CHESS

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Four-time Amer­i­can cham­pion Hikaru Naka­mura de­feated com­pa­triot Wes­ley So 15.512.5 in the fi­nal of Chess.com Speed Cham­pi­onship which took place on­line from July to De­cem­ber and fea­tured 16 of the world’s lead­ing grand­mas­ters in a Blitz knock­out. Naka­mura dis­posed of the world’s high­est rated woman Hou Yifan (China) 27.5-2.5, Maxime Vachier-La­grave (France) 21.5-13.5 and Levon Aro­nian (Ar­me­nia) 17-12 in the semi-fi­nal. So reached the de­cider af­ter over­com­ing Wei Yi (China) 18.5-9.5, San­tosg Vidit (In­dia) 16.5-10.5 and Jan Duda (Poland) 20-7 in the semi-fi­nal. Naka­mura – So (Chess.com Cham­pi­onship, Blitz fi­nal, on­line, 2018) 1 d3 e5, 2 Nf3 Nc6, 3 g3 d5, 4 Bg2 Nf6, 5 0-0 h6, 6 Nbd2 Be7, 7 e4 0-0, 8 Re1 dxe4, 9 dxe4 a5, 10 a4 b6, 11 c3 Ba6, 12 Bf1 Bxf1, 13 Kxf1 Nd7, 14 Nc4 Bc5, 15 Kg2 Re8, 16 Bd2 Qe7, 17 Qe2 Qe6, 18 Rab1 Be7, 19 Be3 Bc5, 20 Red1 Red8, 21 Rd5 Bxe3, 22 Nxe3 Nf6, 23 Rxd8+ Rxd8, 24 Qc2 g6, 25 h3 Ne7, 26 b3 Qc6, 27 Ng4 Nxg4, 28 hxg4 f6, 29 Re1 Qd7, 30 b4 Qxg4, 31 Qb3+ Kf8, 32 bxa5 bxa5, 33 Qb5 g5, 34 Qxa5 Ng6, 35 Nh2 Qd7, 36 Qc5+ Qd6, 37 Qc4 h5, 38 a5 h4, 39 Ng4 hxg3, 40

PO­SI­TION No 2,761 Adams – Wil­liams (Bri­tish Knock­out quar­ter­fi­nal, London, 2018). White to play and win. So­lu­tion to No 2,760: 1 Rc8! If 1…Qxc8, 2 Nxe7+ wins the queen fxg3 Kg7, 41 Ne3 Ne7, 42 Rd1 1-0.

Bri­tish Knock­out: Gawain Jones and Luke Mc­Shane, two of the four grand­mas­ters seeded into the quar­ter­fi­nals of the Bri­tish Knock­out in London, reached the fi­nal of the cham­pi­onship af­ter elim­i­nat­ing their two higher-rated op­po­nents, Michael Adams and David How­ell, in the semi­fi­nals. Each match con­sisted of two clas­si­cal games (worth six points per win), two rapid games (four points) and four blitz games (two points).

In the semi-fi­nals Mc­Shane elim­i­nated top seed Adams 16-12 while Jones de­feated How­ell 18-10 be­fore go­ing on to over­power Mc­Shane 21-7 in the de­cider. In a play­off for third place Adams over­came How­ell 16-12.

Jones – Mc­Shane (Bri­tish Knock­out fi­nal. Game 2. London, 2018) 1 e4 e6, 2 d4 d5, 3 Nd2 c5, 4 Ngf3 cxd4, 5 exd5 Qxd5, 6 Bc4 Qd7, 7 0-0 Nc6, 8 Nb3 a6, 9 a4 Nf6, 10 Qe2 Bd6, 11 Rd1 e5, 12 Nbxd4 0-0, 13 Nxc6 Qxc6, 14 Bg5 Bc7, 15 Bxf6 Qxf6, 16 Bd5 Rb8, 17 h3 Qe7, 18 Re1 Re8, 19 Qc4 b5, 20 axb5 Rxb5, 21 Rad1 Rc5, 22 Qd3 g6, 23 c4 a5, 24 Qa3 Bd6, 25 Bxf7+ Qxf7, 26 Rxd6 Qxc4, 27 Nd2 Qb4, 28 Qxb4 axb4, 29 Ne4 1-0.

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