Back into Chess and the month of super-tournaments

GM LittlePeasant
Sep 21, 2012, 10:34 AM |

In my last blog entry, I mentioned I had some trouble this summer playing chess.  I haven't been studying or playing for about a month and I must say I feel very motivated to participate in events and keep improving again!  The rating loss was temporary, and it's all forward from now on.

On chess news that YOU should know, September is the super tournament month of this year.  As you might know the Olympiad recently finished, which by itself already makes it the most important month in the chess world.  I heard mixed reviews about the Turkish organization - mainly that the player were too far away from Istanbul proper - but besides that the tournament ran smoothly and with few incidents.  Armenia's victory was incredibly narrow and it was one of the most exciting last few rounds in Olympiad history, mainly thanks to USA's surprise victory against Russia, which arguably robbed them of an otherwise guaranteed gold medal.

There are many articles and publications out on the Olympiad in your usual websites, mainly and have had great coverage of it.  

That being said - September isn't done with us yet!

Today the London Grand Prix started.  The Grand Prix is part of an extremely convoluted qualifying process to challenge the current World Champion, Vishy Anand.  Top seed is USA's Hikaru Nakamura, who will face very tough competition.  As I'm writing this he has an unclear position with opposite colored bishops against World Championship contender Boris Gelfand.

If that wasn't enough to convince you to turn on your chess websites, Sao Paulo will be hosting the first leg of the Sao Paulo-Bilbao Chess Masters Final.  Chess Masters sounds like a horrible euphemism, the lowest rated player in the event (which is spearheaded by Magnus Carlsen and World Champion Anand) is Vallejo, at a 'mere' 2693 rating, a full 80 points lower than 5th seed Fabiano Caruana.  As if that wasn't enough, Russian (ex-Ukrainian) super star Karjakin and Armenia's hero Levon Aronian round up the remaining players.  This will be an amazing tournament that starts September 23rd.

The tournament is a double round robin, the first half being played in Brazil and the second in Spain.  

If you ever had some time to study and look at games, this is it!  You will be guaranteed exciting games and many opportunities to see your favorite openings in action.  I always tell my students to analyze grandmaster games and some of them wonder where they can get them from.  Well from these tournaments!  Keep an eye out for anything that resembles your style, pick a favorite player and follow him!

In even more chess news, November will feature two lower key tournaments that are also very important.  The Women's World Championship (?) players were recently announced at

The (?) is due to the fact that I don't exactly know how this works, as I thought that the Women's Grand Prix defined the challenged to Hou Yifan, current world champion.  FIDE does make this too complicated!

Also in November the World Youth Chess Championship.  This festival reunites the best u18, u16, u14, u12, u10 and u8 players in the world (in both open and women sections).  It will be held in Maribor, Slovenia and this year I have the honor of going as a coach for Team USA!  I am very excited about working with many of our young talents, including many locals here from Dallas who will be representing our country.

Using this segway to talk about me again, I'll be much more active on in the next few weeks.  I started out by playing against my friend Parimarjan Negi in a 16 game 3/2 blitz match a couple of days ago.  I hope those that were online late at night at the USChess.  The match was tied at the end 8-8, and here are some highlights:

But here I was able to get some revenge:

I will be seeing all of you more on, feel free to drop a message while I'm online!