BOTW: 2019.01.22

Gibraltar, the PRO League match between Montreal and Saint Louis, and the last rounds of TATA Steel are this week's Best of the Web...


Gibraltar International Chess Festival
January 22-31, 2019

The Gibraltar Festival contiues to attact a world-class field: 14 players over 2700, and 38 players over 2600. This year, top players include MVL, defending champion Lev Aronian, Wesley So, Yu Yangyi, as well as former tournament winners Hikaru Nakamura, Vassily Ivancuk, and Nigel Short.

Somehow Gibraltar keeps a relaxed feel that encourages top players to do live postmortems and interviews after every round, in addition to "Masterclasses" and fun side events like the "Battle of the Sexes" game (a team rapid match on a jumbo board with the players running to make their moves), so there is much more to watch than live games.

Unusually, there are no Canadians entered -- Spraggett was previously listed, but does not appear on the up-to-date list.



Live Games with commentary by GM Simon Williams and WGM Jovanka Houska, and interviews by IM Tania Sachdev

PRO League Week 3

The Professional Rapid Online (PRO) Chess League features 32 teams play in four RR divisions, each round playing one other team of four in a Schevenningen format (a RR against everyone on the other team) at 15min + 2 sec per game. 

The third round goes Monday and Tuesday this week. The top match will be Tuesday starting at 4:30 EST and sees the two league leaders Montreal Chessbrahs playing the Saint Louis Arch Bishops.

Montreal Chessbrahs

  1. GM Ivan Saric
  2. GM Eric Hansen
  3. IM Shiyam Thavandiran
  4. FM Shawn Rodrigue-Lemieux

St Louis Arch Bishops

  1. GM Fabiano Caruana
  2. GM Wesley So
  3. GM Cemil Ali Marandi
  4. Josh Bloomer (officially "1887", but 2300+ USCF)

After two rounds, Saric leads the league with a perfect 8/8, with Hansen just behind with 7.5/8. Caruana and So each have 7/8.

Other players active this week: Hikaru Nakamura (from his hotel at the Gibraltar Open, as are Saric and So), Wan Hao, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk.


TATA continues

TATA Steel continues to January 27, 2019.

After 9 of 13 rounds, Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi and Vishy Anand (49-years old!) lead with 6/9, with Nepo having the easiest games remaining.


There are several options for watching live games with titled commentary:

  • IMs Anna Rudolf & Lawrence Trent are the hosts on the official site and on the twitch feed. They're onsite, with video and player interviews.
  • GMs Peter Svidler & Jan Gustafsson do commentary on chess24, but only for premium members.