The 2018 Candidates Tournament will be played in Berlin on 10-28 March. The winner will get a chance to fight for the World Championship title against Magnus Carlsen this November in London. We take a look at each candidate, analyzing his previous participations in similar events and his performance during 2017 and 2018. Let’s take a look at the youngest player in the field, Wesley So.

Wesley So is currently the 4th best rated player in the world with a 2799 rating. He qualified to the 2018 Candidates thanks to his rating average in the 12 official lists of 2017. This will be his first participation in this event. However, let’s review some of his most important achievements in recent years.

At the eighth edition of the Bilbao Chess Masters, played on October 2015, So took first place after defeating Anish Giri in the tiebreaker rounds. It is worth mentioning that the other debutant of this year’s Candidates, Ding Liren, was amongst the participants in that event.

Wesley’s jump to the top of the elite came thanks to an excellent series of results in the second half of 2016, when he took first place in the last two events of the Grand Chess Tour, the Sinquefield Cup and the London Chess Classic. These results, naturally, allowed him to take the first prize in what has become the most demanding series of tournaments in the circuit (in addition to $295.000, accumulated throughout the year).

The finishing touch was his victory at the 2017 Tata Steel Masters, where he finished first with a convincing 9/13, leaving Magnus Carlsen relegated to second place. At that point in time it was declared that the American might be, in practice, the best player in the world.

See also:

  • Official website
  • The Candidates: Sergey Karjakin
Nov 24, 2017

1st European Corporate Chess Championship

Twenty eight (28) teams have already registered for the 1st European Corporate Chess Championship 2017 which will take place in the Town Hall of Honour of the City of Asnières, Paris/France, 24 – 25 November 2017. Among them some well known World brands. The first registrations follow:

Banque of France, Deutsche Bank Frankfurt (Germany), Gazprom (Russia) – 2 teams, Echesspedia (Belgique), KAISSA (France), Leonard (France), Oracle (France), Ville d’Asnières (France), A L’Abri (France), Sberbank (Russia) – ENGIE (France) 2 teams, Abyss Propreté (France), Corsica Flash (France), Champs d’Echecs (France), Kaspersky Lab (Russia), University of Science Amsterdam (Netherlands), Kids Up (France), Opinion Internationale (France), Event Consulting (Greece), Academy Paris (France), Comite ol Paris (France), OCDE1 (France)…

The tournament will be played as a Swiss Open in 9 rounds, with time control 15 minutes per game + 3 seconds per move starting from move 1.

Each team shall be composed of 4 players + 1 substitute player. The team can’t have more than one player over 2400 ELO but should have at least one player below 2000 ELO.

LIVE Games

Any corporate entity is allowed to register up to two teams. Chess Clubs, Chess Associations, and Chess Federations are not allowed to participate in the Championship. For each round at least one player of the team shall have a commercial relation with the company with which he is playing for. Players shall be in rating order in team’s composition (November ratings).

The registration deadline is Thursday 2nd November 2017.

Schedule of the Championship:

Friday, November 24: Rounds 1 – 4 from 3 pm to 7 pm.

Saturday, November 25: Rounds 5 – 9 from 10 am to 5 pm.

Saturday, November 25 at 7.30 pm:  ECU Gala Dinner and award ceremony of the 1st European Corporate Championship.

The total prize fund is 6 000 EUR, including special awards and individual medals. The winning team will be awarded with 3 000 EUR, second team with 2 000 EUR, and the third team with 1 000 EUR.

The organizers have negotiated a special price for the accommodations in the following hotels during the event: Hôtel Residence Europe***, Atypik Hôtel*** and Hôtel Princesse Caroline***.

The invitation is addressed directly to corporate entities, but we kindly ask the National Federations to assist us promote the event in order to strengthen our relations with the business community.

LIVE Games

Official Website

Contact information

In French: Jean-Claude MOINGT +33 6 03 00 47 79

In English and Russian: Deia ARENAS +33 7 70 88 65 28

The Official Invitation can be downloaded below or here

ECU Chess Corporate Championship_2017

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?

Mar 04, 2017

Tan Zhongyi is the new Women’s World Chess Champion

The No9 seed beat Anna Muzychuk and Ju Wenjun on her way to the title in a tournament that was marred by controversy. Tan Zhongyi became the new Women’s World Champion after defeating Anna Muzychuk in tiebreaks. The 25-year-old has kept the title in China, after showing good technique and an astounding competitive spirit. Tan Zhongyi played no less than 34 games, and overcame a number of highly tense encounters.

After a draw in Game 4, the Women’s World Chess Championship final — just like the World Championship in New York — was decided in tiebreaks. A priori, Anna Muzychuk was the favorite given the fact that she obtained an impressive double gold in last year’s Rapid and Blitz World Championships in Qatar. The Ukrainian had White in the first 25-minute game.

The Chinese used the Petroff Defense and, curiously, until move 14 followed a game played by Anna Muzychuk against her sister. That game ended in a peaceful draw in a little over 30 moves, but this one would be different!

3484: David Howell v Das Debaskis, world rapid, Doha 2016. How did the English GM (White, to play) win a pawn down with his bishop attacked?

The world women’s championship in Tehran ended with a shock on Friday afternoon when Tan Zhongyi, the No9 seed but little known outside China, defeated the No2 seed, Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine, in speed tie-breaks to capture the crown. Tan Zhongyi had earlier knocked out the top seed, Ju Wenjun, but two of her other matches went to nine games and she more than once escaped elimination when opponents missed simple winners.

It cannot be called a good result for women’s chess, for Tan Zhongyi’s next move will be a match against Ju Wenjun, who won the women’s Grand Prix to become the official challenger. Two Chinese players, neither of them the all-time No2, Hou Yifan, who did not defend her title due to her dislike of the knock-out format, equals indifference from chess fans.

The championship was controversial from the start. The global chess body Fide awarded it to Iran as the only bidder, a decision which sparked immediate protests which intensified when it became clear that all competitors would be required to wear a hijab headscarf. The Americans and some other leading players boycotted the tournament.

Iran had high hopes for its own players, but all were knocked out early. Coincidentally or not, the Iranian chess federation president marked the occasion by banning two of its players, both resident in Spain, for their conduct at Gibraltar several weeks earlier. A woman IM was penalised for not wearing the hijab at the event and her 15-year-old brother because the organisers accidentally paired him with an Israeli in the opening round, though he only found out later. Normal Fide policy is that Iranians and Israelis are not paired to avoid the probability of a default. The statement from Mehrdad Pahlenanzadeh said that “our national interests have priority over everything” and that he would offer “no leniency”.

Iranian chess has been pilloried in the media this week yet it could be that a positive item for them was the most significant of all. At Moscow Aeroflot, Iran’s national champion, Alireza Firoudja, just 13 years old, played a wonderful tournament, scoring 6/9, his first GM norm, a 2746 rating performance and the youngest 2700 result in chess history. Allowing for age, this is better than all the other current teenage talents except perhaps China’s Wei Yi.

“One of the most boring tournaments I ever played” tweeted a competitor in the €130,000 Fide Grand Prix at Sharjah, where almost 75% of the games were drawn, many before the battle had really started. Russia’s Alex Grischuk played a canny strategy, halving quickly as Black and grinding with White and won on tie-break from Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Shak Mamedyarov, who had led most of the way.

What really mattered were the Grand Prix points which will be added up following Moscow, Geneva and Palma de Mallorca later this year to decide two qualifiers for the 2018 candidates to produce a challenger for the jackpot – Magnus Carlsen’s world crown. The winning trio scored 5.5/9, just half a point in front of Hikaru Nakamura, but they were awarded 140 GP points to the American’s 70.

This means that Naka will be under pressure to win one of his remaining two tournaments, while Levon Aronian’s chances for the candidates have already taken a big hit. The Armenian’s listless 4/9 score earned him just seven GP points.

The Greek Gift Bxh7+ with a devastating attack on the king is one of the best-known tactics at all levels from club player up, so it is bizarre that Black allows it in a world title match. It was well telegraphed when White castled long and Black could have stopped it by 12…Nc5 or 13…f6. There were nuances after the bishop sac, but Muzychuk found the precise 15 Qd3+! and 17 Nxd5! after which Black was lost. In the final stages White’s rook and extra pawns easily crushed Black’s floundering knights.

Anna Muzychuk v Tan Zhongyi

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 e5 Nfd7 5 f4 c5 6 Nf3 Nc6 7 Be3 Be7 8 Qd2 O-O?! 9 dxc5 Bxc5 10 O-O-O Qa5 11 a3 Be7 12 Bd3?! a6?! 13 h4! b5? 14 Bxh7+! Kxh7 15 Qd3+! Kg8 16 Ng5 f5 17 Nxd5! b4 18 Nxe7+ Nxe7 19 Bd2 Rb8 20 Qd6 Qc5 21 Bxb4 Qxd6 22 Bxd6 Ng6 23 Nxe6 Re8 24 Bxb8 Rxe6 25 g3 Bb7 26 Rh2 Nc5 27 Rd8+ Kh7 28 Bd6 Ne4 29 h5 Nh8 30 h6 Nf7 31 Rd7 Rxd6 32 Rxf7 1-0

Moscow’s Aeroflot Open went to Vladimir Fedoseev, 22, who leads a band of ambitious Russians in their late teens and early twenties advancing into the world top 100. None of them look like worrying Carlsen but they could become a team to end Russia’s drought in the 150-nation world Olympiad.

3484 1 Rh8+ Kg6 2 Qg5+! hxg5 3 h5 mate.


See also:

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