2021 FIDE World Cup and Women’s World Cup

The biannual FIDE World Cup ended last week in Sochi, Russia. For the first time, there was a concurrent Women’s World Cup as well, which ended a couple of days before that.   How Does It Work? Imagine an elimination bracket of 256 players, sorted strictly by rating from highest to lowest. They are paired

My Arbiter Journey: End of the Beginning

Prospective arbiters — read this! For everyone else, it may not be that exciting… Rekindled Ambition As recently as two years ago, I did not think I would pursue becoming a FIDE Arbiter or International Arbiter. I did pass a FIDE Arbiter seminar in 2010, and worked a few tournaments as a Deputy Arbiter in

The Levon Aronian Transfer: My Thoughts

Levon Aronian from ARM to STL!? When I first saw the chess24 tweet with news that Levon Aronian will switch federations from Armenia to USA, I seriously thought it was an April Fool’s Day joke! Then I realized it’s only February 26… Holy Crap. Of all top players, I never expected to see Aronian transfer from

Which Chess Opening Move is Best? Part 3

In Part 1, we discussed 1.e4. Part 2 was all about 1.d4. Now it’s time to talk about the so-called Flank Openings. Since I have discussed 1.c4 previously, I’ll focus on other moves, starting with…   1.Nf3 — Definitely NOT for keeping things simple Unless you are married to 1.e4 until death-do-you-part, opening with 1.Nf3

No Playoffs for Round Robins!

Why do we need them? I’m not necessarily against mathematical tiebreaks for Swiss-System tournaments, especially scholastic events with trophies. For decades and longer, a high-level round robin would be held over multiple weeks, and at the end one or more players would emerge with the highest score. End of event. Only when indivisible prizes were

Which Chess Opening Move is Best? Part 2

In Part 1, we discussed 1.e4. I opined that the King Pawn universe is not for everyone. That begs the question: What About the Closed Openings? This is a much broader topic, because it includes basically everything except 1.e4! Still, there’s an obvious place to start. 1.d4 — Have it Your Way Generally, you’ll prefer

Which Chess Opening Move is Best? Part 1

Should I Open with 1.e4, 1.d4, or something else as White? Not surprisingly, the short answer is “it depends.” Let’s dig deeper. First, there is one thing you certainly should not do. Don’t play offbeat moves (1.b3, 1.b4, 1.f4, 1.Nc3, etc.)  just to avoid theory. I’ve touched on this before. Only use moves like this

Norway Chess 2020

Supertournaments Return Over-the-Board Altibox Norway Chess will be held from October 5-16, 2020; the latest edition of the Norwegian supertournament held in Stavanger since 2013. It will also be the first major over-the-board tournament since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Magnus Carlsen has only won two of the seven editions of his home tournament