2017 Winter Classic heats up

2017 Winter Classic heats up

– The St Louis Chess Club has become a regular source of grandmaster and master norms via a steady flow of tournaments held there. Right now the Winter Classic is underway, and has two strong GM events, one which brings intriguing names such as Jeffery Xiong, Vladimir Fedoseev, and David Howell. Not content to just host them, videos are produced after every round with the players commenting a game.

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It is not without irony that the competition’s name, not new, should coincide with one of the worst blizzards in recent history, bringing the US east coast to a standstill under a massive blanket of snow, ice, and sleet.

A short time-lapse showing the incredibly swift accumulation of snow, condensing hours into seconds. Impressive.

Both competitions bring ten players, who will fight for the gold for nine rounds played at 40 moves in 90 minutes, followed by 30 minutes, plus a 30-second increment from move one.

The A tournament has the strongest field with an average 2639 rating, and pits top juniors such as Jeffery Xiong Samuel Sevian and Li Ruifeng, as well as Sam Shankland, against an assortment of talented foreign GMs, such as David Howell and Vladimir Fedoseev, who just won the prestigious Aeroflot Open.

After six rounds, Englishman David Howell has taken the sole lead with 4.0/6, though he is followed very closely by a pack of three wolves: Vladimir Fedoseev, Polish player David Swiercz, and Jeffery Xiong.

Vladimir Fedoseev and Irina Krush present their respective wins in the early rounds, with detailed commentary

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Sam Shankland, facing Yaro Zherebukh, suffered his only defeat here, and stands at 50% with 3.0/6. Zherebukh also stands at 50%, having himself lost to Ipatov.

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The strong Emilio Cordova hails from Peru and is 26-years old

Standings in Winter Classic ‘A’ after 6 rounds

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GM Robert Hess is one of the top ratings in the ‘B’ event and is at 50% with 3.0/6

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Irina Krush watches the action on Hess’s board. On her left is the game between Ukrainian Andrey Baryshpolets and Cemil Ali Marandi from Turkey. Baryshpolets has had a superb start with 5.0/6, and is the clear leader with a full point advance over his nearest rival.

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Benjamin Finegold, who defeated Irina Krush in their game above, also has been commenting every game of his in his personal YouTube channel.

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ChessBase editor Alejandro Ramirez is playing as well, and defeated Akshat Chandra here

Standings in Winter Classic ‘B’ after 6 rounds

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2017 Winter Chess Classic

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