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  • Games from Recent Events

    July 19, 2018

    From Mark Crowther, The Week in Chess – a retweet of !ITUUR (see below)

    Only possible from the fantastic Alatortsev line in the Botvinnik (1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.d4 c6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 Nd5). Five queens on the board in Malisauskas-Vicas, Liepaja 2018, 42...Qe4+? gave a draw 42...Qbf4+ instead leads to mate

    Position after 42.Kh4

    Baltic zt III Stage 2018
    Liepaja, Latvia
    Round 1, July 9, 2018
    Malisauskas, V – Vicas, M
    D44 QGD, Semi-Slav, anti-Meran, Alatortsev System

    1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.d4 c6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 Nd5 10.Nf3 Qa5 11.Qd2 Bb4 12.Rc1 Nd7 13.g3 N7b6 14.Bg2 Na4 15.a3 Bxc3 16.bxc3 Naxc3 17.O-O Qxa3 18.Bf6 Ne4 19.Qe2 Nexf6 20.exf6 Qd6 21.Ne5 Bd7 22.Qh5 Qf8 23.Bxd5 cxd5 24.f4 b4 25.f5 b3 26.Rce1 O-O-O 27.Nxf7 Be8 28.fxe6 Bxf7 29.exf7 Qb4 30.Re7 b2 31.Qf5+ Kb8 32.Qe5+ Ka8 33.Re8 Qb5 34.Rxd8+ Rxd8 35.Qe7 Qb8 36.Kg2 c3 37.Re1 Rc8 38.Qd7 c2 39.Re8 c1=Q 40.f8=Q b1=Q 41.Kh3 Qf1+ 42.Kh4 Qe4+ 43.Rxe4 Rxf8 44.Qc6+ Qb7 45.Re8+ Rxe8 46.Qxe8+ Qb8 47.Qc6+ 1/2-1/2

    ITUUR likes chess patterns. See his page


    • Games from Recent Events

      August 10, 2018

      Speed Chess with Nepo and Sasha

      On August 7, 2018 Ian Nepomniachtchi and Alexander Grischuk played a speed chess match on

      The match format:

      90 minutes of 5/1 blitz
      60 minutes of 3/1 blitz
      30 minutes of 1/1 bullet

      With 3-minute breaks between segments

      Winner gets $1000 and advances to round two of the SCC


      Sasha won the match by 17.5 to 11.5

      Two games from the match:

      The spectacular game eight made Nepo mad: "I lost on time [in] the game where I have had a forced checkmate." Objectively, the endgame was won for him, but there was no forced checkmate, although Nepo spent his last seconds looking for it. An opposite outcome could have driven Grischuk mad, whose advantage in the opening was overwhelming

      Speed Chess Championship
      Blitz 5/1
      Game 8, August 7, 2018
      Grischuk, Alexander -– Nepomniachtchi, Ian
      A88 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation

      1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.O-O O-O 6.c4 d6 7.Nc3 c6 8.b3 Nbd7 9.Ng5 Nb6 10.Ba3 Qc7 11.Rc1 h6 12.Nh3 Re8 13.d5 g5 14.f4 Ng4 15.Qd2 Nd7 16.Kh1 Qb6 17.dxc6 bxc6 18.c5 Nxc5 19.Bxc5 dxc5 20.fxg5 Rd8 21.Qf4 Qb4 22.gxh6 Bxh6 23.Qc7 Bd7 24.Nf4 Qb6 25.Qxb6 axb6 26.Na4 Rab8 27.Rc3 Bg7 28.Rd3 Bd4 29.Ng6 Kf7 30.Nh4 Nf2+ 31.Rxf2 Bxf2 32.Rf3 Bd4 33.Nxf5 Bxf5 34.Rxf5+ Kg7 35.Bxc6 e6 36.Rg5+ Kh6 37.h4 Bf6 38.Rg4 Rd4 39.Be4 Kh5 40.Rf4 Be5 41.Bf3+ Kh6 42.Rf7 Bxg3 43.Rf6+ Kg7 44.Rxe6 Kf7 45.Rc6 Rg8 46.Nxb6 Rxh4+ 47.Kg1 Be5+ 48.Kf2 Rh2+ 49.Ke3 Bd4+ 50.Kd3 Rd8 51.Nd5 Rh4 52.a4 Rb8 53.Kc2 1-0

      Position after Black’'s 42. …Bxg3

      Nepo got in a psychological trap spending his last seconds to find a forced checkmate with a bishop and two rooks, but such checkmate does not exist


      When the score left Nepo no hope to catch up and Grischuk was in no danger to be overrun, Nepo won two games out of the final three, slightly improving the overall result.

      Game 27, where the black king hid behind triple pawns, was the funniest.

      Bullet Chess 1/1
      Game 27, August 7
      Nepomniachtchi, Ian –- Grischuk, Alexander
      C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence

      1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.Nbd2 d6 6.O-O O-O 7.c3 Ne7 8.d4 exd4 9.cxd4 Bb6 10.Re1 Bg4 11.h3 Bh5 12.a4 a6 13.Bf1 Ba5 14.Ra3 Nc6 15.g4 Bg6 16.d5 Nb8 17.Rb3 Nbd7 18.g5 Nh5 19.Ree3 Nc5 20.Ra3 f6 21.Nh4 fxg5 22.Nxg6 hxg6 23.Rf3 Qe7 24.Rxf8+ Rxf8 25.Rf3 Bxd2 26.Rxf8+ Qxf8 27.Bxd2 Nxe4 28.Be3 Qf5 29.Qc2 Qe5 30.Qxc7 Nhf6 31.Qxb7 Kh7 32.Qxa6 g4 33.Qd3 gxh3 34.Bxh3 Qxb2 35.Bg2 Qa1+ 36.Qf1 Qxa4 37.Bf3 Nxd5 38.Qh3+ Kg8 39.Qe6+ Kh7 40.Qxd5 Qa1+ 41.Kg2 Nf6 42.Qxd6 Qa4 43.Qh2+ Kg8 44.Qb8+ Kh7 45.Qh2+ Kg8 46.Qh3 Qc4 47.Qg3 Kh7 48.Qf4 Qe6 49.Qg5 Qc4 50.Qf4 Qe6 51.Qd4 Qf5 52.Bf4 Qe6 53.Be5 Qf5 54.Be2 Qg5+ 55.Bg3 Qf5 56.Qh4+ Kg8 57.Bc4+ Kf8 58.Qh8+ 1-0

      Position after 30.Qxc7

      Text by Marignon at (cited above)
      Last edited by Wayne Komer; Saturday, 11th August, 2018, 12:27 AM.


      • Games from Recent Events

        August 14, 2018

        Wei Yi -– Inarkiev Match

        This is a 12-game friendly match with Wei Yi against the Russian, Ernesto Inarkiev. There are six classical games and six rapid games (15 minutes+10).

        The first three games of the match have all been decisive.

        Inarkiev-Wei Yi Match
        Magas, Russian Republic of Ingushetia
        Game 1, August 12, 2018
        Inarkiev, Ernesto –- Wei Yi
        A48 King’s Indian, Torre Attack

        1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bg5 Bg7 4.Nbd2 O-O 5.c3 d5 6.e3 b6 7.Bd3 Bb7 8.O-O c5 9.Ne5 Ne8 10.Bh4 Nd6 11.Qg4 Bc8 12.Qe2 Bb7 13.Rad1 Nd7 14.Nef3 Nf6 15.dxc5 bxc5 16.c4 Qc7 17.Bg3 Nh5 18.cxd5 Nxg3 19.hxg3 Bxd5 20.e4 Bxa2 21.e5 Nb7 22.b3 Na5 23.Ra1 Bxb3 24.Rxa5 Qxa5 25.Nxb3 Qb6 26.Nbd2 a5 27.Nc4 Qc7 28.Be4 Rab8 29.Ra1 Rb4 30.Qc2 Rd8 31.Kh2 h5 32.Rxa5 h4 33.Ra6 hxg3+ 34.fxg3 e6 35.Rc6 Qe7 36.Ne3 Bh6 37.Ng4 Kg7 38.Nxh6 Rh8 39.g4 Rxh6+ 40.Kg3 c4 41.Qc1 Rb3 42.g5 Rh5 43.Kg4 Kh7 44.Rxc4 Rb4 45.Qa3 Rb7 46.Qc3 Ra7 47.Qd2 Qd7 48.Qf4 Qd1 49.Kg3 Qd7 50.Qf6 Ra3 51.Rb4 1-0

        Game 2, August 13, 2018
        Wei Yi –- Inarkiev, Ernesto
        B23 Sicilian, Closed

        1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Qc7 5.O-O Nd4 6.Re1 a6 7.Bf1 Ng4 8.g3 Nxf3+ 9.Qxf3 Ne5 10.Qe2 d6 11.Nd5 Qd8 12.Bg2 e6 13.Ne3 g6 14.b4 cxb4 15.a3 bxa3 16.Bxa3 Be7 17.d4 Nc6 18.Rad1 Qa5 19.Nc4 Qc7 20.e5 dxe5 21.Bxc6+ bxc6 22.Bxe7 Qxe7 23.Nb6 Rb8 24.Qxe5 Rxb6 25.Qxh8+ Qf8 26.Qxh7 Rb5 27.Qh4 Qb4 28.Re5 Bd7 29.Qe4 a5 30.Rxb5 cxb5 31.Qa8+ Ke7 32.d5 Qg4 33.d6+ Kf6 34.Qh8+ Kf5 35.Rd4 1-0
        • Total dominance from the start

        Game 3, August 14, 2018
        Inarkiev, Ernesto -– Wei Yi
        D90 Grunfeld, Three Knights variation

        1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 d5 5.h4 c5 6.dxc5 O-O 7.cxd5 Na6 8.h5 Nxc5 9.hxg6 fxg6 10.Bh6 Bxh6 11.Rxh6 Qb6 12.Rh4 Bf5 13.Qd2 Nce4 14.Nxe4 Bxe4 15.d6 Qxd6 16.Qxd6 exd6 17.Rd1 Rac8 18.e3 d5 19.Bd3 Bxd3 20.Rxd3 Rc1+ 21.Ke2 Rfc8 22.Ne1 Rb1 23.Rb3 b6 24.Rd4 Ne4 25.Rxd5 Rcc1 26.Nf3 Rf1 27.Ra3 Rxf2+ 28.Kd3 Nd6 29.Nd4 Rd1+ 30.Kc3 Ne4+ 31.Kb3 a5 32.Re5 Nd6 33.Rd5 Rd3+ 34.Ka4 Rxb2 0-1

        Position after Black’'s 26…....Rf1


        • Wei Yi showcases his skills in the last 3 games of the match where he wins by dominating in the opening, the middlegames (nice king hunt game 3) and zugzwang in the endgame in game 4.


          • Games from Recent Events

            August 16, 2018

            Inarkiev-Wei Yi Match

            Game Four

            Game 4, August 16, 2018
            Wei Yi –- Inarkiev, Ernesto
            C88 Ruy Lopez, Closed

            1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.h3 Bb7 9.d3 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.a4 Nd4 12.Nxd4 exd4 13.axb5 axb5 14.Rxa8 Bxa8 15.Na3 Bb4 16.Bd2 Bxd2 17.Qxd2 Qf6 18.Bxd5 Bxd5 19.Nxb5 Bxg2 20.Kxg2 Qc6+ 21.Kh2 Qxb5 22.Qf4 c5 23.b3 Qa5 24.Re2 Qa1 25.Qd2 Qa8 26.Qf4 g6 27.Re5 Qb8 28.Kg3 Qd6 29.Re4 Qc6 30.Qe5 Rd8 31.h4 Rd5 32.Qe8+ Qxe8 33.Rxe8+ Kg7 34.f4 Kf6 35.Kf3 Rh5 36.Kg4 Rd5 37.Rh8 h6 38.Ra8 Ke6 39.Ra5 Rf5 40.Rb5 Rd5 41.Kf3 f6 42.Rb6+ Kf5 43.Rb5 Ke6 44.Kg4 Rf5 45.Rb6+ Ke7 46.Rb7+ Ke6 47.Rg7 h5+ 48.Kg3 Rd5 49.Kf3 Kf5 50.Rg8 Rd6 51.Rc8 Rd5 52.Rc6 g5 53.hxg5 fxg5 54.Rh6 h4 55.Rh5 Kg6 56.Kg4 h3 57.Rxh3 gxf4 58.Rh8 Kf6 59.Rh6+ Kg7 60.Rc6 Kf7 61.Kxf4 Rh5 62.Kg4 Re5 63.Kf4 Rh5 64.Ke4 Ke7 65.b4 cxb4 66.Kxd4 Rh2 67.Kd5 Kd7 68.Rc4 Rh5+ 69.Kd4 Rb5 70.Rc5 Rb8 71.Kc4 Kd6 72.Rb5 b3 73.cxb3 Rc8+ 74.Kb4 Rc1 75.d4 Rd1 76.Rc5 Rxd4+ 77.Kb5 Rh4 78.b4 Rh8 79.Rc6+ Kd7 80.Kc5 Rb8 81.b5 Rb7 82.Rh6 Kc8 83.Rh8+ Kc7 84.b6+ Kd7 85.Rg8 1-0

            Position after Black’'s 56....….h3

            • Looks like he knows how to win this one, 3 in a row is a good effort!
            • It was a great ending technique, great calculations by Wei Yi
            • Approaching Lucena position
            • They aren't going for quick draws, or chickening out with repetitions, isn't that great?


            • Games from Recent Events

              September 8, 2018



              Double Queen Sacrifice

              GM Hovhannes Gabuzyan (ARM) won the Masters section of the 7th Annual Washington International by a full point. The Masters section, with 71 total players, included 22 GMS and 15 IMs. Gabuzyan moved into sole first place after winning his first four games. After that, no one could catch him, and he finished with a final score of 7.5 out of 9, earning the first place prize of $4500. Gabuzyan’s most interesting game was his second round win over GM Gil Popilski. You don’t often see a player sacrifice a queen twice in one game and win!

              7thAnnual Washington International 2018
              Round 2, August 11, 2018
              Popilski, Gil – Gabuzyan, Hovhannes
              E73 King’s Indian, Averbakh System

              1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 O-O 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.Qd2 e5 8.d5 a5 9.Bd1 Nc5 10.Bc2 c6 11.Nge2 cxd5 12.exd5 Bd7 13.Ng3 Qb6 14.Rb1 Ng4 15.h3 f6 16.hxg4 fxg5 17.f3 e4 18.Ngxe4 Rae8 19.Kd1 Rf4 20.Re1 Be5 21.b3 Rc8 22.Nxc5 Qxc5 23.Ne4 Qa3 24.Bd3 a4 25.b4 h5 26.gxh5 g4 27.Bf1 gxf3 28.Re3 Bg4 29.Rxa3 fxg2+ 30.Kc2 g1=Q 31.Rg3 Qh1 32.Bd3 Qxe4 33.Bxe4 Rxc4+ 34.Kd3 Rd4+ 0-1

              Position after Black’s 32…Qxe4


              • Games from Recent Events

                September 19, 2018

                The Speed Chess Championship is taking place July 24th to October 18th 2018. 16 players in a knockout online blitz tournament. 90 minutes of 5/1 blitz, 60 minutes of 3/1 blitz, and 30 minutes of 1/1 bullet chess. Players: Fabiano Caruana, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Levon Aronian, Wei Yi, Anish Giri, Alexander Grischuk, Sergey Karjakin, Hou Yifan, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Vidit Gujrath were all invited.

                Jan-Krzysztof Duda

                Two of the headlines from

                Speed Chess Shock: Duda Upsets Karjakin 13.0 - 11.0

                Jan-Krzysztof Duda played Russian roulette against Sergey Karjakin in the "bullet" portion of the Speed Chess Championship and lived to tell the tale. Duda not only survived the bullet segment, but won +4 =1 -2 to complete the upset.

                After going into the final discipline tied, Duda's four late wins propelled him to victory in what was widely regarded as the largest upset in the SCC's three-year history. It was unequivocally the biggest surprise in terms of ranking: a 14-seed taking out a 3-seed.

                Mike Klein at:


                Duda Upsets Grischuk In Epic Speed Chess Match 14.0 - 13.0

                Eliminating another Russian top grandmaster, Jan-Krzystof Duda became the first player to advance to the semifinals of the Speed Chess Championship. The Polish player defeated Alexander Grischuk in a truly epic match on Tuesday.

                Duda's win against Sergey Karjakin was a huge upset, and to kick out another former world blitz champion of Russia is extremely impressive. The 20-year-old Polish grandmaster is quickly becoming a fan favorite, not just because of his results, but also because of his style. Yet again, hardly any draws were played yesterday. (Although, for that, it takes two to tango!).

                Peter Doggers at:


                Wikipedia - Jan-Krzysztof Duda (born 26 April 1998) is a Polish chess grandmaster. A chess prodigy, he achieved his grandmaster title in 2013 at the age of 15 years and 21 days.


       Speed 5m+1spm
                Round 2, September 6, 2018
                Duda, Jan-Krzysztof – Karjakin, Sergey
                C67 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence, open variation

                1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.h3 Ke8 10.Nc3 h5 11.Bf4 Be7 12.Rfe1 Be6 13.Ne4 h4 14.c3 Rd8 15.Nfg5 Rh6 16.Nxe6 Rxe6 17.g4 hxg3 18.fxg3 c5 19.Kg2 c4 20.Re2 Rd3 21.Nf2 Rd5 22.h4 a5 23.Rae1 b5 24.h5 g5 25.Bc1 b4 26.Re4 Rc6 27.g4 Ng7 28.Rd4 Rb5 29.Ree4 bxc3 30.bxc3 Ne6 31.Rxc4 Rxc4 32.Rxc4 Rxe5 33.Kf3 f5 34.Be3 Kf7 35.Rc6 Bd6 36.Bd4 fxg4+ 37.Nxg4 Rf5+ 38.Ke3 Rf4 39.Ne5+ Kg7 40.Nc4+ Nxd4 41.cxd4 Rf6 42.Ke4 Kh6 43.Nxa5 g4 44.Rc1 g3 45.a4 Kxh5 46.Nc4 Kg4 47.Ne3+ Kg5 48.Rg1 Rf4+ 49.Kd3 Rf2 50.a5 Ra2 51.Nc4 Kg4 52.Ke4 Bf4 53.Rf1 g2 54.Rxf4+ Kh5 55.Rf8 Kh4 56.Rg8 Kh3 57.Ne3 Rxa5 58.Nxg2 Ra4 59.Nf4+ Kh4 60.Ne6 c6 61.Nc5 Ra1 62.Rg6 1-0

       Speed 3m+1spm
                Round 12, September 6, 2018
                Duda, Jan-Krzysztof – Karjakin, Sergey
                D45 QGD, Semi-Slav, Stoltz variation

                1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Be2 O-O 8.O-O b6 9.e4 dxe4 10.Nxe4 Nxe4 11.Qxe4 Qc7 12.Bd3 g6 13.Qh4 Bb7 14.Bd2 c5 15.Ng5 Nf6 16.dxc5 bxc5 17.Rae1 h5 18.Bc3 Ng4 19.Qxh5 1-0

                There was this excellent win in a Trompowsky where Duda just outplayed his opponent from the start. In the final position both players have two queens, but only one gets mate (Doggers)

       Speed 5m+1spm
                Round 6, September 18, 2018
                Duda, Jan-Krzysztof – Grischuk, Alexander
                A45 Trompovsky Attack

                1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 g6 3.Bxf6 exf6 4.c4 d5 5.cxd5 Qxd5 6.Nc3 Qd8 7.e3 Be7 8.Bc4 c6 9.Nge2 Bd6 10.h4 h5 11.Qc2 Nd7 12.O-O-O Nb6 13.Bb3 Qe7 14.Kb1 Kf8 15.e4 Kg7 16.Ka1 a5 17.a3 Bc7 18.f4 Bg4 19.e5 f5 20.Rd3 Rhd8 21.Ng3 Rac8 22.Ba2 Bb8 23.Nf1 Nd5 24.Bxd5 cxd5 25.Qb3 Rd7 26.Ne3 Rcd8 27.Qb5 Qe6 28.Qxa5 Bc7 29.Qb5 Bb6 30.Rd2 Ba7 31.Kb1 Kh6 32.Rc1 Kg7 33.Qb3 Kh6 34.Nb5 Bb8 35.Rdc2 Qe7 36.Nxg4+ fxg4 37.g3 Qe6 38.Rc8 Qf5+ 39.Ka2 Qe4 40.Rxd8 Rxd8 41.a4 Kg7 42.Rc5 Qg2 43.Rc2 Qe4 44.Rc3 Qg2 45.Qb4 Re8 46.Qc5 Qe4 47.Qb6 Qe2 48.Qxb7 Qd1 49.b3 Qh1 50.Qd7 Rf8 51.e6 Qe1 52.e7 Rg8 53.a5 Qe2+ 54.Ka3 Qe1 55.Kb4 Bxf4 56.gxf4 g3 57.Nc7 g2 58.e8=Q g1=Q 59.Qexf7+ 1-0

                Final position

       Speed 3m+1spm
                Round 15, September 18, 2018
                Grischuk, Alexander – Duda, Jan-Krzysztof
                B97 Sicilian, Najdorf

                1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd3 Qxb2 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.f5 Qa5 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Be2 Nc6 13.fxe6 fxe6 14.Nxc6 bxc6 15.O-O Qe5 16.Kh1 Be7 17.Na4 Bd8 18.Nb6 Bxb6 19.Rxb6 Bd7 20.Rb7 Ke7 21.Rfb1 Rhd8 22.Qh3 h5 23.Bf3 Rab8 24.R7b3 Rb5 25.Qh4 Rdb8 26.h3 Be8 27.Be2 Rxb3 28.axb3 a5 29.Rf1 Rb4 30.Bd3 a4 31.bxa4 Rxa4 32.Qe1 c5 33.Qb1 Rb4 34.Qc1 c4 35.Be2 Qxe4 36.Bf3 Qe5 37.Qh6 Ra4 38.Qg7+ Bf7 39.g4 Ra1 40.Rxa1 Qxa1+ 41.Kg2 h4 42.g5 Qe5 43.g6 Qg3+ 44.Kf1 Qxf3+ 0-1


                • Games from Recent Events

                  September 20, 2018


                  Stockfish Leads 8 Engines In Computer Chess Championship Stage 2; Lc0 A Contender

                  The first stage of the first Computer Chess Championship event is in the books, and after 562 official games Stockfish tops the leaderboard with an excellent score of 39/46, the first of eight engines to advance to stage two.

                  The two other big-name engines, Komodo (38/46) and Houdini (37/46), are just below Stockfish at the end of the stage one, with a large gap between those three and the next five engines in the standings.

                  The machine-learning chess project Lc0 ("Leela") finished in a solid fifth place with 32.5/46, good enough to advance to the next round as the neural-network engine wows fans with its intuitive and energetic play.

                  Created just eight months ago, Lc0 has improved rapidly enough to stake a claim as one of the world's top five chess engines —and it's not done gaining strength.


                  What was the best game of stage one? Many Leela fans would choose Lc0's demolition of the Crafty engine from late in the stage. Leela's early Rxg7 sacrifice was both beautiful and pragmatic.

                  A reader also said this: Leela's game against Shredder as white was amazing, sacrificing the rook for a knight to gain a huge advantage (with no clear compensation to begin with, but it was definitely winning).

                  Both games are heregiven:

                  CCCC 1 Rapid Rumble Stage 1
         September 14, 2018
                  Lc0 17.11089 – Crafty 25.2
                  A60 Benoni Defence

                  1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 Bd6 5.e4 Be5 6.Nge2 exd5 7.exd5 d6 8.f4 Bxc3+ 9.Nxc3 Bf5 10.Bd3 Qe7+ 11.Kf2 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 Na6 13.Qh3 O-O 14.Re1 Qd8 15.Bd2 h6 16.Re3 Re8 17.Rg3 Qc8 18.f5 Re5 19.Rxg7+ Kxg7 20.Bxh6+ Kh8 21.Bf4+ Kg8 22.Bxe5 dxe5 23.g4 Ne8 24.Ne4 Nb4 25.Rd1 Qd8 26.Qh6 Qd7 27.d6 f6 28.Nxc5 Qg7 29.Qxg7+ Kxg7 30.d7 Nc6 31.dxe8=Q Rxe8 32.Rd7+ Kg8 33.Ne4 Rf8 34.Rxb7 Rf7 35.Rxf7 Kxf7 36.c5 Kg7 37.Ke3 Nb4 38.a3 Nc2+ 39.Kd3 Nd4 40.b4 Nb5 41.a4 Nc7 42.Kc4 Kh6 43.b5 Kg7 44.b6 axb6 45.cxb6 Na6 46.a5 Kf7 47.Kd5 Nb8 48.Ng3 Ke7 49.Ne4 Kf7 50.g5 fxg5 51.b7 g4 52.Kxe5 g3 53.hxg3 Na6 54.f6 Nb8 55.g4 Kg6 56.Ke6 Nc6 57.a6 Nd8+ 58.Kd5 Nxb7 59.axb7 Kh6 60.b8=Q Kg6 61.Qf8 Kh7 62.Qg7# 1-0

                  Position after 19.Rxg7+

                  CCCC 1 Rapid Rumble Stage 1
         September 15, 2018
                  Lc0 17.11089 – Shredder 13
                  D24 QGA

                  1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 Bb4 6.Bg5 c5 7.Bxc4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Qa5 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Bxd7+ Nxd7 13.O-O Qe5 14.Rb1 Nc5 15.Rb4 O-O 16.Re1 Rfd8 17.Re3 Rac8 18.Qg4+ Qg5 19.Qe2 Kh8 20.g3 e5 21.h4 Qg6 22.Nf5 Rc7 23.Rc4 b6 24.Rxc5 Rxc5 25.h5 Qg8 26.Rd3 Qf8 27.h6 Rcc8 28.Rd5 Rxd5 29.exd5 Qa3 30.Qh5 Rf8 31.Qf3 Qc1+ 32.Kg2 Qg5 33.c4 Rd8 34.d6 Qg6 35.a4 Qg5 36.a5 Qg6 37.Qe4 Qg5 38.Qb1 Rb8 39.c5 b5 40.c6 Qd2 41.Qe4 Rf8 42.c7 Qd1 43.Qc6 e4 44.Qxe4 Rg8 45.Qd4 Qxd4 46.Nxd4 f5 47.d7 f4 48.d8=Q f3+ 49.Nxf3 f6 50.Qxf6+ Rg7 51.Qxg7# 1-0

                  Position after White sacrifices rook for knight with 24.Rxc5!!

                  The iczero blog says this about that move:

                  Amazing Leela! She played that move with a +0.98 score while Shredder as also Stockfish afterwards in analysis are sleeping and say 0.00. Not judging from this game but generally, Leela’s eval is so much superior to all other engines, Stockfish included, that in some position shine so much, like here. She knows this must be winning. But it’s not. The drawing line though, is very hard to find and one has to dig incredibly deep to dismiss countless other moves that seem to hold but in fact are losing for just one tempo most of the times. But there is a line that seems to lead to a draw. But judging for over the board play, in real game time play, the moves deserves 2 exclamation marks for creating a situation impossible not just for Shredder, but for most engines or humans to handle over the board since white is winning in most variations creating startling zugzwang situations. Yet the real result must be drawn.

                  For the full annotations of this game, see:



                  • Games from Recent Events

                    January 8, 2019

                    The Bay Area International took place January 1 to 7 in San Francisco/Burlingame, California and was won by GM Le Quang Liem.

                    Mike Klein – “It's not often that the winners get overshadowed, but that may just be what happened in Northern California this week. Long before the excitement of the final round, there was that loss by the eventual winner to the pre-teen FM Christopher Yoo in round three. This appears to make Yoo the youngest player ever to defeat a 2700 in a classical game (even younger than now-GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa was in beating GM David Howell in 2017).

                    Yoo, playing in his home state, has taken advantage of the friendly confines of California. His second IM norm came just last year in Berkeley, also in the Bay Area. He earned his first in the 2017 North American Youth Championship, so that's the needed trio.

                    As far as crossing 2400, Yoo did that late in 2018 on several FIDE rating lists, so that appears to make him the youngest IM in American history. With a birthday of December 19, 2006, he's only barely 12 years old.”


                    Bay Area International 2018
                    Round 3, Jan. 3
                    Yoo, Christopher – Liem, Le Quang
                    B13 Caro-Kann, Exchange variation

                    1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bb5 e6 6.c4 dxc4 7.O-O Bd6 8.Nc3 Ne7 9.Bg5 O-O 10.Bxc4 b6 11.a3 Bb7 12.Re1 Rc8 13.Ba2 h6 14.Bh4 Qd7 15.d5 exd5 16.Nxd5 Nxd5 17.Bxd5 Rfe8 18.Rxe8+ Rxe8 19.Kh1 g5 20.Bxg5 hxg5 21.Nxg5 Nd8 22.Bxb7 Nxb7 23.Qd3 Kf8 24.Qd4 Re5 25.f4 Qg4 26.Rd1 Re2 27.Nh7+ Ke7 28.Qf6+ Kd7 29.Qxd6+ Nxd6 30.Nf6+ Ke6 31.Nxg4 Rxb2 32.Ne3 Re2 33.Nd5 Nc4 34.h4 Kf5 35.h5 Re6 36.Rc1 Nd6 37.Kg1 Kg4 38.Rc7 a5 39.Rc6 b5 40.Nc7 Re7 41.h6 Nf5 42.h7 Re1+ 43.Kf2 Rh1 44.Nd5 Ng3 45.Rc8 Ne4+ 46.Ke3 Rxh7 47.Kxe4 Rh6 48.Ne3+ 1-0

                    Final position


                    Le Quang Liem tied with Andrey Stukopin with 7/9. Christopher Yoo finished with 5/9 (with 17 others)


                    • Games from Recent Events

                      January 10, 2019

                      The Best Games of 2018

                      These were voted on by viewers of ChessBase with these results:

                      Game Votes % of votes

                      Kramnik-Caruana 105 26%

                      Aronian-Kramnik 104 26%

                      Hillarp Persson-Laurusas 91 23%

                      Ding-Duda 62 15%

                      Aronian-Mamedyarov 30 7%


                      Rather than reference the tournaments, it is simply easier to give the moves of the five games outright:

                      Candidates 2018
                      Berlin, GER
                      Round 4, March 14, 2018
                      Kramnik, Vladimir – Caruana, Fabiano
                      C42 Petrov, Cozio (Lasker) Attack

                      1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Qe2 Qe7 6.Nc3 Nxc3 7.dxc3 Qxe2+ 8.Bxe2 Nc6 9.Be3 Be7 10.O-O-O O-O 11.Rhe1 Bf6 12.Nd2 Re8 13.Bf3 Ne5 14.Bf4 Kf8 15.Bd5 c6 16.Bb3 Bf5 17.h3 g5 18.Bh2 Kg7 19.c4 g4 20.Ne4 Bxe4 21.Rxe4 Bg5+ 22.Kb1 gxh3 23.c5 f5 24.Rb4 hxg2 25.Rxb7+ Kh8 26.cxd6 Nf3 27.Ba4 Nxh2 28.Bxc6 Rad8 29.d7 Re2 30.Bxg2 Rxf2 31.Bc6 Ng4 32.Rxa7 Ne3 33.Rg1 h6 34.Rc7 Kg7 35.a4 Kf7 36.Bb5 Ke7 37.a5 Rf4 38.c3 Kd6 39.Rb7 Rg4 40.Re1 f4 41.a6 h5 42.a7 Ra8 43.b4 h4 44.c4 h3 45.c5+ Ke5 46.Rb8 Rxa7 47.Rg8 Bf6 48.d8=Q Bxd8 49.Rxg4 Bf6 50.Rg6 Rb7 51.Be2 Rxb4+ 52.Ka2 Nc2 53.Rc1 Nd4 54.Bd3 Ra4+ 55.Kb1 Nb3 56.Re1+ Kd5 57.Kc2 Nd4+ 58.Kb1 Nf3 59.Rd1 Ra1+ 60.Kc2 Rxd1 61.Ba6 Rd2+ 62.Kc1 Bb2+ 63.Kb1 Kxc5 64.Bb7 Ne5 65.Rf6 f3 66.Rf5 f2 0-1

                      Position after White’s 59.Rd1?


                      - It is not easy to see 59.Rxf6, Nxe1 exchange sacrifice if last seconds on you clock are ticking. Nevertheless, even natural move with hand Re2 would have given white a chance to escape
                      - F A N T A S T I C O
                      - maybe this isn't quite a "masterpiece," but it's an extraordinary game in practical terms.
                      - The great Vladimir Kramnik comes at Caruana with four connected passed pawns... but somehow, Caruana ends up with the upper hand, and wins.

                      Candidates 2018
                      Berlin, GER
                      Round 3, March 12, 2018
                      Aronian, Levon – Kramnik, Vladimir
                      C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence

                      1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.Bxc6 dxc6 6.O-O Qe7 7.h3 Rg8 8.Kh1 Nh5 9.c3 g5 10.Nxe5 g4 11.d4 Bd6 12.g3 Bxe5 13.dxe5 Qxe5 14.Qd4 Qe7 15.h4 c5 16.Qc4 Be6 17.Qb5+ c6 18.Qa4 f5 19.Bg5 Rxg5 20.hxg5 f4 21.Qd1 Rd8 22.Qc1 fxg3 23.Na3 Rd3 24.Rd1 Bd5 25.f3 gxf3 26.exd5 Qe2 27.Re1 g2+ 0-1

                      Vladimir Kramnik defeated Levon Aronian in brilliant style today at the FIDE Candidates' Tournament in Berlin, and in a Berlin. This time as Black, he played an early ...Rg8 and ...g7-g5 and just blew his opponent away.

                      It doesn't happen very often that publishes a "flash report" of a tournament before the round has even finished. Today was one of those days.

                      It wasn't just Vladimir Kramnik's obliterating win over Levon Aronian that prompted us to publish it right away on our site—it was the way Kramnik played this game that was truly enjoyable for just about any chess fan on the planet, except Aronian and his dearest fans.

                      The brilliancy, a strong first candidate for Game of the Year, was widely praised in the Twittersphere, but also by one of the participants. "One of the greatest games I have seen. Amazing from start to finish, absolutely unbelievable," said Alexander Grischuk—and he has seen a game or two in his life.


                      Chess Olympiad 2018
                      Batumi, GEO
                      Round 7, October 1, 2018
                      Hillarp Persson, Tiger – Laurusas, Tomas
                      A11 Reti, King’s Indian Attack

                      1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.c4 c6 5.b3 Bg7 6.Bb2 O-O 7.O-O a5 8.Nc3 Ne4 9.Na4 Bxb2 10.Nxb2 Nd7 11.d3 Nef6 12.d4 b6 13.Rc1 Bb7 14.Nd3 Rc8 15.Nfe5 Nxe5 16.dxe5 Nd7 17.Qd2 dxc4 18.Rxc4 Nxe5 19.Rh4 h5 20.Rd1 Nxd3 21.Qh6 Qd6 22.Rxd3 Qf6 23.Be4 Ba6 24.Re3 Qg7 25.Qg5 Rcd8 26.Qxe7 Rd1+ 27.Kg2 Qa1 28.Bxc6 Rg1+ 29.Kf3 Qf1 30.Kf4 Qxf2+ 31.Kg5 Kg7 32.Rf4 Qxh2 33.Qf6+ Kh7 34.Qxg6+ Kh8 35.Kh6 1-0

                      - Bravo, Tiger! 30.Kf4!! and the mating King march to h6 is reminiscent of the 1991 Short-Timman brilliancy. But Tiger adds a Q sac. If 34...fxg6 35.Re7+ Kg8 36.Bd5+ Rf7 37.Re8+ Kg7 38.Rxf7 mate. One for every chess anthology.

                      Chess Olympiad 2018
                      Batumi, GEO
                      Round 9, October 4, 2018
                      Ding Liren – Duda, Jan-Krzysztof
                      D24 QGA

                      1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 b5 6.e5 Nd5 7.Nxb5 Nb6 8.Be2 Nc6 9.O-O Be7 10.Qd2 O-O 11.Qf4 Rb8 12.Nc3 f5 13.Qg3 Kh8 14.Rd1 Nb4 15.b3 cxb3 16.axb3 a6 17.Bc4 Nc2 18.Ra2 Nb4 19.Ra1 Nc2 20.Ra2 Nb4 21.Re2 a5 22.d5 exd5 23.e6 Bd6 24.Qh3 Qf6 25.Nb5 dxc4 26.Nxd6 cxd6 27.e7 Re8 28.Ng5 Qg6 29.Rxd6 f4 30.Qh4 Qb1 31.Re1 Bf5 32.Rd8 Bg6 33.Rxb8 Rxb8 34.Qxf4 Rg8 35.Nf7+ Bxf7 36.Qxf7 Nd7 37.e8=Q Nf6 38.Bg5 1-0

                      Chessbomb kibitzers

                      - Duda dude couldn't draw it
                      • Ding really smart and practical not going for 31.Re1 rather than the "objectively better" Qxf4 as that requires seeing Bd7 Rf6 only move"

                      Chess Olympiad 2018
                      Batumi, GEO
                      Round 5, September 28, 2018
                      Aronian, Levon – Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
                      C80 Ruy Lopez, open

                      1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 Be7 7.Re1 b5 8.Rxe4 d5 9.Nxe5 Nxe5 10.Rxe5 bxa4 11.Qe1 f6 12.Re3 c5 13.Qd1 O-O 14.Nc3 Rb8 15.b3 cxd4 16.Qxd4 Bd6 17.Qxd5+ Kh8 18.Rd3 Qe8 19.Bb2 Be5 20.Nxa4 Rb5 21.Qf3 Bb7 22.Qe3 Be4 23.Rd2 Bxg2 24.Kxg2 Qg6+ 25.Kf1 Bxh2 26.Re1 Rg5 27.Ke2 Re8 28.Kd1 Rg1 29.Be5 Bxe5 30.Re2 h5 31.Qd3 Qg2 32.Nb6 Rxe1+ 33.Rxe1 Qxf2 34.Nd5 Rd8 35.c4 Qxa2 36.Qf3 g6 37.Re3 Kg7 38.Qh3 Qf2 39.Rd3 Qg1+ 40.Kc2 Qh2+ 41.Qxh2 Bxh2 42.Rh3 Be5 43.Kd3 a5 44.Ke4 Kf7 45.Kf3 Rh8 46.Kg2 g5 47.Ne3 Ke6 48.Kf1 f5 0-1
                      • What a thrilling game. After time-control Aronian might hope for a miracle...
                      • What a game by Mamedyarov. Bxg2 must have come as a nasty shock to Aronian.
                      • "It was the top board clash between two of the strongest teams at the Batumi Olympiad 2018 - Azerbaijan and Armenia. Both the teams are well matched and their rivalry goes beyond chess board.
                      - In this crunch situation it was Azerbaijan who came out on top thanks to the victories of Mamedyarov against Aronian and Radjabov against Sargissian. In this video we capture the final moments of Aronian's dejection at losing the game and also Radjabov's final handshake to win the match! A great moment for Azerbaijan fans."