The Weekend Australian - Review
Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamaru have shared first in the Champions Showdown 9LX, an online event hosted by the Saint Louis Chess Club. But this time there was much more interest in the other end of the competition.
Former world champion Garry Kasparov made a welcome return to the board, finishing eighth in a field of 10. He won just one game and lost three.
Iranian prodigy Alireza Firouzja did even worse, coming last, but the result was no disgrace. The 17-yearold was playing in his first truly elite event and did manage to beat world No.5 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and No.8 Wesley So.
Firouzja will have another chance next month when he tackles Carlsen again in the Altibox Norway supertournament. This will be a “classical” event played at slow time limits — unlike the Champions Showdown, which was Chess 960, with the pieces randomly re-arranged at the start of each game.
In other news, the Armenians have been loudly protesting about the recent Online Olympiad. You may recall that the World Chess Federation allowed Russia and India to share first place despite the Indians forfeiting two games in the final due to a dodgy internet connection. The Armenians rightly point out that they did not get similar treatment when they suffered similar disconnection problems earlier on.
Finally, the Federation has announced that the Candidates Tournament will resume on November 1 after being interrupted by the pandemic.
Max Lagarde-Mari Bosiocic, Trieste
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7.Bc4 Qb6 8.Bb3 e6 9.Qd2 Be7 10.O-O-O Nc5 11.Rhe1 h6 12.Bh4 O-O 13.g3 Qc7 14.f4 Re8 15.e5 dxe5 16.fxe5 Nfd7 (See diagram, below left) 17.Nf5!? Nxb3+ 18.axb3 exf5 19.Nd5 Qd8 20.Nxe7+ Rxe7 21.g4 a5 22.gxf5 a4 23.Qb4 axb3 24.Bxe7 Qc7 25.Qc3 Qxc3 26.bxc3 b2+ 27.Kxb2 Nb6 28.e6 fxe6 29.fxe6 Nc4+ 30.Kb1 1-0
This week’s problem (below right): Christopher Reeves, 1965. Mate in two.
Last week’s solution: 1.Be6! (waiting). If 1...Qxb3 2.Nc3 or 1...Qc5/Qxd3 2.R3b2 or 1...Qc3 2.Nxc3 or 1...Qc1 2.Nc1 or 1...Qxb1 2.Ra3 or 1...d1=Q 2.Nc3 and 1...d1=N 2.Nc1.