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The Week in Chess


  • Eljanov leads the Tata Steel Masters from Carlsen and So after four rounds – 4
    Pavel Eljanov won a nice technical endgame against Baskaran Adhiban to lead the Tata Steel Masters going into the first rest day on Wednesday. He is being chased by Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So, both of whom also won in round 4.

    Carlsen beat Wei Yi from a level position in a Bishops opening. 18…exd4 was criticised by Carlsen who then increased the pressure and in a difficult position and time trouble Wei Yi’s position just collapsed. Wesley Wesley So enjoyed some advantage against Loek van Wely with black out of the opening but the result remained in the balance until time trouble intervened in So’s favour.

    The remaining games were drawn but Anish Giri missed a couple of wins against Dmitry Andreikin (who resisted well in a miserable position). Harikrishna-Karjakin was a fairly uneventful draw. Aronian-Nepomniachtchi was a sharp Benoni style position which finished with a repetition and both players had chances at various points in Rapport-Wojtaszek before the game was drawn.

    Round 4 standings: 1st Eljanov 3.5pts 2nd Carlsen, So 3pts 4th Harikrishna, Karjakin 2.5pts 6th Giri, Andreikin, Aronian, Wei Yi 2pts 10th Nepomniachtchi, Wojtaszek 1.5pts 12th Rapport, Adhiban 1pt 14th Van Wely 0.5pts

    Rest Day Wednesday 18th January 2017.

    Round 5 pairings Thursday 19th January 2017:

    Eljanov- Aronian, Karjakin- Adhiban, So-Harikrishna, Wojtaszek- Van Wely, Andreikin- Rapport, Wei Yi- Giri, Nepomniachtchi-Carlsen

  • Eljanov keeps the Tata Steel Masters lead after three rounds – 3
    Pavel Eljanov leads the Tata Steel Masters after a fairly uneventful draw against Pentala Harikrishna. Wesley So survived a busted position against Richard Rapport to go on to win. Wei Yi won the final game of the day to finish to beat Ian Nepomniachtchi. Magnus Carlsen was held to a draw by Dmitry Andreikin after getting the start of an advantage but not feeling able to take it on.

    Round 3 Standings: 1st Eljanov 2.5pts 2nd Harikrishna, Carlsen, Wei Yi, Wesley So, Karjakin 2pts 7th Aronian, Giri, Andreikin 1.5pts 10th Nepomniachtchi, Wojtaszek, Adhiban 1pt 13th Rapport, Van Wely 0.5pts

    Round 4 pairings Tuesday 17th January 2017 12:30pm UK time: Aronian-Nepomniachtchi, Carlsen-Wei Yi, Giri-Andreikin, Rapport-Wojtaszek, Van Wely-So, Harikrishna-Karjakin, Adhiban-Eljanov.

  • Eljanov leads Tata Steel Masters with second win – 2
    Pavel Eljanov still leads the Tata Steel masters alone after beating Loek Van Wely in the second round. Magnus Carlsen scored his first win beating Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Pentala Harikrishna beat Baskaran Adhiban after the latter blundered into mate in time trouble.

    Round 2 Standings: Eljanov 2pts Carlsen, Harikrishna 1.5pts So, Aronian, Giri, Andreikin, Wei Yi, Karjakin, Nepomniachtchi 1pt Wojtaszek, Rapport, Van Wely, Adhiban, 0.5pts

    Markus Ragger leads the Challengers Group with 2/2 ahead of Ilia Smirin, Gawain Jones and Benjamin Bok on 1.5pts.

    Round 3 pairings Monday 16th January 12:30 GMT: Adhiban-Aronian, Eljanov-Harikrishna, Karjakin-Van Wely, So-Rapport, Wojtaszek-Giri, Andreikin-Carlsen, Wei Yi-Nepomniachtchi.

  • Pavel Eljanov leads the Tata Steel Masters after a quiet first day – 1
    The first round of the Tata Steel Masters was a relatively quiet affair with only Pavel Eljanov winning his game against Richard Rapport.

    The first game to finish was that between Wesley So and World Champion Magnus Carlsen. So was surprised by Carlsen’s precise choice of Slav variation and took the game into quiet waters and once queens came off a draw was inevitable. In truth this was a bit early for two of the favourite to meet and this result was widely predicted.

    Richard Rapport tried a rare setup he’d used once before (12.0-0 departed from the game Abramovic-Rapport) against Pavel Eljanov. At first Rapport seemed to be doing well but after a couple of inexact moves (15…d3, instead 15…Ba6!? seems better and 18.Bc6?!, maybe 18…Nc6) the weaknesses he created in the opening came back to haunt him. Eljanov sacrificed the exchange leaving Rapport with a very passive position and quickly went on to win.

    Baskaran Adhiban looked to be on the way to a debut win in the Masters group against Loek van Wely but a combination of good resistance from his Dutch opponent and some late inaccuracies meant that the game finished in a draw.

    Sergey Karjakin’s 6.a3 was a rare and not that impressive move against Anish Giri’s Najdorf Sicilian. Giri had even faced the move in a blitz vs Harikrishna last April. Giri maybe had slightly the better of things at first but once Karjakin challenged on the b-file Giri had to be accurate in order to maintain the balance. Draw agreed on move 35.

    Levon Aronian showed deep Marshall Ruy Lopez preparation in drawing with Harikrishna. Dmitry Andreikin didn’t get very much against Wei Yi’s Petroff. Radoslaw Wojtaszek’s deeply prepared Gruenfeld with 4.Bf4 put Ian Nepomniachtchi under pressure to be accurate but he was up to the job.

    In the B-Group there were wins for Benjamin Bok vs Tingjie Lei, Markus Ragger vs Jeffrey Xiong and Jorden van Foreest vs Erwin L’Ami.

    Round 1 Standings Eljanov 1pt. Carlsen, So, Karjakin, Aronian, Giri, Nepomniachtchi, Harikrishna, Wojtaszek, Andreikin, Wei Yi, Van Wely and Adhiban 0.5pts Rapport 0pts

    Round 2 Sunday 15th Jan 2017 12:30pm UK time: Aronian-Wei Yi, Nepomniachtchi-Andreikin, Carlsen-Wojtaszek, Giri-So, Rapport-Karjakin, Van Wely-Eljanov, Harikrishna-Adhiban.

  • 79th Tata Steel Masters 2017 – Games and Results
    The 79th Tata Steel Masters takes place in Wijk aan Zee 14th to 29th January 2017. World Champion Magnus Carlsen is back to defend his title from Wesley So, Sergey Karjakin, Levon Aronian, Anish Giri, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Pentala Harikrishna, Pavel Eljanov, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Dmitri Andreikin, Wei Yi, Richard Rapport, Loek van Wely and Baskaran Adhiban. There is a strong challengers group alongside. The Masters group has ”away days” at the Feyenoord Stadium in Rotterdam on January 19th and De Philharmonie in Haarlem on January 25th 2017.
  • PRO Chess League 2017 – Games and Results
    The PRO Chess League is a rapid chess tournament taking place on the chess.com website, it runs 11th January to 26th March 2017. 48 city based teams from throughout the world start in four groups with matches being held every Wednesday. There are four players per team and they play each member of the opposition once (although substitutes are allowed) for a total of four games. The top six teams in each group qualify for the next stage. The final four play in a decider on the weekend of 25th-26th March. Time control 15 minutes plus 2 seconds a move. Leading players: Magnus Carlsen, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov etc. Live video commentary on the chess.com website.
  • 46th Rilton Cup 2016-17 – Games and Results
    The 46th Rilton Cup took place 27th December 2016 to 5th January 2017. Leading players: Kamsky, Sasikiran, Kravtsiv. Bluebaum, Goganov, Ivan Sokolov, Volkov, Postny, Sevian etc. Krishnan Sasikiran won with 7.5/9 half a point clear of Sergey Volkov.
  • Hastings Masters 2016-17 – Games and Results
    The Hastings Masters took place 29th December to 5th January 2017. SP Sethuraman, Alexandr Fier, Benjamin Gledura, Deep Sengupta, Murali Karthikeyan, Allan Stig Rasmussen, Danny Gormally, Mark Hebden etc Deep Sengupta took clear first on 7/9 half a point clear of five players tied on 6.5.
  • World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships 2016 – Games and Results
    The World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships took place in Doha 26th to 30th December 2016. World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen is back to defend his rapid title and to try and regain the blitz. This year the women’s rapid and blitz also took place at the same time and venue. 5 rounds a day for the rapid 26th-28th December, then two days of blitz.

    Leading players: Magnus Carlsen, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Levon Aronian, Sergey Karjakin, Viswanathan Anand, Hikaru Nakamura, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Pavel Eljanov, Vassily Ivanchuk, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Peter Svidler, Leinier Dominguez Perez, Alexander Grischuk, Chao Li, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Yangyi Yu, Nikita Vitiugov, Francisco Vallejo Pons, Ernesto Inarkiev, Dmitry Jakovenko, Yi Wei, Baadur Jobava, Xiangzhi Bu, Vladimir Malakhov, Teimour Radjabov, Peter Leko, Maxim Matlakov, Ivan Cheparinov, Anton Korobov, Alexander Morozevich, Aleksey Dreev, Nils Grandelius, David Howell, Victor Bologan, Vladislav Artemiev, Simen Agdestein, Aryan Tari, Olexandr Bortnyk, Aleksej Aleksandrov, etc

    Vassily Ivanchuk edged out Alexander Grischuk and Magnus Carlsen to take the rapid title after they all scored 11/15. The blitz saw Sergey Karjakin win the title on tie-break from Magnus Carlsen with a win in the final round vs Jobava after both scored 16.5/21. Daniil Dubov was a distant 3rd on tie-break.

    Anna Muzychuk scored a fine double triumph in both rapid and blitz in the women’s section.

  • Sunway Sitges Festival 2016 – Games and Results
    The Sunway Sitges Festival took place 16th to 23rd December 2016. Evgeny Romanov edged out Romain Edouard, Josep Manuel Lopez Martinez and Gata Kamsky on tie-break after all scored 7/9.
  • Wei Yi – Richard Rapport Match 2016 – Games and Results
    Richard Rapport beat Wei Yi in a match in Yancheng, China 20th to 23rd December 2016. The four game classical part was drawn 2-2. There was then a two game blitz match which was drawn 1-1 before Rapport won the final decisive game with the black pieces.
  • Nutcracker Match of the Generations 2016 – Games and Results
    The Nutcracker Match of the Generations took place 16th to 23rd December 2016. An experience team (Kings) of Boris Gelfand, Alexander Morozevich, Alexei Shirov and Aleksey Dreev took on a team of younger Russian players (Princes): Vladimir Fedoseev, Daniil Dubov, Vladislav Artemiev and Grigoriy Oparin. 4 rounds of classical chess and 8 of rapid. The match was drawn 32-32. Grigoriy Oparin beat Alexei Shirov 1.5-0.5 in a blitz match that qualified the winner to the Korchnoi Zurich Chess Challenge (13th to 17th April alongside Kramnik, Anand, MVL, Nakamura, Nepomniachtchi and Svidler).. Shirov lost on time a pawn up in the first blitz game which may not be complete). This year alongside was a match of the generations for women too. The ”Queens” beat the ”Princesses ” 36-28 with Alisa Galliamova being the top scorer.
  • 54th Groningen Chess Festival 2016 – Games and Results
    The 54th Groningen Chess Festival takes place 21st to 30th December 2016. Tiop seeds Michal Krasenkow, Sergei Tiviakov, Diptayan Ghosh, Jan Werle and Sipke Ernst.
  • 8th London Chess Classic 2016 – Games and Results
    The 8th London Chess Classic took place 7th to 19th December 2016. Players: Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Vladimir Kramnik, Levon Aronian, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Viswanathan Anand, Anish Giri, Veselin Topalov and Michael Adams. Alongside was an open where Etienne Bacrot and Sebastien Maze scored 7.5/9. On the final weekend there was a strong rapid open won by Valentina Gunina. Wesley So won the classic with 6/9 and with it the whole Grand Chess Tour. Fabiano Caruana took second place in London and Hikaru Nakamura second on the Grand Chess Tour.
  • European Rapid and Blitz Championships 2016 – Games and Results
    The European Rapid and Blitz Championships took place 15th to 17th December 2016. Alexander Riazantsev won the rapid event on tie-break from Maxim Matlakov after both scored 9.5/11. Dmitry Andreikin dominated the blitz scoring 22/26 a point and a half clear of Rauf Mamedov.
  • Ukrainian Championship 2016 – Games and Results
    The Ukrainian Championship took place 6th to 17th December 2016. Mykhaylo Oleksiyenko won with 8/11. Elizaveta Malakhova edged out Nataliya Buksa on tie-break after both scored 6/9.
  • British Knockout Championships 2016 – Games and Results
    The British Knockout Championships took place 8th to 16th December 2016. It’s really part of the London Chess Classic but I found it easier to separate out the two events. Nigel Short beat David Howell 3.5-2.5 in the final winning the last game.
  • 1st Hainan Open 2016 – Games and Results
    The 1st Hainan Open took place 7th to 16th December 2016. Yu Yangyi won with 8/9.
  • Israel Championships 2016 – Games and Results
    The Israel Championships took place 5th to 12th December 2016. Tamir Nabaty edged out Omer Reshef, Avital Boruchovsky and Michael Roiz on tie-break after all scored 6/9. Michal Lahav won the women’s event with 8.5/9. There were problems during the transmission of round 8 and a few of the games from that round are still incomplete.
  • German Schachbundesliga 2016-17 – Games and Results
    The German Schachbundesliga takes place Saturday 15th October 2016 to Monday 1st May 2017. Probably the strongest chess league in the world.

Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information