If Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So are going to meet in a 3rd Meltwater Champions Chess Tour final they both need to win on demand on Day 2 of their Magnus Carlsen Invitational semi-finals. Magnus regretted a “massive own goal” as he spoilt a great position in the 3rd game against Ian Nepomniachtchi and was then outplayed in time trouble. Anish Giri got off to the worst possible start by blundering and losing with White to Wesley, but he hit back to win the last two games of the day and take the lead.

See also:

  • Champions Chess Tour website
  • All the Magnus Carlsen Invitational games: Qualifier, Prelims, Knockout
  • Spaced-themed Magnus Carlsen Invitational returns
  • Grandelius and Pichot complete Magnus Carlsen Invitational line-up
  • Magnus Carlsen faces Firouzja and Giri on Day 1 of his Invitational
  • MCI 1: Giri beats Carlsen and So to snatch lead
  • MCI 2: Giri still leads Carlsen as battle heats up
  • MCI 3: Carlsen top, as Radjabov, Karjakin & Dubov miss out
  • MCI 4: Carlsen & So to meet again?
  • MCI 5: It’s Carlsen-Nepo and So-Giri in the semi-finals
Apr 13, 2021

Carlsen to commentate on the FIDE Candidates Tournament

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen will commentate on the event that decides his next challenger when the FIDE Candidates Tournament finally resumes with Round 8 in Yekaterinburg, Russia on Monday April 19th. For Rounds 8-10, Magnus will be joined by Tania Sachdev and David Howell, while for the last four rounds Judit Polgar will team up with Tania and guests for live commentary, with player cameras, here on chess24. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Ian Nepomniachtchi lead the interrupted event by a full point going into the final seven rounds.

The 2020 FIDE Candidates Tournament, the second most important event in chess after the World Championship match itself, started in Yekaterinburg, Russia on March 17th 2020. It was stopped by FIDE just before Round 8 was set to start on March 26th, a day before all flights out of Russia were grounded. The pandemic thwarted all attempts to resume the 8-player tournament… until now.

Where can I watch?

You’re going to have a real treat here on chess24 as World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen will be commentating live on the action for the first three rounds. He’s joined by former Indian and Asian Champion Tania Sachdev and 3-time British Champion David Howell.

See also:

  • Official website
  • FIDE Candidates Tournament games on chess24
  • FIDE Candidates Tournament stopped at halfway
  • FIDE Candidates to resume after 389 days
  • Carlsen to play 5th World Championship in Dubai this November
Sep 12, 2019

The 2019 Khanty-Mansiysk World Cup begins

Ding Liren is the top seed as the 128-player month-long World Cup starts on Tuesday in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana and Vishy Anand are skipping the event, but almost all the rest of the world’s best players will be fighting for the $110,000 top prize and two coveted spots in the 2020 Candidates Tournament. We preview arguably the most anticipated chess event of 2019!

The format is the familiar one of six rounds of 2-game matches before the final and 3rd-place playoff are held over four games. If the matches are tied after two games tiebreaks will be played on the 3rd day, with up to seven games at ever shortening time controls (2 x 25+10, 2 x 10+10, 2 x 5+3 and then 5 vs 4 Armageddon). The brutal logic of knockout events means that by Thursday 64 players will already be on their way home. At least before that they got to see some dancing horses…

World Cup facts and figures

1. $1,600,000 is on the line in prize money in Khanty-Mansiysk, with $110,000 for the winner and $6,000 for each of the 64 Round 1 losers.

2. Two places in the 8-player 2020 Candidates Tournament that decides Magnus Carlsen’s next challenger are up for grabs and will go to the players who reach the final. It’s just been announced that the Candidates will take place in Yekaterinburg, Russia, a city that neighbours Khanty-Mansiysk – in the sense of being within a 1000 kilometres! Russia is big…

If Ding Liren, the runner-up in 2017, is one of those two finalists again, that suddenly blows the race to qualify by rating for the Candidates wide open. Anish Giri would currently be Ding’s replacement, but behind him there’s nothing to choose from between MVL, Nepomniachtchi and Mamedyarov.

3. Of the 128 players, 120 are Grandmasters, 5 are International Masters, 2 are FIDE Masters and just one, 2003-born 2407-rated Monoglian Sugar Gan-Erdene is untitled. His first round opponent? Ian Nepomniachtchi.

4. Russia may not be quite the chess power it once was, but of the 128 players 28 are from Russia, 10 from India, 7 from China and 6 from the USA.

5. The youngest player in the tournament is 14-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov from Uzbekistan, who will be hoping to celebrate his 15th birthday in Khanty-Mansiysk on September 18th. The oldest player is 53-year-old Essam El-Gindy from Egypt, who starts against Levon Aronian.

6. Just six of the world’s 37 players rated 2700 and over are missing in Khanty-Mansiysk: Magnus Carlsen (of course he has no need to qualify to play himself in a match, though he did choose to play in 2017), Fabiano Caruana (already qualified for the Candidates), Vishy Anand (Vishy has chosen to concentrate on the FIDE Grand Swiss that follows the World Cup), Vladimir Kramnik (retired from classical chess), Veselin Topalov (semi-retired), Richard Rapport (the most puzzling absence – in 2017 Richard reached the quarterfinals, where he lost to Ding Liren).

7. Zero women will play in Khanty-Mansiysk. Ju Wenjun qualified as the Women’s World Champion but has instead chosen to play in the first stage of the 2019-20 FIDE Women’s Grand Prix in the Skolkovo Science Park near Moscow.

8. There are two rest days in this year’s event – a triumph for Alexander Grischuk, who complained about the policy of only having a single rest day in the Grand Prix events, and one placed before the final rather than in the middle. That’s even more of an issue in the month-long World Cup, so this year an extra rest day has been added on September 19th, after Round 3 – that’s good news for anyone who takes all their matches to tiebreaks!

9.  There are four previous World Cup winners in the tournament: Levon Aronian (2005 and 2017), Boris Gelfand (2009), Peter Svidler (2011) and Sergey Karjakin (2015), though if you include the big knockouts that were held as FIDE World Championships before 2005 we also have Ruslan Ponomariov (2002) and Rustam Kasimdzhanov (2004). Ponomariov, who also finished runner-up in 2005 and 2009, was recently described as “an original World Cup gangster” by Peter Svidler, who may meet him in Round 2. In a preview interview Peter commented:

Tuesday’s first-round pairings already include numerous intriguing battles, including a number of young stars in action: Matlakov vs. Abdusattorov, Ponomariov vs. Esipenko, Sevian vs. Tari, Cori vs. Nihal Sarin. Some other matches to watch include Fedoseev vs. Ganguly, Naiditsch vs. Huschenbeth (even if Naiditsch now plays for Azerbaijan that ensures German interest in Round 2!) and Bareev vs. Kasimdzhanov, a clash between the former Russian head coach and the current coach of Fabiano Caruana.

Don’t miss all the action live here on chess24 from 12:00 CEST on Tuesday 9th September, when we’ll have full video coverage in English, Russian and Spanish!

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the 2019 World Cup games with computer analysis on chess24
Dec 23, 2017

Nutcracker Generation Tournament in Moscow 2017

A traditional Christmas event – Nutcracker Generation Tournament – will be held on December 18-24 at the Central Chess Club in Moscow. Like a year ago, there will be two Scheveningen matches: Kings vs. Princes and Queens vs. Princesses.

The line-up of the Kings: Challenger for the World Chess Championship 2012 Boris Gelfand (Israel), World №4 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), winner of the final Candidates Match 1999 Alexei Shirov (Latvia), and Russian Champion 2005, head coach of the Russia women’s national chess team Sergei Rublevsky (Russia).

The team of Princes will be represented by the leading young Russian players: winner of the Russian Championship Higher League 2016 Grigoriy Oparin, Russian blitz champion Vladislav Artemiev, the youngest grandmaster of Russia Andrey Esipenko, and winner and prize-winner of many international tournaments Daniil Yuffa.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov will go into 2018 with a new lifetime best official rating of 2804 after starring as the Kings beat the Princes in the classical section of the Nutcracker Battle of the Generations. The world no. 3 scored three wins and was close to four, but the Kings were prevented from sealing the match by Sergei Rublevsky losing to Andrey Esipenko, Grigoriy Oparin and Vladislav Artemiev. Eight rounds of rapid chess will now decide the match.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov has looked out of place so far – a chess destroyer at the top of his game rather than a veteran ready to give the youngsters a subtle lesson or two in positional chess. We already saw how he beat Grigoriy Oparin in Round 1 of the Nutcracker tournament in Moscow, and he continued in the same vein.

15-year-old Andrey Esipenko showed the fearlessness of youth when he sacrificed a pawn to try and attack Mamedyarov, but he was swiftly punished until it was just a question of how the Azeri no. 1 would conduct the execution.

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis on chess24  
  • Mamedyarov back over 2800 as Nutcracker begins