Winning in positional chess
The London Chess Classic, the final leg of the year-long Grand Chess Tour, begins on Dec. 11 at the Olympia Con- ference Center in downtown London.
American Fabiano Caruana, the unsuc- cessful challenger in the recent world championship match, headlined the participants that included compatriot Hikaru Nakamura, Frenchman Maxime Vachier Lagrave and Levon Aronian of Armenia – all winners of previous GCT legs held in Brussels (Belgium), Paris (France) and St. Louis (USA).
Format will be two classical knockout games on Dec. 11 and 12, two rapid and four blitz games on Dec. 13, and two classical, two rapid and four blitz games on Dec. 15, 16 and 17.
Semifinal matches pit Caruana against Nakamura and Aronian vs Vachier Lagrave, with the winners advancing to the finals and the losers playing for third place. In Russia, the 16-player knockout Russian Cup Finals got underway last Wednesday in KhantyMansiysk.
Round of 16 was completed, and quarterfinals game one between Nikita Afarasiev vs Dmitry Kokarev, Kirill Alekseenko vs Alexey Sarana, Dmitry Boharov vs David Paravyan and Artyom Timofeeyev vs Aleksey Sorokin, all ended in draws.
Matches were held in classical 90 minutes plus 30 seconds followed by 15+10 rapid and 5+3 blitz tiebreaks. Lovers of subtle positional chess will relish the following game taken from the ongoing Russian Cup Finals. With very little to work with (as a centralized Knight or two, and a half-open e file for a Rook or two), Black carves out a fine victory.