Posted June 14, 2021 in News, Tournaments

Mamedyarov Victorious In Romania

The Superbet Chess Classic came to a dramatic end earlier today with GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov claiming ultimate victory in this leg of the Grand Chess Tour. All games in the final round were drawn, but Mamedyarov finished the tournament a full point ahead of Levon Aronian after forcing a draw against Anish Giri.

#PlayerRtg12345678910Pts
1Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar2770*1½½½½½11½6
2Aronian, Levon27810*½1½½1½½½5
3So, Wesley2770½½*½½½½1½½5
4Grischuk, Alexander2776½0½*½½1½1½5
5Giri, Anish2780½½½½*½½½014.5
6Radjabov, Teimour2765½½½½½*½½½½4.5
7Deac, Bogdan-Daniel2627½0½0½½*½½14
8Caruana, Fabiano28200½0½½½½*1½4
9Lupulescu, Constantin26560½½01½½0*½3.5
10Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime2760½½½½0½0½½*3.5

There will be very little rest for many of the players as they travel from Romania to Paris for the second event in the Grand Chess Tour, the 2021 Paris Rapid and Blitz tournament. Participants include Levon Aronian, Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, and Peter Svidler. In the meantime, you can replay all of the games from the Superbet Chess Classic in Romania below.

Posted June 10, 2021 in News, Tournaments

Leader Standings Challenged in Superbet Round 5

GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan is quickly gaining ground on GMs Alexander Grischuk and Wesley So going into the fifth round of the Superbet Chess Classic in Bucharest with a score of 7.5 to So’s 8 and Grischuk’s 7.75.

#PlayerRtgPerf1234567890PtsSB
1Wesley So27702825½½½½13.0/58
2Alexander Grischuk27762808½½½1½3.0/57.75
3Shakhriyar Mamedyarov27702789½½½½13.0/57.5
4Teimour Radjabov27652781½½½½½2.5/56.25
5Bogdan-Daniel Deac26272771½0½½12.5/56
6Levon Aronian27812758½½½½½2.5/55.75
7Fabiano Caruana282027510½½½12.5/55.5
8Anish Giri27802660½½½½02.0/55
9Maxime Vachier-Lagrave27602651½½0½½2.0/55
10Constantin Lupulescu265627110½01½2.0/54.25

After getting off to a sleepy start, the games have started to get more interesting as well. It’s obvious that Anish Giri’s loss the other day affected him severely as he’s fallen to 8th place in the standings with a score of 5. Mamedyarov’s game and performance from Round 4 has certainly been of interest given his quick rise and challenge to the tournament’s current leaders.

Today was a rest day for the players, but tomorrow we get back to business as So and Grischuk work to maintain their leads. But…in chess, like life, anything can happen. You can read more in-depth analysis on Chess.com or The Week in Chess.

Posted June 7, 2021 in News, Tournaments

Giri Smoked in Superbet Day #3

I spent a good portion of this morning with the boards from the Superbet Chess Classic up while I worked my day job. I watched the full game between Fabiano Caruana and Levon Aronian. It had a few good moments, but was mostly a sleeper that ended in a draw. It wasn’t until I switched to Anish Giri’s game that things got very interesting.

In this position, Giri blundered with 31…Qc5, which allowed White a win with 32.Re7. I missed the move when it was originally made, but it was apparent when the inline analysis tool on Chess.com’s events viewer went from balanced to completely White. It was obvious that the game was over with no real way for Giri to escape. This is an interesting win, especially given that Constantin Lupulescu, the GM who beat him, was chosen to participate as part of the tournament’s local talent pool.

Obviously, Giri is human and nobody’s perfect. He’ll certainly shrug off the blunder and move on to the next drawn game… See the game itself on Chess.com or more commentary on today’s round from The Week in Chess.

Posted June 4, 2021 in Blog Updates

Website Code Refresh and Updates

It’s taken a few weeks, but I’m almost finished with the code refresh and cleaning out all of the junk here on Campfire Chess. You’ll notice that quite a few things have changed. Some are subtle and some are not so subtle. I’m still in the process of going through all of the old content to determine its historical merit. Some older content has been removed because the YouTube videos they reference or the websites/products they reference no longer exist. The world of chess is always changing and so will we. Here’s a brief overview of what’s happening so far:

  • More regular updates of news, events, and games from top players as well as local games and events.
  • Completely redesigned the Downloads page. More game collections are on their way.
  • Realigned all 300+ posts since the website opened to make sure they align with proper categories.
  • Removed 10+ posts referencing websites, products, and YouTube videos that no longer exist.

Additionally, I’m working to add some new features to the site as well.

  • Started working on the chess utility. Right now it’s just a board that can be used for quick online analysis. Eventually it’ll include libraries and openings, but it’s just basic at the moment.
  • More interaction and cross-blogging with Chess.com. Campfire Chess is now a Chess.com premium member and I’d eventually like to feature the content on this website alongside their top blogs as well. You can view certain content from this site cross-blogged here.
  • The YouTube channel for this site is dead, but I hope to revive it before the end of the year with some new content. I just have to decide what kind of chess content I’m going to feature.

I’m very excited to be bringing this project back to life and I hope that you’ll continue to take the journey with me. The best way to engage with Campfire Chess is on our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

2021 Complete Chess Summer Camp

Learn chess this summer with San Antonio Chess Champion
National Chess Master
Jesse James Lozano

This summer, Complete Chess will offer a series of five-day chess camps for children of all grade levels and chess skill sets. Each camp, taught by City Champion Jesse James Lozano and experienced chess coaches, will provide a range of chess related activities including chess lessons, puzzle competitions, blitz games, Bughouse chess, game analysis, tactics training and strategy workshops. To keep camp fun, additional activities include Rubik’s Cube, LEGO, Pokémon and movie night.

Camp Hours
Monday thru Friday 
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Early drop off (8am) is available for an additional $10 per day.
Late pick-up (4 p.m.) is available for an additional $10 per day. 

Cost: $200 (five-day camp) OR
$50 (daily pass)

Can’t commit to a full week of camp?
Try out their daily pass.

Find out more by visiting Complete Chess on their website, Facebook, or
contact them at: (210) 393-3056

Posted June 2, 2021 in News, Saint Louis Chess Club, Tournaments

The Grand Chess Tour 2021

June 3rd marks the beginning of the 2021 Grand Chess Tour, which is a collection of the highest rated tournaments in the world forming a pathway leading up to this year’s World Chess Championship. The upcoming events are:

  • June 3-15: Superbet Chess Classic Romania in Bucharest, Romania
  • June 16-23: Paris Rapid and Blitz in Paris, France
  • July 5-12: Croatia Rapid and Blitz in Zagreb, Croatia
  • August 9-16: Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz in Saint Louis, Missouri
  • August 16-28: Sinquefield Cup in Saint Louis, Missoui

This year, the total prize fund is approximately $1.25 million US dollars with a chance for the top three tour finishers to earn a share of an additional $175,000! Live coverage of the games will be provided by Chess.com, Chess24, and by a variety of chess streamers on Twitch.

Posted June 1, 2021 in Chess.com, Game Analysis

Game Analysis: Rolling a Troll?

Have you ever set down to play a game against an opponent who seems hell bent on driving you completely insane with irrational moves? Maybe you’ve played against someone who insists on moving every single pawn forward before activating any of their back pieces. Sometimes, we meet an opponent who defies all traditional logic of the game but can be just as deadly as a precision player. I recently played against an opponent who embodied some of those traits. The first few moves of the game were infuriating and it led to a wild game where the balance tipped many times, but I managed to come out on top.

I doubt that the player himself was trolling me, but it certainly felt like it at times, especially in the opening. Of course, this is a very low rated game and sloppy as hell, but I am pleased with the result given the frustration that played out on the board. This was a daily chess rated game with a time control of one move per 24 hours.

Posted in Social Media

Campfire Chess Socials Live Again!

As you might have noticed, Campfire Chess is slowly roaring back to life after an extended hiatus. The return not only includes some refinements to the design, a code refresh, a complete redesign of the Downloads page, and a few other tweaks…but it also includes the return of our social media accounts. I am doing my best to build a content system where I can consistently update them, but for now, the accounts are active and slowly coming back to life along with the site. If you’re into the social media scene, check us out:

Facebook: Campfire Chess
Twitter: @CampfireChess
Instagram: @CampfireChess

Posted May 31, 2021 in Famous Players, News, Tournaments

Carlsen Wins the FTX Crypto Cup

After struggling a bit in the early rounds, Magnus Carlsen has emerged victorious in the FTX Crypto Cup online tournament. Overall, it was an exciting tournament to follow with many twists and turns. The initial round was filled with close scores and a large number of ties among the players. This eventually whittled down to four players who faced each other over the last two days for a share of the tournament prize. Wesley So battled it out against Magnus in a series of rapid events which ended in a tie between the players. This prompted a blitz playoff that was filled with some interesting and nail biting moments.

Throughout the past couple of days it was apparent that Magnus was struggling with a lack of motivation or from an illness that kept his performance below what we’ve come to expect from the world champion. He even went as far as to mention that he felt like shit during a postgame interview with Chess24 yesterday, which contributed to some of his mistakes on the board. In any case, Carlsen took the crown for this event and took home a $60,000 chunk of the prize fund and 0.6 bitcoin (about $22,000 as of this posting).

For an exceptional analysis of the games in the final matchups, check out this video from Gotham Chess:

Carlsen and many of the familiar GMs on this circuit will reunite on June 26th for the 2021 Grand Prix.

Posted May 28, 2021 in News, Tournaments

FTX Crypto Cup Semis Start Today

In trying to get back into chess regularly, I’ve spent my days at work with the Chess.com streaming broadcast of the FTX Crypto Cup. The games in this tournament so far have ranged from inspiring to head scratching. The roster itself is a who’s who of the best in chess from around the world. Carlsen, Nakamura, So, Giri, and Caruana are just some of the big names rounding out this Champions Chess Tour event. Each player is competing for a chance to participate in the tour’s finale starting on September 25th.

The preliminary round of the FTX Crypto Cup was quite an experience. Magnus Carlsen struggled through much of the round while Fabiano Caruana, who made it a point to tell everyone that he hadn’t played a game of online chess all year, absolutely dominated with a score of 10/15! Carlsen eventually managed to squeak by with a score of 8.5.

The projected Semifinals pairings are Carlsen-Radjabov and Nepomniachtchi-So. I was originally cheering for Nakamura or Caruana but since they’ve been eliminated from the tournament, my money’s on Carlsen.

The Quarter Finals began on May 26th and lasted for two days. Carlsen and Nakamura traded blows back and forth but it was ultimately Magnus that will advance to the Semifinals, which begin later today.

You can watch the games with commentary on ChessTV or the official broadcast on Chess24.