Magnus Carlsen is in action this week, as the No1, on home ground in Oslo, has reached yet another global title on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons.

Its format is Fischer Random, the variable arrangement of pieces on the back row, which has gained interest due to the many draws in classical chess.

This inaugural official FR world championship began with online qualifiers. Carlsen had a bye to the semi-final where he defeated his old rival Fabiano Caruana 12.5-7.5 and now meets another American, Wesley So, in the final. They play best of 12 games at varying time rates with the slower games counting for more.

The final is on and and viewers will be able to watch Carlsen close up.

There are 960 possible starting positions, but already theory is taking shape; Carlsen says that the worst positions for him to play are with the queens on a1 and a8, but he has still scored wins by flowing attacks. Caruana’s strategy aims to control the centre of the board, as he does in classical chess.

England’s silver medallists at the world teams in March are also in action again, this time for the European title at Batumi, Georgia.


Ex-world champion Vishy Anand (White, to move) had a seemingly simple win here by 1 Rc2+ followed by b6, Rc7 and b7. Instead White chose the cautious 1 Kg2. Why?

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