It’s become an almost running joke inside my 4NCL team, Blackthorne Russia. Why this is the last weekend, why I’m fed up with these atrociously long train journeys and getting battered and losing rating points everytime I play.
A lot of the problem I have with 4NCL is that there is often a gap between the previous weekend of a month or so. In some other countries, they play the whole league format at the same time, which I believe is a fairer format. It was extremely noticeable in the final weekend, which was played in the glamorous location of a hotel in Telford, how out of shape I was chesswise. I don’t train at home really, so the only way I can get “into shape” is to play tournaments. So everytime I’ve turned up at the 4NCL the last few years, I’ve struggled. And I’m fed up with it.
Rather than the usual boring articles where I rant on about every subject on the sun, I thought I’d change tack completely and try to produce something that is more interactive for the reader.
So the purpose of these articles is to give some scenarios that have might have occurred over the board, and ask the reader to come up with the solution to the problem. If you can give the answers in the comment section down below, then the best answer each week will win a free DVD from the Ginger GM shop.
“Be prepared” might be the scouts motto, but it could just as easily apply to Fabiano Caruana’s performance in the 2018 Candidates, where he outclassed the rest of the field, won comfortably in the end and qualified to take on the reigning World Champion, the Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, in a match that will take place later in the year in London.
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
Not just the brilliant Stones record but also a sentiment that could capture the general chess public’s mood as the 2018 Candidates approaches.
Although I’m convinced that the majority of chess followers would relish the prospect of the ever inventive Levon Aronian, or perhaps the dashing attacking brilliance of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov winning through to take on Magnus Carlsen, there is also that unspoken dread that lingers in the background: the idea that we could be forced to endure the second instalment of Karjakin-Carlsen; the first edition of which surely threw up (both literally and figuratively) one of the most boring World Championship matches in history.
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