Happy Easter!

Posted by Dennis Monokroussos @ 2:13 PM, Sunday Apr 20th, 2014

Happy Easter to all my fellow Christians, and for that matter to everyone else reading this as well. For those who might be interested, this traditional Easter reflection on The Crucified God blog may be of interest, and the prior posts on the Lenten season leading up through Holy Week and the Crucifixion are worth reading as well.

Gashimov Memorial, Round 1: Carlsen Takes the Lead

Posted by Dennis Monokroussos @ 1:40 PM, Sunday Apr 20th, 2014

Not wasting any time, world champion Magnus Carlsen was the first player to finish in round 1 (along with his opponent, of course), and the only one to come away with a victory. He is thus the early leader of the Vugar Gashimov Memorial, and in the process pushed his all-time rating record to a new high of 2885.7.

Carlsen’s win came at Shakhriyar Mamedyarov’s expense, on the white side of a Cambridge Springs. It isn’t clear whether he “officially” managed an opening advantage – in other words, whether the engines viewed the position as more than three-tenths of a pawn better for White – but what he did manage was a position where Black’s coordination wasn’t so smooth. Mamedyarov’s dark-squared bishop in particular was a distant spectator from early on, and Black was effectively a piece down when Carlsen’s attack started to break through. Mamedyarov flailed a while with 38…Rxf2+, but White had many ways to win and Carlsen wrapped up the point.

That should not be taken for granted, as Fabiano Caruana was also winning his game, but failed to convert. On the white side of an ersatz Hedgehog, Hikaru Nakamura drove the action through the first time control but eventually overpressed. Once Caruana got in 41…a5 Nakamura needed to be precise to hold the balance, and didn’t manage to do so. The culprit was the long-winded maneuver from moves 45-48, aimed at maneuvering his knight to c6. By the time he played 48.Nd4 it was too late; 49.Nc6 would drop the a-pawn after 49…Qa1+. So Nakamura correctly played 49.Nb3, and after 49…Nxb3 50.Rxb3 (50.Qxb3 may have been better) 50…Qa1+ 51.Kf2 f5! 52.Re3 fxe4 53.Bxe4 Qe5 54.Kf3 Caruana had his chance. Here 54…Bh5+ would have won; instead, he played 54…Bxf3+? and Nakamura was able to survive despite his vulnerable king.

In the third game Sergey Karjakin had a slight edge against Teimour Radjabov for a long time in a Tarrasch French, but thanks to the latter’s good defense the game never got out of control.

Here are the round 2 pairings:

Rahway Swiss 4/19/2014

Posted by James R. West @ 7:13 AM, Sunday Apr 20th, 2014

On Saturday, I finished with a score of 1-0-2 in the tournament at Chess Mates.

Gashimov Memorial: Pairings and A Commentary Notice

Posted by Dennis Monokroussos @ 8:01 PM, Saturday Apr 19th, 2014

The Vugar Gashimov Memorial starts tomorrow, and the pairings for the A-group look like this:

  • Magnus Carlsen – Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
  • Hikaru Nakamura – Fabiano Caruana
  • Sergey Karjakin – Teimour Radjabov

Play starts at 3 p.m. local time in Baku/Noon CET/6 a.m. ET, and on chess24 Peter Svidler will be giving live commentary.

Phiona Mutesi Begins U.S. Tour Today

Posted by James R. West @ 4:21 AM, Saturday Apr 19th, 2014

Today WCM Phiona Mutesi and her coach Robert Katende begin a tour of the United States to share their inspiring story of success through chess and education.

Please support Phiona’s campaign.

Quest to the First GM Norm

Posted by United States Chess Federation @ 11:51 PM, Friday Apr 18th, 2014

14-year-old Akshat Chandra of the Quest to GM blog writes about earning his first norm at the GM Norm Invitational at the Marshall Chess Club.

Pix from Marshall Masters 4/15/2014

Posted by James R. West @ 3:54 AM, Friday Apr 18th, 2014

These pictures were taken by me during Tuesday’s tournament at the Marshall Chess Club.

Philadelphia Open Underway

Posted by United States Chess Federation @ 2:46 AM, Friday Apr 18th, 2014

A strong Philadelphia Open is underway, with over ten participating Grandmasters, including reigning US Champion Gata Kamsky.

Texas Beats Poland in Friendly Match

Posted by United States Chess Federation @ 2:00 AM, Friday Apr 18th, 2014

On Saturday, April 12th, 2014, The University of Texas at Brownsville (USA) defeated The University of Warsaw (Poland) in a friendly online match.

US #1 Nakamura Signs with Red Bull

Posted by United States Chess Federation @ 8:16 AM, Thursday Apr 17th, 2014

The #1 US player Hikaru Nakamura has a new sponsor: Redbull. I think working with Red Bull might give chess more exposure; it’s a first step in changing the image.”

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