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.

Carlsen wins Norway Chess 2016

Chessbase:

After seven rounds Magnus Carlsen looked almost certain to win the Altibox Norway Chess tournament. But then he lost against Levon Aronian in round eight, endangering his tournament win. But things went his way in round nine. Aronian drew against Pentala Harikrishna while Carlsen defeated Pavel Eljanov to win Norway Chess for the first time.

A true champion knows how to pick himself up after a fall–even from the penultimate round.

TCEC Season 9

TCEC (Top Computer Engine Championship) Season 9 – group 1a starts today.

TCEC-season-9

Chessdom:

The premier computer chess championship TCEC is starting this May 1st with the strongest ever field – 12 engines over 3100 ELO and a total of 32 participants. Live games will be available at the official site of the competition starting at 13:00 CET.

Apparently, humans can’t compete with these computers, the latter now have a world of their own.

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.

US Championship Open?

On Chessbase news: US Championship 2016 – The strongest ever?

Three top ten players start in the US Championship 2016 and nominally it is the strongest US Championship of all times. But can you really compare today’s tournaments with those of the past? Andy Soltis takes a look at previous Championships that were surprisingly strong and concludes that in a historical context 2016 might not be “the strongest ever”.

Let Magnus Carlsen and the rest of the top 10 gang play, and sure you may call it the strongest US Championship ever.

My point is, if you ask the question, “Is the 2016 US Championship by native Americans the strongest ever?” Then the answer is NO!