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Knockout (Matches) vs. Round Robin

Different players perform differently when playing in knockout matches vs. round-robin tournaments.

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Former challenger to the world chess crown, Boris Gelfand, when asked if anyone can beat Magnus Carlsen in the near future:

In matches, in general, anyone could. Carlsen is, of course, the clear favourite, but many would have a chance. As for tournaments – he wins the majority of them. Nevertheless, there are still contenders for his crown. I’m cautious in my predictions.

Perhaps, a majority of top grandmasters would agree that holding a tournament in a knockout (matches) format would yield a totally different result than when usually held in round-robin (or Swiss-system) format. That’s because different players perform differently between the two formats. Sometimes, a certain player acts as an Achilles heel against a particular opponent, but performs poorly when slated with the rest of the participants.

Thus, I think it would be interesting to follow tournaments that incorporate both formats. Maybe a round robin in the early stages that ultimately culminates in four-way knockout matches? Don’t you think?

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FIDE Ratings List July 2016

The FIDE Ratings List updated for July 2016 is here. Check out the top 20 in the table below.

FIDE Ratings Top 20--July 2016

RankNameCountryRatingGames
1Carlsen, MagnusNOR28550
2Kramnik, VladimirRUS28120
3Caruana, FabianoUSA28109
4Vachier-Lagrave, MaximeFRA279810
5Aronian, LevonARM27920
6Nakamura, HikaruUSA27870
7Giri, AnishNED27859
8Ding, LirenCHN27783
9Karjakin, SergeyRUS27739
10Anand, ViswanathanIND27700
11So, WesleyUSA27700
12Mamedyarov, ShakhriyarAZE276412
13Topalov, VeselinBUL27610
14Svidler, PeterRUS27590
15Li, Chao bCHN27580
16Harikrishna, P.IND27559
17Rapport, RichardHUN275213
18Grischuk, AlexanderRUS27470
19Navara, DavidCZE274519
20Eljanov, PavelUKR27379

Continue reading “FIDE Ratings List July 2016”

The Bilbao Masters Final 2016

The 2016 Bilbao Masters Final will host the only duel between Carlsen and Karjakin in July before their encounter at The World Chess Championship.

For this year’s Bilbao Masters, Wesley So is the defending champion, when he defeated Anish Giri in blitz playoff last year.

The Bilbao Chess press release:

The Final completes its competitive line-up, the strongest in recent years, with So, the winner of last year’s tournament, Nakamura and Giri, who are among the top ten of the international ranking and the 16-year-old Chinese player Yi Wei, the sport’s emerging world star.

The tournament, which has been recognised as one of the most prestigious in the world, will take place between 13 and 23 July at the Campos Elíseos Theatre, alongside the Villa de Bilbao, one of the most compelling Chess Opens of the year in which 140 players will compete.

This year’s edition of Bilbao Masters has truly gone more exciting, because on top of the familiar rivalry between Wesley So and Anish Giri, the organizers are bringing us a treat with the preview of this year’s World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin. Continue reading “The Bilbao Masters Final 2016”

Chess Beauty: Alexandra Botez

I can only imagine how perturbed a much higher-rated, alpha male chess player can be playing in front of such refined beauty.

Katherine Eisenbrand writes in Standford’s Pulse MagazineYou Just Got Pawned:

ALEXANDRA BOTEZ IS among Canada’s best female chess players, speaks five languages, attends Stanford, and on top of all that she’s trending on Reddit, 9GAG, Imgur, and Tumblr. It also seems like no other “Alexandra Botez” exists in the world, because sixteen search pages later the headlines still read “Botez, Canada’s Best, Most Accomplished, Most Beautiful, Most Amazingly Talented Chess Players.” I’m paraphrasing, but you get the gist.

At the current ELO rating of 2092, I think she’s still far from what she is being described as The Most Amazingly Talented Chess Player. Continue reading “Chess Beauty: Alexandra Botez”

Who will win the 2016 World Chess Championship?

The World Championship is fast approaching. It’s time to put it to a vote. Who’s your favorite to win the 2016 World Chess Championship?

Cast your vote below now:

Grand Chess Tour 2016 Standings — after Paris and Leuven

Magnus Carlsen leads the Grand Chess Tour 2016 so far, but ….

Carlsen Wins Grand Chess Tour Leuven

After winning the rapid rounds with an impressive 4/4 performance on Day 2 of the tournament, World Champion Magnus Carlsen even cemented his dominance with an 11/18 performance in the blitz rounds.

leuven-blitz-2016-final-crosstable

Thus, making him the runaway winner of the combined rapid and blitz games that comprise the whole of the Grand Chess Tour 2016 — Your Next Move — Leuven, Belgium. Final combined results follow:

combined-results-leuven-2016-final

Wesley So makes it to the 2nd place at the conclusion of this Leuven leg. He is followed, this time closely behind, by Levon Aronian and Viswanathan Anand, by half a point each. Continue reading “Grand Chess Tour 2016 Standings — after Paris and Leuven”

Wesley So in great shape so far in Grand Chess Tour 2016

He is, thus far, well poised to take home one of the top prizes in the tour.

Wesley So finished the first half of the blitz rounds of Your Next Move — Grand Chess Tour 2016 at second place with 5 points out of 9, although, tied with Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik, and Hikaru Nakamura. Levon Aronian is slightly ahead at 5.5 points.

Crosstable after nine rounds of blitz games:

gct-your-next-move-2016-blitz-cross

With three-quarters through the tournament, Carlsen is still ahead in the combined score (rapid scores are multiplied by two): Continue reading “Wesley So in great shape so far in Grand Chess Tour 2016”