Every few years somebody discovers the French-American artist Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), connects him with chess and quotes him:"While all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists."
The world's top-rated chess player Magnus Carlsen of Norway qualified from the Candidates tournament in London to challenge the reigning champion Vishy Anand of India in the world championship match in the fall of this year.
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.
After triumphing in two major tournaments, in London in December and in Wijk aan Zee in January, Magnus Carlsen is a clear favorite to win the eight-player Candidates event in London (March 15-April 1).
"It could easily be one of my best games," said the world champion Vishy Anand after he brilliantly defeated the Armenian grandmaster Levon Aronian in the fourth round of the traditional Tata Steel Chess Tournament in the Dutch coastal town of Wijk aan Zee this week.
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.
The careers of top chess players last 25 years or even longer. They can challenge the world's best already as teenagers and can continue for six, seven decades until they turn into ageless warriors. At what point do they play the best? What is the optimal age for success in chess?
Chess players don't move like the Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. They advance to the finish line with a steady, deliberate pace. Chess events take days, weeks and sometimes months to finish. What the best chess players have in common with Bolt is the enormous will to win.
Top-rated Magnus Carlsen won the 7th Tal Memorial in Moscow, one of the strongest chess tournaments of the year. The Norwegian grandmaster was the only undefeated player in a field of 10 world-class players.
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.
Six moves into the game Hikaru Nakamura-David Navara, the top-rated American grandmaster dented his position with a strange pawn move. He didn't create a crater, but the gap was big enough for a little chipmunk.
They flew from Europe to Brazil, played five rounds in Sao Paolo, crossed the equator again on the way to Bilbao, Spain, where they played another five rounds -- and yet the outcome of the Chess Masters Final was still up in the air.
Every year since 2005, the picturesque Slovak town of Banska Stiavnica stages a game of living chess. It is a powerful, almost mystical, spectacle with human chess pieces dressed into medieval costumes and armed with spears and swords.
Gelfand's match against Anand could be interesting. Both players have vast opening knowledge, strive for initiative, can defend well and love to play dynamic chess. It could be the last time players over forty play for the championship.
The 2011 U.S. Chess Championship begins today at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, Mo., with 16 players, including the defending champion Gata Kamsky, the 1996 world championship challenger.
Levon Aronian won the Amber tournament in Monaco this month. He will be known as the last winner. After twenty years, the combined blindfold and rapid chess event, featuring the world's top players, comes to a halt.
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.