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The Week in Chess

  • US Chess Championships 2015 – Games and Results
    The US Chess Championships take place in St Louis 1st to 14th April 2015. Opening ceremony 31st March. Players men: Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Ray Robson, Gata Kamsky, Alexander Onischuk, Daniel Naroditsky, Sam Shankland, Varuzhan Akobian, Timur Gareev, Kayden Troff, Sam Sevian and Conrad Holt. The women’s event has Irina Krush, Tatev Abrahamyan, Anna Sharevich etc. Play starts 1pm local time 7pm BST.
  • Aeroflot Open 2015 – Games and Results
    The 2015 Aeroflot Open takes place in Moscow 27th March to 5th April 2015. Leading players: Mamedyarov, Nepomniachtchi, Ponomariov, Rapport, Vallejo etc,
  • UT Dallas vs USA Junior All Stars 2015 – Games and Results
    The UT Dallas vs USA Junior All Stars takes place 14th to 19th March 2015. Of main interest is the performance of the new US chess GM Sam Sevian.
  • FIDE Women’s World Chess Championship KO 2015 – Games and Results
    The FIDE Women’s World Chess Championship knockout tournament takes place 16th March (opening ceremony first round on 17th March 12pm GMT) to 7th April 2015. World Champion Hou Yifan does not defend her title although she is already qualified for the scheduled title match later in the year via the women’s Grand Prix. Top seeds: Humpy Koneru, Ju Wenjun, Anna Muzychuk, Viktorija Cmilyte, Alexandra Kosteniuk and Valentina Gunina.
  • Schachbundesliga 2014-15 – Games and Results
    The very strong German Schachbundesliga takes place Sat 18th Oct 2014 to Sun 12th Apr 2015. Games and standings on this page. Rounds 12-13 14th to 15th March 2015.
  • 133rd Varsity Match 2015 – Games and Results
    The 133rd Varsity Chess Match between Oxford and Cambridge Universities took place at the RAC Club, Pall Mall, London, on Saturday 7 March 2015, starting at 12.30pm.

    Live coverage this year.

    Oxford team: David Zakarian (2386f, ARM), David Pires Tavares Martins (2293f, POR), Rhys Cumming (2130, ENG), Gordon Scott (2087, ENG), Dominic Foord (2081, ENG), Howard Chiu (2076c, SIN), Jude Lenier (2065, ENG), Nicole Miranda Gonzalez (1934wf, CHI).

    Cambridge team: Yang Fan-Zhou (2477m, ENG), Daniel Fernandez (2456m, SIN), Richard Weaving (2257, ENG), Rafe Martyn (2253f, ENG), Jean-Luc Weller (2233, ENG), Andrew McClement (2179, SCO), Saravanan Sathyanandha (2163, ENG), En Huei Danielle Ho (1974wf, SIN).

    This year’s event will be officially opened by GM Luke McShane, who played board one for Oxford in the 2004 and 2005 Varsity chess matches… The approximate average age of Oxford team is 23 years and Cambridge is 21 years, with approximate average ratings of Oxford 2126 and Cambridge 2252. After 132 matches the overall score stands at: Cambridge 58, Oxford 53, Drawn 21.

    For the second year in the row the match was drawn,

  • Reykjavik Open 2015 – Games and Results
    The Reykjavik Open takes place 10th to 18th March 2015. Leading players: Mamedyarov, Navara, Eljanov, Melkumyan, Movsesian, Hammer, Granda Zuniga, Gawain Jones, Naroditsky etc.
  • India-China Summit Match 2015 – Games and Results
    The India-China Summit Match took place in Hyderabad 2nd to 10th March 2015. Players: India Krishnan Sasikiran, M.R. Lalith Babu, B. Adhiban and national champion S.P. Sethuraman. China: Ding Liren, Wang Chen, Wei Yi and Zhou Jianchoa. China beat India 18-14.
  • 16th European Individual Championship 2015 – Games and Results
    The 16th European Individual Championship took place in Jerusalem 23rd February to 8th March 2015. Leading players: David Navara, Nikita Vitiugov, Pavel Eljanov, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Etienne Bacrot, Francisco Vallejo Pons, Maxim Matlakov, Alexander Moiseenko, Yuriy Kryvoruchko, Alexander Riazantsev, Anton Korobov etc. Evgeniy took clear first with 8.5/11.
  • Vladimir Petrov Memorial 2015 – Games and Results
    The Vladimir Petrov Memorial took place in Jurmala 6th to 8th March 2015. There were blitz and rapid open events with a very strong field. Vladimir Malakhov won the blitz and Vassily Ivanchuk the rapid.
  • Tbilisi FIDE Grand Prix 2015 – Games and Results
    The Tbilisi FIDE Grand Prix took place 15th February (Round 1) to 27th February 2015. Players: Alexander Grischuk, Anish Giri, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Peter Svidler, Dmitry Andreikin, Dmitry Jakovenko, Teimour Radjabov, Leinier Dominguez Perez, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Baadur Jobava. The favourites Anish Giri and Alexander Grischuk both had disappointing results. The event was dominated by Evgeny Tomashevsky scoring 8/11 a point and a half clear of Dmitry Jakovenko. Tomashevsky goes to the top of the Grand Prix standings and will also play the final event in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia 13th to 27th May 2015. It seems likely Tomashevsky, Caruana, Nakamura and maybe Gelfand and Jakovenko will fight it out for the two Candidates places. Karjakin, Grischuk and Giri will no doubt have to win the event to have any chance at all of qualifying by this route. Mamedyarov currently stands second but he will inevitably be overtaken in the final tournament. FIDE Grand Prix Wiki page.
  • 7th Batavia Chess Tournament 2015 – Games and Results
    The 7th Batavia Chess Tournament took place 20th February to 1st March 2015. The event started with a blitz. 10 player 9 round all-play-all. Players: Dimitri Reinderman won with 7/9.
  • Bunratty Chess Festival 2015 – Games and Results
    The Bunratty Chess Festival was 9 round GM norm tournament and the main Masters which took place 20th to 22nd February 2015 with Wesley So, Gawain Jones, Nigel Short etc. Favourite Wesley So won. Games and results.
  • Zurich Chess Challenge 2015 – Games and Results
    The Zurich Chess Challenge took place 13th to 19th February 2015. Six top players played blitz, classical then finally rapid chess. Players: Kramnik, Nakamura, Anand, Caruana, Aronian and Karjakin. Chess legend Korchnoi plays Uhlmann in a four game rapid match too.

    Viswanathan Anand edged out Hikaru Nakamura on tie-break after the latter caught him after a successful rapid on the final day but a final single Armageddon game was played and Anand lost badly as white. Thus Nakamura won the event.

  • Anand wins the Classical section of the Zurich Chess Classic – 5
    Three draws meant that Viswanathan Anand won the Classical section of the Zurich Chess Challenge. However the winner of the event will be decided by a combination of these results and the rapid event tomorrow. The classical scores are worth double the rapid ones.

    Anand better than equalised against Sergey Karjakin and eventually used this to liquidate into a drawn endgame.

    Fabiano Caruana’s treatment of the Giuoco Piano presented Vladimir Kramnik with some novel problems but it didn’t prove enough to get a serious advantage.

    Final Round 5 Classical Standings (2pts for a win 1pt for a draw added to normal scoring for the rapid): Anand 7pts, Nakamura 6pts, Kramnik 5pts, Karjakin, Caruana, Aronian 4pts.

    Thursday 19th 12pm GMT Rapid. 5 rounds with reversed colours to the Classical section.

  • Anand takes the lead in Zurich after beating Nakamura in Round 4 – 4
    Viswanathan Anand won a theoretical battle in a Bf4 Queen’s Gambit. 15.Kg2 was a new move but the whole structure is well understood. When black gets it right it looks like a forced draw but the endgame can be miserable for black. Nakamura was highly critical of his 18…g6, it seemed he got annoyed with himself for playing it and he gradually subsided to a loss. This allowed Anand to take the lead from Nakamura with one round of classical and then 5 more rounds of rapid to go.

    Levon Aronian had a nice edge against Fabiano Caruana in a Lasker Queen’s Gambit but at some point he wasn’t quite precise enough and the game finished in a draw.

    Kramnik – Karjakin was a reversed King’s Indian. Karjakin got a serious advantage at one point but just couldn’t find a way to convert and the game was drawn.

    Round 4 Standings (2 points for a win): Anand 6pts, Nakamura 5pts, Kramnik 4pts, Caruana, Karjakin, Aronian 3pts

    Round 5 pairings Wednesday 18th Feb: Nakamura-Aronian, Caruana-Kramnik, Karjakin-Anand

  • Nakamura beats Karjakin to pass the 2800 mark and lead in Zurich – 3
    Hikaru Nakaura caught Sergey Karjakin out in a theoretical variation that is apparently known to most leading Grandmaster (Jan Gustafsson demonstrated a draw with 15…Qd2+ long before the key position, the line is shown as equal by all strong computers). But Karjakin couldn’t remember and quickly he was just lost. Nakamura followed Anish Giri the day before in going over the 2800 mark in the live rating list. Nakamura also leads the Zurich Chess Challenge.

    Levon Aronian had a strong position against Vladimir Kramnik but couldn’t quite find a way to convert against strong defence. Fabiano Caruana had a better position against Viswanathan Anand until he played the bad 24.Nc2 after which he had to struggle to a draw. The post-mortem was worth seeing as it showed just how much pure calculation was involved for both players.

    Round 3 Standings (2 points for a win 1 for a draw): Nakamura 5pts, Anand 4pts, Kramnik 3pts, Caruana, Aronian, Karjakin 2pts.

    Round 4 Tuesday 17th February 2pm GMT: Kramnik-Karjakin, Anand-Nakamura, Aronian-Caruana.

  • Anand beats Aronian to join Nakamura in Zurich lead after two rounds – 2
    Viswanthan Anand inflicted the most painful of losses on Levon Aronian in the second round of the Zurich Chess Challenge. In a Gruenfeld Russian System Anand played 19.d7 which is what every modern computer recommends even after a few seconds and Aronian presumably had seen this too but is 19…Be4 may be wrong (19…Nc7 maybe?) but 20…Bc6 loses very directly after 21.Rd6 and there was nothing to fix this.

    Vladimir Kramnik tried to test Hikaru Nakamura in a slightly older Catalan line but didn’t find any serious advantage, especially after Nakamura gave up his Queen for Rook and Bishop. Neither player seemed to think black had serious problems.

    The last game to finish was a draw between Sergey Karjakin and Fabiano Caruana in a 4.d3 Berlin where Caruana pushed his kingside pawns early. Both players thought white had an edge but play was very hard to judge and at move 41 they agreed a draw in a more or less balanced endgame.

    Standings Round 2 (2pts for a win 1 for a draw this will then be combined with the rapid standings which has the normal scoring.): 1 Anand, Nakamura 3pts 3 Kramnik, Karjakin 2pts 5 Aronian, Caruana 1pt.

    Round 3 Pairings Monday 16th February 2015 2pm GMT: Aronian-Kramnik, Caruana-Anand, Nakamura-Karjakin

    Uhlmann and Korchnoi traded wins on day one of their four game rapid match.

  • Nakamura leads Zurich Classic after round 1 – 1
    Hikaru Nakamura defeated Fabiano Caruana with black in a sharp Sicilian Najdorf which turned around in the final few moves before first time control. Nakamura gave up a pawn after which he thought he had freed his position and equalised. However he realised that things were a bit trickier than he first thought. Caruana decided to avoid a techincal ending and instead started to attack and in time trouble his position first became uncoordinated and finally he allowed Nakamura a decisive attack. A rather sudden turn around.

    Levon Aronian came close to defeating Sergey Karjakin in an interesting Queens Gambit Meran. 14…Be7 was an interesting novelty 18…Ba6 was probably a bad move leaving white with a strong attack. 23…f5 left Aronian with two attacking tries 24.exf6 which is interesting and 24.Ng3 which the computers suggest is close to winning. Sadly for Aronian he spent a lot of time on the former and short of time he decided to agree a draw by perpetual check.

    Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik drew a heavyweight Queen’s Gambit struggle full of subtleties. There were small changes of assessment but they traded into a simplified ending when they agreed a draw.

    Round 1 Standings (2 points for a win 1 for a draw): Nakamura 2pts, Anand, Kramnik, Aronian, Karjakin 1pt, Caruana 0pts.

    Round 2 Pairings: Kramnik-Nakamura, Karjakin-Caruana and Anand-Aronian.

  • Moscow Open 2015 – Games and Results
    The Moscow Open took place 31st January to 8th February 2015. Top seeds Ian Nepomniachtchi and Francisco Vallejo Pons. Ernesto Inarkiev won with 8/9. Games and results.