Kavalek in Huffington: Carlsen fights and wins in London

12/17/2010 – The second London Chess Classic, one of this year's major events, is over. But many chess players may ask: who actually won the tournament? Magnus Carlsen according to the tournament rules, but ask the traditionalists and they will tell you that three players shared first place in London: McShane, Anand and Carlsen. Here's extensive analysis of a critical game by GM Lubomir Kavalek.

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Norway's Magnus Carlsen Fights and Wins in London Chess Classic

By GM Lubomir Kavalek

Magnus Carlsen doesn't have to worry. According to the rules set up by the London organizers, the 20-year-old grandmaster from Norway finished first and will collect 50,000 Euros for his efforts. He benefited from the soccer scoring system – 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and no points for a loss – favoring players who fight and win. Carlsen scored 13 points, two points ahead of the world champion Vishy Anand of India and Luke McShane of England. It was a great recovery by Magnus who started with two loses in the first three games.

But ask the traditionalists, who for several centuries counted one point for a win and a half point for a draw, and they will tell you that in the year 2010 three players shared first place in London: McShane, Anand and Carlsen.

In the annals of chess history the final results will be noted as follows:

Carlsen, Anand, Luke McShane - 4.5 points in 7 games
Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) and Hikaru Nakamura (USA) - 4 points
Michael Adams (England) - 3.5 points
David Howell (England) - 2 points
Nigel Short (England) - 1 point

In 1851, Adolf Anderssen, one of the best attacking players of the 19th century won the first international tournament in London. The English capital attracted many great players ever since. Garry Kasparov played three world championships there. Some of the best came this year.

The fight for first place was anticipated between the world's top two rated players, Anand and Carlsen. But McShane played the role of the spoiler when he knocked Carlsen down in the first round and remained successful throughout the best tournament of his young chess career.

The game between Anand and Carlsen was a dramatic duel in the Breyer variation of the Spanish with many ups and downs. With a pawn sacrifice soon after the opening, the world champion tried to swing the chances to his side. It was risky, but Carlsen failed to find several good defenses and Anand had him on the ropes. Although the Indian grandmaster missed stronger continuations, he was able to come up with the winning setup in the end.

Note that in the replay windows below you can click on the notation to follow the game.

Original column hereCopyright Huffington Post


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The Huffington Post is an American news website and aggregated blog founded by Arianna Huffington and others, featuring various news sources and columnists. The site was launched on May 9, 2005, as a commentary outlet and liberal/progressive alternative to conservative news websites. It offers coverage of politics, media, business, entertainment, living, style, the green movement, world news, and comedy. It is a top destination for news, blogs, and original content. The Huffington Post has an active community, with over one million comments made on the site each month. According to Nielsen NetRatings, the site has around 13 million unique visitors per month (number for March 2010); according to Google Analytics the number is 22 million uniques per month.


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