CHESS received a massive pop-culture boost on Saturday as the central theme of the latest Doctor Who episode, as the errant Time Lord – who revealed the game was invented on his home planet of Gallifrey – was reunited with his old cybernetic enemy of the Cybermen.
Nightmare in Silver by Neil Gaiman started with a hollowed-out Cyberman playing chess, which scared The Doctor, until he realised it was controlled by a man hidden inside – much in the same way as two fraudulent chess-playing machines in the past: “The Turk”, built in 1770 by Wolfgang von Kempelen (which defeated Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon Bonaparte) and “Ajeeb” constructed by Charles Hooper in 1868.
Also playing chess as if from another world is Sergey Karjakin at the Norway Supreme Masters in Stavanger. The young Ukrainian-born Russian, who is seen as a rival world championship challenger to Magnus Carlsen, continued to steal the Norwegian’s thunder in his homeland with a perfect start of winning his opening four games as Carlsen drew all of his.
Karjakin’s tournament performance rating has gone completely off the scale at 3527, as he takes a 1.5-point lead at the top over his nearest rival Hikaru Nakamura of USA, who is on 2.5 points after beating World Champion Viswanathan Anand of India.
Standings: 1. Karjakin, 4/4; 2. Nakamura, 2.5; 3-7. Aronian, Carlsen, Anand, Svidler, Radjabov, 2; 8-9. Wang Hao, Topalov, 1.5; 10. Hammer, 0.5.
L Aronian - S Karjakin
Norway Supreme Masters, (4)
Queen’s Indian Defence
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 b3 Bb4+ 6 Bd2 Be7 7 Nc3 0–0 8 Bg2 c6 9 e4 d5 10 exd5 cxd5 11 Ne5 Bb7 12 0–0 Nc6 13 Bf4 Na5 14 Rc1 Ba3 15 Rb1 Bb4 16 Na4 Ne4 17 a3 Be7 18 cxd5 exd5 19 b4 Nc6 20 Rc1 Rc8 21 Bh3 f5 22 f3 Nd6 23 Qd3 Nxe5 24 dxe5 Rxc1 25 Bxc1 Nc4 26 f4 b5 27 Nc3 Qb6+ 28 Rf2 d4 29 Ne2 Rd8! 30 Qxf5 d3 31 Qe6+ Kf8 32 Qf5+ Ke8 33 Qxh7 d2 34 Bxd2 Rxd2 35 e6 Rd1+ 36 Bf1 Qxe6 37 Qh5+ Kf8 38 Nc3 Qc6 0–1