Magnus Carlsen called it “a fairly smooth ride” as he beat Vladislav Artemiev 2.5:0.5 to win the Aimchess US Rapid. His victory matched Wesley So’s three titles on the $1.6 million Meltwater Champions Chess Tour and means Magnus will now have a significant head start over the US Champion going into the Tour Finals later this month. Artemiev also plays the Finals after brilliantly reaching one semi-final and two finals in the only three tour events he played.

Magnus lost just one game on the way to finishing 2nd in the Prelims, beat Jan-Krzysztof Duda 2.5:0.5 twice in the quarterfinals, overcame Levon Aronian 3:1 on Day 2 of their semi-final after all draws on the first, and then finished with two relatively comfortable days against Vladislav Artemiev — if not for a mouse-slip the score would likely have been 2.5:0.5 both times.

Once again the first game was crucial, and it was a tense strategic battle with both players castling queenside.

For Magnus, meanwhile, it’s just one day until the start of Norway Chess. It all kicks off at the same time as the Aimchess US Rapid days — 11:00 EST, 17:00 CEST, 20:30 IST — on Tuesday September 7th. chess24 is the official broadcast partner, so don’t miss live commentary from Judit Polgar and Jovanka Houska, plus video of the players and post-game interviews, exclusively here on chess24!

See also:

  • Champions Chess Tour website
  • All the Aimchess US Rapid action with computer analysis and live commentary: Prelims, Knockout
  • Wesley So triumphs in the Chessable Masters
  • Magnus Carlsen returns for Aimchess US Rapid
  • Aimchess US Rapid 1: Aronian leads after Firouzja mates Carlsen
  • Aimchess US Rapid 2: Artemiev leads as Duda & Naroditsky shine
  • Aimchess US Rapid 3: MVL pips Carlsen, MVL & Giri out
  • Aimchess US Rapid 4: Carlsen, Firouzja & Aronian strike
  • Aimchess US Rapid 5: Firouzja takes down So
  • Aimchess US Rapid 6: FIrouzja hits back against Artemiev
  • Aimchess US Rapid 7: It’s a Carlsen-Artemiev final!
  • Aimchess US Rapid 8: Carlsen leads despite mouse-slip
Nov 02, 2016

Riazantsev and Kosteniuk are 2016 Russian Chess Champions

The finale of the Russian Superfinal was easily the most exciting phase of the event, with a marked increase in decisive games in the Men’s final, and more action overall. After a six-way tie (out of 12 players) for first after seven rounds, it was Alexander Riazantsev who broke away to take clear first. Alexandra Kosteniuk all but left her rivals in the dust taking clear first in the Women’s a round in advance.

It had seemed like the competition was a tribute to sleeping pills, with the occasional spark, no question, but overall lackadaisical play. This was in spite of plenty of incentive to truly go for it. The first cash prize was certainly reasonable, with of course that ineffable item on a player’s CV: Russian Champion. Of course, the title of national champion is of note for any player in any country, but let’s be honest: winning the toughest and most famous stands apart from the rest.

There was great interest to see the final round, and the spectators were not left wanting

Still, this year’s championship had a very special first prize for both the winners of the Men’s and Women’s event: a Renault Kaptur car. Alexandra Kosteniuk actually explained that this held a special appeal to her and was key in drawing her to participate in this year’s championship.

After seven rounds, the Men’s event saw six out of the twelve players tied for first with 4.0/7, essentially meaning the tournament was still wide open. The first sign of things to come was when Alexander Raizantsev defeated tailender Dmitry Bocharov in round eight. This might not seem so unexpected considering Bocharov had been doing so poorly, but it had the virtue of finally creating a leader.

The final round still saw everything up for grabs. Everything. While it is true that both Riazantsev and Fedoseev enjoyed a half point lead over the rest with 6.0/10, there was a small pack of four 2700 players at 5.5/10, and every reason to believe a last-round miracle
men

women

might see them lifting the trophy.Chess base

Feb 24, 2017

Sharjah GP 4-5: Adams bounced back to beat Jon Ludvig Hammer

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov joined Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the Sharjah Grand Prix lead by beating Mickey Adams in Round 4 on a day when Nakamura and MVL set the tone by drawing their top board encounter in 18 moves. The only other decisive action was an attacking win for Li Chao over Tomashevsky that Pepe Cuenca has analysed for us. Pepe got to cover a very different game in Round 5, when Adams bounced back to beat Jon Ludvig Hammer in one of his trademark positional masterclasses.

In the other game Mickey Adams showed the skill and resilience that have kept him near the top at the age of 45. His understated description of his win over Jon Ludvig Hammer as “quite nice” is enough to know it’s something special! Pepe Cuenca also took an in-depth look at that game:

 

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis on chess24
May 20, 2016

What do the chess titles GM, IM mean? How are they earned?

Chess, unlike most other competitive sports, maintains a system of titles granted to players of exceptional skill and talent. The highest title awarded in the world of bishops and knights is International Grandmaster (GM). While it sounds mysterious, the title’s origins are tied to the conception of mastery, like that of an artist or craftsman who has attained the highest level of achievement recognized by one’s peers.

Prior to the titling system’s formalization in the early 1950s by World Chess Federation, the term Grandmaster existed only as an approbation granted to the very best players in the world. The lore surrounding some of the title’s first usage dates to the last days of the Russian Empire when Tsar Nicholas II held a tournament of “grossmeisters” (German for Grandmasters). That title was never formally given. Chess had always been informal through the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Such informality even allowed World Champions to avoid challengers who might beat them or to play against lesser contenders to assure themselves the retention of the crown.

In 1946, international chess would find itself in a crisis and in need of a more formal structure after the death of World Champion Alexander Alekhine. Although the Soviet Challenger Mikhail Botvinnik had offered the best sponsorship and funding for a match with Alekhine, events and politics made the hosting of a World Championship match impossible during WWII.

The postwar era opened the door for the World Chess Federation to regulate the many aspects of the game that, up until that point, had been informal or ad hoc. Its rules committee authored a new version the Laws of Chess universalizing international chess competition. It regularized the system under which players could qualify and play for the World Championship, and held a large, international tournament in 1948 to crown a new champion after Alekhine’s death. Finally, it created a set of rules for the granting of titles to chess players.

In 1950, two new titles were created: International Grandmaster and International Master (IM). Similar to university degrees, these titles were a hierarchical system with GM higher than IM, and once earned, the bearer would hold his or her title for life. To earn each title, a player must achieve three quality performances, each known as a norm, in tournaments meeting a strict set of regulations on the composition of the player pool.

In general terms, to earn one norm:

  • a player needs to score quantifiably well in a tournament where at least three other players already hold the title being sought
  • the average rating of all the players in the tournament must be above a minimum threshold (2380 average for GM norms)
  • a minimum of four national federations must be represented

After all three norms are earned, the player must achieve rating over 2500 for GM or 2400 for IM.

These rules for chess titles created a natural break on their proliferation. In the 1950s, only about 50 Grandmasters existed. The international nature of norm qualified tournaments meant strong events held in the United States or the Soviet Union often would not consist of required number of foreign or titled players. It was not until after the fall of the Berlin Wall, with its exodus of Eastern European and Russian players to the West, that the GM title started to spread more widely. Today, there are more than 1,000 Grandmasters worldwide. To put that number in perspective, it is estimated (2012) that around 600 million people play chess worldwide.

Although norm tournaments have become more common in the United States in the last few decades, they are still onerous to organize because the of the time commitment required and the resources needed to attract foreign or titled players. But norm tournaments are essential for the promotion of professional chess, as they are often the first introduction players have to invitational round-robin tournament chess and only way to earn international titles. Those who earn the GM title can trace a line to the past and count themselves among chess’ elite players.

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