Jun 25, 2018

Nakamura wins Paris Grand Chess Tour

Hikaru Nakamura overtook Sergey Karjakin on the final day of blitz to take home the winner’s trophy from the Paris Grand Chess Tour. The American displayed his great skills at accelerated time controls as he only lost one game in both sections. Wesley So drew his last eight games to finish clear third behind Karjakin and still leads the GCT overall standings.

When we last reported from Paris, Wesley So had a one-point lead over Karjakin and Nakamura. The three players remained on the “podium” throughout the weekend, but ended up switching places. The first one to rise over his colleagues was Sergey Karjakin. The Russian seemed to be heading for clear first after his outstanding run of five consecutive wins on Saturday. At some point, Sergey even threatened to surpass Carlsen on the blitz live ratings list.

Nakamura took home $37,500 and 13 Grand Chess Tour points. In addition, his strong performances in the blitz sections of Leuven and Paris netted him 37.2 rating points, which leaves him 24 points behind Carlsen on the live ratings list. Hikaru is now ready to enjoy the summer.

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games from the Paris GCT on chess24
  • Paris GCT, Day 1: Caruana’s woes continue
  • Paris GCT, Day 2: So takes the lead
  • Paris GCT, Day 3: Caruana and MVL bounce back
Jul 08, 2017

Queen sacrifices in Amsterdam

The Grand Chess Tour recently took over chess coverage for two weeks (and with Garry Kasparov playing in St. Louis they’ve snatched a couple of days more!) so we’d like to take a brief look at some of the other action you may have missed. Queens were sacrificed with abandon at the Dutch Championship, a 10-year-old beat an experienced grandmaster in Corsica, 17-year-old Zhansaya Abdumalik beat three GMs to score her first GM norm at the World Open, Anatoly Karpov and other legends were in action in Spain and there’s been some wild chess at the Russian Higher League.

18-year-old Jorden van Foreest’s bid to defend his Dutch Championship title didn’t get off to the best of starts. Sipke Ernst’s knockout blow here can be filed under “moves we’d all love to play”:

30…Qxe3!! The attacking potential of Black’s rook, knights and bishop is just phenomenal, and Jorden threw in the towel after 31.fxe3 fxe4+ 32.Nf3 (32.Ke1 Ng2+ 33.Ke2 Rf2#) 32…Rxf3+ 33.Ke1 Ng2+. It doesn’t get much more convincing than that.

Ernst would go on to tie Loek van Wely after seven rounds, including surviving a tough position in their individual encounter in the final round. That meant they played more chess at a faster time control, and ultimately Loek won his 8th Dutch title with a win in the second tiebreak game. read more at chess24

Jun 24, 2017

Paris Grand Chess Tour, Day 3: Carlsen’s will be remembered for his outburst beginning

Magnus Carlsen won the rapid section of the Paris Grand Chess Tour, but the day will be remembered for his outburst beginning, “What do you want me to do?” when Maurice Ashley suggested the final win had been less than smooth. Elsewhere the star was Alexander Grischuk, who did win three smooth games in a row, making it five wins in his last six games. He’s just one point behind Magnus with 18 rounds of blitz to follow, though he called that a big gap, given Magnus’ “idiotic ability to win many games in a row!”

Replay all the action from the rapid section of the Paris Grand Chess Tour using the selector below. Click a result to open a game with computer analysis or hover over a player’s name to see all his results so far:

As you can see from the standings, the situation at the top could easily change in just a couple of rounds:

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis on chess24
  • Kasparov on hand for Paris Grand Chess Tour launch
  • Paris Grand Chess Tour Day 1: Carlsen and So lead
  • Paris Grand Chess Tour Day 2: Magnus breaks clear
Jun 23, 2017

The Paris tournament of the Grand Chess Tour is running from June 21-25.

The Paris tournament of the Grand Chess Tour, running from June 21-25 started with exciting chess from the players, and many dramatic reversals. Both Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So took off with 2.5/3, but it was really Carlsen’s show as he displayed excellent form on the first day. With many games and snippets, here is the illustrated report by GM Alex Yermolinsky.

The Paris tournament of the Grand Chess Tour is running from June 21-25. It is a combination of Rapid and Blitz games. The ten participants are Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Alexander Grischuk, Sergey Karjakin, Veselin Topalov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Etienne Bacrot. They will play nine rapid games, three a day, from June 21–23. The games start at 14:00h, 15:30h and 17:00h European Standard Summer Time. The Blitz tournament is on June 24 and 25, with nine rounds on each day, starting at 14:00h. The total prize fund is $150,000!

Note that the event is using the Bronstein mode: the players have 25 minutes for all the moves of a rapid game, and a ten second delay per move. This means that the clock does not run for ten seconds – the point is that you cannot accumulate time by playing very quickly in the Bronstein Mode.

This year’s Grand Chess Tour Series kicked off today with a Rapid/Blitz event in Paris. There will be two more similar tournaments, next week in Leuven and in August in St. Louis. It is interesting how this series, the brainchild of Garry Kasparov, has morphed into a combination of three different kinds of chess. Perhaps, it wasn’t Garry’s original intention, but as he himself admitted in his recent interview, it’s getting harder to find sponsors for classical time control tournaments willing to join the Tour. I guess the organizers in Norway and other places prefer to have their own exclusive event with a full control over selection of participants. Garry talks about adding one more Rapid/Blitz event in 2018 – surely a sign of the times.

Before the start of the tournament, the main question was how Magnus Carlsen would respond to his recent string of mediocre (by his standards) results. Magnus gave an emphatic answer by scoring two wins and one draw on the opening day, albeit not without some cooperation from his opponents. First he drew Grischuk with Black in a solid, error-free game. Then came a game against one of his favorite opponents not named Hikaru.

This win brought Carlsen’s advantage in their head-to-head encounters to +17-3=11. Some head scratching for Shak to do.


This is how without doing anything in particular, Carlsen took the lead and pushed his rapid rating over 2900.One wonders if his opponents will continue their blundering ways, and what happens if they stop.

Level with Carlsen is Wesley So, also with 2.5/3. Actually, it’s 5/6, as rapid games in this tournament count twice as much as blitz games to give some balance to scoring in two different disciplines. Wesley’s path to a good start was even rockier. He could have easily lost the following game in the first round.  read more on chessbase

So the standings after Day 2 of rapid chess are as follows:

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis on chess24
  • Kasparov on hand for Paris Grand Chess Tour launch
  • Paris Grand Chess Tour Day 1: Carlsen and So lead