10 September 2011

Rare Bird Tracking, Summer 2011

A year ago I wrote a pair of posts -- Rare Bird Sightings and Rare Bird Tracking -- about the dearth of chess960 tournaments in the world. The situation hasn't changed much since then.

The Swiss Chess960 Championship was one of the events making up the 44th Biel International Chess Festival in July, where Magnus Carlsen finished ahead of second place Alexander Morozevich in the elite GM event. GM Boris Grachev (RUS, 2680) edged out GM Tigran Gharamian (FRA, 2670) on tiebreak to win the chess960 event. GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (SUI, 2530) finished third ahead of 37 other players, which was good enough to become the 2011 Swiss (!?) chess960 champion.

For the second year, the U.S. Open featured a chess960 side event, attracting 12 players this time; see Fisher Random (sic, see also below) for the results. WGM Jennifer Shahade, a two time U.S. Women's Champion, participated and wrote about the event for USchess.org: Jennifer on 960 (Fischer Random). She also mentioned another rare bird,

I'm really excited to deepen my understanding of 960 as some of the most creative chess minds in the World, including GM Hikaru Nakamura will face off next week in alternating rounds of 960 chess and rapid chess in K v. Q aka the Battle of the Sexes in Saint Louis.

GM Kosteniuk will be one of five women representing the Queens team in the Scheveningen style tournament.


Call it chess960, call it Fischer random, call it anything you want; just don't call it 'Fisher' chess, as in DAIVD NAVARA: FISHER CHESS HELPED ME (chess.ugrasport.com, the official site of the 2011 World Cup, currently in the quarter final stage). OK, they spelled GM Navara's first name wrong as well -- it's David, of course -- but at least they got a good quote from him after his first round victory.

My opponent made a good preparation and surprised me. I made a mistake, then another one and at some point Black had got an advantage. There was a non standard position where it was easy to blunder. But I play Fisher chess very well, I like these positions and as a result I managed to win.

The moral of the story: Even 2700+ GMs can be outprepared by opponents rated 200 points below them. Add chess960 techniques to your arsenal of chess weapons.


HarryO said...

Thanks Mark you have Chess960(FRC) eyes like a hawk thanks for the information! The future for 960 looks assured, but what a slow and difficult birth it is!


HarryO said...

Fans of 960,check out the replay videos of the KingVQueen Chess960 competition. It's a must see with Nakamura joining in the commentary as well as playing!: