TWIC is very good at keeping up to date with the latest tournaments on calendars, but there are some that are still missed. From now on, at the beginning of each month, I’ll include a list of up and coming tournaments that you should keep an eye out on. This will be mainly Top GM games but occasionally will be interesting tournaments.
May 3-14 Capablanca Memorial, Cuba
In Havana the Capablanca Memorial starts today. Of most interest to fans, as always, will be the games of Vassily ‘Chucky’ Ivanchuk. This is his first tournament since February, an unusually long break for a player who simply loves chess. Chucky is perhaps the most talented chess player ever but suffers from terrible nerves. Joining him in this double round robin are local GMs Lenier Dominguez Perez (2725) and Yuniesky Quesada Perez (2625). Young GMs Ian Nepomniachtchi (2716) and Viktor Laznicka (2693) are also competing, while the line-up is completed by last year’s European Champion Vladimir Potkin (2645). He hasn’t had a great year since then but he proved he can play very well and has a deep theoretical knowledge – no doubt enhanced by seconding Nepomniachtchi.
May 5-7 4NCL Rounds 9,10,11 Hinckley Island
The final rounds of the English Chess League. Last year Pride and Prejudice managed to win the title with 7GMs and 1 IM in the final round they beat their closest rivals Wood Green Hilsmark (8GMs) 6-2.
How the league works is that there are 3 Divisions (although the third is split into North and South) of which are each divided into two groups. The top four in each group go into the promotion pool while the bottom four of each fight to avoid relegation.
Here is the Championship Pool, the final 3 rounds are being played over this May Bank Holiday weekend.
May 9-16 Sigeman & Co Chess, Sweden
The 20th edition of the Siegeman and Co chess tournament features the strongest line up in it’s history. Fabiano Caruana, Peter Leko, Li Chao, Anish Giri, Emanuel Berg, Hans Tikkannes and Jonny Hector will play in a round robin event. Featuring 3 2700+ as well as Giri who is 2693 . There is also live commentary by Ulf Andersson (Berta on ICC and the only Grandmaster I have ever beaten and only at 1 minute) from rounds 1-3 and Stellan Brynell will take over for the remaining 4 games.
May 8-20 US Championships, Saint Louis.
The patron of US Chess Rex Sinquefield has once again organised a very strong event. This year the Championships is being played as a round robin with all of America’s top GMs participating. There’s an impressive prize fund with a bonus of $64000 going to anyone who can replicate Fischer’s 100 percent score in the 1963-64 Championships. The big favourites are Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky.
May 10-31 World Championship Match, Moscow
The match up between the World Champion and his experienced challenger must be the highlight of the year for chess fans. Anand must be heavy favourite to hang onto his title despite disappointing results for the past year. However Gelfand is sure to fight hard. 12 games is nowhere near enough games for a World Championship match and one slip up by either player will be very costly. Gawain will be commentating on ChessFM on ICC together with Dave Smerdon on May 15th and May 17thfor rounds four and five. Let’s hope for two interesting games!
May 24-28 21st Annual Chicago Open
This American Open offers a pretty impressive prize fund and I’ve heard some strange things about the playing conditions
You can listen to your iPod (or equivalent) whilst playing
Players in one tournament, can be playing at different times, different rounds and play different numbers of rounds
You can enter the tournament, then drop out, then re-enter again.