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Hikaru Nakamura, the five-time US chess champion, has a flourishing online presence with more than a million followers to his Twitch stream, where he demonstrates his high-level skills while passing on expressively phrased nuggets of wisdom. At age 33, Nakamura’s hopes for the classical world title are remote, and he now rarely plays one game a day tournaments. His supremacy is geared to speed games, where he and the world No 1, Magnus Carlsen, have stratospheric ratings around the 2900 mark. Nakamura is a deadly performer at time rates ranging from 25-minute rapid right down to online ultrabullet, where each player has 15 seconds for the entire game. Last weekend at the St Louis Grand Tour he was unbeaten in 27 games of rapid and blitz, and was sure of the $37,500 first prize with three rounds to spare. His magic ingredient is his exceptionally quick reactions to rapidly changing situations on the chessboard, plus the dexterity, control and instant hand-brain coordination needed to make long sequences of correct chess ...
With over-the-board chess making a strong comeback in 2021, the Grand Chess Tour is finally returning to the chess capital of the U.S. The St. Louis Rapid and Blitz, to be held Aug. 10-16, will mark the penultimate event of the Grand Chess Tour. In recent times, especially during the height of the pandemic, rapid and blitz chess have predominantly taken place online. Many of the world’s top chess players (as well as us grandmaster-wannabes) have become accustomed to duking it out virtually on online chess platforms. This year, chess competitors can enjoy some normalcy as they return to battling over a physical chess board. Thankfully, they won’t have to worry about mouse-slipping or internet-connection issues that have scarred some online chess events, including last year’s edition of the STL Rapid & Blitz. A mix of full tour players and wildcards will compete at the St. Louis Chess Club for a generous prize fund of $150,000, with $37,500 going to the winner. The star-studded field includes: GM Fabiano Caruana (USA) - Tour Player; GM Wesley So (USA) - Tour Player; GM Shakrihyar Mamedyarov ...
Popular 60-year-old grandmaster’s eighth-round defeat is overturned while England’s No 1, Michael Adams, halves with 10-year-old from Scotland. Keith Arkell became online British chess champion at age 60 in controversial circumstances last weekend when the popular grandmaster from Paignton, Devon, scored 7.5/9 in the nine-day contest to finish a full point clear of GMs Michael Adams and Bogdan Lalic, with the England No 1 and defending chess champion taking second place on tie-break. Mohammed Ismail, the under-16 champion, was fourth. Victory had seemed remote a day before the finish when Arkell, the 2008 English chess champion and author of Arkell’s Odyssey and Arkell’s Endings, was defeated in round eight. Then the result was reversed as his opponent, Gerasimos Giachos, whose only recorded over-the-board results were five inter-university games for Swansea a decade ago and who had no international Fide rating, was disqualified for allegedly violating the fair play policy. Online cheating has been a bugbear of chess during the pandemic. ECF rules for competitors last week included a mandatory Zoom and webcam, no headphones, and nobody else in the playing room. Other major chess events ...
Magnus Carlsen has never won the biennial World Chess Cup knockout, and the No 1 was eliminated in Tuesday’s semi-finals of its $190,000 2021 renewal in Sochi. Poland’s Jan-Krzysztof Duda, 23, again proved himself a nemesis on big occasions for Norway’s world chess champion, and went on to win the tournament. Last autumn, Duda ended Carlsen’s record 125-game unbeaten run and was congratulated by his namesake Andrzej Duda, president of Poland. This week, the chess-playing Duda did still better as he defeated Sergey Karjakin, the 2016 title challenger, in the World Chess Cup final. Their first game was a speedy draw, but in the second Duda was well prepared against a fashionable counter to the Queen’s Gambit. Karjakin never got in the game and resigned just a pawn down but with a poor position. Duda’s success has qualified him for the eight-player 2022 Candidates, which will decide the next world title challenger following the 2021 match, in which Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi takes on Carlsen over 14 games in November-December in Dubai. The Krakow student will be the first world title candidate ever to represent Poland. From a world top 20 chess player Duda has suddenly jumped to the verge of the chess ...
Magnus Carlsen has never won the $1.9m World Chess Cup, and his early exit at his last attempt in 2017 still rankles. Despite a few early hiccups, it was soon clear that the 2021 version of the 206-player knockout was made for the No 1 as he sailed through the majority of his matches comfortably while most of his seeded rivals fell by the wayside. In Saturday’s semi-finals Carlsen, who beat Étienne Bacrot (France) 2-0, meets Jan-Krysztof Duda (Poland), who won 1.5-0.5 against Vidit Gujrathi (India). Vladimir Fedoseev (Russia) defeated Amin Tabatabaei (Iran) 1.5-0.5 and will meet his compatriot Sergey Karjakin, who beat Sam Shankland (US) 4-2 after the American had led 1-0 and 2-1. Saturday is a rest day, and the semi-finals can be watched free and live at the official website starting 1pm on Sunday. Aleksandra Goryachkina (Russia) beat Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine), and Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia) beat Tan Zhongyi (China) in the Women’s World Chess Cup semi-finals, both by 184.108.40.206. The all-Russian chess ...
Even by the standards of chess prodigies, Hou Yifan stood out. It wasn’t so much the way she played the game—dynamically but not dazzlingly, with an aggressive but flexible style. It was that she was a girl. Thirteen years after she became a chess Grandmaster, at the age of fourteen, people still mention the two big barrettes that used to pin back her bobbed hair. “I never felt restrictions or limitations,” she told me recently, from her home in Shenzhen, China, where she is a professor at Shenzhen University’s Faculty of Physical Education. (Last year, at twenty-six, she became the youngest full professor in the university’s history.) “My parents never taught me that as a girl you should do this or that,” she said. “Teachers never shaped my views in that way.” These days, her hair falls to her shoulders, and black cat’s-eye glasses frame her face. She speaks English quickly and precisely; she spent a year at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, studying public policy. She is the only woman among the hundred best chess players in the world, at ...
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