Chess: ‘Game of the Year’ decides title as Covid-19 hits Russian championship | Chess


A game cast in the romantic mold of the 19th century and the legendary Latvian Mikhail Tal won the top prize in this week’s Russian championship.

Its creator Daniil Dubov, 24, Magnus Carlsen’s assistant for the 2018 world championship, played what has been widely hailed as the “Game of the Year”, As he beat Sergey Karjakin with a prepared gambit where Dubov blitzed his first 13 shots and followed with mad and queen sacrifices.

Dubov’s 15th Bf6! and 19 Qxg6 !! the sacrifices were too difficult to defend in the practical game. The g6 / g3 square was the setting for two of the classic queen sacrifices in chess history, Frank Marshall’s Qg3 “gold pieces” !! Game against Stefan Levitsky in Breslau 1912 and Qxg6 by Alexander Alekhine! against Emmanuel Lasker in Zürich 1934.

Covid precautions have featured prominently in the handful of major international tournaments that have continued despite the pandemic. Some or all of the flexible glass screens, tall tables, face masks, daily virus testing and no spectators were the norm in Biel, the German Bundesliga and Stavanger.

Have computers killed chess?

All of them successfully completed their schedules, but the virus hit back at the historic Moscow Central Chess Club when Mikhail Antipov was forced to step down on the rest day after six of the 11 rounds. The reason for Antipov’s departure was not made public until the last day, and the outcome could have been worse – all other competitors tested negative. The 23-year-old Muscovite, 2015 junior world champion, had played more than half of his matches, so his score was maintained, but he had already met the top four, so the result was unaffected.

World No.4 Ian Nepomniachtchi won his second national title with 7.5 / 11, ahead of Karjakin 7, Vladimir Fedoseev and Dubov 6.5. Nepomniachtchi is 30 years old, is part of the birth year of the 1990 vintage of chess which also produced the world champion, Carlsen, the world number 5 of France, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, and the world challenger 2016 Karjakin, for which this week was another failed attempt at a tournament he has never won.

Nepomniachtchi was less successful than Carlsen or the American duo Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So in the Online Tour 2020, but he is well positioned for the resumption of over-the-board play. The Russian is co-leader halfway through the Candidates, abandoned in April 2020 and whose resumption is scheduled for spring 2021, therefore has serious chances of becoming Carlsen’s official challenger. If he does, he can expect stronger support than Karjakin against Carlsen in New York 2016. There is now a new Fide president, Arkady Dvorkovich, who has been impressive in his work but also remains committed to help Russia regain its preeminence from the Soviet era.

The Russian women’s championship went to favorite Aleksandra Goryachkina, as Polina Shuvalova, who won all of her first six games, was unable to win another in the second half, where she was caught in the final and then lost. an Armageddon tie-break.

English online league 4NCL drew 228 teams across six divisions in its second season which ended this week with a surprise winner. ChessPlus Kingston was the second promoted team of ChessPlus, which runs courses for current and potential chess teachers in 14 European countries.

The contacts of its founder, John Foley, formed a strong squad for the final, led by two women whose careers have included moments of Beth Harmon. Pia Cramling was one move away from defeating Viktor Korchnoi in his heyday, while Dana Reizniece-Ozola defeated world number 1 Hou Yifan at the 2016 Olympics.

CPK won the semi-final against the Guildford youth team, then the final against Wood Green. The decisive blow came when CPK led 2-1, but Cramling had played against the tower and two pawns from England’s youngest general manager Dan Fernandez. She considered quitting, but “I told my students not to quit too early” and Fernandez drew.

The result is a disappointment for Loz Cooper of Wood Green, arguably England’s best team manager, who helps many emerging talents. This weekend, Cooper manages four England women’s and women’s teams in the 42-team Women’s European Club Cup.

Five-year-old Kushal becomes London champion

A five-year-old boy who learned the moves less than a year ago set an age record by winning the London Under-Eight Championship. The annual event, played online last weekend, kicked off in the boom of the 1970s and launched the careers of elite England GMs Gawain Jones and David Howell.

Most chess talent tends to emerge at age seven, eight or nine, sometimes at six. Globally, the best prodigy was Samuel Reshevsky, who gave simulations at six and later became America’s best player before Bobby Fischer – but there have been claims that Reshevsky was born in 1909, not in 1911.

Five-year-eight-month-old Kushal Jakhria and first-year pupil at Pointer School, Blackheath, tied with seed Patrick Damodaran on 6.5 / 7 but had a better tie-break. Both had chances to win in their draw.

Two years ago, Damodaran, then five himself, missed half a point. He is now England’s No.1 under-nine, with a very respectable rating of 1750, and has already represented England in world events. Jakhria, on the other hand, does not yet have top quality games, as it only started playing competitively during the pandemic.

His Under-Eight victory was not just one. Jakhria also scored 6/7 in the London Under-10s and has a lich ranking in the top 9% of the site’s 250,000 fast chess players.

Jakhria’s school in south-east London also produced England’s best-known junior, Shreyas Royal. Pointer’s chess trainer Master Fide Alexis Harakis attributes his student’s success to his exceptional pattern memory, visual skills and endurance for his age.

3702: 1 Be2! h6 2 Rh4! h5 3 Kg5! Ke4 4 Bf3 companion.


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