The US Chess League is undergoing a historic reorganization. It will now appear on Chess.com, instead of ICC, where the games will be shown live. Greg Shahade will continue to manage the league. But more important, the league has realigned the teams. Up until last year, there were two conferences, East and West, each with eight teams, but two of the teams in the Western Conference were geographically in the East, creating an imbalance and time-zone problems.
To eliminate these issues, the league has devised that each of the two conferences are composed of two divisions with four teams each. The Northeast division teams will be the Boston Blitz, the New England Nor’easters, the Connecticut Dreadnaughts, and the Baltimore Kingfishers. Each team will play two matches against the other teams in their division. So, unlike baseball, Boston and New York will not be in the same division. On Aug. 28, the Blitz and the Nor’easters will clash and the Dreadnoughts take on the Kingfishers.
In other chess news, the world championship encounter between challenger Magnus Carlsen and world champion Viswanathan Anand is Nov. 6 at the Hotel Regency, in Chennai, India, which, by the way, is Anand’s home town. Before that, a major new event in the US, the first Sinquefield Cup, sponsored by philanthropist Rex Sinquefield will take place at the St. Louis Chess Club on Sept. 9-15. The participants scheduled include Carlsen, Levon Aronian (No. 2) of Armenia, American Hikaru Nakamura (No. 5) and the current US champion Gata Kamsky (No. 17). The event will be a double round robin at classic time controls. Carlsen has never played in a tournament in this country. The event will have an average rating over 2800, with a prize fund of $170,000.
The Cup will provide a team of commentators on the Internet and in person for live spectators. The players will be available for autographs.
Still, the Carlsen-Anand match will preempt 2013 world chess news. Carlsen, possessor of the highest rating in history, is favored, but it is interesting that Anand and Carlsen have played 29 games in the years 2009-13 against each other and Anand has a plus score of 16-13. Carlsen has in four recent tournaments scored at or near the top, always ahead of Anand, but in these tournaments Carlsen has not beaten Anand.
Brevity: Bogoljubov v. Carls (1914) 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 c6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nc3 g6 5.Bf4 Bg7 6.e3 0–0 7.Qb3 Qa5 8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.0–0 dxc4 10.Bxc4 b6 11.Bxf7+ Rxf7 12.Ng5 Nd5 13.Nxf7 Kxf7 14.e4 e6 15.exd5 exd5 16.Ne4 Bxd4 17.Nd6+ Kg8 18.Qh3 Qa6 19.Qe6+ Kh8 20.Nf7+; 1-0
Winners: Billerica July Swiss: 1st: Tim Bromley, 3.5-0.5 2d-6th: John Vaughan, Arthur Nugent, Jeff Caruso, Eric Matthews, Mike Howell: 2.5-1.5; BCC “Legends of Chess – Maroczy”: 1st: Eric Godin 3.5-.5, 2d-4th Joseph Kelly, Conway Xu, and Walter Driscoll: 2.5-1.5.
Coming Events: 73d New England Open, Aug. 31-Sept. 2 or Sept. 1-2, Doubletree Hotel, 99 Erdman Way, Leominster, firstname.lastname@example.org, Metrowest Memorial Swiss, Sept. 3, 10, 17, 24; 118 E. Central St., Natick, inforequest@metro