Best of the Web returns!

Hello everyone,

I apologize for the long delay since my last post, I've been extremely busy recently. Fortunately, I have a few nice articles coming your way today!

Let's kick-off with the World Blitz and Rapid Championship taking place in Dubai. The last rounds of rapid will be played today, and with two rounds to go, there are several players who have a chance to win, including Carlsen, Caruana, and Anand who have all scored 9.5/13. It should be an exciting finish! The blitz tournament starts tomorrow. You can find the official website here, and follow the games live on ChessBomb!

Are you a 1.e4 or a 1.d4 player? In either case, or even if you play the Grob (1.g4!), you might find the following article interesting: e4 or d4? The author goes over some arguments for and against each of the two opening choices. Did you know that in World Championship matches since 2000, 1.d4 has lead to approximately 7 times more victories for white than 1.e4?!

Next up, a very nice article titled "The archæology of chess positions", by Dr. Christian Hesse. The article focuses on the well-known forking ability of the knight, with fun tactical problems that get harder and harder as you go along. A nice tactics training session in perspective, especially if you try solving them all the way!  

Finally, an interview with former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik. He grew up in a family of artists, and thinks that if it weren't for chess, he would have become a musician or a painter. You will also be pleased to know that he doesn't consider himself a genius! One thing that surprises me in this interview is that Kramnik describes himself as a not-so-competitive person, in contrast to characters such as Magnus Carlsen or Garry Kasparov. I thought you had to be hyper-competitive to reach the top!

See you soon!