So far at the Altibox Norway 2017 tournament, after seven rounds, Levon Aronian once again is in very good form as he is clearly in first with three wins and no losses. In second is American Hikaru Nakamura, with 4.5/7.
The other two Americans, Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So, are struggling just to keep their heads above water. So has drawn all his games, and Caruana has no wins and one loss.
The real story is really the complete collapse of world champion Magnus Carlsen, who finds himself in a tie for last place with Maxime Vachier Lagrave, with no wins, and losses to Aronian and Kramnik. I can’t remember the last time he was last in any event.
Many have noted that the champ seems to have taken the game lightly these days. We noted his poor form during his World Championship match with Russian Sergey Karjakin, where he struggled to hold his title, and now this dreadful result. There is even the possibility that his rating for the first time since 2009 may fall below 2800. We have to wait and see if this poor form is just temporary or something more serious.
Southbridge’s Sam Sevian is adding yet another good result to this year’s tally, which includes winning the Chicago Open and 2017 Spring Chess Classic C event in St. Louis. After five rounds, he is tied for first at the American Continental Championship in Medellin, Colombia. The top four players get invitations to the World Cup this September in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The field for this year’s US Junior Championships has been announced, with Andover’s Carissa Yip and Lexington and Ohio State University’s Mika Brattain in the field. The event runs July 7-18 at, where else, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
Coming events: June 24, Women’s Ville De Reine Open, Manchester, www.
RelyeaChess.com; June 24, Boylston Legends of Chess, Sammy Reshevsky, 40 Norris St. Cambridge, www.BoylstonChess.org; July 8-9, 67th New Hampshire Open, Courtyard Marriott Nashua, www.NHChess.org
Recent results: “In Memory of Dr. Danny Kopec” Master-Expert: 1st; A. Ivanov, 3.5-.5, U1900, 1st: J Bennett, 3.5-.5, U1500, 1st, Saanvi Tiruveedhula, 4-0; Boylston Grand Prix, Open, 1st-3rd: Derek Jin, Tony Wang, Zubin Baliga, 3-1
Answer to today’s problem: 1…Bd5! (threatening a discovered check winning White’s queen) 2.Kf1 (White has no safe square to move the queen to, try them all) 2…Be4! Trapping White’s queen as 3.QxB Nd2+. Best is 4.Qh8+ Kf7 5.Qxa8 Bxa8. 6.Rc1 Nd2+ 7.Ke2 Nc4 with a winning position.Chris Chase can be reached at BostonGlobeChessNotes@gmail.com.