Nakamura, Artemiev and Inarkiev all victorious!
Three of the most interesting tournaments came to an end over the weekend: the European Championship in Skopje, the US Championship in St.Louis and the Sharjah Masters in the UAE.
Going into the final round of the US championship, not less than 3 players stood a chance to win: Nakamura, Dominguez and Caruana, all with 7 points. It was a cliff hanger!
Nakamura got a very pleasant position with the Black pieces right from the opening against Xiong and I think the outcome was never in doubt.
This obliged the Cuban Dominguez, who was permitted to play in the US championship despite his Cuban nationality, to play very precisely against Gareev, and he seemed to be well on his way to win but rushed things enroute to winning a piece.
The game was eventually drawn in 77 moves, guaranteeing Nakamura the title as Caruana and Shankland had an uneventful and boring draw. Congrats to Nakamura!
Shankland congratulating Nakamura seconds after Dominguez drew his game. The US title remains in America. (Photo by L.Ootes)
This victory has gives the 31 year old Nakamura a total of 5 US_Championships so far, just shy of the late Walter Browne’s six titles in the 70’s and 80’s, but still a far cry from Bobby Fischer’s record of 8 consecutive titles from the 50’s and 60’s.
The New Face of Russian Chess?
If you were to ask anyone last year who was Vlad Artemiev, you would have come up blank. But in just a few short months the 21 year old Artemiev has become the new poster boy of Russian Chess.
After victories in Gibraltar and then in the European Championship, Artemiev’s face will adorn chess magazines for some time.
I am not very impressed with his games, many of which are 50, 60 or 70 moves long. However, what counts is this: Vlad has super-human patience and Spassky-like focus. A new world champion in the making? We will just have to wait and see.
First amongst equals
Seven players tied with 7 points each and the lucky ‘winner’ was Russian GM Ernesto Inarkiev. Congrats! Maybe not so lucky, as he had to work hard in the last round, fending off Matlakov’s attack to make a draw in 60 moves.
A pretty strong event, the 3rd such Sharjah Masters in 3 years. With 6.5 points were 7 players. The total prize fund was $60,000.
Dvorkovich: Election Promises Revisited
Modern politicians have made us natural born cynics when it comes to promises often made in the euforia of a hotly disputed election campaign. In the chess world, this cynicism is aggravated by chess players’ generally superior memory.
Case in point are several campaign promises made by Arkady Dvorkovich about improving FIDE’s transparency as well as eliminating nepotism. Apparently GM Nielsen touched a nerve last week when he replied to a birthday wish by Nigel Short to Dvorkovich:
This Wednesday will be the 6th month anniversary of Dvorkovich being elected FIDE president. I think that this is probably sufficient time for him to have started implementing most of his promises and for these results to now be evaluated or scrutinized without being too unfair to him..
From Dvorkovich’s 2018 campaign website
FIDE is to become transparent and efficient institution.
The development fund will receive 3 million Euro as soon as the first year.
FIDE contracts with third parties will be publicly available, so will detailed reports on income and expenses.
A proper FIDE Internet platform will be launched
To be continued