Chess: The final round of the highly anticipated Hans Niemann saga in St. Louis on Wednesday | Chess | So Good News


Hans Niemann will be tested by three of the top 10 grandmasters next week when the 19-year-old, who has been publicly branded a cheat by world champion Magnus Carlsen, takes on the American elite at the $250,000 US Championship. Louis has his first round (13) on Wednesday.

Niemann will return to the “chess center” after impressing Carlsen a few weeks ago by defeating the Norwegian in the third round of the Sinquefield Cup.

The manner and circumstances of the result, a particularly rare defeat for Carlsen, ended the Norwegian’s 53-match unbeaten run with a fine white piece against his lowest-ranked opponent, which came under scrutiny after the world champion outclassed him in his own game. post on Monday night.

“During our game, I had the impression that he was not tense, even in critical positions, he could not fully focus on the game, and at the same time I think that a black player can do, I think, few players,” Carlsen said. “This game helped change my perspective.”

Carlsen’s assessment contradicts the commentators’ general view of a game that was marred by errors and inaccuracies on both sides, with Niemann missing clear opportunities to win and Carlsen missing several opportunities to tie or make victory difficult. Alexander Grischuk from Russia summed it up: “Their game was not suspicious. Niemann played average and Carlsen played poorly.”

A world champion can be played without tension, as Jonathan Penrose’s reaction to his famous victory over Mikhail Tal in 1960, describing the experience as feeling like Essex v Middlesex County.

One of the spectators watching the game and players broadcast live from St. Louis was Tim Harding, Dublin historian and leading expert on 19th-century British chess. Harding wrote on the English Chess Forum: “I watched a lot of interviews with Hans during and after the game. I haven’t seen anything to suggest that Hans is doing anything to dissuade Magnus, or to suggest that Hans suspects Magnus of cheating on him. I’ve seen Niemann play well, but not perfect (as the commentators have shown at several points) and Magnus play poorly and get angry at the end.’

Carlsen’s prime example may not be convincing, but major GMs have generally sided with him. Fabiano Caruana, the 2018 world champion and former world No. 2, said he had personal experience with an acquitted cheater: “I don’t think there’s any doubt that he cheated and he got away with it.” Caruana described the key steps in one of Niemann’s 2022 victories as “fishy” and “strange”.

Chess 3835
3835: Alexander Donchenko v Emre Jan, Fagernes, Norway 2022. How did White win?

Current world No. 5 and five-time US champion Hikaru Nakamura will not compete in St. Louis next week, but made it clear to his million-plus Twitch followers that he doesn’t trust Niemann.

Ian Nepomniacci, the 2022 Challenger winner and current world No.3, revealed his doubts about Niemann’s erratic form before his strong start at the Sinquefield Cup. “It’s interesting for me to have two not-so-great performances in a row and then come some great players,” he said. “I don’t think Hans was the cleanest person in online chess,” said world No. 10 Levon Aronian, who will make his US Championship debut next week.

Thus, five of the world’s top ten were critical of Niemann, while the other five did not comment significantly. Hard evidence is lacking, but it still represents a crisis of confidence. What happens at the U.S. Championship, which features a strong field of emerging talent as well as a trio of top 10 players in the world, could determine how Niemann fares in the future at top-tier tournaments. It ranks eighth out of 14.

St. Louis organizers, aware that their championship will be watched with interest by chess fans and international media from around the world, issued a pre-tournament statement that emphasized anti-cheat mechanisms: “We look forward to another successful event. Strict protocols to ensure that the country’s best chess players can continue to compete on a level playing field.

The game starts at 19:00 every day from October 5 to October 19, with a playoff if necessary on October 20, and can be watched live online.

Last week’s opening in Nova Gorica, Slovenia was a double success for the English talent. 22-year-old Matthew Wadsworth, fresh off his Masters in economics from Cambridge and now aiming to become a grandmaster, won at 7/9, his third tournament in a row.

13-year-old Shreyas Royal won his second International Masters norm (three required for the title). Royal’s recent figures have soared, his tournament rating is a personal best of 2535 and he is now in contention to break David Howell’s 2007 record as the youngest English GM at 16 years and a month.

Royal’s journey to the top was greatly aided by the support of Tata Consultancy Services IT, a part of the chess best known Tata Group as a sponsor of the ‘Chess Wimbledon’ held in Wijk en Zee, Netherlands.

England’s Bodhana proved the least to lose to Sivanan, who tied with India’s Charvi Anilkumar at 9.5/11 but missed out on the gold by half a point in the third tiebreak at the Under-8 Girls’ World Championships in Batumi, Georgia.

The Harrow State School pupil, who has previously been in the column and will still not be eight in 2023, is England’s leading under-11 girl despite not having a masters-level coach.

3835 1 Rxe6+! Kxe6 2 Re1+ Kf5 3 Qa5+! (stronger than 3 Qxd7+ when White has only a small edge) and Black Kf4 4 g3+ and resigns due to his next move.


Source link