Chess fans have many reasons to be excited this fall.
Apart from the upcoming clash between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana in their World Championship (running November 9 to 28) there is a lot of high-level chess going on right now.
Let’s take a look:
Isle of Man Chess Tournament: Super GMs Struggling
The 2018 Isle of Man Chess Tournament is taking place in Douglas, the capital of Isle of Man (a self-governing British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland). It’s a famous 9-round Swiss tournament with a top prize of £50,000.
With big prize money it’s no wonder that 6 of the top 10 (Vachier-Lagrave, Giri, Aronian, So, Kramnik, Anand), many more 2700+ rated players (Grischuk, Nakamura, Karjakin …) and 75 grandmasters are participating in the field.
Yet, after 3 rounds played, most of the top seeds have had a tough time coping with their lower-rated opponents. While Maxime Vachier-Lagrave has a perfect 3/3 score, all the other top seeds have at least lost half a point. Vladimir Kramnik, for instance, started with two draws against players rated below 2500 before managing to score his first win in round 3.
What’s more, not all the wins by top seeds in the Isle of Man Chess Tournament were one-sided and convincingly played. Let’s take a look at Levon Aronian’s win against the German GM Dennis Wagner in round 2:
Peter Svidler vs. Sam Shankland in Hoogeven
More high-level chess is being played in the Dutch town Hoogeven. The Hoogeveen Chess Tournament runs from October 20-27 and not only features a strong open tournament but also a 6-game match between Super GM Peter Svidler and US Champion Sam Shankland who crossed the 2700 Elo mark this year and has sustained that level of play.
So far, chess fans have seen two decisive games.
While Sam Shankland was able to win the first game with the White pieces, Peter Svidler (who had a tough time at the European Club Cup recently, losing four games in a row) bounced straight back in round 2.
Blog Article of The Week
Our blog article of the week deals with an attractive chess opening for Black against 1.d4 – the King’s Indian Defense.
It occurs after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 (see the image on the right).
It is is a popular opening at all levels and the choice of players looking to win as Black against 1.d4.
The reason for this is that many positions in the King’s Indian Defense promise Black more active play than in most other openings. Black is able to avoid early simplifications and can enter unbalanced positions, which allows him to play for more than equality.
From club players to Super GMs like Hikaru Nakamura, Teimour Radjabov and Garry Kasparov, you regularly see this opening appearing in competitive play. Kasparov even used it to great effect in last year’s Ultimate Blitz event against Caruana, Nakamura, and Wesley So!
Our opening guide on the King’s Indian Defense provides you with all you need to know about this fascinating opening. What are the typical strategic ideas for both sides? Which are the recurring tactical motifs which come up in the King’s Indian Defense? And what are the main lines and the latest theoretical developments for both sides? All these questions will be addressed in this article.
This Week’s Exclusive FREE Video
This week’s exclusive free video is dedicated to advanced tactical traps which grandmasters fall into.
Although we usually see beginner players falling into tactical traps, Grandmasters can also fall into chess traps, however, the traps grandmasters fall into are usually much more subtle tactical tricks.
In this week’s exclusive free video, IM Valeri Lilov will show you some of the most common tactical traps that chess grandmasters have fallen into, this will allow you to understand these traps better and avoid falling victim to them in your own games.
Last Week’s Puzzle:
Here’s the solution to last week’s puzzle:
This Week’s Puzzle:
It is White to move. What should he play?
Answer next week.