The Sinquefield Cup in Saint Louis was promised to be extraordinary this year: the highest-rated chess tournament ever with many of the world's best players on hand. To the delight of Rex Sinquefield, the main sponsor, it got even better.
Magnus Carlsen won the Zurich Chess Challenge, the first tournament he played as the world champion. It was an amazing event, a chess triathlon, with the superstars showing their skills in blitz, rapid and classic chess, the latter being the most important.
One day the world's top-rated chess player Magnus Carlsen will sit down and write about his games. This is what the great players do, but not yet. At 21, he is too young to be distracted by that on the way to become the world champion.
On Monday, the Norwegian chess superstar Magnus Carlsen, 22, won the London Chess Classic in grand style, breaking Garry Kasparov's 13-year-old rating record by 10 points. "Pretty cool," Magnus described the biggest achievement of his chess career.
Lurking in the background, hiding their identity, they seem mysterious, magical, beautiful. At first, they observed the game from a distance, but as centuries went by, women were drawn closer to the chessboard.
Levon Aronian's brilliant victory at the prestigious Tata Steel tournament in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands, would normally be the topic of our conversation. But it was a young Chinese girl, Hou Yifan, 17, who stole the limelight.
"There is no perfect game in chess," Bobby Fischer said. After all, we are human and we make mistakes. But according to Tibor Karolyi, Anatoly Karpov came close to playing a mistake-free game at the 1974 chess olympiad in Nice, France.
As we enter the new decade, the chess world is ruled by a middle-aged man and a teenage girl.
A twenty-something phenom presides over the world's ratings and a new book recalling one of the greatest chess magicians has been published recently.