Requiring a draw in the final round to win the 2017 Isle of Man Chess Tournament, World Champion Magnus Carlsen (right), playing the black pieces, worked his way for equality against American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura (left). In 18 excellent moves the draw was achieved. Carefully observing the game is former world champion Viswanathan Anand (standing). Anand placed second, and Nakamura third. (Photo: Chess.com/Maria Emelianova)

Magnus Carlsen, 26, the charismatic Norwegian who is the World Chess Champion, blew away some eminent grandmasters to capture the 2017 Isle of Man Open Chess Tournament last Sunday.

Carlsen, professional chess player par excellence, corrected the mistake he made recently at the 2017 Tbilisi World Cup where he was eliminated owing to the knockout format. At the World Cup, the procedure is once you lose, you go home. A number of highly-ranked grandmasters, including Carlsen, succumbed to this regulation.

This time around, however, Carlsen was merciless in his quest for top honours. He won six games and drew three in his nine-game tally against some of the most brilliant minds in the competitive chess fraternity.

Viswanathan “Vishy” Anand was second, followed by Hikaru Nakamura, Vladimir Kramnik, Fabiano Caruana and Michael Adams. Following Carlsen’s surprise elimination from the World Cup, it seems as though the apple cart has been rebalanced appropriately to reflect a semblance of order in the chess world.

The 2017 Isle of Man Open represented the nature of strong chess tournaments that are becoming grounded staples within the chess world. It is becoming more difficult to win a tournament at the international level. The standard of international play has risen sharply. Therefore, Guyana would be relegated to bringing up the rear at international events if we do not acquaint ourselves essentially with chess theory. And the only way to secure such practical knowledge is through consistent practice. We have to continue to play tournament chess. Berbice held a primary school chess tournament not so long ago, but we need the seniors and juniors to do battle over the chess board, or what we have gained over time would be lost.

In round eight of the Isle of Man Open, Carlsen handily outplayed the American grandmaster Caruana scoring the full point, and thereby requiring only a draw to take the gold from Nakamura, another American grandmaster. The draw against Nakamura was easily achieved. Anand defeated Hou Yifan of China in the final round to place second. Carlsen collected £50,000 for his victory in addition to other prizes.

The new FIDE 2017 October rating list is out and as expected, Levon Aronian from Armenia has risen phenomenally in the ratings and is now number two. Among the top 20 chess players worldwide are four Russians, four Chinese and three Americans. Of note is the Caribbean’s Lenier Dominguez Perez of Cuba who is number 20 on the list. The world’s top ten chess players according to the FIDE list is:

  1. Magnus Carlsen 2826, Norway
  2. Levon Aronian 2801, Armenia
  3. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2794, France
  4. Fabiano Caruana 2794, USA
  5. Vladimir Kramnik 2794, Russia
  6. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2791, Azerbaijan
  7. Wesley So 2788, USA
  8. Alexander Grischuk 2785, Russia
  9. Viswanathan Anand 2783, India
  10. Hikaru Nakamura 2774, USA