El Torneo Magistral Ciudad de León, one of the great classics of the international circuit, celebrates this year a very special anniversary, its thirtieth edition, with its traditional format with four players and a cup system with semifinals and final that has been and is imitated in many world-class chess events. This system, which makes the competition much more interesting, avoids the famous and dreaded draws without a fight, one of the hurdles of high level chess.

Wesley So is on course to play a 4-game rapid match against Vishy Anand on Sunday in the final of the 2017 León Masters, but it wasn’t easy! In the first game of his semi-final against Jan-Krzysztof Duda he inexplicably blundered his queen on move 17 and had no choice but to resign. He got nothing in the next game but then levelled the score in an endgame grind in Game 3. The final game was going the young Polish player’s way, but when his attack stalled Wesley took over and ensured no tiebreaks were required.

Wesley So is on course to play a 4-game rapid match against Vishy Anand on Sunday in the final of the 2017 León Masters, but it wasn’t easy! In the first game of his semi-final against Jan-Krzysztof Duda he inexplicably blundered his queen on move 17 and had no choice but to resign. It’s not often you beat the world no. 3 in 17 moves. He got nothing in the next game but then levelled the score in an endgame grind in Game 3. The final game was going the young Polish player’s way, but when his attack stalled Wesley took over and ensured no tiebreaks were required.

This year there’s again a fascinating line-up. Vishy Anand has won the tournament 9 times, including last year, while Wesley So needs no introduction as the world no. 3. Jan-Krzysztof Duda, meanwhile, is a 19-year-old Polish player who has just broken into the 2700 club, with only Wei Yi, who won León in 2014 and 2015, both younger and higher rated. Duda also won the 2014 European Rapid Championship and finished runner-up in the Blitz Championship in the same year, so is no pushover at fast time controls. The final player is Jaime Santos, who as a 2542-rated International Master looks somewhat out of place until you realise the 21-year-old Spanish player is from León and is being given a chance to compete against the best.

See also:

Jul 10, 2016

EC Global backs chess in schools

The positive impacts of the game of chess are well documented, including boosting mental alertness, promoting problem-solving skills, optimizing memory improvement and enhancing creativity and foresight.

Over the years, studies have demonstrated the inherent link between playing the game of chess and the overall academic improvement of students particularly in the areas of reasoning and critical thinking.

Based on this premise, the National Community Foundation have been the champions of chess in schools for the last decade. On July 7th, approximately 70 registered students representing primary and secondary schools across the island, converged at the Castries Town Hall for the Annual Schools Chess Tournament. This one day event is a culmination of the ongoing Chess in Schools programme where students are exposed to the game by either joining a chess club at the secondary school level, or as part of the curriculum at primary schools.

The event was organized by the NCF in collaboration with presenting sponsor EC Global Insurance, a partnership between the two entities which spans 9 out of the last 10 years of the tournament’s existence.

According to Agency & Operations Manager of EC Global, Anne Marie Herman, “This investment for us at EC Global, is a sound one, which continues to have a positive impact on the academic performance and the holistic development of our students. We remain committed to the growth of this programme. This incredible programme has continued to support the development of the critical thinking and reasoning ability of our young people – skills which of course have a direct, positive impact on the academic performance of our students – as evidenced by the remarkable performance of previous tournament participants in the achievement of their educational and career pursuits.”

From the point of view of EC Global, all the students are winners as their avid participation in the games will continue to make a difference in their critical thinking and reasoning abilities. Special thanks were extended to the staff of NCF, teachers, students, facilitators and former students of the programme, who continue to give of themselves towards the development of the chess programme in Saint Lucia.

Source

Dec 12, 2020

Russian Superfinals Round 5 -6

Sergey Karjakin and Ian Nepomniachtchi continue to lead the Russian Championship Superfinal after scoring 4.5/6. Friday is a rest day, before they meet head-to-head on Saturday, when Nepomniachtchi will have the white pieces. Meanwhile in the women’s section 19-year-old Polina Shuvalova continues her amazing run. She’s now racked up six wins in six rounds, with her closest pursuer, Aleksandra Goryachkina, a full 1.5 points behind.

Round 5 was relatively calm in the men’s section, with five draws and only one decisive game.

Sergey Karjakin was playing Aleksey Goganov, who sprung a surprise on move 6 by playing a new idea in the Catalan Opening, 6.Nh3!? According to the chess24 database, that was the first time the move had been seen at grandmaster level. It brought nothing significant, however, with Karjakin calmly exchanging all the pieces to enter a slightly more pleasant queen ending, which after the exchange of queens became an absolutely drawn pawn ending.

Ian Nepomniachtchi decided to test his opponent Nikita Vitiugov in a long theoretical variation of the Scotch Game. Nikita turned out to be prepared and the game ended in a forced draw by 3-fold repetition on move 25.

While only one game was decisive among the men in Round 5, there was only one draw in the women’s section – Alina Kashlinskaya was unable to win a rook ending against Natalia Pogonina.

Polina Shuvalova scored a fifth win in a row. Her opponent Valentina Gunina put up long and stubborn resistance, but on move 79 she had to concede defeat.

Alexandra Kosteniuk managed to get back to 50% after suffering two losses at the start. Her opponent, Tatiana Getman, allowed a black pawn to advance to c2 and was unable to find counterplay on the kingside. After mass exchanges the endgame with such a pawn was absolutely hopeless for White.

You can follow all the Russian Championship Superfinal games with English and Russian commentary on chess24 from 13:00 CET each day! Open | Women

See also:

  • Official website
  • Russian Championship games with computer analysis: Open | Women
  • Russian Superfinals 1-2: Karjakin and Nepo among the leaders
  • Russian Superfinals 3: Karjakin and Shuvalova lead
  • Russian Superfinals 4: Nepo catches Karjakin
Sep 20, 2018

Soon 2018 Chess World Championship match begins in London

With less than two months to go before the 2018 World Championship match begins in London, Magnus Carlsen spoke to Norwegian media at his training camp in the Kragerø Resort southwest of Oslo. He was hoping the pressure of playing a match for the first time will tell on Fabiano Caruana, but had no illusions it was going to be easy, describing Fabi as a player he’s long felt had “the strength to be almost at my level”.

Magnus describes Fabiano Caruana as, “on paper the absolute worst World Championship opponent”, meaning the one most likely to pose him problems. He comments:

…I’ve long felt that Caruana has the strength to be almost at my level, but he hasn’t been stable enough. This year he’s been very stable, and it’s meant that he’s approached my rating and qualified for a battle that’s going to be very tough…

So what will Magnus do other than attempt to get off to a fast start? Well, understandably he wasn’t going into any details, but he did give an indication of what he wasn’t planning to do. When asked if he would adapt his game to his opponent’s style, he commented:

It’s difficult to do and also not so wise. I think I should be able to dictate the game rather than focusing too much on him. I know a little about what he’s good and bad at, but I don’t want to adjust too much, because then I won’t be playing to my own strengths.

Magnus is one of the few top players skipping the Olympiad, but he’s expected to play in the European Club Cup in October, while he’s also planning a trip to London to check out the venue and decide where to stay. Before the match he’ll have one more training camp, “somewhere warmer than Kragerø”. That narrows things down!

read more at chess24.com