Today could be one of the big turning points in chess history, with Ian Nepomniachtchi in with a chance of wrapping on victory in the FIDE Candidates Tournament with a round to spare to become the next World Championship Challenger for Magnus Carlsen. That’s not the only chess around, however, with Magnus himself in action in the New in Chess Classic. To mark that event, Sean Marsh looks back at some of the great moments in chess history, starting with 21st November 2013, when Magnus won the World Championship title for the first time.

This was back in 2013. Does it feel recent, or distant? Time is playing tricks with us all. Carlsen has already been champion for longer than most of the others in the traditional line. By the time his next title match comes around – in November, this year – his tenure will already be eight years. Only Emanuel Lasker (27 years), Alexander Alekhine (17), Mikhail Botvinnik (13), Anatoly Karpov (10) and Garry Kasparov (15) were champions for longer.

Given Carlsen’s dominance, it is easy to forget just how difficult it was for him to win the London Candidates Tournament in March 2013. He started the event as the clear favourite, but two defeats in the second half of the tournament – to Vassily Ivanchuk and Peter Svidler – left him squeezing through on tie-breaks, at the expense of former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik. Indeed, Kramnik suffered just one defeat, and that was against the mercurial Ivanchuk, in the very last round. It was a close call, but Carlsen was on his way to a title match against the defending champion, Viswanathan Anand.

The New in Chess Classic is now in full swing and it has brought even more top-level chess to a table already graced by the FIDE Candidates Tournament.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen is in action once more and he is joined by a glittering array of strong, talented Grandmasters including Hikaru Nakamura, Alireza Firouzja and Levon Aronian. There is also room this time for significant fresh blood, including England’s Gawain Jones and India’s Praggnanandhaa. The games can be followed live here on chess24.


FIDE Grand Swiss and Women’s Grand Swiss

FIDE Grand Swiss and Women’s Grand Swiss are held in Riga. The events staged in the format and dates originally scheduled: from 25 October to 8 November, 2021

The city of Riga host the FIDE Grand Swiss and Women’s Grand Swiss, two events that are part of the qualification cycle for the World Championship. The difficult decision to relocate the tournament from Douglas, its original planned location, was forced due to the strict COVID-19 restrictions still in place in the Isle of Man and the UK.

With the support of the Scheinberg family, sponsor of the FIDE Grand Swiss, the International Chess Federation has been working to find an alternative host city for the events, with the priority to stage them in the format and dates originally scheduled, and keeping the excellent organizational standards that the event enjoyed on its previous editions.

49-year-old Alexei Shirov and 44-year-old Evgeniy Najer caught Alireza Firouzja in Round 5 of the FIDE Grand Swiss after the 18-year-old drew his game against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Alexei crashed through against Ivan Saric and will now play Firouzja in Round 6, while Najer defeated Robert Hovhannisyan. His opponent will be Fabiano Caruana, who made up for two missed win in a row by taking down David Howell. There are now five leaders in the women’s event after Nino Batsiashvili, Zhu Jiner, Elisabeth Paehtz and Jolanta Zawadzka picked up wins.

See also:

  • Official website
  • Watch all the Grand Swiss games: Open | Women
  • Nakamura, Vidit withdraw as Grand Swiss goes ahead despite lockdown
  • Grand Swiss Round 1: Caruana and Firouzja strike
  • Grand Swiss Round 2: Firouzja world no. 6 as Caruana misses win
  • Grand Swiss Round 3: Firouzja’s rampage continues
  • Grand Swiss Round 4: Firouzja and Lei Tingjie sole leaders
Nov 25, 2016

Carlsen-Karjakin, Game 10: Magnus smile is back!

Magnus Carlsen has beaten Sergey Karjakin to level the score in the 2016 World Chess Championship with two games to go. The first half of Game 10 saw both players creaking under the pressure and could have ended abruptly if Sergey had spotted an all but forced draw. Instead, after more adventures, Magnus got the kind of slightly better endgame on which he’s built his chess empire.

Sergey seemed to have constructed a fortress, but one moment’s inattention was all it took to see it all come crashing down. A hugely relieved Magnus Carlsen is now favourite again – but so are tiebreaks!
The players once again went for the Ruy Lopez, and this time Magnus met the Berlin with an offbeat variation of the Anti-Berlin. He was back at his old game of getting his opponent “out of book” at all costs, as Anish Giri explained: Similar concept to game 2 from Sochi match. Worse version of a known position, but still playable. Nice, desperate idea.





Jan 04, 2017

The Fide just published the first rating list of 2017

World Champion Magnus Carlsen starts the year as number one – in classical chess, in rapid and in blitz chess. But in classical chess Fabiano Caruana is only 13 Elo points behind. Hou Yifan continues to dominate the women’s ranking list, Wei Yi is best junior, Lei Tingjie the best girl.

Magnus Carlsen

World Champion Magnus Carlsen retained his title against Sergey Karjakin and lost 4 points in the last year but with a rating of 2840 he is still the number one in the world. But Fabiano Caruana is uncomfortably close. In 2016 Caruana won no less than 40 rating points: in January 2016 he had 2787, now he has 2827, and is only 13 points behind Magnus Carlsen.

Fabianao Caruana

With a rating of 2811 Vladimir Kramnik is number three in the world. 16 years ago, in 2000, Kramnik became World Champion and at that time he had a rating of 2770. Did he get better? Or is this just an indicator of rating inflation?

Vladimir Kramnik

Wesley So is the new number four in the world and gained 35 rating in one year. January 2016 he had a rating of 2773, now he has a rating of 2808 and became the 12th player in the history of chess to pass the Elo 2800 mark.

Wesley So

Ian Nepomniachtchi also made remarkable progress: he raised his rating from 2704 (January 2016) to 2767 and is currently number 11 in the world.

The youngest player in the top 100 is the American Jeffery Xiong (born 2000, Elo 2667), the oldest player in the top 100 is Nigel Short (born 1965, Elo 2675).

Nigel Short

And an increasing number of players have higher ratings. In January 2001 Garry Kasparov led the list with a rating of 2849, Vishy Anand was second with 2790, twelve players had a rating of 2700 or more.

Ten years ago, in January 2007 Veselin Topalov was number one in the world and had a rating of 2783. Vishy Anand followed with 2779, Kramnik was third with 2766, and 21 players had a rating or 2700 or more.