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Chess: Observing the Mating Patterns of King, Queens and Bishops.


A Horse Named Stranger
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Old thread was way past the 20 page mark. 

Anyway, was here to say, we have the official list for the Grand Prix.The wild cards went to: Daniil Dubov (Organizer) and Nakamura (FIDE).

I must admit Nakamura's wildcard caught me by surprise.

He hasn't played a tournament game since 2019 and has turned inactive on the Rating List. Apparently being an active and popular streamer is enough these days. :dunno:

Anyway full list of participants.

 Grigoriy OparinGrand Swiss (3rd)2681

 Yu Yangyi Grand Swiss (4th)2713

 Vincent KeymerGrand Swiss (5th)2664

 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave Grand Swiss (6th)2761

 Alexandr Predke Grand Swiss (7th)2682

 Alexei Shirov Grand Swiss (8th)2704

 Daniil Dubov Organizer's nominee2720

 Hikaru Nakamura Presidential nominee2736

 Ding Liren Rating list (3rd)2799

 Levon Aronian Rating list (6th)2772

 Anish Giri Rating list (7th)2772

 Wesley So Rating list (8th)2772

 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Rating list (9th)2767

 Alexander Grischuk Rating list (10th)2764

 Richárd Rapport Rating list (11th)2763

 Leinier Domínguez Rating list (15th)2752

 Nikita Vitiugov Rating list (19th)2731

 Wei YiRating list (21st)2729

 Dmitry Andreikin Rating list (23rd)2724

 Vladimir Fedoseev World Cup (4th)2704

 Vidit Gujrathi World Cup (5th-8th)2727

 Sam Shankland World Cup (5th-8th)2708

 Amin Tabatabaei World Cup (5th-8th)2643

 Étienne Bacrot World Cup (5th-8th)2642

Notable absentee: Anand

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7 hours ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

I must admit Nakamura's wildcard caught me by surprise.

He hasn't played a tournament game since 2019 and has turned inactive on the Rating List. Apparently being an active and popular streamer is enough these days. :dunno:

I think it's not so much the popularity as that he keeps winning the speed chess tournaments and to some extent also the rapid ones. He's competitive with anyone (including Carlsen and Firouzja) in the faster time controls so they wanted to see how well he can do in classical chess.

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He's a known quantity. So they don't really need to look at how he does. He's been an elite Blitz-player since the 2.000 or early 2010s (there was more or less an argument to be made who was best Blitz player then, him or Grischuk).

He was #2 on the rating list at some point with 2.800+. However even back then his fellow professionals didn't really rate him. When asked about Nakamura's chances to become WC, Kramnik (a bit dickish) response was something like this: sure, if all us retired.

Ok, Kramnik actually retired and went  off the deep end, but I think his assessment is still kinda valid. 

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Drama, drama, drama at the World Rapids.

Women section was relatively straightforward. Kosteniuk steamrolled through the tournament.

Open section was where the drama was hidden.

After the final round we had a four way tie.

Carlsen, Nepo, Caruana, and Abdusattorov each had 9.5/13

Alas, tie break rules only the top two get blitz it out for the title. Abdusattorov had the best tie break (Buchholz) of the pack heading into the final round, and he still had it after. Nepo marginally edged out Magnus. Caruana was out of the picture. Making his decission to enter a forced draw line rather quick with white pieces aganst Nepo rather absurd. Abusatorov misplayed the opening against Duda and held by some miracle. Carlsen tried to generate something against Naka, in the end he managed to get into drawish rook ending with a pawn up. He did what else does, push and grind,So and had a chance to win it. He missed it and Naka held the draw.

So now 17 y.o. Abdusattorov and Nepo will battle it out. And Carlsen is sorta fuming to not have a chance to play for the title.

And Abdusattorov crushed Nepo in the Blitz tie breaks and is the youngest World Rapid Champion in History. 60k in prize money. Congrats Nodir.

Edited by A Horse Named Stranger
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Was fun to watch. 

Norwegian TV felt rather sure Caruana didn't know the rules for the playoff, as he seemed in the interview to think that he still was looking good for a playoff spot if all games were drawn. Someone not really knowing the rules there, as he was never in the running for that.

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  • 1 month later...

So the the first leg of the Grand Prix series is over.

Nakamura beat Lev in the finals. Congratz to GM Hikaru deserved winner - altho, I was rooting for Levon.

But that was an organizational shitshow, with the Chinese players (Ding Liren and Wei Yi) both unable to obtain visas, thus defacto eliminating them from this cycle.

Next stop Belgrade.

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9 hours ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

So the the first leg of the Grand Prix series is over.

Nakamura beat Lev in the finals. Congratz to GM Hikaru deserved winner - altho, I was rooting for Levon.

But that was an organizational shitshow, with the Chinese players (Ding Liren and Wei Yi) both unable to obtain visas, thus defacto eliminating them from this cycle.

Next stop Belgrade.

Apparently his next stop is home in the US. He has a real job to get back to.

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17 hours ago, AverageGuy said:

Apparently his next stop is home in the US. He has a real job to get back to.

Not sure what his real job is.

But Nakamura isn't playing the Belgrade GP. He is playing the second Berlin GP. That's a month away. So him going back home makes sense for him.

Belgrade GP starts in 2 weeks. I doubt he would'Ve flown back to the US, if he were to play there. 

Players in Belgrade:

Group A             Group B            Group C                Group D

Grischuk            Giri                     Rapport               Mamedyarov

Andreikin           Vitiugov             Vidit                     MVL

Shankland         Harikrishna        Fedoseev            Yu Yangyi

Bacrot               Tabatabaei        Shirov                  Predke

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  • 4 weeks later...

Richard Rapport just beat Dmitry Andreikin in the final of the Belgrade GP, which (when combined with his semi-final place in the first Berlin GP) seems to put him in pretty good place to reach the Candidates. 

But Rapport's qualification is not guaranteed yet: there are six players left who've only played in one leg so far and at least reached a semi-final, and any one of them could match or overtake him after the second Berlin GP.  And -- for example -- if Nakamura reaches the final but loses to Andreikin, I believe that both of them would qualify ahead of Rapport (each would have a total of 23 GP points to Rapport's total of 20).

I'm pretty torn on who I want to qualify.  On the one hand, Nakamura hadn't played a rated game for two years before being handpicked by FIDE to take part, so him qualifying ahead of somebody like Giri or MVL would seem pretty unfair.  But on the other hand, it would be very funny.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, Rapport is in a good position now. 

However, Andreikin, Aronian and Nakamura are all playing in the second Berlin GP.

Nakamura losing a final against either should eliminate Rapport. Depending in which form Lev shows up, him outright winning a GP is certainly within the realms of the possible. However Rapport is in a relatively comfortable position right now. And for now, I am too lazy to look up the tie breakers and engage into hypotheticals, what happens if Giri or Dominguez win, and Nakamura gets knocked out in the semi-finals. 

Edited by A Horse Named Stranger
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  • 2 weeks later...

Rapport is now more or less safe.

Andreikin opted out of the second Berlin GP, and thus can't overtake him. Furthermore, Lev and Nakamura are in the same Group, thus only one of them can advance to the Semi-Finals.

Thus, only Nakamura or Aronian can ever outright overtake him.

The other players who might overtake him on tie breaks are Anish Giri and Leinier Dominguez. But for that to happen, things really have to work against Rapport.

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Yeah, I think Rapport must be safe now.

The other big recent development is that Karjakin looks to have been disqualified (I think he could technically still appeal, but that doesn't seem likely).   Apparently his place will be taken by whoever has the highest rating of the not-already qualified players who has also played at least 30 games since June 2021.

(The 'played at least 30 games' clause seems to be there just to stop the spot automatically going to Ding Liren.  Honestly, it seems to sit rather oddly with FIDE's gifting of a place in the Grand Prix to Nakamura, when he hadn't played any rated games in years.)

But I think the upshot is that Aronian is probably going to the Candidates too, one way or another.  He's up to #4 in the world now and Firouzja has of course already qualified. I don't think DIng Liren is going to play the 20-odd games he needs to before May 1st to qualify by rating, but I suppose he could if he really wanted to.

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I think there's a fair chance, that FIDE will waive the 30 game requirement, as Ding has really been shafted by the Visa restrictions. So he didn't get to play the GP series, and now he won't be eligible for the rating spot either. 

Nakamura is having a rough time in Berlin at the final Grand Prix. Lev beat him in round 1, today he felt already sufficiently pressured to play the KID, and was very close to losing his second game. -2 at the halfway point, would've pretty much ended his hope of making it to the semi-final. Alas, he managed to survive somehow and is still sorta in contention. But pretty much in a must win situation against Levon in the next round.

MVL, who also still have theoretical chances, is even more desperate to win.

Leinier is on course in his Group. Anish is also doing okayish, but he really need to win 1-2 games to advance to the semi-final.

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Posted (edited)

Regarding that Putin puppet.

Apparently Karjakin thinks about setting up a rival organization to FIDE.

He must be delusional if he thinks he can pull that one off. Kasparov could walk away from FIDE for two reasons. 

One he was clearly the strongest player around and thus had the marketing pull as the strongest player of all time to proclaim he didn't need FIDE, and two he was the reigning World Champion. 

Karjakin has none of those things going for him. Furthermore he is as marketable as genital herpes outside Russia atm. Even if all the Russian players were to follow him (big if, Dubov for instance would probably happily tell him to get fucked), that's not as big problem as it was. I mean, which Russian players are must have for top events?  Maybe Nepo. On top of that, the big events are organized outside FIDE anyway. And with them I could see them closing ranks and claim, anybody who joins Sergey's Chess Circus will be blacklisted for the foreseable future. 

Edited by A Horse Named Stranger
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FInal round of the Group stages in Berlin is gonna be super interesting.

Group A in particular.

Both Nakamura and Aronian have won their games today. Aronian's mauling of Esipenko was a brutal mauling. Too bad Naka also managed to beat Oparin. Either way, this group did not disappoint.

Group B has Dubov in drifting mode, and it's anyone's guess, whether Leinier Dominguez can keep his candidates hope alive. He is tied for the lead with Shak, Keymer is lying half a point behind on third place. He has a (slim) chance to advance to the semi-finals himself. If he beats Dominguez and Dubov beats Shak.

Group C MVL is more or less out of contention.

Group D is anyone's guess. All four players sit 2.5/5. Tabatabaei with a Houdini act against Yu Yangyi. He was absolutely busted and managed to escape by some miracle. IIRC tie breakers are head to head scores (level), and then number of decissive games (Tabatabei and Vitiugov are ahaed of the drawmaster Giri and Yu). That leaves Anish with a must win game against Tabatabaei, and then he has to hope, that Yu Yangyi doesn't lose his game against Vitiugov.

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And Levon lost and thus he is out. :bawl: Nakamura is better/close to winning in his game.

Keymer is winning against Dominguez. Thus Leinier is also on his way out.

Giri lost and is also out.

As things stand qualified for the candidates tournament through the GP route would be:

Nakamura and Rapport.

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Yeah, that's official now.  So the more interesting part of the Grand Prix's over already.

I feel rather sorry for Aronian, given how close he got.  Have to admit that it looks very unlikely that he'll be qualifying by rating either (despite my earlier guess).  Even if there's no special exemption made for him, Ding Liren has now  scheduled a lot of games over the next month and is already back up to number two in the world on the live rating list after winning the first few.  Specifically, he's more than 35 points clear of Aronian, so he'd have to have some unbelievably terrible results in April to let himself be overtaken.

At 39 years old, I really think this must have been Aronian's last chace to reach a world championship match.  Although looking at the rating list, I'm surprised at how (relatively) old everyone on it seems.  Other than Firouzja, Duda is the only player under 25 years old in the top twenty, and there are only three others in the top thirty.  Feels like a few years ago that was very different (mostly because it was the same people on the list a few years ago, I guess?).

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