The Weekend Australian - Review - - Mind Games -

World cham­pion Mag­nus Carlsen and Amer­ica’s Wes­ley So have tied for first in the St Louis Rapid & Blitz on­line tour­na­ment. So scored an im­pres­sive vic­tory in the rapid event with an un­de­feated 6.5/9, ahead of Carlsen on 6 and Rus­sians Ian Ne­pom­ni­achtchi and Alexan­der Grischuk on 5. In the blitz, Carlsen shared first with Hikaru Naka­mura on 12/18, ahead of So on 11.

New­comer Alireza Firouzja fin­ished last in the rapid with 2.5/9 but scored a more re­spectable 7.5/18 in the blitz.

In other news, OSG Baden-Baden have won Ger­many’s Schachbun­desliga cham­pi­onship, a com­pe­ti­tion that fea­tured a lim­ited num­ber of teams will­ing to play over­the-board chess. Baden-Baden fea­tures a stel­lar line-up in­clud­ing Fabi­ano Caru­ana, Maxime Vachier-La­grave, Levon Aro­nian and Richard Rap­port.

In the US, Nikita Vi­tiu­gov and Steven Zierk won the strong Pa­cific North­west Chess Cen­ter Artist Point tour­na­ment, an on­line event with slow time lim­its.

Closer to home, Kevin Bon­ham has won the Gen­eral Store Open Rapid And Light­ning in Ranelagh, Tas­ma­nia, with the high­est over­all score. Bon­ham won the blitz with 6/7, equal with Toby Stra­ton, while Alas­tair Dyer dom­i­nated the rapid with a per­fect 6/6.

Sra­van Ren­jith has won the Nell Van De Graaff Clas­sic in Queens­land with 6.5/7, ahead of Du­san Sto­jic and

Ben Peach on 6.

And an in­ter­est­ing ex­per­i­ment is un­der­way to try to re­duce the num­ber of draws in chess by slightly chang­ing the rules. Early re­sults in­di­cate that just ban­ning castling has a dra­matic ef­fect. Stay tuned.

Mag­nus Carlsen-Alexan­der Grischuk, St Louis Blitz 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bf4 Ne4 7.Rc1 Nc6 8.Nd2 g5 9.Be3 Nxc3 10.bxc3 Ba3 11.Rb1 f5 12.g3 O-O 13.f4 Qe7 14.Bf2 gxf4 15.Bg2 Bd6 16.Bxd5+ Kh8 17.Nf3 Nd8 18.Qd2 c6 19.Bb3 Ne6 20.d5 cxd5 21.Bxd5 fxg3 22.hxg3 f4 23.gxf4 Bxf4 24.Qd3 Rf7 25.Rb4 Bd6 26.Rbh4 Kg8 27.Nd4 Qf6 28.Nxe6 Bxe6 29.Bd4 Be5 30.Rh6 (See di­a­gram, be­low left) 1-0

This week’s prob­lem (be­low right): Christo­pher Reeves, 1969. Mate in two.

Last week’s so­lu­tion: 1.Qxe5! threat­ens 2.exd7. If 1... dxc6+ 2.Nxc6, 1...dxe6 2.Qxe6, 1...d6 2.Qf6, 1...d5 2.Qc7, 1...Rd5+/Re3 2.Nxd5 and 1...Rd6 2.Qf6.

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