Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Fabiano Caruana wins the London Chess Classic

Posted on 12 December 2017 by Ingrid Sund

Fabiano Caruana won the London Chess Classic at the Olympia Conference Centre.
The Italian-American is ranked number three in the world and beat Ian Nepomniachtchi in a final tie-breaker to take the win.
His win against Sergey Karjakin in round four was paramount for the tournament win.
An animation playing out this game can be seen as part of the video below.

After the victory, Caruana said: “I was able to relax mentally for the tie-breaker and even though I obviously wanted to win a major tournament with all the best players in the world I managed to have some fun.”

The London event was the final leg of the Grand Chess Tour, which was won overall by World Champion Magnus Carlsen.

Carlsen is the highest ranked player of all time, yet Armenian Levon Aronian named Bobby Fishcher as the greatest chess player of all time.
“It was so different back then. Now, players have teams, coaches and computers aiding them,” he explained.

A few days prior to the London event, the artificial intelligence company Deep Minded revealed that they had developed their reinforced learning concept to create a new super-computer.
The computer, Alpha Zero, was given the rules of chess, taught itself how to play and so far plays the game better than anyone or anything.

Michael Pein, the grandmaster who organises the London Chess Classic, explained: “It is better than any other human or any other computer ever created. It is called Alpha Zero and taught itself how to play and beat everyone in just four hours.
“Chess changed a couple of days ago for the better. We have seen a few games that this Alpha Zero has played, and they were incredible and will teach us more about chess.”

Looking ahead to the Candidates Tournament in March, of which the winner will challenge Carlsen for the world champion title, Caruana said: “I hope to be able to do well in the tournament but you never know what will happen.
“I would like to think I have a 50-50 chance but it’s difficult to predict anything.”

Featured photo: Ingrid Sund