The Paris tournament of the Grand Chess Tour, running from June 21-25 started with exciting chess from the players, and many dramatic reversals. Both Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So took off with 2.5/3, but it was really Carlsen’s show as he displayed excellent form on the first day. With many games and snippets, here is the illustrated report by GM Alex Yermolinsky.

The Paris tournament of the Grand Chess Tour is running from June 21-25. It is a combination of Rapid and Blitz games. The ten participants are Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Alexander Grischuk, Sergey Karjakin, Veselin Topalov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Etienne Bacrot. They will play nine rapid games, three a day, from June 21–23. The games start at 14:00h, 15:30h and 17:00h European Standard Summer Time. The Blitz tournament is on June 24 and 25, with nine rounds on each day, starting at 14:00h. The total prize fund is $150,000!

Note that the event is using the Bronstein mode: the players have 25 minutes for all the moves of a rapid game, and a ten second delay per move. This means that the clock does not run for ten seconds – the point is that you cannot accumulate time by playing very quickly in the Bronstein Mode.

This year’s Grand Chess Tour Series kicked off today with a Rapid/Blitz event in Paris. There will be two more similar tournaments, next week in Leuven and in August in St. Louis. It is interesting how this series, the brainchild of Garry Kasparov, has morphed into a combination of three different kinds of chess. Perhaps, it wasn’t Garry’s original intention, but as he himself admitted in his recent interview, it’s getting harder to find sponsors for classical time control tournaments willing to join the Tour. I guess the organizers in Norway and other places prefer to have their own exclusive event with a full control over selection of participants. Garry talks about adding one more Rapid/Blitz event in 2018 – surely a sign of the times.

Before the start of the tournament, the main question was how Magnus Carlsen would respond to his recent string of mediocre (by his standards) results. Magnus gave an emphatic answer by scoring two wins and one draw on the opening day, albeit not without some cooperation from his opponents. First he drew Grischuk with Black in a solid, error-free game. Then came a game against one of his favorite opponents not named Hikaru.

This win brought Carlsen’s advantage in their head-to-head encounters to +17-3=11. Some head scratching for Shak to do.


This is how without doing anything in particular, Carlsen took the lead and pushed his rapid rating over 2900.One wonders if his opponents will continue their blundering ways, and what happens if they stop.

Level with Carlsen is Wesley So, also with 2.5/3. Actually, it’s 5/6, as rapid games in this tournament count twice as much as blitz games to give some balance to scoring in two different disciplines. Wesley’s path to a good start was even rockier. He could have easily lost the following game in the first round.  read more on chessbase

So the standings after Day 2 of rapid chess are as follows:

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis on chess24
  • Kasparov on hand for Paris Grand Chess Tour launch
  • Paris Grand Chess Tour Day 1: Carlsen and So lead


Jan 27, 2019

Magnus Carlsen ground out a 71-move at Tata Steel 2019

Magnus Carlsen ground out a 71-move, 6.5-hour win over Jan-Krzysztof Duda to take a half-point lead into the last round showdown with Anish Giri. It could have been a full point, but just when Giri was wondering what to say about defeat in the post-game interview Teimour Radjabov offered a draw. Elsewhere Sam Shankland bounced back to beat Ian Nepomniachtchi and Vladimir Kramnik picked up a second win in a row against Vladimir Fedoseev. In the Challengers Vladislav Kovalev remains the heavy favourite after beating Elisabeth Paehtz to take the lead.

The final round of Tata Steel Chess begins 1.5 hours earlier than usual at noon, and needless to say you don’t want to miss Giri-Carlsen. If Anish can win the game he’d not only win the tournament but start February as an official member of the 2800 club.

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis on chess24: Masters | Challengers
  • Tata Steel Chess 2019 Preview
  • Tata Steel 2019, 1: Nepo and Anand snatch early lead
  • Tata Steel 2019, 2: The Dutch strike back
  • Tata Steel 2019, 3: Nepo beats Kramnik to lead
  • Tata Steel 2019, 4: Giri and Vidit win
  • Tata Steel 2019, 5: Magnus breaks the streak
  • Tata Steel 2019, 6: Carlsen and Giri hit the front
  • Tata Steel 2019, 7: Insane chess
  • Tata Steel 2019, 8: Carlsen and Anand take the lead
  • Tata Steel 2019, 9: Nepo catches Magnus and Vishy
  • Tata Steel 2019, 10: Vintage Carlsen beats Anand
  • Tata Steel 2019, 11: Shankland commits hara-Giri
Oct 22, 2017

Globus & Batumi are Euro Club Cup Champs

Vladimir Kramnik, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Anish Giri and Ian Nepomniachtchi all won as Globus finished with a flourish to claim the 2017 European Club Cup. That win wouldn’t have helped if Odlar Yurdu had won their match, but the Azeri team finally fell at the finish to AVE Novy Bor after Sasikiran beat Nijat Abasov. They still took bronze medals, with last year’s winner Alkaloid taking silver. The women’s event unexpectedly became a thriller but top seeds Batumi ultimately scraped the draw they needed to win the title.

Globus take the title
The Russian team Globus started the 33rd European Club Cup as the big favourites with a stunning 2772 average rating for their top six players, but they didn’t have it easy. They only drew their Round 5 match against Odlar Yurdu by a miracle and then went into the last round a point behind their Azeri rivals, knowing they needed to win and hope for the best elsewhere. Their opponents, Legacy Square Capital, had only lost a single match, and by a single point, so were expected to put up stiff opposition. In the end, though, they were swept aside by a Globus team finally firing on all cylinders!

Batumi win a photo-finish
The women’s section seemed to be all but over after the penultimate round, with Batumi Chess Club NONA needing only a draw against a weaker team to take gold while Odlar Yurdu looked guaranteed silver medals. In the end, though, there was more excitement than in the open section!

So that’s all for the 2017 European Club Cup. We’d like to thank the organisers for transmitting all the games live with almost no issues, broadcasting an excellent live show each day, hiring a great photographer and having one of the best Twitter accounts of any top tournament. Let’s end with the traditional “chess after chess” photo!

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis here at chess24: Open | Women
  • Euro Club Cup 1: Who needs Kramnik?
  • Euro Club Cup 2: Champions overthrown
  • Euro Club Cup 3: Calm Karjakin wins wild battle
  • Euro Club Cup 4-5: Kramnik & Grischuk escape
  • Euro Club Cup 6: Last round thriller


Nov 25, 2020

Skilling Open 3: 17-year-old Alireza Firouzja stunning three wins in a row

Magnus Carlsen survived a blunder against Hikaru Nakamura in the first round of the day to win the Skilling Open prelims, but the main drama was elsewhere. 17-year-old Alireza Firouzja seemed to have wrapped up a quarterfinal spot with a stunning three wins in a row, but losses in the last two rounds meant heartbreak. After leading for two days, Anish Giri only scraped into the quarterfinals in 8th place and now faces Carlsen, while world no. 2 Ding Liren, who went into the round in 2nd place, is also out.

Carlsen-Giri in particular is sure to be intense, while Carlsen and Nakamura finishing in 1st and 2nd places in the prelims means we’re potentially headed for another Magnus vs. Hikaru final. There’s a long way to go before that, however. Tune in to all the action from 18:00 CET on Wednesday!

Read more on chess24
Skilling’s official coverage

See also:

  • Champions Chess Tour website
  • All the Skilling Open Preliminary games with computer analysis
  • The King’s Gambit: Magnus Carlsen launches $1.5 million Champions Chess Tour
  • What’s new in the Champions Chess Tour?
  • Nakamura and Firouzja complete Skilling Open lineup
  • Introducing the new Skilling Open commentary teams
  • Skilling Open 1: Giri leads mouse-slipping Carlsen
  • Skilling Open 2: Giri still leads after Karjakin beats Carlsen