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May 2016 FIDE Ratings List

The updated ratings for May 2016 are out. Here’s the the top 20:

FIDE-May-2016-Top-20

See how 80% of the Top 10 are 90’s babies, i.e., they were born in the 1990’s. It speaks volumes about the quality of computer support these kids got especially when they were starting out.

Anyway, Wesley So retains his hold onto the 10th place, ahead of two former world champions Viswanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov.

The World Championship we are about to witness in November is between the No. 1 player Magnus Carlsen and No. 8 Sergey Karjakin. Looks like a heavily lopsided match to me, I dare say.

Check out the top 100 players here.

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Wesley So vs. Garry Kasparov; Round 10 Blitz Game Analyzed

Here is the Round 10 game of Wesley So vs. Garry Kasparov of the recently concluded US Ultimate Blitz Challenge 2016, as explained and analyzed by IM John Bartholomew.

If you’re not yet convinced this is the best blitz game ever played, then I don’t know what else is.

Final Standings: US Ultimate Blitz Challenge 2016

The last day of the challenge has finished, and Hikaru Nakamura came out to be the overall winner, followed by Wesley So with a full point behind. Garry Kasparov retained his 3rd rank from Day 1, and so did Fabiano Caruana, the champion of the US Chess Championship 2016, his tailender.

US Ultimate Blitz Challenge 2016 Final Standings
US Ultimate Blitz Challenge 2016 Final Standings

Wesley So’s round 10 win over Garry Kasparov was hailed by commentators as “one of the finest attacking game since Morphy!”. Here’s the game:

Thus, at the end of this challenge, the Wesley So vs. Garry Kasparov matchup stands at 4.0-2.0 in favor of Wesley So. Continue reading “Final Standings: US Ultimate Blitz Challenge 2016”

Wesley So leads Day 1 of the US Ultimate Blitz Challenge 2016

9 Rounds down, and 9 rounds to go.

Wesley So lost his very first game in this tournament/challenge against the legendary Garry Kasparov, but he managed to get back at the latter in their next two matchups (thus, their score so far is 2-1 in favor of So). He even come out ahead of the pack at the end of the day. He who scored 5.0 out of 9 games — tied with Hikaru Nakamura in points but leads after the tie-break was applied.

Day 1 Results: US Ultimate Blitz Chess Challenge 2016
Day 1 Results: US Ultimate Blitz Chess Challenge 2016

Replay the games here »

Garry Kasparov vs. Wesley So in Round 1, US Ultimate Blitz Challenge 2016

Wesley So is facing off Garry Kasparov in the very first round of the US Ultimate Blitz Challenge 2016, the continuation of the US Chess Championship 2016. We’re bringing it to you live!

UPDATE: Kasparov won the Round 1 game against Wesley So. Replay the game below.

Check out the update about the results of Day 1 where Wesley So is leading.

Replay Round 1 game of Garry Kasparov vs. Wesley So below:

Carlsen ahead by a full point with 2 rounds to go at Norway Chess 2016

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Chessbase reports on Norway Chess: Carlsen and Aronian win:

In round seven Magnus Carlsen played against Vladimir Kramnik, one of his predecessors as World Champion. Carlsen seemed well prepared and won a fine strategic game in which he exploited Black’s weak square f5 in textbook fashion. Levon Aronian used his space advantage to harass Black’s king and to win with a mating attack. The three other games were drawn.

With the way Carlsen is playing outstanding chess in recent months, I wonder if he gets to break the 2900 ELO rating barrier anytime soon?

Check out Carlsen’s win against Kramnik in Round 7 of Altibox Norway Chess 2016.

Magnus Carlsen vs. Sergey Karjakin, World Chess Championship 2016

Take your side now. This November, will Carlsen keep his title, or we’ll have a new world champion?

Magnus Carlsen vs. Sergey Karjakin. Face off for the World Chess Championship of 2016.
Magnus Carlsen vs. Sergey Karjakin. Face off for the World Chess Championship of 2016.

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The Soviet Defector

The Guardian: I was a Soviet defector. Chess was my door to freedom by Lev Alburt:

Finally, I decided to defect in June 1979. But on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Frankfurt, I began to waver. I was already missing my family, my friends. Perhaps I would, after all, come back – one more time, just one? To stiffen my resolve, I grabbed a copy of Pravda, the Communist party’s propaganda paper.

Interesting read. The only thing questionable is his admiration for Vladimir Putin. Otherwise, a good trip down memory lane.