January chess round-up

Heinrich Basson Heinrich Basson is a chess enthusiast from South Africa. He is an avid club player with a current FIDE rating of 1899. He follows world chess events closely and analyzing the matches and writing about chess are some of his hobbies.

So 2015 is well under way now and the new year kicked off with plenty of chess action all around. Let us look at some events and the relevant results.

The annual Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee in the Netherlands was held in January. The Masters and Challengers events were both 14-player round robin events. In the Masters event we saw GM Magnus Carlsen take the title with a score of 9 out of 13, he was followed by four players on 8.5 out of 13. GM Baadur Jobava had a tough tournament, finishing on 3 out of 13 and losing 31 rating points, but I am sure he will bounce back and regain the lost rating points in future tournaments. The Challengers event was won by GM Yi Wei with a brilliant score of 10.5 out of 13. He now has the opportunity to play in next years’ Masters event, which will be very interesting indeed.

The Rilton Cup in Sweden ended on 5 January and was won by GM Jon Ludvig Hammer with a score of 7 out of 9. Second place went to GM Tiger Hillarp Persson also on 7 points, with 5 players finishing on 6.5 points.

We also saw the Hastings International Chess Congress in England taking place and GM Jun Zhao of China won the event with a score of 8 out of 9 and a 2852 performance rating. He was a whole point ahead of 2nd place, as 3 players ended on 7 out of 9, still a brilliant score.

The Gibraltar Masters event which finished on 05 February was one of the strongest open events in the world and saw many titled players participate. The event was won by GM Hikaru Nakamura with a brilliant score of 8.5 out of 10. GM David Howell finished 2nd with 8 out of 10, followed by 9 players on 7.5 points tied for third. It was a great event with many world-class games, so be sure to replay some of the games in your chess studies.

There is also plenty of chess action in February. Currently we have the Grenke Chess Classic and Moscow Open on the go. We also have the next FIDE Grand Prix event taking place in Tbilisi, Georgia from 14 February until 28 February. The European Individual Championships will take place in Jerusalem, Israel from 23 February until 09 March. The Zurich Chess Challenge takes place in Switzerland from 14 February until 19 February. The World Senior Team Championships will take place in Dresden, Germany from 24 February until 04 March.

Enjoy all the February chess action and be sure to visit the Chessbet website each day.