2016

Post-match reflections

I’ve visited New York many times over the last 7 years. It is obviously a remarkable city and among other things, I’ve enjoyed long walks on Manhattan many times. Playing a World Championship match seemingly twist perceptions and reduce outside sense impressions to the point that I felt I was experiencing a different city this time. The utter joy and relief of match victory will always make the thought of New York bring back fond memories. Nevertheless, I already look forward to be back in the city in a more normal setting as a visitor.
2016

Final countdown

We enjoyed fairly good and stable weather in the aftermath of hurricane Matthew on the training camp that took place the last few weeks. In planning and executing the final stages of preparations for the match starting next Friday, I’ve benefitted from the 2013- and 2014-match experiences, and now I really look forward to the match against Karjakin.
2016

Before the Match

Hi everyone, I’m in the Caribbean area preparing for the upcoming World Championship match in New York starting November 11th. In addition to preparations, I’ve played the Chess Olympiad in Baku in early September and an online match against Nakamura last week since the last blog.
2016

Winning Bilbao 2011, 2012 and now 2016!

The tournament finished yesterday, and together with my parents and two younger sisters I’m still in Bilbao enjoying the luxury of staying an extra day before catching a flight home Monday. That usually feels pleasant after a long and tiresome top level event, and even more so after the tournament victory.
2016

Bilbao 2016

I’m in Bilbao for the first time in summer. It is very nice and pleasant for a Norwegian not always spoiled with sun and summer heat. Since the organizer invited me to Bilbao Masters Final 2016 this winter, I’ve looked forward to revisit Bilbao where I was a frequent participant 5 times from 2007 to 2012 (and winning in 2011 and 2012.)
2016

Leuven Rapid & Blitz 2016

While we all seemed happy to play in Leuven, I think none of us had completely recovered from the Paris Rapid & Blitz event. The “new face” Anand (replacing Fressinet), came directly from Leon, having scored his 9th (or so) Rapid cup victory there. The atmosphere between games and at night playing Avalon, were unusually collegial. That may have reduced some of the tension. Still, in my view, two 4-day rapid and blitz events in succession is more strenuous than a regular classical event.
2016

Paris – Wijk aan Zee - Leuven

The Paris and Leuven Rapid and Blitz events constitute half the Grand Chess Tour 2016. Having grown up watching Amber Rapid and Blindfold as a young chess player and qualifying in time to compete in the last five events until 2011, I was thrilled to see the addition of two major elite events with fast time control this year.
2016

Norway Chess 2016 with three rounds to go

As mentioned last week I was quite optimistic after the Blitz and round one. Subsequently my play has varied, while the results have been good. I’m in the lead with 4/6 before the final three rounds Wednesday to Friday. After six rounds in Stavanger Forum, we are playing in the Stavanger Concert hall from tomorrow.
2016

Norway Chess 2016

In recent years I have typically played two top level events each quarter with minor variations. In general it has provided enough time for restitution between events but often left me slightly rusty early in the next tournament. As discussed in earlier blog posts I chose a different approach this winter to get back in form after varying results from June to November. It worked well. The subsequent two and a half months break, mostly at home, felt good. I enjoyed the excellent February/March skiing conditions locally and spent time with friends and of course followed the exciting Candidates tournament with interest. As last year before Shamkir (same dates as Norway Chess this year) I went south for a training camp early April. This time to Spain. Fortunately it seems to have contributed to a good start here in Stavanger.