Added on 2/26/2018

This week I’ll feature games from the cutthroat competition in the Aeroflot Open in Moscow, as well as a look at a more convivial competition on the Emerald Isle.

Open tournaments will always produce an upstart somewhere along the way.  Eesha Karavade is not an up and comer at age thirty, but the start for the Indian WGM/IM was quite remarkable.  With two wins and two draws against 2600 level players, she found herself among the early leaders.  Here’s how she scored the point in the fourth round, against a grandmaster from Kazakhstan.

IM Eesha Karavade

Eesha cooled off later, but even two losses left her performing at a GM norm clip. In another game from round four we see a tactical flourish from a placid-looking position, and a wrongly executed combination producing the wrong result.  Both players are 20-year-old grandmasters; White recently took first at the Rilton Cup. 

Vladislav Artemiev looked strong through five after taking down the Moldovan veteran Victor Bologan.  Bologan played too ambitiously in the opening and found himself in deep trouble early.

GM Victor Bologan

But Artemiev met his match in round six in the name of Dmitry Kovalev, who took over first place with 5/6.  Vladimir Fedoseev, who has shown great strength but destructive stubbornness recently, is having a rough time after suffering a brutal loss to Iranian M. Amin Tabatabaei.

Amin Tabatabaei, Iranian IM (b. 2001)

The 17-year-Old IM has a huge rating at 2577 and is poised to make a name for himself.  It should be noted, however, that he started the tournament with a loss… to Eesha Karavade, of all people. I’ll let you all know how the tournament concludes in next week’s show.  



GM Gawain "Verdenotte" Jones

Meanwhile, let’s shift gears to a tournament with a small prize fund that nevertheless attracts more than its share of grandmasters year to year.  The Bunratty Festival crams together a lot of rounds in one weekend, but because the fast games are not FIDE rated strong players aren’t risking anything and are happy to spend a few days at one of the most social tournaments in the world. I’ve been there more than once, and I highly recommend going there to down a few pints and play a few games, though preferably not at the same time. Nigel Short, Sergey Tiviakov, and Gawain Jones are among the GMs on hand.  Jones survived a barn-burner in round three against a man quite noted for his organization these days, Malcolm Pein.  Pein tried to inflict some with some creative and aggressive play but could not quite close the deal. A focused Malcolm Pein at the Bunratty Chess Festival

 GM Joel Benjamin