World Chess Olympiad Batumi 2018

The 43rd FIDE World Chess Olympiad is taking place from 24 September to 5 October 2018 in Batumi, Georgia.
The biennial tournament is an 11-round Swiss open, with a rest day on 29 September.
The open section features 185 teams from 183 countries, with the 919 players including almost the whole world chess elite.
The women's section features 151 teams from 149 countries, with the 749 players including almost the whole women's world chess elite.
Each team consists of five players, with four playing each match.
The time control is 90 minutes for 40 moves then 30 minutes to the end of the game, with a 30-second increment from move 1. Draw offers are not allowed until move 30.
The standings are determined by match points, with 2 points for a win and 1 for a draw, then game points.

Official site

Schedule: (UTC)
Round 01    Sep 24, 2018    11:00 
Round 02    Sep 25, 2018    11:00 
Round 03    Sep 26, 2018    11:00 
Round 04    Sep 27, 2018    11:00 
Round 05    Sep 28, 2018    11:00 
Round 06    Sep 30, 2018    11:00 
Round 07    Oct 01, 2018     11:00 
Round 08    Oct 02, 2018     11:00 
Round 09    Oct 03, 2018     11:00 
Round 10    Oct 04, 2018     11:00 
Round 11    Oct 05, 2018      07:00 

Watch the games of the 43rd FIDE World Chess Olympiad Batumi 2018 and 43rd FIDE Women's World Chess Olympiad Batumi 2018 with computer analysis LIVE on ChessBomb.


World’s Elite Chess Players Battle in Champions Showdown at the Saint Louis Chess Club

Players, including legendary World Champion Garry Kasparov, compete in Chess 960

SAINT LOUIS (September 19, 2018) — Over four days of exciting Chess 960, also known as Fischer Random, fans enjoyed watching ten of the strongest chess players in the world dazzle with their creativity and skill during 6 rapid and 14 blitz games. During the event, each player faced the same opponent in head-to-head matches, including former world champions Garry Kasparov and Veselin Topalov. In the end, Veselin Topalov, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Levon Aronian, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won their matches against Garry Kasparov, Peter Svidler, Anish Giri, Leinier Dominguez, and Sam Shankland, respectively. 

At the start of the tournament, the Universal Rating System announced plans to begin including Chess 960 events in their rating calculations, making this a rated tournament. “I believe we opened a new chapter in the development of chess. It is a great experiment when top players contribute their creativity and skills in something new, which may become a mainstream game in the future,” explains Garry Kasparov.

At the start of each day, Chess Club Executive Director Tony Rich randomly selected the day’s arrangement of pieces. Players then had one hour to prepare before the start of play. Interestingly enough, many players chose to prepare for that hour with other match participants. Members of the U.S. Chess Olympiad team practiced each day together, giving a special glimpse to the comradery that will be shared at the Olympiad in Batumi later this month. Once games began, players had to test their creativity with this unusual format. 

“The Saint Louis Chess Club likes to host matches each year that experiment with the boundaries of chess,” explained Tony Rich. “I think Chess 960 was the perfect way to show that elite players exhibit their mastery with any variant of the game, as well as giving fans a fun show to watch.” 

About the Saint Louis Chess Club

The Saint Louis Chess Club is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.

Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Saint Louis Chess Club is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit saintlouischessclub.org.

© 2018 Saint Louis Chess Campus. All rights reserved.


San Miguel Open 2018

The San Miguel Open is a 7-round Swiss tournament taking place between 17 and 23 September 2018 in Trevias, Spain.
Time control: the players receive 90 minutes for the entire game, plus a 30-second increment starting from move one.

Official site

Schedule: (UTC)
Round 1    Sep 17, 2018    15:30 
Round 2    Sep 18, 2018    15:30 
Round 3    Sep 19, 2018    15:30 
Round 4    Sep 20, 2018    15:30 
Round 5    Sep 21, 2018    15:30 
Round 6    Sep 22, 2018    15:30 
Round 7    Sep 23, 2018    08:00

Watch the games of the San Miguel Open 2018 with computer analysis LIVE on ChessBomb.


Coastal Bowl 2018

The 1st Coastal Bowl is a 9-round Swiss tournament taking place between 15 and 21 September 2018 in Sao Martinho, Portugal.
Time control: the players receive 100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes to the end of the game, plus a 30-second increment starting from move one.

Official site

Schedule: (UTC)
Round 1    Sep 15, 2018    13:30 
Round 2    Sep 15, 2018    18:30 
Round 3    Sep 16, 2018    13:30 
Round 4    Sep 16, 2018    18:30 
Round 5    Sep 17, 2018    18:30 
Round 6    Sep 18, 2018    18:30 
Round 7    Sep 19, 2018    18:30 
Round 8    Sep 20, 2018    18:30 
Round 9    Sep 21, 2018    18:30 

Watch the games of the Coastal Bowl 2018 with computer analysis LIVE on ChessBomb.

Champions Showdown - Chess 960 - Day 4 Recap

With 8 blitz games left to play in final day of the Champions Showdown, chess fans got to witness countless entertaining and heart wrenching battles. Due to the nature of blitz and Chess960, a plethora of blunders and time scrambles were seen across all of the matches.

While no match was fully clinched going into the final day, a number of players did manage to shut out their opponents without much resistance.

Read the full recap >
Just one minute before the round, Kasparov realized he prepared the wrong starting position. Photo by Eric Rosen

Kasparov vs Topalov

The day got off to a rocky start for the legendary Garry Kasparov. When the new initial position was determined at 12:30 PM, he proceeded to spend 29 minutes accidentally preparing a different position! Having accidentally switched the starting squares of the queen and rook, Kasparov started on the wrong psychological footing.

In the first game, he lost a 15-move miniature to Topalov in what some might call a premature resignation. Despite Kasparov winning a few of the later games, Topalov’s lead was too great. Upon winning game 17, Topalov clinched victory as well as the $30,000 prize.
Topalov bested Kasparov with an overall score of 14.5 to 11.4

Shankland vs Vachier-Lagrave

Sam Shankland had perhaps the roughest day of all the competitors. Upon losing the first 4 games in a row, Shankland was shutout. MVL’s speed and tactical precision was simply overpowering. To make things even worse for the reigning US Champ, he suffered an embarrassing moment in game 18. Upon overlooking mate-in-1, he lost in just 12 moves!

Hopefully Shankland can recover from this disappointing result and show better form in the Olympiad starting later this month. 

All credit goes to MVL for playing some of the most exciting and dynamic chess out of all of the competitors. 

Aronian vs Dominguez

In similar fashion to MVL’s dominance, Aronian did not loosen the grip over his formidable opponent. With an already crushing score of 12-6 going into the final day, Aronian stayed solid by drawing the first two blitz games and winning the third. This was enough to guarantee himself the $30,000 prize.

So vs Giri

Wesley So accomplished one the of most impressive feats of the event with dropping only one loss out of all four days! Going into the final day with a 11-7 lead, So just needed to stay solid. He did just that with an amusing 7 draws and one win over Giri.

Nakamura vs Svidler

The closest match of the event came down to the final few rounds in which Nakamura needed to score a half point out of the last 3 games to shutout Svidler. In game 18, Nakamura managed to grind down a drawish knight endgame to put his score over the top.
While Chess960 events are still quite scarce across the professional chess landscape, the Champion’s Showdown showed tremendous potential for future events of similar style. The players expressed satisfaction with the event’s unique format. Additionally, chess fans from around the world got to enjoy a great deal of entertainment as the world’s best competed in fresh positions. 

Nakamura expressed his hopes for the future: “It’s great to play Fischer Random and I hope there are more events like this.”

Copyright © 2018 Saint Louis Chess Club. All rights reserved.
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Champions Showdown - Chess 960 - Day 3 Recap

Day 3 of the Champions Showdown showed clear leaders emerging from all of the matches, with some extending their leads quite far. Upon the selection of another random position, the players delved into their usual analysis. The selected position wasn’t so random however for Sam Shankland, as he played a series of training games in the exact position in preparation for the event. With 960 different possible setups, the odds of having prior knowledge in one specific position is quite slim. Sam’s eyes lit up when he realized this was the case, and he was happy to share his knowledge with his US olympiad teammates.  

Read the full recap >
Shankland realizes he’s prepared the exact starting position
Going into games, it was interesting to see if Sam’s prior knowledge would pay off for himself or his compatriots, Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So.

Vachier-Lagrave vs Shankland

MVL and Shankland were quite tight in competition with the frenchman leading by just 1 point entering day 3. Unfortunately for Shankland, his prior knowledge of the position had no positive impact on the result. MVL cruised to victory in 3 out of the 4 games. In game 10, MVL displayed impressive endgame technique in grinding down a knight endgame with equal pawns. The final stage of the game involved winning knight+pawn versus knight where Sam’s king and knight were too far away to defend against MVL’s lone passed pawn. With a current score of 11.5-6.5, Sam is going to need a miracle tomorrow if he wants to rebound in this match.
Shankland’s preparation didn’t help him in today’s match; photo by Eric Rosen

Aronian vs Dominguez

With an 8-4 score in favor of Levon Aronian going into day 3, the Armenian continued his dominant ways, scoring another two victories today. Despite Dominguez’s beautiful combination to win game 12, Aronian leads the match with an insurmountable score of 12-6.
Out of all the matches, Aronian has the largest lead. 
Aronian will need to gather just 1.5 points out of 7 games tomorrow to take home the $30,000 prize.

Wesley So - Anish Giri

With a crushing score of 9-3 going into day 3, it was clear that Wesley So is a tough opponent for Anish Giri. Today however, Anish overcame a severe time deficit in the first rapid game to score his first victory of the match. Perhaps his stylish chess shirt was much needed good luck charm. With a still dominant score of 11-7, Anish still has a lot of coming back to do in the eight blitz games tomorrow.


Even though Anish Giri trails in the match, that doesn’t stop him from being stylish!

Topalov vs Kasparov

With a commanding 8-4 lead for Topalov coming into the third day, Kasparov was desperate to score some points. Despite some hiccups, Kasparov did manage to outscore topalov and have his best day of the event so far. In the the first rapid game, he seemed to find his exceptional form and create incredible harmony amongst his pieces. In the end, Topalov’s rook was not enough for Kasparov’s knight and 3 pawns. While Kasparov still trails 7.5-10.5, he’s within striking distance of making a splash tomorrow.


The legend showing his intensity

Nakamura vs Svidler

What has been the closest match throughout the event, still remains a nailbiter. Coming into day 3, Nakamura and Svidler were dead even at 6 points each. After 4 more games, it was Nakamura who came out slightly ahead against the 8-time Russian Champion. In the post-game interview with Maurice Ashley, Svidler described his play: “Today I really felt like I was not in control whatsoever and I’m very lucky to be in it somehow.”
Nakamura has a 1-point lead over Svidler going into the final day.
Although Nakamura is a speed specialist, Svidler has been impressing the fans and even himself in the blitz portion of the event. With 8 blitz games left to play tomorrow, it is bound to be a close finale.
The fourth and final day will see a different format as players will compete in two unique starting positions across 8 blitz games. No player is completely shut out, so the final day is bound to produce some epic battles. Viewers can follow the live broadcast starting at 12:50 PM central time.

Copyright © 2018 Saint Louis Chess Club. All rights reserved.
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Hrokurinn Rapid 2018

The 20th Anniversary of the Hemp 2018 is held in Reykjavik, Iceland between 14th and 15 September.
Time control: 20 + 5

Official site

Round 1 2018/09/14 17:00
Round 2 2018/09/14 18:00
Round 3 2018/09/14 19:00
Round 4 2018/09/14 20:00
Round 5 2018/09/15 13:00
Round 6 2018/09/15 14:00
Round 7 2018/09/15 15:00
Round 8 2018/09/15 16:00

Watch the games of the Hrokurinn Rapid 2018 with computer analysis LIVE on ChessBomb.


Champions Showdown - Chess 960 - Day 2 Recap

Day 2 of the Champions Showdown was filled with blunders and brilliancies as players battled it out from a fresh starting position. At 12 PM, players huddled around the laptop as Tony Rich revealed the initial setup that would be played for the next 4 games.

Read the full recap >
Drawing of Day 2 position 
Once the players got an eye of the position, they scurried to their analysis boards for an hour of preparation before the round. Players formed small analysis groups to collaborate on opening preparation. Peter Svidler was ecstatic to sit down with the legendary Garry Kasparov. In his post-game interview with Maurice Ashley, he said, “Today was an extremely good day for me because I got to discuss chess with Garry. It’s difficult to describe how good this makes me feel.”

Meanwhile, the US olympiad teammates Nakamura, So, and Shankland continued to show great comradery.
The US Olympiad team continues to show team comradery
By the end of the day, some matches tightened up, while others became much more lopsided.

Topalov vs Kasparov

Going into the day, Topalov had a 1-point lead over Kasparov with an overall score of 3.5-2.5. Over the course of the 4 games, Topalov showed strong form, scoring 2 wins and 2 draws. In the first rapid game, Topalov had outplayed his legendary counterpart, but then made the embarrassing mistake of promoting a pawn, hitting the clock, and failing to replace it with a queen-- an illegal move! At this point, Kasparov was lost, and knew additional time would do him no good. He went ahead and resigned, while Topalov appeared completely flustered. It was a confusing finish, but certainly entertaining for the fans! 
Topalov makes an illegal move and Kasparov Resigns!

Aronian vs Dominguez

After a strong performance yesterday, netting a 3.5-2.5 lead, Aronian continued the momentum into the second day. Out of the four games, there never seemed to be a point where Aronian was in trouble. He managed to win both games with white and draw both games with black.
Aronian contiues to lead
In game 3, Aronian played the electrifying 25.Rxh6!? which was quite reminiscent of his rook sac against Grischuk in the last round of the Sinquefield Cup. After turning down the sacrifice, Dominguez was completely overwhelmed by Aronian’s attack.

With an overall score of 8-4 in favor of Aronian, Dominguez will need to start racking together some wins if he wants to launch a comeback.  

So vs Giri

With a dominant performance yesterday, scoring 4.5-1.5, Wesley So extended his lead even further today with two very convincing wins. With both victories, So achieved better piece harmony and more activity straight from the opening. Perhaps it goes to show why he enjoys Chess 960 so much! Without any Najdorf or Grunfeld theory to rely on, Giri has yet to win a game in this matchup.
Giri has yet to win a game in this matchup

MVL vs Shankland

Despite playing some of the most dazzling chess of the event, MVL let his 4-2 lead slip today as Shankland shifted the momentum. In game 1, MVL suffered from a disastrous opening as he allowed the simple fork, 8.Qb5! attacking two undefended pawns. By move 9, he was completely lost, as his rook was trapped and had nowhere near enough compensation for the material deficit.  
MVL and Shankland continue to excite fans with their game play
In game 3, Shankland showed high level technique, as he defended a rook versus rook+bishop endgame with less than 15 seconds on his clock. 

While, Sam admits that his opponent is a more talented blitz player and an incredibly dangerous tactician, the match is now neck and neck at 6.5-5.5. With many more games to be played, everything is up for grabs over the next couple days. 

Nakamura vs Svidler

With a solid showing yesterday, Nakamura entered day 2 with a 3.5-2.5 lead over the 8-time Russian Champion. Despite feeling “unprepared” in the opening (perhaps something unusual for chess 960), Svidler held his own and drew the first 3 games. 
In game 4, Nakamura had a chance to seize a large advantage, but slipped up in time pressure. In the end, it was Svidler who took home the point and tied the match up with 6 points each.
Day 2 results
After two thrilling days of Chess 960, the next two days are highly anticipated. Chess fans can find more information and follow all the action live on uschesschamps.com.

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