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The Week in Chess


  • Winner Carlsen finishes Bilbao Masters with a draw – 10
    Magnus Carlsen was satisfied with his performance in the Bilbao Masters tournament saying ”This is the best tournament that I’ve played in a while in terms of content and quality of my games”.

    Wesley So went down a known drawing line of the Ragozin with white against Magnus Carlsen. Carlsen seemed happy enough to draw with the tournament already won and he admitted to having developed a cold at the end of the tournament.

    Anish Giri had a slight edge against Hikaru Nakamura but could make much of it. The same was more or less true for Sergey Karjakin as white against Wei Yi. Both games finished in a draw in a quiet final round.

    Just 7 games of the 30 were decisive. It doesn’t seem that 3 points for a win had much, if any, effect on the players.

    Final Round 10 Standings: Carlsen 17pts, Nakamura 12pts, Wei Yi 11pts, So 11pts, Karjakin 9pts, Giri 7pts.

  • 17th Karpov Poikovsky 2016 – Games and Results
    The 17th Karpov Poikovsky tournament takes place 23rd July to 1st August 2016. Players: Anton Korobov, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Emil Sutovsky, Dmitry Andreikin, Ilia Smirin, Dmitry Jakovenko, Maxim Matlakov, Igor Kovalenko, Victor Bologan and Alexander Motylev.

    Round 1 2pm, Round 2-8 11am, Round 9 9am all UK time. Rest day after round 4: 27th July.

  • Carlsen defeats Giri to win Bilbao Masters with a round to spare – 9
    Magnus Carlsen finally managed to defeat Anish Giri in the 9th round of the Bilbao Masters and secure first place with a round to spare. Carlsen tried the London System against Giri but it didn’t look like it worked as a surprise after Giri chose 2…Bf5 and looked to have equalised after only a few moves. Giri has been in ”bad shape” according to his own description in this tournament and Carlsen started to ”gamble a bit” and the position became complicated and objectively maybe even a bit better for Giri but with Carlsen being the one exerting the psychological pressure. Carlsen missed a relatively simple chance to win material (he looked shocked when Giri noticed it after the game) but had far more time on the run up to move 40 and Giri blundered with 37…Ra8? allowing 38.Nxf5 after which he was lost.

    Giri said afterwards that someone who is in bad shape usually blunders something if their opponent puts pressure on the whole game and that seems fair enough.

    After 5 and a half years of draws in classical chess Carlsen finally levels his score against Giri after losing their first game together at the Tata Steel tournament of 2011. Giri probably needs to go away and have a think and make some changes. He’s been in a rut since the Candidates tournament.

    Wei Yi vs Wesley So and Nakamura vs Karjakin were both drawn without a lot of incident.

    Round 9 standings: 1 Carlsen 16pts (already secured first place) 2 Nakamura 11pts 3 Wei Yi 10pts 4 Wesley So 10pts 5 Karjakin 8pts 6 Giri 6pts

    Final Round 10 pairings Saturday 23rd July 2pm UK time one hour earlier than the other rounds: Wesley So-Carlsen, Giri-Nakamura, Karjakin-Wei Yi

  • Wesley So beats a struggling Giri in Bilbao Round 8 – 8
    Magnus Carlsen maintains a 3 point lead over Hikaru Nakamura going into the final two rounds of the Bilbao Masters Final.

    Wesley So obtained an advantage on the run up to first time control against Anish Giri and ground out a win in the only decisive game of round 8.

    Sergey Karjakin made a very risky pawn grab on b7 with his queen against Magnus Carlsen in what will probably be their final game before their World Championship match. Computers suggested 15..cxb5 with the idea of Re7 trying to trap Karjakin’s queen might have led to an advantage for Carlsen, as it was after 15…axb5 the game finished in a draw by repetition.

    Wei Yi and Nakamura drew a well contested game in 45 moves.

    Round 8 standings: Carlsen 13pts, Nakamura 10pts, Wei Yi 9pts, So 9pts, Karjakin 7pts, Giri 6pts

    Round 9 Friday 22nd July 2016 3pm UK time: Wei Yi-Wesley So, Nakamura-Karjakin, Carlsen-Giri.

  • All games drawn in Bilbao Round 7 – 7
    Bilbao Round 7 saw no change in the relative scores as all the games were drawn. Magnus Carlsen had slight pressure throughout against Wei Yi without ever being objectively much better. Careful calculation saw Wei Yi hold the draw. Hikaru Nakamura looked like he was getting somewhere against Wesley So but in the end the game petered out to a draw. Anish Giri had very little advantage against Sergey Karjakin and they traded to a draw.

    Round 7 standings: Carlsen 12, Nakamura 9, Wei Yi 8, Giri 6, Karjakin 6, So 6

    Round 8 pairings 3pm Thursday 21st July 2016. So-Giri, Karjakin-Carlsen, Wei Yi-Nakamura

  • Wei Yi beats Giri in Bilbao Round 6 – 6
    Wei Yi beat Anish Giri when the latter blundered in an endgame with 31…g5 which left his bishop cut off and unable to stop white’s passed pawn.

    Magnus Carlsen played solidly against Hikaru Nakamura and after he equalised the players traded most of the pieces to a dead draw.

    Wesley So was pressing against Sergey Karjakin but allowed him back into the game and a dynamic endgame was reached which finished in a draw.

    Round 6 standings: Carlsen 11, Nakamura 8, Wei Yi 7, Giri 5, Karjakin 5, So 5

    Round 7 20th July 2016 3pm UK time. I will be hosting ICC’s commentary with Christof Sielecki. Games: Nakamura-So, Carlsen-Wei Yi, Giri-Karjakin

  • 1st Silk Road Chess Masters 2016 – Games and Results
    The 1st Silk Road Chess Masters take place 19th to 21st July 2016 in Hancheng. 6 players: Hou Yifan, Stefanova, Gunina, Mariya Muzychuk, Ushenina and Koneru,
  • Ding Liren vs Grischuk match 2016 – Games and Results
    Ding Liren and Alexander Grischuk play a 4 game match in Wenzhou, China 19th to 22nd July 2016. The match ends once someone reaches 2.5 points. If tied there will be rapid and blitz tie-breaks.
  • Carlsen winning run stopped by Giri in Bilbao Round 5 – 5
    Magnus Carlsen leads the Bilbao Masters at the half way stage by 3pts, or one win in the scoring system in use. Carlsen played Anish Giri with black and almost managed to score his first win against an opponent that has proved difficult for him. After losing to Nakamura in the first round Carlsen had won three games in a row in fine style.

    Carlsen lost his first classical game against Giri and the rest have been drawn. Giri reminds Carlsen of this plus score frequently and one senses Carlsen is getting a little frustrated he can’t put this issue behind him with a win.

    Today Carlsen surprised Giri with the Queen’s Gambit Accepted and according to Giri he was ”outplayed” in the sense that he equalised rather quickly. Carlsen then put the pressure on and on the run up to first time control got a very favourable, possibly winning position. Carlsen felt that his move 40 was probably the mistake that cost him the win (40.Nf6 seems to be the slower winning try) as after both players saw the line of play that led to a draw once they had more time.

    The remaining two games were also drawn with Nakamura taking the draw by repetition offered to him by Sergey Karjakin early on and Wesley So not making a great deal of impact against Wei Yi’s Petroff Defence.

    There is a rest day on Monday 18th July followed by the second half of the tournament with colours reversed from the first.

    Round 5 standings: Carlsen 10pts/15, Nakamura 7pts, Giri 5pts, Karjakin, So, Wei Yi 4pts

    Round 6 pairings Tuesday 19th July 3pm UK time: So-Karjakin, Wei Yi-Giri, Nakamura-Carlsen.

  • Impressive Carlsen cruises to third win in a row in Bilbao – 4
    Magnus Carlsen scored a crushing win against Wesley So in the fourth round of the Bilbao Masters to take a three point lead over Hikaru Nakamura. The other two games were drawn.

    Carlsen played 4.d3 against the Berlin and his 9.a3 was a new idea just grabbing some space with his pawns. Carlsen manoevered his knight to f5 in the following moves and somewhere around here So needed to find the time to castle. After 18.Nd2 computers don’t see black in too much danger but both players thought black was in desperate straits and So didn’t put up much resistance with 20…Kd7? and 21…Nxe4 after which Carlsen wrapped things up simply and smartly.

    ”My play is getting better day by day” Magnus Carlsen to Tarjei J. Svensen after the game.

    With Bilbao turning into the Carlsen show the other games were very much in the shade. Wei Yi chose a simple repetition out of the opening which Sergey Karjakin saw no reason to avoid. Anish Giri was a little better out of the opening aginast Hikaru Nakamura but never really looked like making much of it. Next up for Carlsen is Anish Giri.

    Round 5 pairings Sunday 17th July 3pm UK time: So-Wei Yi, Karjakin-Nakamura, Giri-Carlsen.

    Round 4 Standings (3pts for a win 1 for a draw) 1 Carlsen 9pts, 2 Nakamura 6pts, 3 Giri 4pts, 4 Wei Yi 3pts, 5 So 3pts, 6 Karjakin 3pts

  • Chengdu Women’s Grand Prix 2016 – Games and Results
    The Chengdu Women’s Grand Prix took place 1st to 15th July 2016. Dronavalli Harika edged out Humpy Koneru on tie-break after both scored 7/11.
  • Carlsen defeats his World Chess Championship challenger Karjakin in Bibao Round 3 – 3
    Magnus Carlsen took the sole lead after three rounds of the Bilbao Masters Final with a convincing win against Sergey Karjakin. With three points for a win and one for a draw Carlsen leads with 6/9 a point clear of Hikaru Nakamura.

    Carlsen played the quiet 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. c3 Nf6 4. Be2 g6 5. O-O Bg7 6. Bb5+ against Karjakin’s Sicilian. The position was more or less equal out of the opening but Carlsen said that Karjakin must have had better between moves 16 and 20 as after his 21. Kh1 his position was at the very least easier to play. After Karjakin’s 30…Rf8 Carlsen’s advantage increased move by move as he played a straightforward kingside attack Karjakin’s resignation on move 40.

    Hikaru Nakamura was held to a draw by Wei Yi who found a way to sacrifice his queen for a fortress structure. Anish Giri sacrificed a pawn for good play but Wesley So had equalised after 24…d5. Giri’s exchange sacrifice worked well enough in the game but could only have got him into trouble. The game was drawn in 56 moves.

    Round 3 Standings: 1 Carlsen 6pts, 2 Nakamura 5pts, 3 So 3pts, 4 Giri 3pts, 5 Wei Yi 2pts, 6 Karjakin 2pts

    Round 4 pairings Saturday 16th July 2016 3pm local time: Carlsen-So, Nakamura-Giri, Wei Yi-Karjakin

  • Carlsen strikes back beating Wei Yi in Bilbao Round 2 – 2
    Magnus Carlsen scored a win with the black pieces against young Chinese hope Wei Yi in the second round of the Bilbao tournament. Carlsen said he was pushing for an advantage from around move 20 with black in a sharp Pirc Defence but didn’t get a real edge until 35.Ne5? Carlsen was inaccurate with 40…Ne4+ making time control (40..Kc7) but was soon winning again. The game remained extremely complicated 46….Rb2 is given as winning by the computer but following 46….Ra2 Wei Yi had real saving chances. Carlsen said that after 48.b4 he would have headed for a draw. Wei Yi had ambitions of his own and he chose 48.Kc7? missing Carlsen’s prepared 48…Nc5! after which there were no more chances.

    Anish Giri was much better against Sergey Karjakin but missed some important tactical points and had to settle for a draw. Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So drew the first game to finish.

    Round 2 Standings: 1 Nakamura 4pts, 2 Carlsen 3pts, 3 So 2pts, 4 Karjakin 2pts, 5 Giri 2pts, 6 Wei Yi 1pt.

    Round 3 Pairings Friday 14th July 2016 3pm UK time: Giri-So, Carlsen-Karjakin, Nakamura-Wei Yi.

  • Nakaura wins his first classical game against Carlsen in Bilbao Round 1 – 1
    The 9th Bilbao Masters Final started with a huge shock as World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen went down to a loss against Hikaru Nakamura, previously Carlsen had won 12 and drawn 18 classical time control games against his rival.

    Carlsen said he had a ”very nice positional advantage from the start” before choosing the ”wrong plan” indeed his position went downhill very fast after 19.h4. Carlsen said he missed 22…e6 (the only good move in the position for black) and he couldn’t find a way to resist, after 26…Qf2 Carlsen tried for complications but Nakamura took his time and after 35…e5 there was no more hope for Carlsen.

    Nakamura played down the importance of the win but he obviously must be delighted to get off the mark vs Carlsen.

    Sergey Karjakin didn’t seem to get too much against Wesley So and this game finished in a draw in 42 moves. Anish Giri will be disappointed not to make more of his advantage against Wei Yi who he allowed to escape with a draw.

    Round 1 Standings: Nakamura 3pts (3pts for a win 1 for a draw), Giri, So, Wei Yi, Karjakin 1pt, Carlsen 0pts.

    Round 2 pairings: So-Nakamura, Wei Yi-Carlsen, Karjakin-Giri

  • Gelfand vs Inarkiev Match 2016 – Games and Results
    Boris Gelfand is in Magas, Russia playing an exhibition match against Ernesto Inarkiev 12th to 22nd July 2016. 6 Classical games and 6 rapid games. There was an initial Armageddon game won by Inarkiev to decide colours for the match.
  • IX Bilbao Masters Final 2016 – Games and Results
    The IX Bilbao Masters Final takes place 13th to 23rd July 2016. World Champion Magnus Carlsen meets his challenger Sergey Karjakin before their world championship match. Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri, last year’s winner Wesley So and Yi Wei complete the field. 6 players 10 rounds.
  • 44th Dortmund Sparkassen Chess-Meeting 2016 – Games and Results
    The 44th Dortmund Sparkassen Chess-Meeting took place 9th to 17th July 2016. Players: Vladimir Kramnik, Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Ruslan Ponomariov, Evgeniy Najer, Rainer Buhrmann and Leinier Dominguez-Perez, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave dominated to win with 5.5/7 and this result moved him to number two in the world.
  • 7th Hainan Danzhou GM 2016 – Games and Results
    The 7th Hainan Danzhou GM tournament took place 8th to 17th July 2016. Players: Ding Liren, Yu Yangyi Wang Hao, Bu Xiangzhi, Wang Yue, Hou Yifan, Pentala Harikrishna, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Peter Leko and Vasyl Ivanchuk. Ian Nepomniachtchi won with 6/9.
  • 44th Annual World Open 2016 – Games and Results
    The 44th Annual World Open took place 30th June to 4th July 2016. Third seed Gabor Papp beat top seed Viktor Bologan in a tie-break game to win the event. In total 7 players scored 7/9 to win $5800, Papp won an extra bonus of $500 for a total of $6300 after beating Bologan in the tie-break.
  • 20th Milan Vidmar Memorial 2016 – Games and Results
    The 20th Milan Vidmar Memorial was revived after a five year break. It took place 24th June to 3rd July 2016. Andrei Volokitin won with 7/9.

Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information