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LCC R7: All draws, but Adams misses golden opportunity

12/9/2012 – Although the round ended in four draws, it might easily have been otherwise. After a nice sacrifice of a piece for pawns, Carlsen seemed to have serious winning chances against Nakamura, but several inaccuracies later it was just a draw. Adams nursed an advantage against McShane into a winning position, but missed several chances and also drew. Round seven report.
 

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 seven report

By GM Alejandro Ramirez

Finally – it had to happen. The board shows all draws, but the games were fairly exciting. The spotlight was, of course, on the Nakamura-Carlsen game, in which the world number one had an opportunity to extend his lead over Aronian/Kramnik on the rating list even further. After arguably missing some chances, the peaceful results allows Magnus Carlsen to clinch London with a round to spare!

Round 7: Saturday, Dec. 8th, 2012, 14:00h
Gawain Jones 
½-½
Levon Aronian
Michael Adams 
½-½
Luke McShane
Judit Polgar
½-½
Vishy Anand
Hikaru Nakamura
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik (bye) – assisting commentary

Hikaru Nakamura-Magnus Carlsen ½-½
An unusual opening decision did not work in Hikaru’s favor. The 2.c3 Sicilian does not see much action in the top level of chess, but it is refreshing to see it once in a while. Magnus was either not surprised or had great over-the-board ideas, as his unusual setup with Qc7 and Rd8 quickly allowed him to equalize. A dubious move by the American allowed Magnus to sacrifice a piece for three pawns and a whole lot of simplification, which resulted in an endgame that looked very bad for the first player. An inaccuracy on move 23 allowed White back in the game, and the position petered out into a situation where Hikaru’s extra piece was worthless against Black’s kingside fortress of pawns.

This is the evaluation profile generated by Let's Check: it shows you the values calculated by the most powerful machines amongst the Playchess spectators world-wide while the game was in progress. You can retrieve the full Let's Check analysis of the whole game – together with alternate lines the engines were proposing – in this PGN file.

Nakamura,Hikaru (2760) - Carlsen,Magnus (2848) [B22]
4th London Chess Classic London ENG (7.1), 08.12.2012
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.Bc4 e6 6.d4 cxd4 7.cxd4 d6 8.0-0 Be7 9.Qe2 0-0 10.Rd1 Qc7 11.a3 Rd8 12.b4 a6 13.Bd3 b5 14.h4 dxe5 15.dxe5 Bb7 16.Ra2

This is the position in which Magnus played the piece sacrifice 16...Ndxb4! The game continued 16...Ndxb4 17.axb4 Nxb4 18.Rad2 Rxd3 19.Rxd3 Nxd3 20.Qxd3 Rd8 21.Qe2 Rxd1+ 22.Qxd1 Bxf3 23.gxf3 Qxe5 24.Qd7 Bf8 25.Be3 a5 26.Qe8 h6 27.Kg2 a4 28.Na3 b4 29.Nc4 Qc7 30.Nb6 Qe7 31.Qxa4 Qxh4 32.Qa8 Qe7 33.Qc8 b3 34.Nd7 b2 35.Nxf8 Qxf8 36.Qb7 e5 37.Qxb2 f6 38.Qc2 Qf7 39.Qf5 Kh8 40.Bd2 Kg8 41.Kg3 Kh8 42.Be3 Kg8 43.Kh2 Kh8 44.Kg2 Kg8 45.Qd3 Kh8 46.f4 exf4 47.Bxf4 Kg8 48.Qe4 Kh8 49.Be3 Kg8 50.Bd4 Kh8 51.f4 Kg8 52.Kg3 Kh8 53.Be3 Kg8 54.Bd4 Kh8 55.Be3 Kg8 56.Bd4 Kh8 ½-½. Both our Game of the Day commentators have discussed this game, so you can listen to them in the video clips below.


After his piece sacrifice Magnus waits to see what Hikaru will do after 17...Nxb4


Carlsen and arbiter Albert Vasser watch as Nakamura plays 18.Rad2

Judit Polgar-Vishy Anand ½-½
Having scored only half a point going into this round, Judit was really out looking for blood. She wasn’t looking for peace as she started out by organizing a checkmate threat on Vishy’s king as early as move 12! However the Indian’s defense was rock solid, and although maybe the resulting endgame was microscopically better for the Hungarian heroine, her technique was not up to par to put Vishy in any kind of real trouble.

Gawain Jones-Levon Aronian ½-½
Another f3 Gruenfeld led to exciting play as the young English player decided to once against sacrifice material. The Armenian superstar was not to be distraught by White’s trickery on the kingside, and eventually he decided to give back the pawn to push White back. Some simplification led to a dead equal endgame in which the players agreed to a draw.

Michael Adams-Luke McShane ½-½
If someone is thanking his lucky stars tonight, it is Luke McShane. After suffering the entire game – and going from slightly worse, to much worse, to down a pawn, to down a pawn and suffering a mating attack – he was able to survive miraculously. Adams repeatedly missed killing opportunities when he started attacking with his queen and rook. He eventually let Black into the game and McShane didn’t blunder again. An unbelievable draw.


The playing hall during round seven


GMs Stuart Conquest, Danny King, and IM Lawrence Trent doing live commentary
for the spectators in London as well as the live broadcast and the Playchess visitors


Vladimir Kramnik, who had a bye, and Nigel Short do live commentary in the VIP room

Replay all the games of the round

Standings (London scoring)

Standings (traditional scoring)


Postgame analysis of the games by the players

Hikaru Nakamura - Magnus Carlsen London Chess Classic 2012 Round 7

Judit Polgar - Vishy Anand London Chess Classic 2012 Round 7


Judit Polgar and Vishy Anand analyse with Daniel King and Nigel Short

Daniel King: Play of the day (Nakamura vs Carlsen)

Andrew Martin Play of the Day (Nakamura vs Carlsen)

Live video coverage and commentary

Watching the games live

You can watch the live stream with video and GM commentary on the official web site

You can also watch the games with GMs commenting on the Playchess server. The commentary – the same as on the official site – is provided as an audio feed. This is free for premium members.

You have the usual Playchess functions, such as chat with other members or, most importantly, real time engine analysis as well as Let's Check evaluations – deep lines by the most powerful computers and engines all over the world.


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
1-0
Luke McShane
Gawain Jones
0-1
Vishy Anand
Michael Adams
0-1
Magnus Carlsen
Judit Polgar
0-1
Hikaru Nakamura
Levon Aronian (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 6: Friday, Dec. 7th, 2012, 14:00h
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Judit Polgar
Vishy Anand
0-1
Michael Adams
Luke McShane
1-0
Gawain Jones 
Levon Aronian
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik
Hikaru Nakamura (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 7: Saturday, Dec. 8th, 2012, 14:00h
Gawain Jones 
½-½
Levon Aronian
Michael Adams 
½-½
Luke McShane
Judit Polgar
½-½
Vishy Anand
Hikaru Nakamura
½-½
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.


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