'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
World No. 1 GM Magnus Carlsen of Norway is the leader at the half-post in the FIDE Candidates Tournament now under way in London. Co-leader Levon Aronian suffered his first loss of the event in Monday's Round 9 against Israel GM Boris Gelfand, leaving Carlsen alone in first by a half-point in the double round-robin event.
Shelves of books — and reams of columns — have been written on the importance of positional play, the variety of pawn structures, the art of the endgame and the subtleties of the 16...a6 line of the Nimzo-Peloponnesian Benko Gambit Reversed. But in their heart of hearts, even the most sophisticated players would prefer to execute a rattling good attack leading to neat checkmate.
Holding off a battalion of younger challengers, a pair of well-seasoned veterans secured the top places on the chess leaderboard at the 40th World Open, which wrapped up Sunday at its traditional home in Philadelphia.
There were some upstart contenders banging on the door, but in the end, it was a pair of familiar names at the top of the wall chart at the U.S. national and women's championships, which finished up last week at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.
New York GM Gata Kamsky, the reigning national champion, was the first through to this year's U.S. Championship final, defeating young challenger GM-elect Sam Shankland 1 1/2- 1/2 in their semifinal match over the weekend at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.
The action already is intense at the 2011 U.S. Championship tournament, which kicked off play Friday at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. Two dozen of the country's top players, including defending champ GM Gata Kamsky, are in the hunt, with a two-game championship match between the two top finishers to be held April 26 and 27.
The powerhouse University of Maryland-Baltimore County squad did not capture the recent collegiate team chess championship, but GM Sergey Erenburg, UMBC's second board, bounced back with a fine second-place result in the strong Berkeley International, which concluded Jan. 8.