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LCC R3: Adams wins and Carlsen narrowly escapes Kramnik

12/3/2012 – It was hardly the start anyone expected as Magnus Carlsen got himself into trouble early on in his game against Vladimir Kramnik. It took all his exemplary technique to save the game, and stay on course for the record. Michael Adams was the local hero after he defeated Judit Polgar, and Nakamura was the last to finish as he tried his utmost to beat Jones. Illustrated report with analysis and pictures.
 

The 2012 London Chess Classic is taking place in the Olympia Conference Centre from Saturday, December 1st until Monday, December 10th. Games start each day in general at 14:00h London time, except for round four (16:00h) and the final round (12:00h). Time controls are classical forty moves in two hours, then twenty moves in one hour and thirty minutes for the rest of the game. A win is counted as three points, a draw as one, and a loss zero. Tiebreaks: 1) number of wins, 2) number of wins with black, 3) result of the individual game between the tied players. In the unlikely event that there is still a tie then: 4) 2 x 15'+2" games, and if necessary 5) Armageddon game: 6'+2" vs 5'+2" with draw odds for black. If there is a tie involving more than two players then the Rapid games will be conducted as a double round all play all.

Round three

By Alejandro Ramirez

Round 3: Monday, Dec. 3rd, 2012, 14:00h
Levon Aronian
½-½
Vishy Anand
Vladimir Kramnik
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Gawain Jones
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura
Michael Adams
1-0
Judit Polgar
Luke McShane (bye) – assisting commentary

It is unclear what exactly is causing it – it might be the soccer scoring system, it might be the players invited, it might even be that one player has a day off every round and the standings are then not completely clear. Whatever the reason, London has started out with a bang and we have seen three very exciting rounds. Though today for the first time the amount of draws was greater than the amount of decisive games, I don’t believe any spectator was unhappy with the games.


As is traditional, one of the official dignitaries makes the first move to start the round:
in this case, 8-year-old FIDE Candidate Master Joshua Altman (ENG) played 1. Nf3
and whispered, "To avoid Magnus' Grunfeld!"


Vishy Anand had a very promising position against...


...Levon Aronian, but was unable to capsize the Armenian vessel.

Aronian – Anand ½-½ : Levon is another player that has had a very rocky start. This game went little better, as his opening was very questionable and basically caused him to be down a pawn from the beginning. However he was at least able to pull himself together and scrape a draw, albeit hardly the way anyone wants to play with White.


The ever popular Judit Polgar suffered at the hands of...


...top Brit Michael Adams, who seems intent on being the local hero of the tournament.

Adams – Polgar 1-0: Judit hasn’t been playing her best in this event. She got into problems straight from the start after allowing White to establish a wonderful passed pawn on the d-file. She was never able to recover or cause serious problems and Adams picked up an easy point.

Game of the Day (Adams-Polgar) by Andrew Martin

 


Hikaru Nakamura was also anxious to bounce back from yesterday's mishap, and
did his utmost to ground down Gawain Jones in the endgame. They drew in the end.

Jones-Nakamura ½ - ½: After White got next to nothing in a Gruenfeld, Nakamura was able to liquidate into a Knight vs. Bishop endgame in which only he had any chances of winning. However Jones showed that he can defend these positions even against the top in the world, and a draw was eventually agreed after much suffering from White.


Vladimir Kramnik came incredibly close to defeating Magnus Carlsen but was not able
to muscle his way in the endgame, despite an extra pawn.

Kramnik-Carlsen ½ - ½: Of course this is the spectator’s game of choice – the tournament leaders facing each other! A relatively dull opening allowed Kramnik to gain some pressure against an isolated b-pawn, which eventually fell. However the victory was still not in sight as there were no passed pawns or any clear targets, and the simplification of the queenside pawns didn’t help White any. It’s hard to pinpoint where Kramnik missed a better chance to create problems.  Maybe 28. Rc1 instead of 28. e4? Carlsen suffered, but the draw was held.

A special mention should be made of Kramnik’s Live Rating, since most are understandably focusing on Carlsen’s dash for the record. Back when the published ratings were changed from five-point increments to display single digit differences, a great many criticisms were leveraged, describing it as silly, and unnecessarily precise. Today, had Vladimir Kramnik won his game against Magnus Carlsen, he would have hopped past Levon Aronian to world number two, however his draw meant remaining in third place, with a whopping difference of… 0.1 Elo.


Local fan Trevor Jones is rejoined by one of his heros, Vladimir Kramnik

Replay all the games of the round

Standings (London scoring)

Standings (traditional scoring)

Pictures by Ray Morris-Hill, Pascal Simon and Jeroen van den Belt for ChessBase

Daniel King: Highlights of round three


Pairings and results

Round 1: Saturday, Dec. 1st, 2012, 14:00h
Luke McShane
0-1
Magnus Carlsen
Levon Aronian
0-1
Hikaru Nakamura
Vladimir Kramnik
1-0
Judit Polgar
Gawain Jones
0-1
Michael Adams
Vishy Anand (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 2: Sunday, Dec. 2nd, 2012, 14:00h
Judit Polgar
½-½
Gawain Jones 
Hikaru Nakamura
0-1
Vladimir Kramnik
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Levon Aronian
Vishy Anand
½-½
Luke McShane 
Michael Adams (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 3: Monday, Dec. 3rd, 2012, 14:00h
Levon Aronian
½-½
Vishy Anand
Vladimir Kramnik
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Gawain Jones
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura
Michael Adams
1-0
Judit Polgar
Luke McShane (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 4: Tuesday, Dec. 4th, 2012, 16:00h
Hikaru Nakamura
  Michael Adams
Magnus Carlsen
  Gawain Jones
Vishy Anand
  Vladimir Kramnik
Luke McShane
  Levon Aronian
Judit Polgar (bye) – assisting commentary
Wednesday, Dec. 5th, 2012 Rest day
Round 5: Thursday, Dec. 6th, 2012, 14:00h
Vladimir Kramnik
  Luke McShane
Gawain Jones
  Vishy Anand
Michael Adams
  Magnus Carlsen
Judit Polgar
  Hikaru Nakamura
Levon Aronian (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 6: Friday, Dec. 7th, 2012, 14:00h
Magnus Carlsen
  Judit Polgar
Vishy Anand
  Michael Adams
Luke McShane
  Gawain Jones 
Levon Aronian
  Vladimir Kramnik
Hikaru Nakamura (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 7: Saturday, Dec. 8th, 2012, 14:00h
Gawain Jones 
  Levon Aronian
Michael Adams 
  Luke McShane
Judit Polgar
  Vishy Anand
Hikaru Nakamura
  Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 8: Sunday, Dec. 9th, 2012, 14:00h
Vishy Anand
  Hikaru Nakamura
Luke McShane
  Judit Polgar
Levon Aronian
  Michael Adams
Vladimir Kramnik
  Gawain Jones 
Magnus Carlsen (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 9: Monday, Dec. 10th, 2012, 13:00h
Michael Adams
  Vladimir Kramnik
Judit Polgar
  Levon Aronian 
Hikaru Nakamura
  Luke McShane
Magnus Carlsen
  Vishy Anand
Gawain Jones (bye) – assisting commentary

The games – except for rounds four and nine – start at 2 p.m. or 14:00h British time = 15:00h CET, 17:00h Moscow, 7:30 p.m. Chennai, 22:00h Beijing, 01:00 a.m. Melbourne, 03:00 a.m. Auckland, 6 a.m. San José, 9 a.m. New York. You can check your location here. Naturally the games will be covered live on the official web site (below) and on Playchess. The games of round four begin two hours later, those of the final round two hours earlier.

Watch the live stream from the London Chess classic here.


Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client and get immediate access. Or you can get our latest Fritz 13 program, which includes six months free premium membership to Playchess.

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