They think it’s all over …?

… but it’s still going on and will be for some time.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen tops the 128-player field for the most enjoyable and democratic event in the chess calendar when the World Cup starts next Sunday in Tbilisi, Georgia. The huge knockout will see almost a month of non-stop action, with the complete world elite fighting for a $120,000 top prize and two places in the 2018 Candidates Tournament.

There are a few ways to watch it but none of them are great in my humble opinion.  Please comment below if you know different/better.

Fun in the sun

The Summer specials promised much and delivered more as ever, providing July challenges and amusement, and August Indian indulgence. Thanks to all for their support and contributions.

The endgames, courtesy of Richard, are reiterated below:-

Puzzle 1, White to play and win


Puzzle 2, White to play and win


Puzzle 3, this is Janowski v Schlecter – Vienna 1898 and is white to play and win


Puzzle 4,  White to play and win – no-one found the correct method which is:


Puzzle 5, White to play and win


Puzzle 6,  Polugayevsky v Mecking at Manila 1975 and is White to play and win. Black
hopes that his king will tie the rook down


Puzzle 7, White to play and win


Puzzle 8, Finally a position that wasn’t part of the evening but shown at the end and
is White to play and win

The final round

Despite Paul’s rather downbeat summary below, I found the games of great interest – thanks to him – better luck next year!

Other Bedford entrants:-

  • Ben Cox U14, 2.5/7
  • Toby Cox U12, 3.5/7
  • Lucian Cox U10, 3/7
  • David Cox U120 grade, 2/5

Well done to all – it’s not at all easy competing at this level.  The results were very respectable and I’m sure much was learnt with which you can crush Bedford League players next season!

My best chance of a win since the first round but I could not quite convert it and allowed a perpetual check. Finishing on 3.5/7, =19th out of 52, when I was ranked 17th is hardly a surprise. However, it was a poor result overall because I played only one higher ranked opponent. Steve Berry and Roger Emerson tied first on 5.5/7 sharing £600.

Thanks for the interest.

Paul Habershon, 5th August 2017

Another draw, but an exciting one!

Another draw today, but at least it was exciting. It seems quite accurately played until the final moments when I missed a good continuation and then my opponent went for repetition when he had a killer move. So a let-off for me.

I have 3/6 with one more chance to beat 50% for the tournament.

The two leaders have 5/6 and each play a 4.5 in the final round. Brian Valentine lost so stays on 3.5. In the O-50 Graham Smith has paid the price of early Swiss success, losing to IM Paul Littlewood in Round 6 after John Nunn in Round 5.

Paul Habershon, 4th August 2017

Drawing streak continues

Another dullish draw, I fear. I hope a bit more excitement can be provided in the last two rounds. I’m on 2.5/5 with the success story being Brian Valentine on 3.5. There is a sole leader on 4.5.

Paul Habershon, 3rd August 2017

Consolidation in round 4

I played a poor opening today and was always struggling to equalise. I’m surprised Fritz did not come up with any tactical wins for White. Eventually I accepted a draw with some relief. My opponent has a reputation as an ultra solid player averse to risks. In the final position Fritz puts White at +0.30. I’m on 2 out of 4 with only 3 games to go. No one has 4 but there are several on 3.5.

Paul Habershon, 2nd August 2017

50% after 3

Apologies for the late posting – technical issues on my side (Paul was punctual of course!).

Draw today to take me to 1.5/3. I got the opening I wanted but missed the most incisive continuation at move 19. My opponent played in the more elite British Championship in the 1970s but then gave up chess for several decades.

Paul Habesrhon                     1st August 2017

Round 2 was “…. just like getting ground down by Steve Ledger! “

Paul recounts an unfortunate change of fortune in round 2 of the Over-65’s:

I was losing for most of today’s game but when Black blundered on move 35 I had an easily drawn position. After four and a half hours I blundered back on move 50. It was just like getting ground down by Steve Ledger! Embarrassingly simple to see the drawing line. What a waste against the third seed.