers won. And the top players who were on 2 points all won: Anish Giri, Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, and Hikaru Nakamura, in each case with White.

    Here are the top round 5 pairings:

     

    1. Wang Hao (4) - Naiditsch (4)
    2. Vachier-Lagrave (3.5) - Parligras (3.5)
    3. Rapport (3.5) - Xiong (3.5)
    4. Gupta (3.5) - Vidit (3.5)
    5. Aronian (3) - Kovalev (3)
    6. L'Ami (3) - Giri (3)
    7. So (3) - Melkumyan (3)
    8. Grischuk (3) - Short (3)
    9. Shirov (3) - Nakamura (3)
    10. Karjakin (3) - Sevian (3)

     

    There are six more boards with 3-pointers, but we'll leave further 3-pointers to the NBA and call it a post.

    UPDATE: The correction has already been made above, which is that all three games of the Fedoseev-Van Foreest match have been drawn.