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LCC R8: Kramnik, Polgar win, Anand-Nakamura a very tense draw

12/9/2012 – An incredibly exciting round as the audience followed Vishy Anand and Hikaru Nakamura, which was winning for both players at different times and ended in a fortress draw. Vladimir Kramnik won a masterful game against Gawain Jones. He now has a 3000 performance and is the world number two, while Judit Polgar beat McShane for her first win in this event. Full report with 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 eight express

By GM Alejandro Ramirez

Carlsen holds a commanding lead and was happily sitting on the sidelines doing commentary – but there was still a brilliant fight boiling in the tournament hall as his closest pursuers battled it out. The pride of many of the players is on the line, and for a few the idea of stealing the tournament away from Magnus is still possible. The games were all hard fought, and wonderful.

Round 8: Sunday, Dec. 9th, 2012, 14:00h
Vishy Anand
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura
Luke McShane
0-1
Judit Polgar
Levon Aronian
½-½
Michael Adams
Vladimir Kramnik
1-0
Gawain Jones 
Magnus Carlsen (bye) – assisting commentary

Vladimir Kramnik-Gawain Jones 1-0
Big Vlad has had a tournament that is nothing short of brilliant. With a performance above 3000 he really is showing that he is at the peak of his game. His rating will jump to a huge 2811, and although it isn’t anywhere near Carlsen yet, he has obtained a solid second spot in the live ratings list.

This game against Gawain Jones was very much a mopping-up operation, as Kramnik used a harmless variation against Jones, who was simply outclassed. An exchange sacrifice to obtain a super powerful light-squared bishop and some passed pawns was enough to bring home the point.

Luke McShane-Judit Polgar 0-1
If there is one thing that marks world champions, it is that they never give up. Judit may never have obtained the Women’s World Championship title, but there is no dispute in the community that she could have had it anytime she wanted. This game was just a show of Polgar’s tenacity and fighting spirit – she was aggressive from the outset and following one or two bad moves from McShane she quickly capitalized and destroyed White’s defenses.


Judit Polgar with her first win in this tournament


Luke McShane at minus three

Levon Aronian-Michael Adams ½-½
Another weak performance by Aronian with the white pieces left him struggling throughout the entire game. After losing a pawn in the middlegame he went into full defense mode, and he was able to hold the draw in the end against an Adams who kept trying to find ways to win. Levon cannot be happy with the way things went in this game or are going in the tournament, and he hopes to finish on a high note.


Armenian GM Levon Aronian at minus one losing 11 rating points on the FIDE list

Vishy Anand-Hikaru Nakamura ½-½
A funny piece of trivia is that exactly one year ago, this exact same match-up occurred. Hikaru Nakamura turned 25 today and was again Black against the World Champion. Last year saw Hikaru turn 24 and brilliantly destroy Vishy, but today it seemed that Vishy was going to obtain his revenge. A somewhat strange Najdorf gave approximately equal chances to both sides, which eventually led into a strange endgame where Vishy had two rooks and two passed pawns against Hikaru’s knight, bishop, rook and two passed pawns.


A critical moment in the game at move 32 (Anand played 32.Nc3 instead of 32.Raf1)

A number of inaccuracies occurred, and the evaluation pendulum swung violently from one side to the other. In the end, it is possible to say that White missed his winning chances with 46.h5?, while Hikaru missed his chances by not playing perfectly like a computer in the resulting queen vs. rook and pawns endgame. Eventually White managed to create a fortress which concluded a very exciting draw.


Magnus Carlsen analysing the games with Lawrence Trent and Nigel Short for the
spectators in London, for the official live coverage and on Playchess.com


Julian Hodgson and Magnus as a special guest in the VIP room

Pictures by Frederic Friedel and Pascal Simon for ChessBase

Replay all the games of the round

Standings (London scoring)

Standings (traditional scoring)


Carlsen's rating record

The current live ratings show Magnus Carlsen at 2862.4 points, a point lower than on the previous day. Garry Kasparov has congratulated the Norwegian on breaking Kasparov's decade-long record of 2851. However, we have received some relevant information on the matter from James Satrapa of Australia:

In your report you said that Magnus has soared to stratospheric levels in the live ratings: 2864 points, 13 more than Garry Kasparov's previous record. This is mistaken. It is seven points more than Kasparov's previous live rating record of 2857 (2856.7 to be exact). Kasparov's official FIDE record is 2851, as of July 1999, and it remained that way for FIDE's January 2000 rating list because he played no rated games in the rating period between the two lists. At this point his live rating was the same as his FIDE rating, as the 2851 resulted from wins in the last three games of the rating period leading up to July 1999. After January 2000, Kasparov played a number of games that overall resulted in his FIDE rating falling to 2849 in July 2000. However, before then, at Linares in February 2000, when he beat Anand in round four, his live rating, had it been calculated then, would have been 2856 or 2857, depending upon how it was calculated at the time. The exact highest possible figure is 2856.7 although it could be as low as 2855.9.

Kasparov's 2851 record is his official FIDE rating for July 1999 and January 2000 and won't be officially broken until 1 January 2013 at the earliest, while the exact amount by which it will be broken won't be clear until Carlsen's final game with Anand. If he draws with Anand, his live rating and his eventual official rating go down by another point to 2861 after his loss of 1.2 points in his draw to Nakamura, while clearly the differential from the live rating after the Nakamura game will be greater if there is a result (resulting in 2856 if Carlsen loses, and 2866 if he wins). To conflate the official rating with the live rating before the end of the tournament is misleading.

Point taken, Jim. We will compare Carlsen's live rating progress to Kasparov's all-time live rating high of 2857 – until January 1st, when we will switch to comparing Carlsen's official FIDE rating to Kasparov's all-time official FIDE rating record of 2851. Here are the live ratings after round eight of the London Chess Classic.

Top ten Live Chess Ratings [Update 09 December 2012, 20:21 GMT]

#
Name
Rating
+/–
Games
Chart
Age
1
Carlsen
2862.4
+15.6
6

22 (30.11.1990)
2
Kramnik
2810.9
+12.9
6

37 (25.06.1975)
3
Aronian
2803.7
-7.6
5

30 (06.10.1982)
4
Radjabov
2793.0
0.0
0

25 (12.03.1987)
5
Caruana
2780.6
-1.4
11

20 (30.07.1992)
6
Karjakin
2780.3
+5.3
11

22 (12.01.1990)
7
Anand
2771.1
-2.7
5

42 (11.12.1969)
8
Topalov
2771.0
0.0
0

37 (15.03.1975)
9
Mamedyarov
2766.4
+2.4
11

27 (12.04.1985)
10
Ivanchuk
2766.0
0.0
0

43 (18.03.1969

Postgame analysis of the games by the players

Vishy Anand - Hikaru Nakamura London Chess Classic 2012 Round 8


Birthday boy Hikaru Nakamura during the postgame analysis


Subdued: Vishy Anand after almost winning and almost losing

Vladimir Kramnik - Gawain Jones London Chess Classic 2012 Round 8


With plus four and a 3000 performance into the final round: Vladimir Kramnik


Last game over in this event for Gawain Jones

Luke McShane - Judit Polgar London Chess Classic 2012 Round 8

Daniel King: Play of the day

Andrew Martin Play of the Day (Anand-Nakamura)

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
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura
Luke McShane
0-1
Judit Polgar
Levon Aronian
½-½
Michael Adams
Vladimir Kramnik
1-0
Gawain Jones 
Magnus Carlsen (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 9: Monday, Dec. 10th, 2012, 12:00h
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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