London Chess GP Gelfand-Kasimdzhanov 1-0 Find Strong Move

Heard of the Semi-Slav Moscow variation in chess? (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 h6) That’s the one that was employed in the Boris Gelfand-Rustam Kasimdzhanov game in the last round of the London Chess Grand Prix on Wednesday. (Full report on Chess Blog.) Black sacrificed a pawn with 12. …c5, but couldn’t regain the compensation. White also sacrificed an exchange to build connected passer-pawns down the b- and c-file. We pick up the game with the position on the left. Black has just taken the pawn 40….Nxc7! Of course, it’s all won for White. Understanding that the players were tired, Boris Gelfand played 41.Nxc7 and eventually won the game a few moves down. But, can you spot a real fun way/much stronger move to win the position at the 41st move for White? Read more…

Chess King Showcase: Forcing a Won Endgame Naka-Giri 1-0

The position on the left is a won endgame by White from Hikaru Nakamura-Anish Giri at the London Chess Grand Prix Round 10 (Report on Chess Blog). However, this endgame comes with some great ideas going back all the way to 37.h3. See the position below. Read more…

Caro Kann Surprise 5.Nc5 e5: Wang Hao-Mamedyarov 1/2-1/2

Here’s an interesting new move by Wang Hao against the Caro Kann by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov at the London Chess Grand Prix Round 10. (Report on Chess Blog.) The game ended in a draw, but is a must-watch for all practitioners of Caro Kann if not everyone. Shakhriyar decided to play the Caro Kann Defence, his opening of choice for this tournament. Wang Hao prepared a surprise for his opponent, 5.Nc5, trying to defuse any preparation. “Shak” paused for thought, and then replied 5….e5!? which caught Wang Hao unprepared, as he had not expected Mamedyarov to know this variation deeply. The forced line that followed saw a quick exchange of queens which led to the endgame with a slightly better pawn structure for white. Read more…

London Chess Grand Prix R9: Grischuk’s Closed Sicilian Beats Gelfand

Round 9 was an exciting one at the London Chess Grand Prix with Alexander Grischuk beating Boris Gelfand. The latter has lead for much of the tournament and the lead now goes to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Read the full report on Chess Blog. You can see the game below in Chess King applet. Read more…

London Chess Grand Prix: Assess this Endgame!

Here is a position from the London Chess Grand Prix Round 7 (Report on Chess Blog.) The game was between Michael Adams and Boris Gelfand. Black dilutes down to a won endgame, but how to win it? Look at the pawn situation and come up with a strategic idea for Black to win. Remember, you need to think of strategy first before the move pattern here. Read more…

Can You Win This Pawn Roll? Topalov-Dominguez 1-0

We’re back to talking about the virtues of understanding endgames. Here’s one from Veselin Topalov-Leinier Dominguez at the London Chess Grand Prix Round 6 (Report on Chess Blog). Can you win the pawn roll for White? Black has just played 40….Bh5 Hint: Remember the White King has to be activated so you need to find the right route for him as well. Read more…

Find Winning Idea: Kasimdzhanov-Mamedyarov 0-1

Here is an interesting game form the sixth round at the London Chess Grand Prix. Rustam Kasimdzhanov took on Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in a Semi-Slav game where White seemed to be going along fine. But, Mamedyarov was waiting for his opportunities and Kasimdzhanov played 38.Rbd2. Find the winning idea/combination for Black. Read more…

London Chess Grand Prix: Hikaru Nakamura vs Wang Hao 0-1

The position is from the sixth round at the London Chess Grand Prix. Hikaru Nakamura, playing White is already on the defensive against Wang Hao, and then he makes a blunder by 45.Nxa4. Can you figure out the winning combination for Black from this position? Read more…

London Chess Grand Prix R5: Find Win Dominguez Missed Vs Nakamura

The London Chess Grand Prix goes into its first rest day after five rounds. Boris Gelfand is in the lead. (Tournament report on Chess Blog.) All games were drawn in the fifth round. However, Leinier Dominguez missed a win against US Chess Champion Hikaru Nakamura. Black has just played 68. …Rb8. Can you find the winning continuation for White? Read more…

London Chess Grand Prix R4: Wang Hao Blunders vs Gelfand

The position is from Boris Gelfand-Wang Hao during the fourth round at the London Chess Grand Prix (Report on Chess Blog.) Black has just played 55. …Kh7. Do you know why that is a blunder? This win gives Boris Gelfand sole lead at the London Chess Grand Prix after four rounds. Read more…

London Chess Grand Prix: What’s Grischuk’s Winning Combination?

What is Black's winning continuation?

The London Chess Grand Prix third round (Report on Chess Blog) saw Alexander Grischuk allow Wang Hao to escape with a draw. Grischuk surprised his opponent by playing the Gruenfeld. In the position on the left, Wang Hao has just played 27.h4. Grischuk replies with 27….Qb5-c5. Don’t forget there is time trouble. But, can you spot the winning combination that Grischuk could have played instead of moving the Queen? Read more…

London Chess Grand Prix: Spot Kasimdzhanov’s Blunder

Why is Bd3 a blunder?

Two rounds have been played at the London Chess Grand Prix. Hikaru Nakamura lost his game in the first round, but had Rustam Kasimdzhanov gift him this game in the second round. (Read the reports on Chess Blog.) White has just played 60.Bd3. Can you spot why it is a blunder? Read more…

London Chess Grand Prix R1: Nakamura-Gelfand 0-1

White has just played 56.Kg2. Suggest a good move for Black

The London Chess Grand Prix has begun with a grand ceremony. The first round (Report on Chess Blog.) saw one decisive game between current US chess champion Hikaru Nakamura and world title challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel. The game is a lesson in King activity in the endgame. In the position on the left, what would be the best move for Black? Read more…