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The Week in Chess

Chess News from throughout the World
  1. ChessKid Cup 2023 - Games and Results

    The ChessKid Cup took place Mon 22nd to Fri 26th May 2023 on The latest event in the Champions Chess Tour was won by Nodirbek Abdusattorov who beat Jorden Van Foreest and Fabiano Caruana in the two finals. Vladimir Fedoseev qualified for Division 1 next time beating Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the Division 2 Grand final (and Ngoc Truong Son Nguyen in the first final) and Alan Pichot beat Pentala Harikrishna twice to win Division 3.
  2. Superbet Rapid & Blitz 2023 - Games and Results

    The Superbet Rapid & Blitz takes place in Warsaw, Poland 21st to 25th May 2023. Players: Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, Anish Giri, Wesley So, Richard Rapport, MVL, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Bogdan-Daniel Deac, Kirill Shevchenko and Radoslaw Wojtaszek play in this event which is part of the Grand Chess Tour.
  3. Superbet Chess Classic Romania 2023 - Games and Results

    The Superbet Chess Classic Romania took place in Bucharest 6th to 16th May 2023. This is the first leg of the Grand Chess tour. Fabiano Caruana won the event with 5.5/9 half a point clear of Alireza Firouzja, Wesley So, Anish Giri and Richard Rapport. World Champion Ding Liren won in the final round but otherwise was subdued as was Ian Nepomniachtchi. This was really too soon after their match for either to be playing their best.
  4. 28th Sigeman & Co 2023 - Games and Results

    The 28th Sigeman & Co tournament took place in Malmo, Sweden 4th to 10th May 2023, Category 17. Players: D Gukesh, Arjun Erigaisi, Vincent Keymer, Jorden Van Foreest, Peter Svidler, Boris Gelfand, Nils Grandelius and Abhimanyu Mishra. Peter Svidler won the event with a score of 4.5/7. This is his first tournament victory since his 2017 Russian Championship win.
  5. 4th Stepan Avagyan Memorial 2023 - Games and Results

    The 4th Stepan Avagyan Memorial tookplace in Jermuk, Armenia 3rd-11th May 2023, Category 16. Players: Samuel Sevian, Andrey Esipenko, M. Amin Tabatabaei, Haik M. Martirosyan, Narayanan.S.L, Thai Dai Van Nguyen, Nodirbek Yakubboev, Frederik Svane, Robert Hovhannisyan and Artur Davtyan. Sam Sevian won with 6/9.
  6. 56th Capablanca Memorial 2023 - Games and Results

    The 56th Capablanca Memorial took place in Havana Wed 3rd May 2023 Fri 12th May 2023. The Category 14 Elite event has these players: Eduardo Iturrizaga Bonelli, Raunak Sadhwani, Rasmus Svane, Jonas Buhl Bjerre, Alexandr Fier, Carlos Daniel Albornoz Cabrera, Luis Ernesto Quesada Perez, Omar Almeida Quintana, Lelys Stanley Martinez Duany and Elier Miranda Mesa. Jonas Buhl Bjerre took clear first place after turning round a poor position to beat Rasmus Svane in the final round, this game is now available complete. In second place half a point behind was Alexandr Fier.
  7. Ding Liren is the new World Chess Champion - TB

    Ding Liren won the fourth and final rapid tie-break game against Ian Nepomniachtchi to become the new World Chess Champion. It's been an astonishing run of circumstance that's led to Ding becoming Champion including today's hard fought rapid tie-break games.

    Game one today was a strange d-pawn opening where white grabbed the c5 pawn, Nepomniachtchi went for a counter attack on the king with 22...Rh5 setting a nasty trap, 23.Qc2 was better for white, 23.Rb1 Ne5! left white needing to be accurate to hold which he did.

    Game two was a Ruy Lopez where Nepomniachtchi stood better. 21.exd6 (21.Bg3!) allowed Ding back in the game and equality. Nepomniachtchi did continue to set problems until near the end but Ding was very accurate.

    Game three was a double Fianchetto where Ding got the smallest of edges and Nepomniachtchi held in 33 moves.

    The decisive game four was another Ruy Lopez, Nepomniachtchi came up with an interesting idea of 13.Bb1 but later this bishop became badly placed there. As play speeded up Nepomniachtchi played 29.Qf3 provoking 29...e4 (29...Ne7) which was tricky for Ding, the game became about equal especially after the very precise 40...Bxc3 41.Rc1 Rf6! 42.Qd7 Qe2. After 43.Bb4 Nepomniachtchi seemed to settle on a draw with 44.Qe4+ but second time around and with less than two minutes Ding played the bold 46...Rg6 avoiding the draw. Nepomniachtchi blundered with 48.h4? (he had to find 48.Qf4). But the drama was not over. Nepomniachtchi went for a counter attack with 52.Qc8 Rc6 53.Qa8 with the idea of Rd8 to follow. The engine precisely refutes this by Queening and Qc6 at the very end. Not surprisingly Ding played it safe and most of his advantage was gone but he had lots of threats. After 58...a3 59.h5 was equal as was 58...Bxg7 but real time trouble for Nepomniachtchi led to 59.Qc7? and after this Ding brought home the game and the title.

    Ding: "I am quite relieved. The moment Ian resigned the game, it was a very emotional moment. I could not control my mood, my feelings. I know myself, I will cry, burst into tears. It has been quite a tough tournament for me. I'd like to thank my friends."

    Ding's road to the title was highly unusual. He didn't qualify for the Candidates but when Sergey Karjakin was suspended for political comments he had a chance. Ding's career was on hold because of Covid-19 and he played very little. He had to play a large number of games in China to get his rating to a level to qualify. Around this time Magnus Carlsen said that he probably wouldn't defend his title, many didn't believe him including Ding. Nepomniachtchi dominated the Candidates but the other players weren't sure what to do, play for second or try and catch the leader. Ding wasn't really in contention for much of the event having started with a loss and then draws. However he finished with 4 wins 1 loss and 1 draw including beating Hikaru Nakamura in the final round in a direct battle for second place. Once Carlsen announced he wouldn't be defending Ding, as second place finisher, stepped in to play Nepomniachtchi.

    One should spare a thought for Nepomniachtchi, he could easily have won this match himself. It came down to a very few moves, chances not being clear cut and in the end Ding's boldness seemed to catch Nepomniachtchi off guard and even then he nearly held the game.

    Ian Nepomniachtchi: "I guess I had a chance and many promising positions. Probably I should have tried to finish everything in the classical portion, because it was a matter of one or two precise moves." "Today I should have used my advantage in the second game more carefully. There was a great position. And the fourth game was very difficult; Black had the initiative. But it happens. We both had little time. I could not imagine that this position could be lost, but as it turned out, it can."

    This also brings to an end the 10 year World Championship reign of Magnus Carlsen at least for the moment, he is still World Number one by 60 rating points.

  8. The World Chess Championship will be decided by rapid and possibly blitz tie-breaks on Sunday - 14

    The 14 game match for the World Chess Championship between Ian Nepomniachtchi and Ding Liren finished in a 7-7 draw after a final 14th game of near unbearable tension. There will be a rapid and possibly blitz tie-breaks on Sunday to decide the title.

    Ding Liren had the white pieces and chose the 5.Bd2 Nimzo-Indian. Pretty soon the players were on their own but also it was clear that after 9...dxc4 black had no problems. Well perhaps it wasn't clear to Ding because he went for the super aggressive 12.Ng5 h6 13.h4. Ding was soon disappointed though as 13...Qc7 effectively refuted the attacking ideas and 14.Be2 acknowledged that. There were some computer lines that promised black an advantage but Nepomniachtchi played natural moves and the game was about level after 15...Nf8.

    Ian Nepomniachtchi on 12.Ng5: "Actually, I didn't buy it. It didn't seem like it was going to work because I never played any suspicious moves. I'm well-developed. If Ng5 and h4 could win a game, chess would be much easier for White."

    Ding Liren: “I thought that I had more tempi in this position. So, I thought that I had some chances to launch an attack. I was very optimistic with the Ng5 move, and even excited playing it. But then suddenly I had to go to defence mode. That was the turning point of the game, I guess.”

    Ding's 19.Bb4?! started some tactics to solve some of his problems but again the engine's didn't like this with a precise sequence leading to a big advantage. It's hard to know if the players really missed chances so far in this strange position, for instance 29.Nb7! was equal. 30.Rg3 was bad though and Nepomniachtchi built up a winning advantage after the further error 34.Ke2?

    36...e5 was a bit of a safety first move and it probably cost the Russian the win as now Ding was virtually forced to find the liquidating combination 38.b6! after which he managed to reach a drawn Rook and Pawn endgame. Ding still had to be accurate after first time control but he was and although the game continued to move 90 there were no more changes in evaluation.

    So the match was tied 7-7 and now there will be 4 rapid 25 minute + 10 seconds a move games. If those are drawn a couple of pairs of blitz games at 5 minutes + 3 seconds a move will be played. After that there will be 3 minute plus 2 seconds a move games played until there is a decisive game. No Armageddon, they will play until there's a decision. There is also no rest day. The tie-breaks are tomorrow Sunday 30th April at 10am. Ding Liren drew the white pieces.

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