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Ju Wenjun and Daniil Dubov are World Rapid Champions!

The King Salman World Rapid Championship 2018 concluded today in St.Petersburg with Russian young star Daniil Dubov claiming the gold medal with 11/15 points.

The 22-years old, seeded only 25th before the start of the event, completed the race undefeated with 7 wins and 8 draws. The key game was his victory against Wang Hao in the penultimate round which lifted him above the competition. With top seven games of the final round being drawn, the standings did not change and Dubov was set to celebrate a huge success.

GM Leinier Domínguez Joins US Chess Federation

The US Chess Federation is pleased to announce that Grandmaster (GM) Leinier Domínguez, originally from Cuba and currently living in Miami, Florida, has successfully switched federations from the Cuban Chess Federation and will now play under the United States flag.

Komodo MCTS (Monte Carlo Tree Search) is the new star of TCEC

KomodoMCTSKomodo MCTS (Monte Carlo Tree Search) is the star newcomer to the Top Chess Engine Championship league. It has won Division 4, and qualified from Division 2 and 3 to enter the elite group of the top 16 engines in the world.

Nakamura wins Grand Chess Tour Final with dramatic last-round blitz victory

American Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura defeated Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the London Chess Classic and Grand Chess Tour Final by the super-slim margin of 15-13 – the win of a single blitz game – after a nail-biting sequence of seven draws.

After several rapid and blitz games where the difference between the two players hardly ever threatened to become of decisive proportions, in Blitz Game 4 Nakamura repeated a line of a hybrid Grunfeld-English they had played earlier in the match.

In Memoriam – WGM Milunka Lazarević

Milunka Lazarević, Woman Grandmaster, journalist, International Arbiter, Honorary FIDE member, passed away on 15th December at the age of 86.

She learned to play chess in the family, adding the game to a wide range of high school interests, including acting, guitar, poetry and singing in a choir. Soon she became champion of Novi Sad and at the age of 18 started playing in the Novosadski Chess Club.

Gawain Jones wins 2018 British Knockout Championship

Gawain Jones on Monday ensured his victory in the British Knockout Championship with 2 Rapid wins over fellow English GM Luke McShane, taking him to an insurmountable 17-3 lead without any need for points in the Blitz portion of the match.

Vachier-Lagrave & Nakamura draw game 2, setting up Rapid and Blitz showdown

Accurate defensive play and good endgame technique once again featured in the second Classical Game of the London Chess Classic Final, with Hikaru Nakamura and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave drawing after 53 moves of an evenly-contested Ruy Lopez Berlin Wall variation.

Gawain Jones storms into lead in British Knockout Championship Final

Gawain Jones on Sunday stormed into a 6-point lead in the British Knockout Championship Final, dispatching Luke McShane with a neat combination starting with 25 Bxf7+ that left his fellow English GM a pawn down with a hopeless position.

Out of an equal French Tarrasch, Jones as White banked on a well-placed central bishop to counteract McShane’s bishop pair. After an awkward rook placement by McShane (21…Rc5?!), Jones was in the driving seat, and the unfortunate 24…Bd6 set up Jones’s killer blow.

Vachier-Lagrave & Nakamura tie game 1 of Final

• France’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and American Hikaru Nakamura split the honours in a keenly contested Main Line Grunfeld in Game 1 of the London Chess Classic Final, the concluding event of the Grand Chess Tour, which was played at the Olympia Conference Centre.

• The result ratchets up the tension for Game 2, which will be broadcast live from 14:00 UTC on Sunday, as a win would give a lead of 6 points going into the Rapid and Blitz portion of the match on Monday.

Nakamura & Vachier-Lagrave qualify for Grand Chess Tour final

• Hikaru Nakamura and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave qualify for the London Chess Classic Final, the concluding event of the Grand Chess Tour, after a pulsating day of Rapid and Blitz, beating Fabiano Caruana and Levon Aronian, respectively.

• Nakamura and MVL both take the lead in the Rapid games, then clinch their places in the Final with blitz victories.

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