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The Boston Globe

Lifestyle

Chess Notes

Weekly chess column

Prominent tournaments throughout the world now offer so much information — photographs, live games, standings, and even in some cases commentary — that it can be said that watching chess is now an independent recreation, akin to watching baseball or hockey. Unfortunately, it will never be a general subject of conversation in most social circles.

One present focus of attention in chess circles is the International Chess Federation’s (FIDE) Renova Group Grand Prix tournament being played in Zug, Switzerland. It was originally scheduled for Portugal, but the promoter, Agon, was unable to raise money for it there. So FIDE switched the tournament’s location where it found funding from the Renova Group and Victor Vekselberg, its chairman of the board who is a longtime chess fan. Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana both gave up entries into the US Championship in St. Louis to play in the Switzerland event. However, Gata Kamsky plans to play in both; finishing in Zug on May 1, and then flying to St. Louis on May 3. It will be very interesting to see how this turns out for him. The Grand Prix’s website is: zug2013.fide.com/en/main-page. It offers standings, live games, and other information. After five rounds, the leaders are Alexander Morozevich and Veselin Topalov.

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