Online chess is booming, and this has brought both positive and negative news.
Audiences of up to 50,000 have watched commentaries in nine languages for the $250,000 Magnus Carlsen Invitational, where the world champion looks sure to be among the four semi-finalists next weekend, May 1-3, with play starting 3pm BST each day on chess24.com. Games are free and live to watch, with grandmaster and computer commentaries.
One of the shortest games was world No3 Ding Liren’s 16-move win.
The downside has been cases of alleged cheating in the UK Four Nations League, the German Amateur Championship, and Sunway Sitges in Spain. Competition players normally have to stay visible throughout the game, while major chess sites have software to detect engine use.
On May 5-10 the global chess body Fide stages the Nations Cup of four-player teams, with China the top seeds ahead of Russia, United States, India, Europe, and Rest of the World. Fide wants all participants in its events to sign a contract accepting expulsion from a tournament if their play shows a high overlap with computer moves.
Such a rule could cause problems in the Nations Cup, where world class players are well capable of preparing an opening in advance for 20 moves or more.
Can you find the winning white move that a grandmaster failed to spot? The puzzle diagram is from Kevin Spraggett v Jonathan Speelman, Hastings 1989-90, where the Canadian GM’s 1 Nxg3? led to a draw.
Click here for solution
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