Best of the Web: Week 19

Hi everyone,

I hope the first few weeks of 2014 have treated you well, and that you have been working on your chess-related New Year resolutions!

Let's start this week with Magnus Carlsen's most recent accomplishment: defeating Bill Gates on TV in 9 glorious moves played over the course of 79 seconds. You can find a short article and a video on Chessbase: "Carlsen mates Bill Gates in 79 seconds"!

On a more serious note, I would like to mention "Contractgate?" (Chessbase coined the term, not me!). Some of you might be aware that Garry Kasparov is a candidate to become FIDE's next president. In order to summarize what happened over the last few months as quickly and accurately as possible, let's just say that there has been some tension between Mr. Kasparov's supporters and the team of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who has been president of the FIDE since 1995 and is running again for the 2014 election. Recently, Mr. Kasparov was accused of bribing a man by the name of Ignatius Leong in order to win some votes. As a reply, Mr. Kasparov has just made his contract with Mr. Leong fully public (as well as other legal documents), and has encouraged Mr. Ilyumzhinov's team to do the same with their contracts. It will be very interesting to follow this affair in the coming weeks. The link above gives access to a ChessBase, at the end of which you can find some links to the legal documents I mentioned.

One of the year's biggest tournaments ended recently. The Tata Steel tournament, held in Wijk aan Zee in the Netherlands, usually attracts the cream of the crop of 2700+ Grandmasters. This year featured some notable absentees, since Carlsen, Anand, and Kramnik were not playing. It was still an exciting affair, with Levon Aronian winning the Masters section with 8/11 (+6 =4 -1). He had actually already won after round 10, and lost the last round to Loek Van Wely! You can find English coverage on Chessbase, and the Francophones might enjoy the coverage provided by Europe-Échecs.

See you soon!