At the Tal Memorial — the strongest chess tournament of the year — it’s great to see Oxford University graduate Luke McShane being given a chance to take on the World’s best players.
Luke won an online poll to gain his place —a testament to his popularity amongst chess fans — and so far Luke is giving as good as he’s getting. The chess has been terrific with very few dull draws and a refreshingly wide variety of openings. It seems the English — with which Alexander Grischuk beat McShane in round 1 — is becoming popular again at the highest level. It represents a flexible and positional approach against which Black can easily find himself playing an unfamiliar — or worse, prospect-less — middle-game. Such was my fate in round 10 of this season’s Four Nations Chess League when, facing the English and needing to win, my opponent was impressively ruthless in exploiting my steadily deteriorating position.
More here: http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk