Grand Chess Tour - Leuven: Wesley So increases lead

by Alex Yermolinsky
6/30/2017 – Day Two was very much a repeat of the previous day, with Wesley So repeating his stellar performance and increasing his lead to two points over Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Magnus Carlsen, the top performers in the previous event in Paris. The games have been all quite exciting with nearly three-quarters ending in decisive results. Here is the illustrated report with GM analysis.

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The Leuven tournament of the Grand Chess Tour is running from June 28 to July 2 in Leuven, Belgium. It is a combination of Rapid and Blitz games. The ten participants are Magnus Carlsen, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Viswanathan Anand, Wesley So, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Levon Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik, Anish Giri, Vassily Ivanchuk, and Baadur Jobava. They will play nine rapid games, three a day, from June 28–30. Each day the games will start at 14:00h, 15:30h and 17:00h European Standard Summer Time. The Blitz tournament is on July 1-2, with nine rounds on each day, starting at 14:00h. The total prize fund is $150,000!

Note that the event is using the Bronstein mode: the players have 25 minutes for all the moves of a rapid game, and a ten second delay per move. This means that the clock does not run for ten seconds – the point is that you cannot accumulate time by playing very quickly in the Bronstein Mode.

Day two

All photos by Lennart Ootes

Great art speaks to us

Round four

Round 4 saw two interesting draws in Vladimir Kramnik-Ian Nepomniachtchi and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave against Magnus Carlsen, the latter with Maxime pressing. The other three games were decisive, bringing the total share of wins to a whopping 70%!

A fascinating draw, though the Frenchman was the one pressing against the World Champion

Wesley So won again. Baadur Jobava even had an extra pawn in the endgame, but a series of awkward knight checks left him out of position to defend the key f7-pawn.

Levon Aronian and Viswanathan Anand have some interesting personal history. Back in 2008-09 when Vishy was World Champion, Levon was his nemesis, at some stretch winning six unanswered games (five of them with Black!) with some draws in-between. Later things leveled out, but Aronian still holds a small edge.

Levon Aronian - Vishy Anand

[Event "Your Next Move GCT 2017-Rapid"] [Site "Leuven"] [Date "2017.06.29"] [Round "4"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A21"] [WhiteElo "2793"] [BlackElo "2786"] [Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"] [PlyCount "97"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventType "rapid"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Bb4 3. Nd5 Bc5 4. b4 Bd4 {Vishy continues to experiment with his new favorite line.} (4... Bf8 5. Bb2 c6 6. Ne3 f6 {was the stem game, Shaked-Timman, 1998 that sparked the interest in 2...Bb4}) 5. Rb1 c6 6. e3 Bb6 7. Nxb6 axb6 {Black gets his Bogo-Indian stracture whatever it's good for.} 8. Nf3 {Technically speaking, a new move, but given the scarcity of games in this line, it's not much of a shocking novelty.} (8. Bb2 d6 9. a3 Nf6 10. Nf3 O-O 11. Be2 c5 {Rosen-Benjamin, 2012}) 8... e4 {Anand goes for space and development, which is always a sound strategy.} (8... d6 9. Qc2 Nf6 10. d4 Qe7 11. dxe5 dxe5 {is a different game.}) 9. Nd4 Nf6 10. d3 d5 11. cxd5 Qxd5 12. a3 O-O 13. dxe4 Qxe4 14. Bb2 {[#]Black's position is not bad, but it's hard for him to find a plan.} Nbd7 $6 ({Better was} 14... Rd8 {to slow down White's development.}) 15. Nf3 $1 Qe7 16. Qd4 Re8 17. Bd3 Nf8 18. Qc3 ({White coulde have spent a move on the useful} 18. h3) 18... Bg4 $1 19. Ne5 Bh5 20. O-O Rad8 21. Qb3 N8d7 $6 {Second time around, and again, this move comes up short.} ( 21... Rd5 $1 22. f4 Bg6 $11) 22. Nc4 b5 23. Na5 {[#]} Ne5 $5 {Unhappy with the prospects of a long defense, Vishy starts up some fireworks.} (23... Nb6 24. Bxf6 gxf6 25. e4 {would leave Bh5 stranded.}) 24. Bxe5 Qxe5 25. Nxb7 Ng4 26. g3 Nxh2 $1 27. Nxd8 (27. Kxh2 Bf3 $19) 27... Nf3+ $2 {Unfortunate.} ({Apparently Vishy didn't think that} 27... Rxd8 {would ensure Black of getting back the exchange. He must have been concerned with} 28. Rfd1 {and underestimated his chances after} Nf3+ (28... Bxd1 29. Rxd1 Ng4 30. Bxh7+) 29. Kg2 Qf6 $1 { [#]Black is totally OK here.} 30. Be4 (30. Be2 Nd2) 30... Rxd1 31. Rxd1 Ng5) 28. Kg2 Nd2 29. Bxh7+ $1 {Great shot by Levon!} Kf8 (29... Kxh7 30. Qc2+ Bg6 31. Qxd2 Bxb1 32. f3 $1 Bg6 33. e4 {Somehow Nd8 survives, and White is a solid pawn up.}) 30. f4 Qf6 {[#]} 31. Qb2 $2 (31. Qc2 Nc4 32. Rbe1 {Black has a choice of ways of regaining some material, but never the all of it.}) 31... Nxf1 ({There was nothing wrong with} 31... Qxd8 $15) 32. Qxf6 Nxe3+ 33. Kg1 gxf6 34. Nxc6 {A sudden transition from sharp tactical middlegame to the endgame is the hardest thing to handle in rapid chess. In fact, Levon had less time, but it was Vishy who struggled to find good moves.} Nc4 35. Nd4 Nxa3 ( 35... Re3 36. Nxb5 Rxg3+ 37. Kh2 Rf3 38. Be4 Rxf4 39. Bg2 $14) 36. Rb3 Nc4 37. Bd3 {[#]} Bd1 $2 (37... Re1+ 38. Kf2 Rd1 39. Nxb5 Rd2+ {Surprisingly, White must accept a draw, else he walks into a mating net after} 40. Kf1 Rd1+ 41. Kg2 Rd2+ 42. Kh3 Ne3 {and must find the only defense} 43. Bf5 $1) 38. Rc3 Ba4 39. Bxc4 bxc4 40. Rxc4 Re4 41. Kf2 f5 (41... Bd7 42. Kf3 f5 43. g4 $1) 42. Rc8+ $1 {With mere seconds on his clock, Aronian manages to turn his small army into a cohesive unit.} Ke7 43. Nxf5+ Ke6 (43... Kf6 44. Ne3 {saves the b-pawn.}) 44. Ng7+ $1 Kf6 (44... Kd7 45. Rb8 Kc7 46. Ra8 Rxb4 47. Ra7+) 45. Nh5+ Kg6 46. g4 { [#]} Rxb4 47. Rg8+ Kh6 48. Kg3 f5 (48... Rb6 49. Rh8+ Kg6 50. f5+ Kg5 51. Rg8+ Kh6 52. Kh4 Kh7 53. Rg7+) 49. Nf6 $1 (49. Nf6 fxg4 50. f5 {What a finish!}) 1-0

With six decisive games out of six, and 50%, the tournament has certainly had its ups and downs for Levon Aronian

Vassily Ivanchuk didn't get anything out of the opening against Anish Giri, then walked his queen into a trap. This was the second win in a row for Giri, who was able to erase the memory of his loss to Nepo and get to a plus one score.

Vassily Ivanchuk - Anish Giri

[Event "Your Next Move GCT 2017-Rapid"] [Site "Leuven"] [Date "2017.06.29"] [Round "4"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A22"] [WhiteElo "2738"] [BlackElo "2771"] [Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"] [PlyCount "42"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventType "rapid"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. g3 Bb4 4. Nf3 Bxc3 5. dxc3 d6 6. Bg2 h6 7. O-O Nc6 8. Qc2 Be6 9. b3 Qd7 10. e4 Bh3 11. Ne1 O-O 12. f3 Nh7 13. Be3 b6 14. Rd1 Bxg2 15. Nxg2 f5 16. exf5 Rxf5 17. f4 exf4 18. Nxf4 Ne7 19. Qe4 Re8 {[#] No doubt, Black is comfortable here, but for the game to last just two more moves, how's that possible?} 20. Qb7 $6 (20. Qd3 Rf7 21. Bd4 Ref8) 20... Nc6 $1 21. Nd5 (21. c5 $142) 21... Rxd5 $1 ({Ivanchuk resignation may seem premature, but} 21... Rxd5 22. cxd5 Nd8 23. Qxa7 Rxe3 {is quite hopeless for White.}) 0-1

Round five

The top billing for round five was Carlsen-Kramnik. Sitting at a 50% score, three points behind Wesley, Magnus needed to get back to his winning ways.

Magnus Carlsen's lopsided score against Vladimir Kramnik certainly makes him Vlad's great nemesis

Magnus Carlsen - Vladimir Kramnik

[Event "Your Next Move GCT 2017-Rapid"] [Site "Leuven"] [Date "2017.06.29"] [Round "5"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A03"] [WhiteElo "2832"] [BlackElo "2808"] [Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventType "rapid"] 1. f4 $5 {Magnus can do anything he wants on the chess board.} d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 e6 4. Bg2 Be7 5. O-O b5 $5 {Vlad has played a similar idea b2-b4 against the Leningrad Dutch.} 6. d3 Bb7 7. Qe1 c5 8. c3 O-O 9. a4 b4 10. cxb4 cxb4 {[#] } 11. Kh1 {Carlsen needed this move to prepare his plans.} (11. Be3 Ng4 12. Bd4 Nc6 $15) 11... Nc6 ({Interesting was} 11... Bc5 {to contest White's idea. After } 12. Nbd2 a5 13. Nb3 Bb6 14. Nfd4 Nc6 15. Be3 Ng4 16. Bg1 Nxd4 17. Nxd4 { Black has} Qf6 $1) 12. Be3 Nd7 13. Nbd2 Bf6 14. Rb1 Re8 $6 ({Again, it was clear what Carlsen wanted to do: Nb3-d4. One way to interfere with it was} 14... Qa5 $5) 15. Nb3 a5 16. g4 g6 17. Qf2 Bg7 18. Nbd4 Nxd4 19. Bxd4 Rc8 20. Rbc1 Bxd4 21. Nxd4 Rxc1 22. Rxc1 Qb6 {[#]White has realized his plan of occupying the d4-square, yet his advantage is miniscule. Another story is, Magnus Carlsen is very good at this kind of stuff.} 23. Rf1 $1 {The c-file isn't important for now.} (23. Kg1 Rc8) 23... f6 {Vlad prepares e6-e5, a logical idea.} 24. h4 Rf8 25. Kg1 e5 26. Nb3 $1 {Suddenly the weakness on a5 is exposed.} Qxf2+ (26... Qd8 27. Qa7 Ba8 28. Rc1 exf4 29. Rc7 Rf7 30. Qxa5 $18 ) 27. Kxf2 exf4 (27... Rc8 28. Nxa5 Ba8 29. Nb3 Kf7 30. Rc1) 28. Nxa5 Ba8 29. Rc1 Ne5 30. Bf3 d4 {[#]} 31. Nc4 $6 {One and only inaccuracy allowed by Magnus in the entire game.} ({Better was} 31. Nc6 Bxc6 32. Bxc6 Nxg4+ 33. Kf3 Ne5+ 34. Kxf4 Nxc6 35. Rxc6) 31... Bxf3 $2 ({One last chance was to keep the bishop:} 31... Nxf3 32. exf3 Rc8 33. Ra1 Bb7 34. a5 Ba6 35. Ke2 $16) 32. Nxe5 Bxe2 ( 32... Bd5 33. Nc6 $1 {wins.}) 33. Nd7 (33. Nxg6 {would also suffice.}) 33... Rf7 34. Nxf6+ Rxf6 35. Kxe2 Re6+ 36. Kf2 Kf7 37. a5 {Rook behind the passed pawn is the ticket.} g5 38. hxg5 Kg6 39. Rc5 f3 40. Kxf3 Re3+ 41. Kf4 Rxd3 42. a6 Rd1 43. Ra5 d3 44. Ke3 1-0

Levon Aronian keeps on alternating wins and losses. This time he couldn't hold under the pressure from Ian Nepo.

Ian Nepomniachtchi - Levon Aronian

[Event "Your Next Move GCT 2017-Rapid"] [Site "Leuven"] [Date "2017.06.29"] [Round "5"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A22"] [WhiteElo "2732"] [BlackElo "2793"] [Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"] [PlyCount "101"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventType "rapid"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O e4 7. Ne1 Bxc3 8. bxc3 Re8 9. f3 d5 10. cxd5 Qxd5 11. fxe4 Nxe4 12. Qb3 Qh5 13. Nd3 Bd7 14. Nf4 Qc5+ 15. e3 Na5 16. Qb4 Qxb4 17. cxb4 Nc6 18. a3 Nd8 19. d3 Nd6 20. e4 Bc6 21. a4 a6 22. Bb2 Ne6 23. Rfc1 Rad8 24. Ra3 Nc8 25. Nxe6 Rxe6 26. b5 axb5 27. axb5 Bxb5 28. Rxc7 Rc6 29. Rxc6 bxc6 30. Ra8 Re8 31. e5 Nd6 32. Ra7 Nc8 33. Rb7 Ne7 34. Ba3 Nf5 35. Be4 g6 36. Kf2 h5 37. h3 Rd8 {[#] Nepo had been pressing the whole game.} 38. g4 ({In case of} 38. Bb2 {Black might have tried} Bxd3 39. Bxd3 Rxd3 40. Rb8+ Kh7 41. e6 Rd2+ 42. Ke1 Rxb2 43. Rxb2 fxe6 44. Kf2 Kg7 { with decent chances to hold.}) 38... hxg4 39. hxg4 Bxd3 40. gxf5 Bxe4 41. e6 { Aronian was low on time, but found the only defense.} f6 $1 42. Be7 c5 (42... Rd5 43. Rb8+ Kh7 $1 ({not} 43... Kg7 44. Bf8+ Kh7 45. e7 $18) 44. Ke3 Rxf5 45. Bd6 Bd5 46. e7 Bf7 $11 {White gets the extra piece, but I don't thnk he'll be able to clean out the black pawns - so, no R+B vs R this time.}) 43. Rd7 Ra8 $2 ({The only way to save the game was} 43... Rf8 $3 44. Bxf8 Kxf8 45. fxg6 Bxg6 46. Ke3 Ke8 47. Kf4 c4 48. Rc7 Bd3 {Fortress.}) 44. Bxf6 gxf5 45. Rg7+ Kh8 46. Ke3 $18 Rf8 47. Be5 c4 48. Kf4 Ra8 49. e7 c3 (49... Bc6 50. Rg6+) 50. Bxc3 Rc8 51. e8=Q+ 1-0

Anand easily defeated Ivanchuk, who for some reason chose a terribly passive Benoni setup and went down without making one active move in the whole game.

Vachier-Lagrave won a long endgame against the hapless Jobava. Maybe it's Baadur's style of play that doesn't hold well against the world’s best players, or some other factors that I don't know about, but one way or another, Jobava looks out of his league here.

Round six

It didn't help Baadur's case that he had black against Carlsen in his next game. Black could have safely resigned on move 17. Magnus won his second in a row and caught up with MVL, who managed to survive with white against Giri.

Wesley So responded accordingly. He didn't change his style of play after the debacle in Paris, still we see solid openings and a lot of endgames, but in Leuven Wesley is getting results!

Wesley So - Vishy Anand

[Event "Your Next Move GCT 2017-Rapid"] [Site "Leuven"] [Date "2017.06.29"] [Round "6"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2812"] [BlackElo "2786"] [Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"] [PlyCount "119"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventType "rapid"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 d5 6. Nbd2 O-O 7. exd5 Qxd5 8. Bc4 Qd8 9. b4 Bd6 10. O-O h6 11. Re1 Re8 12. a4 a6 13. Ne4 Nxe4 14. dxe4 Qf6 15. Be3 Bg4 16. Be2 Red8 17. Nd2 Be6 18. Bg4 a5 19. b5 Nb8 20. Bxe6 Qxe6 21. Qb3 Qxb3 22. Nxb3 Nd7 23. Red1 Kf8 24. Rd3 Ke7 25. Kf1 Nb6 26. Nd2 Ke6 27. Bxb6 cxb6 28. Nc4 Bc5 29. Rad1 Rxd3 30. Rxd3 Rc8 31. f3 {[#]Pretty even game up to this point.} Bg1 $2 {Suddenly Vishy goes wrong.} ({He could have just held his own with} 31... f6 32. Rd5 Rc7 33. Ke2 Rc8 34. Kd3 Rc7) ({Else,} 31... Bd4 { was possible:} 32. Nxa5 bxa5 33. cxd4 Rc4 {etc.}) 32. Rd6+ Ke7 33. Nxb6 $1 Bxb6 34. Rxb6 Rc7 35. Ke2 Kd8 (35... Rd7 36. c4 Kd8 37. c5 Kc7 38. Rxb7+ $1) 36. Rd6+ Ke7 37. Rb6 Kd8 38. Rd6+ Ke7 39. Rd5 Rxc3 40. Rxe5+ Kf6 41. Rf5+ Ke6 42. b6 Rc2+ 43. Kf1 Rb2 44. Rxa5 Rxb6 45. Kf2 Rb2+ 46. Kg3 {[#]} Ra2 ({On} 46... g6 {White has} 47. Rb5 $1 Rxb5 48. axb5 Ke5 49. Kg4 f6 50. b6 Kd6 51. h4 h5+ 52. Kf4 Kc6 53. g4 Kxb6 54. g5 fxg5+ 55. Kxg5 Kc5 56. Kxg6 b5 57. e5 {leading to a techically won queen ending.}) 47. h4 $1 b6 (47... g6 48. h5 g5 49. Rb5 Kf6 50. a5 Kg7 51. e5 Kg8 52. f4 $1 gxf4+ 53. Kxf4 Rxg2 54. Rxb7 Ra2 55. Rb5 Kf8 56. Ke4 Ke7 57. Kd5 $18) 48. Ra6 Ke7 49. h5 $1 {Wesley applies a classic positional squeeze.} Rb2 50. Ra7+ Ke6 51. f4 Ra2 52. Kf3 Ra3+ 53. Kg4 Ra2 54. g3 Ra1 55. Ra6 f5+ (55... Ke7 56. Kf5 Ra3 57. g4 Ra1 58. e5 Ra2 59. Ra7+ Ke8 60. e6 fxe6+ 61. Kxe6 Re2+ 62. Kf5 Kf8 63. Rb7 Ra2 64. Kg6) 56. exf5+ Kf7 57. Ra7+ Kf6 58. Ra6 Kf7 59. f6 $1 g6 60. Rxb6 1-0

Too early to tell, but it seems the veterans, Anand, Kramnik and Ivanchuk, are finding it harder and harder to compete in faster time controls. They're still dangerous in individual games, as Ian found out in round three against Anand, and again in round six.

Vassily Ivanchuk - Ian Nepomniachtchi

[Event "Your Next Move GCT 2017-Rapid"] [Site "Leuven"] [Date "2017.06.29"] [Round "6"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A20"] [WhiteElo "2738"] [BlackElo "2732"] [Annotator "Alex Yermolinsky"] [PlyCount "147"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventType "rapid"] 1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nc6 3. Bg2 h5 $5 4. d3 h4 5. g4 h3 $5 6. Be4 $5 {[#]What is this?} Nf6 7. Bg5 Be7 8. Bxf6 Bb4+ 9. Kf1 Qxf6 10. Nf3 Nd4 11. a3 Be7 12. Nc3 c6 13. Rg1 Nxf3 14. Bxf3 d6 15. e3 Qh4 16. Rg3 g6 17. Ke2 Be6 18. Rc1 Rd8 19. Qa4 a6 20. Nd5 Kf8 21. Nxe7 Qxe7 22. g5 Rh4 23. Qb4 {[#]} b5 $1 24. Bxc6 bxc4 25. dxc4 Rc8 {Right idea, wrong execution.} (25... Qc7 $1 26. Bd5 Bxd5 27. cxd5 Qxc1 28. Qxh4 Qc2+ 29. Ke1 Ke7 30. Qxh3 $15) 26. Bd5 $1 Kg7 (26... Bxd5 27. cxd5 Rxb4 28. Rxc8+ Kg7 29. axb4 Qb7 30. Rc4 Qxd5 31. b3) 27. Bxe6 Qxe6 28. b3 Rg4 $2 {I guess Nepo's ambition took the better of him.} ({The best Black could do was} 28... d5 29. cxd5 Qxd5 $11) 29. Qb6 $1 Rxg3 30. fxg3 Qg4+ 31. Kd2 Qf3 32. Re1 Qa8 $2 (32... Qg2+ $142 33. Re2 Qg1 {still fishing for chances}) 33. e4 $16 a5 34. a4 {The situation stabilized, and despite mild time trouble, I vanchuk eventually brought the point home.} Rb8 35. Qe3 Qb7 36. Kc2 Qb4 37. Rf1 Qa3 38. Qc3 Rb7 39. g4 Rc7 40. Rf3 Qc5 41. Qe3 Qa3 42. Qc3 Qc5 43. Rxh3 Qf2+ 44. Qd2 Qg1 45. Rg3 Qh1 46. Re3 Qa1 47. Qc3 Qg1 48. h3 Rb7 49. Kb2 Qf2+ 50. Ka3 Kg8 51. Rd3 Qc5+ 52. Ka2 Qf2+ 53. Qd2 Qb6 54. h4 Qg1 55. Rxd6 Qxg4 56. Rd8+ Kh7 57. Qe3 Qg2+ 58. Rd2 Qh1 59. c5 Qc1 60. h5 Rd7 61. hxg6+ Kg7 62. Re2 Qd1 63. gxf7 Rd3 64. f8=Q+ Kxf8 65. Qf2+ Kg8 66. Rb2 Rd4 67. Qc2 Qg1 68. c6 Rd1 69. Rb1 Rxb1 70. Qxb1 Qc5 71. Qd3 Kg7 72. Qc4 Qf2+ 73. Kb1 Qe1+ 74. Kb2 1-0

Don't be fooled by Ivanchuk's look of quiet disinterest. At the board, he is as dangerous as they come.

Nepo is learning the hard way not to underestimate the old lions.

We have familiar faces at the top of the standings after six rounds of Rapid, and, most likely, this is the way it is going to stand throughout the rest of the event.

This makes me wonder about the selection process for the wild cards. Nobody questioned the appearance of Grischuk and Mamedyarov in Paris, and of course the nod to the veterans, Ivanchuk and Topalov, was the right thing to do. Kramnik made a decision for himself when he chose to participate in individual events rather than be a regular Tour participant. Giri barely missed the cut for the Tour, but he's been an everyday player in elite events for a long time already.

What about the others? Bacrot didn't live up to expectations in Paris, but was an understandable choice as the number two rated French player, and now Jobava has yet to score any points in his campaign.

Who will get the wild cards in the St. Louis Rapid and Blitz? Is the cupboard empty? And, more importantly, where are the Chinese guys? With four players in the top 25, all young, it is odd for not one of the Chinese players to make an appearance in any of the Grand Chess Tour events.

Rapid crosstable after six rounds*

(Click for full size)

*Note: All rapid games are worth double


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Yermo is enjoying his fifties. Lives in South Dakota, 600 miles way from the nearest grandmaster. Between his chess work online he plays snooker and spends time outdoors - happy as a clam.


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