Chess tournaments Chess strategy Computer chess Chess players FIDE Chess variants Chess rules and history

Zurich Chess Challenge

The Zurich Chess Challenge is one of the major recurring international chess tournaments. It takes place in Zurich, Switzerland.

Zurich Chess Challenge 2012

The Zurich Chess Challenge 2012 was a six-game chess match between Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) and Levon Aronian (Armenia) from 21 to 28 April 2012. Each player won one game and there were four draws.

Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Rating change
Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) 2801 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 3 +2
Levon Aronian (Armenia) 2820 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 3 −2

Zurich Chess Challenge 2013

Italy's Fabiano Caruana won the Zurich Chess Challenge 2013 which took place from 23 February to 1 March 2013.

No Player Rating 1 2 3 4 Points Rating change
1 Fabiano Caruana (ITA) 2757 X X ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 4 +12
2 Viswanathan Anand (IND) 2780 ½ 0 X X ½ 1 ½ ½ 3 −1
3 Vladimir Kramnik (RUS) 2810 ½ ½ ½ 0 X X ½ ½ −9
4 Boris Gelfand (ISR) 2740 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ X X −1

Zurich Chess Challenge 2014

The Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 took place from 29 January to 4 February 2014. The average rating of its participants is 2801, the highest in history, and it is also the first category 23 tournament ever. Magnus Carlsen won the tournament.

The opening day included five rounds of blitz to decide the draw, which was won by Carlsen. The main tournament consists of five rounds of classical chess and finally five rounds of rapid chess on the closure day.

Blitz results

No Player Blitz Elo rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 Points SB
1 Magnus Carlsen (NOR) 2837 X ½ 1 0 1 ½ 3 7.25
2 Levon Aronian (ARM) 2863 ½ X 0 ½ 1 1 3 6.75
3 Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 2879 0 1 X 1 ½ 0 6.75
4 Fabiano Caruana (ITA) 2697 1 ½ 0 X 0 1 6
5 Viswanathan Anand (IND) 2827 0 0 ½ 1 X 1 5.25
6 Boris Gelfand (ISR) 2719 ½ 0 1 0 0 X 4

Classical results

No Player FIDE ranking Elo rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 Points Rating change
1 Magnus Carlsen (NOR) 1 2872 X ½ 1 1 ½ 1 8 +9
2 Levon Aronian (ARM) 2 2812 ½ X 0 1 1 ½ 6 +4
3 Fabiano Caruana (ITA) 6 2782 0 1 X ½ ½ ½ 5 +2
4 Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 3 2789 0 0 ½ X 1 ½ 4 −4
5 Viswanathan Anand (IND) 9 2773 ½ 0 ½ 0 X 1 4 −3
6 Boris Gelfand (ISR) 8 2777 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 X 3 −8

For games that ended in a draw in under 40 moves, a subsequent rapid game between the two players was mandatory, although these particular rapid games had no relevance to the tournament standings. Two such games were played: Gelfand-Aronian (0-1) in the third round and Gelfand-Nakamura (1-0) in the fifth round.

Rapid results

No Player Rapid Elo rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 Points Rating change
1 Fabiano Caruana (ITA) 2812 X 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 4 +28
2 Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 2826 0 X 1 ½ 1 1 +15
3 Levon Aronian (ARM) 2770 ½ 0 X 1 ½ 1 3 +15
4 Magnus Carlsen (NOR) 2845 0 ½ 0 X 1 ½ 2 −18
5 Boris Gelfand (ISR) 2735 ½ 0 ½ 0 X ½ −10
6 Viswanathan Anand (IND) 2800 0 0 0 ½ ½ X 1 −30

Combined final results

The combined final score for the tournament was calculated by scoring each game in the classical competition on a 2-1-0 basis and each game in the rapid competition on a 1-½-0 basis.

No Player Points
1 Magnus Carlsen (NOR) 10
2 Fabiano Caruana (ITA) 9
3 Levon Aronian (ARM) 9
4 Hikaru Nakamura (USA)
5 Viswanathan Anand (IND) 5
6 Boris Gelfand (ISR)

Zurich Chess Challenge 2015

The 2015 tournament featured Fabiano Caruana, Viswanathan Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, Levon Aronian, Sergey Karjakin and Hikaru Nakamura. The tournament was held from 13-19 February 2015 at the Hotel Savoy Baur en Ville in Zurich.

A Blitz Tournament determined the colors distribution on the first day of the tournament (Friday, February 13, 2015). After the opening, 5 classical games were played following by another 5 rapid games on the last day of the tournament. The rules stated that wins (2 points) and draws (1) count double for classical games, with a draw before move 40 “punished” by an extra rapid game.

Vishy Anand and Hikaru Nakamura ended up with 9 points. For determining the winner, although it was said before that the previous games between two must decide the result, they changed the rules midway and asked the players to play an armageddon game in which Hikaru Nakamura won with the black and ended up as the tournament winner.

Blitz results

No Player Blitz Elo rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 Points SB
1 Levon Aronian (ARM) 2777 X ½ 1 1 ½ 1 4 8.75
2 Fabiano Caruana (ITA) 2811 ½ X ½ ½ 1 1 3.5 6.75
3 Viswanathan Anand (IND) 2797 0 ½ X 1 1 1 3.5 5.75
4 Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 2776 0 ½ 0 X ½ 1 2 3.25
5 Vladimir Kramnik (RUS) 2783 ½ 0 0 ½ X 0 1 3
6 Sergey Karjakin (RUS) 2760 0 0 0 0 1 X 1 1

Classical results

No Player Elo rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 Points SB
1 Viswanathan Anand (IND) 2797 X 2 1 1 1 2 7 16.5
2 Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 2776 0 X 1 2 2 1 6 12.5
3 Vladimir Kramnik (RUS) 2783 1 1 X 1 1 1 5 12.5
4 Sergey Karjakin (RUS) 2760 1 0 1 X 1 1 4 10
5 Fabiano Caruana (ITA) 2811 1 0 1 1 X 1 4 10
6 Levon Aronian (ARM) 2777 0 1 1 1 1 X 4 9.5

Rapid results

No Player Rapid Elo rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 Points SB
1 Vladimir Kramnik (RUS) 2783 X 1 1 0 ½ 1 3.5 7.75
2 Levon Aronian (ARM) 2777 0 X ½ 1 1 ½ 3 6.25
3 Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 2776 0 ½ X ½ 1 1 3 6
4 Sergey Karjakin (RUS) 2760 1 0 ½ X ½ 0 2 6
5 Viswanathan Anand (IND) 2797 ½ 0 0 ½ X 1 2 4.25
6 Fabiano Caruana (ITA) 2811 0 ½ 0 1 0 X 1.5 2.5

Tiebreak

After the games Nakamura and Anand were the leaders with 9 point. An Armageddon tiebreak game between the two tied leaders, Anand and Nakamura. White was given five minutes, black four. White had to win in order to win the tournament. Hikaru Nakamura won as black making him the winner of the tournament.

Combined final results

The combined final score for the tournament was calculated by scoring each game in the classical competition on a 2-1-0 basis and each game in the rapid competition on a 1-½-0 basis.

No Player Points
1 Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 9.0
2 Viswanathan Anand (IND) 9.0
3 Vladimir Kramnik (RUS) 8.5
4 Levon Aronian (ARM) 7.0
5 Sergey Karjakin (RUS) 6.0
6 Fabiano Caruana (ITA) 5.5

Read more:

COMMENTS
Tabletop games: Rules and Strategy