Chess notes

The 51st Biel (Switzerland) International Chess Festival (www.BielChessFestival.ch) has ended. Long a mainstay on the European festival circuit, it features among many events including a tournament for physicians and a Fischer Random event, but the premier event is the grandmaster invitational. This year’s invitees were world champion Magnus Carlsen, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Peter Svidler, David Navara, and local player Nico Georgiadis. It was double-round robin at classical time controls. At the end, two things can clearly be stated: Mamedyarov is a new man, winning the event by an impressive 1.5 points and Carlsen is in a clear slump.

Mamedyarov played solid chess, losing none and winning five. Carlsen, on the other hand, started out well with two wins but then he could only draw games, seven in a row to be exact. Then he found himself playing Mamedyarov in the penultimate round a point down in the standings and thus needing a win to catch up. The game was a disaster for the champ, as he was playing just to survive, not win, for most of the game. Then when he was close to drawing, he blundered terribly and lost. That was a bit of shocker as the last time Mamedyarov had beaten Carlsen was way back in 2008. Anyway, Carlsen ended up in second. We will have to see if his issues continue, and if so, that’s good news for Fabiano Caruana in the forthcoming World Championship match.

Brandeis grad and Bay Area native Sam Shankland has taken another step into the world’s elite with an invitation to the ninth Danzhou Super GM tournament in China. It’s an eight-player round-robin with classical time controls. After five rounds, Shankland is in third with a 2.5/5 score.


Andover’s Carissa Yip’s summer of excellent play continues with a third-place finish in the Denker Tournament of High School Champions in Middleton, Wisc. The Denker is played alongside US Open every year. It should be noted that this year’s US Open is its 119th. New Hampshire’s, Hal Terrie is playing for the 36th time in a row. For active players, he stands second to Californian James Mennella, who is playing in his 40th. The record for all players (active or not) is Arthur Bisguier’s 51, all according to Hal.


Coming events:Aug. 18-20, 48th Continental Open, Host Hotel at Cedar Lake, 366 Main St, Sturbridge, www.ChessTour.com/cono18.htm

Recent results: 23rd Bradley Open (177 players), Open: 1st-2nd: Mathew Larsen, Michael Isakov, 4.5/5; U2100: 1st: Jack Cheng, 4.5/5; U1800: 1st: Winslow Renderer, 5/5; U1500: 1st – 2nd: Dennis Wigg, Aiden Teitelman, 4.5/5;

Answer to today’s problem: 1.e6+! Kf6 2.Nc6+ Kxe6 3.Nd8+ Kd6 4.Be5+ Kc5 5.Ne6#

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