Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chess on a Thursday

Time to catch up on what I've been looking at recently. I'm still lapping up anything to do with the upcoming Candidates tournament and it looks like Chessbase is running some regular columns profiling the players in the build up to the start of the event next week. By the way, is Chessbase's new look better than the old one? That's not a rhetorical question, I am personally not sure which one I prefer and wonder how others feel.

The first moment of Candidate excitement came when the pairings for the tournament were announced. The first I saw of it was on twitter from the Chessvibes website. The more I think about this tournament, the more trouble I'm having picking a winner and much will do with the form of the players. Of course, it would be easy to just say Carlsen is in a class of his own, but I'm not so sure. So rather than claiming that I'm hoping one player or another wins, I'll just say, may the best man win and I hope the tournament lives up to the billing of the highest rated tournament in history. Somehow last time's candidates finalists, Gelfand and Grischuk are complete outsiders which seems pretty unfair to me. Dennis Monokroussos agrees and points to an interview with Alexander Grischuk.

In the meantime I've been watching some games from the Women's World Teams Championship. There are some high profile names missing from the event, but it's still pretty strong with Russia and China the favourites to take gold. In fact, it is difficult to split these 2 teams who have won all their games so far except the match between the two which ended in a draw. I was watching a fascinating game a couple of nights back which unfortunately ended with a horrible blunder. The round 2 game Dzaganidze-Ju Wenjun started out life as a Staunton Gambit in the Dutch, a line that was played a long time ago by Jacques Mieses (he even managed to win a game against Rubinstein with black). White was doing good until the following position was reached:
Dzaganidze, rated 2554 played the unbelievably shocking 39.Kxe5 losing an exchange to the simple to spot 39..Bf6+. White played on for a few moves before resigning. There is hope for us all!

I've also checked out some other interesting chess sites this week. Trowbridge Chess Club in the West of England were voted the English small club of the year lat year. Their blog is an excellent combination of local chess news and regional reporting which is what all clubs should be striving for. I also went to the USCF for the first time, and was mildly impressed. The blog section has some interesting articles and I'm kind of surprised that it doesn't show up higher on google searches for chess blogs. Jennifer Shahade is the editor of online blog, but there are numerous contributors. Actually, I think this is a really good idea. It gives a website more diversity and differing opinions. In fact, if anyone wants to regularly write for this blog, then feel free to contact me on I'm happy for anyone who wants to regularly write about chess or coffee or preferably both!

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