The world’s top professional chess league, the German Bundesliga, has ended its 2016-17 season with Baden-Baden once again on top. This is the team’s 11th title in the past 12 years. The only blemish in this amazing stretch was last year, when the upstart Solingen team took the title.
Baden-Baden was determined not to let that happen again this year. In a strong display of strength, Baden-Baden won all its matches. Even though the team’s league victory was assured, it brought its strongest team to the league’s final three matches held in Berlin. The team included Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian, Vishy Anand, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.
The English professional league, the 4NCL, finished its season at about the same time, with the current dominant Guildford team, headed by Mathew Sadler and Gawain Jones, winning the title for the fifth year in a row. Though not as well financed as the German Bundesliga, it is still an interesting and entertaining league.
The Russian team championship has also just concluded, with the powerful team from Siberia-Sirius winning fairly easily. Armed with such players as former world champ Vlad Kramnik, red-hot Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Anish Giri, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Alexander Grischuk, and Dimitry Andreikin, the victory was assured from the beginning. The only American playing in the eight-team round-robin was Gata Kamsky, who has for years made the trip to Russia to play in this event. He played for “Rook” from the Republic of Tatarstan.
There was one very interesting bit of news that came out of the event. In a Chess Base article, American Alex Yermolinsky noted that a longtime member of the St. Petersburg Bronze Horsemen team, Cuban Leinier Dominguez-Perez (the world’s #22), did not participate. And the reason, according to rumors out of Russia, was that he was seeking political asylum in the United States and couldn’t travel until that was settled. We will be keeping an eye on this.
Coming events: May 20, Gigantic Trophy Scholastic Tournament, Andover CC, St. Augustine’s Church, 43 Essex St., Andover, AndoverChessClub@gmail.com; May 21, The MC Chess Open, Malden Catholic High School, 99 Crystal St., Malden, DavidWMilliern@gmail.com
Recent results: MACA’s Girl’s Championship, Open: 1st: Joy Cao, 3.5-.5, 2nd: Sandra Shur, 3-1, 3rd: Yue Huang, 3-1, U1000, 1st: Joanne Jiang Zhou, 3.5-.3, 2nd: Sree Dasari, 3-1, 3rd: Suhavi Tiruveedhula, 2.5-15
Answer to today’s problem: 1.Na4! Qd8 (or 1…Qc7) 2.Nb6! wins the exchange (a rook for a bishop or knight) as 2…Qxb6 loses his queen to 3.Ba5!