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The Week in Chess
- 13th Festival da Uva 2014 – Games and Results
Magnus Carlsen plays in the 13th Festival da Uva 5th-9th March 2014.
6th-7th March is a 4 player tournament with time controls of g/16.
Day 1 was a double round robin where Carlsen scored 16/18 (3pts for a win just 1 draw) ahead of Gilberto Milos 8pts, Andres Rodriguez Vila 7pts and Rafael Leitao 2pts. I have all the games plus three more I can’t explain.
Knockout on day two was won by Magnus Carlsen who beat Rodriguez Vila 1.5-0.5 in the semi-final and Gilberto Milos 2-0 in the final in a cube glass at the pavilion of the grape festival.
Later on March 7th Carlsen is at the Iguatemi Shopping Mall in the city of Caxias do Sul at 19h00 (22:00 GMT) local time for a simul and lecture.
Carlsen plays in a two day rapid open at the Recreio da Juventude 8th-9th March with different time controls. (R1 & R2 g/16 minutes, R3 & R4 g/30 minutes, R5, R6, R7, R8 and R9 g/60 minutes. Players due to play alongside Carlsen in the open include GMs Sam Shankland, Sergei Tiviakov and Peter Heine Nielsen. Play starts at 10:30am local time which I believe is 13:30 GMT.
Many other lectures and events too.
It has been reported that Carlsen is getting four World Cup Final tickets as part of his fee for playing the event.
- 15th European Individual Championship 2014 – Games and Results
The 15th European Individual Championship takes place in Yerevan, Armenia. Round 1 Monday 3rd March at 3pm local time 12pm GMT. Players: Bacrot, Eljanov, Jakovenko, Korobov, Malakhov, Tomashevsky, Wojtaszek, Moiseenko, Fressinet, Almasi, Areshchenko, Jobava, Kryvoruchko, Navara, Inarkiev, Khismatullin, Polgar, Matlakov, Alekseev, Riazantsev etc 263 players. Games and leading standings on this page.
- Reykjavik Open 2014 – Games and Results
The Reykjavik Open takes place 4th to 12th March 2014. Naiditsch, Li Chao, Berkes, Rapport, Amin Bassem, Gawain Jones, Kobalia, Erwin L’ami, Gajewski, Rozentalis, Van Kampen, Grandelius etc in a field of 254 players. There is free live commentary via Chess.com.
- 74th Noteboom tournament 2014 – Games and Results
The 74th Noteboom tournament takes place in Leiden 28th February to 2nd March 2014. Top seeds: Predrag Nikolic, Vyacheslav Ikonnikov, Erik van den Doel, Ulf Andersson, Igor Rausis, Mark van der Werf, David Miedema etc. Updates of games and standings here. Live coverage at the official site.
- Cappelle-la-Grande Open 2014 – Games and Results
The Cappelle-la-Grande Open takes place 1st to 8th March 2014. Liren Ding, Eduardo Iturrizaga, Parimarjan Negi, Abhijeet Gupta, Andrey Sumets, Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Alexandre Danin, Andrey Vovk, Sergei Azarov, Martyn Kravtsiv, Alexandr Fier, Evgeny E. Vorobiov etc 603 players. Live games.
- FIDE Candidates Tournament 2014 – Games and Results
The FIDE Candidates Tournament takes place in Khanty-Mansiysk March 13th to 31st 2014 (playing days). Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has signed up to try and get his title back. Qualifiers: Vladimir Kramnik, Dmitry Andreikin, Veselin Topalov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Levon Aronian and Sergey Karjakin with Peter Svidler as the host nominee. Rounds at 3pm local time which is GMT + 6. That’s 9am UK time 10am CET and 4am New York time taking some random time zones. Candidates Pairings for the event have already been made. Round 1 Thursday 13th March 9am UK time: Andreikin-Kramnik, Karjakin-Svidler, Mamedyarov-Topalov and Anand-Aronian.
- 49th Capablanca Memorial 2014 – Games and Results
The 49th Capablanca Memorial takes place 7th-18th May 2014. 6 Players: Leinier Domínguez, Vassily Ivanchuk, Wesley So, Zoltan Almasi, Francisco Vallejo Pons and Lazaro Bruzon. 10 rounds.
- Vladimir Petrov Memorial 2014 – Games and Results
The Vladimir Petrov Memorial takes place 20th to 23rd February 2014. The first day saw a blitz event won by Vladimir Dobrov but sadly no games. The rapid is a 15 round event.
- Casino Graz Chess Open 2014 – Games and Results
The Casino Graz Chess Open takes place 14th to 21st February 2014. Li Chao b, Andrei Istratescu, Markus Ragger, Parimarjan Negi, Hrant Melkumyan, Zdenko Kozul, Axel Bachmann, Ruben Felgaer etc.
- Aarhus Chess House GM 2014 – Games and Results
The Aarhus Chess House GM tournament takes place 17th to 25th February 2014. Palo Davor, Andrei Maksimenko, Mads Andersen, Jose Cuenca Jimenez, Stellan Brynell, Lawrence Trent etc.
- David Bronstein Memorial 2014 – Games and Results
The David Bronstein Memorial took place in Minsk 11th to 19th February 2014. Top seeds: Baadur Jobava, Vladimir Akopian, Gabriel Sargissian, Boris Grachev, Sergei Zhigalko, Rauf Mamedov, etc includes Alexander Khalifman and Sergei Tiviakov also. Baadur Jobava edged out Sergey A Fedorchuk and Mikhailo Oleksienko after all finished on 7/9.
- Tradewise Gibraltar Masters 2014 – Games and Results
The Tradewise Gibraltar Masters took place 28th January to 6th February 2014. Ivan Cheparniov won the event after a tie-break. Cheparinov had a late run winning his last three games and then a rapid match against last year’s winner Nikita Vitugov 1.5-0.5. Vitiugov beat Vassily Ivanchuk (held to a draw by Vachier-Lagrave in the final round) in the first round of the tie-breaks but only after two blitz games. Cheparinov had a bit of luck drawing a place in the final by lots with the other two players.
- Carlsen wins in Zurich even after poor final day rapid performance – Rapid
Magnus Carlsen was overwhelming favourite to win the Zurich Chess Classic over all having a two point advantage going into the final day’s rapid segment but he almost didn’t manage it. The day instead belonged to Fabiano Caruana who won the rapid with 4/5 half a point clear of Hikaru Nakamura who ended Levon Aronian’s chances to catch Carlsen. The classical score obtained in the first five days counted double that of the rapid tournament.
Carlsen started the day with a very convincing win with black against Boris Gelfand but that was really the last good news of the day for him. Levon Aronian, who also started with a win, beat Carlsen in a very controlled way in the 2nd round, a good opening led to big advantages on the board and clock which he finished nicely. Carlsen had the opportunity to strike back with a win in the 3rd round with a big advantage on board and clock against Hikaru Nakamura but he slowed down a never really found a winning plan. Apparently he left the board looking extremely annoyed and the following game against Fabiano Caruana again he got himself in trouble even after at least equalising from the opening and went down to a loss. This left Carlsen still needing a draw to win the whole tournament. Anand had no clue this was the case after having just drawn a marathon game against Gelfand. Only when Carlsen played down one of the most drawish variations of the Berlin did the penny drop.
Levon Aronian had moved within a point of Carlsen over all after beating him in round 2 but couldn’t make anything of a good opening against Gelfand in the 3rd round and then against Nakamura in the 4th he overplayed his hand and went on to lose.
Fabiano Caruana won the rapid tournament with a 4/5 score and was briefly in contention to win the whole thing. He beat Nakamura in the 1st round, drew with Gelfand in the 2nd, ground down Anand (for his third loss in a row) in the 3rd before defeating Carlsen in the 4th and was even within striking distance of winning the event if Carlsen had lost his final game.
Hikaru Nakamura started the rapid poorly but picked up pace and confidence after than that beating Anand, escaping against Carlsen then winning his final two games against Aronian and Gelfand.
Viswanathan Anand normally does well in rapids but his three losses at the start (and he had to work hard to avoid it being a fourth against Gelfand) showed a man yet to fix his ailing game. I expect him to return to playing better chess but not in time for the candidates.
Final Standings: Carlsen 10, Caruana (second on SB tie-break), Aronian 9, Nakamura 7.5, Anand 5, Gelfand 4.5
Final Rapid Standings: Caruana 4/5, Nakamura 3.5, Aronian 3, Carlsen 2, Gelfand 1.5 and Anand 1.
- Carlsen wins classical section of Zurich Classic after Aronian loses – 5
Magnus Carlsen virtually guaranteed victory in the Zurich Chess Classic after a quick draw with black against Viswanathan Anand. Nakamura and Gelfand drew a little while later. Carlsen’s closest challenger Levon Aronian went down to a very rare defeat in the Marshall Defence to the Ruy Lopez against Fabiano Caruana. This gives Carlsen a two point advantage over the field going into the five round rapid event on Tuesday and it’s inconceivable anyone can catch him.
Anand allowed Carlsen to repeat his Berlin Defence from the world chess championship and after 11.d4 he had no advantage whatsoever and steered quickly to a draw. The players would have had to play a rapid game if they’d immediately agreed a draw so instead they blitzed out some moves in the totally drawn ending until they reached move 40.
Hikaru Nakamura and Boris Gelfand reached a position of dynamic equality in the Sicilian and repeated to draw in 21 moves. An additional rapid game was played which was won by Gelfand but again the quality, especially of Nakamura’s opening, was rather poor.
The final game to finish was the only decisive one and a bit of a surprise. Caruana beat Aronian in a Marshall Defence to the Ruy Lopez an occurance that not even Aronian could remember happening before. Aronian made a number of poor defensive moves in a position which whilst tricky he should have held and went down to lose in 66 moves.
Final Classical Standings (points doubled from normal) Carlsen 8pts, Aronian 6pts, Caruana 5pts, Anand, Nakamura 4pts and Gelfand 3pts.
A full tournament of rapid games, with reverse colouts of the original pairings, will be played on Tuesday. Rounds start every hour from 12pm GMT at a time control of 15 minutes plus 10 seconds a move. Carlsen’s two point lead is almost bound to be too much for anyone to overcome.
- Carlsen and Aronian both convincing round 4 winners in Zurich – 4
Magnus Carlsen moved to 3.5/4 with a nice win against Fabiano Caruana but that’s not enough yet to win the Classical part of the Zurich Chess Classic as Levon Aronian is only half a point behind after his defeat of Hikaru Nakamura. Could we be seeing a year long rivalry culminating in an Aronian-Carlsen title match in November? Viswanathan Anand also put in a convincing performance against Boris Gelfand.
Carlsen beat Caruana in a Berlin Defence overcoming the drawish tendencies in a very nice way. Whilst 12…Qd7 isn’t a terrible move Peter Leko in commentary and Carlsen afterwards thought it suspicious with 12…0-0 to be preferred. Carlsen prevented kingside castling and 18.d4 tried to open things up. 22.Rxf7 was an exchange sacrifice by Carlsen carving open Caruana’s king. ”It was always going to be more than enough compensation” and whilst Caruana defended well for a long time it was always going to be difficult to defend and Carlsen thought 33…Rc8 was the decisive error. 41.d5! was the final blow forcing the win.
”Carlsen needs to play more games like this. This was the chess equivalent of picking up your opponent and throwing him through a window.” Jonathan Tisdall on twitter in an irresistible quote.
Levon Aronian also won beating Hikaru Nakamura who seemed very down after his game against Carlsen the day before and in no mood to put up much resistance. Aronian thought his Panno Variation against the King’s Indian shouldn’t give him all that much but after 12…c6?! and 13…cxd5 Nakamura was already close to being positionally busted. Aronian wasn’t sure he played absolutely the best after that but he finished crisply.
Viswanathan Anand already looked much more like his old self in round 3 and today he played a very fine game as black against Boris Gelfand in a very sharp Slav Defence. It wasn’t so much even his win against a struggling Gelfand it was the crispness and clarity of his play. It’s been some time. He faces Carlsen in the final round with the white pieces.
Round 4 Standings: Carlsen 3.5pts/4, Aronian 3, Nakamura, Caruana, Anand 1.5, Gelfand 1. (totals will be doubled up and added to the final day rapid results)
Round 5 pairings: Nakamura-Gelfand, Caruana-Aronian, Anand-Carlsen.
- Carlsen escapes lost position and beats Nakamura in Zurich Round 3 – 3
Hikaru Nakamura’s interview with New in Chess putting himself forward as the man to challenge Magnus Carlsen (acknowledging in another interview that Aronian was better than him right now) fired up pre-game expectations today. Nakamura chose the f3 Nimzo-Indian which caused Carlsen difficulties in Chennai. Carlsen’s original treatment with the black pieces didn’t work out and he said he played poorly today. Carlsen thought he was doing alright until Nakamura played 24.Qg4 when he suddenly understood his position was ”pretty desperate” because he was now ”just too late” with his own play. 26…Bxb2 was ”completely desperate but I thought it was my only chance.” Carlsen defended tenaciously in this lost position. ”That’s what it’s about, keeping the game one move longer” – Carlsen.
Nakamura obtained a big attack where ”there must be so many ways to win” according the Carlsen. However the tempting 37.d6?! (although Carlsen said that ”When he played d6 I was very surprised because I thought I’m very happy to get an open line.”) wasn’t the way and Nakamura’s position became difficult and then lost in very short order. Computers like 37.Qf1 b5 38.Rxh7!! which would have given the game legendary status if Nakamura had found it, and in discussion with others they feel he should have found this.
After 39…Qxe4 Carlsen was back in the game but he thought Nakamura could make a draw with 40.Ne3. ”I think at this stage he was pretty upset anyway and last move before time control it’s pretty hard to find.” – Carlsen. After he didn’t find this Carlsen had a winning position which he finished efficiently.
Nakamura spoke with Carlsen after being forced to resign on move 61, he must have been incredibly disappointed. Carlsen said that it was ”a bit of a freak occurrence” that Nakamura didn’t convert such a position.
Viswanathan Anand looked much more like himself in the postmortem to his draw against Fabiano Caruana. This was a very interesting Slav sideline where Anand as black held a draw quite comfortably.
Levon Aronian and Boris Gelfand drew a Fianchetto Gruenfeld where Aronian tried for a small advantage but didn’t get one and in fact when he repeated he was the one that would have been risking something in continuing. There was an extra rapid game where Aronian sacrificed a piece and somehow won, it didn’t look like the players exactly had their heart in this meaningless game.
Round 3 Standings: Carlsen 2.5, Aronian 2, Caruana, Nakamura 1.5, Gelfand 1 and Anand 0.5.
Round 4 Pairings: Gelfand-Anand, Carlsen-Caruana and Aronian-Nakamura
- Carlsen and Aronian draw in second round of Zurich Classic – 2
Leaders Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian shared a draw in 40 moves in the highlight of the second round of the Zurich Chess Classic. Hikaru Nakamura turned round an inferior position to a win with black against Viswanthan Anand. Fabiano Caruana stood much better with black against Boris Gelfand but after some missed chances it was he who had to hold on for the draw.
Carlsen and Aronian seemed in good spirits after their draw. Carlsen admitted he ”tried to be smart in the opening. That didn’t work.” adding later that ”Aronian is in top form. You can notice that he sees many options. I wish I had better chances to win today.” In fact it was Aronian who was better and Carlsen who had to be accurate. Aronian talked about ”the number of cheapos in the position” such as 17…Nd7 18.b6! and also said ”did you comment on Magnus’s 22.Bf3 preparing Nd6 cheapos everywhere? Otherwise black is just winning after 22…f5.” ”That’s not a cheapo it’s a beautiful trick” – Carlsen.
Carlsen admitted that 21.Bc3 was a defensive idea to prevent Ra5 and later 23.Bb4 was just about swapping some pieces as he entered time pressure. Carlsen was worried later on and Aronian agreed that ”if I’m better it’s only very little.” and indeed he forced the draw with 32…Rxd3.
Hikaru Nakamura seemed to have a very comfortable advantage against Viswanathan Anand in a Berlin Defence but 15.d4? allowed Nakamura to launch a very dangerous king-side attack with the piece sacrifice 15…Nxh3+ which seemed to be at least enough and after 27…h5 Nakamura already felt he would find a way to win. 34…Rxe3 was a fine sacrifice that completely destroyed Anand’s position. It’s really quite hard to watch Anand playing like this.
Fabiano Caruana caught Boris Gelfand completely by surprise with the Leningrad Dutch and Gelfand’s attempt to keep things under control by simplification had completely the opposite effect. 22.Bf1 seems like a mistake which would have lost a pawn if Caruana had played 24…Re4! which he spotted immediately afterwards. Caruana then drifted and lost a pawn but the resulting endgame didn’t prove that hard to hold.
Round 2 Standings: Carlsen, Aronian, Nakamura 1.5pts/2, Caruana 1pt/2, Gelfand 0.5/2 and Anand 0/2. (Points will count double of those over in the Rapid on Tuesday)
Round 3 1st Feb 2014 2pm GMT: Aronian-Gelfand, Nakamura-Carlsen and Caruana-Anand.
- Favourites Carlsen and Aronian both start with wins in Zurich – 1
The top seeds World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen and world number two Levon Aronian who just completed a dominating performance at the Tata Steel Chess tournament both won their first round games. These were Anand and Carlsen’s first classical games since their world chess championship match in Chennai and their contrasting fortunes seemed to mirror their play from that match. Carlsen took his opportunity and Anand miscalculated something.
Magnus Carlsen was delighted with his first round win over Boris Gelfand even after an extremely slow start to the game. Carlsen said he was somewhat surprised by Gelfand’s Nf6 and took 32 minutes on 9.Bf4 ”I was in a coma there.”. Carlsen soon ”remembered how it was to play chess again.” and came up with the excellent 15.g4! ”too nice an idea to turn down” which left Gelfand thinking for half an hour. Carlsen quickly opened up the position at the expense of his pawn structure but in return he got very active pieces, even if they were pretty much on the squares they started on the change in pawn structure made a huge difference. There were later computer moves that could have kept Gelfand in it but in practice it was impossible to stop. Carlsen commented afterwards ”A very fun game today, been a while since last time. Probably not Boris’ best day.” ”Threats and counter threats, this is the kind of chess I want to play!”
Levon Aronian also managed to win but not in quite so convincing a manner against former World Champion Viswanathan Anand. Anand miscalculated something important in playing 17…Bd5 (17…Bc6) in that he couldn’t later play Qa8 and Rxa5 and this left his position close to being busted. 22…Bxe4 was a sacrifice that created many practical chances especially as Aronian (joking or not he mentioned that he suddenly noticed there was no increment) entered time trouble. Aronian said he was initially pleased with 30.f3 but it didn’t turn out so well and 36…Rc8 may have led to a superior version of the game. In the end time control came just in time for Aronian and his 41.Nd1 was the only way to continue to play for a win and good techinque brought home the full point.
Hikaru Nakamura didn’t have the best of the opening against Fabiano Caruana but somehow eventually did get a small advantage into the ending, probably never enough to win and the game was drawn.
Round 1 Standings: Carlsen, Aronian 1pt, Caruana, Nakamura 0.5pts, Anand, Gelfand 0pts.
Round 2 Fri 31st Jan 2014 2pm GMT: Carlsen-Aronian, Anand-Nakamura, Gelfand-Caruana.
- Moscow Open 2014 – Games and Results
The Moscow Open takes place 30th January to 9th February. The event starts with the Moscow Championship superfinal rapid event with Grischuk, Morozevich and Nepomniachtchi in a 10 player round robin, and a similar women’s tournament. The Open has many sections including a strong Open A starting on 1st February.
- Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 – Games and Results
The Zurich Chess Challenge takes place 29th January (Opening and Blitz) to 4th February 2014. 5 rounds of Blitz to decide the draw, 5 rounds of Classical Chess and finally 5 rounds of Rapid Chess. Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, Viswanathan Anand, Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura and Boris Gelfand play.
Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information
- Checkmate tactic! Can you spot the mate?
- Reykjavik round 6 pairings
- Dominguez – Robson 10 game match
- 2 Dutch tie for the lead at after 5 at Reykjavik Open
- Interview with GM Jobava Baadur
- 5 year old at State Scholastic Championship
- Games from European Individual Championship
- Imperial College London’s chess club rules BUCA
- Interview with GM Igor Kovalenko
- St. John Vianney High School rules Gateway Chess
- Reykjavik Open 2014
- Cappelle La Grande 2014 LIVE!
- Festa de Uva with Magnus Carlsen
- Difficult oldie chess tactic
- Interview with Super GM Jobava
- Najer remains undefeated at European Individual Championship
- Reykjavik round 5 pairings
- Polgar Chess University now back on ICC
- 24th World Senior Chess Championships
- The Fischer-Sozin Attack in the Sicilian Najdorf with GM Danny Gormally … and more
- Agha Faisal Khan Wins Sultan Khan Memorial Chess Tournament at Lahore
- 2nd AIDEF Chess Championship in Beirut, Lebanon
- Reykjavik round 4 results
- Few wins on top boards in round 4 at EICC in Yerevan
- Special interview with super GM Anton Korobov