Sam Shankland is the 2018 US Champion!
The United States Has A New Chess Champion!
Last week, the US Chess Championship ended after 11 exciting rounds. We saw a brilliant final sprint between Sam Shankland and the big favorite – Fabiano Caruana. The former, won all his final three games and finished with an impressive +6 performance.
With 8,5/11, Sam Shankland became the new US Chess Champion. It is only fair to say that his biggest rival in the tournament – Fabiano Caruana – did not play a bad tournament either. He finished with a +5 score and a small ELO gain. Still, this time his performance was not enough to win the tournament.
What’s more, Sam Shankland did not only play a fantastic tournament ahead of Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So and Hikaru Nakamura, but also reached a near 2900 performance, a gain of 30 ELO and – above all – the 2700 club for the first time in his live. With a new rating of 2701, he’s no. 44 in the world.
Many Big Names Missing at The Russian Team Championship
The Russian Team Championship has been one of the strongest team events of the year for many years. In the last year, the lineup of the team which won the title – Sibir – looked the following: Kramnik, Mamedyarov, Giri, Nepomniachtchi, Grischuk, Andreikin, Korobov and Khismatullin.
This year, however, due to economic difficulties, many teams are not able to meet the financial conditions of these chess giants. This year, for instance, Sibir is led by Khismatullin, the second alternate in the team of 2017.
Still, even if many big names are missing, the tournament is still quite strong. This year’s favorite team is definitely Mednyy Vsadnik which features four 2700+ players – Svidler, Vitiugov, Fedoseev and Matlakov.
The event is help in Sochi from 1-10 May 2018. Overall, 10 teams participate in the tournament, with the best four teams qualifying for the European Club Championship later this year. 5 rounds have been played so far. The current leader is Mednyy Vsadnik with 9 points, followed by Legacy Square Capital (Dubov, Inarkiev, Najer, Motylev, …) with 8 points. However, the Legacy Square Capital already lost to Mednyy Vsadnik in round 2.
Women’s World Championship Started
The Women’s World Championship currently takes place in China. It’s a 10-game match between reigning Champion Tan Zhongyi (ELO: 2522; 26 years old) and Ju Wenjun (ELO: 2571; 27 years old).
Things look pretty well for the challenger, Ju Wenjun, after 3 rounds. After a draw in round 1, she won two games in a row. She’s on top in the match with 2,5-0,5.
You might wonder about the absence of Hou Yifan. The reason for this is that she was unhappy with the conditions of the Women’s World Championship cycle. Hence, she didn’t participate in the in the knockout tournament and thus didn’t qualify for the match.
Join the iChess Team
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We are seeking four new colleagues – a Digital Marketer, a Video Editor, a Web Developer and a Graphic Designer.
You can find more information on the job descriptions and application here.
This Week’s Exclusive FREE Video:
This week’s free video provides you with all the knowledge and skills you need to have when it comes to attacking the uncastled king.
Of course, the most natural place for the king is to be castled safely in the corner. It is advisable for each chess player to castle on time and on the correct side. However, plenty of chess players castle too late. Especially in the early phase of the opening, kings are vulnerable, because of the weak squares f2 and f7 which are guarded solely by the king.
In this free video, Mato Jelic, the hugely popular chess coach, shows you how to make use of your opponent’s mistake of forgetting to castle. Learn to show no mercy and hunt your opponent’s king over the board.
Last week’s puzzle:
Did you find the winning sequence from Areshchenko – Savon?
White has a killer move at hand – 1.Bf6!!, threatening to play Qg5 on the next move. Black is forced to take the bishop – 1…gxf6. Now, however, White brings other attacking pieces into the game. After 2.f4! Rfd8 3.Qh6! – White does not allows Black’s king to escape. Black can’t defend against Rf1-f3-g3.
This week’s puzzle:
This week’s puzzle is taken from a game between Karpov and Huebner. It is White to move. Can you spot the winning combination?
Answer next week.
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