Wesley So v/s Magnus Carlsen!

Is Wesley So the one who can dethrone Magnus Carlsen? Can Wesley So challenge Magnus Carlsen in the 2022 World Championship? What is the Rivalry status of Magnus Carlsen?

The thing with Magnus is like it used to be with Chicago Bulls, every time there used to be a new Competitor! First Magic Johnson vs Michal Jordan. Then Isiah Thomas vs Michal Jordan. Later Kobe vs Michal Jordan! Similarly, Magnus Carlsen is getting new challengers every time. Starting with Anand, then Karjakin, then Caruana. We don’t know who will be the one this time but I really want to see a matchup between Carlsen and Wesley so! Why is this the case? Let me lay a few facts which I have observed- The finals of the Opera Euro Rapid online championship took place on 13&14 Feb.

It was the day when So took on The current Triple world champion Magnus Carlsen! Wesley was in top-notch form going into the finals while Magnus had a few tough encounters reaching the finale. A lot of people put their bet on Carlsen while some did hope that Welsey will pull through. Day one ended in 2-2 while day 2 saw Carlsen going all out a lot of times but didn’t manage to win while Wesley so plucked in one point and won the second day with 2.5-1.5. Thus he won the tournament with 4.5-3.5 against Carlsen. I am quite sure Carlsen will make a strong comeback but there are a lot of instances which give a hint that Wesley might have the calibre to dethrone Magnus.

Another incident I recall is from chess960 world championship in 2019. Wesley beat Carlsen 13.5-2.5! Not an easy score to achieve against Carlsen. Although the point system was different, this domination against Carlsen is not so normal. Recently in Skilling open Wesley spoiled Carlsen’s 30th birthday by beating him in the finals!

Such records prove that Wesley can be a strong contender to dethrone Magnus! Although Magnus does dominate their individual encounters a lot of times recently he is facing issues against Wesley.

 

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OTB Chess tournaments begin!

After almost 11 months I got to play and  OTB  (over the board) chess tournament. The board pieces arranged in rows, the sound of the clock after every move, the jitters before round 1. The nervousness before every round, the excitement to watch the parings, ” switch off your mobile phones, no wristwatches allowed ” were some of the good old things.

The things that were new were Masks on during games, sanitization before entering the playing hall, temperature check, only one entry point to the playing hall, No entry for players below 10 years or above 65 years! The boards were arranged at a distance from each other. Thus the tournament was very spacious. Overall there was a mixed feeling at the start of the event. As it was a one day rapid, I kept just one expectation, to enjoy each round as the thought of getting to play a tournament turned into a reality after a huge amount of time.

Some words about the organization of the event –

Mr Prakash Kunte, chairman of Buddhibal Kreeda Trust had worked hard to maintain quality tournaments in Pune. Even this time he proved it by conducting an event with all the precautions and care. He is one of the enthusiastic organizers who has dared to conduct an event and provide a sigh of relief to players that events will happen in near future.

My experience –

Overall the first OTB Chess tournament was a mixed one for me as I scored 5.5/7 with 4 wins and 3 draws. But the experience of playing a tournament over the board was worth travelling from Ahmednagar to Pune! Playing an OTB Chess tournament made the player in me feel alive once again! All the frustration accumulated in the lockdown of not being able to play over the board went out of the window. I felt like I almost forgot the habit of thinking before making a move. This was just due to another habit of premoves which I developed by playing online. So, I took conscious effort to zone out from online chess and get in the zone of over the board chess a day before the event. Also, I was struggling in the very first round.

I did assume a situation like this might arise. So, to face any upset but never expected it to be in the very first round. Also as the event continued, I struggled with patience and stamina. At the end of round 5, I literally felt that I was running out of stamina. Still, 2 rounds to go, but I was totally exhausted. This long gap between two tournaments did make a big impact on stamina. To add to it, the mask made it quite suffocating. Things were not that easy but the excitement to play the tournament helped me finish well.

Following are a few images from the tournament
Inaugration with the hands of IM Vikramaditya Kulkarni and IM Abhishek Kelkar
Temperature check at the entry point.
Playing hall
IM Vikramaditya Kulkarni with Champions Trophy.
Prize winners from the event

 

 

 

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My 3 favourite features on chess.com

Hello everyone! Today I would like to share you a few features of chess.com which always make me happy and improve my knowledge of the game! Apart from playing on chess.com, which is the speciality of it, You can check out my 5 favourite features of chesscom

Latest Articles –

Articles on any current topic or controversy are published on chess.com. As it is one of the largest and trustworthy platforms, chess.com team brings the latest news while it also allows readers to present their articles which people might like and wish to share. Also, a lot of titled players keep on writing informative blogs which discuss some interesting topics in chess. If you fulfil criteria of chesscom then you can apply for a top blogger on chesscom, provided you need to keep writing at regular intervals.

Puzzles –

Puzzles feature has sub-features where puzzles are divided and also presented in a challenging way in the form of survival. It also has a column of drills where beginners can train to win games with Queen vs King or 2 Rook checkmate etc. Another point of puzzles is the puzzles keep us in shape and then if you can reduce your blunders you will automatically start winning games.

Variants for fun –

Variants on chesscom are amazing. It always puts me in awe how can some team come up with so high-class variants in chess. The blindfold, bughouse and 4 player chess are my favourite variants in chess. Also if you check there are a few variants like crazy house which can be played by persons who play chess for pure fun.

So above were 3 of my favourite features on chesscom. If you want to know more about them then you can find it on chess.com. 

Do mention in the comments section if which feature do you like the most?

 

https://chessarticle.com/alexander-alekhine-alekhines-gun/

https://chessarticle.com/know-everything-about-chess-knight/

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Middlegame Pattern – Octopus Knight

What are the Middlegame patterns? How can we get better at implementing them? Where can we get material for the same? So I am starting a series of Middlegame patterns where I share you a few topics with examples. To know them lets start with Octopus Knight first!

Octopus Knight

Have you ever came across a position where a piece disturbs whole co-ordination of opponents pieces? Octopus knight is one such strategic manoeuvre which leads to the total disruption of co-ordination in the opponent’s territory. This concept is quite old but occurs frequently in games.

Today we see a game from 1985 World Chess Championship where Anatoly Karpov playing with white pieces was on the receiving end of this theme played by Garry Kasparov. This historic game has entered a lot of chess books. Let’s see the game first.

 

So why is this even so famous theme? Let us look at the position

Here the black Knight on d3 dominates each and every piece. It creates a lot of threats and also cuts the board into two halves.  e-file is under control, f2 is under pressure and suddenly black gets sufficient initiative for a pawn.

For a detailed explanation of this game check the video by GM Daniel King-

White to play, In the above position try to achieve an octopus knight.

 

In the position, white went Bg5! – Be7 Nd6! and thus the Octopus landed on d6. This is one of the middlegame patterns one must get used and practice implementing in their games. If you want to learn more such patterns you should check out the links at the end of the article.

Octopus Knight is worth a Rook is what Former World champion Garry Kasparov once said, I hope you all can get a chance to apply similar ideas in your game!

 

https://chessarticle.com/alexander-alekhine-alekhines-gun/

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Alexander Alekhine – Alekhine’s Gun

Did you just read “Gun” in a chess article? Yes, Yes you read it right. It is indeed about something resembling a gun. Today I am sharing with you one of my favourite strategic ideas. So first I will share a few words about the creator of this strategy. Alekhine’s Gun is a concept named after Alexander Alekhine. Alexander Alekhine was the 4th World Chess Champion. He contributed heavily to chess literature by creating masterpieces. Alekhine’s handling of the following position always brings me joy for the beauty of the sequence. of moves and ideas behind it.

Position

Before you look into the answer, try to think from white’s perspective of what could be a strategy he can use to attack the Knight on c6 and win material. One hint I can give is to try to provide logical defensive moves from black’s side and you will be able to reach the solution.

Here Alekhine playing with white pieces, constructed the Alekhine’s Gun! He played Rc2-Qe8 Rac1-Rab8 Qe3-Rc7 Rc3-Qd7 R1c2-Kf8 Qc1{Completion of Alekhine’s Gun. This formation of two Rooks in front of a Queen is deadly when the target cannot move!}Rbc8 Ba4-b5 Bxb5-Ke8 Ba4-Kd8 h4![Black is paralysed. His pieces cannot move. Once pawns are blocked. It forces resignation.

Now I give you 2 positions to try and find how to execute the knowledge we got from above.

White to play

In the above position, Former World Champion Anatoly Karpov followed the steps of his predecessors to apply the same theme. Try giving a shot at it yourself.

White to play

A recent example from previous year’s Online olympiad, Current World Junior Chess Champion in women’s category, Polina Shuvalova is playing white and she also found a perfect sequence to apply the Alekhine’s Gun.

Above is a video of explanation of Alekhine playing the masterpiece.

https://chessarticle.com/paul-morphy/

 

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