The first stage of the 2017 FIDE World Chess Grand Prix in UAE, the Women’s World Championship in Tehran, the 15th Aeroflot Open in Moscow, and the Winter Invitational in Saint Louis are in this week’s underwhelming Best of the Web.
2017 FIDE World Chess Grand Prix
February 18-28, 2017
The first of four Grand Prix tournaments that are part of the qualification for the 2018 FIDE Candidates Tournament. The other three are: Moscow (May), Geneva (July) and Palma de Mallorca (November). A total of 24 players have qualified for the Grand Prix series, each one will play in 3 of the 4 events.
It is a 14-player nine-round swiss, featuring:
- Maxime Vachier-Lagrave …..2796
- Levon Aronian …..2785
- Hikaru Nakamura …..2785
- Shakhriyar Mamedyarov …..2766
- Ding Liren …..2760
- Pavel Eljanov …..2759
- Michael Adams …..2751
- Ian Nepomniachtchi …..2749
- Alexander Grischuk …..2742
- Li Chao …..2720
- Evgeny Tomashevsky …..2711
- Dmitry Jakovenko …..2709
- Francisco Vallejo Pons …..2709
- Richard Rapport …..2692
- Alexander Riazantsev …..2671
- Salem Saleh …..2656
- Hou Yifan …..2651
- Jon Ludvig Hammer …..2628
The mix of top-10s and others should make for more interesting (and decisive) games. Of the lesser-known players: Riazantsev is the 2016 Russian Champion and European Rapid Champion. Salem Saleh is a GM from the UAE — he was actually born in Sharajah — who regularly produces very exciting attacking games.
The fact that it is a swiss, means that the players do not know who they will play until the night before the game.
Live commentary is available only by subscription from Agon, but you can find the postmortem videos on YouTube.
Women’s World Championship
February 10 – March 5, 2017.
Continues in Tehran.
Play has reached the quarter-finals. 3 of the 7 Chinese women remain, including top seed Ju Wenjun, and tournament surprise Ni Shiqun (2399) who has eliminated Valentina Gunina and 2014 finalist Natalija Pogonina. Of the 11 Russian women who qualified, only former Women’s World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk remains.
All rounds start at 3pm local time, 6:30 am EST.
February 21 – March 1, 2017
The 15th Aeroflot Open begins this week in Moscow. It has 5 players over 2700 and 41 players over 2600; Yu Yangyi (2738) is the top seed.
Saint Louis Winter Invitational
February 16-21, 2017.
Two 10-player RRs in GM-norm and IM-norm-generating fields. In the previous Invitational, Canadian FM Lefong Hua scored an IM Norm (see: http://chess.ca/newsfeed/node/915). Not this time: after 6 rounds he is at 2/6. US players Justus Williams and Joel Banawan lead the IM group with 5.5/7.
Source: Canadian Chess