Thursday, 3 November 2011

November in chess

November 1st
- The November FIDE rating lists were published. For the first time, there are four players with a published rating of 2800 or above, with Carlsen near his PB (of 2828) at 2826, Anand at 2811, Aronian at 2802 and Kramnik at 2800 (his first published rating of 2800 or over since January 2003).
There are 47 players rated 2700 or over, and about 175 players rated between 2600 and 2700.

  The top end of the (active) Australian list sees just a little bit of change, most notably the juniors Max Illingworth rising from 2358 to 2401 and James Morris from 2327 to 2364. Assuming they will also play in the Australian Championships at Geelong (Dec 27-Jan 8), the field looks to be quite strong, with Li Chao (!), Zhao, Xie, Johansen, Solomon, Ly, Ikeda, Cheng and Steadman (NZ) being the titled players already registered.

- The Category 4 Melbourne Club Cup Weekender concluded, with George Xie scoring an impressive 8.5/9, followed by Bobby Cheng 2nd on 7.5, and Morris, Solomon, Brown, Rujevic, Garner, Tan on 6.

November 3rd-11th
- The 18th European Team Championships kicks off in Greece. Although the biennial Olympiad is of course the most colourful competition on the chess calendar, this year has seen a wealth of strong team events, with the World Team Championships in July and the European Club Cup which concluded a month ago; not to mention the strong national leagues in Europe and Asia, especially the Bundesliga. David Smerdon had a taste of the Dutch League very recently when he played Yasser Seirawan on top board for his team.

Russia hopes to stop its drought of gold in recent years with an elite team of Svidler, Karjakin, Grischuk, Morozevich and Nepomniachtchi (Kramnik is conserving energy towards another tournament later in the month) - but the other top seeds, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Armenia will not make it easy for them.

The Open Section results are here, and Womens' here.

November 13th-30th
The Women's World Championship match between Hou Yifan (China) and Koneru Humpy (India) will be held in Albania, consisting of 10 games followed by a tie-break if necessary. The official site is here.

November 16th-25th
An absolutely mouthwatering field is assembled for the 10-player round robin, Tal Memorial in Moscow. The four players in the 2800 club are all playing, followed by world #6 Ivanchuk, #8 Karjakin, #10 Nakamura, #12 Svidler (2011 Russian Champion and World Cup winner), #14 Gelfand (his game against Anand should be interesting to watch) and #20 Nepomniachtchi (2010 Russian champion)!!
The average rating: 2776, surely a record for a 10-player round robin. Throw in Radjabov, Topalov, Morozevich and Grischuk for a dream Wijk aan Zee.

November 19th-20th
The Category 2 Vikings Weekender will be held in Canberra.
At the moment George Xie, Vlad Smirnov, Andrew and Junta are the top players entered.

November 26th-27th
The Category 1 Caloundra Open will be held on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

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