Broadstairs  2½     Woodnesborough  1½

1. Paul Carfrae   (131) 0-1    John Thorley (122)
2. John Couzens (118) ½-½    David Erwee (108)
3. Bob Cronin (112) 1-0    Brian Rodwell (98)
4. Andy Flood   (111) 1-0    Roy Dawson (72)

Andy Flood writes:

And so a successful season came to an end for Broadstairs, the undefeated Hargreaves Shield Champions 2015/16. No more busting for the Gullbuster who had to settle for a draw. Houdini didn’t manage an escape losing on Board 1. First to finish Broadstairs Bob ended the season undefeated with a convincing win on Board 3 and yours truly managed to finish off a stubborn opponent to secure a 2½ – 1½ win for Broadstairs in a very close overall match against the anticipated runners-up Woodnesborough.

Regular visitTeam China 2ors to this site may be wondering what is happening with the new stars of chess, the Chinese, whom we have featured from time to time. Well, the latest FIDE list has just been published and China has three players in the top twenty, second only to Russia: Ding Liren (9), Li Chao (15) and Yu Yangyi (20). Where is Wei Yi, you may ask? Well, he comes in at 39 behind three more Chinese players so he still has some ground to make up. Time is on his side, however. Recently, he represented his country in the Asian Nations Cup (Wei Yi third from left in the team photo) where he had mixed fortunes as did his team which could only finish second to India. However, he managed to fit in one classic king hunt typical of his style in the round 3 match against Vietnam.

White:  Wei Yi (2714)          Black: Thien Hai Dao (2481)

Asian Nations Cup (Dubai) 2016  

 Black resigns

This year’s Chess Grand Tour will have a slightly different appearance after it was announced in January that Norway was pulling out of the three-venue competition. The London Chess Classic and the Sinquefield Cup continue as before and the organisers have acted quickly to find alternatives, and rapid and blitz tournaments in Paris and Brussels have been added to the tour.   Unfortunately,  World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, has decided not to play in London or St Louis in order to prepare for his title defence in November although he will play in Paris and Brussels. The most notable absentee from all four tournaments is Sergey Karjakin, Carlsen’s title challenger. Otherwise, nine of the top ten players in the world will play in all four tournaments.

1 Vladimir Kramnik 2801 Russia
2 Fabiano Caruana 2787 USA
3 Anish Giri 2798 Netherlands
4 Hikaru Nakamura 2787 USA
5 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2785 France
6 Levon Aronian 2792 Armenia
7 Veselin Topalov 2780 Bulgaria
8 Wesley So 2773 USA
9 Viswanathan Anand 2784 India


Each tournament can pick one wild card. The London organisers have yet to decide, St. Louis have picked the Chinese number one, Ding Liren, while Brussels and Paris chose Magnus Carlsen. The tour kicks off with the rapid and blitz tournaments in Paris from June 7th-13th.

Bank holidays often provide fairly quiet evenings for those chess clubs that meet on Mondays.  Last night’s turnout of six was par for the course and with nothing arranged, it seemed a good idea to look through a few games from the recently-completed Moscow Candidates tournament.  We were fortunate in being able to analyse the decisive final game between Sergey Karjakin and Fabiano Caruana (see report below) two days before it appeared in the papers. David then suggested that we could play a mini-tournament between the six of us with all playing all and ten minutes each on the clock. Reg, Richard and the two Michaels were given a two-point handicap bonus because of their grades and this made it a close contest that was only decided with the last match between the Michaels. Michael Doyle was a worthy winner not just because he achieved the highest score but also because he beat David fair and square in their contest.  It was an enjoyable evening and possibly something we might repeat on bank holidays in the future when few games are arranged.

RB MD DF MJ BP RP H’cap Points
Richard Bowles x 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
Michael Doyle 1 x 1 1 0 1 2 6
David Faldon 1 0 x 1 1 1 0 4
Michael Jenkinson 1 0 0 x 0 1 2 4
Bob Page 1 1 0 1 x 1 0 4
Reg Pidduck 1 0 0 0 0 x 2 3

Karjakin CaruanaThe Moscow Candidates Tournament concluded this afternoon with a fitting climax. By chance, Sergey Karjakin and Fabiano Caruana, the two leading players in this seemingly endless all-play-all competition, were drawn against each other in the final round to decide who would challenge Magnus Carlsen for the World Championship.

Your correspondent’s choice from the start was Caruana, a solid player who does not lose very often and who has a good recent record against Karjakin in classical chess. Karjakin, though, had the advantage of the white pieces and the tie break rules dictated that if both players finished on the same score – which they would if the game were drawn – then after checking the results between the two players (they drew their first game), the second tie break decider would be the number of games won, which would favour Karjakin.  Victory for either player would win the tournament.

White:  Sergey Karjakin (2760)          Black: Fabiano Caruana (2794)

World Championship Candidates (Moscow) 2016  Game 14

 Black resigns

Congratulations to Sergey Karjakin whose inspired 37th move was worthy of winning any competition.  He now goes on to meet Carlsen in New York in a 12-game match in November where he may need a few more moments of inspiration like this one if he is to triumph.  After I had trumpeted the rise of the Chinese in recent months, a Russian (albeit Ukranian-born!) shows that they are not dead yet.