Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nakamura Defeats Ponomariov

Waiting to Begin (jstrand) / CC BY-SA 3.0
GM Hikaru Nakamura came through with a brutal win with the black pieces in the 3rd rapid round to defeat GM Ponomariov in their match in St. Louis. Having previously won the regular match (3.5-2.5), this win seals the victory in the rapid match (putting the score out of reach at 2.5-0.5) and makes a clean sweep for the full meeting. The players may yet face off in one last rapid game which had been scheduled for today. Tornado warnings have delayed the action today.

Gelfand Will Face Anand for Title

GM Boris Gelfand won with the white pieces against GM Alexander Grischuk in today's final round of the 2011 Candidates Matches to earn the right to face GM Viswanathan Anand next year for the world title. After 5 straight draws, the win in the 6th round sealed the deal for Gelfand.

After drawing twice with the opening move 1.Nf3, Boris switched to 1.d4 when a Grunfeld ensued and revealed a chink in Grischuk's armor. It was an interesting strategy as Grischuk had opened with d4 on all 3 occasions himself. Alexander chose the move 11... Bg4, a favorite of Fritz but not so popular in practice. The game seemed to be in reach for both players until the fatal 32... Qc7. And then the panicked 33. Nxc6 left Gelfand all alone in the driver's seat.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I'm Back!

The view from my daughter's deck!
I've been away: company, back and forth to the hospital (not for me), and a vacation to see my daughter. But now I'm back! Stay tuned ....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day One Is Drawn Out

A view of Kazan from the middle ages.
The first day of play at the 2011 Candidates Matches being held in Kazan, Russia for the 2012 World Championship cycle ended in draws all around. Notable was the fact that Vladimir Kramnik played only 24 moves with the black pieces in his game against Teimour Radjabov! America's Gata Kamsky drew against Veselin Topalov while Shakhriyar Mamedyarov drew against Boris Gelfand and Lev Aronian drew against Alexander Grischuk.

Replay the day's other scores after the break.

Endgame Study #15 - Kubbel 1937

This study by Leonid Kubbel comes from 200 Brilliant Endgames by Irving Chernev. This is the sort of study which I like as it has an uncluttered board and it depends on the solver's knowledge of simple technical endgames (where the result is known). Here you must know what is mating material, and what is insufficient. Can you find the drawing line?

Find all of the endgame studies posted on The Pied Chessman here.