The dog days of summer has brought with it no shortage of top class games on offer, as the cream of the world's elite are in action for an unheralded logjam of top tournaments, the first of which ended today in Ningbo, China, with Armenia winning gold at the World Team Championship ahead of host nation China, with Ukraine taking the bronze.
Elsewhere meanwhile, Russia's Vladimir Kramnik is once again channeling his form of old with a truly remarkable performance at the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Germany. The former world champion continued his winning streak by beating the young Dutch grandmaster Anish Giri in round 5 to take his unbeaten score to 4.5/5, and he now leads the field by 1.5-points at the midpoint break.
Kramnik's +4 score equates to a tournament performance so far in excess of 3100; and on the unofficial live ratings, he's again reclaimed the Russian number one spot ahead of Sergey Karjakin (who had a disappointing WTCC in China) - and, at 2797, he's now within reach of being back in the "2800 club" alongside Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand and Levon Aronian. There's misery however at the opposite end of the table, with Hikaru Nakamura seeing a nose-dive in his performance, as the US No.1 slumps to a -2 score of 1.5/5 to find himself being an unlikely cellar-dweller after some recent strong performances.
Carlsen though is back to his winning-ways at Biel - and big-time, with back-to-back wins following his loss to the young French star Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in round 5. The world number one stormed back to overpower the Swiss number one Yannik Pelletier in round 6, and then the Spanish No.1 Alexei Shirov in round 7 to further extended his lead at the top to "16/21" (using the 3, 1, 0 scoring system - 5.5/7 in old money), three points clear of Russia's Alexander Morozevich.
All this action has also kept the Chess.FM team busy during the long, hot summer of chess. We've had GM Alex Yermolinsky providing members with a daily Game of the Day, alternating between the WTCC and Biel (see table below), and he's also pulling double duties by joining the live commentary team of GMs Joel Benjamin, Larry Christiansen and Ronen Har-Zvi for our coverage of Biel and Dortmund. Live coverage of Biel and Dortmund continues on Wednesday, 27 July starting from 8:00am ICC Server Time with GMs Ronen Har-Zvi and Alex Yermolinsky.
So now is the best time to join ICC by clicking here to follow all the summer Chess.FM action!