World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen has now been the world no. 1 on every rating list for the past decade since July 2011, an unbeaten streak that will now eclipse Garry Kasparov’s two decade-long streaks as world no. 1 from 1986 to 1996 and 1996 until he dropped off the list after his retirement in 2005. Although Magnus has suffered scares — for instance any loss to Fabiano Caruana in the 2018 World Championship match would have taken Fabi top — he’s remarkably been unbroken world no. 1 for a decade on the live rating list as well.

When Magnus was recently asked about crossing 10 years as the consecutive world no. 1, he was actually surprised.
From the time Magnus topped the official January 2010 FIDE rating list there were two periods when 15th World Champion Vishy Anand regained the top spot, with the last list with Vishy top coming in May 2011.

At 132 months as world no. 1, Magnus has surpassed Anatoly Karpov’s 102 months as world no. 1, but he still has almost exactly a decade to go to match Garry Kasparov’s 255 months — 21 years and 3 months! Will Magnus spend another decade as no. 1? “Unlikely, but we’ll see”, he says in the video above, but when it comes to unbroken streaks as world no. 1 he can claim already to have surpassed Garry.

Anatoly Karpov spent 8 years as unbroken world no. 1 from 1976-1983, but Garry first at least matched that in a streak stretching from 1986-1993. Officially the streak ended there, but only because FIDE removed Kasparov and Nigel Short from their rating lists in 1994 after they broke away from FIDE to play their 1993 World Championship match. Garry was still effectively the no. 1 until January 1996, a full decade, when the 20-year-old Vladimir Kramnik matched Garry’s 2775 rating but took the number 1 spot on the tiebreak of having played more games.

That meant a new streak began when Garry was no. 1 again on the July 1996 rating list, this time lasting until March 2006 (he only dropped off the rating list a year after his retirement in March 2005) — he no longer featured on the April 2006 rating list. That made it an official streak of 9 years and 9 months.

Magnus, who on the July 2021 rating list has a 2847 rating and leads no. 2 Fabiano Caruana by 41 points, is now stretching his streak beyond a decade, with no immediate end in sight. When asked what now, he responded:

“I don’t have any particular plans, but I’m at least happy that the gap is pretty wide again now after Caruana lost a few points in Romania, so for the moment it’s not a big concern.”

read more 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
Sep 14, 2021

Garry Kasparov Kept Moving Even After Getting Flagged

This article was inspired by Garry Kasparov’s recent abysmal performance in the Grand Chess Tour in Zagreb. The legendary 13th World Chess Champion scored 2.5 points out of 18 and finished in clear last place in the blitz event. One of the factors that caused such a disastrous result was poor time management and the inability to play well in time trouble.  Notably, in a game against MVL, Kasparov lost on time in an innocuous equal rook endgame where he was at no risk whatsoever on the board.

Obviously, the recommendations presented below are not aimed at Kasparov since when it comes to chess, Garry can teach pretty much anyone about any facet of the game. Still, I believe that some of the lifehacks presented below will be of use to less experienced players than Kasparov.

Obviously, the recommendations presented below are not aimed at Kasparov since when it comes to chess, Garry can teach pretty much anyone about any facet of the game. Still, I believe that some of the lifehacks presented below will be of use to less experienced players than Kasparov.

Also, it’s easy to offer banal advice like “do not ever get into time trouble”, but it’s challenging to follow it. Here are a few basic tips on what to do if you are in time trouble already:

  • Keep your head cool and try to breathe normally. Amateurs start jumping up and down on the chair, hastily scribbling the moves on the score sheet, pulling their hair, knocking on the chess clock, and dropping pieces by trying to place them down with a shaking hand. Seasoned GMs remain solemn and make moves in a reserved and elegant way. They patiently write down the moves as if they had all the time in the world at their disposal. This behavior helps one to remain concentrated and prevents your heart from starting to beat like a drum and affecting your play.
  • Avoid glancing at the clock over and over again. When you are in time trouble, every second is precious. You don’t want to waste time and pump up your heart rate by watching the clock tick away. It is easier said than done since you need both great self-control and an inner sense of time that will prevent you from flagging. The latter comes with experience and a lot of regular practice. Rusty players lose this sense and forfeit on time more often than you would normally expect from them.
  • Focus on the game. Don’t start blaming yourself for getting into time trouble. Don’t fear that you will blunder something. Just concentrate and make the most of your current position.

Here are a few more intermediate-level tips that are must-know for tournament players:

  • If you are on the defensive and hoping to take advantage of the 50-move rule, mark the last capture or pawn move on your scoresheet so that you don’t have trouble later on pondering whether you have earned the right to claim a draw or not. This habit helps one stay calm and collected when fighting for survival.
  • If a conflict situation between you and your opponent occurs, stop the clock and call the arbiter. Sometimes people engage in a verbal discussion while their clock is still running. When they forfeit on time because of it, it is much harder for them to negotiate a favorable decision for themselves once the arbiter finally shows up.
  • Try to make it to a time control if there is one. Sometimes move repetitions or exchanges can help you a lot. Of course, there’s a risk of trading the wrong pieces, but there’s also a saying: “Exchange more pieces so that you can’t blunder them in time trouble.” It has some truth to it. Generally speaking, even if you are a tactical genius, it is usually a good idea to simplify the position when you are in time trouble. When you are very short on the clock, it is next to impossible to find all the tricky lines that chess engines point out in the blink of an eye. Who cares that you have a winning position when you will either flag or blunder something away in the end?

Finally, here are a few advanced tips that are worth adding to your chess arsenal:

  • If you desperately need to go to the WC and can’t leave the board due to the prospects of losing on time, you can “pull a Leko”. There was a story involving him where he reportedly called for an arbiter, claimed a three-fold repetition, and rushed to the bathroom while the arbiter was diligently checking the score sheet! There was no repetition, but Peter did save enough time this way. Super GMs are resourceful!
  • Back in the day, when people used to play with mechanical clocks, there was a dirty trick of not paying attention to the fact that your time ran out and playing on as normal, hoping that your partner wouldn’t notice it in the heat of battle. Then, when the opponent flags as well, one could always point it out, if necessary, and claim a draw since it is impossible to prove who flagged first. Nowadays, however, digital clocks usually display a symbol showing who lost on time, so such tricks are no longer possible.

Garry Kasparov showing that even in 2021, you can still play on after you have run out of time!

read more at chess24

2022 – 2023 Chess Calendar

The 2022 Chess Calendar begins with Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana topping the field for the Tata Steel Masters from January 15th onwards, and, if all goes to plan, it’s a year that’s going to feature another Candidates Tournament and the first over-the-board World Chess Olympiad since 2018. Whatever happens with the pandemic, the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour will be back, with nine high stakes events running from February 19th to November 20th.

Below we’ve gathered together all the info about the major chess events already scheduled for 2022, though we’ll be updating it during the year as more events are announced or plans change. Let us know in the comments below if there’s something we’re missing!

Current and future events:

November 2022

November 23 – December 17 | Speed Chess Championship |

This 16-player blitz knockout tournament has a $100,000 prize fund and features World Champion Magnus Carlsen and the winner for the last four seasons, Hikaru Nakamura. Each match features 90 minutes of 5+1 chess, 60 minutes of 3+1 and finally 30 minutes of 1+1.

Links: official website, chess24: Caruana vs. Erigaisi, Ding vs. Grischuk, Nepo vs. MVL, Aronian vs. Andreikin, Carlsen vs. Gukesh, Nihal vs. Giri, So vs. Abdusattorov, Nakamura vs. Paravyan, QFs: Nihal vs. Ding, Nakamura vs. Aronian, Carlsen vs. Caruana, MVL vs. So

December 2022

December 11 – 14 | Julius Baer Challenger Championship | Tel Aviv, Israel

This is a $10,000 match between 2021 Challengers Chess Tour Champion Praggnanandhaa and 2022 Champion Pranav V

Links: official website, chess24

December 12 – 22 | Chessable Sunway Sitges Chess Festival | Sitges, Spain

Yu Yangyi and Vasyl Ivanchuk are among the players confirmed for this already traditional 10-round open tournament in a coastal town near Barcelona.

Links: official website, chess24

December 16 – 18 | European Rapid and Blitz Championships | Katowice, Poland

The European Blitz Championship takes place on December 16th with 11 double rounds at a time control of 3 minutes for all moves plus a 2-second increment per move. The European Rapid Championship is 11 rounds with a 15+10 time control on December 17-18th.

Links: official website

December 18 – 23 | Gashimov Memoiral | Baku, Azerbaijan

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Richard Rapport, Gukesh, Nodirbek Abdusattorov, Paco Vallejo, Sam Shankland, Wang Hao, Rauf Mamedov, Aydin Suleymanli and Abdulla Gadimbayli compete in 3 days of rapid chess and 2 days of blitz in honour of Vugar Gashimov, who died tragically young in 2014.

Links: official website

The World Rapid Championship is a 3-day event with a time control of 15 minutes for all moves, plus a 10-second increment from move 1. In the Open section there are 13 rounds and in the Women’s 11.

The World Blitz Championship is held over the final 2 days, with a time control of 3+2. There are 21 rounds in the Open section and 17 in the Women’s.

The total prize fund is $1 million, with a top prize of $60,000 in the Open events and $40,000 in the Women’s.

Links: Official website

December 27 – January 5 | Rilton Cup | Stockholm, Sweden

This turn-of-the-year 9-round Swiss Open is celebrating its 50th edition.

Links: official website