Analyze This

Mikhail Botvinnik, legendary world champion and a pioneer of computer chess, once said “chess is the art of analysis.” Indeed, anyone who plays the game long enough will see that it is a sempiternal exercise in examination and re-examination. By examining one’s own games and those of other players and masters, you can begin to see patterns or discover better moves. Quality analysis and the ability to analyze are essential for any player to grow and become a strong competitor. And now with incredible advancements in technology and the seemingly endless amount of options and platforms to find digital chess analysis, there is an unprecedented amount of information available. So, considering all the information above, where do you start?

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If you are newer to the game, the best analysis would be a one on one with a coach or an experienced player. While having a computer program analyze your game has many advantages, it is a bit too much information for someone new to the game and will not help you develop the same way a human can. Much like a soccer coach watching video after a game and going over it with their team, a trained and experienced eye can spot mistakes or opportunities you may otherwise overlook. For instance, when I first started playing my coach noted that I was very inconsistent with developing my minor pieces early in the game. By doing this I was giving away tempi and crippling my attack. This observation would not be noted if I simply used a computer to show blunders and best moves. The best way I can put it is that a human can give you a unique perspective and develop you into a well-rounded player, a computer will build upon this foundation and present other opportunities.
Another way that a coach can help your development is by analyzing well-known games or educational ones with you. My coach recommended analyzing some of Jose Capablanca’s games, games that exemplified what topic or idea he was trying to share with me at that time. I analyzed these games on my own, playing them out on a board then on a computer with and without an analysis engine running. Lastly, my coach and I went over a game together. This comprehensive, well-rounded analysis not only improved my understanding of some core concepts my coach was trying to teach through the game, but also helped my board memory, gave me some new ideas in certain situations, and boosted my confidence in my ability to analyze games. This exercise helped establish a foundation I still use today and will continue to use throughout my career.
Once you have learned how to analyze a game, you could and really should analyze any games you find interesting whether they be yours or someone else’s. First, play through the game a few times on your own to see the flow. Look for any ideas that jump out at you or anything you find noteworthy. This part of the game is a bit of homework, so you really must keep a notebook handy. A fun exercise is to guess the move then compare your decision to that of the other player. When you do this, ask “why was that move picked?” “why that move instead of this one?” “how would I respond to that move?”. This type of methodical and deliberate examination and study will develop your awareness and your understanding even further.
A very popular and tremendously productive way to analyze your play is with an engine. From top level players like Vishy Anand to club players, this is a common practice and in today’s competitive environment, an absolute necessity. The number of engines out there and the millions of games recorded is staggering. Do you want to see what your favorite player’s most successful opening is? It’s there. What percentage of games with the c4 “English” opening, on average, end with a win for white? That information is there too. Computer analysis can be a double-edged sword for the inexperienced or unguided, however. Without a sound understanding of the games fundamentals and mechanics, you can easily fall down a rabbit hole and be quickly misdirected. Personally, I suggest holding off on computer analysis until it is recommended to you by your coach or a trusted, experienced player. Used in conjunction with coaching and guidance, this technology is indeed a very powerful analytical tool that will certainly bring your play to the next level.
So where should you begin? To get started, pick a game, any game. This game can be one of your own or just one your find interesting. I strongly recommend you play through it a few times on a board, preferably one with algebraic coordinates to make following or adjusting notation easier. The reason I recommend a board is the distinct view and feel you gain. You can walk around the board or view it from angles that you cannot from a static 2d board. It may sound silly, but I gain much perspective this way and find it notably more productive than just playing on my laptop. If available, walk through the match a few times with another player or a coach. This can bring up some dialogue or showcase ideas you may not have reached on your own. For as much time as we spend buried in our phones, books, or computers, chess is after all a social game and one that generates conversation.

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Once you have played through the match a few times from both sides of the board, either create or load up a PGN of the game.

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I use chess.com and its powerful Stockfish engine to analyze games. This one tool offers so much information it is without equal on many levels. 1. You can see what advantage is to whom with a basic black and white bar, essentially a tug of war. 2. You can see what moves are most commonly played and what their outcomes are. You can explore other options for certain situations or identify blunders. In the example below, I have highlighted these features on move 7 of a recent game. I am playing as black here. You can see I have a 1.64 advantage (shows as -1.64 when you are playing as black). You can also see a few moves and what advantage they would gain or leave.

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I hope you now see the options available to you and feel inspired to dive in and analyze this beautiful game. There has truly never been a better time to be a chess player with all the resources and powerful tools available, many for free. A great option I truly cannot recommend enough is a high-quality analysis right here on Chess^Summit. Our dedicated and skilled team will give you an expert analysis to help you develop absolutely free.

https://chesssummit.com/category/free-game-analysis/

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Losing in Chess

My costliest defeat was against GM Dmitry Gurevich at the North American Open (NAO) in 2006. And I realized that was the case after I scanned through the cross-table one last time after I resigned.

As I marked the result, I realized a draw could have gotten me a great U2450 prize and a spot to the U.S. Championship, and a win would gave me the outright first U2450. But all the ‘could haves’ turned into a painful loss.

I had a great year in 2006. Winning the Georgia State Championship and a few other tournaments in Atlanta. I also got my peak rating at 2347.

At the end of the year, I played at the NAO again, my favorite tourney, at least result wise. My first GM scalp was against the late Walter Browne at NAO. I’ve also won the U2300/2450 prize in the Open section twice.

This time, things continued to go my way. After getting a good start, I was paired against Dmitry in the last round. I had a draw and a loss against him before, but this is the first time I got the white piece.

I played my favorite opening, Sozin, and got a position I wanted. I was attacking, putting pressures constantly.

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In the position above, 28. Rxe7 would have netted a perpetual check, and here is the complete game with the above mentioned variation.

The game continued, Dmitry found a way to trade queens to limit my attack. But I still got a good endgame position.

As we approach the first time control, my old headache of time trouble kicked in. This is the problem of INDECISIVENESS, and I’ll have much more to say about this topic in another post.

I knew I could have traded the bishop and go for 3 pawns against 3 pawns on the opposite sides. For some reason, I dismissed it.

Then, he had a powerful pin on my bishop, and things started to go from bad to worse until the end where he had three pawns against my double a-pawns, when I resigned.

That was it.

At the time, I didn’t think too much, but after I stopped playing chess, this game often crossed my mind while dealing with missed opportunities.

The reason I like chess and many other games is that no matter how bad a defeat was, I know I can ALWAYS start a new game.

Onto the next journey!

Chess^Summit is Looking for a New Resident Author

Ever wanted to talk about chess on an established web platform? Here’s your chance! Chess^Summit is looking for a passionate and talented author to contribute insights regularly (bi-weekly).

About Us:

Resident Authors Beilin, Alice, and Isaac at the 2016 World Open in Philadelphia

Chess^Summit is a unique online project (chesssummit.com), designed to help chess players discuss their goals while sharing their step-by-step progress on an online forum. Since the site’s conception in 2014, Chess^Summit has had over 66,000 article reads worldwide and has been recognized by the United States Chess Federation, Chess Club Live, and many other organizations for its ability to constantly publish creative content.

By featuring non-titled players on the site, Chess^Summit is able to consistently make relatable articles and videos for amateur players and connect with players from around the world differently than mainstream chess websites.

Responsibilities:
– Create interesting and fun bi-weekly chess-related content for readers (articles, videos, etc)
– Publish content through WordPress (can be learned on the job)
– Maintain a social media presence (Facebook, Twitter) and promote your own Chess^Summit articles (at a minimum)

Requirements:
– Access to Internet and a Computer
– Understanding of chess, chess notation, and terminology
– Willingness to work with Chess^Summit team

Beilin with Grant at the 2016 PA State Championships. Grant is now the 3-time defending state champion

Remarks and Benefits:
While the Chess^Summit Resident Author is not a paid position, we aim to help budding chess reporters build a brand and public profile while creating unique chess content. Our authors have landed paid opportunities and recognition from ChessOpeningsExplained, the Perpetual Chess Podcast, the United States Chess Federation, and ChessBase – thanks to their work for Chess^Summit.

Feel like you have a lot to share on Chess^Summit? Fill out our application and see if you have what it takes to become the next member of the Chess^Summit team!

Through My Eyes: Opening Night at the Sorensen Memorial

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Don’t be fooled! Evan Park, the youngest player in the field, recently broke 2000 after only two years of tournament play!

In my experience, Pittsburgh is one of the most dangerous cities to play chess. Unlike other metropolitan areas, Pittsburgh isn’t dominated by young talent, but rather a class of well-seasoned veterans, consistently underrated yet somehow consistently over-performing. Opening innovation isn’t enough to win against these guys – everything needs to go perfectly. Hotbeds for chess around the city like the Pittsburgh Chess Club continuously pair the city’s best against each other, making a logjam in the chase for rating points. Want to boost that rating in the Steel City? Good luck!

That brings us to the 20th Fred Sorensen Memorial. A Tuesday night ladder at the Pittsburgh Chess Club, this event marks the first litmus test to see who’s playing well going into the fall. With college players returning from the summer to Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, it’s more important now more than ever to be in form.

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I got a chance to use my camera for the first time since the St Louis Rapid and Blitz. How could I pass that?

Where was I in all this? Frustratingly enough, my course load this semester has forced me to keep my eyes off the chess board, and I’ve decided to sideline myself for a few weeks from tournament play until my school schedule becomes more manageable. Somehow that found me to be a tournament director of this event, and thus the inspiration of this project. Knowing that I have played a vast majority of players in the field, I’m hoping that with these tournament reports I can share my insights throughout the event, as well as give a glimpse as to why chess in Pittsburgh is so strong.

And with that hefty introduction, let’s take a look at some chess!

Statement Wins

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Nabil chose the Benko Gambit and was rewarded with a nice win

These ladders can be long. With the tournament lasting six weeks, I’ve always believed that momentum is the key to winning. For the strongest players in the field, that means showing their class and effortlessly moving into the second round unscathed on opening night.

Easier said than done! Even with the top players paired against the bottom half of the field, that still pitted roughly 1800 rated players against National Masters. Who would put up resistance?

Second seed NM Nabil Feliachi arguably had the best win of the day:

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Overlie–Feliachi, Black to Move

Unaware of the of the impending attack, Finn chose 1. f4? to kick Black’s knight off of e5. However, after Nabil chucked 1…c4!, White must have realized he was lost! The game continued 2. Qe1 Nd3 3. Qg3 f6 4. bxc4 Qf2+! (click here for web player), and with the trapped bishop on g5, Nabil won material and the game.

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Melih had to push a small advantage from the opening to get the point

Nabil wasn’t alone in producing a masterclass win. Chip Kraft launched his e-pawn and busted Black in a Catalan, and the youngest (Evan Park) as well as one of the oldest (Vassil Prokhov) competitors both cruised to nice tactical finishes. Candidate Master Melih Özbek (Congrats on the recent PhD) met some resistance early, but methodically earned his point.

Overcoming the First Test

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Paul’s adventure into main line 1 d4 paid off with a good result to start the ladder

Of course, winning every game with ease is unrealistic, and there were a fair number of close calls on opening night. Having played in this field several times, I must admit that has more to do with the growing strength and resilience of the 1300-1600 rated players in Pittsburgh. There have been quite a few events here where I’ve felt that a win against a 1400 was much harder to come by than a win against an opponent 400 points stronger! They simply aren’t afraid to play slightly worse positions.

Playing Black, National Master Franklin Chen had to take some risks to get an advantage from a symmetrical pawn structure to win. Paul Cantalupo (who I played recently) got an advantage early, but couldn’t convert his attack and had to settle for a draw, a result which proved to be the only upset of the day.

That being said, no one danced on a knife’s edge more than Michael Kostyak who managed to convert the following position:

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Sasson–Kostyak, position after 34…Qg5?

Playing for the 500 point upset, Ivry plopped a quick tactic on the board: 35. Qf8+ Kh5 36. g4+ Kh4 37. gxf5. Thinking he had won a piece, Ivry was in for Caissa’s worst lesson when Michael played 37… Kh3!!, prompting immediate resignation.

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Sasson–Kostyak, position after 37…Kh3!!

White cannot stop mate on both g1 and g2, and thus the game was over. Even worse was that 37. Qg8! was the winning blow White needed to win the game. Chess is truly a cruel game.

Battle on Board 1

The top seed and my Pittsburgh Chess League teammate, Kevin Carl, had the toughest pairing of the night in his match-up with Walter Kennedy. Walter is a solid player, and at his best, is a much stronger player than what his 1800 rating suggests.

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Deep in thought

Kevin ventured into the Catalan, and opted to give Black hanging pawns. All seemed to be in the balance until he dropped the howler 19. Qb2?, offering Black a tactical shot:

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Carl–Kennedy, position after 19. Qb2?

As he told me after the game, he immediately realized that he had missed the undermining move, 19…g5!, winning a piece. Luckily for him, Black continued with 19…Rfe8, and after an immediate 20. Nd3, the position returned to rough equality and the plot progressed.

Black actually had built a slight edge when Kevin played 26. Qf5:

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In what proved to be the critical moment, the game turned on its head when Walter essayed the move 26…Qe7? allowing 27. Rxd4! g6 28. Qh3, dropping a pawn thanks to the pressure on c8.

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White stood better from here on.

26…Ne4! could have proven to be something here, as Kevin would have to combat the knight’s route to c3. Black had his chance.

With the pawn center collapsed, Black fell apart, thanks to some good technique from White. Miss your chances against these top players, and you don’t give yourself a chance to win.

On to Round 2

With the first round in the books, eight players opened the Fred Sorensen Memorial with a win, meaning that the tournament’s toughest games start this Tuesday! A lot of interesting games this round, and certainly a lot more to be looking forward to. Hard to say if anyone stands out as the clear favorite after this round, but that’s why there are six!

I’ll be posting the next report in two weeks, following the conclusion of Round 3!

Isaac Talks Chess^Summit Sweepstakes!

I am really excited about the 2017 FIDE World Cup. As you know, the Chess^Summit World Cup Sweepstakes is open and comes to a close on Sunday, September 3rd. There are a lot of really cool prizes up for grabs – Chessable memberships, ChessOpeningsExplained memberships, free lessons, and so much more!

In this video, I give you an insider look into Chessable and ChessOpeningsExplained, as well as what my thoughts are on the World Cup. Anyone else have Peter Svidler making a repeat appearance in the final? Enjoy!

Chess^Summit World Cup Sweepstakes!

It’s that time of year, as the 2017 FIDE World Cup in Tbilisi, Georgia is just days away! This edition of the 128 single elimination playoff is the strongest ever, and the two finalists will earn coveted spots in the 2018 Candidates Tournament. With so much on the line, we decided to join in with the Chess^Summit World Cup Sweepstakes! Luckily enough, you all can play along and win some cool prizes along the way!
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At 2799, Caruana is #5 in the world rankings. How far do you have him going?

This particular edition of the World Cup is historic, as reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen has decided to join the fray, making him the first reigning champion to compete in a World Cup in recent memory. Can he make it to the final? Perhaps – he has a tough road – Svidler, Wojtaszek, Vacier-Lagrave, and Grischuk are potentially all in his way… just to get to the semifinal! The competition is brutal, but this time you get to tell us if you think the Norwegian has what it takes.

There are other big questions: Does Anand earn one of the two Candidates spots in Tblisi? Which of the fifteen juniors goes the farthest? Who will be the strongest American finisher in the World Cup? Earn your spot on our leaderboard to win memberships to up-and-coming chess websites, lessons, and more!
Take your time to learn the bracket – you can count on a lot of surprises!

How to Play

Enter the sweepstakes through the link below. We will be raffling away some prizes throughout the World Cup, so make sure to send us your contact information so we know how to contact you if you win a prize.
There are 24 points on the line – with each question you answer correctly, you score more points. Some questions are worth more than others, so answer wisely! Players that finish the World Cup points will win prizes – it’s that simple!

Prizes

How could we have a sweepstakes and not have amazing prizes? We reached out to some up-and-coming chess platforms from around the web, and we have some great prizes for you. Remember, we will be raffling some of these prizes, so don’t be shy and send us your submission!

Chessable

monkeyToRightYou may have heard of Chessable, but it’s the online tool the cool kids use to get better at chess, so now’s your chance to catch up! The site offers an interactive platform to learn openings, and now one of the best places on the internet to learn theoretical endgames thanks to it’s partnership with New in Chess. International Master John Bartholomew and David Kramaley, the founders of Chessable, have offered up five PRO memberships and five copies of John Bartholomew’s book on the Scandinavian to the lucky winners of our Sweepstakes. We will be raffling away one of each, so don’t miss out!

Here’s a quick video John made this video on his Youtube Channel, talking about the new endgames enhancement that just came out on Chessable:

ChessOpeningsExplained

ChessOpeningsExplainedGrowing up with chess.com, I grew up with videos from Grandmaster Eugene Perelshteyn! Luckily enough, GM Perelshteyn has started his own website, ChessOpeningsExplained with his recommended opening repertoire. One of the better kept internet chess secrets, ChessOpeningsExplained offers an easy-to-use site where you can ask GM Perelshteyn directly about any opening questions you may have! GM Perelshteyn, a past guest author here on Chess^Summit, has offered full-access memberships to ChessOpeningsExplained! These prizes will be distributed in our raffle, as well as to some of our top finishers in the sweepstakes!

Here’s the most recent ChessOpeningsExplained video, about the Jobava Attack, which Daniel Naroditsky played against Eugene Perelshteyn at the recent Washington International.

International Master Kostya Kavutskiy

photo.jpgThe last time we heard from Kostya was back in April for the Reykjavik Open when he smashed his competition with an unbelievable 6th place finish! Since making daily tournament videos with me in Iceland, International Master Kostya Kavutskiy has been working on the Grandmaster title, but has also been teaching along the way. In this sweepstakes, Kostya has offered up a free 30 minute lesson to a lucky winner and one personalized game analysis! Both of these prizes will be offered up in our raffle, so don’t miss out on a chance to work with a professional player, coach, and author!

Check out Kostya’s video from his most recent Chess University course on Positional Sacrifices:

International Master David Brodsky

2400.4David is no stranger to Chess^Summit – in fact he’s been an author for us since last October! Since joining with us, David’s earned the International Master title, and shared a lot about his personal experiences and chess improvement.

We hear a lot about rapidly improving youngsters in chess, but have you ever gotten a chance to play one? David has offered a 30 minute blitz session with him for a lucky winner in our sweepstakes. David is the third strongest 14 year old in the United States – do you have what it takes to take down the International Master from New York?

Candidate Master Isaac Steincamp

Hi there! Yeah, this is me – how else could I resist joining in on the fun? I’m offering a private game analysis, complete with annotations and opening recommendations in our raffle. I’ve written some Free Game Analysis posts in the past, but this time my analysis will go even more in depth to help you find problems in your game. Outside of my quest to make National Master, I’ve always had a passion for coaching. Here’s your chance to work with me!

Here’s my most recent video for ChessOpeningsExplained:

Want to offer a prize? It’s still not to late! E-mail us at chess.summit@gmail.com to let us know!

With so many prizes at stake, this is not a sweepstakes to miss! Make sure to send in your submission before 6:59 AM EST on September 3rd, when clocks start in Tbilisi. This is going to be a fun World Cup, and we’re excited to celebrate one of the best chess traditions in style!

A Weekend with the Best: The St. Louis Rapid and Blitz

St Louis has been on my bucket list for years. Why wouldn’t it be? The now-famous chess club, tucked in the Central West End, plays host to a myriad of world-class chess events every year: the US Chess Championships, the Sinquefield Cup, and this past week, the St Louis Rapid and Blitz. I don’t think I could have picked a better first time to make the trip.

While the field lacked the likes of reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen and Sinquefield Cup winner Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, a certain former World Champion’s return after a twelve-year absence captured the international spotlight and attention of chess fans worldwide. It was truly something else.

The Race Is On

Kasparov’s return to chess was not easy, and it wasn’t until the last day of the tournament when he finally found his form. When it was all said and done, the former World Champion finished a half point out of a tie for 5th place. That dreaded loss to Navara in the rapid really did his undoing this tournament…

I, like many others, had picked Kasparov to place well (I even thought second place was realistic!), but the lofty expectations proved too much. Kasparov started with a lackluster score in the rapid at -2,  much of which can be attributed to massive pressure to perform and his long absence from tournament chess. He had some interesting games along the way, but to the dismay of the spectators, never posed a threat to the tournament.

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Levon getting ready for his match up with David Navara Friday morning.

I arrived in St. Louis right after the rapid games finished, and with eighteen rounds of blitz left, Levon Aronian had established himself as the front-runner with a two point lead. Could he score par? At 12.5/18, he held on to his lead throughout the blitz, but came to a close scare when Sergey Karjakin scored an undefeated 8/9 on the first day, and started the second with 1. b3 and won against Kasparov.

Of all the players in the field, it was the tail-ender that proved the most important, as Czech Grandmaster David Navara dealt a surprising blow to Levon Aronian in round 11 of the blitz from a drawn ending to bring the margin to 1 point between first and second place. The narrative almost seemed set, the race between Sergey Karjakin and Levon Aronian was on! The 2016 World Championship Challenger had won seven straight and had a lot of momentum.

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David Navara proved to be an important player in the St Louis story, despite finishing last in the standings.

But streaks stop at seven in St. Louis. Navara pulled another upset, this time as Black against Karjakin, while Aronian put together a win against Le Quang Liem. The Armenian’s lead was back up to 2, and with only six rounds left, his tournament chances were never in doubt. He secured his Grand Chess Tour tournament win with a draw against Kasparov with two rounds to spare.

Karjakin’s setback against Navara meant the end of his tournament winning chances, but still had work to do after Hikaru Nakamura beat him late to keep the two in a dogfight at the top of the table. With Nakamura beating Caruana in the last round, the American secured a tie for second alongside his Russian rival at a score of 21.5/36.

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I got a photo with Nakamura after his win against Caruana! Photo Credit: Eric Rosen

A Day in St Louis

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The crowd before the first round on Friday!

Being a reporter for the St Louis Rapid and Blitz meant also a lot of behind-the-scenes work and amusing stories as well. Given Kasparov’s return to chess, hundreds of chess fans made the trek to the Gateway City, meaning that at times it could be difficult to watch games during a given round.

I distinctly remember getting stuck behind Peter Doggers before the final day’s opening round. Wanting to see if Karjakin could beat Kasparov, it felt like I was standing behind an eight foot tall giant! I don’t think I remember ever feeling so short…

Even with so many spectators, the atmosphere was great, and I even found myself playing in a few side events along the way. It’s one thing to hear about St Louis Chess, it’s another thing to actually be there. In reporting for Chess^Summit, I felt really lucky to interview some of the players, and be invited to the closing ceremony.

I put together a vlog to recreate the last day of the Rapid and Blitz, as well as a small tour of the Chess Campus in St Louis:

Ultimate Moves

With all this excitement, my stay in St Louis was hardly over, as the famous Sinquefield Brawl, Ultimate Moves, followed after the tournament. Even though the players were exhausted, it felt like they (particularly Garry) took the event even more seriously.

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Garry watching over Ruifeng Li’s seven-year old sister, Rachel, take on former NFL lineman John Urschel.

I’m not going to lie, the tournament room was hot, as an unprecedented number of fans came to watch Garry one last time. I was one of the first people in the playing hall, but finding a good spot to take photos from still wasn’t easy. If you couldn’t tell during the broadcast, people were that excited to watch the former World Champ – even if it was only five moves at a time! You’re going to need your Where’s Waldo skills to find me in the crowd:

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Eric and I had to be creative to find spots to take photos… Can you find us?

This event was a blast to watch, as all the players were encouraged to smack-talk during the games. Even David Navara, the nicest guy in the room, joined in on the fun: “It’s not nice to beat your children!”

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What was that opening?

Team Rex got the better of Team Randy in a tiebreaker, as Randy made his dad’s staple move in the end and promoted illegally to lose the match. Even if the level of chess wasn’t super high, it was a lot of fun watching the players come together and root for the amateurs. You don’t see this kind of stuff outside of St Louis…

Just in Time!

I had an extra day to spare in St Louis before visiting my parents in Richmond, which meant I was lucky enough to watch the eclipse from the path of totality! What a coincidence – this managed to be a popular discussion among spectators as the Rapid and Blitz came to a close, and with Eric skipping town early to drive south to watch the eclipse from Carbondale, I was on my own to try to get a peek before my flight home.

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Found the Arch! Photo Credit: Eric Rosen

Having spent the summer in Pittsburgh, and being solely in St Louis for the Rapid and Blitz, viewing the eclipse hadn’t even crossed my radar. No glasses, no special lenses for my camera, no idea of where to watch from.

As I finished my breakfast from the Kingside Diner, I was frantically calling local museums and zoos to try to find glasses, but to no luck! I had one hour before the eclipse started and if I wasn’t careful, my eyes were going to melt out of my face (right?)! Luckily enough, I managed to befriend a nurse who just finished her shift at the local hospital and was also looking for glasses, and we managed to find glasses at the St Louis Cardinals’ stadium in Downtown and was able to watch the eclipse from there.

Wow. I didn’t have the right lenses to take a photo of the eclipse, as you can see, it was amazing how quickly things got dark. I don’t think I’ll ever see something like this again, and I’m even luckier that everything came together so nicely in the last minute.

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Busch Stadium seconds before the eclipse – remember, it was 1:17PM here!

As Kasparov said during the closing ceremony, “Miracles happen in St Louis”, and that’s certainly what this week was. Will Kasparov ever make a comeback? I have a hunch it will be before 2024.