American Chess Magazine Issue 34



American Chess Magazine #34: NEW CHESS ROCKY?

We are pleased to announce that our magazine has been recognized by the Chess Journalists of America, winning the 2023 award for Best Chess Magazine Overall!

Our cover spotlights 19-year-old IM Josiah Stearman, who captivated audiences with his remarkable performance at the 2023 American Continental in the Dominican Republic. Earning his second GM norm and clinching a spot in the World Cup, Josiah shares a heartfelt account of his journey, complemented by commentaries on pivotal games, allowing readers to delve into the most triumphant tournament of his budding chess career.

Another U.S. junior, 17-year-old IM Kirk Ghazarian, was equally successful at the Continental championship, where he annotates one of his most thrilling encounters from that event.

Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura, American chess superstars, reclaimed their dominance in elite chess with victories at prestigious tournaments in Romania and Norway. Climbing back to the top bracket of the FIDE rating list, Nakamura now stands at No. 2, closely followed by Caruana at No. 3. GM John Burke dissects their most significant games, showcasing their exceptional form and analyzing a few missed opportunities from the two super-tournaments they recently won.

Even though she was the lowest-rated player, IM/WGM Anna Zatonskih brought her A-game and relentless fighting spirit to the 3rd Cairns Cup, the strongest women’s international tournament in the United States, emerging as its surprising winner by a full-point margin. Join us as she shares her first-hand experiences, pertinent annotations, and a candid interview, revealing lesser-known details about her life and chess career.

We celebrate more tournament winners in this issue, starting with our new contributor, 15-year-old WIM Zoey Tang, who made history by becoming the first girl to win the Oregon Closed Championship. Zoey annotates her victories from the tournament, as well as a near-victory against a grandmaster from the National Open.

Additionally, we congratulate GM Illia Nyzhnyk on his triumph at the National Open in Las Vegas. He modestly admits that a bit of luck played its part in his success. Nyzhnyk’s analysis reveals the critical moments where fortune favored him, as well as those in games of other tournament winners.

GM Jacob Aagaard, the winner of the 2023 Best Instructive Lesson award, invites readers to sharpen their skills with a dozen fresh test positions, offering a chance to train alongside top American grandmaster, Sam Shankland. GM Nikola Nestorovic delves into handling threats in chess through an epic endgame example taken from a recent Anand – Carlsen game. Afterwards, readers are encouraged to solve six positions that echo this theme.

Financial expert Luca Barillaro delves deeper into explaining the concept of price-per-move and volatility. In a very instructive and clear fashion, Luca gives various examples of how Magnus Carlsen’s team advocated the use of offbeat openings to create a portfolio that best suits his playing style with “low price-per-move.” On the other hand, you will also witness how Carlsen’s choices of “high price-per-move” positions brought him unsatisfactory results.

GM Sarunas Sulskis continues his quest to reveal true chessboard gems – he was awarded the 2023 Best Analyses by Chess Journalists of America. This time, his choice of three magnificent games that have attracted his attention is reflected in Giri’s brutal king hunt against the new World Champion Ding Liren, a Carlsen – Firouzja slugfest, and a breathtaking women's game where a rare scenario of four queens graced the board.

Andy Ansel again delves into his chess treasure trove, this time presenting one of the best-selling chess authors, but also a strong IM – Jeremy Silman. The selection of Silman’s little-known games, along with his annotations, showcases his deep opening preparation long before the computer era, as well as profound positional understanding. Silman’s ability to explain nuances has earned him recognition as one of the most instructive chess authors worldwide, even though he stepped away from competitive play at a certain point in his career – prematurely, we might say.

Regarding local events, our report on the Sheridan Wyoming Open reveals how connecting a chess festival with schools and the wider community can create a memorable experience for all participants, achieving new goals each year.

ACM endgame expert, GM Alex Fishbein, emphasizes the importance of revisiting essential rook endgame patterns, offering valuable advice on how to avoid the trap of blind memorization and make correct decisions at critical moments – even with just seconds on the clock.

World Correspondence Chess Champion Jon Edwards investigates some intriguing conclusions about the role of human input in chess. We're thrilled to have well-known journalist and FM, Dylan McCain, join our team. He's launching the "All Things Chess" column, which, in its inaugural edition, delves into chess openings, AI, and the evolution of ideas.

Dr. Corey Butler, professor of psychology, provides insight into one of the most frequent occurrences in chess – blunders – explaining the scientifically unraveled causes, as well as offering a set of tips to help players prevent them.

As usual, our Features Editor, FM Grayson Rorrer, had his hands full documenting significant tournaments played both in the U.S. and abroad, keeping you up-to-date with the latest chess activity. Additionally, FM Carsten Hansen reviews ten recently published books, helping you discover valuable resources for improving your chess skills. Finally, GM Rahul Srivasthav Peddi shares his personal chess experiences in a 5x5 Q&A, offering valuable advice to the young and aspiring players.


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