David Howell picked up a rare England victory in a top international competition this week when the three-time British champion won chess.com’s weekly Titled Tuesday. The Sussex, 31, had just returned from Warsaw, where they had performed well in World Rapid with 8/13, but fainted in World Blitz with 10/21.
Titled Tuesday is free to all titled Fide players, up to 2200 ranked Masters candidates, and regularly attracts hundreds of entries, who play an 11-round Swiss with a time limit of three minutes per game plus a second increment. .
This week’s seeds were blitz No.1 and five-time United States champion Hikaru Nakamura, as well as Russians Ian Nepomniachtchi and Alexander Grischuk. Nakamura is the most prolific winner of Titled Tuesday and has competed despite still being stranded in Warsaw after testing positive and withdrawing from the World Blitz.
Howell’s most astute move on Tuesday turned out to be his unintentional third round loss to a foreigner, creating for himself a “Swiss bet” where a player is behind the field in points but benefits from weaker opponents while that its rivals are twinned.
The crunch came in the final round where Howell met No.5 seed Jeffery Xiong in a sharp Scottish match where Black chose the ambitious 12â¦ Qd6? instead of the safe 12â¦ f6. The queen seemed active but Harry the h pawn and a white rook trapped him in just six hits and Howell was quick to end the game. His web alias is howitzer14, and he’s believed to be the first ever English winner of all years of Titled Tuesday, which started as a monthly event in 2014 and has since grown into a weekly.
It’s been an unusual week for Nigel Short, who last month was in hospital with coronavirus and Tweet a selfie from his hospital bed with the caption: âHello everyone. How is your day?”
This week, Short felt recovered enough to accept an invitation to the Vergani Cup in Cattolica, Italy (Beniamino Vergani is best known for finishing 22nd and last with 3/21 in the 1895 Hastings Grand Tournament). The challenger’s uncertain start to the 1993 world title could have been much worse: in the second round, he neglected a tactic and lost to 14-year-old Lorenzo Candian, escaping only because the cell phone of the The teenager rang, triggering an automatic fault under Fide Tournament Rules.
Back at the European Union Championship in 2008 in Liverpool, Short himself dropped a point on his mobile. He turned it off at the start of the game and put it on the table in full view of his opponent, Keti Arakhamia-Grant, but the low battery warning canceled the off state.
The next round at Cattolica was better and Short won the point when his opponent, under pressure from both position and the clock on move 36, missed that he could shoot by Kg8 or Kf5 and instead lost. the head.
Another victory came in the sixth round on Thursday, which, despite some inaccuracies, was played in the simple yet elegant style of Short’s best years. As a result, he jumped in a multiple tie for second place on 4.5 / 6, behind Iranian No.2 Amin Tatatabaei on 5/6.
Ahead of his seventh round game on Friday, Short tweeted, “This tournament is an experiment to find out if I have brain fog.” His energetic offensive victory over 10-time Greek champion Vasilios Kotronias was anything but an indicator of long Covid as the 56-year-old’s coins pounded the exposed White King, although Short missed the possible brilliant 24 final. ..Qxf2 + 25 Re2 Bf8! 26 Rxf2? Sib4 companion. Kotronias is Greece’s best known player and Short’s home is in Athens, so it was an important victory.
The final two laps will be tested as, with the seventh round still incomplete, Short is likely to be tied at six for the lead on 5.5 / 7. The eighth round, starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday, and the ninth round, at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, should be interesting to watch, especially for English chess fans.
Hastings is canceled, the London Classic did not have an Open, next weekend’s 4NCL League weekend is postponed and the other 2,600 English Grandmasters have been inactive in major competitions. It sounds like an echo of a century ago, in the 1920s, when Bradford bank clerk Fred Yates and badminton baronet Sir George Thomas were virtually alone as regulars on the European tournament circuit.
In the last Titled Tuesday, GM Gawain Jones (VerdeNotte round), who is doing normally well, retired after starting with 1/4; and if not, there were only two MIs and a CM from England. Still, Titled Tuesday is clearly an invaluable free training tool for some of the world’s fastest rising stars. It has been suggested that English players don’t like the event due to it starting at 6 p.m. GMT and ending late at night, but time zone issues are far more important for Russian GMs and MIs. and Asians, who compete in large numbers.
It should be possible to encourage many more titled English players to participate in Titled Tuesday. ECF Prize for the best scores of English juniors and players, groups for which the national federation has dedicated funds; a requirement that the more than 2,600 GMs should participate in the event as part of their preparation for the Olympics and European Team Championships; top-ranked under 2,600 rewards – some or all might work. There would also be a ripple effect as strong players without Fide titles would be incentivized to qualify for them.
In the near or distant future, when Covid-19 is a distant memory, there will be better alternatives for strong English players than an online masters tournament. But for now, Titled Tuesday is an inexpensive, available, and useful experiment that the ECF should be doing a lot more to support. If the event had existed in the 1970s, the golden English generation would have pounced on it.
New Fast Sprint World Champion Nodirbek Abdusattorov helped hone skills that beat Carlsen et al by attending Titled Tuesday almost weekly for many months. This week, the 17-year-old was honored in Uzbekistan with a cash prize of â¬ 20,000 and the key to a two-room apartment, at a ceremony held at the National Olympic Committee in Tashkent.
3797: 1 Nxf4! Rxf4 2 Rd3 (stop Bd4) Bh4 (planning Bf2) 3 g3 +! Bxg3 4 Ke2 (stops Bf2) Bh2 5 Kf1! (stops Bg1) and the queens of pawn a5.