2016 saw some action packed games between super grandmasters, young masters and countries. Egos were battered, and ultimately crown went to the ‘better man.’ Any Grandmaster or Chess fan would tell you that the thrashings a Chess player takes are no less than a Boxer in the ring. The only difference is that Doctors don’t do a great business in Chess.
The 9th Bilbao Masters Final was held on 13–23 July at Bilbao, Spain. It consisted of six-player double round-robin with American Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So, Magnus Carlsen (NOR), Anish Giri (DU), Sergey Karjakin (RUS), and Wei Yi (CHN).
Magnus Carlsen won the 2016 Bilbao Masters with no scuffle. Moreover, Magnus finally managed to beat Anish Giri in a classical game.
This tournament also saw, Carlsen losing his first ever classical game to Hikaru Nakamura.
Yifan (China) only needed a draw to win in the final match. But she won the game to regain her world championship title. Hou Yifan scored 6-3 against Mariya in Lviv, Ukraine. Furthermore, Yifan announced that she wouldn’t play in the next women’s world championship cycle.
Magnus Carlsen won the Tata Steel title for the fifth time. He is now tied with Vishy Anand. The Indian GM played 16 times; Carlsen has played nine so far. Can Carlsen surpass Anand next year in Wijk Aan Zee?
The United States won this year’s Baku Olympiad taking over Ukraine on tiebreak. As always, rating-wise Mother Russia was the top seed, but again they failed to win. With three top-10 players on the American team (Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, and Wesley So), the U.S. team won without losing a single match.
The London Chess Classic was the final chapter of the 2016 Grand Chess Tour. With a groundbreaking debut in the UK capital, Wesley So won the tour convincingly as he snatched both the London tournament and the Sinquefield Cup.
The World Rapid and Blitz Championships in Doha, Qatar have only just ended, but the event was definitely among the most popular in 2016. Vassily Ivanchuk won the rapid tournament on tiebreak by beating Magnus Carlsen. The blitz tournament was won by Sergey Karjakin, who edged out Carlsen on tiebreak.
The biggest event of the year was undoubtedly the FIDE World Championship in New York in November. Sergey Karjakin managed to put up an exceptional defense, was even leading for a while after game 8. But eventually, Karjakin had to admit that Magnus Carlsen was the superior player.Out of four rapid games, the first two drew, the Norwegian won the third and fourth to retain his crown.
Here is Magnus “partying” in USA in his style: