Just three days ago Russian ex-World Champion Vladimir Kramnik was ahead of Wesley So in the world no. 2 spot. Now, after losing first to So and now to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, he trails Wesley by a whopping 14.4 rating points and has dropped below Fabiano Caruana to world no. 4. Wesley, meanwhile, ground another Russian player into dust, making Sergey Karjakin pay a heavy price for entering a worse minor piece ending. Veselin Topalov escaped an opening gone wrong to beat Pavel Eljanov and join So and Adams a full point behind Mamedyarov.

Tune in for all the action with commentary by GMs Igor Khenkin and Ljubomir Ljubojevic click here

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Feb 24, 2017

Sharjah GP 4-5: Adams bounced back to beat Jon Ludvig Hammer

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov joined Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the Sharjah Grand Prix lead by beating Mickey Adams in Round 4 on a day when Nakamura and MVL set the tone by drawing their top board encounter in 18 moves. The only other decisive action was an attacking win for Li Chao over Tomashevsky that Pepe Cuenca has analysed for us. Pepe got to cover a very different game in Round 5, when Adams bounced back to beat Jon Ludvig Hammer in one of his trademark positional masterclasses.

In the other game Mickey Adams showed the skill and resilience that have kept him near the top at the age of 45. His understated description of his win over Jon Ludvig Hammer as “quite nice” is enough to know it’s something special! Pepe Cuenca also took an in-depth look at that game:

 

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis on chess24
Sep 10, 2016

42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku

This year’s Olympiad will be held in Crystal Hall in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan (seating capacity: 25,000) and promises to be one of the finest in chess history. The budget is 13.3 million Euros and preparations reflect that commitment. ChessBase will be covering the event extensively. Here for starts is a preview of previous Chess Olympiads by someone who has attended them all since 1992. Enjoy a long interesting trip down memory lane.

The traditional chess Olympiad is beginning on the 1st of September and for chess players it is the true chess festival, an amalgamation of the top elite players battling for the medals alongside amateur teams from some of the smallest countries in the world. It is also the only major event where the number of female participants is close to their male counterparts. For two weeks everyone plays under one roof, making it a truly special tournament that is held every two years.

Looking ahead to the Baku Olympiad it is more newsworthy to note who is missing from the top teams participating. The real news was the choice of the Armenian Federation to not send a contingent to Baku due to the political climate between Azerbaijan and Armenia. It means that a team who in recent times was twice champions of the Olympiad will not participate.

Such stars of the chess world as Vishy Anand, Peter Svidler, Vassily Ivanchuk, Boris Gelfand are not representing their countries and with the absence of Armenia, it means Levon Aronian will not be present. Vishy Anand has often decided to give Olympiads a miss, with the randomness of the Swiss system, the zero tolerance rule often been quoted as factors.

The Russian federation had ten 2700+ players to choose from, so the absence of Svidler may not be felt. Ivanchuk, who has one of the best Olympiad records in history, is not representing Ukraine reportedly due to his new passion for draughts! A draughts tournament in Poland will be graced by the Ukranian but the chess world hopes that one of its modern day geniuses will soon be back pushing knights and bishops instead!

The absence of Boris Gelfand for Israel and for that matter Emil Sutovsky seems to be due to a dispute with their own chess federation. For lovers of chess it brings a touch of sadness to know these two great fighting, creative players will not be there in Baku representing their country.

The Russian team are the traditional favourites by rating but have not been successful in recent years, they could put together various strong teams and have gone for the lineup of Vladimir Kramnik, Sergey Karjakin, Alexander Grischuk, Evgeny Tomashevsky and Ian Nepomniachtchi. It seems incredible that the last time the Russian team was successful was in Bled, 2002. In that event the team comprised of Garry Kasparov, Alexander Grischuk, Alexander Khalifman, Alexander Morozevich, Peter Svidler and Sergey Rublevsky. In recent editions of the Olympiad teams with a great team chemistry have been successful, like Armenia and China, so it will be interesting to see whether the Russian team can live up to top billing.

Chess Base

Feb 23, 2017

Tehran WWCh Round 4 Tie-breakes: Harika Dronavalli wins

The tie-break of the Women’s World Chess Championship was played in Espinas Palace Hotelon February 22. Only two players Harika Dronavalli and Nana Dzagnidze returned to the venue to determine the last semifinalist in rapid and blitz games.

In the first rapid game Harika Dronavalli sacrificed a pawn but got enough compensation by keeping a pair of bishops and getting some space advantage. Nana Dzagnidze transfered the game into the rook ending, which computer estimates as an equalone. “Most probably Nana could have made a draw but I think it was easier for me to play this ending”, said Harika at the post-game interview.

For the second time during this match Nana was in a must-win situation but this time Harika didn’t give any chance for her opponent. The final position in the seocnd game was winning for Indian player but she prefered to force a draw, which garanteed her a place in the semifinal.

Four players continue competing for the chess crown: Tan Zhongyi (China) faces Harika Dronavalli (India), and Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia) meets Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine). These matches consist of two games with the following time control: 90 minutes for 40 moves, then 30 minutes for the rest of the game, plus 30 bonus seconds after each move. If the match is tied 1-1, it is continued on the tie-break with quicker time controls.

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis on chess24