It has been a busy few weeks in the world of chess, with the 117th annual US Open recently concluding in Indianapolis and the Sinquefield Cup entering the homestretch in St. Louis.
The US Open ended with former US champion Alexander Shabalov and Israeli grand master Gil Popilski tying for first with scores of 8-1. Shabalov won the “Armageddon” game for the title, earning him an extra $200 and a spot in next year’s US championship at the St. Louis Chess Club.
The event had 396 players, and the best-scoring Massachusetts player — and actually the only Massachusetts resident making the trip to America’s heartland — was professor J. Timothy Sage of Northeastern University, with a 5.5-3.5 score.
Other high-scoring New England attendees were Hal Terry of New Hampshire (5-4) and Rhode Islanders Ryan Sowa (5-4) and Michael McCormick (5-4).
Complete standings of the event be found at www.USChess.org/results/16/usopen.
The Sinquefield Cup, the third stop on the 2016 Grand Chess Tour, just finished the first half with Veselin Topalov leading the field with a 3.5-1.5 score. Just behind him are Levon Aronian, Wesley So, and former world champ Vishy Anand, with 3-2 scores.
The first and second rounds of the tournament featured five decisive games, but the event settled into what could be described as a professional somnolent state with 14 out of 15 games being drawn in rounds three through five.
The first round included a shocker when Wesley So defeated fellow American Hikaru Nakamura.
The top-ranked American and current US champion, Fabiano Caruana, got off to a slow start with five straight draws and he was lucky to survive his second-round game with Topalov. However, he’s still very much in contention.
It should be a very interesting second half at the tournament.
In other news, New York City has been chosen for the world championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin. AGON, the organizing company for the world championship cycle, announced that the match will be held at the Fulton Market Building in the Seaport District on Manhattan. The event will be held from Nov. 11 to 20.
Coming events: Charles Drafts Memorial, Aug. 20, Boylston Chess Club, 40 Norris St, Cambridge, www.BoylstonChess.org; New England Open, Sept. 3-5, Hilton Garden Inn Boston/Burlington, 5 Wheeler Road, Burlington, www.RelyeaChess.com.
Recent results: Wachusett Chess Club’s Harlow B. Daly Memorial; first: Tony Cesolini, 5-0, tie for second through fourth: Gary Brassard, Ken Gurge, Alex Venezia, 4-1.
Answer to today’s problem: 1.Rd8+! Nxd8 (if 1…Ke7 2.R(3)d7 mate) 2.Qd7+! Kf8 3.Qd8 mate.