Legends of Chess Final Results

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

The fourth event in the Magnus Carlsen tour has finally come to an end. In the semifinals Carlsen defeated Peter Svidler, by winning the first two games. Ian Nepomniachtchi won the first game of the semifinals against Anish Giri, but then lost the second game. However, in the third and final game, Nepomniachtchi managed to take home the win and move on to the finals.

Nepomniachtchi lost two consecutive games against Carlsen allowing Carlsen to take home his third win out of the first four events in his tour.

Due to the Global Pandemic the World Chess Championship was canceled for the time being. This prompted Carlsen to initiate his world tour by creating the Carlsen invitational which is the first professional online chess tournament according to Magnuscarlsen.com. From there Carlsen created a whole tour out of online events to compensate for the canceled tournaments.

Although Carlsen lost the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge and did not even place in the top three he has managed to win three times; three times more than the player with the second most tournament wins in the tour.

Carlsen has proven so far through his tour that he is the World Chess Champion, but perhaps in the Grand Final someone can finally defeat the reigning champion.

Sports Edition Continued: Athletes Who Are Chess Fanatics

By Eliana Bane, Marketing Intern

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar​ is a former NBA player. He played a total of 20
seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. He was
awarded ​NBA​ Most Valuable Player six times, was a 19-time NBA All-Star,
and was an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team Member. Abdul-Jabbar has
won six championships as a player and then two more championships as an
assistant coach. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was honored as one of the 50
Greatest Players in NBA history, in 1996. Abdul-Jabbar was an amazing
basketball player with a great mindset towards the game. However, basketball was not the only game he was interested in. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was an avid chess player.

I’m 2001, at a Bonnaroo Music Festival, Abdul-Jabbar was caught reading “Chess Tactics for Champions”.

“American tennis great Jack Kramer claimed: ‘To be a championship tennis player, you need the mind of a chess master and the endurance of a marathon runner.’”

Many tennis players also play the game of chess, including
former German former world No. 1 professional tennis star, Boris
Becker. Boris Becker won many titles in the Wimbledons, the
Australian Opens and the US Open. However, Becker’s skill does
not stop in tennis. He is an avid chess player as well. Becker was
taught how to play chess as a teenager, by his coach Günther
Bosch. Becker explains Bosch’s reasoning for teaching him
chess, “‘Gunther thought that I would expand my intellectual
awareness of structuring a point if I learnt to play chess,’ Becker
said. ‘Strategy is important in chess and tennis. In a one-on-one
situation it’s important to always remain one step ahead of your opponent.’”

Both of these players are well known athletes. Their interest in chess improves their game and develops skills they use when playing basketball and tennis.

Sports Star or Chess Star?

By Eliana Bane, Marketing Intern

Many know ​Klay Thompson​ for his athletic abilities. He is a three-time NBA champion with his team, the Golden State Warriors. He is a two-time All-NBA Third Team honoree, and a five-time NBA star. However, off the court, Klay Thompson possesses a strong interest in chess.

In 2018, the Warriors invited ​Magnus Carlsen​, ​the World Chess Champion, to a Western Conference Finals Game. The W​all Street Journal​ reported that after the game, Thompson took out his phone and showed Carlsen a game he was playing against his teammate, Andre Iguodala, and wanted new insights. The ​SFGate​ explains how Klay Thompson now has numerous chess sets, several chess games on his phone and a magnetic set to take on the road.

Thompson is intrigued by the game of chess. He enjoys the thoughtfulness and believes the technique and strategy can and will enhance his basketball game. The skill of forethought, taught in chess, is also used in Thompson’s basketball playing.

Lastly, when Thompson was interviewed about the “10 things Klay Thompson can’t live without,” by N​BC Sports​, he lists his chess board and says,

“T​his is the greatest fan gift I’ve ever received, and I’ve gotten the most use out of it. I was in China when this was gifted to me. I forgot the fan’s name, but if you’re watching this, I appreciate you bro.

“This has been giving me so much pleasure — especially on the road — for years. It’s got my Anta logo on there, which I thought was so cool. We’ve got the gold and silver set.

“Come holiday season, this chessboard sees the most action of the year. We have the family tournament. My dad thinks he’s nice — I have to humble him every once in awhile. My little brother Trayce is real good, we always compete…”.

Chess is clearly very dear to Klay Thompson. He enjoys the game, competitiveness and skills he learns from it.

Legends of Chess

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

We are still four days away from the Legends of Chess Tournament, but the line up for the competitors just came out this past week. There are ten people in the tournament. Four of the competitors are the semi-finalists from the Chessable Masters tournament while the other six are legendary players who are a bit older then the other four.

One of the legends coming to play is Viswanathan Anand from India. He was the World Chess Champion until Carlsen took the title from him in 2013. Perhaps this will be Viswanathan’s chance to show the younger Grandmaster how a real legend plays.

 

Vladimir Kramnik is representing Russia along with his two younger competitors: Ian Nepomniachtchi and Peter Svidler. Kramnik was also a former world chess champion up until 2007 when Viswanathan took the title from him. Three former world chess champions are coming back together for a final showdown. However, Kramnik retired from being a professional chess player in the beginning of 2019 so he may not be able to compete with someone like Carlsen.

Vasyl Ivanchuck was once ranked the second best chess player in the world, only under Gary Kasparov. However,  Ivanchuck’s game has gone down in the past few years and he may find it difficult to keep up with the younger players.

It seems that all six older players have become legends. Their gameplay is no longer as good as it once was and they may find themselves in trouble in this tournament. However, players like Carlsen make mistakes and legendary chess players know how to capitalize on those mistakes. Although these players may not be as good as they once were, they are still some of the best players in the world today.

The Carlsen Chess Saga Continues

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

As Magnus Carlsen tours the world from his computer the rest of the world watches on. So far, three of the five tournaments have been completed and Carlsen just brought home his second win. The tour began with the Invitational where Carlsen placed in first. During the second part of the tour Carlsen did not do nearly as well. Hikaru Nakamura placed first in the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challange and Carlsen did not even manage to place in the top three. Although he is known as the best chess player in the world he is able to be beaten.

Fortunately for Carlsen he did much better in the Chessable Masters Tournament. Anish Giri, a Russian Grandmaster, played against the World Champion in the finals of the tournament. Giri became a Grandmaster at the age of 14 (in 2009) which made him the youngest grandmaster at the time.

The first round of the tournament began with 12 players where 4 of them were knocked out. Carlsen then defeated Fabiano Caruana before taking down Ding Liren in the semifinals.

In the finals Carlsen drew the first and third games, won the second game, and lost the fourth game. Each player had 3 points, so the Tournament came down to a tiebreaker challenge where the players played against each other in a game of blitz chess. The first blitz chess game ended in a tie. During the second game the players were disconnected and Carlsen lost two minutes on the clock. However, he managed to continue the game and defeat Giri in the tiebreaker.

Now with the Chessable Masters finished, Carlsen is looking forward to playing in the Legends of Chess tournament.  He has convinced Viswanathan Anand, a former world champion, to compete in the tournament. From there Carlsen will end his tour in August with one final tournament, the Grand Final.

The Legend: Bobby Fischer

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

Robert James Fischer was born in Chicago, Illinois, on March 9, 1943. Fischer’s mother, Regina, was homeless at the time when she gave birth to her son. She raised two children as a single mother. Fischer started learning chess when he was only six years old. Unfortunately no one in his family would play against him so he would play against himself.

Fischer was having a difficult time learning the game of chess as he needed a teacher. He met Carmine Nigro his first chess teacher. Nigro set up tournaments for Fischer to play in to hone his skills. After a few tournaments Fischer’s skills greatly improved. He had move up from an intermediate chess player to a master.

In 1956 Fischer won the US Junior Chess Championship. The following year Fischer went on to win the US Chess Championship becoming the youngest ever winner! His victory at the US Chess Championship made him the second best player in the world only behind Samuel Reshevsky. He worked closely with his second Bill Lombardy.

In 1972 Fischer went on to become the World Chess Champion. He played against Chess Champion Boris Spassky, a Russian. The game took place during the Cold War so it was also considered a win for America against the Soviet Union. When the next World Chess Championship came about Fischer forfeited his title as his conditions for the tournament were not met.

Fischer supposedly dropped out of the game of Chess and left America. In 2005 he finally moved to Iceland and was granted citizenship. During this he lost many of his friends and most of his money. In 1992 he had a rematch against Spassky and won taking home the $5 million dollar prize.

Fischer passed away in 2008 at the age of 64. Although he had many hardships in his life he is one of the greatest chess players ever. He is an inspiration for many younger chess players and is also one of the greatest American chess players if not the greatest.

The Chess Champion’s Defeat

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

We are going to take a look at the Lindores Abbey Rapid Tournament. The game we will be looking at is between Magnus Carlsen, playing as black, and Hikaru Nakamura, playing as white.

The game opens up with a Ruy Lopez, 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5. Here Nakamura moves his knight out to attack Carlsen’s pawn on e5. Carlsen fires back by protecting his pawn with his knight. Nakamura then moves out his bishop to B5 putting pressure on Carlsen’s knight, the sole defender of Carlsen’s pawn on e5.

Carlsen then moves a6 applying pressure to Nakamura’s Bishop and Nakamura pulls back with Ba4. Carlsen plays Nf6 and Nakamura Castles. Carlsen then plays Nxe4 taking Nakamura’s pawn. Nakamura follows up with d4. Nakamura is trying to open up the e file as Carlsen’s king is in the open while Nakamura’s own king is safe.

Eventually they get to this position and Nakmura moves c4 applying pressure on the d5 pawn. With the d5 pawn gone the black Knight on e4, which is holding center control, is no longer protected.

The game continues and we reach a unique position. According to chess commentator and chess Grandmaster, Simon Williams, Magnus then makes an error in his moves with Nb2.

Williams then mentions how great a game Hikaru plays after Magnus makes this move. The game progresses and the players trade queens at one point. Magnus takes the pawn on e5 with his rook and Hikaru follows up brilliantly with Rxa6. If Magnus plays Rxa6 in response Hikaru threatens checkmate because of his pawn on e6.

Unfortunately Magnus is unable to turn this position into a draw and after a few more moves he resigns. Even the best players make mistakes and that is how they learn. At Premier Chess’s camp, students are encouraged to look at the games they lost to learn from their mistakes and to play better next time. If you would like to learn more about our camp and how your child could become a better chess player please click here.

The Carlsen Invitational

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

When the World Chess Championship was cancelled many chess players were upset as the tournament happens every other year. Magnus Carlsen was looking forward to playing against the champion of the tournament. Unfortunately the tournament had to end due to the pandemic.

Carlsen decided to take some initiative by creating an online tournament open to only the most elite players. Eight of the strongest chess players in the world were going to compete for a $70,000 first prize.

Many chess events had to be cancelled due to Coronavirus so Carlsen was trying to make up for the cancellations. He called the event the Magnus Carlsen Invitational and it was the first online professional chess tournament. Carlsen faced down Hikaru Nakamura in the finals and took home the first place prize, while also keeping his title as World Chess Champion.

Chess is playable on an online platform and Carlsen has managed to pull in many wins. He is now  in the top ten sports earners for 2020, the first chess player to ever achieve such a feat.

While most sports are unable to be played online, chess is easily accessible on an online platform. Chess is also broadcasted online on Twitch. Click here and you can keep up with our events and US Chess National Master Evan Rabin’s online games.

Here are our upcoming events.

The 2020 World Championship Candidates Dilemma

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

Since 2014 the World Chess Championship has been held every other year. The winner of the 2020 tournament would compete against Magnus Carlsen, the current world champion, in a championship match. Since the pandemic started all sporting events have been canceled except for chess. The chess tournament at the time was likely the biggest sporting event! Radjabov, a Russian chess player was worried about the virus. He asked FIDE if they could possibly postpone the tournament due to the circumstances. His request was denied and he was replaced by Vachier-Lagrave.

Radjabov was worried about the virus. He felt that if he was sick he would not be able to concentrate as well and would not be able to play at his full potential. FIDE respected his decision, but he was then replaced by another player. Then on March 17 the Tournament began.

Unfortunately midway through the tournament Russia announced restrictions on air travel which was where the tournament was being held. FIDE had to scramble to get all the players out of Russia before the flight restrictions were put into place which they did successfully.

During the tournament many of the competitors complained about the atmosphere. They felt they could not play their best while the rest of the world was facing a pandemic.

Once the tournament was canceled for the time being due to the pandemic Radjabov’s situation came into question. He decided not to participate in the tournament due to the virus and FIDE ultimately canceled the tournament due to Covid-19. Its unclear what will happen with this situation, but there will surely be lawyers involved.

Even though people are distancing due to the pandemic you can still play chess online against anyone around the world. Other sports cannot be played online, but chess can which allows for this incredible game to grow right now. Check our Twitch channel for frequent lessons and playing commentary.

 

Upper West Side Activities With Guitar Guide Guru And Hands On Hoops

Mike, Evan and Michael met and became business partners. Premier Chess has linked up with many different people and Mike found his way onto our pathway around a year ago, just about right after he decided to switch from teaching guitar to make Guitar Guide Guru a full-time gig. On the other hand Michael has been teaching really young kids to play basketball, and recently ended up reaching out to us.

Mike who runs Guitar Guide Guru thinks that guitar made him a happier person and that’s the reason why he’s chosen to make it a career, after figuring out who he was and what he liked doing the most. Anybody can want to express themselves at one point or another in their life, and wanting to play some sort of instrument is pretty common. So what’s a better way for your kids, or your own self, to have a unique direction that guitar would grant you? To each his own, and playing music helped Mike to find a good direction, and to experience life without so much bitterness that one’s lack of interest in schools can withhold. After a while and looking back at it, it’s maybe not just fate that has brought together Guitar Guide Guru and Premier Chess, just as how Mike ended up working around the one instrument that he’s spent so much time playing with as a kid, but maybe positive circumstances and a lot of effort.

Basketball is great too, and that’s perhaps why Michael, from Hands On Hoops, decided to teach it to our youngest generations of young minds. Those transferable skills, that one can utilize later on, for his, or her own life, are what’s enabled us all to become more productive and happier member of our society and different communities. How were we supposed to understand what work, or fun were without experiencing both in a short amount of time? That’s what seems to be Michael’s philosophy with basketball. Why not having fun and learning how to understand both fundamentals and pivotal skills that will probably facilitate everybody’s life and make us a more successful and well articulated community?

If you want to experience what it’s like to meet us all at once, you should join us at Barnes and Nobles next Sunday, where each of us will be present sharing with you what’s our work like, and how you can also be apart of your child’s development into becoming a chess master. It will be on 2289 Broadway, NY 10024, and will start at 4 PM, just click here.

A Successful Partnership
Michael Deutsch, Mike Papapavlou and Evan Rabin