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Past Articles

Chess News: Your Daily Update - London Classic begins

Added on 12.01.2023

IM Malcolm Pein December 1, 2023   DOMMARAJU Gukesh and Hans Niemann headline the 2023 London Chess Classic, where play gets under way today. Gukesh, a 17-year-old Indian, knows that a good result in London will give him a chance of pipping Anish Giri on the FIDE Circuit leaderboard and secure qualification for next year’s Candidates Tournament. Niemann’s play is always scrutinised, and while his rating has settled down around 2700, I sense that the 20-year-old has both the desire...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - Howell’s secret weapon

Added on 11.30.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 30, 2023   THE computer has come up with a new weapon against the Classical Sicilian and, after saving up the idea for several years, David Howell used it to score an important win for England against Netherlands in the recent European Team Championships in Budva. Like many computer innovations, the move 6.Bb5 looks at best innocuous, yet when analysed concretely it causes serious problems for Black. Howell’s opponent Max Van Warmerdam countered with a...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - Caruana in control

Added on 11.29.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 29, 2023   FABIANO Caruana won the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz after defeating Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in a winner-takes-all last-round Blitz game. Caruana ended with 21/36 points, Vachier-Lagrave was second with 20.5. Liem, Nepo and Caruana top scored in the Blitz with 11/18. Ray Robson, the surprise winner of the Rapid section, finished bottom with 6/18. Caruana’s Tour earnings jumped to $160,000, with MVL second in the prize money list with $72,250. Caruana’s...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - Robson wins Rapid

Added on 11.28.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 28, 2023   RAY Robson was the surprise winner of the Rapid section at the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz. The US international triumphed with a score of just +2, or 11/18 over the nine games heading into the Blitz section. There are also 18 points at stake in the Blitz, in which the 10 players face each other with both colours. Fabiano Caruana and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave tied for second on 10/18, with Alireza Firouzja, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Anish Giri, and Le Quang...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - Brilliance from Berry

Added on 11.27.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 27, 2023   A NEW season of the 4NCL got under way on Saturday, November 11, at Kent’s Hill Park, Milton Keynes. Defending champions Manx Liberty edged past Blackthorne 5-3, with potential title challengers Cheddleton, Chessable White Rose and The Sharks all enjoying good wins. Despite their name, Celtic Tigers hail from Hammersmith Chess Club at London’s MindSports Centre. They narrowly lost the ‘Celtic’ derby, going down 4.5-3.5 to Scottish side Alba, who...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - A young super-talent

Added on 11.26.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 26, 2023   Daniel Dardha became the youngest player ever to win the Belgian Chess Championship in 2019 at the age of 13. Now 18, he plays on top board for his country and won the bronze medal for his individual performance at the European Team Championship that concluded last Monday. It’s been pretty much established that you can play h2-h4 in almost any position after 1.d4, but playing both a2-a4 and h2-h4 in an open game seems a bit of a stretch. N...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - Super sacrifices

Added on 11.25.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 25, 2023   TWO magnificent queen sacrifices from the European Team Championships by the rising stars of women’s chess, Nurgyul Salimova of the gold medal winning Bulgarian team and Stavroula Tsolakidou of Greece. S Tsolakidou – N Buksa Sicilian Sveshnikov   var viewer = new CHESS.PgnViewer({ pgn_uri: '', piece_set: '', show_screen:...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - England crumble

Added on 11.24.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 24, 2023   A SECOND match defeat meant that England missed out on a medal at the European Team Championship in Budva, Montenegro. Although Nikita Vitiugov and David Howell pressed a little, their Armenian opponents defended stoutly and, towards the time control, Michael Adams, under a little pressure, blundered and lost. England dropped from third to sixth, with the Armenians taking the bronze medals. The tie-break system at the European Teams is rather...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - England falter

Added on 11.23.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 23, 2023   ENGLAND’S chances of securing the gold medals receded when they suffered their first defeat in the penultimate round of the European Team Championship in Budva, Montenegro. England lost to Serbia 1.5-2.5 after Ravi Haria replaced Luke McShane, who was unwell. Haria was outplayed by Velimir Ivic, who found a hole in his opening preparation and quickly outplayed him. David Howell nearly ground down European Individual champion Alexey Sarana, but the...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - Three at the top

Added on 11.22.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 22, 2023   A TENSE seventh-round match for England against Germany ended with four draws at the European Team Championship in Budva, Montenegro. The two teams shared the lead with Serbia on 11/14 match points, with two rounds remaining. David Howell managed the unusual feat of creating some pressure with black in the symmetrical line of the Ruy Lopez Berlin Defence but, as the time control approached, there was no way to progress. Luke McShane overcame his...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - England on the rampage

Added on 11.21.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 21, 2023   ENGLAND scored one of their finest ever results in the sixth round of the European Team Championship in Budva, Montenegro, as they defeated Netherlands 3.5-0.5. The match could not have started better, as new recruit Nikita Vitiugov crushed fellow 2700+ player Jorden van Foreest with black. David Howell ground out a win, and Luke McShane outplayed his opponent in a double-knight endgame. It reminded me of our worst ever performance at the Chess...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - England in contention

Added on 11.20.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 20, 2023   TWO match wins over Turkey and Greece, both by a margin of 2.5-1.5, sent England up the table going into the rest day at the European Team Championships in Budva, Montenegro. Luke McShane scored the win over Turkey, and Michael Adams played a lovely endgame, below, to secure victory over Greece in the sixth hour. England were equal second on 8/10 and drawn against Netherlands in round six, four rounds remained. Germany moved into the sole lead on...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - Robert Huebner turned 75

Added on 11.19.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 19, 2023   Robert Huebner turned 75 the week before last. The new generation of players will barely know him, yet he was four times a candidate and was ranked number three in the world in 1981 behind Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi. At this point, as Fischer had long since retired, Huebner was the strongest player outside of the USSR. In 1983, Huebner was eliminated from the world championship cycle when he lost a Candidates quarter final to Vassily...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - Scotland out in the cold

Added on 11.18.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 18, 2023   A well-played game from the European Team Championships where Scotland are the 38th and the lowest-rated team by a considerable margin. The Scottish government have yet to follow the UK Government’s lead and come up with any funds for chess. Sport, and also matters coming under the purview of the Department for Culture Media and Sport are devolved. The Scottish players had to pay their own expenses to travel to Montenegro for the...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - Teams tough it out

Added on 11.17.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 17, 2023   ALTHOUGH Vincent Keymer was ground down by former Russian Alexandr Predke on top board, Germany defeated Serbia 2.5-1.5 in round three of the European Team Championship, thanks to wins from Matthias Bluebaum and Alexander Donchenko. Poland also made it three wins from three after defeating France, who are without Alireza Firouzja and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The pair are involved in the Grand Chess Tour’s Rapid and Blitz. Magnus Carlsen crushed...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - Vitiugov comes up trumps

Added on 11.16.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 16, 2023   NIKITA Vitiugov scored his first win for England to secure a 2-2 draw against the Czech Republic in the second round of the European Team Championships in Budva, Montenegro. Vitiugov defeated former European Individual champion David Navara, after Luke McShane got into difficulties and lost. Vitiugov stayed calm in the face of what looked like a winning sacrificial attack. Michael Adams took a short draw, while Ravia Haria had to struggle to save...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - The magic of McShane

Added on 11.15.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 15, 2023   ENGLAND got off to a great start as some of the other seeds struggled in the first round of the European Team Championships in Budva, Montenegro. Although David Howell repeated moves in a complex position where he had a difficult win, Luke McShane managed to squeeze a full point from a drawn endgame. Your correspondent looked on in awe. McShane – Kacharava.   var viewer = new CHESS.PgnViewer({ pgn_uri:...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - Historic double

Added on 11.14.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 14, 2023   THERE was a historic double for England, as Michael Adams and John Nunn became World Senior champions at 50+ and 65+ respectively in Terrasini, Sicily. Adams and Nunn were both top seeds, but the gold medals seemed an unlikely prospect, until two wins in the last round proved enough for both players to triumph on tie-break by a tiny margin. Adams scored an unbeaten 8.5/11, finishing ahead of 15 other GMs, as Senior competitions have become...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - England team strength

Added on 11.13.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 13, 2023   PLAY began on Saturday in the European Team Chess Championships, in Budva, Montenegro. England are fourth seeds in the Open, with Scotland 38th. The former Russian player Nikita Vitiugov makes his debut for England alongside David Howell, Michael Adams, Luke McShane and Ravi Haria, with William Watson as captain. Top seeds are Azerbaijan, with Shak Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov on the top boards. England are seeded 13th in the Women’s...Full Story

Chess News: Your Daily Update - Don’t let your guard down!

Added on 11.12.2023

IM Malcolm Pein November 12, 2023   Always watch out for tactics on the long black diagonal if you have played g7-g6 and don’t have a dark bishop keeping watch. The same applies, of course, on the long white diagonal if you have played g2-g3. Should your opponent have even the slightest possibility of arranging a bishop and a queen so they reach the diagonal, then alarm bells must start ringing. It was surprising to see a strong GM let his guard down in this respect recently: M...Full Story

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