Although the chess board has 64 squares, the number 1,000 relates to two recent chess milestones. World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen has made 1,000 tweets, including tweets about the FIDE World Rapid & Blitz Chess Championships. His 1,000th tweet linked to a “brand new social media platform.” On New Year’s Day, the Mechanics’ Institute posted its 1,000th Chess Room Newsletter.
FIDE World Rapid & Blitz Chess Championships
In the FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship, Grandmasters Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and Fabiano Caruana (United States) tied for first with Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) and Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzbekistan). Because of FIDE’s tiebreak rules, only the latter two engaged in a playoff. Abdusattorov won that playoff, becoming the youngest World Rapid Chess Champion ever, at age 17.
In the 10th round of the Rapid tournament, before his playoff with Nepomniachtchi, Abdusattorov defeated Magnus Carlsen. Can you find Abdusattorov’s winning 82nd move (as White)?
Tiebreaks also mattered in the World Blitz Chess Championship, which ended in a three-way tie among Grandmasters Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, known as MVL, of France, Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland), and Alireza Firouzja (France). The latter was left out of the playoff.
In his 999th tweet, Carlsen congratulated MVL and Duda. However, Carlsen’s tweet indicated that the chess public would have enjoyed seeing Firouzja included in the playoff. Since December 1, 2021, Firouzja has held the second-highest FIDE classical rating, behind Carlsen. MVL won against Duda in the playoff, becoming the FIDE World Blitz Chess Champion.
The championships were affected by Covid-19. Notably, Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura (United States) was one of the players who tested positive and had to skip the last day of the Blitz.
Carlsen recognized that the number 1,000 was special, writing, “I was made aware that my next tweet would be my 1000th one, I wanted to make it special.” His 1,000th tweet provides a link for a “brand new social media platform.”
The Mechanics’ Institute hit a milestone on January 1, 2022, publishing its 1,000th Chess Room Newsletter. Highlights include an article by International Master John Donaldson about the strongest player to develop his chess talents in San Francisco (William Addison) and an article by National Master Mike Walder explaining how the Mechanics’ Institute and the pandemic connected Walder with his chess coach, Gadir Guseinov. Guseinov is an Azerbaijani chess grandmaster who is ranked in the top 100 chess players in the world.
SparkChess readers may remember my “Chess Christmas gifts” article. I bought myself a subscription to American Chess Magazine. And, of course, I’m often on SparkChess. My daughter Clarissa (center, back row) bought us the sweaters mentioned in that article. Her husband, Timothy Cerepaka (an author), is in the matching blue sweater. Clarissa’s brother William completes the back row. I’m seated across the chessboard from my husband, International Master Doug Root. The photo is our family’s attempt to look like top chess players, see: