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Nakamura Talks Candidates, Sponsorship

Hey readers! Just wanted to point out this great interview with Hikaru Nakamura posted over at Chess.com. Nakamura talks about a variety of topics, from his recent sponsorship deal with Red Bull to the Candidates Tournament and much more. Definitely worth checking out!



New on the Site in March

With March coming to an end, it's time to take a look at what's been added to the site in recent weeks. Here's a look at a few articles that were posted during the last month:

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Anand Wins Candidates With Room to Spare

In the end, there wasn't even any drama. Viswanathan Anand sealed his victory in the Candidates Tournament with a round to spare - and to be honest, had virtually assured himself of the crown a few rounds prior to that - cementing a rematch with Magnus Carlsen later this year. In the end, Anand took first place (with 8.5 points on three wins and no losses) by a full point over Sergey Karjakin, who scored a marathon win over Levon Aronian on the final day. With all of the other games ending in draws, that sent Aronian tumbling down the tight field into a tie for 6th with Peter Svidler at a disappointing 6.5 points.

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Candidates Round 9: Anand's Tournament to Lose

Heading into the 2014 Candidates Tournament, few observers gave Viswanathan Anand much of a chance to win. Sure, he wasn't discounted entirely, but most figured that it would be Levon Aronian or Vladimir Kramnik (or maybe Topalov, perhaps Karjakin...) who would ultimately emerge as the next challenger to Magnus Carlsen. But with just five rounds left to play, Anand now has an imposing lead on the field, meaning we could be headed for a rematch of last year's title clash.

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Candidates Round 5: Anand Holds Lead, But Field Tightens

In last year's Candidates Tournament, the leaders (Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik) pulled away from the field relatively early, turning the tournament into an apparent two-man race. It seems unlikely that this will be the case in 2014, as after five rounds, the competition is about as close as it can be between four competitors. Following a draw with Dmitry Andreikin, Viswanathan Anand still stands alone in first place with a 3.5/5 score. But right behind him are three players with 3/5 scores. They include favorites Levon Aronian and Kramink, along with Peter Svidler, who scored a neat win over Veselin Topalov in the 5th round to join the chase group. Topalov had an early advantage from his preparation, but Svidler was able to turn the tables later and score an important victory. As in previous years, it seems as though Svidler -- overlooked in recent years as a part of the world elite -- will be right in the hunt and remain a factor in determining who becomes the challenger to Carlsen later this year.

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Candidates Round 3: Anand Still Leads After Second Win

Viswanathan Anand fully intends to seriously contend for the World Chess Championship this year. If there was any lingering doubt about that, it should be gone now that Anand has scored a second win in the first three rounds of the Candidates Tournament, defeating Shakhriyar Mamedyarov from the Black side of a Slav. That took Anand up to 2.5/3, giving him the sole lead early in the competition. It was a one-sided affair in which Anand took full advantage of Mamedyarov's weakened kingside, eventually taking home the point in just 31 moves.

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Candidates Round 1: Anand Emerges as Early Leader

Heading into the 2014 Candidates Tournament, there were certainly favorites that were expected to contend for the right to challenge for the World Championship later this year. Levon Aronian is the world's #2 player, trailing only World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Vladimir Kramnik could easily have been the challenger last year, if only his tiebreaks hadn't been slightly worse than Carlsen's. Veselin Topalov is still the world #4, and has always proven dangerous in World Championship events. Sergey Karjakin may not have the rating or the previous success of those three, but has been pegged as the dark horse by many experts.

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New on the Site in February

This month, my interests turned to chess history, and the new content reflects that. If you're interested in chess as it was played a century or more ago, you may love these new articles:

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Magnus Carlsen: The App?

There's an app for everything these days. There was actually a very helpful app for iOS and Android during the last World Chess Championship match: it updated users live during each of the games, and allowed us to go back and replay past games with some basic (but useful) annotations. I loved having it for my students, as it gave me an easy way to show them games quickly during our lessons.

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New on the Site in January

Happy New Year! Here's what you may have missed that's been added to the site during January:

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