BOTW: 2017.12.15

Karjakin - Nakamura in the Blitz Championship semi-final, Jeremy Silman annotating games played by four Canadians, and whatever is becoming of Alexandra Botez... are this week's Best of the Web. Speed Chess Championship: Nakamura vs Karjakin
Dec. 16, 2017. (9am Pacific, noon EST)

Hikaru Nakamura and Sergey Karjakin meet in the semi-final of the 2017 Speed Chess Championship.

The winner plays defending Champion Magnus Carlsen, who beat Alexander Grischuk 15.5 - 10.5 in the other semi-final.

The format for the matches is 3 hours of online play, broken into four formats:

  1. 90 minutes of 5+2 blitz, 
  2. 60 minutes of 3+2 blitz,
  3. 30 minutes of 1+1 bullet,
  4. one chess960 game in each time control. 
Nakamura is the favourite in the bullet portion, but Karjakin gives nothing away in the other time controls, and his patience and ability to hold passive positions might turn out to be the resourceful but risk-seeking Nakamura's kryptonite. 
Live Games (commentary by IM Danny Rensch and ...? could be GM Eric Hansen or GM Robert Hess)

Jeremy Silman annotates three games by four Canadians

IM Jeremy Silman is the author of "How to Reassess Your Chess" and "Silman's Endgame Course", both of which are excellent and aimed at getting class players up to and beyond expert level. 

Silman also writes a regular column on where he answers readers' questions. His most recent post includes analysis of three games by "Animaul7", who is Canadian junior Anthony Maulucci. All three games were played at the 2017 Aurora Fall Open. His opponents are: Mark Plotkin (2343), Sam Marin (2125), and Dorian Kang (2017). Silman's notes to the Nimzo pawn structure in the Marin game are particularly detailed.

Alexandra Botez on "Planet of the Apps"

Canadian expert Alexandra Botez plays a lot less chess than she did before university, though she does occasionally stream online games (hand and brain), news summaries on, and appeared as an alumna at the 2017 Susan Polgar Foundation Girl's Invitational.

She's graduated from Stanford -- where she was the first-ever female president of the chess club -- and is developing an app called "Crowdamp", which is designed to help social-media taste-makers interact with their followers more efficiently and more directly. 

Planet of the Apps is an online reality show similar to Dragon's Den and Shark Tank: hopeful entrepreneurs pitch a product idea to experts -- here, it's Jessica Alba,, Gwyneth Paltrow and Gary Vaynerchuk -- hoping that one of them will like it enough to mentor them before they do a second pitch to potential investors. The title comes from the fact that all of the pitches are about apps: smart phone applications. It's produced by Apple and can be seen on Apple Music, and elsewhere. 

Alexandra and her codeveloper Ruben Meyer pitch their app during episode 7, which you can watch on Apple Music, or by following the link below.

times: (when Alexandra and Ruben are on) 

  • 12:40 - Introduction
  • 13:21 - initial pitch
  • 28:33 - meet with mentor team
  • 40:50 - investors pitch (screencap above)
Note: there will be popups and/or redirects from the link below -- that's how they pay for their bandwidth. I use a popup blocker, but there are still a couple of redirects. Just keep clicking or double-clicking.