The Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi defeated his compatriot Kiril Alekseenko and increased his lead by a full point.
Nepomniachtchi’s win, with which he became the world number-three player in the live ratings, was surprisingly smooth and quick. He managed to surprise his opponent in the opening when he went for English, but when black was trying to develop his kingside he suddenly has played d4 and switched to a very good Catalan.
Anish Giri managed to win against Wang Hao in round nine. He is now only half a point behind the leader. The remaining games have finished drawing, no not without a big fight.
“It was very important for me to win this game to realistically stay in the race, otherwise it would have been really hard,” said Giri.
Najdorf Sicilian is one of the most played opening variations and is popular at all levels.
The favorite of Fischer and Kasparov, it usually leads to exciting dynamic positions and suits active players’ styles.
In this article we will deep dive into why you should play the Najdorf.
The second part of the FIDE Candidates Tournament has started in Yekaterinburg. The strongest of the eight participants will earn the right to challenge the current World Champion Magnus Carlsen.
The technical opening of the Candidates Tournament took place before the start of the 8th round at the Hyatt Regency hotel. The anthems of Russia and FIDE were played during the ceremony and the tournament was officially resumed by FIDE President.
Initiative in chess is important in all stages of the game. It is usually associated with an attack but can be reached even in endgames. In general, one side has the initiative if they can make threats that cannot be ignored. That turns the other side into a defensive mode and doesn’t give them time for creating their own threats.
Alekhine Defense is the most famous example of a provocative opening. Black meets 1.e4 with 1…Nf6, attacking the central pawn on move 1 and inviting it to move farther. It is well-known pawns cannot go backward and hence leave weaknesses behind themselves. Still, it is quite a common scenario when White starts pursuing that knight with their pawns, grabbing as much space as possible but ends up losing the game badly because of overextending.
Accelerated Dragon is one of the most aggressive variations of the Sicilian. Black develops their dark-squared bishop to the most active position from where it puts a lot of pressure on White’s center and queenside. It usually leads to sharp and complicated positions where both sides try to launch an attack as quickly as possible.
The impact that an opening stage makes on the rest of the game is difficult to overestimate. If you get a great position out of the opening, you can defeat even a higher-rated player. On the other hand, if you end up in a worse position after the beginning phase, you might struggle for the whole rest of the game. That is why opening preparation becomes so important.
Openings: When you only start playing chess, it is enough to know only basic opening principles such as controlling the center, developing your pieces, castling early, and so on. After some learning and practicing, you will reach the point where you will start studying opening theory. It will familiarize you with typical plans and ideas, different pawn formations, and overall, make playing chess more interesting.
Chess is a game that’s played on and off the board. On the board, players have to show their skills, understanding of different positions, pawn structures, tactical motifs, and much more. However, that’s not the only war. Chess is also played at a psychological level; the mindset you enter a game with is of great importance and can influence the course of the game. Emotions play a big part in the game and they can sometimes make us see threats that don’t really exist on the chessboard.