Over two weeks full of world class chess in Saint Louis are waiting for us. It begins with the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz, the third stage of the 2018 Grand Chess Tour, which started yesterday.
Caruana, Aronian, Anand, Karjakin, Nakamura, Vachier-Lagrave, Mamedyarov, Grischuk, So and Dominguez are the 10 players who’ll be in action from 11-15 August. There are 3 rapid games per day for each of the first 3 days, followed by 18 rounds of blitz chess in the final 2.
Shortly after, the Sinquefield Cup 2018 starts with the same line-up, but World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen playing instead of Leinier Dominguez. The Sinquefield Cup 2018 will be the fourth and final stage of the 2018 Grand Chess Tour, taking place from 18-27 August. The 10 players will not just be fighting for the tournament win, but also for a share of the huge $300,000 prize fund.
The Sinquefield Cup will also feature the last battle between Fabiano Caruana and Magnus Carlsen before their World Championship Match. Can one of them get some psychological momentum by winning the last big test?
Michael Adams Wins The British Chess Championship In A Thrilling Playoff
This year’s British Chess Championship ended with a dramatic last round and a spectacular fight in a playoff. The 9th and last round of the tournament seemed to be close race between Michael Adams and David Howell who both were on 6.5/8.
David Howell was playing on board 1. He had the White pieces but had to face Luke McShane (2669), one of the favorites by rating. Michael Adams, in contrast, had Black against Daniel Gormally (2478). It was not clear who had the better chances – but things went very differently to most people’s expectations!
Adams got an advantage in his game, but couldn’t convert it and only drew. His rival, David Howell, definitely had a slight advantage after the opening against Luke McShane. However, he lost track and came under an unpleasant attack against which he couldn’t defend. Sensationally, he lost and was out of the running!
Adams’ drawn and McShane’s win meant that Luke managed to catch Mickey Adams up. They finished on 7/9 and a playoff decided the outcome of the Championship. Michael Adams convincingly won the first of two rapid games and got a winning position in the second game too. Then, incredibly, a big blunder allowed Luke McShane to win and take the playoff to blitz games.
Although it seemed that this was a huge psychological setback for the top seed, Michael Adams kept calm and continued his dominant performance. He convincingly won both blitz games against his rival and took the title. If you want to know more about the games and the championship as a whole, read our big report on all what happened at the British Chess Championship.
Blog Article of The Week
Why do so many chess players dislike playing with Black? Why are many players content with a draw against weaker opponents, just because they have Black?
Many chess players struggle to play well with the Black pieces. Their pre-game attitude is affected by the color they will play with and they lack confidence when they have to play Black.
However, even the best opening repertoire can’t help if you have no confidence in playing as Black. A negative mindset will not only hurt your confidence but also your results.
In our blog article of the week, we want to help you get an objective view on the differences between playing as Black or White. We questioned the assumption that White is better due to his first-move advantage – with a surprising result…
Read all about the advantages and disadvantages of playing Black or White and learn how to create an opening repertoire for Black that fits your playing style.
This Week’s Exclusive FREE Video
Endgames are notoriously tough, and it makes them even tougher if you spend your training trying to memorize positions that might only occur once or twice in your playing career!
Far better, then, to focus on guiding principles we can implement in our own games immediately, no matter what the position in the endgame. Just as there are general principles in the opening, such as developing your pieces, or trying to control the center squares, so too there are principles you can keep in mind during the final stages of play.
In this week’s exclusive free video features Mark Dvoretsky, who was arguably the world’s best chess coach until he sadly passed away in 2016, joined chess24’s GM Jan Gustafsson to discuss one of the crucial endgame principles: Cutting off the king.
Keep in mind: The endgame is most player’s biggest weakness, making it a massive opportunity for you to rack up tons of easy points. Learn all about this key endgame technique.
Last week’s puzzle:
Did you find the winning sequence from last week’s chess puzzle?
This week’s puzzle:
White to move and win.
Answer next week.