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Archive for the ‘Chess’ Category

What Is The Best Online Chess Time Control? – Chess.com

Posted: January 23, 2021 at 7:50 pm


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It's difficult to get a large group of chess players to agree on anything, and time controls are probably not the exception.Could the chess community come together, though, to select the best online time control from a short list of choices?

A while back, a Chess.com poll sought to answer this very question, and no single time control received more than 31 percent of the vote.

So let's add some totally subjective clarity to this question by ranking the options from worst to best. The criteria: solely my personal judgment.

Before we get started, a note on increments: They were not included in the poll options, and while they might be a good idea for super-grandmasters who've memorized complicated and esoteric endgames (like king-and-rook vs. king), I generally dislike them for online playbecause there is nothing sweeter than flagging your opponent in a hopeless position.

Two hours? I can't believe this is an option. It gives me a jolt of anxiety to even ponder the existence of a two-hour online time control.

Remember, chess time controls are for each side, so if you choose a two-hour game you could potentially be playing for four hours. Does your battery even last that long, or are you one of those aristocrats with plug-in chargers?

I choose to believe that the 10 percent of the Chess.com poll respondents who selected this option all misclicked. It's the only logical explanation.

Imagine you're playing such a game. You make a move and start watching reruns of The Office while your opponent thinks. You could potentially watch five full episodes before it's your move again. Sure, you were going to watch five Office reruns anyway, but that has nothing to do with chess.

This is a much more reasonable option if you want to play at a glacial pace. I don't think I've ever played a game this slowly, but I can see the appeal of having the luxury of deep analysis if one had the basic attention span necessary to perform it (clearly, I do not).

A 30-minute game will wrap up in an hour or less, which means you could play it on your lunch break if you don't mind eating at the same time.

With 30 minutes on your clock, you could even think about more than one candidate move as you play. I can only imagine that is a helpful thing.

This is a time control that isn't quite sure what it wants to be. It's pretty slow for blitz, but it's definitely still blitz. You're not likely to flag in a simple endgame, but you could find yourself in time trouble in a complicated middlegame.

Something just feels off about this time control. How quickly do you play the opening? Should you ever premove or even hover your pieces?

Listen, just because we have five fingers doesn't mean five minutes is a good time control for a chess game. I think this time control is much more suited to over-the-board blitz, where you have to toil mightily, moving physical pieces.

Save the five-minute games for the IRL tournament skittles room, once normal society resumes itself from the current apocalyptic hellscape.

Now this is an enjoyable online time control. You've got plenty of time to think, yet the game will conclude in no more than 20 minutes. It was the leading vote-getter in the poll, and it's not hard to understand why. 10-minute chess is just pleasant.

If you've made yourself a cup of coffee, this is the ideal game to sip and play. If you find your coffee growing cold, you've arrived at the endgame. That's probably in a chess textbook somewhere.

This is also a great time control for playing on mobile phones, where you don't really have to worry about if your opponent has the latest $200 laser gaming mouse to flag you. You could win byget thisactually playing better moves. It's a revolutionary concept, but it just might catch on.

True bullet chess. One minute. No increment. No fluff. No crying. Can you checkmate me in 60 seconds? Well, if you're GM Hikaru Nakamura, you definitely can.

But how many people reading this are Hikaru Nakamura? At most, one.

Traditionalists are eager to point out the degree of luck in one-minute chess, but luck is a strange word for what's really going on. Bullet chess combines not only tactics and strategy, but also speed, dexterity, daring and bluster.

The clock is as much a factor in bullet chess as the board and pieces. Would you rather be up 10 seconds in time or up a rook? I know what I'd prefer, and I am not telling you just in case we are ever matched in a bullet game together.

Besides, you can actually learn and improve your bullet chess skills. There is even a very helpful Chess.com video on how to flag your opponent.

This is the sweet spot for online chess. There's non-stop action, yet you have time to play a coherent game from start to finish.It's also one of the most liquid time control pools in online chess, so you just click that 3/0 button and within seconds you've got six minutes during which you don't have to think about your life. And isn't that what chess really is all about?

Three minutes seem designed for the game of online chess. You've got to move quickly, but you can't just make bad moves and hope to flag your opponent. That might work in bullet, but with three minutes, they'll figure out how to beat you.

Yet the beauty of three-minute chess is that a mistake isn't fatal. If you lose a pawn in a two-hour game, you might as well resign. But in three minutes, you can mount a comeback if you play sharp, aggressive, and strong moves.

Take a look at the Chess.com blitz leaderboard. Three-minute games are favored by the best players in the world, and for good reason.

The next time you start a game of three-minute chess, take a moment to savor the fact that you're playing the best possible online chess time control. But don't savor it too longafter all, you've got just three minutes.

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What Is The Best Online Chess Time Control? - Chess.com

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January 23rd, 2021 at 7:50 pm

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On Chess: Chess And The Arts – St. Louis Public Radio

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Chess became a source of inspiration in the arts in literature soon after the spread of the game to the Middle East and Europe in the Middle Ages. And it continues to command a formative impact on the arts today.

Chess creates a magical, imaginative narrative with powerful characters and drama, filled with great loss but also great triumphs. For centuries, artists have used chess as their muse to create paintings, sculptures and literature. Some have even created elaborate physical chess sets. Lets examine some of the most famous artists, pieces and chess integrations across genres:

But the influence chess has on art isnt a one-way street. Sometimes, its the other way around. Purling London, a British luxury game company critically acclaimed for its unique boards and artistic renderings, regularly collaborates with well-known artists including Sophie Matisse, Mr. Doodle, Inkie and Thierry Noir to create contemporary chess masterpieces.

While chess-art aficionados can peruse many of the great pieces in museums and in galleries across the world, perhaps one of the best national treasures is the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis, which presents world-class exhibitions that explore the connection of chess to art, culture and history.

The World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to building awareness of the cultural and artistic significance of chess. Housed in an historic 15,900 square-foot residence-turned-business, the WCHOF features World Chess Hall of Fame inductees, United States Chess Hall of Fame inductees selected by the U.S. Chess Trust, displays of artifacts from the permanent collection and exhibitions highlighting the great players, historic games and rich cultural history of chess.

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On Chess: Chess And The Arts - St. Louis Public Radio

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January 23rd, 2021 at 7:50 pm

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Daily Chess Ratings And Daily960 Ratings Adjusted – Chess.com

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NOTE: Chess.com has now reverted all ratingadjustments referred to in this announcement. We appreciate all of the community feedback and are considering it carefully going forward

Today, Chess.com made two significant changes to our Daily Chess rating system. First,all Daily Chess Standard ratings above 1500 have been increased by different amounts. Second, all Daily960 ratings above 1300 have been increased by different amounts.

After lots of statistical analysis of our Daily Chess ratings and comparisons to our other ratings, we have determined that increasing the ratings for players in specific ranges is the best way to achieve more accurate ratings for players in these rating pools. This change will bring the average Daily Chess rating on Chess.com in line with current Blitz Chess ratings on site.

Here is an exact breakdown of how ratings will be adjusted.

Daily Chess Rating Adjustment

Daily960 Rating Adjustment

*NOTE: If you don't see these rating updates yet, please be patient. It should process for you in the next day or two.

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Daily Chess Ratings And Daily960 Ratings Adjusted - Chess.com

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January 23rd, 2021 at 7:50 pm

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Chess Looks Wild In 2021 – Kotaku

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This week we figure out how tall the very big lady from Resident Evil Village is, flip out a Bernie chair, learn what games will be free for Xbox Live Gold subscribers this month, buy 900lbs of PlayStation consoles and check in on chess YouTube in 2021.

I cant wait for this MOBA to become really popular and spawn a mod that then spawns a MOBA that then spawns a new auto chess game that then spawns a card game that then spawns...

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2-Pack: Juku STEAM Coding Kits

This is why Im proud to work at Kotaku. We do the real work.

What would you rather have? 912lbs of PlayStation consoles or $240 worth of pudding?

There was a lot of good (and bad!) Bernie memes created this past week. This is the best.

I would play more chess if the pieces were people and shot lasers. I think what I want is laser tag, actually. Yes. Thats what I want. Never mind. (Original video here!)

Okay, no more Bernie memes. The new cool thing is remixing this song.

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Chess Looks Wild In 2021 - Kotaku

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January 23rd, 2021 at 7:50 pm

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Grand Chess Tour Returning in Summer 2021 | US Chess.org – uschess.org

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American GMs Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So haveconfirmed their participation in the2021Grand Chess Tour,which returnsafter its cancellationlast yeardue to the global pandemic.

TheU.S. stars join eight other world elite as full-tour participants in the2021GCTschedule, whichfollows the same five-tournament format originally planned for lastseason. Theinternational tourfeatures two classical tournaments with prize funds of $325,000 each,including the kickoff event in Romania in June and the tour finale Sinquefield Cup in St. Louisin August,bookendingthree rapid and blitz events with prize funds of $150,000.

We are excited to return to over the board events this year, said MichaelKhodarkovsky, executive director for the GCT. All five event locations will comply with local COVID-19 guidelines and fans can expect the same excitement and action that they have come to love and enjoy from theGrand Chess Tour.

The full schedule for the 2021 GCT season is as follows:

SuperbetChess Classic Romania: June 3-15, 2021 in Bucharest, Romania

Paris Rapid & Blitz: June 16-23, 2021 in Paris, France

Croatia Rapid & Blitz: July 5-12, 2021 in Zagreb, Croatia

St. Louis Rapid & Blitz: August 9-16, 2021 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Sinquefield Cup: August 16-28, 2021 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA

There will be no GCT finals tournamentlike there was in 2019, which took placewithin the London Chess Classic. Instead, the final tour standings will be decided based ontourpoints accumulated over thefive 2021 events. A bonus prize fund of $175,000 will be awarded to the top three overall GCT finishers.

Invitations for the 2021 tour were extended to those who had qualified for2020,including China GM Ding Liren who won the 2019tour.Missing this year isWorld Champion GM Magnus Carlsen and American GM Hikaru Nakamura, who bothelected not to participate as full tourparticipants.They were replaced by Azerbaijani GMsShakhriyarMamedyarovandTeimourRadjabov, who makes his GCT debut.

The ten full-tour participants for the 2021 GCT is as follows:

These ten participants will play in both classical events and two of the three rapid and blitz tournaments.An additional ten wildcards will be extended to selected players to participate in those Paris, Zagreb and St. Louis events. For more information, visit the Grand Chess Tour website.

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Grand Chess Tour Returning in Summer 2021 | US Chess.org - uschess.org

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January 23rd, 2021 at 7:50 pm

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Chess: Carlsen starts well but slows as Swedish outsider impresses at Wijk – The Guardian

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Alexey Shirov v Samuel Sevian, Stockholm 2016. How did the then US 15-year-old (Black, to move) defeat the fomer world title challenger?

Magnus Carlsen launched his campaign at Tata Steel Wijk aan Zee, the chess Wimbledon, in style as the world champion elegantly defeated the rising star Alireza Firouzja, 17, with an imaginative attack.

Then the script went awry, as Carlsens next five results were all grinding draws against much lower-ranked opponents, while his limelight was stolen from an unexpected quarter.

Nils Grandelius, 27, Swedens No 1 but regarded as just a journeyman grandmaster, surged at the start with three wins including an impressive crushing of Frances world No 5, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

After six of the 13 rounds, Grandelius led with 4/6, followed by the world top two Carlsen (Norway) and Fabiana Caruana (US), Pentala Harikrishna (India), Jorden van Foreest and Anish Giri (both Netherlands) and Iran-born Firouzja all on 3.5/6.

Carlsens performances throughout 2020 were commanding, nine online tournament victories plus first prize over-the-board in Stavanger, until right at the end of the year when Americas Wesley So upset his planned 30th birthday victory celebration, followed by the deep funk checkmate from Russias Daniil Dubov.

The world champions spoken thoughts in a pre-tournament interview gave a clue to his mood at Wijk. He was uncharacteristically introspective and downbeat, talking in terms of maintaining his standard in his 30s and retiring by 40 rather than seeking out new peaks and new records. Were his replies a premonition of the missed chances in those grinding draws to put his opponents under sustained pressure? Perhaps. What is sure is that the world champion now has plenty to prove before the tournament ends on 31 January.

The Norwegian can be watched in action as the games are screened live and free with running grandmaster commentaries on major chess websites from 1pm daily, excepting the rest days on 25 and 28 January. Carlsens crunch game against Caruana, who is also finding wins difficult to come by, will be in the 10th round (of 13) on Wednesday.

Despite his late 2020 setbacks, Carlsen has little to prove online. Across the board it is a different matter. His record 125 games without defeat ended at Stavanger, while his official rating is still around 35 Fide points short of his peak of 2889 set in 2014.

Carlsens interview suggests that his overall performance target has shifted towards pragmatic stability and edging tournaments by small margins. In late 2019, before the pandemic, he was aiming ambitiously for a new surge towards his 2889 record and then on to the summit of a 2900 rating.

I feel that it should be possible to maintain a very high level as long as I am in my 30s, Carlsen said. The margin of error does become smaller and smaller, and that means you have to keep working harder and harder, but with the right motivation, I should be able to maintain a level where I feel that its worth keeping going. I dont think it will be possible for me to keep playing at the top level if I struggle to score 50% in top events.

What could be the right motivation? There used to be arguments over whether Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov, or Carlsen was the greatest of all time but Fischer now has fewer supporters due to his minimal period as an inactive world champion, while for many Kasparov gets the vote because of his long period at the top.

Kasparov became world champion when he defeated Anatoly Karpov 12.5-11.5 in Moscow on 9 November 1985, and lost his title when he was beaten by Vlad Kramnik 8.5-6.5 in London on 2 November 2000. That is one week from a 15-year reign.

Carlsen won the crown from Vishy Anand when he took a winning 6.5-3.5 match lead in Chennai on 22 November 2013. To surpass Kasparovs duration as champion, he will probably need to have defeated another four challengers by mid-November 2028.

Can he do it? In his optimum form, for sure. Would it be enough to make him the greatest in the eyes of the majority of chess fans and fellow grandmasters? That is less certain. Kasparov played fewer events, and the overall impression is that he had few real setbacks in tournaments, matches or individual games, and that he was always liable to blow rivals away with a dominating performance. For Carlsen, the big picture looks slightly but significantly more uneven.

Britains national chess league, the 4NCL, has tapped a rich vein of popularity as it begins its third lockdown season with more than 250 teams of four competing in the 4NCL Online in seven divisions. Matches are once a fortnight on Tuesday evenings, played to a comfortable time limit allowing up to three hours per game. A separate junior league has hundreds of players.

The pre-pandemic 4NCL had teams of eight who played on weekends at a central hotel venue, which proved too difficult for some distant teams. The over-the board version has been dominated by Wood Green and Guildford for most of its 28 years. In contrast, the online version has surging numbers, is attracting teams from Cornwall to Dundee, has two seasons a year rather than one, and is a more open competition at the top.

4NCL Online looks set to stay even if or when the pandemic is over, and its fourth season, expected to start this summer, should continue its rapid expansion. Its participant numbers are already comparable with the weekend congress Fischer boom of the 1970s.

3707: 1...Qb4+ 2 Kd5 Be4+! 3 Qxe4 Qc5 mate.

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Chess: Carlsen starts well but slows as Swedish outsider impresses at Wijk - The Guardian

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January 23rd, 2021 at 7:50 pm

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Chess: Two cases of cancel culture – TheArticle

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At the climax of the 1978 World Chess Championship, which I recalled last week in my column on The Great Yoghurt Gambit, I was approached by Dr Max Euwe, President of FID (Fdration Internationale deschecs), The World Chess Federation, with a singular proposition. Having started catastrophically and going four wins to one down, Viktor Korchnoi, the Soviet defector, had fought back to level the scores at five wins each against the defending Champion, Anatoly Karpov, the golden boy of the USSR chess establishment. In the light of what follows, it is crucial to remember that the first player to score six wins would take the match and thus be crowned World Chess Champion.

With the two matadors of the mind on five wins each (with 21 drawn games) both Korchnoi and Karpov were poised on a cliff edge, when just one more victory for either side, would determine the outcome of the contest. It was at this tense moment that the President came to me to suggest that the current match be cancelled, with a resumption to be scheduled for the following year, with Karpov to remain Champion during the interim and scores tostart at 0-0.

As Chief of Korchnois delegation, I now had a difficult decision to make. In the first instance, should I even inform Korchnoi of the offer? If I did convey the offer, I felt that it would place him in an impossible situation. Should Korchnoi refuse the offer, the lost opportunity of acceptance might haunt him in the game, or games, to come, especially if he were to find himself at a disadvantage at any time. On the other hand, having won three games from the past four, accepting the offer would forfeit the benefits of the victorious roll on which Korchnoi found himself. To continue the match might well represent Korchnois last best hope of conquering the chess Everest, which had been his lifelong ambition. A further consideration was that, in my experience and contrary to the opinion of those less well informed, Korchnoi played dreadfully when stressed or angry. Continuing the match, with the nagging thought at the back of his mind that he could have bailed out, would have been a very bad idea.

My major qualm, though, was the court of public opinion. The match had reached a peak of excitement, so, to rob the feverishly expectant global audience of the final coup de grace, from either side, seemed to me to bea moral dereliction of our sporting obligations to the planetary community of millions of chess fans, not to mention those new to chess, who had been captivated by the drama of Korchnois phoenix-like resurrection.

Consider sporting parallels: what if the Wimbledon final were called off during the final tie-break, because both players were looking a bit tired. They would have been lucky to leave Centre Court with any reputation or dignity intact, and the umpire responsible would have been (metaphorically) lynched, first by the crowd and then by the media.

Korchnoi had won by four wins to one from the point when I had taken over as Head of Delegation. With Karpov clearly struggling, Korchnoi was about to play as Black (with which it is harder to win). My plan was to draw this game quickly and then keep on a relentless attack as White in the next game against the mentally fatigued Karpov.

Having considered all these facets,I therefore declined the offer. But sadly, under advice from others in his camp, Korchnoi went hell for leather in the next game as Black, in the process over-exposed himself, and thus lost the 32nd and (as it turned out) final game.

One cancellation down. More to come, and, as you will see history will repeat itself.

Now fast forward to Moscow in February 1985, when Garry Kasparov had been battling the selfsame Anatoly Karpov, still World Champion. After an absolute record 48 championship games, Kasparov had arisen from the ashes of 5-0 defeat to bounce back with three wins, the last two of which had been consecutive. Having appeared initially as overwhelmingly dominant, Karpov now seemed punch drunk. He only needed one more win to clinch the match in his favour, but it seemed more likely that Kasparov would win his requisite three, before Karpov could reel in his crucial one win.

Now read on

For the whole of game 48 (which turned out to be the last game played) I had been in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, with Florencio Campomanes, the regnant FIDE President, and two other leading FIDE officials. Our task was, if possible, to smooth the path of the Israeli team for participation in the 1986 Olympiad, set for Dubai. On the evening ofSaturday 9 February, Campomanes was phoned urgently by Moscow, with a stunning message from the World Champions camp, that Karpov was too ill to continue and Campomanes should fly at once to Moscow to resolve the situation.

I happened to knock on Campomanes hotel room door just as the call ended, and he exclaimed in excited tones: Anatoly is unable to continue. I must do something about it!

Various emergency solutions were then put forward by Campomanes and discussed by our group in Dubaito aid the FIDE Presidentsthought process:

1) that the match be stopped forthwith; Karpov should retain his title, but Kasparov be permitted another crack at the whip later in the year.

2) that an artificial guillotine be imposed after game 60 with the man in the lead then taking the title; an even score to result in Karpovs retention of the title, but with a rematch clause.

3) that the match be postponed for a month or two to permit Karpov to regain his strength.

All of these answers seemed to me to be excessively favourable to Karpov. My clear view at the time was that the match should continue normally. But if the World Champion were truly under too much stress to continue, after his two most recent hammer-blow defeats, then he should gracefully concede and then claim his inalienable right to a revenge match in September 1985. In spite of the inordinate length of this match, already a record 5 months, the World Title contest, as with any sporting battle, should undoubtedly contain an element of stamina-testingand it seemed to me that Kasparov was bearing up to this aspect with considerably greater success than his rival. There are rules for sporting contests and things become arbitrary if they are ignored. Facing stress and tension while displaying stamina and endurance are all part of being a champion. Its no use setting a world record over 99.999 metres, if you fall over and miss the tape at the last microsecond.

On Sunday 10 February Campomanes flew to Moscow, well aware that western media regarded him very much as being in the pocket of the KGB and the USSR Chess Federation, who, in turn, were widely suspected of favouring Karpov. This was doubtless a residue of goodwill from Karpovs prior victorious performance against the defector, Korchnoi. There was a further reason for officialdom to favour Karpov, a staunch party member, holder of The Order of Lenin and Moscow resident. In comparison, Kasparov came from the outlying province of Azerbaijan, was half Jewish (he started life under the name of Weinstein) and was somewhat doubtful where loyalty to communist doctrine was concerned.Indeed, he was to become an outspoken foe of Communism and remains a bitter critic of Vladimir Putin. A Freudian blunder let slip at the time by one senior officer of the USSR Chess Federation said it all: we have one World Champion, so why do we need another one? It is incontrovertible that the true sons of Lenin were less than favourably inclined towards the young interloper from Baku, as might be inferred from their attempt in 1983 to cancel Kasparovs participation in the Semi Final of the World Championship Qualifying Competition.I am delighted to say that I played my part in foiling this dastardly Soviet plot, but that is another story for another column.

Campomanes arrival in Moscow led to an ominous and immediate break in the match schedule. Then onFriday 15th Februarythe crunch came a press conference called by Campomanesat noonMoscow time, in the Hotel Sport.Around 300 Westernjournalists were present. I reproduce this reconstruction of the astonishing proceedings from wire services the fastest way to obtain breaking news before the internet.

Moscow, Friday the President of the World Chess Federation ordered a halt without result to the 160-day-old Championship match, which means that Karpov still retains his title. Nevertheless, titlist Anatoly Karpov, and challenger, Gary Kasparov, rebelled against the move in an angry public debate. Chess Federation Chief, Florencio Campomanes, told a news conference in Moscows Sport Hotel that he had decided to stop the match and ordered the two Soviets to play a new, 24-game contest starting on first September and that this would determine the new World Champion.

Campomanes pronouncement was predictably greeted with pandemonium. In fact this might well have been the first official press conference of any sort, on any topic, to have been staged in the heavily dirigiste USSR, which had spiralled completely out of control.

With members of the audience loudly heckling, Kasparov then shouted out that the authorities were trying to deprive him of his chances, and that he wanted to continue play with no time-outs and no intervals. I have said more than once that I am absolutely healthy, he continued, they have tried to convince me otherwise and to end this match on all sorts of pretexts.

The wire service carried on: Campomanes was asked if Karpov was too ill to continue. He said he had seen Karpov 25 minutes before the news conference and added, Mr Karpov is well and appealed to me to continue the match until the very end. He said he decided to end of the match at this stage because 24 times 2 equals 48, a reference to the 24-game limit under old rules. Campomanes said he had made the decision impartially in the interest of world chess and denied his friendship with Karpov influenced him.

He was asked again if it was true that Karpov was at the point of physical collapse, but had no time to answer before the world champion himself burst into the auditorium, shouting: I want to make my statement! and strode to the microphone to a round of applause. We can and want to continue the game, he said. I do not agree with the decision to end it and to start from scratch. I think Mr Kasparov will second this position. Kasparov had been sitting at the back of the hall with five visibly agitated members of his team Invited to the podium by Campomanes (Gary do you want to comment?), Kasparov took the microphone and shouted at the FIDE Chief inEnglish: You said that 25 minutes ago the champion was objecting to breaking off the match. Then why are you making all this show? Will you please answer this question?

With members of the audience booing and heckling, Campomanes told the angry players he would have been happy to discuss the decision, but had not been able to get in touch with them Kasparovs supporters booed and shouted at Campomanes: You said you just met Karpov 25 minutes ago. At this point Mr Campomanes declared a recess in the news conference to discuss the situation with the players.

After the meeting, the President and Karpov both agreed to a halt that categorically aided the current World Champion, and Kasparov was forced to abide by the ruling.

Campomanes sought, implausibly, to defend himself but, of course, nobody was convinced, least of all the challenger, Garry Kasparov, as the wire service continued:It is quite evident that FIDE shows complete inability to deal with such things as this World Championship, Kasparov told reporters. Referring to Campomanes, he said that the press conference reminded him very strongly of an attempt to stage a well-rehearsed spectacle in which everyone knows his own rle.

The main conclusion I draw from this is relief that I rejected the then FIDE Presidents identical offer back in 1978 and thus avoided being complicit in the chaotic maelstrom of opprobrium, which instantly descended on those considered culpable in the 1985 debacle.

What else is one to make of all this? Karpov has always suffered, unjustly in my opinion, from the stigma of a champion who won by default (against Fischer in 1975). That he should have been allowed to duck out of a critical situation by the intervention of adeus ex machina, in the persona of the FIDE President, did his reputation nothing but damage. He would have been much wiser to play on and risk the consequences. As for Kasparov, after a highly shaky start, he had produced what was almost certainly, the most impressive rear-guard action in any discipline in the history of recorded sport. Remember that the first player to win six games wins the match. From games 1 to 9, Kasparov went down by four losses and five draws. He seemed annihilated and no one came to his rescue at this point. From then on, displaying remarkable tenacity and maturity, he held Karpov at bay in the long war of attrition from games 10 to 26. The public may have seen these games as tedious draws, but they were an important part of Kasparovs process of mental reconstruction. Losing game 27 made Kasparovs position desperate but his opponents inability to deliver a knockout blow permitted Kasparov to complete his psychological repairs and ultimately take over the initiative. Indeed, Kasparov won convincingly over the 39 games, from games 10 to 48, by 3 to 1 with 35 draws. Kasparov had the knife at his throat for four months, yet he never gave up, and at the end his chances may even have been superior. He was certainly playing much better chess, and many observers now preferred to regard his claims to be the legitimate World Champion as more valid than Karpovs.

As it was, Kasparov won the rematch, defended his World Title on three further occasions against Karpov (one of which I was instrumental in organising in London 1986, opened by then Prime Minister Mrs. Thatcher) and the rest is history, now that FIDEs probity is assured with Arkady Dvorkovic as President and our own Nigel Short as Vice President.

This entire farrago resembles an operatic plot, in fact it formed the inspiration for the Tim Rice, Benny Andersson and Bjrn Ulvaeus (of ABBA) musical Chess: The Musical, and in particular the Arbiters song.

As you settle down behind your pawnsPower passes to meYou may play like Fischer,Capablanca, Tal combinedI dont mindPlease feel free!

They all thoughtthey were the big fromageBut they dont have my cloutI control the matchI start it, I can call it offKasparovFound that out.

This weeks gamewas number 48 from Moscow, the one which convinced FIDE, the USSR Chess Federation and the KGB, that the contest had to be terminated.

We are the only publication thats committed to covering every angle. We have an important contribution to make, one thats needed now more than ever, and we need your help to continue publishing throughout the pandemic. So please, make a donation.

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Chess: Two cases of cancel culture - TheArticle

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January 23rd, 2021 at 7:50 pm

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Mamedyarov Grabs Another Titled Tuesday – Chess.com

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Four weeks after his first win, GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov won the January 19 Titled Tuesday tournament as well. The Azerbaijani grandmaster finished in clear first place with 10/11.

This week's Titled Tuesday tournament, our weekly blitz event for titled players, had a total of 741 participants. It was an 11-round Swiss with a 3+1 time control.

The live broadcast of the tournament.

An interesting game early in the tournament was @NewBornNow vs. @Hikaru. The white player is GM Victor Bologan, the Moldavian grandmaster who is FIDE's Executive Director. It's nice to see that this chess official still enjoys his evening blitz sometimes.

Bologan's strong opening knowledge (he has published numerous books and DVDs) helped him to leave GM Hikaru Nakamurawith little chance in a Modern Defense:

Speaking of openings, let's look at the clash between GM Oleksandr Bortnyk and GM Anton Korobov (@GOGIEFF) where the white player tried the Wing Gambit against the French, a popular variation at club level. It looks like one of the ways to get a satisfactory position as Black is to simply accept it:

That brought Korobov to 7/7, but he was not the only one. The Ukrainian grandmaster Alexander Zubov, also on a perfect score, was his next opponent. This game was a good example of why "weakening" the kingside with ...gxf6 is not always bad for Black. Zubov was already winning when Korobov suddenly allowed a mate in one:

Zubov even won another game to make 9/9 but found his Waterloo in Mamedyarov:

The tournament was decided in a hectic game between Mamedyarov and Korobov. An online blitz game like this perhaps doesn't deserve a serious analysis, but surely the readers are interested in the many twists and turns:

Jan. 19 Titled Tuesday | Final Standings (Top 20)

(Full final standings here.)

Mamedyarov won $750 for first place, Sadhwani $400 for second, Zubov $150 for third, and Xiong $100 for fourth.The $100 prize for the best female player went to GM AleksandraGoryachkina (@Goryachkina), who scored 7.5/11.

Titled Tuesday isChess.com's weekly tournament for titled players. It starts each Tuesday at 10 a.m. Pacific time (19:00 Central Europe).

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Mamedyarov Grabs Another Titled Tuesday - Chess.com

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January 23rd, 2021 at 7:50 pm

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Updates: Scholastic National Invitational Event and Award Requirements – uschess.org

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Please note that no changes have been made to the existing Scholastic National Invitational Event and Award Requirements posted at https://new.uschess.org/invitational-information. The regulations as posted will be used to calculate the lists of qualifiers and/or invited players for this years events. The US Chess rating supplement and rating systems used are specified for each event.

However, for sections 1-8, 13, and 15-18, per an Executive Board motion passed on December 22, 2020, all regular US Chess rated games played since March 1, 2019 until the date of the respective supplement specified for each event will be used as the period for establishing whether a player has met the activity requirement as in section 20.2. Games played under any of the online rating systems will not count towards this calculation.

Also, please note that the Executive Board recently reaffirmed the motion (https://new.uschess.org/news/us-chess-suspending-international-event-participation) to not authorize delegations for any international events until further notice due to U.S. State Department Level 4 travel warnings. It also reaffirmed that US Chess will not provide any financial support to any participants for international competition until further notice. This motion affects events such as the World Youth, World Cadet, Pan-American Youth and other international events listed in the aforementioned requirements.

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Updates: Scholastic National Invitational Event and Award Requirements - uschess.org

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January 23rd, 2021 at 7:50 pm

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Thunder players passing time with chess, video games on long road trip: ‘Still a lot to be grateful for’ – Oklahoman.com

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Granted, the rooms are quite nice, but players can only leave them to go to practice, shootarounds and games. Interacting with non-team guests at hotels is no longer allowed a change that was announced earlier this month.

Were just taking the lead from the league and certainly trying to follow every protocol that gets put in front of us because thats the only way that were gonna emerge from this and endure it, but it is pretty limiting, Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said.

The Thunder has had two games postponed this season due to COVID-19 protocols: Dec. 23 against the Rockets and Jan. 17 against the 76ers. In both cases, it was the other team that didnt have the league-required eight available players to play.

Thunder forward Josh Hall was out Friday due to health and safety protocols, but hes the only Thunder player to have been ruled out this season with that designation.

For a Thunder team with a new coach and several new players, this season isnt an easy one to build chemistry. Hanging out off the court isnt an option.

FaceTime and video calls have become common between players and staff.

And then when we come together and get the chance to bump into each other we try to make sure that those interactions are of quality and make the most of the circumstances, Daigneault said. Weve got a group of guys that has had a great mindset toward this whole thing as Ive mentioned all along.

Muscala, who started a new game of chess with Adams on Thursday, is one of those whos staying upbeat.

The rest is here:

Thunder players passing time with chess, video games on long road trip: 'Still a lot to be grateful for' - Oklahoman.com

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January 23rd, 2021 at 7:50 pm

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