Archive for the ‘Chess’ Category

XLI Open Internacional Ciudad de San Sebasti?n 2018

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

San Sebastian

San Sebastian

The 41st Open Internacional Ciudad de San Sebasti?n will be held between March 24 and 31.
The venue is Gros Xake Taldea, Anoeta.
More then 100 players are expected.
Top entries are GM Renier Igarza Vazquez, GM Salvador G. De Angelis Del Rio, GM Stanley Lelys Duany Martinez etc..

live game with analysis will be provided daily with the best chess software competing in the Top Chess Engine Championship – Komodo, Houdini, and Stockfish.

starting list San Sebastian 2018

1 Vazquez Igarza Renier 2559
2 Del Rio De Angelis Salvador G. 2535
3 Martinez Duany Lelys Stanley 2499
4 Venkatesh M.R. 2487
5 Aguero Jimenez Luis Lazaro 2463
6 Pulvett Marin Daniel 2459
7 Franco Alonso Alejandro 2444
8 Sielecki Christof 2435
9 Iruzubieta Villaluenga Jesus M 2426
10 Alonso Arburu Juan Ignacio 2397
11 Hernandez Sanchez Elvis De La C 2261
12 Prieto Aranguren Alain 2261
13 Delgado Crespo Mairelys 2250
14 Forgas Moreno Yaniela 2245
15 Hernandez Estevez Yudania 2241
16 Urriza Iricibar Pablo 2232
17 Douriet Duany Alexis 2225
18 Pena Duarte Fabian Dario 2207
19 Moreno Estebanez Patxi 2190
20 Alfaro Garcia Del Cerro Juan L 2176
21 Abalia Patino Aritz 2106
22 Torres Ganuza Francisco Javier 2103
23 Garcia Martinez Marcos 2100
24 Troffiguer Olivier 2095
25 Pastor Pons Pedro Maria 2082
26 Lakunza Oyarbide Juan Carlos 2057
27 Vinal Gutierrez Pedro 2056
28 Munoz Avila Jose Luis 2055
29 Corral Sierra Javier 2040
30 Ruano Azua Jonathan 2011
31 Segura Del Frago Imanol 2007
32 Gorny Michael 1989
33 Lopez Mijail Nicolas 1977
34 Cinza Lopez Javier 1976
35 Ananya Rishi Gupta 1968
36 Jordana Vargas Julio 1966
37 Berard Serge 1961
38 Zubizarreta Riego Mikel 1950
39 Habans Aguerrea Javier 1930
40 Sanchez Ruesga Carlos 1925
41 Vicente Ezeiza Mikel 1921
42 Riekenbrauk Joerg 1906
43 Gomez Calvo Jose Ricardo 1899
44 Fernandez Garcia Francisco Jose 1890
45 Hilarius Sander 1887
46 Arana Garate Jon 1886
47 Izagirre Alsua Aritz 1879
48 Cejudo Urdampilleta Jose Manuel 1874
49 Iturralde Echeverria Ivan 1874
50 Berdote Alonso Carlos 1865
51 Both Gert 1855
52 Esnaola San Sebastian Jon 1848
53 Ruiz De Alegria Madariaga Carlo 1842
54 Sanchez Merino Christian 1840
55 Darrigues Alain 1832
56 Ruiz De Alegria Garcia Carlos 1830
57 Medrano Del Val Julio 1824
58 Garmendia Zubeldia Daniel 1798
59 Van Der Giessen Ada Leona 1790
60 Pascual Garcia Martin 1782
61 Arocena Uria Jaime 1771
62 Arrondo Carbonell Pablo 1762
63 Lertxundi Azpiazu Jon 1748
64 Garraza Obaldia Esteban 1748
65 Cantabrana Garona Alejandro 1731
66 Garcia Nunez Jose 1714
67 Perez Sodupe Cecilia 1713
68 Manterola Ubillos Josu 1707
69 Arrondo Carbonell Agustin 1706
70 Benaito Villagarcia Mikel 1688
71 Kerexeta Zabala Markel 1688
72 Sanmateu Juan Sergio 1687
73 Donazar Garayoa Miguel 1668
74 Saenz Zabala Juan Ignacio 1663
75 Espin Laborde Jesus Maria 1656
76 Crossland Tomas Russel 1643
77 Rodriguez Yague Fermin 1635
78 Espana Reguero Emilio 1634
79 Ruiz Anton Adolfo 1593
80 Marret Constantin Pierre 1580
81 Larranaga Leturia Josu 1570
82 Parron Luceno David 1539
83 Yaniz Lana Francisco Javier 1537
84 Uranga Odriozola Inaki 1533
85 Larranaga Juaristi Alexander 1523
86 De Los Rios Vidal Enrique 1521
87 Etxebeste Larranaga Asier 1473
88 Etxabe Uria Andoni 1472
89 Fernandez Checa Manuel 1468
90 Blanco Blanco German 1381
91 Yurramendi Sarasola Xabier 1362
92 Etxebeste Rodrigo Oier 1281
93 Berard Martine 1054
94 Duo Iruretagoyena Aitor 0
95 Lopez Varela Luis 0
96 Teruel Alyeksyeyev Ivan 0
97 Uranga Garate Gorka 0
98 Uranga Garate Julen 0


Interview with Sandro Mareco

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

GM Sandro MarecoSandro Mareco has just won the 8th HDBANK Cup. After winning the cup, he shared his thoughts in an interview with’s editor GM Marian Petrov. Sandro Mareco talks about his recent tournaments and his future plans.

Marian Petrov Sandro, congratulations on your victory in Vietnam!

Sandro Mareco I was very happy to win it and I want to thank the organizers as the conditions were very good. It was strong tournament because a lot of players have rating lower than they play. I played many good games, I think my best game was against Gordievsky (scroll down to replay)

MP This is yet another victory for you. And you are very active! You also have recently won the Copa Marcel Duchamp for the second time. You played also in Aeroflot open.

SM I like very much to play in Uruguay because they are similar to Argentina in a lot of things and for that reason for me is like to be local player. The organization was good in general, I feel that my best games from the tournament were against Slipak, Oddone and Gilberto Hernandez, it was necessary to fight, because in some moments i had worse position during the games.

In Aeroflot I did well, because just like in HD Bank Cup I played against a lot of u20 players, which are underrated and all the time are trying to improve. I lost 2 points of elo, so it was not fantastic, but normal tournament considering the opposition.

MP How do you choose your tournaments, you playing few months in South America and then few months in Europe. Do you have preferred places to play?

SM Normally I am trying to choose strong tournaments and also in places that I feel that would be comfortable for me to play. In South America I look for conditions and prizes because I feel very well in any part of South America.

MP How do you prepare for your tournaments and what are your routines daily?

SM I study a lot of chess everyday, solving tactical problems and analyzing positions. Also, I run 4 or 5 days per week 6 or 7 km, normally I do that.

MP How important are computers in your preparation?

SM I use a lot the computer engines, but normally I do my moves and then check what the computer thinks. Sometimes i don’t agree and try hard to prove that I am right, sometimes I even win!

MP What are your plans for the next few months and are you going to play the Olympiad?

SM I am going to play Dubai , Budapest , Foz de Iguazu in May , the Continental championship in June and also Olympiad. I will play other events as well, still thinking what to choose.

MP Who is your favorite in the Candidates tournament?

SM I like a lot of players, but Mamedyarov and Aronian are my favorites. These Candidates are really good, they are fighting well, you do not see easy draws.

MP How is chess developing in Argentina and in South America?

SM It is good, not so fantastic because we are far geographically and ELO wise, but at this moment we have some good young players. The most promising in my country is Alan Pichot , but also Tomas Sosa, Pablo Acosta are good players. We have a lot to improve, but I am trying to help with a few things and to motivate the other players. I am speaking a lot with them.


A novelty on move 2, the earliest in chess history?!

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

Alexander Ipatov interview

World Junior Champion Alexander Ipatov interviewed

The 2018 Spring Chess Classic was an exciting event by the STL Chess Club, comprised of two 10 player round robins. The A group was won by GM Jeffery Xiong who scored 6,5/10 and with the ELO gain will return to the world top 100 players. (replay the games with analysis here)

One of the most interesting games of the round occurred in round 8 between GM Samuel Shankland and GM Alexander Ipatov. Shankland opened with 1.d4 and everyone thought there must have been a transmission error when Ipatov’s reply was reported as 1…Na6. However, the move was correct and it was about to get stranger. 2.c4 was met by 2…e5. GM Ipatov twitted after the game, “after 10 mins of creative over-the-board brainstorming of what to play against the always well-prepared Sam Shankland, I played a novelty as early as move 2. My 17 million game database confirms that! [...] Mega+Engine+Correspondence databases all in one!”

The game continued for 39 moves and finished in a draw. Scroll down to replay with analysis.

Nelson Hernandez on the move 2 novelty by GM Ipatov

Top Chess Engine Championship’s in-house openings chief, Nelson Hernandez, using his considerably larger “Catobase” commented on Shankland – Ipatov, “Traditionally, the word ‘novelty’ has only applied to new positions obtained by titled players. By that definition GM Ipatov is absolutely correct; his opening has never been seen in human tournament play at any level. However, a looser definition which takes into account sources of games that have traditionally not constituted “chess theory”–engine games, games between club players, games played on Internet servers by anonymous nicks–reveals that at least six games have achieved the unusual position after 2…e5.

1. FICS between PlayerA, rated 1972, and PlayerB, rated 2051, 0-1, 2012.09.05
2. FICS between PlayerA, rated 2034, and PlayerB, rated 2075, 0-1, 2012.11.09
3. FICS between PlayerA, rated 2042, and PlayerB, rated 2256, 0-1, 2013.03.17
4. Komodo 9.02 vs Komodo 9.1, 1/2-1/2, 2015.07.19
5. Komodo 9.02 vs Komodo 9.1, 1-0, 2015.07.19
6. Komodo 9.02 vs Komodo 9.1, 1-0, 2015.07.20

Three such games were seen on FICS between nicks rated over 2000 during 2012 and 2013. Three more games were played between two versions of the Komodo (which in 2015 hit major headlines) as part of an opening book test. Interestingly, when humans were playing on FICS the black players scored 3-0–possibly an indication that the unorthodox opening rattled the white players. Conversely, when engines were playing, the disadvantage black was conceding with these moves resulted in a 2.5-0.5 edge for white. Shock tactics don’t work so well against engines!”

More: GM Ipatov on Twitter / Chat and discussion with Nelson Hernandez

Replay Shankland – Ipatov with analysis


Round 9: Missing a Golden Opportunity, Caruana Continues to Lead Berlin Candidates Tournament

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

IMG 4600

Round 9: Missing a Golden Opportunity, Caruana Continues to Lead Berlin Candidates Tournament

Fabiano Caruana leads the Candidates tournament in Berlin, but he may well regret a lost opportunity to stretch his lead in Round 9 on Tuesday. Caruana, an American, had Ding Liren of China on the ropes, but a couple of oversights cost him his advantage and the game ended in a draw.

Caruana now has six points, a half point ahead of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan, and a point ahead of Alexander Grischuk of Russia.

The Candidates is being organized by World Chess, the commercial partner of the World Chess Federation (FIDE), the game’s governing body. The prize fund is 420,000 euros. The winner will receive 95,000 euros, but, more importantly, he will earn the right to play Magnus Carlsen, the world champion, in a title match in London this November.

Eight players are competing for the right to face Carlsen. In addition to Caruana, Mamedyarov, Grischuk, and Ding, they include Sergey Karjakin and Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, Wesley So of the United States, and Levon Aronian of Armenia. The format is a double round-robin, with each player facing all the other competitors twice, once with each color.

The venue for the tournament is K?hlhaus (or “cool house” in English), an industrial building in central Berlin that was built in the early 20th century as a cold-storage facility for fresh produce. Among the principal sponsors of the tournament are PhosAgro, a giant Russian fertilizer company; Kaspersky Lab, a global cybersecurity firm; E.G. Capital Advisors, an investment management company; S.T. Dupont, a global luxury goods maker; Prytek, a venture capital firm; and Isklar, a Norwegian mineral water company.

IMG 4631

There was only one decisive game in Round 9: Karjakin beat Kramnik. It was a curious game, as Kramnik, who was Black, got a reasonable position out of the opening and then proceeded to rapidly self-destruct as he played recklessly and with seeming disregard for safeguarding his pieces. He sacrificed an exchange and then upped the ante to a whole rook. While Karjakin’s king was exposed, Kramnik lacked the fire-power and the coordination of his own pieces to pose a real threat. Though it took a while for Karjakin to consolidate his position, the result was never really in doubt.

It was Kramnik’s fourth loss in the last six rounds. His fall has been rapid and surprising, as he started out with two wins in his first three games.

Kramnik is tied for last place with So and Aronian, while Karjakin, who lost twice in the first four rounds, is now at 50 percent, with 4.5 points, 1.5 points behind Caruana.

IMG 4613

Caruana had White against Ding and employed the Catalan, an opening that Ding has used as well in the tournament when he has had White. A tricky sequence beginning on move 13 allowed Caruana to infiltrate Ding’s position with a rook on the seventh rank, but Ding had enough resources to hold his position together, at least for a while.

Caruana managed to slowly but surely improve his position, capitalizing on his slightly better pawn structure, in particular, the weakness of Ding’s e pawn. Ding eventually traded it for Caruana’s b pawn so that each player had a passed pawn – an e pawn for Caruana and a b pawn for Ding.

Unfortunately for Ding, his pawn was well blockaded, while Caruana’s pawn posed a real threat. Ding cracked under the pressure and Caruana had a couple of opportunities to put the game away. His missed his last chance when he could have played 66 Nf8+. The point was that 66… Kg8, 67 h6 would be decisive. (If 67… Kf8, then 68 h7 Ne6 69 Kg4 Ng5 70 h8/Q+, and White should win easily.) Instead, Caruana played 66 Re5, and after 66… Be8, Ding was fine. The players agreed to a draw after 67. e7.

Ding has 4.5 points and is tied with Karjakin. He remains the only player who has not won or lost during the competition.

IMG 4610

The game between Aronian and Mamedyarov was a bit curious as Mamedyarov, who had Black, ended up playing more or less the same system as Karjakin had used against him the round before, when Mamedyarov had White. The game against Aronian was a bit more interesting, however, as it went further than the game from the day before because Aronian tried hard to break through Mamedyarov’s defenses. Mamedyarov held steady, however, and the players agreed to a draw after 41 moves.

IMG 4621

The least interesting game of the day was between So and Grischuk. Grischuk, who was Black, used the Berlin Defense (also known as the Berlin Wall, after the Cold-War structure that divided the host city for 30 years) and So chose a system that allows Black to gain a symmetrical pawn structure. The game actually followed Game 12 of the 2016 World Championship match between Carlsen and Karjakin, which ended in a quick draw. So and Grischuk could also have called it a day after 20 moves as the game was already devoid of any tension or imbalances. They played on to move 34 before agreeing to a draw.

Wednesday is a rest day. The tournament resumes on Thursday with Round 10 at 3 PM, local Berlin time. The tournament can be watched live at, the official site of the World Championship.

Round 9 Photo Gallery

Source: World Chess Federation – FIDE

Candidates’ Tournament R9: Karjakin Prolongs Kramnik’s Misery

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

The 2018 FIDE Candidates’ Tournament is becoming a disastrous tournament for Vladimir Kramnik, who played below par, played on for long in a lost position and eventually threw in the towel vs Sergey Karjakin. In a deep endgame, Fabi…

Source: – Play. Learn. Share.

How Ulf Beats Black

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

How Ulf Beats Black by Cyrus Lakdawala
Ulf Andersson’s Bulletproof Strategic Repertoire for White

In his prime, in the 1970-s and 80-s, legendary Swedish chess grandmaster Ulf Andersson was a Top 10 player with a distinct, immediately recognizable style. He almost never lost a game and kept scoring wins from quiet positions.

Quiet positons? Acclaimed chess author Cyrus Lakdawala has played Andersson’s lines for decades and explains that those positions only LOOK quiet. Ulf Andersson, who understood the subtleties of strategic chess better than almost anyone else, always detected and exploited hidden opportunities.

As Andersson’s openings tend to glide into the middlegame and often into the endgame, How Ulf Beats Black is much more than just a chess opening manual. Lakdawala’s lucid explanations offer a practical guide to positional technique that will improve your endgame skills as well. On top of that it is also a games collection of a great but often misunderstood chess player.

This repertoire is not based on forcing variations but on understanding the underlying principles and techniques. As a result your opponent will not be able to surprise you because you forgot to check recent novelties. The final chapter ‘What did Ulf play?’ presents exercises to test your understanding.

ISBN: 9789056917715, Paperback, 288 pages, New in Chess


The post How Ulf Beats Black appeared first on

Source: The Week in Chess

Merab Gagunashvili wins 6th Open Iraq Championship

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

Merab Gagunashvili

Merab Gagunashvili

The Open Iraq Championship was held from 14-19 March 2018 in Baghdad.
62 players took part in the tournament.
Before the last round sole leader was GM Azer Mirzoev with 6,5 points. He met Gagunashvili with white and lost.
So after 9 rounds two played had 7 points. The winner is GM Merab Gagunashvili with better tie-break from the second Malek Koniahli.
Six players made 6,5 points, third is GM Konstantin Tarlev .

replay the games here

full standings 6th Open Iraq Championship

1 Gagunashvili Merab 7
2 Koniahli Malek 7
3 Tarlev Konstantin 6,5
4 Khodashenas Mersad 6,5
5 Mirzoev Azer 6,5
6 Karpatchev Aleksandr 6,5
7 Al-Saffar Araz Basim Mohammed S 6,5
8 Gholami Aryan 6,5
9 Malakhatko Vadim 6
10 Abdulwahhab Ahmed Abdulsattar A 6
11 Poormosavi Seyed Kian 6
12 Noah A .H. Al-Ali 6
13 Alzaim Talal 5,5
14 Zaibi Amir 5,5
15 Al-Ali Hussein Ali Hussein 5,5
16 Salih Akar Ali Salih 5,5
17 Sadek Sameh 5,5
18 Gharagyozyan Artur 5
19 Mohammed Zozek Salah Mohammed 5
20 Taleb Salem Hatam 5
21 Aram Adam 5
22 Lim Zhuo Ren 5
23 Kadhim Mahmood Najeeb 5
24 Taslimi Borsa 5
25 Novikova Margarita 5
26 Moazaz Dhahir Habeeb 5
27 Adil Ali Jalal 5
28 Ahmed Jaza Jamal 5
29 Bayarmaa Bayarjargal 4,5
30 Firas Qassim Abbas 4,5
31 Ismael Namir Mohammed Ismael 4,5
32 Rawand Hamid Abdullah 4,5
33 Hajiyev Shahin 4,5
34 Mohammed Ali Mahdial-Kinani 4,5
35 Mahdavi Reza 4
36 Ameer Dhafer Abdulameer 4
37 Rebaz Nasir Jamal 4
38 Al-Fayyadh Yamama Asif Abdula 4
39 Al-Turaihi Dhari Satea Saeed 4
40 Slami Zoheir 4
41 Hafez Bakr 4
42 Mohammed Ali Adnan 4
43 Nasser Hussein Alwan 4
44 Al-Fayyadh Zainab Asif Abdulah 4
45 Majad Hamid Mozan 4
46 Rabeea Sabah Nori 3,5
47 Hasan Abd Al Jabbar 3,5
48 Jalaluldeen Kareen Kamal J. 3,5
49 Nabaa Sami Abbas 3,5
50 Ali Adnan Younus 3,5
51 A-Ali Sali Abbas Abdulzahra 3,5
52 Nawar Ahmed Mahmood 3,5
53 Al-Ghasra Osama 3,5
54 Obeid Raghad 3
55 Mohammed A. E. Orouq 3
56 Jouni Hassan 3
57 Haitham Ali Namoos 2,5
58 Adhim Hameed Jabar 2,5
59 Younis Ali Hussein 2
60 Mustafa Hamid Jaafar Mafrachi 2
61 Kasib Abdul A.Humadi 1,5
62 Saba Jamal Mohammed 1


Maghsoodloo Parham is the winner in Iranian Championship 2018

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

Iran51st Iranian Men Chess Championship-Final was held in Bushehr Chess House-Shoghab Park-Saheli St.-Bushehr.
It was 12 players round-robin.
The winner is GM Maghsoodloo Parham with 9 points out of 11.
IM Tabatabaei M.Amin is second with 7,5 points and IM Firouzja Alireza is third with 7 points.

you can replay the games here

final standings Iranian Championship

1 Maghsoodloo Parham 2601 9
2 Tabatabaei M.Amin 2592 7,5
3 Firouzja Alireza 2558 7
4 Lorparizangeneh Shahin 2506 6
5 Mosadeghpour Masoud 2535 5,5
6 Ghaem Maghami Ehsan 2530 5,5
7 Javanbakht Nima 2436 5
8 Mousavi Seyed Khalil 2467 5
9 Tahbaz Arash 2455 4,5
10 Darini Pouria 2497 4,5
11 Gholami Orimi Mahdi 2299 4
12 Noroozi Omid 2356 2,5


Round 8: A Relatively Quiet Day at the Berlin Candidates Tournament

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018


A Relatively Quiet Day at the Berlin Candidates Tournament

Top players are so well-prepared in the computer age, and so adept at defense, it is very hard to beat them. In addition, some elite players in top tournaments follow risk-adverse strategies, preferring not to lose rather than take chances in an effort to win.

That has not been the case at the Candidates tournament currently underway in Berlin. Through the first seven rounds, 40 percent of the games were decisive, often because the players pressed on long after they might have agreed to a draw in another tournament.

The reason is clear: The winner of the tournament will receive 95,000 euros, but, more importantly, he will earn the right to play Magnus Carlsen, the reigning world champion, in a title match in London this November. As Wesley So of the United States, one of the participants, observed at the start of the competition: Second place really doesn’t matter.

There was only one decisive result on Monday in Round 8, but it was not for lack of effort. Only one game – between Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and Sergey Karjakin of Russia – did not reach at least the first-time control (40 moves), and the players only agreed to a draw in that game because the position was completely balanced and symmetrical.

In the longest game of the day, Alexander Grischuk of Russia beat Vladimir Kramnik, a compatriot and former world champion, after Kramnik made a seemingly innocuous move that allowed Grischuk to manufacture two passed pawns on either side of the board.

The victory moved Grischuk into sole possession of third place, one point behind the leader, Fabiano Caruana of the United States, and a half point behind Mamedyarov.

The tournament is being organized by World Chess, the commercial partner of the World Chess Federation (FIDE), the game’s governing body. The prize fund is 420,000 euros.

The format is a double round-robin, with the eight players facing all the other competitors twice, once with each color.

The venue for the tournament is K?hlhaus (or “cool house” in English), an industrial building in central Berlin that was built in the early 20th century as a cold-storage facility for fresh produce.

Among the principal sponsors of the tournament are PhosAgro, a giant Russian fertilizer company; Kaspersky Lab, a global cybersecurity firm; E.G. Capital Advisors, an investment management company; S.T. Dupont, a global luxury goods maker; Prytek, a venture capital firm; and Isklar, a Norwegian mineral water company.

IMG 4515

Monday, the ceremonial first move was made by Elisabeth Paehtz, Germany’s top female player.

IMG 4553

Grischuk had White against Kramnik, who employed the sharp Tarrasch Defense in the Queen’s Gambit Declined. Kramnik’s choice, which is a bit unusual at the top level, may have been inspired by the tournament’s location, as the opening is named for Siegbert Tarrasch, a great German player of the early 20th century.

After 16 moves, Kramnik was down a pawn, but the activity of his pieces and his compact pawn structure gave him roughly equal chances. Grischuk was able to hang on to his extra booty with careful maneuvers, but the game seemed to be heading for a draw until Kramnik made a normal-looking move, 76 … Bf4+, that move forced Grischuk’s king closer to his king-side pawns. That made all the difference as Grischuk was able to force an exchange of his knight for one of Kramnik’s bishops, leaving both players with dark-squared bishops, but with Grischuk having two outside passed pawns. Kramnik could stop one, but not both, and soon had to resign.

With the loss, Kramnik, who was leading the tournament only a few rounds earlier, has dropped into a tie for fifth with Karjakin, two points behind Caruana.

IMG 4543

Caruana’s game against So was a long, hard battle, though that is not the way it started. Indeed, Caruana, who was Black, chose the Petroff (or Russian) Defense, for the second time in the tournament. Normally that is a prelude to a quick, bloodless draw. But just as the first time in which he used the defense (against Kramnik, whom he beat), the game turned out to be anything but short and boring.

Caruana fell behind in his development, but in the Petroff, unlike in so many other openings, that is not automatically fatal. So tried, perhaps too hard, to do something with his initiative, but failed. As Caruana began to uncoil his pieces, he was actually able to seize the initiative.

So then gambled, dropping one of his knights deep behind enemy lines, with no way out. Though he was able to win a pawn, his knight was soon in dire straits. Only an exchange sacrifice allowed So to extricate his knight. Fortunately for him, So also won a second pawn, giving him roughly material equality.

From there he was able to systematically force exchanges of pawns, until Caruana’s last pawn was off the board. At that point, So only had a knight against Caruana’s rook, but that is a draw with best defense. Rather than test So’s technique, Caruana traded off the last pieces, content to preserve his lead for another day.

So remains tied for last, with three points.

IMG 4526

The player who shares So’s unhappy position for the moment is Levon Aronian of Armenia. Monday, he faced Ding Liren of China, with the Black pieces.

Ding chose the Catalan opening and Aronian seemed well on his way to achieving equality. But perhaps anxious to shake things up, Aronian gambled, sacrificing a pawn for activity for his pieces. An unusual position arose in which both kings were unable to castle and it was unclear whose king was potentially in more danger.

Eventually, Ding was able to force an exchange of queens, but at the price of ruining his pawn structure. He sacrificed that extra pawn in order to activate his rook, but it only led to equality. After repeating moves, the players agreed to a draw.

Ding is alone in fourth place, with four points. He is still the only player with neither a win nor a loss in the competition.

IMG 4580

The game between Mamedyarov, who had White, and Karjakin, had some interesting moments early on. But after a series of exchanges in the early middlegame, the symmetrical nature of the position left neither player with much to play for and they agreed to a draw.

Round 9 is Tuesday at 3 PM, local Berlin time. The tournament can be watched live at, the official site of the World Championship.

Round 8 Photo Gallery

Source: World Chess Federation – FIDE

Candidates’ Tournament R8: Grischuk Outwits Kramnik

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

He didn’t overpress this time, but how Vladimir Kramnik missed several draws and eventually lost his game to Alexander Grischuk was still painful. Fabiano Caruana drew with Wesley So and kept his lead in round eight of the 2018 FIDE Candidate…

Source: – Play. Learn. Share.