Week in chess
22h23 14  février
Wesley So wins the Opera Euro Rapid 2021 - Day 9
Mark Crowther
Wesley So won the Open Euro Rapid beating World Champion Magnus Carlsen 2.5-1.5 in the second set to take the mini-match 1.5-0.5. This is the second time that So has beaten Carlsen in a final of a Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event having won the Airthings Masters in December. So was clearly...
20h19 13  février
Shared first set in the final of the Opera Euro Rapid between Carlsen and So - Day 8
Mark Crowther
Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So drew the first set of their final 2-2 in the Opera Euro Rapid. Game one saw a draw in a Nimzo-Indian where Carlsen didn’t get much if anything but the game remained complex throughout. Game 2 was a complex Two Knights where So seemed to be far better prepared than...
21h08 12  février
Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So to meet in the final of the Opera Euro Masters - Day 7
Mark Crowther
Magnus Carlsen had to win an Armageddon tie-break to get past Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in his Opera Euro Semifinals. Carlsen had won the first set so MVL needed to strike back. After two draws MVL won the after Carlsen yet again made a simple tactical blunder, he cut the final retreat square from...
19h03 11  février
Carlsen and So win the first sets of their semifinals of the Opera Euro Rapid - Day 5
Mark Crowther
Magnus Carlsen was a comfortable winner in set one of his Opera Euro Rapid match against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Carlsen’s choice of an old variation of the Gruenfeld caused MVL all sorts of trouble and after 30.Nd5 he smoothly converted his endgame advantage. Game two was a sharp Sicilian...
22h17 10  février
Quarterfinals of the Opera Euro Rapid produce Carlsen-MVL and So-Radjabov semifinal pairings - Day 5
Mark Crowther
The final day of the Opera Euro Rapid quarterfinals produced almost too much action to recount. First of all Wesley So built on his success of day one against Jan-Krzysztof Duda and won both the games played to go through. So is due to win one of these tour events, this could be it. Then Maxime...
21h43 09  février
Carlsen, So and MVL lead their Quarterfinal matches in the Opera Euro Rapid after first set - Day 4
Mark Crowther
Magnus Carlsen beat Daniil Dubov 2.5-0.5 in the first set of their quarter finals of the online match in the Opera Euro Rapid. This event is part of the Champions Chess Tour. Carlsen’s loss to Dubov in the Airthings Masters in December was on his mind so when he took the lead in the first game,...
21h25 08  février
Nakamura and Nepomniachtchi out of the Opera Euro Rapid after preliminary stage - Day 3
Mark Crowther
Magnus Carlsen won the Preliminary section of the Opera Euro Rapid after a shaky final day. Carlsen’s qualification was never really in much doubt, especially after a lovely win against Santosh Gujrathi Vidit in round 11, but the rest of the day saw him lose to Ding Liren and only just escape...
21h32 07  février
Carlsen retains the lead of the Opera Euro Rapid preliminaries after day 2 - Day 2
Mark Crowther
Magnus Carlsen conceded he was somewhat fortunate on day two of the Open Euro Rapid. Carlsen started the day with a quiet draw against Jan-Krzysztof Duda, was under pressure for much of the game against Alexander Grischuk, allowed an early forced draw against Anish Giri, survived a poor opening...
21h30 06  février
Carlsen leads the Opera Euro Rapid Preliminaries after day 1 - Day 1
Mark Crowther
Magnus Carlsen leads the preliminary section of the Opera Euro Rapid after day one alone in spite of losing in round 1 to Wesley So. The round 1 result was worrying for Carlsen fans following a major slump in form going back to the start of December. Carlsen said after the day’s play I wouldn’t...
20h09 05  février
Opera Euro Rapid 2021 - Games and Results
Mark Crowther
The Opera Euro Rapid takes place Sat 6th Feb to Sun 14th Feb 2021. The online event hosted by Chess24 is part of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. This is a regular tour tournament so there are only points and prizes available, not a place in the tour final. 16 players start the event ...
18h22 31  janvier
Jorden Van Foreest wins the Tata Steel Masters after an Armageddon Tie-break - 13
Mark Crowther
Jorden Van Foreest pulled off one of the great shocks in Tata Steel history in winning the 83rd event and becoming the first Dutch winner since Jan Timman in 1985. Van Foreest and Anish Giri drew the two blitz tie-break games, then there was a final Armageddon tie-break where Van Foreest had...
20h24 30  janvier
Giri leads the Tata Steel Masters going into the final round but lets Firouzja off the hook - 12
Mark Crowther
Anish Giri could have taken a giant stride towards winning the Tata Steel Masters by defeating Alireza Firouzja in the twelfth round but had to settle for a draw in the end after strong resistance for the second half of the game. Firouzja’s fighting spirit should not have been enough but on...
19h47 29  janvier
Anish Giri still leads after round 11 of the Tata Steel Masters - 11
Mark Crowther
Anish Giri drew against World Champion Magnus Carlsen in a Giuoco Piano to retain the lead in the Tata Steel Masters with just a couple of rounds left to go. Giri was under some pressure early on but after 23...c4 was never in any trouble. Alireza Firouzja and Fabiano Caruana drew a wild game...
21h51 27  janvier
Anish Giri leads the Tata Steel Masters going into the final rest day - 10
Mark Crowther
Anish Giri leads the Tata Steel Masters on seven points from ten rounds going into the final rest day of the competition. He beat Radoslaw Wojtaszek in a London System that got very complicated and resembled a reverse Meran System. In time trouble Giri felt he lost much of his edge - he just...
21h45 26  janvier
Giri, Caruana and Firouzja share the lead on 6 points after 9 rounds - 9
Mark Crowther
There were three decisive games in Round 9 of the Tata Steel Masters 2021 and the event is still wide open. Leader Alireza again went to the London System and it was met by a very modern setup that I believe has been recommended by Yuri Krykun in one of his courses. A messy game was drawn on...
19h46 24  janvier
Esipenko scores a thumping victory over Carlsen in Tata Steel Round 8 - 8
Mark Crowther
17 year old Alireza Firouzja leads the Tata Steel Masters alone on 5.5 8 half a point clear of the field, he beat Pentala Harikrishna today. The headlines however were grabbed by Andrey Esipenko who defeated Magnus Carlsen in their first ever game together. Esipenko seemed to take Carlsen by ...
21h04 23  janvier
Van Foreest, Giri, Caruana and Firouzja lead the Tata Steel Masters on 4.5 points after seven rounds - 7
Mark Crowther
It was all change at the top of the Tata Steel Masters after Anish Giri defeated the leader Nils Grandelius in a Najdorf Sicilian. Wins for Fabiano Caruana over Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Jorden Van Foreest over Aryan Tari and finally Alireza Firouzja over Jan-Krzysztof Duda meant there was a...
20h06 22  janvier
Nils Grandelius retains the Tata Steel Masters lead after 6 rounds - 6
Mark Crowther
The sixth round of the Tata Steel Masters saw wins for Jorden van Foreest over David Anton and Alireza Firouzja over Alexander Donchenko - both the winners joined a big group tied for second on 3.5 6. The leader Nils Grandelius had a long defence against Fabiano Caruana but he held the draw...
20h48 21  janvier
Nils Grandelius leads the 83rd Tata Steel Masters alone on 3.5 points after five rounds - 5
Mark Crowther
Nils Grandelius was again sole leader of the Tata Steel Masters after five rounds when he was the only winner on a hard fought day. Grandelius beat Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in a Najdorf where he knew more theory and was a lot better after MVL went wrong. Magnus Carlsen was frustrated by...
21h05 19  janvier
All games drawn in Round Four of the Tata Steel Masters 2021 - 4
Mark Crowther
The fourth round of the Tata Steel Masters in Wijk aan Zee saw all the games finish peacefully. That’s not to say they should have, there were a number of games that could have finished decisively. This was the final round before the first rest day on Wednesday. There remains a five way tie at...