Wesley So vs. Liren Ding - Bilbao Masters Final 2015
At the start of the Bilbao Masters, two young players with short surnames and long futures contested a sharp King's Indian. Wesley So and Ding Liren are ambitious players that can handle the kill-or-be-killed nature of that opening. Both players sacrificed material at various points, leading to instructive moments about the relative value of pieces.
Yesterday, when we finished recording his show, Joel told me "Man, time flies!". And it indeed does, at a pace that is, in a way, scaring. It seems yesterday when John Henderson told me "we have a new weekly show, and you will record it with GM Joel Benjamin"; it was 2008. Since then, I have recorded all the 400 videos with Joel. It's been a long journey and in these years I have learnt to know a fantastic person, always gentle and able to put up with my horrible Italian accent, humble and - ca va sans dire - one of the best analysts in the world. Joel needs no introduction, as he's one of the most important American players of all time - 3-time U.S. Champion - and I am not going to list here his many achievements. I think we have contributed to create an archive of historical relevance with Joel's Game Of The Week show. Four hundred games analyzed to bits from the most important events constitute a treasure for any chess lover. The show has gone through seven years, seeing and witnessing the rise of chess stars such as Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Wei Yi, Ding Liren, only to name a few. But Joel has not focused only on the big names: there are games played between players who are not always prime time material. What Joel wants is provide analysis of amazing games, with unusual structures, strange openings, novelties, anything that can make it the Game Of the Week. It's been a pleasure to work with Joel these last seven years, and all I hope is that we will be able to keep up with his fantastic show for at least 400 more episodes!
To celebrate this important mile-stone, ICC has decided to make this video free for everyone to watch. Enjoy!
Sandro Leonori (Lyon)
Content Manager @ Internet Chess Club