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Earlier this year England won silver medals behind Russia at the world teams and bronze behind Russia and Ukraine at the European teams. None of the top English squads entered the European Club Cup, staged last week in Montenegro, so gold seemed remote, but it happened.
The nominally Italian but actually polyglot team from Padova, seeded fourth, won all its seven matches, defeating the top seeds in the final round. Michael Adams played board two and Gawain Jones, who also won an individual gold for his 5/6 total, board five.
A remarkable triple achievement. The last medals for English players in a major event were as long ago as 1997.
Magnus Carlsen continues to dominate global chess. Norway’s world champion is the only player so far qualified for the four-man Grand Tour semi-final and final to be staged at London Olympia on December 2-8 for a $350,000 prize fund.
His three rivals will be determined at Kolkata, India, this weekend and next week over nine rounds of rapid chess on Friday to Sunday and a more intense 18 rounds of 10-minute blitz on Monday and Tuesday which can be watched online starting 8.30am.
Previous Tour events have left grandmasters from China, France, Armenia and Russia in the best position to take the remaining three places although India’s ex-world champion Vishy Anand can still qualify with a strong performance on home soil.
White to move and win. The 10-time British champion Jonathan Penrose took nearly half an hour to solve this week’s puzzle, even though there is a forced line of play. Can you do better?
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