The Candidates: Wesley So; By Carlos Colodro; Chess24
The 2018 Candidates Tournament will be played in Berlin on 10-28 March. The winner will get a chance to fight for the World Championship title against Magnus Carlsen this November in London. We take a look at each candidate, analyzing his previous participations in similar events and his performance during 2017 and 2018 - next up is Wesley So.
The Candidates: Sergey Karjakin; By Carlos Colodro; Chess24
The 2018 Candidates Tournament will be played in Berlin on 10-28 March. The winner will get a chance to fight for the World Championship title against Magnus Carlsen this November in London. We take a look at each candidate, analyzing his previous participations in similar events and his performance during 2017 and 2018, starting with Sergey Karjakin.
Impressions from Tata Steel 2018; By Frederic Friedel; ChessBase
The Tata Steel Tournament, often called the "Wimbledon of Chess", is held in a wind-swept Dutch coastal resort, Wijk aan Zee, in the middle of winter. It is very prestigious and attracts top players from around the world, as well as hundreds of amateurs, who play in subsidiary tournaments or simply come to watch the action in the top groups. We bring you impressions of this year's 80th anniversary event, and a wonderful chess study to solve.
January Wrap-Up; By ACC President
ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game.
The club had a great turnout in our events this month. In the ACC Blitz tournament (5 double-rounds [10 games] at a G/3 +2 time control), 20 players crossed swords over their chess boards with Daniel Clancy and Isaac Chiu tying for 1st (8/10) followed by Robert Cousins in 3rd (7/10). In the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), over 55 players competed for the Ladder Prize. This month, William Sarrano outlasted the competition (3.5/4.0) followed by Jason J. Robinson in 2nd (3/5) - with both picking up over 60 ratings points! In the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), 3 players out of 16 tied for 1st (2.5/3.0) including Francisco Morales, Ken Chieu, and Rodney Flores. And finally, 52 players showed up for the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5), with Andrew Samuelson taking sole first (4.5/5.0) in the Premier section followed by Daniel Clancy in 2nd (4/5) and a 4-way tie for 3rd. In the U1700 section, Timothy Balton edged out 3 other players for 1st place (4.5/5.0). Owen Underwood won the U1400 prize (4/5) while a whopping 5 players split the U1200 prize (2/5).
1/17/1951: Bobby Fischer's first simul; By Johannes Fischer; ChessBase
Ten years ago, on January 17, 2008, Bobby Fischer died at the age of 64 in Reykjavik, Iceland. It is a strange coincidence that Fischer died on the same date that he played the first public game of his life. This was January 17, 1951, at a simul against American Master Max Pavey.
7 questions before the 80th Tata Steel Masters; By Colin McGourty; Chess24
Magnus Carlsen takes on Fabiano Caruana in Saturday’s first round of the Tata Steel Masters as he aims for a record 6th title, but it’s not going to be easy! Fellow 5-time Champion Vishy Anand plays for the first time since 2013, former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik plays for the first time since 2011, and in fact six of the world’s Top 10 play in the strongest Wijk aan Zee in many years after the organisers pulled out all the stops for the 80th edition! We take a look at seven questions before the tournament begins.
December Wrap-Up; By ACC PresidentACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. The club held its Holiday Party on Dec 23 and over 60 members participated - a good time was had by all! As part of the party, the ACC held the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5) in which a field of 19 players competed. Oliver Kayende won clear first followed closely by a 3-way tie for 2nd (2.5/3). Even though this was a long month (5 club meetings) and over 50 players participated, the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), ended in a four-way between J. Custodio, O. Underwood, I. Turner and T. Moore (3/5). In the ACC Blitz tournament (5 double-swiss rounds, G/3 +2), 22 players fought over the board with Larry Gilden taking clear first (8/10) followed closely by Justin Paul (7.5/10). Due to church construction issues, the ACC Action Plus tournament was not held this month.
Svidler wins incredible 8th Russian Championship; By Colin McGourty; Chess24
23 years after winning his 1st Russian Championship as an 18-year-old Peter Svidler is now an 8-time Champion after defeating Nikita Vitiugov in a playoff finish. He picked up the 1 million rouble top prize, will get a Renault Captur car in January and also returned to the World Top 10 at the age of 41. 19-year-old Aleksandra Goryachkina is just starting out, but at this rate may match Peter someday. She already has her 2nd Russian title after beating Natalia Pogonina in a thrilling finish to the women’s event.
Alpha Zero: Comparing "Orangutans and Apples"; By André Schulz; ChessBase
In time for the start of the London Chess Classic DeepMind, a subsidiary of Google, published a remarkable report about the success of their "Machine Learning" project Alpha Zero. Alpha Zero is a chess program and won a 100 game match against Stockfish by a large margin. But some questions remain. Reactions from chess professionals and fans.
Houdini wins TCEC Superfinal; By Stephan Oliver Platz; ChessBase
Interview: Houdini Author: Chessdom
In recent years the TCEC tournament has turned into the unofficial Computer Chess World Championship. This year Houdini and Komomo made it to the final, a 100 game match. But even before all 100 games were played Houdini decided the match in its favour. In an interview during the match the programmers of Komodo and Houdini revealed their views on current developments in computer chess.
All London Chess Classic interviews; By Macauley Peterson; ChessBase
The official Grand Chess Tour webcast is a treasure trove of information, and the best, most convenient way to hear directly from the players after nearly every game. But at five hours or more, it can be tiresome to scan through each days full show to find the interesting guests spots. No more! We've pinpointed every major interview for one-click access.
New format for Grand Chess Tour 2018; By Pein, Khodarkovsky, and Rich; ChessBase
The organizers of the Grand Chess Tour announced changes to the format for 2018, including a new format for next year's London Chess Classic. The traditional classical tournament will be replaced by a semi-final and final held in mid-December that will combine classical, rapid and blitz chess over six days. The change is being made to make the tour final more dynamic, accentuate the purpose of the GCT's "Universal Rating" system (combining all three disciplines) and avoid conflict with the World Championship which will be also held in London from November 9th to 28th.
AlphaZero: Reactions From Top GMs, Stockfish Author; By Peter Doggers; Chess.com
AlphaZero's Great Predecessors: Chess.com
How Does It Play Chess?: Chess.com
The news about AlphaZero beating Stockfish 64-36 without a single loss after just four hours of self-training has shocked the chess world. Chess.com has early reactions from the London Chess Classic participants and from one of the original authors of Stockfish.
The Tsar, Matilda and the Russian Chess Championship; By Macauley Peterson; ChessBase
If you are bored with the turn of events in London classic (with only two decisive games in five rounds), look into Russian "superfinal", where the clash between hungry young talents, seeking to make a name for themselves, and experienced players such as seven-time Russian Champion Peter Svidler. So far the tournament has created a lot of decisive and creative games, and dramatics moments to delight spectators and chess fans alike.
Google's AlphaZero Destroys Stockfish In 100-Game Match; By Mike Klein; Chess.com
Chess changed forever today. And maybe the rest of the world did, too. A little more than a year after AlphaGo sensationally won against the top Go player, the artificial-intelligence program AlphaZero has obliterated the highest-rated chess engine. Stockfish, which for most top players is their go-to preparation tool, and which won the 2016 TCEC Championship and the 2017 Chess.com Computer Chess Championship, didn't stand a chance. AlphaZero won the closed-door, 100-game match with 28 wins, 72 draws, and zero losses. Oh, and it took AlphaZero only four hours to "learn" chess. Sorry humans, you had a good run.
The future is here – AlphaZero learns chess; By Albert Silver; ChessBase
Imagine this: you tell a computer system how the pieces move — nothing more. Then you tell it to learn to play the game. And a day later — yes, just 24 hours — it has figured it out to the level that beats the strongest programs in the world convincingly! DeepMind, the company that recently created the strongest Go program in the world, turned its attention to chess, and came up with this spectacular result.
DeepMind’s AlphaZero crushes chess; By Colin McGourty; Chess24
20 years after DeepBlue defeated Garry Kasparov in a match, chess players have awoken to a new revolution. The AlphaZero algorithm developed by Google and DeepMind took just four hours of playing against itself to synthesise the chess knowledge of one and a half millennium and reach a level where it not only surpassed humans but crushed the reigning World Computer Champion Stockfish 28 wins to 0 in a 100-game match. All the brilliant stratagems and refinements that human programmers used to build chess engines have been outdone, and like Go players we can only marvel at a wholly new approach to the game.
November Wrap-Up; By ACC President
ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game.
Most notably this month, the club held a Blindfold Simulultaneous Matchon November 11, 2017, with the widely recognized Blindfold King, GM Timur Gareyev. GM Gareyev was very generous to ACC with his time as he also gave a Small Group lesson to 11 players on October 4th and dropped by the Friday club meeting on October 6th for another impromptu lecture.
The GM is originally from Uzbekistan and has held the rank of the 3rd highest rated chess player in the US with a peak USCF rating of 2780. He is best known for his exceptional Blindfold Chess playing ability. Blindfold chess is where the player has no sight of the chess board or position of the pieces on the board. He broke the world record in number of opponents (48) for a blindfold simul in Las Vegas in December of last year.
He is also a very active and successful GM having won the recent Atlantic Open with final round wins over local players LM Andrew Samuelson, WIM Jennifer Yu and GM Sergey Erenberg. See more on this performance at this webpage on the US Chess Federation website. For the ACC event, GM Timur Gareyev discussed blindfold simuls and took general Q&A for about an hour before taking on all challengers in the Blindfold Simul match. Unlike most simuls where players move when the GM comes to their board, GM Gareyev remained blindfolded and exercising on a stationary bike while a "Mover" took care of making the physical moves for the GM on each board. In an unusual move, the GM played Black on all boards and, unlike normal simuls, all players were put on a clock instead of getting 3 "passes."
The GM's record in the 16 games played at ACC was 15 wins and 1 draw, which he gave to young Ronen Wilson. Ronen said, "It was an honor to play the Blindfold King. I felt really good that I was able to get a draw." Ronen's dad noted, "It was a rare and thrilling experience playing Timur - he is a great guy and a wonderful ambassador for Chess." The GM offered one other draw, to yours truly, but the offer was declined to see how the game unfolded (I lost on time). For my part, I was amazed how quickly the GM moved from move-to-move and board-to-board, as he averaged about 1-2 minutes on each move throughout the match. Game scores from the Simul can be found in the latest edition of the VA Chess Federation newsletter.
Separately, in a short month, due to the Turkey Day holiday, the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), only had about 45 players compete for the Ladder Prize with young newcomer Donovan Chong grabbing first place (3/3). In a field of 14 players in the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), Andrew Samuelson and Zachary Martin split first place (2.5/3) followed closely by 5 players a half point behind them (2/3). In the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) Andrew Samuelson tied with Larry Gilden (4/5) amongst low turnout with Yobo Chen and Sam Schenk tying for 3rd (3.5/5). In the U1700 section, Brian Tay tied for first with Barzin Badiee (4/5) followed by a 3-way tie for third place. Finally, with the truncated number of playing dates, the ACC Blitz tournament was not held in November.
World Championship 2018 to be in London; By Macauley Peterson; ChessBase
Magnus Carlsen will defend his World Championship title in a 12-game match to be held in London from November 9th to 28th, 2018, World Chess confirmed today. He will play the winner of the Candidates tournament to be held in Berlin in March.
Mamedyarov & Grischuk take final Candidates spots; By Colin McGourty; Chess24
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Alexander Grischuk have qualified for the 2018 Candidates Tournament after their rivals failed in their missions at the Palma de Mallorca Grand Prix. Both Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Teimour Radjabov could ultimately have qualified with last-round wins, but Maxime went down in flames to Dmitry Jakovenko while Teimour inexplicably offered a draw in a playable position against Richard Rapport. Mamedyarov and Grischuk therefore join Aronian, Caruana, So, Kramnik, Ding Liren and Karjakin as contenders to be Magnus Carlsen’s next challenger.
Tari & Abdumalik 2017 World Junior Champions; By Colin McGourty; Chess24
18-year-old Aryan Tari has won the 2017 World Junior Championship in Tarvisio, Italy so that we now have two Norwegian World Champions. He held his nerve in a tense last-round clash with top seed Jorden van Foreest, while 12-year-old Praggnanandhaa couldn’t get anything with Black against Rasmus Svane and had to settle for fourth place despite a brilliant tournament. Manuel Petrosyan and Aravindh sneaked into the medal places after slow starts. 17-year-old Zhansaya Abdumalik took the girls title by a full point,
TCEC: Superfinal Houdini vs Komodo; By Stephan Oliver Platz; ChessBase
Over the years the "Thoresen Chess Engines Competition" (TCEC) has become the unofficial Computer World Championship and the very best programs start in this tournament. After two qualifiers, season 10 now finishes with the superfinal in which Komodo faces Houdini. They play 100 games against each other, and the games are shared live on PlayChess. As a bonus, we bring you a brief modern history of computer chess.
Stockfish Wins Chess.com Computer Championship; By "Pete;" Chess.com
The powerful, open-source chess engine Stockfish narrowly beat out two strong commercial engines to win the first Chess.com Computer Chess Championship this week. Stockfish placed clear first in the 10-engine round robin to reach the superfinal, and then edged the second-place Houdini in the rapid, blitz, and bullet finals to win the championship, which was shown on Chess.com's live server Nov. 13 through 16.
Carlsen & Ding Liren in Champions Showdown; By Colin McGourty; Chess24
World Champion Magnus Carlsen will play 30 rapid and blitz games against Chinese no. 1 Ding Liren in a 4-day match in St. Louis as part of the Champions Showdown. The prize fund is $100,000 with $60,000 for the winner, but that’s just one of four matches, as Hikaru Nakamura takes on Veselin Topalov, Fabiano Caruana plays Alexander Grischuk and Wesley So faces Leinier Dominguez.
The land of Gandhi invites you for World Youth (U-16) Olympiad 2017; By Sagar Shah; ChessBase
The World Youth Olympiad (under-16) will be held in India in the city of Ahmedabad from the 10th to 19th of December 2017. Already 17 teams have registered for the event. India is fielding their strongest team which includes GM Aryan Chopra and two of the biggest talents R. Praggnanandhaa and Nihal Sarin. Will there be any team to stop the hosts? In this article you get all the information about the event and also get to know why from a tourist point of view, Gujarat is one of the most scenic destinations in the country.
October Wrap-Up; By ACC President
ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game.
In big news, on Saturday November 11th, Timur will play a BlindFold Simul at the Arlington Chess Club - Claim Your Spot and Register Early! Come check this event out!
Timur is a Super-GM topping out at 2780 and currently in the high 2600s. He has made a name for himself by holding BlindFold Simuls and last December (2016), he set the world record for playing 48 opponents on the way to winning 35 of the games and drawing over half of the rest.
In the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), nearly 50 players competed for the Ladder Prize with young Tony Lin grabbing first place (3.5/5) a full point ahead of X. Jian and M. Hiban (2.5/5). Of the 12 players in the ACC Blitz tournament (5 double-rounds [10 games] at a G/3 +2 time control), Larry Gilden held off the opposition to win first place (7.5/10) a half point ahead of young Geoffrey Davis (7/10) and a full point ahead of 3-way tie for 3rd place. In the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), Ken Chieu has returned to ACC events after a long hiatus to start collecting wins including running the boards against 11 other players to secure 1st place (3/3) ahead of a 3-way tie for 2nd place (2/3) by A. Indusekar, V. Guzman and Richard A. Allen (also returning after a long hiatus). And finally, in the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) we had a super low turnout as only 28 players slogged it out with Andrew Samuelson sweeping the opposition (5/5) in the Premier section to finish a full point and a half ahead of Zack Martin and Jason Liang who tied for 2nd place. In the U1700 section, Andy Chang won clear first (4/5) a half point ahead of Steven Scala and Isaac Stevens who tied for 2nd place(3.5/5). All in all, a busy month in which fun was had by all!
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Solution to a truly remarkable study; By Frederic Friedel; ChessBase
Our readers called it "devilish" and "insane" — the study shown to us by Hans Böhm during the Tata Steel Chess Tournament had people really straining their minds — and computers. Today we give you the solution and tell you who won the prize (a signed version of Fritz 16). But more importantly, we provide a full background of the study, published by Dutch composer Gijs van Breukelen, a number of years after it had been seen by friends — including the great Mikhail Tal.
The Extremely Important Manipulation Of Pawn Structures.; By Jeremy Silman; Chess.com
Clearly, understanding pawn structure is something that needs to be discussed over and over again. If you don’t understand pawn structure, you will find yourself making moves that have nothing to do with the position. You’ll be playing in the dark without knowing it.
Chess in prisons makes a difference; By Amruta Mokal; ChessBase
Carl Portman is an English chess player who wrote a unique book on chess. This is not another theoretical book, this is a legacy book as he likes to call it titled 'Chess Behind Bars' by Quality Chess. In his interview with Amruta Mokal for ChessBase India, Carl talks about why he decided to start Chess in Prison voluntarily in England, what motivates him to continue working on this project, how successful he was in this unique project, how he tries to push this in governors' prison agenda, different situations he had to face and how he dealt with it.
In Memoriam: John T. Campbell
In solemn news, ACC President Emeritus John T. Campbell passed away at 7am Wednesday morning, February 7, 2018, after a long period of declining health. John had just turned 91 the previous Monday. While an official obituary is still in development, we can share that John joined the US Navy at the tail end of World War II, though he never served overseas during the war. He later graduated from UC Berkeley, taught at Johns Hopkins University, worked at the National Science Foundation and later with the Department of the Interior.
John became Arlington Chess Club President in the 1960's after moving from Texas to Arlington and joining the club in 1959. For too long in recent years, ACC was only kept alive by John's dedicated efforts. Even through several moves, John kept ACC housed in quality venues. He was an "A" Player who was also a several times Virginia Seniors Champion. He was also the long-time leader of the Arlington Argyles team of the DC Chess League. This octogenarian Texan was still going strong as ACC's inspirational leader until he passed away. We miss our friend and leader.
According to his family, John's funeral will be held Monday, March 12th at the Advent Funeral Home in Falls Church. The address is 7211 Lee Highway, Falls Church 22046; Tel: 703-241-7402. The service beings at 11:30am, followed by transportation to the Navy cemetery in Quantico, VA where John will be interred with his wife, Frances, who passed in early 2017.
What's Inside AlphaZero's Chess Brain?; By Mel O’Cinneide; Chess.com
In this article I’ll cover how AlphaZero learns, by itself, to play chess. It’s learning happens using a neural network. A neural network is an attempt at making a computer system more like the human brain and less like, well, a computer.
Filatov Remains Head of Russian Chess Federation; By Macauley Peterson; ChessBase
On Saturday, February 3, the Russian Chess Federation held presidential elections. The current president Andrey Filatov started the day facing several challengers, notably Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the current FIDE president, who is expected to stand for reelection to the body in September at the Chess Olympiad in Batumi. Ilyumzhinov received support from an unlikely source in former ECU president Silvio Danailov, but ultimately Ilyumzhinov withdrew his bid before the actually voting was held, and Filatov was easily returned to office, along with his team.
Petrosian Put On Armenian Money; By André Schulz; ChessBase
Armenia honours its World Chess Champion Tigran Petrosian with a banknote. The likeness of the 9th World Chess Champion graces the new 2000 dram which has recently been issued for the first time in the country, as part of a new series of notes.
A male dominated game?; By Andrew Martin; ChessBase
On Sunday January 14th 2018, something very unusual happened in England. A chess tournament took place with upwards of 260 players, all of whom were female. The southern semi-final of the ECF National Schools Girls’ Championships was made up of eighty seven separate teams of three. Thirty two schools took part. This may be commonplace in countries such as Turkey, India, the USA and others, but in the UK it is almost unique.
Odds Behind Hou Yifan’s pairings in 2017; By Johannes Meijer; ChessBase
The Gibraltar Masters wrapped up Thursday, with Levon Aronian in first place. This year round ten passed without incident, in contrast to 2017 when, on February 2nd, the story of the day was a rare scandal involving women's World Champion Hou Yifan deliberately losing a game in protest of the high number of women she was paired against. She was further confounded when a similarly unlikely string of pairings happened in October at the Isle of Man Open. Johannes Meijer looks at the odds in detail. Hou did not return to Gibralter in 2018, but instead competed in the Tata Steel Chess Masters.
Gibraltar: More Than Meets the Eye; By Macauley Peterson; ChessBase
There's a lot more going on every year in Gibraltar aside from the main Masters tournament. From player interviews, to master classes, to the always entertaining "Battle of the Sexes" here's some of what's been happening.
50 games you should know: Tarrasch vs Lasker, 1908; By Johannes Fischer; ChessBase
Good chess players are often bad losers. After defeats they throw tantrums, berate themselves or their opponents and throw things around. But bad losers often train harder than others and learn from their defeats, provided they are self-critical enough. Some bad losers shy away from a critical look at their play. One of them was Siegbert Tarrasch.
The final years of Zukertort; By Stephan Oliver Platz; ChessBase
In 1886 Johann Hermann Zukertort played the first official match for the World Championship and lost to Steinitz. But at that time Zukertort already suffered from severe health issues which two years later led to his early death. Stephan-Oliver Platz takes a look at the health of Zukertort in the final years of the chess legend.
Changing the Rules (FIDE); CHESS Magazine
Recently a World Championship blitz game between Magnus Carlsen and Ernesto Inarkiev ended in bizarre fashion: Inarkiev stopped the clock because his opponent had "made an illegal move" — and was awarded the point. But then it was ascertained that it was he who had moved illegally on the previous move, and the point was given to Carlsen. We reported extensively on the incident. Now International Arbiter Alex Holowczak weighs in, taking a closer look at the recently released revised rules of the game.
Rediscovering Morphy; By Davide Nastasio; ChessBase
Review: Certain legendary champions form the foundation on which every player should learn and improve one's chess. Morphy is definitely among the first players one must learn from, as his games can be used for teaching, for learning on one's own, or simply for enjoying the beauty of human creativity. Thanks to a team of ChessBase titled players we have a selection of the most beautiful combinations, endgames, and openings played by Morphy.
Lewis Carroll envisioned his Alice playing chess; By Sergio Ernesto Negri; ChessBase
If we were to create a list of notable writers who made significant contributions to chess, along with Alfonso X of Castile — also known as "the Wise" — Stefan Zweig, Vladimir Nabokov and Jorge Luis Borges, we would have to include Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), that is to say Lewis Carroll, the pseudonym chosen by the Briton to present his literary work.
Remembering Karel Treybal; By Vlastimil Hort; ChessBase
Karel Treybal was a strong Czech player but an amateur and a judge by profession. However, he could beat players such as Alexander Alekhine or Geza Marozy. In 1941 the Gestapo charged Treybal with illegal possession of firearms and executed him. Vlastimil Hort remembers a Czech patriot and a "chess gentleman."
The Art Of Looking At Your Opponent; By Jeremy Silman; ChessBase
After looking at a lot of amateur games (on Chess.com and also in tournaments)—and at those by titled players—I see (sadly) that most people are still dancing with themselves. Okay, titled players don’t make horrific errors too often, and if they do it’s usually for different reasons than amateurs. Nonetheless, everyone is vulnerable to the “dancing with themselves” disease.
Solutions: Benko's Christmas problems; By Frederic Friedel; ChessBase
Every year Pal Benko, grandmaster, former World Championship candidate, and one of the best problem composers in the world, sends our readers very special seasonal greetings. They come in the form of chess problems in which the pieces represent figures — this time a Christmas tree and candles. This year it was seven problems, one shaped like a tree and six like candles. Here the solutions — and some new and amusing problems to tickle your mind.
What is Garry up to? ; By Macauley Peterson; ChessBase
Kasparov has been making the media rounds as he does, but lately he's been fielding questions on chess rather than the subjects that are more often in his sights: Russia, politics, and AI. He's recently been featured in a serious conversation with conservative commentator Bill Kristol, a not-so-serious Q&A session with Twitter users published by Wired Magazine, and a wonderful mini-history lesson for The New Yorker magazine.
An amusing problem from Zukertort; By Stephan Oliver Platz; ChessBase
Johannes Zukertort (1842-1888) was a student of Adolf Anderssen and one of the world's best players of his time. In 1886 he played a match against Wilhelm Steinitz which was the first official World Championship match in chess history. Zukertort was also a prolific chess publisher. Stephan Oliver Platz presents an amusing chess problem by Zukertort.
How God plays chess; By Frederic Friedel; ChessBase
In the early 1980s Ken Thompson, working at the Bell Laboratories, generated one of the world’s first chess endgame databases — king and queen vs king and rook. At the time he explained to Frederic Friedel how this revolutionary new technology worked. He did it in the form of a parable: God calculating the 32-piece endgame and playing chess. It is an amusing thought experiment that has gained interesting relevance at the current time.
Carlsen's Biggest Secret; By Gregory Serper; Chess.com
When I analyzed Carlsen's games from the World Rapid and Blitz championships in Saudi Arabia, I indeed noticed that Carlsen used dozens of different patterns in his games, and I am talking only about patterns familiar to me. Just imagine hundreds of patterns familiar only to Magnus! So, maybe Carlsen's unique pattern-recognition ability—based on his excellent memory—is the big secret of his success?
Learning to play blindfold; By Albert Silver; ChessBase
The overriding theme of Fritz 16’s new functions is chess improvement, and among them is a special feature for blindfold chess that can help you refine your visualization skills like no other. It was designed to help players who cannot play a blindfold game yet. The following tutorial not only shows you how it works, but also techniques to fast-track your improvement.
Mamedyarov's recent rise; By Macauley Peterson; ChessBase
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov has been a regular feature of elite tournaments for a decade, and yet he seems to have recently made a breakthrough, winning almost everything in sight in 2017 and climbing the Elo list to challenge World Champion Magnus Carlsen. 2018 offers him a rare chance to actually challenge for the World Title, as perhaps his biggest success of the past year was qualifying for the Candidates tournament in March. We take a brief look at some of his 2017 highlights.
Bobby Fischer’s final days; By Frederic Friedel; ChessBase
Today, ten years ago, one of the greatest chess players of all time, Robert James Fischer, passed away. He had spent three years in Iceland, two in relative comfort and harmony, but struck by horrendous illness at the end of 2007. He had one true friend who tended to him to the end: Gardar Sverrison, who eight years later wrote a remarkable book on the Fischer he knew and who became part of his family. Today, with Gardar's permission, we bring you very moving excerpts from the final section of his book.
Gain Rating Points; By Greg Serper; Chess.com
Today we will talk about what you can do in order to gain a lot of rating points as quickly as possible. I bet you've all heard the famous cliche that "chess is 90 percent tactics." While this saying is a bit overused, it correctly underlines the importance of the tactical skills.
Paul Keres (VIII): Gulliver among the Lilliputians; By Staff; Chess24
Paul Keres ended his amazing sequence of finishing second in four Candidates Tournaments in a row when he lost a match to Boris Spassky in 1965, but while that may have ended the Estonian legend's World Championship ambitions he never quit the game. A decade later, in 1975, he finished above Spassky to win the Tallinn International at the age of 59. Alas, a few months later he was dead. In this final part of his series, Joosep Grents recounts the final decade of Paul Keres' life and reflects on the question of why he never quite became World Champion.
Kasparov Interview ; By Mike Klein; Chess.com
Garry Kasparov had a busy spring and summer of 2017 in which he recorded his Master Class and then participated, after a 12-year absence from competitive chess, in the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz tournament. While he's been on television much recently to discuss politics, his passion is still the game that made him famous. In an exclusive interview for Chess.com, he speaks about all matters relating to chess.
Best of 2017 poll results; By Macauley Peterson; ChessBase
The results are in! Find out how ChessBase readers rated our nominations for Player of the Year, Female Player of the Year, Game of the Year, Endgame of the Year and Move of the Year. From Anand to Zhongyi, we look back at the highlights of 2017, as selected by ChessBase editors and voted on by members!
60 years ago: 14-year old Bobby Fischer wins US Championship; By Johannes Fischer; ChessBase
60 years ago this week, on January 7, 1958, to be precise, the tenth U.S. Championship came to an end with a sensation: the 14-year old Bobby Fischer won with 10½ / 13 ahead of a strong field. With this win Fischer qualified for the Interzonal tournament in Portoroz 1958, and won the first of his eight U.S. titles.
20 years ago: Anand and Karpov; By Dagobert Kohlmeyer; ChessBase
Twenty years ago this week, on January 2, 1998, Viswanathan Anand and Anatoly Karpov began their match for the FIDE World Championship in Lausanne, Switzerland — under peculiar circumstances. Anand had qualified for the match by winning the knock-out tournament in Groningen but then had to go immediately to Lausanne to play for the title — without a break or time for preparation.
Who was Paul Felix Schmidt?; By André Schulz; ChessBase
Only a few chess enthusiasts will remember the name of Paul Felix Schmidt though Schmidt was one of the world's best players in the 1930s and 1940s, and equal to his Estonian countryman Paul Keres. A new biography by Eva Regina Magacs and Michael Negele invites you to get to know Paul Felix Schmidt and chess in his time.