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LCC R4: Carlsen and Aronian both win in style

12/4/2012 – It was a fitting way of finally overtaking Garry Kasparov's record, as Magnus Carlsen and Gawain Jones played a wild game. Jones sacrificed his queen for play, but Carlsen held fast and is now at 2857.4. Levon Aronian scored the next win, over Luke McShane in a thrilling endgame as he fought past four connected passed pawns. Illustrated report with realtime postgame analysis.
 

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 four

By Alejandro Ramirez

Round 4: Tuesday, Dec. 4th, 2012, 16:00h
Hikaru Nakamura
½-½
Michael Adams
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Gawain Jones
Vishy Anand
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik
Luke McShane
0-1
Levon Aronian
Judit Polgar (bye) – assisting commentary

In another incredibly entertaining round, we had some of the craziest material imbalances seen at top level chess!  Nothing creates excitement over the board like material imbalance.


A young fan was given the honor of playing the first move, and played 1.d4 for Magnus.
Carlsen then retracted the move before starting and chose 1.e4 instead.

Carlsen-Jones 1-0: In a Maroczy bind structure, things got interesting when Jones sacrificed a queen for a knight and a bishop and positional compensation.  However, with very accurate play and some seemingly awkward moves, Carlsen slowly but surely got himself out of the bind and the ensuing material advantage was just too much.


It was a thrilling game he played against Gawain Jones, a fitting stepping stone into
history as he established the highest Live Rating as well, beating Kasparov's unpublished
record.


Records are meant to be broken, and Magnus Carlsen has now reached a Live Rating
of 2857.4


Gawain Jones played fearlessly, sacrificing his queen for active play, a choice that
Carlsen acknowledged he took as a serious move, and by no means dismissed it.

Nakamura-Adams ½-½: Nakamura tried and tried and tried to push an unpushable position.  Despite having the pair of bishops, it was simply not sufficient and Adams held a draw.


A similar story for Hikaru Nakamura as he watched his young fan open with 1.e4, but
he too then decided 1.d4 was going to be his choice.

Anand-Kramnik ½-½: Definitely the low point of the round.  Kramnik neutralized Anand who goes 17 straight classical games without victory and was forced to agree to a boring draw.

McShane-Aronian 1-0: This game saw an incredibly complex material balance. In a fantastic endgame White had a Rook and Knight and four(!) passed pawns against Black’s Queen and Bishop. However, there were also a-pawns for both players, and after Aronian won his opponent’s he had the edge with his now passed a-pawn. Although it looked scary for both sides, at the very end Black’s two queens proved to be too much for White’s pieces and some cool maneuvering led directly to checkmate. Awesome game!


By far the longest game of the round, this game had the audience at the edge until
the end. Aronian had a nice advantage, but no end of technical difficulties to solve, as
the Englishman pushed his four passed pawns forward.

Photos by Ray Morris-Hill

Analysis of the games by the players


Magnus Carlsen analysing on Playchess immediately after his game against...


... British GM Gawain Jones

Daniel King: Highlights of round four

Andrew Martin: Game of the Day

Replay all the games of the round

Standings (London scoring)

Standings (traditional scoring)

Pictures by Pascal Simon for ChessBase

Live video coverage and commentary


The on-demand video coverage with commentary can be seen here


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
½-½
Michael Adams
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Gawain Jones
Vishy Anand
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik
Luke McShane
0-1
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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