Offerspill news - week 19 & 20

After a short break from our weekly updates we are back with a juicy one, including opening of the week, the world's first bitcoin tournament, and a beautiful game to enjoy.

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FTX Crypto Cup

Magnus Carlsen faces World Championship Challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi among others as the FTX Crypto Cup starts on May 23rd at 17:00 CET. The tournament is the 6th event of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, and has one of the strongest line-ups ever with the full world top 10, including the tour debut of world number 2 Fabiano Caruana.

This is the last Major tournament of the tour and thus offers a direct spot to the finals in San Fransisco in September, in addition to a record prize fund of 320.000 US dollars. Also, the sponsors FTX provides a bonus of 100.000 US dollars in bitcoin, making this the first elite-level bitcoin chess tournament in history. Fans will be able to track the prize pot's value in real-time throughout the broadcast to see how it fluctuates.

The real-time value of bitcoin can be tracked through sites like coinmarketcap.

Read all about the tournament at Chess24.

Giri beats Jobava in the Mr Dodgy Invitational final

For the second year in a row Anish Giri won the Mr Dodgy Invitational, this time after beating attacking virtuoso Baadur Jobava 7-3 in the final.

There were plenty of fun games in the final - especially this one which Giri managed to turn around after getting in trouble early on.

Read more at Chess24.

Online League Standings

Members of the club can compete in our weekly tournaments to earn achievements, gain experience points, and win prizes.

Since our last update there have been plenty of tournaments in the Offerspill Online League, so an update of the overall standings is long overdue - and here it is!

This time I have chosen to expand the overall standings view to top 15 - in order to include myself.

You can view standings for all groups here.

Selected tournaments

Thematic Blitz: Alapin - Budapest
Instructional videos: Alapin - Budapest
Regular tournaments: Bullet Arena - Blitz Arena

Opening of the week

The Sveshnikov Variation is a modern, aggressive and uncompromising way to play the Sicilian Defense. Emanuel Lasker first brought this move to prominence when he tried it in his 1910 World Championship match.

Starting position - Black strikes in the centre

Already on move five Black strikes in the centre with his e-pawn, attacking the white knight on d4 and forcing it to move from its central post.

Thematic position

The Sveshnikov is an opening where Black plays for activity - often at the price of a couple of pawns. The position is from the game below.

The following game is from a simultaneous exhibition in Bergen, 2001 between then world number 12 Alexei Shirov (rating: 2705) and local hero Eirik Gullaksen (rating: 2324) - with a surprising result in a game that showcases exactly why Sveshnikov can be a fun opening if you like dynamic play.

Shirov - Gullaksen (0-1)