Added on 11/20/2017

This week we wrap up our coverage of the St. Louis Showdowns with a look in at the World Champ, and we check out action from the early going in the Palma de Mallorca Grand Prix.

Magnus Carlsen won his match in convincing fashion over Ding Liren by a score of 67-25.  I don’t know how exactly the weighted scoring system worked, but they contested 4 games at g/30, 6 at g/20, 8 at g/10, and 12 at g/5.  30 games seems like a lot to me; even spread out over a few days, there would have to be some mental fatigue facing the same opponent in so many games.  Carlsen clearly seemed to wear down his opponent.  Frankly, I don’t think the games were too exciting.  They had lots of maneuvering with Carlsen usually taking control late.  Black scored extremely well; by my count 13 wins to 5.  Openings certainly weren’t a factor, but endgames were…particularly how fast you can play them.  I’d like to have a look at what I think was the most exciting game of the match, though it was highly flawed at the end.  Is all that blundering entertaining, or is it better to have increments and let them show their mettle?  Let’s see what game 8 of the 5-minute session says about all that.

The Palma de Mallorca Grand Prix is underway, in the typical small Swiss system format of 18 players and 9 rounds.  The first four rounds are complete going into today’s recording, and World Cup Champion Levon Aronian leads with 3 points.  He scored a nice victory over Anish Giri which shows why he is such a special player.    

Hikaru Nakamura, fresh off his marathon match in St. Louis is among the chasing pack at 2.5 after beating Teimour Radjabov.  Nakamura used some interesting strategy, especially one eye-catching move which made this a must-see game for the Recap.

Finally, Ding Liren has recovered from his travels and produced a gem against Ernesto Inarkiev.   Download HERE the PGN file with Joel's annotations.   Next week we will see how it all turned out.  That does it for this week. GM Joel Benjamin