As the whole chess world know by now, world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen has won convincingly in the 2021 Online New In Chess Classic, outplaying Hikaru Nakamura, 5-3, in the finals.
The top seeded Norwegian, 30, lived up to his billing, winning the first set, 3-1, and acquiescing to a 2-2 draw in the second set, to defeat his 33-year-old American adversary.
It was Carlsen’s first Champions Chess Tour title (after four disappointing attempts), and his first as well of the 2021 chess calendar. He collected the $30,000 top prize and moved closer to locking down a grand final spot in the $1.5 million Meltwater Chess Tour scheduled in September this year.
He will return to competitive action at the $200,000 Champions Tour sixth leg, which gets underway on May 23.
In the battle for third place, Azeri Shakhriyar Mamedyarov defeated Levon Aronian, 4.5-2.5.
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The ongoing Russian Team Championships (open and women) in Sochi has produced a good amount of lively, exciting chess. This 16-move miniature surely will carry off the best brevity game award.
2021 Russian Team Championship
Premier League Round three
W) A. Timofeev GM
B) A. Alexeev GM
1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. Bb5!? ….
After 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 e5 6. Ndb5 d6, the game transposes into the Sveshnikov Variation of the Sicilian. White’s last is the comparatively unbooked variation of the Sicilian. Usually, 4. d4 is played, but White elects to omit 4. d4, thereby giving new twist to the opening.
Provoking White’s center pawn advance which is not commendable. The engine’s 4….d5 is a safer alternative.
5. e5! ….
After the text, White enjoys a clear advantage because of Black’s undeveloped pieces.
6. Nxb5 Nd5
7. Ng5! ….
Early in the game, Black is caught in the toils. The immediate threat is 8. Qf3.
As the early chess writers used to say, “In a diffcult position a slip comes easily,” And Black’s last is fatal. Correct is 7….f6, though White enjoys maximum prospects after 8. Ne4.
8. Qh5! ….
This move is a crusher.
9. Qf3 f5
10. exf6 exf6?
This capture leads to a quick collapse, but Black is in a difficult situation nonetheless. For instance, 10….d6 11. f7ch Kd7 12. a4, and White has a huge advantage.
11. Nxc7ch Qxc7
12. Qxf6 Qd6
13. Qxh8 ….
Black loses the exchange without compensation and has no good move. In fact, he could resign. The rest is a routine win for White.
14. Kf1 Qxg5
15. d4 Qh4
16. Qe5ch 1-0
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Solution to last week’s puzzle:
White to move and win.
White=Kg1, Rd6, Rf1, Be3, Pa3, Pb2, Pc2, Pg2, Ph3
Black=Kg6, Rc8, Rf8, Bf6, Pa7, Pb6, Pc6, Pc5, Ph5
1. Bd2! 1-0
If 1….Rc7 (1….Rd8 2. Rfxf6ch Rxf6 3. Rxd8) 2. g4 hxg4 3. hxg4 Kg7 4. Rfxf6 Rxf6 5. Bc3 Rf7 6. g5 and wins.