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The Week in Chess

  • 10th American Continental 2015 – Games and Results
    The 10th American Continental took place 15th to 24th May 2015. Julio Granda Zuniga, Yuniesky Quesada Perez, Axel Bachmann, Aleksandr Lenderman etc. Sandro Mareco and Yuniesky Quesada Perez tied for first on 8.5/11. There was a rapid tie-break to see who took the Continents remaining three places in the FIDE World Cup. Eduardo Iturrizaga Federico Perez Ponsa and Anton Kovalyov (Canada) took those. GM Julio Granda Zuniga, Jorge Cori and Sandro Mareco had previously qualified for the World Cup from previous Continental events.
  • FIDE Grand Prix Khanty-Mansiysk 2015 – Games and Results
    The FIDE Grand Prix took place in Khanty-Mansiysk May 14th to 26th 2015. Players: Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Alexander Grischuk, Anish Giri, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Sergey Karjakin, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Boris Gelfand, Dmitry Jakovenko, Peter Svidler, Leinier Domínguez and Baadur Jobava. Dmitry Jakovenko edged out Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana on tie-break after all finished on 6.5/11 but for the Grand Prix standings they tied for first. This means Fabiano Caruana won the series ahead of Hikaru Nakamura and both qualify for the 2016 Candidates. Jakovenko finished third. Full standings for the Grand Prix and the series below.
  • Chinese Championships 2015 – Games and Results
    The Chinese Championships take place in Xinghua 18th to 29th May 2015. Ding, Liren, Yu Yangyi, Wei Yi, Wang, Hao etc. Games from the first two rounds not currently available.
  • 16th European Women’s Individuals 2015 – Games and Results
    The 16th European Women’s Individuals take place in Chakvi, Georgia 19th to 30th May 2015. Nana Dzagnidze, Bela Khotenashvili, Antoaneta Stefanova, Girya Olga etc
  • 6th Rabat Blitz Marathon 2015 – Games and Results
    The 6th Rabat Blitz Marathon took place on 16th May 2015. Leading players: Mamedyarov, Shirov, Fedorchuk, Van Wely, Fridman, L’Ami, Heberla, Peralta, Libiszewski, Romero Holmes, Larino Nieto etc. Erwin L’Ami won with 18½/21 ahead of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov on 18pts, Daniel Fridman 16, Loek van Wely 15, Bartlomiej Heberla and Alexei Shirov 14½ a full table is not yet available.
  • Scandinavian Masters 2015 –
    Tne EnterCard Scandinavian Chess Masters took place 10th to 15th May 2015. Players: Laurent Fressinet, Jon Ludvig Hammer, Nils Grandelius, Curt Hansen, Simen Agdestein and Aryan Tari. The main prize is a place in the 3rd Norway Chess Masters in June. After the classical part of the event Jon Ludvig Hammer and Laurent Fressinet share the lead on 8/10 (2 points for a win 1 for a draw). There was a final round robin rapid section with 20 minutes per side per game on 15th May. Hammer won this section and won the tournament and the place in the Norway Masters.
  • Russian Rapid and Blitz Championships 2015 – Games and Results
    The Russian Rapid and Blitz Championships took place in St Petersburg 13th to 15th May 2015. Players: Ildar Khairullin, Vladimir Malakhov, Maxim Matlakov, Vladimir Fedoseev, Pavel Maletin, Boris Grachev etc
  • Russian Team Rapid Championship 2015 – Games and Results
    The Russian Team Rapid Championships took place 8th to 9th May 2015. The event followed on from the main team championship in Sochi.
  • 15th European Senior Championships 2015 – Games and Results
    The 15th European Senior Championships took place in Eretria, Greece. Leading players: John Nunn, Zurab Sturua, Keith Arkell, Evgenij Kalegin etc. Zurab Sturua took the title a point clear of John Nunn.
  • Russian Team Championship 2015 – Games and Results
    The Russian Team Championship took place 1st to 7th May 2015. There were many very strong teams including players such as Grischuk, Kramnik, Aronian, Jakovenko, Wojtaszek, Vitiugov, Svidler etc. Games and results.
  • 47th Italian Teams 2015 – Games and Results
    The 47th Italian Teams took place 29th April to 3rd May 2015. Hikaru Nakamura, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave Maxime, Etienne Bacrot played for the favourites Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova who won the title. Vachier-Lagrave had a disaster losing to Nicola Altini and drawing with Mladen Palac. These two games cost him 11 rating points and 6 places in the world ranking. Games from round 5 are mostly unavailable currently.
  • 4NCL 2014-15 – Games and Results
    The 4NCL 2014-15 took place Sat 15th Nov 2014 Mon 4th May 2015. The Premier team competition in the UK. Guildford 1 and 2 finished first and second.
  • 10th World Teams 2015 – Games and Results
    The 10th World Team Championship took place 18th to 29th April 2015. China took the gold medal and top board Ding Liren gained rating points to take him to 11th in the world and rising star Wei Yi scored 7/9 and rises to 34th. Ukraine finished second and Armenia with Levon Aronian finished third. Top seeds Russia edged out the USA for fourth, their top board Alexander Grischuk lost more rating points as he drew 8 and lost 1 game. Games and results.
  • Kasparov vs Short Rapid/Blitz in Saint Louis 2015 – Games and Results
    Garry Kasparov returned to the board to play an exhibition rapid and blitz match against Nigel Short in Saint Louis over the weekend of 25th and 26th April 2015. Kasparov won the rapid section 1.5-0.5 with a win on the second day and the blitz 7-1. Kasparov won all five games played on day 2 for a crushing 8.5-1.5 win.,
  • Carlsen wins the 2nd Gashimov Memorial by a point – 9
    Magnus Carlsen won the 2nd Gashimov Memorial in Shamkir, Azerhaijan with 7/9 a point clear of Viswanathan Anand.

    Carlsen beat Rauf Mamedov in the final round. Carlsen secured a significant advantage out of the opening but admitted he didn’t make the best of his chances and the position didn’t offer white much until Mamedov blundered with 34…Qe5? allowing Carlsen a win with 35.Qf7 (Rd7 was also powerful).

    Carlsen was a point clear of Viswanathan Anand who had an interesting draw with Fabiano Caruana. Anand was also impressive in emerging undefeated, he also had reasons to rue his missed chances against Carlsen in the first round.

    Shakhriyar Mamedyarov allowed Michael Adams easy equality just out of the opening and the game was drawn by repetition in 27 moves.

    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave felt that after his deep opening preparation he should surely have a big advantage against Wesley So although they didn’t identify anything clear and the game finished in a draw.

    Anish Giri and Vladimir Kramnik drew a marathon game. Kramnik said that he became encouraged to play for a win after 26.f4 which may have been overoptimistic. The game remained roughly equal but the rook and knight ending was awfully complicated and calculation was very tiring for both players. Giri gradually got on top and in sight of victory but was almost down to the increment and his 77.Ra4? cost him the win. A real struggle.

    Final Standings: 1st Carlsen 7pts, 2nd Anand 6pts, 3rd Wesley So 5pts, 4th Caruana 5pts, 5th Kramnik 4pts, 6th Mamedyarov 4pts, 7th Adams 3.5pts, 8th Giri 3.5pts, 9th Vachier-Lagrave 3.5pts, 10th Mamedov 3.5pts

  • Carlsen leads by half a point from Anand after Round 8 of the Gashimov Memorial – 8
    Magnus Carlsen had the better of a draw against Wesley So in the penultimate round of the Gashimov Memorial. The players seemed to conclude black didn’t have any real chances to push for a win in their post-mortem.

    Viswanathan Anand moved within half a point of Carlsen with a fine win over Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Playing the Four Knights Anand followed a suggestion from his second Grzegorz Gajewski to play 7.Ne2 and a complicated struggle ensued. Mamedyarov admitted he missed the strength of 28.Rd5 sacrificing the exchange after which he was worse. Mamedyarov only had seconds to play his 40th move and 40…Rbc8 was probably the decisive error.

    Vladimir Kramnik scored a smooth win in a Reti against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Kramnik said he got a nice advantage from the opening and there weren’t too many complications in bringing home the full point.

    Anish Giri made a misjudgement of his counter play against Michael Adams and by the time he realised white had an unstoppable kingside attack.

    Rauf Mamedov and Fabiano Caruana drew an interesting Ruy Lopez which finished in perpetual check.

    Round 8 standings: Carlsen 6pts/8, Anand 5.5pts, Caruana, So 4.5pts, Mamedov, Kramnik, Mamedyarov 3.5pts, Giri, Vachier-Lagrave, Adams 3pts.

    Round 9 pairings 10am BST (one hour earlier than the other rounds): Mamedyarov-Adams, Caruana-Anand, Carlsen-Mamedov, Vachier-Lagrave-So, Giri-Kramnik

  • International Chess Circuit for 2015 launched in St Louis – 2015
    An International Chess Circuit called the ”Grand Chess Tour” for 2015 was launched at a press conference in St Louis on 24th April 2015. There will be three 10 player events, each with $300,000 in prize money. The final total prize money for the series comes to over $1,000,000 with bonuses of $50,000 from each event being paid into a pool for the combined standings. These events are: Norway Chess 15-26 June, the Sinquefield Cup in Saint Louis 21st August – 3rd September and the London Chess Classic 3rd-14th December 2015. There are already plans for a 2016 circuit which they hope will include an event in Indonesia, and envisage taking the series global. They’ve tried to avoid scheduling conflicts.

    9 players compete in all three events and an additional wild card player for each tournament (also entitled to points for the series). 8/9 of the players have been announced they are: Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Alexander Grischuk, Veselin Topalov, Viswanathan Anand, Levon Aronian, Anish Giri, Hikaru Nakamura. The invitations were based on top 10 January 2015 rating list. Vladimir Kramnik was invited but declined the invitation because his schedule is already very crowded (three more was too many and he is serious about trying to qualify from the World Cup) but would have liked to play some of them. Maxine Vachier-Lagrave has some scheduling problems in competing in the series but sounded hopeful about playing. Announcement within a week.

    Garry Kasparov was involved in its creation and he plays Nigel Short 25th-26th April 2015 in Rapid and Blitz to help launch it. Kasparov is ”the man who took the initiative” in its creation and advised the organisers.

    Initial news via Tarjei J. Svensen @TarjeiJS on twitter and from

    TV2 who will broadcast the Norwegian tournament

    Press conference on 24th April took place at 21:00 BST 15:00 St Louis time.

    More news: Chess24.

    The twitter address for the event is The website will be very shortly.

  • Carlsen extends his lead after beating Kramnik in Gashimov Memorial Round 7 – 7
    Magnus Carlsen has a 1 point lead over the field going into his game against Wesley So in the eighth round Gashimov Memorial after defeating Vladimir Kramnik. Kramnik suffered his third loss in a row, as far as anyone can tell the first time this has happened to him in a classical event. Kramnik was clearly upset with himself more than anything else as he saw the near equalising move of 19…Bb7 but played the more complicated 19..Bc7 instead which doesn’t seem to work. Carlsen won a queen for rook and bishop and whilst it took some technique the position must be winning for him.

    Fabiano Caruana also didn’t have too much out of the opening according to his post-mortem with Wesley So. The position was a bit awkward but both players agreed So’s real trouble came when he misplaced the knight with 23.Ng6 after which he was unable to save the game.

    Viswanathan Anand moved into second place above So after defeating Michael Adams in a complex game where he gave up the exchange for bishop and pawn. It seemed harder for Adams to play and Anand gradually took over and won the game.

    Shakhriyar Mamedyarov had a much better position against Rauf Mamedov according to the computer (21.Rxe4!) but gradually allowed his opponent to equalise. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Anish Giri drew.

    Round 7 Standings: Carlsen 5.5pts/7, Anand 4.5pts, Caruana, So 4pts, Mamedyarov 3.5pts, Giri, Vachier-Lagrave, Mamedov 3pts, Kramnik 2.5pts, Adams 2pts.

    Round 8 pairings 11am BST Saturday 24th April 2015: Adams-Giri, Kramnik-Vachier-Lagrave, So-Carlsen, Mamedov-Caruana, Anand-Mamedyarov.

  • Caruana beats Kramnik in Round 6 of the Gashimov Memorial – 6
    Fabiano Caruana was the only winner in the sixth round of the Gashimov Memorial. Caruana defeated Kramnik but only after the latter spoiled a good position in trying to exploit his advantage. Caruana said his position was ”very unpleasant” but once he got the chance to sacrifice the exchange he was much better in the ensuing complications.

    Earlier Anish Giri played for and got very little as white against World Champion Magnus Carlsen in a quiet game that finished in a draw. Wesley So briefly looked like he was making progress against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov before they reached equality. Rauf Mamedov got a tiny advantage against a solid Caro-Kann from Viswanathan Anand and Michael Adams couldn’t make anything of an edge against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

    Round 6 Standings: Carlsen 4.5/6, So 4pts, Anand 3.5pts, Mamedyarov, Caruana 3pts, Giri, Kramnik, Vachier-Lagrave, Mamedov 2.5pts, Adams 2pts

    Round 7 Pairings Friday 24th April 2015: Anand-Admas, Mamedyarov-Mamedov, Caruana-So, Carlsen-Kramnik and Vachier-Lagrave-Giri.

  • Carlsen leads the Gashimov Memorial going into the rest day – 5
    Magnus Carlsen won a very interesting struggle against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave where the players were on their own resources from move three. Carlsen’s 14.Bg5 was a powerful idea that led to a big advantage after which he gradually ground down his opponent.

    Viswanathan Anand defeated the leader Wesley So in a very sharp game where he sacrificed a piece in a line that was shown to him by his second during the event. Anand had to work hard but was very impressive in working his way to a win.

    Anish Giri had to defend very well to hold a bad position against Fabiano Caruana. Rauf Mamedov and Michael Adams also drew.

    Shahriyar Mamedyarov won the final game to finish against Vladimir Kramnik.

    Round 5 Standings: Carlsen 4pts/5, So 3.5pts, Anand 3pts, Kramnik, Mamedyarov 2.5pts, Giri, Vachier-Lagrave, Caruana, Mamedov 2pts, Adams 1.5pts.

    Rest day Wednesday.

    Round 6 pairings Thursday 23rd April 2015 11am BST: Adams-Vachier-Lagrave, Giri-Carlsen, Kramnik-Caruana, So-Mamedyarov, Mamedov-Anand

Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information