Grenke Chess Classic (after 3 rounds)

Martin Lokander Martin Lokander is an up and coming 18 years old Swedish FM with a rating of 2365. Despite being a full-time student he plays a lot (about 120 games/year!) and also closely follows top level chess events.

3 rounds of the Grenke Chess Classic have been played, and there are two notable things that are heavily discussed.

First of all, Naiditsch beat Carlsen AGAIN, and especially the extremely provocative 10…Bxg4?!!? is being criticized all over the world. I’m far from sure what Carlsen had in mind, but it looks like a kind of position where it’s not too easy to prove the sacrifice wrong. As the game proved, Carlsen eventually managed to outplay Naiditsch in the middlegame until something went horribly wrong in the endgame. As Carlsen himself noted on Twitter, this is the 4th straight tournament where Carlsen loses in round 3! Certainly food for thought.

What’s more worrying is Levon Aronian. A year ago Levon reached his peak live rating of 2835.5, and today he’s not even top 10 in the World. A remarkable decline for someone who should be at his peak!

4 more rounds to go, and I’d still take Carlsen as favourite to claim the tournament but his start is certainly worrying.