Caruana Prevails At Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund, Germany

Sparkassen Chess Meeting

Source: http://www.sparkassen-chess-meeting.de

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The city of Dortmund in Germany was stage to the Sparkassen Chess Meeting from June 27 to July 5 2015. The tournament is one of Germany’s best cast chess events that had eight participants this year:

  • Former world champion Vladimir Kramnik who has participated in this even for twenty-three years and won ten times. The forty year-old Russian currently ranks 8th in worldwide standings and is considered one of the most experienced players in the world.
  • Fabiano Caruana, who did not only come off winner last at last year’s edition but also prevailed in 2012. At an age of nineteen he caused a stir back then when winning the tournament for the first time. Caruana currently holds an ELO of 2797 points.
  • German player Arkadij Naiditsch who also won the Sparkassen Chess Meeting at the age of nineteen. This sensational victory happened ten years ago when he managed to defeat chess professionals like Kramnik, Topalov, and Adams. By the way, the exceptionally talented player beat world champion Magnus Carlsen twice.
  • Georg Meier, who is third best German player and contributed majorly to Germany’s victory at the European Team Championship 2011. It’s his fifth time to compete at the Sparkassen Chess Meeting at which came off second last year after defeating Kramnik.
  • Women’s world champion Hou Yifan participated for the first time this year. She is a prodigy and as the strongest female chess player in the world, she was by no means an easy opponent at the event. The twenty-two year old was world champion three times already and is a serious challenge even to experienced grandmasters.
  • Ian Neopmniachtschi competed in the 2008 edition of the tournament and came off second at that time. His victory at this year’s edition of the well-known Aeroflot Open in Moscow qualified him for participating in Dortmund. “Nepo” was considered favorite player for the overall victory, as he has severely gained in playing strength recently.
  • German-Rumanian player Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu looks back on a long history of chess expertise. When other players competing at the Sparkassen Chess Meeting were still in diapers, he had already been announced Rumanian Champion and even made it to semi-finals in 1999’s world championship. The former European champion transferred from Russia to the German Chess Federation in 2014 where he currently ranks second.
  • Philippine player Wesley So is persistently one of the world’s Top Ten players (currently rank seven) and has supported the American team since 2014. He became grandmaster at only fourteen years old and was also considered one of the event’s favorite players which he impressively proved with victories over Caruana and Nepomniachtschi.

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Final Results

 Sparkassen Chess Meeting

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Individual Results. Rounds 1 through 7
Round 1. June 27, 2015. 3 p.m.
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2805
Meier, Georg 2654
½-½
Hou, Yifan 2676
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
0-1
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
1-0
So, Wesley 2778
Round 2. June 28, 2015. 3p.m.
Caruana, Fabiano 2805 0-1 So, Wesley 2778
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722 0-1 Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
Hou, Yifan 2676 0-1 Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720 ½-½ Meier, Georg 2654
Round 3. June 30, 2015. 3 p.m.
Meier, Georg 2654 0-1 Caruana, Fabiano 2805
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783 1-0 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654 ½-½ Hou, Yifan 2676
So, Wesley 2778 0-1 Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
Round 4. July 1, 2015. 3 p.m.
Caruana, Fabiano 2805 1-0 Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
Hou, Yifan 2676 ½-½ So, Wesley 2778
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720 ½-½ Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
Meier, Georg 2654 0-1 Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
Round 5. July 3, 2015. 3 p.m.
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783 0-1 Caruana, Fabiano 2805
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654 ½-½ Meier, Georg 2654
So, Wesley 2778 1-0 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722 ½-½ Hou, Yifan 2676
Round 6. July 4, 2015. 3 p.m.
Caruana, Fabiano 2805 1-0 Hou, Yifan 2676
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720 1-0 Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
Meier, Georg 2654 ½-½ So, Wesley 2778
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783 ½-½ Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
Round 7. July 1, 2015. 1 p.m.
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654 0-1 Caruana, Fabiano 2805
So, Wesley 2778 1-0 Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722 ½-½ Meier, Georg 2654
Hou, Yifan 2676 ½-½ Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720

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Caruana won this tournament all over again and left the other participants at a 1.5 point advantage behind.

Find game sheets and pictures on the official tournament website.

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

Topalov Wins Norway Chess 2015

norway chess 2015

From June 15 to 27, Norway was stage to one of this year’s chess highlights, the Norway Chess Tournament. They couldn’t have chosen a better pool of participants:

  • Magnus Carlsen. World Champion from Norway and number 1 in world rankings, currently holding an ELO of 2876 points.
  • Visvanathan Anand. Indian former World Champion and current runner-up. Number 2 in worldwide standings at an ELO-rating of 2804 points.
  • Fabiano Caruana. Recent Grand Prix victor and 3rd in world rankings with 2803 ELO points.
  • Hikaru Nakamura. 27 year-old American who ranks 4th in worldwide standings and is current Chess960 World Champion at an ELO of 2799 points.
  • Veselin Topalov. Current number 5 in world rankings. The Bulgarian holds an ELO of 2798 points.
  • Alexander Grischuk. Ranks 6th in international comparison. Holds an ELO of 2780.
  • Anish Giri. Ranked 8th at Gashimov Memorial in April. The 21 year-old ranks 9th in worldwide rankings ar an ELO of 2776 points.
  • Levon Aronian. Armenian with an ELO of 2776 points who currently ranks 10th in international comparison.
  • Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Triple French Champion who was recently defeated by Yi Wei at the City of Leon Masters Tournament. Now 12th in world rankings, 2754 ELO points.
  • Jon Ludvig Hammer. Grandmaster and Norwegian born in 1990 – like Magnus Carlsen. Won the Norwegian National Championship in 2013 and ranks 75th internationally with an ELO of 2665.

*ELO-ratings from May 2015

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The competitors started with a blitz chess tournament on June 15 (3 minutes + 2 seconds, begging at 1st move), the results of which determined the starting positions of the actual tournament.

The prize money fund contained 300,000 US-Dollars, 75,000 of which were reserved for the victor. Ranks two and three were rewarded with 50,000 and 40,000.

Veselin Topalov prevailed with 6.5 out of 9 points after 9 suspenseful rounds over Vishy Anand (6 points) and won the overall tournament. Until the very last round, the two of them fought for the title. Hikaru Nakamura came off 3rd, while Magnus Carlsen, who usually isn’t satisfied with anything other than the gold medal, only ranked 5th at disastrous 3.5 points.

The livestream archive has videos of the individual rounds as well as helpful comments.

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Final Results
Name Rat Fed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Score
1 GM Topalov, Veselin 2798 BUL *  ½  0  ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1  1st
2 GM Anand, Viswanathan 2804 IND  ½ * ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1  2nd 6
3 GM Giri, Anish 2773 NED  1 ½ * ½ ½  ½  ½ ½ 1 ½
4 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 2802 USA  ½ ½ ½ * ½ 1 ½  1 ½ 1  3rd 6
5 GM Carlsen, Magnus 2876 NOR 0 0 ½ ½ * 0 ½ 1 1  0
6 GM Caruana, Fabiano 2805 ITA  ½ ½  ½ 0 1 * ½ 0 ½ ½ 4
7 GM VachierLagrave, Maxime 2723 FRA  0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * 1  ½ ½ 4
8 GM Aronian, Levon 2780 ARM  0 ½ ½  0 0 1 0 * ½ ½ 3
9 GM Grischuk, Alexander 2781 RUS  0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½  ½ ½ * 1
10 GM Hammer, Jon Ludvig 2677 NOR 0 0 ½ 0  1 ½ ½ ½  0 * 3

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Pairings and Individual Results Rounds 1 to 9
Results Round 1
Anand Viswanathan  Caruana Fabiano  ½ – ½
Carlsen Magnus  Topalov Veselin  0 – 1
 Giri Anish  Grischuk Alexander  1 – 0
 Nakamura Hikaru  Hammer Jon Ludvig  1 – 0
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  Aronian Levon  1 – 0

 

Results Round 2
Grischuk Alexander  Aronian Levon  ½ – ½
Hammer Jon Ludvig  Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  ½ – ½
 Topalov Veselin  Nakamura Hikaru  ½ – ½
 Caruana Fabiano  Carlsen Magnus  1 – 0
Giri Anish  Anand Viswanathan  ½ – ½

 

Results Round 3
Anand Viswanathan  Grischuk Alexander  ½ – ½
Aronian Levon Hammer Jon Ludvig  ½ – ½
 Carlsen Magnus  Giri Anish  ½ – ½
 Nakamura Hikaru  Caruana Fabiano  1 – 0
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  Topalov Veselin  0 – 1

 

Results Round 4
 Alexander Grischuk Hammer Jon Ludvig  1 – 0
 Topalov Veselin Aronian Levon  1 – 0
 Caruana Fabiano  Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  ½ – ½
 Giri Anish  Nakamura Hikaru  ½ – ½
 Anand Viswanathan  Carlsen Magnus  1 – 0

 

Results Round 5
 Aronian Levon  Caruana Fabiano  1 – 0
 Carlsen Magnus  Grischuk Alexander  1 – 0
 Hammer Jon Ludvig  Topalov Veselin  0 – 1
 Nakamura Hikaru  Anand Viswanathan  ½ – ½
 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  Giri Anish  ½ – ½

 

Results Round 6
 Grischuk Alexander  Topalov Veselin  0 – 1
 Caruana Fabiano  Hammer Jon Ludvig  ½ – ½
 Giri Anish  Aronian Levon  ½ – ½
 Anand Viswanathan  Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  1 – 0
 Carlsen Magnus  Nakamura Hikaru ½ – ½

 

Results Round 7
Aronian Levon  Anand Viswanathan  ½ – ½
 Hammer Jon Ludvig  Giri Anish  ½ – ½
 Nakamura Hikaru  Grischuk Alexander  ½ – ½
 Topalov Veselin  Caruana Fabiano  ½ – ½
 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  Carlsen Magnus  ½ – ½

 

Results Round 8
 Grischuk Alexander  Caruana Fabiano  ½ – ½
 Giri Anish  Topalov Veselin  1 – 0
 Anand Viswanathan  Hammer Jon Ludvig  1 – 0
 Carlsen Magnus  Aronian Levon  1 – 0
 Nakamura Hikaru  Vachier-Lagrave Maxim  ½ – ½

 

Results Round 9
 Vachier-Lagrave Maxim  Grischuk, Alexander  ½ – ½
 Aronian Levon  Nakamura Hikaru  0 – 1
 Hammer Jon Ludvig  Carlsen Magnus  1 – 0
 Topalov Veselin  Anand Viswanathan ½ – ½
 Caruana Fabiano  Giri Anish  ½ – ½

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Find official reports and summaries on the official tournament website.

Fabiano Caruana Joins American Team

Fabiano Caruana, ranking 3rd in worldwide standings, leaves the Italian National Chess Team after ten year and will return to the United States Chess Federation (USCF), as the organization declared in a press conference last week.

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Background Information

Fabiano CaruanaFabiano Caruana was born in Miami in 1992 and grew up in New York, his mother being Italian and his father also having Italian roots. At the age of five, he began playing chess and was member of the United States Chess Federation until thirteen years old. In October 2005, Caruana joined the Italian Chess Federation after he and his family had moved back to Europa to enhance his career opportunities. The United States weren’t particularly successful in the chess scene at that time – only six Americans ranked among the Top 85 of the world. To help their son obtain better training and to enhance the chances of successful and relevant tournament participation, his parents decided for their son to represent Italy on the international stage. Saying their plans added up, would simply be an understatement. On the other side of the big pond, Caruana exceeded all expectations and ascended to the absolute top of the world of chess.

Caruana holds dual citizenship – meaning he is Italian and American citizen at the same time. Until today, he pays taxes in the United States and speaks English flawlessly.

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The Change

The USCF has fought for Caruana’s attention for years and repeatedly invited him to participate in US championships. His decision and statements were still a surprise to many, although he had always shown his loyalty towards Italy which graciously supported him for an entire decade. Only half a year ago, Caruana answered the question of whether he planned to join a US chess team again as follows: “No, I do not have such plans at this point. However, I don’t know what the future holds.”

The Italian Chess Federation’s spokesman responded to the rumors of Caruana changing teams a while back: “America offered him 100,000 EUR per year, Azerbaijan even 400,000 EUR. I would love for him to make that amount of money with playing chess, but frankly, these offers were unsuccessful. Caruana signed a contract with the Italian Chess Federation over 80,000 EUR per annum in January and will stay with us until December.”

According to rumors, Caruana was offered a contract by St. Louis over six years and 200,000 EUR, which at first he distanced himself from by calling them speculations, but recently he admitted to the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis playing a major role in his change:

“I am looking forward to representing the United States again and to working with the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. I would like to thank everybody who made this possible and am excited for this new partnership. Also, I would like to use the occasion and express my appreciation and gratefulness for the support that the Italian Chess Federation has provided me with during the last ten years. I wish them all the best.”

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An Outlook

The Americans have put quite some effort into their establishment in the world’s chess elite in the recent past. Their endeavors are now rewarded with success. Jean Hoffmann, Executive Director of USCF, announced:

“For the first time in history, the United States have three players in the Top 10: The world’s third, Fabiano Caruana, its fourth, Hikaru Nakamura, and its ninth, Wesley So.”

Measured by their ELO-ratings (2745.4) the US national team is now second best team in the world, behind Russia (2759.4). The first meaningful international tournament at which Caruana will represent the United States are the Chess Olympics in Baku next year.

And of course, there is this thing with the World Championship title. If Caruana were to win the world championship next year, he’d be the first American player since Bobby Fischer to accomplish this milestone.

Caruana answered the question whether he would feel like an American or Italian world champion in case he would actually win the title diplomatically:

“Why can’t I be both at the same time? I consider myself an American, as I was born in the States and grew up there. At the same time, I am Italian, because my Mother is Italian and the ancestors on my father’s side of the family were also Italian.”

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

Carlsen Beats Anand at Gashimov Memorial

Gashimov Memorial 2015

Shamkir, Azerbaijan, was stage to the Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2015 from April 16 to 26. The declared top-players of the world of chess gathered to compete:

Magnus Carlsen (ELO 2863)
Fabiano Caruana (ELO 2803)
Visvanathan Anand (ELO 2791)
Anish Giri (ELO 2790)
Wesley So (ELO 2788)
Vladimir Kramnik (ELO 2783)
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (ELO 2762)
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (ELO 2754)
Michael Adams (ELO 2746)
Rauf Mamedov (ELO 2651)

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The tournament was played in 45 duels in 9 rounds.

Carlsen and Anand were the only players to remain undefeated throughout the entire event and may proudly report an enhancement of 13 points in their ELO-Live-ratings.

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Final Results After 9 Rounds
Rank Name Rtg FED 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pts Vict
1 Carlsen Magnus 2863 NOR 1 ½ 1 ½ 1  1 *  1 ½ ½  7 5
2 Anand Viswanathan 2791 IND  ½ 1 ½ * 1 ½ ½  ½ ½ 1  6 3
3 So Wesley 2788 USA  ½ * 1 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1  5 3
4 Caruana Fabiano 2802 ITA 1 1 ½ ½ ½ * 0  ½ ½ ½  5 2
5 Kramnik Vladimir 2783 RUS *  ½ ½  ½  0 0 0 1 ½ 1  4 2
6 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 AZE 1 ½ ½ 0 *  ½ 0  ½ ½ ½  4 1
7 Adams Michael 2746 ENG 0  0  ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 *  3.5  1
8 Giri Anish 2790 NED ½  0  ½ ½ ½  ½ ½ ½ * 0  3.5  0
9 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 FRA 0 ½  ½ ½ ½  ½ 0 * ½ ½  3.5  0
10 Mamedov Rauf 2651 AZE  ½ 0 * ½ ½ ½ 0  ½ ½ ½  3.5 0

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Pairings & Individual Results

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1st Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
1 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 1-0 GM Adams Michael 2746 10
2 GM So Wesley 2788 1-0 GM Giri Anish 2790 9
3 GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 ½-½ GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 8
4 GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 ½-½ GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 7
5 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 ½-½ GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 6

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2nd Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
10 GM Adams Michael 2746 ½-½ GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 6
7 GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 1-0 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 5
8 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 ½-½ GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 4
9 GM Giri Anish 2790 ½-½ GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 3
1 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 ½-½ GM So Wesley 2788 2

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3rd Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
2 GM So Wesley 2788 1-0 GM Adams Michael 2746 10
3 GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 ½-½ GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 1
4 GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 ½-½ GM Giri Anish 2790 9
5 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 ½-½ GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 8
6 GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 0-1 GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 7

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4th Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
10 GM Adams Michael 2746 ½-½ GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 7
8 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 ½-½ GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 6
9 GM Giri Anish 2790 ½-½ GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 5
1 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 ½-½ GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 4
2 GM So Wesley 2788 1-0 GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 3

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5th Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
3 GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 ½-½ GM Adams Michael 2746 10
4 GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 1-0 GM So Wesley 2788 2
5 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 1-0 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 1
6 GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 ½-½ GM Giri Anish 2790 9
7 GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 1-0 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 8

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6th Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
10 GM Adams Michael 2746 ½-½ GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 8
9 GM Giri Anish 2790 ½-½ GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 7
1 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 0-1 GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 6
2 GM So Wesley 2788 ½-½ GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 5
3 GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 ½-½ GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 4

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7th Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
4 GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 1-0 GM Adams Michael 2746 10
5 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 ½-½ GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 3
6 GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 1-0 GM So Wesley 2788 2
7 GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 1-0 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 1
8 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 ½-½ GM Giri Anish 2790 9

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8th Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
10 GM Adams Michael 2746 1-0 GM Giri Anish 2790 9
1 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 1-0 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 8
2 GM So Wesley 2788 ½-½ GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 7
3 GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 ½-½ GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 6
4 GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 1-0 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 5

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9th Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
5 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 ½-½ GM Adams Michael 2746 10
6 GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 ½-½ GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 4
7 GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 1-0 GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 3
8 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 ½-½ GM So Wesley 2788 2
9 GM Giri Anish 2790 ½-½ GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 1

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Pictures, videos, and detailed game sheets are available on the official tournament website:

https://www.shamkirchess.az

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

The World’s 20 Best Chess Players

magnus carlsenThe official FIDE world rankings have already undergone significant changes this year.

While Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana persistently hold out on first and second rank, Hikaru Nakamura has leaped forward due to his recent successes like the third rank at the Zurich Chess Challenge. Certainly worth recognition when considering that he only barely stayed in the Top 10 in the January rakings (9th). His predecessor as the world’s third, Alexander Grischuk, was expelled to 5th place from which he ousted Visvanathan Anand. The vice World Champion now has to comply with 6th rank.

Cursed by his fate is Radoslav Voitaszek who fell back five ranks since the beginning of the year and brings up the rear now. Peter Svidler, Nikita Vitiugov, and Dmitry Andreikin have even completely vanished from the Top 20.

David Navara, Liren Ding, and Evgeny Tomashevsky, on the other hand, have reason to celebrate. The three of them have just arrived in the world’s Top 20! Tomashevsky gained a remarkable 29 ELO-points this year, after he had proved his abilities at the 3rd Grand Prix tournament last week. The Chinese number one, Liren Ding, advanced from 22nd to 19th rank in January and made it to 15th rank now that he performed well at the Tata Steel Tournament. David Navara is literally rocking the ongoing European Championship and has already prevailed over Rui, Parligras, Shimanov, Potkin, and Kempinsky. Not a bad count after eight rounds. It remains to be seen how the final results of this championship and the Reykjavik Open in mid-March affect merry go-round of the world’s Top 20.

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Current Ranking

Rank

Name

Title

Country

Rating

Change

B-Year

1

Magnus Carlsen

G

NOR

2863

1990

2

Fabiano Caruana

G

ITA

2802

1992

3

Hikaru Nakamura

G

USA

2798

↑ (9)

1987

4

Veselin Topalov

G

BUL

2798

1975

5

Alexander Grischuk

G

RUS

2794

↓ (3)

1983

6

Viswanathan Anand

G

IND

2791

↓ (5)

1969

7

Anish Giri

G

NED

2790

1994

8

Wesley So

G

PHI

2788

↑ (10)

1993

9

Vladimir  Kramnik

G

RUS

2783

↓ (8)

1975

10

Levon Aronian

G

ARM

2770

↓ (6)

1982

11

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

G

FRA

2765

1990

12

Sergey Karjakin

G

RUS

2757

1990

13

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

G

AZE

2756

1985

14

David Navara

G

CZR

2750

↑ (23)

1985

15

Ding Liren

G

CHN

2749

↑ (22)

1992

16

Boris Gelfand

G

ISR

2747

↓ (14)

1968

17

Evgeny  Tomashevsky

G

RUS

2745

↑ (31)

1987

18

Michael Adams

G

ENG

2745

1971

19

Dmitry Jakovenko

G

RUS

2742

↑ (20)

1983

20

Radoslaw Wojtaszek

G

POL

2738

↓ (15)

1987

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

Nakamura Wins Zurich Chess Challenge 2015

Zurich Chess Challenge 2015

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The legendary Zurich Chess Challenge took place from February 13 to 19, 2015 at the “Savoy Baur en Ville” in the Swiss city Zurich. Title defender Magnus Carlsen did not show up this year, but the world-class competitors certainly made up for it. The six participants were:

Winner of the overall rating Hikaru Nakamura who persistently fought for the title and stood strong through the Armageddon tiebreak against Anand.

Runner-up and former World Champion Visvanathan Anand who won the Classical with seven points.

Russian talent Vladimir Kramnik, who won the Rapid competition, but only made it to 3rd rank in total standings.

Levon Aronian, who had to comply with 4th rank and the victory of the Blitz competition.

25 year-old Sergey Karjakin, who currently ranks 12th in worldwide standings, but only ranked 5th in Zurich.

Italian player Fabiano Caruana, runner-up in world rankings, who surprisingly and disappointingly ended up in bottom rank.

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Final Ranking
Rank Name NAT Points ELO
1 Hikaru Nakamura USA 9 2776
2 Viswanathan Anand IND 9 2797
3 Vladimir Kramnik RUS 8.5 2783
4 Levon Aronian ARM 7 2777
5 Sergey Karjakin RUS 6 2760
6 Fabiano Caruana ITA 5.5 2811

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Parings & Final Results Classical
Round 1 – Sat, February 14th
Anand, Viswanathan
1:1
Kramnik, Vladimir
Aronian, Levon
1:1
Karjakin, Sergey
Caruana, Fabiano
0:2
Nakamura, Hikaru
Round 2 – Sun, February 15th
Kramnik, Vladimir
1:1
Nakamura, Hikaru
Karjakin, Sergey
1:1
Caruana, Fabiano
Anand, Viswanathan
2:0
Aronian, Levon
Round 3 – Mon, February 16th
Aronian, Levon
1:1
Kramnik, Vladimir
Caruana, Fabiano
1:1
Anand, Viswanathan
Nakamura, Hikaru
2:0
Karjakin, Sergey
Round 4 – Tue, February 17th
Kramnik, Vladimir
1:1
Karjakin, Sergey
Anand, Viswanathan
2:0
Nakamura, Hikaru
Aronian, Levon
1:1
Caruana, Fabiano
Round 5 – Wed, February 18th
Caruana, Fabiano
1:1
Kramnik, Vladimir
Nakamura, Hikaru
1:1
Aronian, Levon
Karjakin, Sergey
1:1
Anand, Viswanathan

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Rank Name NAT Points ELO
1 Viswanathan Anand IND 7 2797
2 Hikaru Nakamura USA 6 2776
3 Vladimir Kramnik RUS 5 2783
4 Sergey Karjakin RUS 4 2760
5 Fabiano Caruana ITA 4 2811
6 Levon Aronian ARM 4 2777

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Pairings & Final Result Rapid
Round 1 – Thu, February 19th
Kramnik, Vladimir
½:½
Anand, Viswanathan
Karjakin, Sergey
0:1
Aronian, Levon
Nakamura, Hikaru
1:0
Caruana, Fabiano
Round 2 – Thu, February 19th
Nakamura, Hikaru
0:1
Kramnik, Vladimir
Caruana, Fabiano
1:0
Karjakin, Sergey
Aronian, Levon
1:0
Anand, Viswanathan
Round 3 – Thu, February 19th
Kramnik, Vladimir
1:0
Aronian, Levon
Anand, Viswanathan
1:0
Caruana, Fabiano
Karjakin, Sergey
½:½
Nakamura, Hikaru
Round 4 – Thu, February 19th
Karjakin, Sergey
1:0
Kramnik, Vladimir
Nakamura, Hikaru
1:0
Anand, Viswanathan
Caruana, Fabiano
½:½
Aronian, Levon
Round 5 – Thu, February 19th
Kramnik, Vladimir
1:0
Caruana, Fabiano
Anand, Viswanathan
½:½
Karjakin, Sergey
Aronian, Levon
½:½
Nakamura, Hikaru

xxx

Rank Name NAT Points ELO
1 Vladimir Kramnik RUS 3.5 2783
2 Levon Aronian ARM 3 2777
3 Hikaru Nakamura USA 3 2776
4 Sergey Karjakin RUS 2 2760
5 Viswanathan Anand IND 2 2797
6 Fabiano Caruana ITA 1.5 2811

xxx

Pairings & Final Results Blitz
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Round 1 – Fr, February 13th
Karjakin, Sergey
0:1
Anand, Viswanathan
Caruana, Fabiano
½:½
Nakamura, Hikaru
Aronian, Levon
½:½
Kramnik, Vladimir
Round 2 – Fr, February 13th
Nakamura, Hikaru
0:1
Aronian, Levon
Anand, Viswanathan
1:0
Kramnik, Vladimir
Karjakin, Sergey
0:1
Caruana, Fabiano
Round 3 – Fr, February 13th
Aronian, Levon
1:0
Karjakin, Sergey
Caruana, Fabiano
½:½
Anand, Viswanathan
Kramnik, Vladimir
½:½
Nakamura, Hikaru
Round 4 – Fr, February 13th
Karjakin, Sergey
1:0
Kramnik, Vladimir
Caruana, Fabiano
½:½
Aronian, Levon
Anand, Viswanathan
1:0
Nakamura, Hikaru
Round 5 – Fr, February 13th
Aronian, Levon
1:0
Anand, Viswanathan
Kramnik, Vladimir
0:1
Caruana, Fabiano
Nakamura, Hikaru
1:0
Karjakin, Sergey

xxx

Rank Name NAT Points ELO
1 Levon Aronian ARM 4 2777
2 Fabiano Caruana ITA 3.5 2811
3 Viswanathan Anand IND 3.5 2797
4 Hikaru Nakamura USA 2 2776
5 Vladimir Kramnik RUS 1 2783
6 Sergey Karjakin RUS 1 2760

xxx

Find pictures, videos, and game sheets on the official tournament website:

http://www.zurich-cc.com/

written by Sarah, translated Birthe

Two Victors at the FIDE Grand Prix in Baku

Baku Grand Prix

The first tournament of the new FIDE Grand Prix Series was scheduled to run from October 1 to 15 in Baku, Azerbaijan. The World Championship series of 2014/15 consists of four tournaments, which is rather extraordinary, as until now a full cycle always has always been made up of six tournaments. The FIDE remains silent and names no reasons for this significant chance. People are speculating, though, that there weren’t enough applicants willing to host the events.

The total prize fund for each tournament holds 120,000 EUR, of which the victor receives 20,000 EUR. Both winner and runner-up are also granted the right to participate in the Candidates’ Tournament.

The tournament in Baku was staffed with twelve top-class super-grandmasters with ELOs of 2700 and above: Dominguez Perez, Tomashevsky, Karjakin, Gelfand, Nakamura, Mamedyarov, Radjabov, Svidler, Andreikin, Caruana, Grischuk, and Kasimdzhanov. Fabiano Caruana with starting number 10 had been the top-favorite competitor all along, holding the highest ELO-rating of 2844 points. Despite having the lowest ELO-rating of all participants, Evgeny Tomashesky managed to obtain a terrific 6th rank.

First rank was shared by Fabiano Caruana (4 victories) from Italy and the Israeli Boris Gelfand (3 victories):

FINAL RESULTS

Rank SNo. Name Rtg FED Pts
1 10 Caruana Fabiano 2844 ITA
2 4 Gelfand Boris 2748 ISR
3 3 Karjakin Sergey 2767 RUS 6
4 11 Grischuk Alexander 2797 RUS 6
5 8 Svidler Peter 2732 RUS 6
6 2 Tomashevsky Evgeny 2701 RUS 6
7 5 Nakamura Hikaru 2764 USA 6
8 7 Radjabov Teimour 2726 AZE
9 6 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2764 AZE 5
10 12 Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2706 UZB 5
11 9 Andreikin Dmitry 2722 RUS
12 1 Dominguez Perez Leinier 2751 CUB 3

The ELO-rating may be an indicator for a player’s strength and abilities, but is certainly not the only measure for a player’s performance. This is quite obvious when studying the rounds’ individual results.

Round 1. October 2, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Dominguez Perez Leinier ½ – ½ Kasimdzhanov Rustam
Tomashevsky Evgeny ½ – ½ Grischuk Alexander
Karjakin Sergey 0 – 1 Caruana Fabiano
Gelfand Boris 1 – 0 Andreikin Dmitry
Nakamura Hikaru ½ – ½ Svidler Peter
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Radjabov Teimour
Round 2. October 3, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Kasimdzhanov Rustam ½ – ½ Radjabov Teimour
Svidler Peter 1 – 0 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Andreikin Dmitry 0 – 1 Nakamura Hikaru
Caruana Fabiano ½ – ½ Gelfand Boris
Grischuk Alexander ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey
Dominguez Perez Leinier ½ – ½ Tomashevsky Evgeny
Round 3. October 4, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Tomashevsky Evgeny ½ – ½ Kasimdzhanov Rustam
Karjakin Sergey 1 – 0 Dominguez Perez Leinier
Gelfand Boris 1 – 0 Grischuk Alexander
Nakamura Hikaru ½ – ½ Caruana Fabiano
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Andreikin Dmitry
Radjabov Teimour ½ – ½ Svidler Peter
Round 4. October 5, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Kasimdzhanov Rustam ½ – ½ Svidler Peter
Andreikin Dmitry ½ – ½ Radjabov Teimour
Caruana Fabiano 1 – 0 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Grischuk Alexander ½ – ½ Nakamura Hikaru
Dominguez Perez Leinier ½ – ½ Gelfand Boris
Tomashevsky Evgeny ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey
Round 5. October 7, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Kasimdzhanov Rustam
Gelfand Boris ½ – ½ Tomashevsky Evgeny
Nakamura Hikaru ½ – ½ Dominguez Perez Leinier
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Grischuk Alexander
Radjabov Teimour ½ – ½ Caruana Fabiano
Svidler Peter ½ – ½ Andreikin Dmitry
Round 6. October 8, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 1 – 0 Andreikin Dmitry
Caruana Fabiano 1 – 0 Svidler Peter
Grischuk Alexander 0 – 1 Radjabov Teimour
Dominguez Perez Leinier ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Tomashevsky Evgeny ½ – ½ Nakamura Hikaru
Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Gelfand Boris
Round 7. October 9, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Gelfand Boris ½ – ½ Kasimdzhanov Rustam
Nakamura Hikaru 0 – 1 Karjakin Sergey
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Tomashevsky Evgeny
Radjabov Teimour ½ – ½ Dominguez Perez Leinier
Svidler Peter ½ – ½ Grischuk Alexander
Andreikin Dmitry 1 – 0 Caruana Fabiano
Round 8. October 10, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Kasimdzhanov Rustam ½ – ½ Caruana Fabiano
Grischuk Alexander ½ – ½ Andreikin Dmitry
Dominguez Perez Leinier 0 – 1 Svidler Peter
Tomashevsky Evgeny ½ – ½ Radjabov Teimour
Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Gelfand Boris ½ – ½ Nakamura Hikaru
Round 9. October 12, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Nakamura Hikaru 1 – 0 Kasimdzhanov Rustam
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 1 – 0 Gelfand Boris
Radjabov Teimour ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey
Svidler Peter ½ – ½ Tomashevsky Evgeny
Andreikin Dmitry 1 – 0 Dominguez Perez Leinier
Caruana Fabiano 0 – 1 Grischuk Alexander
Round 10. October 13, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 0 – 1 Grischuk Alexander
Dominguez Perez Leinier 0 – 1 Caruana Fabiano
Tomashevsky Evgeny 1 – 0 Andreikin Dmitry
Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Svidler Peter
Gelfand Boris 1 – 0 Radjabov Teimour
Nakamura Hikaru ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Round 11. October 14, 2014. 1 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Kasimdzhanov Rustam
Radjabov Teimour ½ – ½ Nakamura Hikaru
Svidler Peter ½ – ½ Gelfand Boris
Andreikin Dmitry ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey
Caruana Fabiano ½ – ½ Tomashevsky Evgeny
Grischuk Alexander 1 – 0 Dominguez Perez Leinier

Italian superstar Fabiano Caruana had to comply with defeats in the duels against Dmitry Andreikin (ELO 2722), Alexander Grischuk (ELO 2797), and Leinier Dominguez Perez (ELO 2751) in rounds 7, 9, and 10. Quite a surprise, considering the fact that Andreikin and Dominguez Perez are in last and second-last place in the final rankings.

Sixteen competitors will participate in the Grand Prix Series. In accordance with the rule set, each player can compete in three of the four tournaments. Along with the twelve participants of Baku, chess enthusiasts can look forward to seeing Anish Giri, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Dmitry Jakovenko, and Ehsan Ghaem Maghani in action. The next tournament of the series is scheduled from October 20 to November 3 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

Fabio Caruana

In July 2004 at the First Saturday Tournament in Budapest, Fabio Caruana fulfilled the last grandmaster norm – at the age of 14 years, 11 months, and 20 days. He is the youngest American and Italian chess player to ever achieve this milestone.

 Fabiano CaruanaFabiano Caruana holds dual-citizenship for the United States and Italy, as he was born in Miami in 1992 as the grandson of Italian immigrants. In 1996, he moved to Brooklyn, New York with his parents, where his talent was soon, at the age of 5, discovered by the popular chess trainer Bruce Pandolfini. The first international success followed in 2002, when Caruana won the U10 Championship at the Pan America-Championship. The following year, he prevailed at the same event in the category U12. In between these two successes, he hit the headlines in the United States after he had beat the grandmaster Aleksander Wojtkiewicz at the Grand Prix Tournament of the Manhattan Marshall Chess Club. Therefore, at an age of 10 years and 117 days, he replaced Hikaru Nakamura as the youngest player to ever beat a chess grandmaster at a tournament that was officially supported by the American Chess Federation. In 2005, he became subject of the German news, as he surprisingly beat grandmaster L’ubomir Ftáčnik at the Klaus Junge Open in Hamburg.

Since 2006, Fabiano Caruana has been playing for Italy. In his first Italian Individual Championship in Cremona (2006) he shared the 1st rank with Michele Godena, with whom he was equal in score, but lost the tie break for the title at 1.5:2.5 points. In December 2007 he then became Italian Individual Champion in Martina Franca at 9.5 points out of 11 duels. Caruana reached the first two grandmaster norms in in March and April 2007, as well as his last norm at First Saturday Tournaments in Budapest. His trainer is the Hungarian grandmaster Alexander Csernyin.

At the Hogeschool Zeeland Open in the Dutch city Vlissingen in August 2007, Fabiano Caruana was equal in score with three players (Sergey Tiviakov, Ralf Appel, and other) but obtained the best direct evaluation. In the last tournament round he achieved a draw agaist the former FIDE World Champion Rustam Kasimjanov, who ended up in 6th place.

In January 2008, Caruana won the C-Group of the Corus Tournament in Wijk aan Zee with 10 points out of 13 duels, two points ahead of Parimarjan Negi and Dimitri Reinderman. He also defended his Italian Individual Championship title in December 2008 in Martina Franca (8/11). In January of the following year he again competed in the B-Group of the Corus Tournament that was strongly cast and classified as category 16. Surprisingly, he won with 8.5 points out of 13 duels, as he luckily managed to beat the leading player Nigel Short from Great Britain. In December 2010, he won the Italian Individual Championship, this time in Siena, for the third time with 9 points out of 11 rounds. The following July, he prevailed at the AAI-Tournament in New Delhi (Category 17) with 7 out of 10 points. The Italian Individual Championship in 20qq in Perugia he dominated with 10 points out of 11 duels (+9, =2, -0) – 3.5 points ahead off the runner-up!

In July 2012, Fabiano Caruana won the 40th Dortmunder Chess Days in Germany with 6 points out of 9 rounds (+4, =4, -1) due to a better rating than Sergei Karjakin.

Picture: Przemyslek Jahr

translated by Birthe

 

 

Fabiano Caruana wins King’s Tournament

Recently, the Italian grandmaster Fabiano Caruana won the well-cast King’s Tournament in Bucharest. Due to a weak performance in the final match, Caruana, one again, missed his chance on breaking the 2800 hurdle in his Elo-rating.

 

Fabiano Caruana ahead off Wang Hao

Fabiano Caruana

The number of participants at the 7th edition of the King’s Tournament in Bucharest amounted to five players, who all had to compete against each other twice. In the end, Fabiano Caruana secured the victory with 5.0 points out of 8 duels. Along with three victories, he achieved four draws, and was defeated once. The match lost to Wang Hao was the decisive reason for not breaking the 2800 points Elo-rating. Instead, he holds a current rating of 2792.2 points, which is much higher than his measured performance of 2779 points in the world rankings. The second match against Hao ended in a draw. Fabiano Caruana achieved one victory and one draw in all other matches against the remaining contestants at the King’s Tournament in Bucharest.

 

Wang Hao in 2nd place at King’s Tournament

The Chinese player Wang Hao (Elo 2733) finished the chess event in Bucharest on 2nd rank. Next to his success and draw against the world’s number 6 and final winner, he obtained one more victory and 4 draws throughout the tournament, and therefore scored 4.5 points. Hao, 20th in world rankings, came off 2nd at the tournament in Rumania, ahead off Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (73rd/2674) at 4.0 points. Nisipeanu is followed by Teimour Radjabov from Azerbaijan (27th/ 2732) with 4.0 points and Ruslan Ponomariov from Ukraine. Ponomariov currently holds an Elo-rating of 2751 and ranks 14th in worldwide standings, but was only able to achieve 3.0 points out of six draws and two defeats.

 

Picture: wikipedia / Stefan64

written by Michael, translated by Birthe

 

Chess Grand Prix 2012 / 2013: Caruana and Gelfand win in Paris, Topalov leads overall standings

The last event of the Chess Grand Prix Series 2012 / 2013 took place in Paris. Fabiano Caruana and Boris Gelfand share 1st place, but both missed their chances on the best two ranks of the overall standings which would have meant the qualification for 2014’s Candidates’ Tournament.

 

Boris Gelfand mit Anand

Fabiano Caruana and Boris Gelfand at 7.0 points each

Before the last round even started tension was in the air, as Caruana and Gelfand led the field at each 6.5 points. In order to qualify for the Candidates’ Tournament through the FIDE Grand Prix 2012 / 2013, Caruana (Elo 2779) would have been required to be the only winner of Paris. But in the deciding duel, the Italian was only able to achieve a draw against Leinier Dominguez Perez (Elo 2757) and therefore had to share the gold medal with Boris Gelfand (Elo 2764), whose match against Ruslan Ponomariov (Elo 2756) ended in a draw also. Both scored 7.0 points throughout the tournament.

 

Nakamura and Bacrot cannot pass by

The winners at the French capital remained the “only” two victors of the event and owe their thanks to two other players. The grandmasters Hikaru Nakamura (Elo 2772) and Etienne Bacrot (Elo 2723) both ended their final games in draws and thus shared rank 3 at 6.5 points. The US-American faced Anish Giri (Elo 2737) in his last duel, while the Frenchman played against Alexander Grischuk (Elo 2785).

 

Veselin Topalov overall winner of the Grand Prix 2012 / 2013

The overall victory of the FIDE Grand Prix 2012 / 2013 was obtained by a player who wasn’t even present in Paris. Veselin Topalov (Elo 2752) defended the lead at 410 points out of his best three tournaments. The Bulgarian grandmaster won the tournaments in London (October 2012) and Zug (May 2013) and ranked 3rd in Beijing in July this year. Runner-up in overall standings is Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who was also absent in Paris. The Azerbaijani grandmaster has scored 390 points through a shared victory in London, a successful performance in Beijing, and a 5th rank in Tashkent last December. To qualify for the Candidates’ Tournament in 2014, Fabiano Caruana needed to be the only winner of the last tournament in Paris which would have set him on 2nd rank in overall standings. Through the shared 1st rank in Paris, 4th rank in Zug in May, and 2nd rank in Thessaloniki in June, the Italian obtains 380 points – 10 points behind Mamedyarov – and therefore ranks 3rd in overall standings.

 

Picture shows Boris Gelfand and Visvanathan Anand, Source: Rodrigo Fernández

written by Michael, translated by Birthe