It has been a busy few weeks in the world of chess, with the 117th annual US Open recently concluding in Indianapolis and the Sinquefield Cup entering the homestretch in St. Louis.

The US Open ended with former US champion Alexander Shabalov and Israeli grand master Gil Popilski tying for first with scores of 8-1. Shabalov won the “Armageddon” game for the title, earning him an extra $200 and a spot in next year’s US championship at the St. Louis Chess Club.

The event had 396 players, and the best-scoring Massachusetts player — and actually the only Massachusetts resident making the trip to America’s heartland — was professor J. Timothy Sage of Northeastern University, with a 5.5-3.5 score.

Other high-scoring New England attendees were Hal Terry of New Hampshire (5-4) and Rhode Islanders Ryan Sowa (5-4) and Michael McCormick (5-4).

Complete standings of the event be found here


Feb 16, 2019

Chess Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Chess is one of the candidate sports for becoming an additional or demonstration sport in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The candidates were officially presented on the 30th of January by the FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, with the French Chess Federation announcing details today.

This would be huge news for the chess community as it would lead to chess gaining an enormous amount of popularity and becoming much more visible to the world. It has also been an aspiration for many chess players throughout the years to reach the Olympic Games.

Chess has its own Olympiad that takes place every two years. In 1924, the first non-official chess Olympiad took place in Paris, although back then it was played individually. Three years later, the first official Chess Olympiad took place in London and would lead to chess gaining an enormous amount of popularity now that it would be more visible to the world. It has also been an aspiration throughout the years to reach the Olympic Games. Hungary was able to take home the victory. Already a tradition that has lasted 43 editions over the years, the Chess Olympiad has become a truly magnificent event. In the 2018 Olympiad in Batumi, China was the absolute winner as they won both the Open and Female sections!

If chess would become an Olympic sport, it would be true to say that the dreams and aspirations that FIDE has had for years would come true. The publicity and exposure that a sport gets from participating in the Olympic Games can barely be compared with almost any other event in the world – it would be a great opportunity! We shouldn’t set our hopes and expectations too high, though, as the competition is very big and there is still a very long process ahead.

The president of the organizing committee of the Olympic Games in Paris 2024, Tony Estanguet, a former canoer who in his day won three gold medals in the Olympic Games in Sydney, Athens and London, gave two clues to what they will be looking for in the final selection of the demonstration sports in Paris: that the sport has a tradition in France and that the sport “speaks” to French youth. Let’s really hope that Estanguet believes chess meets these requirements! The competition to take part in the exhibition of Paris is huge and it has been widely spoken about the possibility of “e-sports” taking part in these Olympic Games of 2024. Nevertheless, the relationship between chess and electronic sports is closer than we think, and there are several voices that indicate that we should be getting closer and closer with time, as electronic sports keep increasing in popularity. Chess has in its favour the history of being a traditional sport as well as being more beneficial in many aspects than modern electronic sports.

FIDE has already announced that they will be putting together a big social media campaign highlighting the fact that this is a real opportunity for us to show our discipline, and the success of our initiatives will depend upon the movements we organize.
From chess24 we support all the initiatives taken in the matter and we have already started to share on our social platforms the #ChessinParis2024 hashtag.
Will we see chess in Paris 2024?

May 28, 2016

Sergey Karjakin has much to prove before clash with Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin are both eager for action as the Norwegian and the Russian limber up for their world title match in November but it is Karjakin who has the headaches due to poor form after blundering his queen in an even position on Friday afternoon against Anish Giri, the world No8 from the Netherlands.
Sergey Karjakin has much to prove before clash with Magnus Carlsenin this Pal Benko endgame. Can you find White’s only move to win?

He fought on for 68 moves until another blunder led to mate. After this debacle Carlsen’s challenger will be desperate to get back on the winning trail on Saturday (12noon BST start, live and free on the internet) when he meets India’s Pentala Harikrishna, the joint leader of the elite tournament at Shamkir, Azerbaijan.

Karjakin is still ranked only No9 globally despite his victory in the Moscow candidates tournament which decided Carlsen’s challenger, and his recent performance at the Russian team event in Sochi was a low-key 1/3 total. He lost to Peter Svidler in Moscow v St Petersburg, an expensive defeat since the match score of 2.5-3.5 meant the Muscovites finished behind their traditional rivals. Karjakin was also under pressure throughout his 138-move marathon against Vlad Kramnik, who missed several winning chances.

Carlsen, who won Shamkir in 2014 and 2015 but is bypassing the Azeri event this year, has little to prove after a fine run of tournament victories which have cemented his No1 ranking. He is instead playing speed chess as a wild card in the four-day $150,000 Grand Tour rapid and blitz events in Paris, starting 9 June, and Brussels, starting 17 June.

Carlsen will be absent from St Louis in August but the Grand Tour schedule leaves open the possibility, if he defeats Karjakin convincingly and wants a victory parade, for him to compete as another wild card in the final event in London in December and so have a chance to repeat his 2015 Grand Tour success. It is an involved concept but everybody wants the world champion in their tournament.

The brave attempt by England’s youngest grandmaster, David Howell, to qualify for the 2017 World Cup via the European Championship in Kosovo came to a gory end when, on 6.5/10 and needing to win his final round as Black to qualify, he took on a Russian GM, also needing a win, in the latter’s favourite variation.

7 Bg5!? is a rare move which is a speciality of the white player. One idea is 10…Na5 11 Bd5 0-0 12 b4 c6 13 Bxf7+, and another is the sacrifice of the f3 knight which occurred below. Howell could have kept the game alive by 14…Rg8! instead of Nb8? and by 17…Kf8! instead of Qe8? but as played he was blown off the board by White’s crushing attack up the g file.

Anton Demchenko v David Howell, Kosovo 2016

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 c3 Nf6 5 d3 a6 6 0-0 Ba7 7 Bg5!? h6 8 Bh4 d6 9 Nbd2 g5 10 Bg3 0-0 11 a4 g4?! 12 Bh4! Kg7 13 Kh1! gxf3 14 Qxf3 Nb8? 15 g4! Nbd7 16 Rg1 Rh8 17 Nf1! Qe8? 18 g5 Ng8 19 gxh6+ Kf8 20 Qg3 Ngf6 21 Qg7+ Ke7 22 Rg6! Rg8 23 Bxf6+ Nxf6 24 Qxf6+ Kd7 25 Bxf7 1-0

3444 1 Kg1! If Rf4 2 Rb5! cxb5 3 b7. If Rh6 2 Re8! Kxe8 3 b7. If c5 2 Rf5! Rxf5 3 b7. If Rd6 2 Re1! (stops Rd1+ and Rb1) c5 3 Rb1 and 4 b7.

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Feb 22, 2023

Levon Aronian retained his lead in R 4 of the WR

Levon Aronian retained his lead going into the rest day as all games were drawn in Round 4 of the WR Chess Masters. Gukesh and Vincent Keymer played a wild game in Round 4 of the WR Chess Masters in Dusseldorf, but in the end it finished in a draw, as, for the first time in the event, did all the other games in the round. According to the computer, Anish Giri came closest to a decisive advantage, against Andrey Esipenko, noting afterwards, “I very often let my opponents escape — it’s part of my job, part of my style!”

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