Sunday 26 March 2017

The World Champion Magnus Carlsen will have to defend his title in a match next year. That match is likely to be held in the US.

The World Champion Magnus Carlsen will have to defend his title in a match next year. That match is likely to be held in the US.

Carlsen's opponent will be determined in the FIDE Candidates tournament in Moscow next March. This event is sponsored by by Armenian billionaire Samvel Karapetyan. Six players have qualified to it - Veselian Topalov, Vishy Anand, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Sergey Karjakin and Peter Svidler. Armenian GM Levon Aronian is the sponsor's wildcard nominee.

The last spot will most likely go to Anish Giri because of his high rating. This should be a great tournament to follow as any of these eight players would be a worthy challenger for Carlsen.

*******

When learning the chess rules, the concept of stalemate is probably the trickiest one to grasp. Many young players feel that stalemate isn't fair, but in fact it made chess a much richer game.

The possibility of a stalemate gives a hope to a losing side and forces the winning side to exercise vigilance till the very end. The following endgame from a recent tournament in Berlin is a good example of this:

Schnabel - Prilleltensky

White is to play

White is winning very comfortably as he could choose between 43.Bxf8 and 43.Nf7+ Kh7 44.Qxf8. Alas, he chose the third way to capture the enemy bishop:

43.Qxf8??

That allowed Black to save the game with a clever trick:

43...Qh1+! 44.Kxh1 Draw

Sunday Independent

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