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Chess notes

The Grand Chess Tour’s Sinquefield Cup (www.GrandcChessTour.org) continues with Maxime Vachier Lagrave holding a slim half-point lead with 4.5/6. Right behind are world champion Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, and Vishy Anand all with 4/6. The Americans Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, and Wesley So find themselves in rather dubious places. The best is Caruana in fifth with 3/6. Nakamura is in the next to last spot, and So is right below him in last place. The big three seem to be in a bit of slump these days, especially So.

The talk of the tournament so far has been the brilliant game Anand played against Caruana. With a little bit of luck, the 47-year-old Anand may end up in the winner’s circle. Carlsen is just at +1 with wins over his former challenger Sergey Karjakin, who has yet to find his form, and the struggling So. Here, Aronian is either feast or famine; he either wins brilliantly or loses mundanely, though his loss to Caruana took 110 moves.

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The next tour event is the much anticipated Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz (Aug. 13-19), also at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (https://saintlouischessclub.org/). It starts the day after the cup ends and features the return of the legendary Garry Kasparov to competitive chess. We will see how much he has left against the field of Nakamura, Caruana, Sergey Karjakin, Anand, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Aronian, and, new to the tour, Czech Republic’s #1 David Navara, Vietnam’s best, and Webster University student Le Quang Liem, and Cuba’ #1 Lenier Dominguez. The field has an average age of 31!

New Yorker Alex Lenderman has won the recently concluded US Open with a 7.5/9 score. Alongside this annual national event run the Denker Tournament of High School Stars, the Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions, and the National Girls Tournament of Champions. The Massachusetts representative at the Denker was Andrew Liu, who finished his scholastic career with a disappointing 25th place finish. In the Barber, the Massachusetts representative, Danila Poliannikov, finished in 24th place. Joy Cao, the Bay State representative in the National Girls Tournament of Champions, finished 19th.

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Coming events:Aug. 18, Waltham Elo G/25 d5, www.WalthamChessClub.org; Aug. 19, Boylston Charles Drafts Memorial, www.BoylstonChess.org

Recent results: Wachusetts Harlow Daley Memorial (46 players) 1st-4th: Rob King, Brett Kildahl, Paul Godin, and Vince Premus.

Answer to today’s problem: 1.Bxe5+! dxe5 2.Nf6 Bxf6 2.gxf6 Rg8 3.Rd8 winning as there is no defense to 4.Qg7 mate

Chris Chase can be reached at BostonGlobeChessNotes@gmail.com.
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