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LCC update: special study, Magnus' second, Game of the Day

11/29/2012 – For this prestigious event, which starts on Saturday, Israeli composer Yochanan Afek has provided a highly entertaining chess study. Meanwhile we learn that GM Ian Nepomniachtchi, Magnus Carlsen's second for London, was refused a visa for Britain. And finally we bring you a video preview of the Chess Classic by Andrew Martin, who will be doing Play of the Day shows during the event.
 

An original composition by Yochanan Afek

Yochanan has once again paid the organisers the honour of dedicating an original study to the London Chess Classic. Yochanan, originally from Israel and now resident in Amsterdam, is one of the world's best-known and most prolific composers. Uniquely, he holds four 'international' titles – IM for over the board play and for composition, and international arbiter for both – and he has a fifth title, FM for problem solving. He is also a regular contributor to magazines, including CHESS Magazine, and an award-winning author.

In his teens Yochanan was fortunate enough to come under the wing of not one, but two legends of Israeli chess – Moshe Czerniak and Yair Kraidman. Inspired by them he started composing early in life, and was also organising chess tournaments at 16. He recently celebrated his 60th birthday and can look back on no fewer than 45 years as a dedicated chess professional.

British players will be familiar with Yochanan's amiable presence over the years at Isle of Man, Hastings, Lloyds Bank Masters and Oakham tournaments. He has played in the last two London Opens at Olympia, making impressive scores and only making one draw in eighteen games – so he's not so amiable at the board!

Original Composition by Yochanan Afek
London Chess Classic 2012

White to play and win

How will this battle of rooks end? Here is the solution for you to replay:

[Event "London Classics Study "] [Site "?"] [Date "2012.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Afek, Yochanan "] [Black "White to play and win"] [Result "1-0"] [Annotator "Afek,Yochanan"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "1R4K1/kppr4/2R2P1r/2PP4/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "13"] 1. f7 Rh8+ $1 (1... Rxf7 2. Rxh6 $18) 2. Kxh8 Rxf7 3. Kg8 $3 Rd7 $1 (3... Rf5 4. Rf8 $3 ({A lot better than} 4. d6 $1 Kxb8 5. d7 bxc6 $1 6. d8=Q+ Kb7 {and it's not an easy task to provide the winning line}) 4... Rg5+ 5. Kf7 bxc6 6. d6 Rf5+ 7. Ke7 Re5+ 8. Kf6 Rd5 9. Ke6 $18) 4. Rxb7+ $1 Kxb7 5. Rd6 $3 cxd6 (5... Re7 6. Re6 $18) (5... Rxd6 6. cxd6 Kc8 7. Kf7 $18) 6. c6+ Kc7 7. cxd7 {All four Rooks are given away for a winning pawn ending} 1-0

Carlsen's second not granted a visa for London

Carlsen plagued by trouble before big tournament

Magnus Carlsen (21) says preparations for the tournament where he can break the world record has been disturbed by British authorities. The visa application to the UK by his permanent second, Russian GM Ian Nepomniachtchi (21), has been rejected because of a formal error. "It is amazing that they would stick a spanner in the works for the world's number one," said manager Espen Agdestein to VG Nett. "Magnus' preparation has been made more complicated by the over zealous British authorities."

A second in chess is the person who helps the player with the analysis of the opponent strategic planning. Nepomniachtchi is not just anyone: He is the currently number 45 in the world. And he travels frequently around the world in tournaments without having problems with the visa.

We have been in touch with Magnus' second and learn that it was indeed a formal error that led to the visa denial. Normally Ian's visas are taken care of by the Russian Chess Federation, but this time he decided there was no need and he could easily do it himself. However he apparently did not fill out the forms completely, and the visa was not issued in time for his departure. Magnus' manager Espen Agdestein arranged for Norwegian government officials to call the British authorities in the Moscow Embassy and in London, but to no avail. Looks like Magnus and Ian will have to do their work using Skype.

The former European and Russian champion was asked about his collaboration with the world number one. He explained that the two are friends and have done occasional training sessions together, sparring for the most part. Since his schedule currently gives him a bit of latitude Ian felt it was a good idea to offer his help as Magnus’s second. “I'm an ambitious player myself anyway, and it's a good opportunity not only to teach, but to learn something new from Magnus. I guess it helps my development as well.”


Andrew Martin: London Chess Classic 2012 Preview

One of our favourite commentators, Andrew Martin, will be doing Game of the Day analysis sessions during the chess classic, which we will provide for replay in our reports. Here to get you into the mood is a preview of this year's Classic.

Apart from Andrew Martin we will also have video commentary by Daniel King. Playchess members can follow the live commentary of GMs in London (Nigel Short, Lawrence Trent and others) as well as watch the postgame analysis by the players themselves – with a live chessboard – as soon as the games are over. The official web site will have all of this in a video stream that can be watched in a regular browser.


Tournament Information

The 2012 London Chess Classic will take 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.

There are nine players, including the three top-ranked in the world, make for a rating average of 2751. The player rested during each round will provide commentary on the games in progress.

Name Title
Country
Rating
W-rank
Born
Carlsen, Magnus Super-Grandmaster
NOR
2848
1
30.11.1990
Aronian, Levon Super-Grandmaster
ARM
2815
2
06.10.1982
Kramnik, Vladimir Ex-World Champion
RUS
2795
3
25.06.1975
Anand, Viswanathan World Champion
IND
2775
6
11.12.1969
Nakamura, Hikaru Super-Grandmaster, US Nr. two
USA
2755
13
09.12.1987
McShane, Luke Super-Grandmaster
ENG
2710
29
07.01.1984
Adams, Michael Super-Grandmaster
ENG
2710
32
17.11.1971
Polgar, Judit Super-GM, strongest female ever
HUN
2705
43
23.07.1976
Jones,Gawain Grandmaster
ENG
2644
112
11.12.1987

Pairings

Round 1: Saturday, Dec. 1st, 2012, 14:00h
Luke McShane
  Magnus Carlsen
Levon Aronian
  Hikaru Nakamura
Vladimir Kramnik
  Judit Polgar
Gawain Jones
  Michael Adams
Vishy Anand (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 2: Sunday, Dec. 2nd, 2012, 14:00h
Judit Polgar
  Gawain Jones 
Hikaru Nakamura
  Vladimir Kramnik
Magnus Carlsen
  Levon Aronian
Vishy Anand
  Luke McShane 
Michael Adams (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 3: Monday, Dec. 3rd, 2012, 14:00h
Levon Aronian
  Vishy Anand
Vladimir Kramnik
  Magnus Carlsen
Gawain Jones
  Hikaru Nakamura
Michael Adams
  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, 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.


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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