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The Week in Chess

  • 33rd Leon Chess 2020 – Games and Results
    The 33rd Leon Chess tournament takes place online due to the coronavirus crisis. The event starts with a three day four player rapid tournament as has been held in recent years. Alexei Shirov plays Jaime Santos Latasa in the first semi-final on Friday, Leinier Dominguez Perez plays Parham Maghsoodloo in the second on Saturday and the final is on Sunday. All sessions start at 16:30 BST with live commentary on Twitch TV with Daniel Naroditsky and Simon Williams. On Tuesday there is a rapid Open qualifier followed by a knockout on Wednesday.
  • Women’s Speed Chess Championship 2020 – Games and Results
    The FIDE Women’s Speed Chess Championship takes place 18th June to 20th July 2020. There are three phases. The now completed qualifiers led to a 4 leg Grand Prix stage and this will produce two players for the super final to decide the winner. FIDE’s page on the Women’s Speed Chess Championship. Valentina Gunina and Anna Ushenina have contested the two Grand Prix finals so far and are favourites to reach the superfinal. Kateryna Lagno beat Ushenina in Round 2 of the 3rd Grand Prix but can’t overtake her Valentina Gunina would have to lose in the first round of the Grand Prix to be caught and only if Lagno goes on to win this event. The article contains games from the qualifiers where I could identify the players. I did not include material from the two bullet events which were numbers 3 and 6.
  • PNWCC Masters – World Online Open 2020 – Games and Results
    PNWCC Masters – World Online Open took place Sat 4th Jul to Mon 6th Jul 2020. 9 round swiss 60 minutes plus 5 seconds a move hosted on Many strong players: Nikita Vitiugov, Liem Quang Le, Jeffery Xiong, Maxim Matlakov, Andrey Esipenko, Gabriel Sargsyan, Vladimir  Fedoseev, Parham Maghsoodloo, Hrant Melkumyan, Samuel Sevian, Grigoriy  Oparin, Dariusz Swiercz etc

    All Games are available.

    Jeffery Xiong and Sam Sevian shared first place on 7/9 half a point clear of a group of 7 players on 6.5 who were: Nikita Vitiugov, Maxim Matlakov, Dariusz Swiercz, Vladimir Fedoseev, Parham Maghsoodloo, Jose Eduar M Alcantara and Aleksandar Indjic.

  • Carlsen wins the Chessable Masters final after one stunning game followed by surviving to draw in the remaining three – Day 14
    Magnus Carlsen won the Chessable Masters by 2 sets to 0 after winning day two 2.5-1.5 but he hardly had things his own way. Carlsen won a stunning first game but the remaining games were about ”survival” as he did not play well and Giri had opportunities to win all three games.

    ”Today, so many missed opportunities….” ”it was really a shame not to have made it at least 2-2” Giri.

    In game one Carlsen sacrificed a pawn for tremendous play – although after the game Giri revealed he too had seen the idea although some time ago and with analysis from a clearly weaker computer. Giri was left trying to find a decent setup for his pieces in a very difficult position as Carlsen bashed out his preparation which went at least up to 21.h4. Giri’s 21…Rcd8 was not a good move but after that Carlsen hit his position with one hammer blow after another forcing resignation in 34 moves. Game two was generally fine for Carlsen except he blundered his entire position away for one move with 14…Be6? after which 15.Qh6 followed by Ng5 is unstoppable – f6 would normally be the defensive move but because the unfortunate position of the Be6 it loses that piece. Giri perhaps fortunately didn’t realise he’d missed a chance until looking at the game afterwards, he said he’d briefly considered the move before when it didn’t work but didn’t consider it when it did.

    After that Carlsen – subconsciously or not – seemed to be playing to protect his lead and this lead to two fine opportunities for Giri. In game three Carlsen had white in an English and was a little worse out of the opening and after 26.Kh2 (26.c5 or 26.Qb4 were better) this advantage became serious but not easy to exploit with very little time. Most likely 30…h4 reduced black’s advantage and in the end Giri had to repeat in order not to lose on time. In game four Giri denied Carlsen any counter play but relaxed for a moment in a position where he thought the job was done but with 35.Qxf5? (35.Nf6 wins although there is some work to be done) Qe2! hits two pieces and equalises for black at once. Giri spotted this straight after he made his move.

    Next up is the ”Legends of Chess” event starting on July 21st which will have the same or very similar format to this event. We know Carlsen, Giri, Ding Liren and Ian Nepomniachtchi will play alongside legends such as Viswanthan Anand, Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Svidler (these names were all teased during the broadcast).

    In the race to the final four player event Carlsen and Daniil Dubov will play but because Carlsen has now won his second event the over all standings between the none winners become relevant. Hikaru Nakamura leads those – it’s not clear he will even play the Legends of Chess event, the full lineup has yet to be announced.

  • Carlsen relief as he beats Giri on Day 1 of the Chessable Masters Final – Day 13
    Magnus Carlsen was visibly relieved after he won the first set of the final of the Chessable Masters. Carlsen had seemed in control after a victory in game two with white and two solid draws with black. This left Anish Giri the problem of winning on demand in the fourth rapid game to take the game to a blitz tie-break. Carlsen played for a draw with the white pieces starting with 12.e5 which is definitely not the best move in the position but he was doing fine until Giri played the very sharp 20…Nb4 after which Carlsen felt that he had calculated his way to a win only to miss the final 25…Qxb2 immediately ending the game in Giri’s favour.

    In the blitz tie-breaks Giri was better in game one on the board and for quite some time on the clock. Then game then was played on increment by both players with Giri missing 61.Ra4! with a winning position before the game ended in a draw. In the final game Carlsen had Internet problems at the start of the game and this affected Giri’s chances also as he was unsure what to do. When normal service resumed the game was a much faster blitz game for both players than intended. Carlsen built up a winning position but his 27.Rb1 allowing an exchange sacrifice that put everything up in the air again and if Giri had played 31…Rg3+ followed by Rg6 and taking on f6 the game would have had a good chance of finishing in a draw. Instead after 33.Ra8 Carlsen won a piece and eventually the game.

    The match was pretty close today and if Giri hadn’t blundered with 43.Rc1? instead of 43.Ra4 within sight of a draw in game two it would have been even closer. Giri must win the second set tomorrow to take the match into a final day on Sunday.

  • Giri overcomes Nepomniachtchi to face Carlsen in the Chessable Masters Final – Day 12
    Anish Giri beat Ian Nepomniachtchi in a blitz tie-break to win his semifinal match 2 sets to 1 and go through to face World Champion Magnus Carlsen in the final of the Chessable Masters starting tomorrow.

    Anish Giri has transformed his play in online chess since the start of the lock down and a 3-1 beating by Jorden van Foreest. In the first Magnus Carlsen invitational in April he came 7th of 8 in the preliminary stage and looked a long way short of the required standard to compete for any titles. Giri has since put serious time into playing events such as’s Titled Tuesday and the PNWCC Online Jackpot events. His MrDodgy Invitational win in mid-June was a very good sign. Prior to this Nepomniachtchi would have been a strong favourite to win such a match, especially when it came down to blitz chess, but Giri had the better of the blitz and won the second game to go through. Afterwards Giri quite rightly pointed out that Carlsen has looked extremely impressive in defeating Caruana and Ding but he looks in good enough shape to give Carlsen a match.

    Giri was beaten in the first rapid game of the day – he turned down a sacrificed piece and ended up with a very bad position but after Nepomniachtchi missed a beautiful forced win with 23.Rh8+ Giri had a couple of to save the game after that but went on to lose. After that game however Giri hit his stride showing impressive tactical sharpness in finding a hidden tactic that won a piece in game two. Nepomniachtchi was pressing in game three but gradually Giri equalised, and game four was drawn without much drama. In the blitz games Giri was briefly a bit better as black but the game was pretty balanced after that. The final game saw very sharp play from Nepomniachtchi with 23…h4 being quickly turned into a major advantage by Giri, nevertheless Nepomniachtchi retained dangerous attacking possibilities even as Giri broke through with his own attack, Giri finally won by spotting that his queen was defending backwards along the diagonal which allowed him to grab a lot of material and still fend off an attack, he gave mate against black’s defenceless king as it was driven to mate in the middle of the board.

    The Carlsen – Giri final starts tomorrow 3rd July and can run to the 5th July if required.

  • Carlsen reaches the final of the Chessable Masters – Nepomniatchtchi takes his match vs Giri to a final day – Day 11
    Magnus Carlsen reached the final of the Chessable Masters with a generally fine display against Ding Liren. After the game the only point Carlsen was unhappy with was his poor opening in game one but even there he found a way to sacrifice a pawn for reasonable play and Ding never really looked like making progress. Late on Carlsen was at least equal when he turned down a draw by repetition and he was rewarded almost straight away with a blunder that ended the game immediately in his favour. At the point of his losing move Ding only had one move to keep the game level (66.Nd1). Carlsen seemed happy enough with a draw with white in game two and so Ding really had to go for it in game three with white. Ding got a complex position which was something he needed but unfortunately for him he was completely outplayed and had to resign on move 29.

    Ian Nepomniachtchi leveled up his match against Anish Giri but he gave his opponent quite enough chances to progress himself. In game one Giri got a quite big advantage by the early middlegame but couldn’t convert. In game two Giri turned down a pretty well known line in the Reti where black is supposed to give up a pawn for adequate compensation, instead he played to keep the material and soon had a very bad position which he went on to lose. In game three Giri had a small edge which didn’t amount to very much and the game was drawn, except 48….Ke5? 49.g5 is winning for Giri. In the final game Giri needed to win with black but was worse/lost pretty much the entire game and Nepomniachtchi settled for a draw in the end because it was as good as a win.

    Nepomniachtchi and Giri come back for a final day on Thursday to decide who meets Carlsen in the final.

  • Carlsen and Giri take the lead in their semifinals of the Chessable Masters – Day 10
    The Chessable Masters semifinals started today with wins for Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri but the main story was yet again Ding Liren’s problems with his Internet connection. Ding has had disconnections throughout the series with his, sometimes this has led to a loss on time, as it did today in game one, in a drawn position. The rules are clear that the players are responsible for their Internet connection and will lose on time if they can’t reconnect before their clock runs out. While Carlsen isn’t 100% in charge of these events he obviously has a big say in the rules. Today he made it clear this regulation isn’t working for him and he fixed the problem by giving up game two almost immediately it started, thus levelling the scores at 1-1. This surely indicates Carlsen wants a change for the rest of the tour. For myself I think Ding clearly isn’t doing this on purpose, he probably has the best Internet connection available to him but it could be that no connection will work from China. The organisers may have suggestions to provide greater stability for him (perhaps a mobile data backup?) and should at least look into what the issue is and possible solutions as we want to see Ding play his best.

    The actual course of the Ding-Carlsen match was this: In game one Carlsen built up a very strong position in the endgame but Ding fought back to equalise and just at the point the position was completely equal Ding lost on time due to a dropped Internet connection. Carlsen gave up game two as explained above. Then Carlsen also came quite close to winning game three with first a powerful passed pawn which he used to win a bishop (perhaps he could have won more material) and then in the rook and bishop vs rook endgame but Ding defended resolutely in a very tricky position. The final rapid game was a King’s Indian by Carlsen and was drawn in 35 moves. Carlsen was winning in the first blitz tie-break game with 66.Kf1 instead of his 66.Kg1, that game was then drawn. In the final blitz game Ding got an advantage but trading down he lost the edge bit by bit and his 50.c5? (50.Bd3) cost him the game and the first set.

    Anish Giri beat Ian Nepomniachtchi and had chances to finish the match in just three games. The first game Nepomniachtchi got a fantastic opening but he let Giri back in the game and even briefly looked in trouble before a draw was agreed. Game two was settled when Nepomniachtchi blundered a one move tactic 21.Nxf7! and that was more or less that. Giri built up a winning advantage in game three with black but eventually had to settle for a draw when Nepomniachtchi found some counter chances. In the final game Nepomniachtchi looked to generate good winning chances but there was never anything really clear for him and Giri made no mistake after the losing 26.Nf4? Thus Giri won the first set 3-1.

    The second set of games will take place at 3pm BST on Wednesday. Ding and Nepomniachtchi must win for these matches to continue.

  • Ding beats Nakamura to book a semifinal match against Carlsen in the Chessable Masters – Day 9
    Ding Liren recovered from his setback in the second set to emerge a convincing winner in the final set of games against Hikaru Nakamura in their quarterfinal Chessable Masters clash. With a 2.5-0.5 win Ding set up a semi-final match with Magnus Carlsen. Ding had one day one but Nakamura had recovered to level up the match yesterday.

    Following a draw in game one where Nakamura held fairly comfortably as black Ding dominated rest of the day and Nakamura seemed a little off the pace. Nakamura had the white pieces in game two and was slowly outplayed in a Ruy Lopez Berlin Defence but even when he had only Bishop, Knight and Pawn for Queen Nakamura could have put up much stiffer resistance as his position was a fortress which needed to be broken down, 48.h5? was a mistake that made Ding’s task relatively easy, he admitted afterwards he hadn’t worked a way to win before this error. In the final game 3 Nakamura played the King’s Indian and although he rightly had the reputation as a fearsome player of this defence he was thoroughly outplayed and towards the end he had a really horrid position.

    Semifinals start on Tuesday 3pm BST. Carlsen-Ding and Giri-Nepomniachtchi.

  • Giri through to the Chessable Masters Semifinals – Nakamura takes his match to a final day vs Ding – Day 8
    The Chessable Masters will have a third day of the quarterfinals after Hikaru Nakamura defeated Ding Liren in an Armageddon tie-break to level up their match but only after a huge wobble within sight of the winning post which meant he went from leading the contest to trailing following two consecutive losses. In the other match Anish Giri booked himself a semi-final clash with Ian Nepomniachtchi in a generally well controlled performance, although he was extremely dissatisfied with his opening play in the final game.

    Hikaru Nakamura has reached the final of the two other Magnus Carlsen Grand Prix events so far losing to Carlsen and Daniil Dubov. Today Nakamura needed to beat Ding Liren to get match in the tie. After a draw in game one Nakamura won game two but this was after his position turned round from being much worse to winning in just a few moves. After a draw in game three Nakamura looked extremely comfortable in the final game but in a drawn rook endgame he didn’t quite kill the game off and then blundered completely when one more accurate move would have surely just drawn. Nakamura then lost the first blitz game with white and looked a bit on tilt but his experience in blitz came through turning on the style in the second blitz game and then with a nasty move order trick getting a winning position right out of the opening in the Armageddon game. Ding and Nakamura will play again tomorrow for the right to meet Carlsen.

    Anish Giri was celebrating his 26th birthday today and his win was achieved with a 3-1 score The first game was drawn but Giri had a nice win in game two. Game three was drawn but the final game four Giri said he mixed up two systems and ended up worse at some point. Giri was only winning after 26.Nxe1.

    Tomorrow Ding vs Nakamura 3rd set is the only match. Semifinals start on Tuesday.

  • Apeldoorn Invitational 2020 – Games and Results
    The Apeldoorn Invitational was a 64 player blitz knockout that took place on Lichess on 27th June 2020. Top seed Loek Van Wely was knocked out by Koen Leenhouts in round 3. Sipke Ernst beat Max Warmerdam 2.5-1.5 in the final and Miguoel Admiraal beat Thomas Beerdsen in the 3rd-4th place match. The event was broadcast live on twitch by Merijn van Delft and Stefan Kuipers.
  • Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi progress to the Chessable Masters Semifinals in double quick time – Day 7
    Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi progressed to the semifinals of the Chessable Masters in the fastest possible way winning the first two sets in just three games each. In advance both matches were expected to be much closer but Fabiano Caruana didn’t seem in his best form at all – which is why he ended up playing Magnus in the first place. Vladislav Artemiev didn’t have a lot of luck on day one, today he started strongly but a couple of frustrating games didn’t got his way and then he was blown away in game three.

    In the Carlsen-Caruana match game one saw Carlsen get a nice edge just out of the opening with black following 18.Rcd1 but just wasn’t quite enough for a win. Carlsen thought that he was practically winning after just 19 moves of the second game and it was indeed quite a miserable experience for Caruana. Game 3 saw a very sharp Nimzo-Indian where Caruana won a pawn but his king was always a little less safe than Carlsen’s. 29.h4 seemed to be the critical try which might have left Carlsen worse but instead the position equalised out and when Caruana went for complications with 34.Ke2 his position quickly fell apart following 35 Nf1? a5!.

    Artemiev played the Trompowsky in game one and got some nice pressure but around move 30 the game became equal and stayed that way. In game two Nepomniachtchi blundered with 12.Ne6 missing 12…Nb4 that was played instantly. Nepomniachtchi found ways to complicate but nevertheless had Artemiev found 25…Rf8! he would surely have won quickly, instead his advantage fell away really quickly and he failed to take care of his back rank – 33…Nh5 is losing and after that there was no way out. Artemiev had a very nice position in game three too but 20.Ng3 (20.g4!) was met by the stunning 20…Bb1 ending the game almost immediately. That’s going to turn up in a lot of puzzle books – take note.

    Tomorrow Ding-Nakamura and Giri-Grischuk resume with Nakamura and Grischuk having to win to keep the matches going.

  • Giri and Ding win the first sets in their quarterfinal matches in the Chessable Masters – Day 6
    The second day of quarter final matches in the Chessable Masters saw two incredibly close matches between well matched opponents. Anish Giri beat Alexander Grischuk by virtue of drawing the a final decisive Armageddon game after four rapid and two blitz games were drawn. Hikaru Nakamura lost game two within sight of a draw and the remaining three rapid games were drawn.

    Anish Giri took advantage of his superior seeding to choose black and draw odds in a final Armageddon game against Alexander Grischuk and by fractions of a second it paid off. Giri managed to get the best of the opening as black in this final game and had soon equalised on the clock but the game continued and Grischuk built up a small advantage of time as both players headed under a minute, in the end though Grischuk managed to play several moves with no time and the game ended up with no pieces and the draw Giri needed. This is the nature of an Armageddon finish, the results can be extremely ugly and the ability to pre-move and outfox your opponent is a skill Giri says Nakamura is the true master of. The match was very tight with few chances, Giri looked had a winning endgame in game two but Grischuk defended brilliantly and eventually Giri lost his advantage. Giri thought his most dangerous moment was in the first blitz game when 17.Na4 would have been extremely awkward.

    Ding Liren won an extremely long grind against Hikaru Nakamura in game two and that proved to be the entire difference between the players in another very tight match. Ding had a lovely structural advantage from around move 20 onwards but although he dictated play the bishops of opposite colour and solid nature of the position meant a breakthrough was extremely hard. After move 64 when Ding closed the Queen side it looked like he had more or less settled for a draw but he tried once against on the Kingside and 76.Ba1? (76.Rf2!) losing control of the open file and finally allowing penetration of the rooks settled the game. The other games in the match were drawn.

    Tomorrow sees the second set of games in the matches Magnus Carlsen vs Fabiano Caruana and Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Vladislav Artemiev.

  • Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi win the first sets of their quarterfinals of the Chessable Masters in just three games – Day 5
    Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi scored quick knockouts on the first day of their quarterfinal matches against Fabiano Caruana and Vladislav Artemiev. Carlsen dominated his match against Caruana. Carlsen felt Caruana went wrong pretty early in the first game allowing a standard minority attack with very long term pressure and Carlsen brought home the point impressively. Carlsen admitted that he was pretty lucky early on in his second game when his 12…Nxb5 (fortunately the second best move in the position) was played as a result of a mouse slip. Carlsen grabbed a pawn in a Rook vs Bishops of opposite colours endgame and while the computer felt Caruana should hold in practice it got very difficult quite quickly. The final game saw a bit of an opening fiasco for Caruana and Carlsen remained in control throughout eventually settling for a very safe draw. Carlsen pointed out that he was equally impressive in his first set against Nakamura in Lindores Abbey and he went on to lose that tie but this was certainly a convincing victory.

    Ian Nepomniachtchi’s victory against Vladislav Artemiev was a lot less convincing. In the first game to be sure Nepomniachtchi played very impressively and just short of crowning a fine attacking game he blundered the entire advantage away (41.Qg7+ wins, his 41.Rd3 Ra1! is equal). However in a completely drawn position Artemiev was disconnected from the server and lost on time trying to reconnect. While the rules a pretty clear beyond buying the best you can I’m not really sure what a player can do about his connection. In game two Artemiev got a big advantage out of the opening but Nepomniachtchi continued to resist strongly and he escaped in a rook and pawn endgame which was probably winning for Artemiev at some point. In the third game Artemiev won the opening battle but this advantage dribbled away and then he allowed a rather unfortunate skewer of his rooks after which he could not recover.

    The players will play their second set of games on Saturday. On Friday Ding plays Nakamura and Giri plays Grischuk.

  • Caruana to meet Carlsen in the Quarterfinals of the Chessable Masters – Day 4
    The last day of Group B of the Chessable Masters proved to be even more exciting than Group A with the qualifiers in doubt right until the final round. Anish Giri topped Group B with 6/10 but was the only player going into the final round who knew he had qualified for the knockout phase. Giri was largely untroubled and was gifted half a point when Ding Liren lost on time when disconnected in a likely drawn position. Ding would have been extremely unfortunate to have been eliminated because of this but he had to not lose against Teimour Radjabov in the final round, which he never looked likely to do. Ian Nepomniachtchi defeated Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the final round to ensure his own qualification and eliminate MVL.

    Fabiano Caruana only just qualified and that by virtue of surviving a completely lost position against Teimour Radjabov in Round 9. As fourth placed finisher Caruana will face Group A winner Magnus Carlsen in the KO phase. MVL just seemed a bit out of sorts but Teimour Radjabov having played quite poorly on day one played some of the most interesting chess of the day but too many lost half points throughout the event cost him qualification, but I’d certainly like to see him in the final event of the series.

    There is a rest day on Wednesday.

    Final Group B Standings: Giri 6pts, Ding 5.5pts, Nepomniachtchi 5.5pts, Caruana 5pts, Radjabov 4.5pts, MVL 3.5pts.

    Thursday pairings: Carlsen-Caruana, Artemiev-Nepomniachtchi, Nakamura-Ding and Giri-Grischuk.

  • Dubov crashes out of the Chessable Masters after losing in the final two rounds of the group stage – Day 3
    Daniil Dubov went from joint lead after 8 rounds of Group A of the Chessable Masters to crashing out of the competition on tie-break after 10 in an exciting finish to the day. The top four of six players qualify for the 8 player mini-match phase which starts on Thursday. Dubov won the previous Lindores Abbey tournament and has already qualified for the tour final. Dubov struggled to get out of the group stages in that event but came strong at the end, here he seemed almost home and dry after 8 rounds and probably took things a little too casually.

    The start of the rot was Dubov’s crushing loss to Magnus Carlsen in Round 9 where he seemed to be spoiling for a fight, Carlsen admitted afterwards he would probably have been happy with a draw and certain qualification with black. In that same round 9 Hikaru Nakamura survived a lost position against Pentala Harikrishna who was the only player not in the running for qualification. In the final round Dubov played very poorly against Hikaru Nakamura whilst Alexander Grischuk managed to beat Harikrishna. Nakamura, Grischuk and Dubov finished on 5 points but when the results between these three players were added up, Dubov had the least number of points and was eliminated. Carlsen played much better than on day one and edged out Vladislav Artemiev on tie-break to win the group stage which means he will get to choose colours in any tie-break.

    Final Standings Group A: Carlsen 6pts, Artemiev 6pts, Nakamura 5pts, Grischuk 5pts, Dubov 5pts, Harikrishna 3 pts.

    Tuesday sees the conclusion of the B Group.

  • MVL and Giri ahead after a tight first day of Chessable Masters Group B – Day 2
    Anish Giri finished a solid day with a win against Fabiano Caruana. With this win he joins Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the lead on 3/5. Giri’s win came in a sharp Berlin Ruy Lopez where he started to get the upper hand and then Caruana blundered a piece. Giri wondered if the format of the event didn’t encourage rather solid play as a 50% score pretty much guarantees progression. MVL also beat Caruana in a game where the American drifted into trouble as black after initially being at least equal. Caruana made up for these losses with long wins against Ian Nepomniachtchi and Teimour Radjabov. Ding Liren drew all his games and Radjabov lost two long games, one to Ian Nepomniachtchi, the loss to Caruana in a Rook vs Rook and Bishop endgame where he was within a few moves of drawing due to the 50 move rule must have been particularly painful. Nothing is settled just yet and there should be a very tense second and final day in this group on Tuesday.

    MVL, Giri 3pts/5, Ding, Nepomniachtchi, Caruana 2.5pts, Radjabov 1.5pts.

    Group A resumes tomorrow Monday 22nd June.

  • Vladislav Artemiev leads the Chessable Masters Group A after day 1 – Day 1
    The first day of the online Chessable Masters hosted by Chess24 got off to a lively start with Vladislav Artemiev leading his group above Daniil Dubov, Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura. The Chessable Masters has moved to two preliminary groups of six players rather than one group of 12 used in the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge, days 1 and 3 will see Group A played, days 2 and 4 Group B. The top 4 of 6 in each group will qualify for the knockout mini-match stages.

    Vladislav Artemiev has impressed in various online event but this is his first chance on Magnus’ tour, he beat Pentala Harikrishna in round 1 and Daniil Dubov in Round 2 and drew his remaining games to finish on 3.5/5 at the half way stage. In second place is Lindores Abbey winner Daniil Dubov who recovered from his round 2 loss to Artemiev to beat Harikrishna in round 3 and he then downed Carlsen in round 4 to eventually finish the day on 3 points. Hikaru Nakamura drew all 5 of his games although he was winning against Harikrishna before blundering a pawn that should have queened. Carlsen had a poor day by his high standards and it could have been worse. Carlsen was better against Nakamura in round 1 but had to settle for a draw, in round 2 he beat eventually beat Harikrishna but he left a losing tactic 31.Rxa4 Nxa4 32.Qa7 hitting two pieces on and also it was there the following move. Carlsen played the careless 21.c4 against Alexander Grischuk in round 3, the pawn turned out to be very takable and Carlsen had to struggle mightily to earn a draw.. Carlsen then sacrificed an exchange against Dubov for probably winning compensation but then went completely off the rails and eventually lost, in the final round he had a fantastic position with black but was very unhappy with his decision to grab a pawn rather than improve his pieces and again had to settle for a draw. Alexander Grischuk finished the day losing to Harikrishna in a game that could have gone either way. Harikrishna found the first day very tough and could easily have finished on zero but he didn’t get down and fought very hard for his draw and win in later rounds – and of course he could have beaten Carlsen.

    Group A Standings: 1st Artemiev 3.5pts, 2nd Dubov 3pts, 3rd-4th Nakamura, Carlsen 2.5pts, 5th Grischuk 2pts, 6th Harikrishna 1.5pts.

    Day 2 MVL, Ding, Nepomniachtchi, Caruana, Radjabov and Giri fight it out in group B at 3pm BST on Sunday.

  • Chessable Masters 2020 – Games and Results
    The Chessable Masters takes place 20th June to 5th July 2020. This is part of the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour. The event follows on from the Lindores Abbey Challenge and has a very similar format – the only tweak is the group stage where the players are split into two groups of 6 rather than play in one group of 12. This means an extra day of play before the knockout phase with groups A and B alternating for the first four days to produce 4 qualifiers each. The field is again very strong with the top 6 in the world competing along with previous finalists Dubov and Nakamura.

    Players: Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Ding Liren, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Alexander Grischuk, Teimour Radjabov, Anish Giri, Hikaru Nakamura, Pentala Harikrishna, Vladislav Artemiev and Daniil Dubov.

  • PNWCC Super Match Vitiugov vs Xiong 2020 – Games and Results
    The Pacific Northwest Chess Center organised a four game match online at standard time controls between Nikita Vitiugov playing from Russia and Jeffery Xiong playing from the USA. The match took place on and there was commentary by Robert Hess and Jennifer Yu from game 2. Vitiugov won the final game four to win the match, the other three games were drawn.

Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information