2 Amer­i­cans are Can­di­dates

Los Angeles Times - - THE GUIDE - By Bill Cornwall ccsknight@bell­south.net

To wrest the ti­tle of World Cham­pion from Mag­nus Carlsen, a chal­lenger will have to outscore him in a match of many games.

To be­come that chal­lenger, a player will have to pre­vail over seven of the best play­ers in the world next year at the World Cham­pi­onship Can­di­dates’ Tour­na­ment. To do that, he will have to qual­ify to par­tic­i­pate. Re­cently, two U.S. rep­re­sen­ta­tives did just that.

Fabi­ano Caru­ana and Hikaru Naka­mura tied for first last month in the fi­nal In­ter­na­tional Chess Fed­er­a­tion Grand Prix Tour­na­ment held in Khanty-Man­siysk, Rus­sia. That re­sult made them the top two fin­ish­ers in the Grand Prix over­all. The top two are au­to­mat­i­cally in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in the Can­di­dates Tour­na­ment. Con­sid­er­ing their re­sults and rank­ings world­wide this past year, they both have se­ri­ous chances of suc­cess there.

Last year, Fabi­ano Caru­ana, now 22, achieved the third high­est-rat­ing ever, be­hind Carlsen and Garry Kas­parov. Through­out most of the time since then, he has been rated No. 2 in­ter­na­tion­ally be­hind Carlsen. A dual citizen of Italy and the U.S., he once set the record for be­ing the youngest GM ever in both coun­tries. Pre­vi­ously af­fil­i­ated with the Ital­ian teams, he agreed this year to start play­ing for the U.S. This col­umn’s game shows the Grand Prix win­ner over­com­ing his foe in a true slugfest.

Naka­mura, 27, has been liv­ing a dream this year. In Jan­uary at the Trade­wise Gi­bral­tar Mas­ters Open, he streaked off six wins in a row and stayed on top through­out to take clear first. He fin­ished ahead of 256 play­ers, 72 of which were Grand­mas­ters.

In Fe­bru­ary at the Su­per GM Zurich Chess Chal­lenge, he placed first ahead of for­mer World Cham­pi­ons Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kram­nik. In March, he re­turned home to com­pete in the U.S. Cham­pi­onship. Lead­ing and loss­less through­out, he took first and the ti­tle for the fourth time. His in­ter­na­tional rank­ing re­flects these re­sults; he is now rated fourth world wide.

The next step to­ward the ti­tle will pit our war­riors against each other as well as six other truly scary foes. For­mer Cham­pion Anand will be there aswell as the two fi­nal­ists at the 128-player knock-out World Cup Tour­na­ment in Baku, Azer­bai­jan. Two ad­di­tional Su­per GMs will be cho­sen by rat­ing and another as a wild card by the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee. Mil­lion­aire Chess up­date

Last year, Mil­lion­aire Chess run by Amy Lee and GM Mau­rice Ash­ley held a tour­na­ment in Las Ve­gas with a guar­an­teed mil­lion­dol­lar prize fund. Many play­ers in all sec­tions were given a chance to win sig­nif­i­cant amounts of prize money, not to men­tion an en­joy­able stay in the “Gam­bling Cap­i­tal of the World.” For this year’s event, sched­uled for Oct. 8-12 at Ho­tel Planet Hol­ly­wood, the or­ga­niz­ers are risk­ing an ad­di­tional mil­lion. One fi­nal­ist from one of the rat­ing di­vi­sions will pick one of 64 prize en­velopes. One prize that en­ve­lope could con­tain is a voucher for $1mil­lion! Ato­tal of 475 play­ers have al­ready signed up to play. To do so your­self, go to mil­lion­aire chess.

Gameof the­week

Caru­ana, F.-To­ma­shevsky, E. FIDE Grand Prix 2015 Khanty-Man­siysk, Rus­sia

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.a4 e6 6.Bf4 a5 7.e3 Be7 8.g4 Na6 9.g5 Nd7 10.h4 Nb4 11.Be2 b6 12.h5 Bb7 13.cxd5 exd5 14.Qd2 f5 15.gxf6 Bxf6 16.h6 g6 17.e4 dxe4 18.Nxe4 0–0 19.0–0–0 Nd5 20.Bg3 Ba6 21.Bxa6 Rxa6 22.Rhe1 Ra8 23.Kb1 Be7 24.Qd3 Rf5 25.Ne5 Qc8 26.Nc3 Nxc3+ 27.Qxc3 Nxe5 28.Qb3+ Rf7 29.dxe5 Qf5+ 30.Ka2 Bb4 31.e6 Re7 32.Bh4 Ree8 33.e7+ Qf7 34.Re6 b5 35.Rd8 bxa4 36.Qe3 Bxe7 37.Rxa8 Rxa8 38.Bxe7 Re8 39.Ka1 a3 40.bxa3 Qf5 41.Qc3 1–0

June 21, 2015

Po­si­tion No. 4369: White

mates in two.

Po­si­tion No. 4368: 1.Qb3! Hint: White­m­ates next with: Nc6, Qb8, Nxg6, Qxg3, or Nxc6.

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