12-year-old Praggnanandhaa’s win over Awonder Liang in Round 8 of the World Junior Championship in Tarvisio took his performance rating to 2749 and guaranteed him his first grandmaster norm. He might not stop there, though, since with only three rounds to go he’s just half a point behind the leader, Aryan Tari. If he did win the tournament he’d gain the grandmaster title immediately without the need to score two more norms and in the process smash Sergey Karjakin’s record to become the youngest grandmaster in history.

Praggnanandhaa may be only 12 years and 3 months old, but he’s already been the youngest international master in history and it’s been obvious for some time now that he was ready to perform at a grandmaster level. He hit the 2500 rating requirement on his birthday in August, but just missed out on a first grandmaster norm when he lost in the last round of the HZ Tournament to Eduardo Iturrizaga.

He then fell short in the Sants Open, the Isle of Man International and the Chigorin Memorial, casting doubt on whether he would go on to beat Sergey Karjakin’s record of gaining the grandmaster title at the age of 12 years and 7 months. Now though, despite starting as only the 26th seed in a tournament where players up to the age of 20 are eligible, he’s scored his first grandmaster norm with three rounds still to spare.

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis on chess24: Open | Girls
  • Praggnanandhaa beats World Junior top seed
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
Jan 11, 2017

The three-dimensional version of the Chess Game was around long before Star Trek

If Lieutenant Commander Spock is known for one thing, it’s his signature Vulcan handsign for “Live Long and Prosper.” But if he’s known for a few more things, one of them is definitely his mastery of three-dimensional chess.

Though the board game may look like a sci-fi creation, 3-D chess is actually something that exists on planet Earth—and it was invented many decades before Star Trek.

Three-dimensional chess can refer to any type of chess in which the pieces can move vertically as well as horizontally, usually across a series of stacked boards. Most famously, this variant has appeared as a part of the Star Trek universe, where it is usually referred to as Tridimensional Chess. “I thought, ‘Hm. Interesting.’ But I didn’t pay much attention to it,” says Dr. Leroy Dubeck, President of the U.S. Chess Federation from 1969-1972, when Bobby Fischer won the world championship.

But while the prop designers who came up with Star Trek’s multi-level chess game probably just envisioned it as a futuristic kind of advanced strategy game, an actual version of three-dimensional chess has existed since at least the early 19th century.

Possibly the first version of three-dimensional chess was a German game, created by a doctor, occultist, and sometime inventor named Dr. Ferdinand Maack. In the 1900s, Maack worked on versions of three-dimensional chess throughout his life, later collaborating with his son on variations of the game, with at least one lost variant featuring game pieces fashioned after an okapi. Today he is best remembered for Raumschach, which ironically translates to “space chess,” although the futuristic association with three-dimensional chess wouldn’t come until later.
First unveiled around 1907, the game was inspired by Maack’s belief that if chess were to represent the strategy of actual warfare, then there must also be a representation of aerial and underwater attack, which could be represented by movement up and down a stack of playing fields. After some experimentation, Maack decided that the most effective configuration for the game was five 5X5 chess grids stacked in a tower.

Players start with their pieces lined up on opposite ends of either the top two tiers, or the bottom two. All of the traditional chess (sometimes called “orthochess”) stations are represented—king, queen, bishop, rook, and pawn—but there is also a special piece called the unicorn, the movement of which is tailored to a three-dimensional space. While the other pieces move in an approximation of their same pattern in two-dimensional chess, the unicorn moves diagonally and vertically through the corners of the squares. The win condition of the game is the same as in orthochess: to put the opponent’s king in check, with no further legal moves. It’s just far more difficult.

Unfortunately, despite Maack’s belief in the game, Raumschach never took hold. Dubeck, a lifelong chess master had never even heard of it. But three-dimensional chess, at least in the popular imagination, was far from dead. Other types of tiered chess games have been proposed over the decades, but none saw much popular or commercial success. Save for the fictional version aboard the starship Enterprise.


In the first season of the original Star Trek, Tridimensional Chess was introduced as the popular game of the future. In the episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” the very first scene presents Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Commander Spock as they play a familiar but multi-tiered game that Kirk simply calls, “chess.” The board is split into flying tiers of different-sized grids, and it certainly looks like a set of chess from the future.

The game reappears in subsequent episodes of the series, and a similar but even more futuristic version shows up on Star Trek: The Next Generation. No gameplay guidelines were ever set down on screen, but fans and experts began to create their own rules for the game by the late-1970s. The rules of Tridimensional Chess differ from author to author, but many have gone to great lengths to make the strange board work as a serious chess variation. Some ambitious players have even created variations of “standard” Tridimensional Chess, with in-jokey names like “The Borg Queen,” “Warp Factor,” and “Kobayashi Maru.”

Dubeck himself even worked on a version of official rules to accompany a licensed replica of the game, although the only thing he really remembers about them is that they weren’t exactly tournament ready. “Anyone who’s actually interested in chess, they’re going to want to stick with the usual board,” he says. “The purpose of this would be to sell it to Star Trek fans who would want it sitting at their table, to show off that they got a set.”

According to Dubeck, becoming a 3-D chess wiz could even make you worse at traditional chess. “If you start fooling around with something three-dimensional, it may be confusing your mind while playing at regular chess, so it may actually work negatively,” he says. “Therefore, why should I spend time on something I can’t use, which in fact may make me a worse chess player?”

Article source

Jan 18, 2021

2021 Chess Calendar

The 2020 Chess Calendar was laid to waste by the coronavirus epidemic, though the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour and other online events rose from the ashes. 2021 is guaranteed to see the $1.5 million Champions Chess Tour played out in monthly events until the Grand Final in September, but if the virus permits it’s a year that could also see the Candidates Tournament completed, a World Championship match, two World Cups, two Grand Swisses, the Grand Chess Tour and much more.

Current and upcoming tournaments:

January 2021

January 16 – 31 | Tata Steel Masters | Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands

This year’s 83rd edition of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament has been cut to just the main event due to COVID-19, but if everything goes as planned that will still mean a 14-player round-robin featuring Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave from the world’s Top 5 and a host of young talents that include 17-year-old Alireza Firouzja.

Links: official websitechess24

January 18 – 29 [POSTPONED – provisionally to Late February] | FIDE Women’s Grand Prix | Gibraltar

The 4th and final stage of the 2019-2020 FIDE Grand Prix is taking place in the Caleta Hotel venue that would normally host the Gibraltar Masters, impossible this year due to travel restrictions. After the 12-player event ends we’ll know the two players who qualify to the next FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament, which is pencilled in for the first quarter of the year.

Links: official website

January 23 – 31 [POSTPONED] | Moscow Open | Moscow, Russia

A big, traditional open with a myriad of separate events.

Links: official website

February 2021

February 6 – 14 | Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Leg 3 | chess24

The 3rd stage of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour and the second Regular event, with 16 players and a $100,000 prize fund.

Links: Meltwater Champions Chess Tour

March 2021

March 13 – 21 | Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Leg 4 | chess24

The 4th stage of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour and the second Major, with 12 players and a $200,000 prize fund.

Links: Meltwater Champions Chess Tour

March 27 – 28 | Chess Bundesliga Rounds 9-10 | Germany

The 2019/2020 German Chess League was suspended after 8 rounds due to the coronavirus. The provisional plan is to complete the rounds in 2021 over three weekends.

Links: official website, chess24

April 2021

Spring 2021 | Candidates Tournament Rounds 8-14 | Yekaterinburg, Russia

The Candidates Tournament that will decide Magnus Carlsen’s next World Championship challenger was started in March 2020 despite a pandemic beginning to take hold around the world. The worst fears of Teimour Radjabov and others proved justified when the event had to be stopped halfway, with Teimour’s late replacement Maxime Vachier-Lagrave joining Ian Nepomniachtchi in the lead. The saga of trying to resume the event has dragged on ever since, with the outcome still uncertain.

Links: official website, chess24

April 1 – 5 | GRENKE Chess Open | Karlsruhe, Germany

The massive GRENKE Chess Open was the kind of event that was never going to be possible to hold in 2020. The prospects for 2021 are unclear, but if it is held it’ll again take place over the Easter weekend – Easter Sunday is April 4th. The hope is to accompany it with the GRENKE Chess Classic super-tournament, which from 2017-2019 was won by Levon Aronian, Fabiano Caruana and Magnus Carlsen.

Links: official website

April 10 – 18 | 20th Bangkok Chess Club Open | Thailand

The Bangkok Chess Club Open was postponed and then cancelled as global air traffic shut down in 2020. 2-time Champion Jan Gustafsson will be among those hoping things go better in 2021.

Links: official website

April 24 – May 2 | Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Leg 5 | chess24

The 5th stage of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour and the 3rd Regular event, with 16 players and a $100,000 prize fund.

Links: Meltwater Champions Chess Tour

April 24 – 25 | Chess Bundesliga Rounds 11-12 | Germany

The 2nd of three weekends on which the 2019-2020 German Chess League is planned to be completed, with matches taking places in different cities around Germany.

Links: official website

May 2021

May 14 – 16 | Chess Bundesliga Rounds 13-15 | Berlin, Germany

The planned climax for the 2019-2020 German Chess League would see all the teams once again converging on Berlin for the three final rounds.

Links: official website

May 22 – June 2 | European Individual Championship | Reykjavik, Iceland

The Reykjavik Open had to be cancelled in 2020 while in 2021 the plan is for the main event of the Festival to serve as the European Championship, potentially boosting the prestige of a tournament that has largely been viewed as a qualifier for the World Cup.

The event has already been postponed once because of the virus situation. If it can’t be held at these dates the ECU say it may be postponed again to August/September, with players qualifying for the 2023 World Cup instead.

Links: official website

May 23 – 31 | Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Leg 6 | chess24

The 6th stage of the Champions Chess Tour and the third and final Major, with 12 players and a $200,000 prize fund.

Links: Meltwater Champions Chess Tour

May 31 – June 13 | European Women’s Chess Championship | Mamaia, Romania

This 11-round open determines the 2021 European Women’s Champion and also qualification spots for the Women’s World Cup.

Links: official website

June 2021

June 4 – 15 | Superbet Chess Classic | Bucharest, Romania

The 1st event on the 2021 Grand Chess Tour, which plans to follow the cancelled plan for 2020 of having five events and no Grand Final. The tournament in Bucharest is a 12-player classical event featuring all the main tour players, with a $325,000 prize fund.

Links: Grand Chess Tour

June 17 – 22 | Paris Rapid & Blitz | Paris, France

The 2nd leg of the 2021 Grand Chess Tour. The 5-day rapid and blitz tournament will have a $150,000 prize fund.

Links: Grand Chess Tour

June 17 – 26 | Prague Chess Festival | Prague, Czech Republic

The 2nd edition of the Prague Masters, won by Alireza Firouzja, was the last major chess tournament to be completed in 2020 before the virus shut down chess life. A 3rd edition, again with a Masters, Challengers and Open, is planned for 2021, but the dates have been pushed back to June due to the virus situation.

Links: official website   

June 26 – July 4 | Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Leg 7 | chess24

The 7th stage of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour and the 4th Regular event, with 16 players and a $100,000 prize fund.

Links: Meltwater Champions Chess Tour

July 2021

July 5 – 12 | Croatia Rapid & Blitz | Zagreb, Croatia

The 3rd leg of the 2021 Grand Chess Tour. The 5-day rapid and blitz tournament will have a $150,000 prize fund.

Links: Grand Chess Tour

July 10 – August 6 | FIDE World Cup | Sochi, Russia

An expanded 206-player World Cup knockout tournament is provisionally planed to start in Sochi on July 10th, with the 50 top seeds starting their campaigns from Round 2. The prize fund has been raised to $1.89 million, with the two finalists both qualifying for the next Candidates Tournament. The final is this time cut from four games to two, the same length as all the other rounds (with rapid and blitz playoffs in case of a tie).

A Women’s World Cup is planned to be held at the same time with 103 players, a $676,000 prize fund and three places in the Women’s Candidates Tournament at stake.

Links: FIDE

July 13 – 18 | Sparkassen Chess Trophy | Dortmund, Germany

The virus prevented this new look tournament in Dortmund from taking off in 2020, but it’s back for 2021, with a series of opens with a €50,000 prize fund.

Links: official website

July 17 – 28 | Biel Chess Festival | Biel/Bienne, Switzerland

The Biel Chess Festival was one of the first top level tournaments to be held successfully after coronavirus restrictions eased in summer 2020, and it plans to be back for a 54th edition in 2021. In recent years it’s experimented with combining classical, rapid and blitz chess.

Links: official website

July 31 – August 8 | Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Leg 8 | chess24

The 8th stage of the Champions Chess Tour and the 5th Regular event, with 16 players and a $100,000 prize fund.

Links: Meltwater Champions Chess Tour

August 2021

August 10 – 15 | St. Louis Rapid & Blitz | Saint Louis, USA

The 4th leg of the 2021 Grand Chess Tour. The 5-day rapid and blitz tournament will have a $150,000 prize fund.

Links: Grand Chess Tour

August 17 – 27 | Sinquefield Cup | Saint Louis, USA

The 8th edition of the Sinquefield Cup is the 5th and final stage of the 2021 Grand Chess Tour. The 12-player classical event has a $325,000 prize fund and will also finalise who wins the additional $175,000 in prize money for the overall tour standings.

Links: Grand Chess Tour

August 28 – September 5 | Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Leg 9 | chess24

The 9th stage of the Champions Chess Tour and the 6th Regular event, with 16 players and a $100,000 prize fund. This will be the last chance for players to qualify for the Grand Final.

Links: Meltwater Champions Chess Tour

September 2021

Sep 25 – October 3 |  Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Final | San Francisco, USA

The Grand Final of the 2021 Meltwater Champions Chess Tour will be a $300,000 10-player round-robin featuring the top players on the tour. It’s going to be held in the San Francisco headquarters of the tour’s name sponsors Meltwater. The players will be handicapped based on their performance over the year.

Links: Meltwater Champions Chess Tour

October 2021

October 25 – November 8 | FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss | Douglas, Isle of Man

As in 2019 the traditional open tournament on the Isle of Man will become a FIDE Candidates Tournament qualifier, with the $425,000 main event now offering two places in the Candidates as well as a $70,000 top prize. This year it’s accompanied by a $125,000 FIDE chess.com Women’s Grand Swiss, with 50 players and at least one qualifier to a Women’s Candidates Tournament.

Links: official website

November 2021

November 11 – 22 | European Team Chess Championship | Terme Olimia, Slovenia

This biennial European event for national chess teams saw Russia claim double gold when it was last held in Batumi, Georgia in 2019.

Links: official website

November 27 – December 5 | European Chess Club Cup | Ohrid, North Macedonia

An annual team event for chess clubs based in Europe, though players can come from around the world.

Links: official website

November 27 – December 5 | European Women’s Chess Club Cup | Monaco

The women’s event is taking place at the same time as the open tournament, but at a different venue.

Links: official website

November-December | World Chess Championship Match | Dubai, UAE

If the Candidates Tournament is successfully completed in the first half of 2021 the plan is to hold the match between the winner and current World Champion Magnus Carlsen in Dubai as part of Expo 2020, which has now been rescheduled to begin on October 1, 2021. It’s already been announced that the match will feature 14 games rather than 12, with a prize fund of at least €2 million.