Anish Giri drew all 5 games on Day 2 of the Skilling Open, but that was enough to retain the sole lead after Sergey Karjakin took down Magnus Carlsen in the final round of the day. Of the 8 highest classically rated players only Levon Aronian would currently miss out on the knockout stage, with his replacement a certain Hikaru Nakamura. Hikaru fell to a tactical blow from Liem Quang Le in the first game of the day but beat Ian Nepomniachtchi in the last, after karma came back to bite Nepo for three 14-move draws in a row with the white pieces.

The action starts each day at 17:45 CET (11:45 ET) and you can follow it all live here on chess24 with multiple commentary streams in different languages.

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
Jul 16, 2021

FIDE World Cup round 2

Magnus Carlsen looked sharp as he got off to a winning start against birthday boy Sasa Martinovic on Thursday when the big guns joined the FIDE World Cup, but the chess was overshadowed by turmoil caused by COVID-19. Levon Aronian was forced to forfeit against Bobby Cheng, while Fabiano Caruana’s game against Indonesian GM Susanto Megaranto was suddenly stopped midway when test results came back showing Susanto was infected. Fabiano got a win by default, but faces more tests himself.

Round 2 marked the point at which the top 50 seeds in the Open and the top 25 seeds in the Women’s event joined the action, and, given the complexity of travel during the pandemic, it was impressive that there was just one game out of 96 that didn’t start on Thursday. It was a big one, however, with world no. 5 and 2-time World Cup winner Levon Aronian forced to forfeit a game against 24-year-old 2552-rated Australian GM Bobby Cheng. The official communication from FIDE was oddly worded.

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis and commentary on chess24: Open | Women
  • Magnus Carlsen plays the 2021 World Cup
  • FIDE World Cup 2021 pairings are out
  • FIDE World Cup 1.1: The battle begins
  • FIDE World Cup 1.2: 80 players out, 28 tiebreaks
  • FIDE World Cup 1.3: 14-year-old Volodar Murzin scores upset win
Oct 22, 2016

Chess set on sale for $1.65 million

Named Battle of Issus after the second battle Alexander the Great fought against the Persian army (and first clash with Darius III) on November 5, 333 BCE , this impressive, late 20th-century chess set (25 1/2″ wide x 25 1/2″ deep x 10″ high) is considered by Bill Rau, Owner and CEO of M.S. Rau Antiques to be “an exceptional work of art you won’t find anywhere else in the world.”

As expected, like many expensive chess sets out there, a large number of precious stones can be found in this masterpiece. In addition to the pink rhodonite and green malachite that comprise the surface of the board and the bases of all the pieces, there are approximately 4 kilograms of 14K gold, 2.3 kilograms of 24K gold, 5 kilograms of pure silver, 320 grams of garnets, plus accents including pearls, turquoise, rose quartz and enamel that make every part of the design sparkle.

 

Even though all pieces are encrusted with semiprecious stones and brightly hued enamel, every 14K gold game piece is made differently to embody the unique characters of the Battle, including (of course) Alexander the Great, Darius and Athena—Greek goddess of war and wisdom.

Darius III serves as King, while the Persian winged god of war serves as Queen.

Yet, beyond the precious material and beautiful design, what’s particularly impressive about Battle of Issus is its lively rendition of the strategic game. From the subtle details such as laces of the soldiers’ boots to different movements in each piece such as Alexander the Great lowering his sword, archers tensing their bows and horses shaking their manes, it’s evident that that the hard work paid off. Equal amount of attention is poured into the chess table, with sides of board featuring battle scenes sculpted in high relief, heightening the drama of the game board and bringing the historical battle to life.

According to Rau, extensive research was conducted on Greek and Persian customs and clothing, antiquities, sculptures, architecture, and texts to make the chess set as historically accurate as possible. And over the course of ten years, a master jeweler spent more than 14,000 hours crafting each component by hand, ensuring that each chess figure is equipped with different mechanical movements.

So while one may marvel at the impeccable details—like the laces of the soldiers’ boots and the unique movements of each piece such as Alexander the Great lowering his sword, archers tensing their bows and horses shaking their manes, the rest of the chess set is just as impressive. For instance, the sides of the chess table feature battle scenes sculpted in high relief, effectively heightening the drama of the game board and bringing the historical battle to life. The sides of the board showcase intricate battle scenes against a background of pure silver.

Oftentimes, a masterpiece like this may only be used for display. But in the case of the Battle of Issus—a chess set that comes along with custom-crafted mahogany and leather-topped table and two 19th-century leather upholstered chairs, “It’s certainly designed to be played,” noted Rau.

source

(Photos courtesy of M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans)

Nov 22, 2020

The Skilling Open – Champions Chess Tour kicks off on Sunday

The $1.5 million Champions Chess Tour kicks off on Sunday with the first event, The Skilling Open, featuring 16 of the world’s top chess stars.

The event will have commentary in 8 languages, with 4 broadcasts in English. For the first time, one of them includes a state-of-the-art live studio in Oslo!

There will be four different broadcasts in English, all starting at 17.45 CET:

  • The Oslo studio with GM David Howell and IM Jovanka Houska, hosted by Kaja Snare
  • A chess24 broadcast hosted by IM Tania Sachdev and GM Peter Leko
  • A Chessable broadcast hosted by GM Simon Williams, with new guests every day
  • An Indian broadcast, with chess24’s WGM Soumya Swaminathan joined by ChessBase India’s husband and wife team of IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal

As usual, there will also be separate broadcasts in other languages such as Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Turkish and Portuguese.

For the Champions Chess Tour, chess24 will be taking chess broadcasts to a completely new level. Not only will we have our regular shows with world-class commentators providing commentary for keen chess fans around the world, but we will also be running a brand new broadcast targeting a new audience.

The historic broadcast will be hosted from Oslo by Kaja Snare, who gained extensive experience working as a reporter for the 2016 World Championship match in New York, and also worked on chess broadcasts and as a sports reporter for Norwegian TV channels NRK and TV 2. She will be joined by 3-time British Champion David Howell and 9-time British Women’s Champion Jovanka Houska.

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