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The Week in Chess


  • Anand and Gawain Jones win in Tata Steel Masters Round 3 – 3
    Viswanathan Anand joined Anish Giri in the lead after defeating Fabiano Caruana in the 3rd round of the 80th Tata Steel Chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee. This is, by his own reckoning, Anand’s 18th appearance in Wijk aan Zee and he is seeking a record breaking 6th win. Anand with white was unsure what Caruana had in mind in a well known variation of the Petroff, he was confronted with 12…Nc7 which was a novelty and 13…Bg6, a very dangerous piece sacrifice. Anand managed to avoid the position becoming a complete mess and obtained two minor pieces for rook and pawn the evaluation remained about equal. Then it was Caruana who started to drift and then blundered with 28…axb4. Caruana bet on activity and a possible perpetual check that turned out not to be there. Anand grabbed a pawn, consolidated his position and finished with a lovely queen offer.

    The other winner of the day was bottom seed Gawain Jones, he beat Adhiban in a Tarrasch French. Jones is on +1 in spite of a hard start to the tournament.

    Magnus Carlsen didn’t talk to the press after a quick draw against Wei Yi. Carlsen’s opening with white was a failure and there was sterile equality after just 14 moves.

    The leader Anish Giri also drew quickly, with black against Peter Svidler, Giri has white vs Carlsen tomorrow. The remaining games were also drawn, So-Karjakin and Mamedyarov-Matlakov weren’t especially interesting but Kramnik looked to have a nice edge vs Hou Yifan before 25.c5?! (Qxe4 wss better) 25…Nc4! proved to be just equal and there was a draw by repetition immediately after.

    Santosh Gujrathi Vidit and Anton Korobov lead the Challengers with 2.5/3.

    Masters Round 3 standings: 1st= Anand, Giri 2.5pts 3rd= Mamedyarov, Jones, Carlsen 2pts 6th= Karjakin, So, Svidler, Kramnik 1.5pts 10th= Caruana, Wei Yi, Matlakov 1pts 13th= Hou Yifan, Adhiban 0.5pts

    Masters Round 4 – Tues 16th Jan 12:30GMT: Hou Yifan-Matlakov, Karjakin-Mamedyarov, Caruana- Wesley So, Adhiban-Anand, Wei Yi-Jones, Giri-Carlsen, Kramnik-Svidler

  • Anish Giri leads the Tata Steel Masters with 2 out of 2 – 2
    Anish Giri defeated Vladimir Kramnik in the second round of the 80th Tata Steel Chess tournament. Giri won in a confusing game where Kramnik miscalculated starting with 26…Rxc3 (26…Rd6=) perhaps he didn’t see until too late that his rook had no squares after 30…Bb4, he resigned shortly afterwards.

    Magnus Carlsen scored his first win of the tournament when he out played Baskaran Adhiban from a very unpromising looking endgame with black. 25.Bf3?! was the start of white’s troubles and after 26.a5 Bxc2 the game was already pretty much over. Adhiban must have thought his a-pawn was fast but it wasn’t.

    Shakhriyar Mamedyarov steadily outplayed Hou Yifan on the black side of an Exchange Winawer French Defence. After first time control looked like Wei Yi would beat Peter Svidler and Fabiano Caruana would beat Gawain Jones but both players with the black pieces managed to hang on to draw. Matlakov-So and Karjakin-Anand saw piece exchanges and early draws.

    There is a four way tie on 1.5/2 in the B-Group with Jorden van Foreest, Dmitry Gordievsky, Santosh Vidit and Anton Korobov.

    Round 2 Standings: 1st Giri 2pts 2nd= Carlsen, Anand, Mamedyarov 1.5pts 5th= Caruana, Karjakin, Wesley So, Jones, Kramnik, Svidler 1pt 11th= Wei Yi, Matlakov, Adhiban 0.5pts 14th Hou Yifan 0pts

    Round 3 pairings Monday 15th Jan 2018 12:30pm GMT: Kramnik-Hou Yifan, Svidler-Giri, Carlsen-Wei Yi, Jones-Adhiban, Anand-Caruana, Wesley So-Karjakin, Mamedyarov-Matlakov

  • Montebelluna International Chess Festival 2018 – Games and Results
    The Montebelluna International Chess Festival took place in Villorba 2nd to 7th January 2018. The main event was the 2nd Vergani Cup with Richard Rapport (2700), Baadur Jobava (2690), Ferenc Berkes (2662) and Anton Korobov (2652) all rated over 2650. It was Rapport with 7/9 who finished half a point clear of the other stars. It wasn’t possible to show the games live but a file is becoming available with some annotations by IM Pier Luigi Basso.
  • 80th Tata Steel Masters 2018 – Games and Results
    The 80th Tata Steel Masters takes place in Wijk aan Zee with away days in Hilversum and Groningen, 13th to 28th January 2018. World Champion Magnus Carlsen and last year’s winner Wesley So return. Also back is Viswanathan Anand (a record 5 time winner alongside Carlsen and went 70 games undefeated 1998 to 2004). Other top group players: Caruana, Mamedyarov, Kramnik, Svidler, Karjakin, Giri, Wei Yi, Matlakov, Hou Yifan, Adhiban and Gawain Jones.
  • Anand, Kramnik and Giri win on day one of the Tata Steel Masters 2018 – 1
    Viswanathan Anand, Vladimir Kramnik and Anish Giri share the lead after the first day of the 80th Tata Steel Masters, these wins were the longest games of the day too. World Champion Magnus Carlsen drew against Fabiano Caruana who was glad to get him in round 1 where he has struggled to be at his best in recent years. Carlsen has won just a single classical game in 20 tries in the first round of closed events since 2014 (beating Harikrishna in Norway 2016).

    In the B-Group Anton Korobov, Jorden Van Foreest (over his brother Lucas) and Dmitry Gordievsky were all winners.

    Round 2 pairings Sunday 13th Jan 2018: Hou Yifan-Mamedyarov, Matlakov-So, Karjakin-Anand, Caruana-Jones, Adhiban-Carlsen, Wei Yi-Svidler, Giri-Kramnik

  • 93rd Tradewise Hastings Congress 2017-18 – Games and Results
    The 93rd Tradewise Hastings Congress took place 28th December 2017 to 5th January 2018. Leading players: Deep Sengupta, Alexandr Fier, GA Stany, Jakhongir Vakhidov, Danny Gormally, Yiping Lou, Arghyadip Das, Mark Hebden, Alexander Cherniaev etc Deep Sengupta caught Yiping Lou in the final round both scored 7/9.
  • 47th Rilton Cup 2017-18 – Games and Results
    The 47th Rilton Cup took place in Stockholm, 27th December 2017 to 5th January 2018. Leading players: Sasikiran, Krasenkow, Piorun, Grandelius, Volkov, Hammer, Gledura, Tari, Alekseenko, Ivan Sokolov, Antipov, Aravindh, Kulaots, Liang, Chigaev, Rasmussen, Sergey Ivanov, Hillarp Persson etc Kirill Alekseenko of Russia took clear first with with 7.5/9 after beating joint leader Johan Salomon in the final round.
  • Chess.com Speed Chess Championship 2017 – Games and Results
    The Chess.com Speed Chess Championship took place May 3rd to January 3rd 2018. 16 top players qualified: Three time controls 5 minutes plus 2 seconds per move, 3 minutes plus 2 second per move and bullet 1 minute plus 1 second per move. Each section ends with a single chess960 game.

    1/8th Finals: May 3rd: Nakamura 20.5-7.5 Grigoriants, May 24th Karjakin 19-7 Meier, May 25th So 15.5-14.5 Giri, Aug 3rd: Grischuk 17.5-9.5, Rapport, Aug 23rd: Nepomniachtchi 15-13 Aronian, Aug 24th: Caruana 19-8 Hou Yifan, Aug 30th: Vachier-Lagrave 19-12 Xiong, Oct 4th: Carlsen 20.5-5.5 Guseinov.

    Quarter-Finals: Oct 23, Oct 24, Nov 2nd, Nov 18th, Oct. 23: Maxime-Vachier Lagrave 13-16 Alexander Grischuk. Oct. 24: Sergey Karjakin 20-10 Ian Nepomniachtchi. Nov. 2: Hikaru Nakamura 17-10 Fabiano Caruana. Nov. 18: Magnus Carlsen 27.5-9.5 Wesley So.

    Semi-Finals: Nov 21st Carlsen 15.5-10.5 Grischuk, Dec 16th Nakamura 16.5-13.5 Karjakin.

    Final Carlsen 18-9 Nakamura Jan 3rd 2018. Carlsen repeated his win of 2016. In particular Carlsen crushed Nakamura in the bullet chess section where Nakamura had previously been seen as its premier exponent. One point of interest is that Nakamura and Carlsen will play a Chess 960 match in February and Nakamura won these games 2.5-0.5.

    I have removed the Chess960 games as they are problematic for many chess programs. Here is a PGN file including the Chess960 games.

  • Wei Yi – David Navara Match 2017-18 – Games and Results
    The Hengda Cup in Yancheng, China took place 30th December 2017 to 3rd January 2018. The four game classical match was drawn 2-2. There was then a two game blitz match which was drawn 1-1. Wei Yi drew with the black pieces in a final Armageddon sudden death game to win the event.
  • Groningen Chess Festival 2017 – Games and Results
    The Groningen Chess Festival took place 22nd to 30th November 2017. Leading players: Maxim Turov, Benjamin Bok, Sergei Tiviakov, Evgeny Postny, Dmitry Kryakvin, Vojtech Plat, Roeland Pruijssers, Sipke Ernst etc

    Benjamin Bok edged out Evgeny Postny on tie-break after both scored 7/9. Dennis De Vreugt beat Eelke De Boer 2.5-1.5 in a four game match.

  • World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships 2017 – Games and Results
    The World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships took place 26th to 30th December 2017.

    In the Rapid event Viswanathan Anand beat Vladimir Fedoseev 1.5-0.5 in a bitlz tie-break to win the title. Anand took a quick draw in the final round and had to wait for other results before knowing he was in a tie-break, Magnus Carlsen shared the lead with him but lost to Alexander Grischuk. Anand last won the rapid title in 2003. Ju Wenjun led the women’s rapid for much of the event and took a quick draw to ensure the title in the final round.

    The blitz championship was won by Magnus Carlsen who was two points behind the leader Sergey Karjakin going into the final day but only took 4 rounds to reach the lead. Carlsen scored 8.5/9 to secure the title with a round to spare finishing on a score of 16 points.. Karjakin finished second and Viswanathan Anand added a bronze medal to his gold in the rapid, both finished on 14.5 points.

    I have corrected the results to many games in the PGN files.

  • Nutcracker Match of the Generations 2017 – Games and Results
    The Nutcracker Matches of the Generations took place in Moscow 19th to 24th December 2017. Classical and Rapid matches between youth and experience with men’s and women’s sections.

    Kings team: Mamedyarov, Shirov, Gelfand, Rublevsky vs Princes team: Artemiev, Esipenko, Oparin, Yuffa.

    Queens team: Kovalevskaya, Zaiatz, Grabuzova, Strutinskaia vs Princesses team: Goltseva, Maltsevskaya, Dimitrova, Solozhenkina.

    Final overall scores: Princes 32.5 – 31.5 Kings. Queens 33.5 – 30.5 Princesses.

  • IV Sunway Sitges International Chess Festival 2017 – Games and Results
    The 4th Sunway Sitges International Chess Festival took place in Barcelona 15th to 23rd December 2017. GM Aravinth Chithambaram beat Zdenko Kozul to take first place with 7.5/9 half a point clear of Sam Shankland, Matthias Dann, Saleh Salem and Jose Rafael Gascon Del Nogal. There was a tie-break to determine second place. Salm Saleh beat Matthias Dann but then lost the final to Sam Shankland. Aman Hambleton made his final GM norm with a round to spare.
  • European Rapid and Blitz Championships 2017 – Games and Results
    The European Rapid and Blitz Championships took place in Katowice 15th to 17th December 2017. Leading players: Ernesto Inarkiev, David Navara, Ruslan Ponomariov, Igor Kovalenko, Sergei Zhigalko, Luke J McShane, Sergey A Fedorchuk, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Evgeny Alekseev, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Pavel Ponkratov, Mateusz Bartel, Daniel Fridman, Kiril Georgiev, Vladimir Potkin, Maxim Rodshtein etc

    19 year old Maksim Vavulin won the Rapid tournament with 10/11 defeating Jan-Krzysztof Duda to over take him in the final round. Sergei Zhigalko won the blitz event with 18/22.

  • 70th Russian Chess Championship Superfinal 2017 – Games and Results
    The 70th Russian Championship and 67th Russian Women’s Championship took place in St Petersburg 3rd to 15th December 2017. The venue is the State Museum of Political History of Russia.

    Four years after his last title Peter Svidler made it an 8th Russian Championship after defeating Nikita Vitiugov 2-0 in a tie-break rapid match. Svidler moves well clear of his rivals Rashid Nezhmetdinov, who won five Russian titles, and Mikhail Botvinnik and Mikhail Tal who won 6 Soviet titles. Aleksandra Goryachkina won the women’s title, also after a tie-break match, she defeated Natalija Pogonina 2-0.

  • IMSA Elite Mind Games 2017 – Games and Results
    The IMSA Elite Mind Games took place in Huai’an, China 10th to 15th December 2017. Players: Men: Vladislav Artemiev, Quang Liem Le, Yangyi Yu, Liren Ding, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Wang Hao, Alexander Grischuk, Dmitry Andreikin, Rauf Mamedov, Anton Korobov, Vassily Ivanchuk and Pentala Harikrishna. Women: Nana Dzagnidze, Dronavalli Harika, Anna Muzychuk, Mariya Muzychuk, Wenjun Ju, Xue Zhao, Anna Ushenina, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Elisabeth Paehtz, Antoaneta Stefanova, Zhongyi Tan and Kateryna Lagno.

    Games were in three formats, rapid, blitz and rapid Basque (two games vs the same opponent at the same time). Andreikin won the rapid, Artemiev the blitz and Grischuk the Basque. For the women’s sections Stefanova the rapid and blitz, Zhao Xue the Basque.

  • 9th London Chess Classic 2017 – Games and Results
    The 9th London Chess Classic took place 30th November to 11th December 2017. Players: Carlsen, Nakamura, Aronian, MVL, Wesley So, Karjakin, Caruana, Anand, Nepomniachtchi, Adams.

    Fabiano Caruana won the event after a rapid, then blitz tie-break again Ian Nepomniachtchi. Magnus Carlsen won the whole Grand Chess Tour series after beating Levon Aronian from an almost busted position. Carlsen was scathing in his criticism of his own play in London but also clearly had a bad cold. Alongside were many other events, results and games below.

  • Dr Geza Hetenyi Memorial 2017 – Games and Results
    The Dr Geza Hetenyi Memorial takes place 12th to 21st December 2017. Two groups: A-Group: Berkes, Bauer, Banusz, Markus, Gledura, etc. – average rating 2597 and B-Group: Sedlak, Cs. Horvath, Vargan, Galyas, etc. – average rating 2464

    Dr. Geza Hetenyi (1950-2016) was a player and respected figure in Hungarian chess.

  • Chinese Team Championship 2017 – Games and Results
    The Chinese Team Championship took place 18th April to 5th December 2017. Shanghai just managed to hold off Chongqing on tie-break after both scored 34/44 points. Many of the strongest Chinese players played all or nearly all the 22 rounds. Yu Yangyi scored 85% on board 1 in 20 games, Grischuk 79% from 12, Wei Yi 70.5 playing all 22 games.
  • Kings Tournament 2017 – Games and Results
    The King’s tournament took place 26th to 28th November 2017. This year it was a rapid and blitz event with sections for men’s and women’s fields. Players Men: Ivanchuk, Karjakin, Wei Yi and Bogdan-Daniel Deac. Women: Anna Muzychuk, Elisabeth Paehtz, Pia Cramling and Corina-Isabela Peptan. Vassily Ivanchuk dominated the men’s event winning both sections ahead of Sergey Karjakin, Anna Muzychuk similarly won the rapid and blitz in the women’s section.

Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information