Kramnik Out, Svidler In, in Sinquefield Cup 2016

Due to health reasons, Vladimir Kramnik is not gonna make it to play in Saint Louis.

The third leg of Grand Chess Tour 2016, the Singquefield Cup in Saint Louis, Missouri, in the United States, was scheduled to have Vladimir Kramnik among its list of strong participants. But apparently, he withdrew for health reasons. Chess.com:

Kramnik, who was going to make his debut in St. Louis, told Chess.com: “I have had back problems for quite some time already. Since it is getting worse, I just want to use this month to cure it.”

Signs of aging, eh? Nevertheless, Sinquefield Cup will make do without the World No. 3 (according to the live ratings) and carry on with Peter Svidler in his stead.

Thus, the lineup for the Sinquefield Cup 2016 follows:

Sinquefield Cup 2016 Participants

Sd.NameCountryJuly
Rtg
1Fabiano CaruanaUnited States2810
2Maxime Vachier-LagraveFrance2798
3Levon AronianArmenia2792
4Hikaru NakamuraUnited States2787
5Anish GiriNetherlands2785
6Ding LirenChina2778
7Wesley SoUnited States2770
8Viswanathan AnandIndia2770
9Veselin TopalovBulgaria2761
10Peter SvidlerRussia2759

Continue reading “Kramnik Out, Svidler In, in Sinquefield Cup 2016”

Retirement Age for Chess

‘Lie low’ might be a better term, but what are the signs?

Viswanathan Anand about people who are repeatedly asking him about his retirement plans:

Honestly, I understand why they are asking that question. It doesn’t offend me. I just live for the moment. One day it will be ‘yes.’ For the moment it is ‘no.’

Unlike a lot of other sports, there is virtually no retiring from chess. You can definitely ‘lie low’, as I believe Garry Kasparov did, but not retirement.

But what are the signs that one should start lying low from chess? When they get to a certain age? When they are already off their peak form by so much? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo credit: Grand Chess Tour.

Alexander Grischuk Beats Ding Liren in a Mini Match

ding-liren-alexander-grischuk

From 19th to 22nd July the Chinese number one Ding Liren, with a rating of 2778 currently number eight in the world, and Russian grandmaster Alexander Grischuk, with a rating of 2747 currently number 18 in the world, played a four-game match in Wenzhou, China. Grischuk won the first game from a worse position and Ding Liren did not manage to equalise the score in the following three games. Grischuk won the match 2.5-1.5.

ChessBase

It seems like mini-matches are a thing right now. In May, Ding Liren played Wesley So in a 4-game mini-match as well. Then, more recently, there was the Biel Chess Festival 2016 and Gelfand vs Inarkiev Match 2016.

See the Grischuk vs. Liren match games below: Replay »

Magnus Carlsen wins Bilbao Masters Final 2016

It was a quiet 10th and final round for Bilbao Masters Final 2016 as the players drew all their three games. Magnus Carlsen was already the clear winner even before the final round started, and the participants were all seemed satisfied with their ranking, thus the draws in Round 10.

Hikaru Nakamura was undefeated during the entire tournament, and with one win against Carlsen in the very first round, he settled for second place.

Wesley So and Wei Yi shared third place. Check out the final ranking below:

Bilbao Masters Final 2016 Final Ranking

PosNameFedRtgPts
1Carlsen, MagnusNOR285517
2Nakamura, HikaruUSA278712
3Wei, YiCHN269611
4So, WesleyUSA277011
5Karjakin, SergeyRUS27739
6Giri, AnishNED27857

Check out the feature video from Bilbao Chess below: Continue reading “Magnus Carlsen wins Bilbao Masters Final 2016”

Carlsen Finally Defeats Giri in a Classical Game in Round 9 Bilbao Masters Final 2016

With one round to go, Bilbao 2016 already saw a winner, as Magnus Carlsen now leads by 5 points against the second placer, Hikaru Nakamura.

Chessbase reports:

Before Bilbao 2016 Magnus Carlsen had never won a game with classical time-control against Anish Giri. But in round nine of the “Masters” in Bilbao he finally did. This win must have been particularly sweet because it helped Carlsen to win the tournament with one round to go. Hikaru Nakamura and Sergey Karjakin drew and so did Wei Yi and Wesley So. Before the last round Carlsen now has 16.0/9 and is full five points ahead of Nakamura.

Bilbao Masters Final 2016 Ranking After Round 9

PosNameFedRtgPts
1Carlsen, MagnusNOR285516
2Nakamura, HikaruUSA278711
3Wei, YiCHN269610
4So, WesleyUSA277010
5Karjakin, SergeyRUS27738
6Giri, AnishNED27856

Continue reading “Carlsen Finally Defeats Giri in a Classical Game in Round 9 Bilbao Masters Final 2016”

Wesley So Beats Anish Giri in Round 8 Bilbao Masters Final 2016

Nakamura stays unbeaten as he drew his game against Wei Yi. Karjakin failed to even his score against Carlsen as their game ended in a draw as well.

The defending champion of the tournament, GM Wesley So, finally bags home his first win in this event over his nemesis, Anish Giri, in the eighth round of Bilbao Masters Final 2016.

The game opened with the classic Giuoco Piano. Eventually, they found themselves maneuvering the game with four-knights play leading towards the endgame, until strategic play led Wesley So to be up by a clear pawn by move 46. Anish Giri found himself trapped in a mating net and resigned after white’s 57th move. See diagram of the game below:

Black to move after 57. Kf4
Black to move after 57. Kf4

And thus, here, Giri cannot stop the mate by the next move in either 58. Rg7+ or 58. Nh4+.Replay »

Because of that win, Wesley So is now number 8 in the live ratings ranking, overtaking Anand and Karjakin:

Live Ratings Top Ten Ranking as of July 22, 2016

Check out the results of the rest of the games »