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London Classic Rd1: Carlsen wins, McShane escapes Aronian

12/3/2011 – At the start of this year's Classic it was Magnus Carlsen who chalked up a win with a superb attack against David Howell, while Luke McShane pulled off a perpetual when he appeared lost to Aronian. The guest of honour on this first day followed the action with intense interest and actually played two games against the resting Nigel Short. Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, who stole the show.
 

London Chess Classic 2011

The 2011 London Chess Classic is taking place in the Olympia Conference Centre from Saturday, December 3rd until Monday, December 12th, starting at 14:00h London time each day (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. The total prize fund is €160,000 before tax.

There are nine players, including the four top-ranked (and only 2800+ rated) players in the world. 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
2826
1
30.11.1990
Anand, Viswanathan World Champion
IND
2811
2
11.12.1969
Aronian, Levon Super-Grandmaster
ARM
2802
3
06.10.1982
Kramnik, Vladimir Ex-World Champion
RUS
2800
4
25.06.1975
Nakamura, Hikaru Super-Grandmaster
USA
2758
10
09.12.1987
Adams, Michael Super-Grandmaster
ENG
2734
17
17.11.1971
Short, Nigel Ex-World Champion challenger
ENG
2698
48
01.06.1965
McShane, Luke Grandmaster
ENG
2671
74
07.01.1984
Howell, David Grandmaster
ENG
2633
139
14.11.1990

Round one

Round 1: Saturday, December 3, 2011
Vladimir Kramnik
½ ½
Hikaru Nakamura
Levon Aronian
½ ½
Luke McShane 
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
David Howell 
Michael Adams
½ ½
Vishy Anand 
Nigel Short (bye) – assisting commentary

Game analysis and commentary to follow in a separate report...


Pictorial report from day one in London

Pictures by Frederic Friedel, John Saunders, Ray Morris-Hill

The first round of the Chess Classic saw a very special guest: the tennis star Boris Becker, six-time Grand Slam singles champion, Olympic gold medalist, and the youngest-ever winner of the men's singles title at Wimbledon, at the age of 17. Becker is an enthusiastic chess player, as you shall see in the rest of this report.


Before the start of the round: Becker chats with World Champion Vishy Anand...


... and then, after instructions from Magnus, executes the first move in the Carlsen-
Howell game (Becker: "1.e4 – that's exactly what I would have played myself!")


The Indian High Commissioner Rajesh N. Prasad officiates in the game Adams-Anand


Nigel Short, Lawrence Trent and Steven Gordon doing live commentary for the audience
in London, and for viewers all over the world on the official web site and on Playchess


Boris Becker follows the commentary of the trio, and then...


... is led to a show-down game against Nigel Short (Becker is
suffering a leg injury sustained during a tennis match)


Boris and Nigel – the game is recorded by TV cameras and a crowd of press photographers

Becker,B - Short,N [C63]
LCC 2011, 04.12.2011
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.exf5 e4 6.Ne5 Bxf5 7.0-0 Qd4 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Nxg6 hxg6 10.Qe2 Bd6 11.g3 0-0-0 12.c3 Qd5 13.f4 Bc5+ 14.d4 exd3+ 15.Qf2 Bh3 16.Qxc5 Qg2# 0-1


Afterwards in the VIP room Boris gets personal commentary from Nigel and Malcolm Pein


The game is being followed with Fritz and projected on a big screen


Nigel grabs one of Boris' crutches and uses it as a pointer (to accurately predict Anand's next move)


Boris and Nigel contemplate in a very interesting pose


Nigel makes a very subtle point as to what is happening in the game...


... and then explains the general concepts of chess (with Frederic Friedel listening in)


Boris has some very pertinent questions


At some stage Becker asked if Nigel would give him "revenge". Sure thing – we set
up a board and the two started a second, private game in the VIP room


The second game turns into a very intense encounter, lasting for over an hour


Friedel is hoping for an upset win by the German star, who is holding up quite well


"You had a pawn less in a double rook ending," Nigel tells Boris. "If you hadn't
swapped the rooks, or kept at least one, you would have had drawing chances!"


Elsewhere GMs Jonathan Speelman, John Nunn and journalist Dominic Lawson follow the games


Tara MacGowran, wife of Mickey Adams, with Arianne Caoili, girlfriend of Lev Aronian


At the end of the round Tara turns up in Star Trek garb and, with
the obligatory tricorder in hand, is off to a fancy dress party


Schedule and results

Round 1: Saturday, December 3, 2011
Vladimir Kramnik
½ ½
Hikaru Nakamura
Levon Aronian
½ ½
Luke McShane 
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
David Howell 
Michael Adams
½ ½
Vishy Anand 
Nigel Short (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 2: Sunday, December 4, 2011
David Howell
  Michael Adams 
Luke McShane
  Magnus Carlsen
Hikaru Nakamura
  Levon Aronian
Nigel Short
  Vladimir Kramnik 
Vishy Anand (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 3: Monsay, December 5, 2011
Levon Aronian
  Nigel Short 
Magnus Carlsen
  Hikaru Nakamura
Michael Adams
  Luke McShane 
Vishy Anand
  David Howell 
Vladimir Kramnik (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 4: Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Magnus Carlsen
  Vladimir Kramnik 
Michael Adams
  Nigel Short 
Vishy Anand
  Hikaru Nakamura
David Howell
  Luke McShane 
Levon Aronian (bye) – assisting commentary
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 Rest day
Round 5: Thursday, December 8, 2011
Hikaru Nakamura
  David Howell 
Nigel Short
  Vishy Anand 
Vladimir Kramnik
  Michael Adams 
Levon Aronian
  Magnus Carlsen
Luke McShane (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 6: Friday, December 9, 2011
Michael Adams
  Levon Aronian
Vishy Anand
  Vladimir Kramnik 
David Howell
  Nigel Short 
Luke McShane
  Hikaru Nakamura
Magnus Carlsen (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 7: Saturday, December 10, 2011
Nigel Short 
  Luke McShane 
Vladimir Kramnik 
  David Howell 
Levon Aronian
  Vishy Anand 
Magnus Carlsen
  Michael Adams 
Hikaru Nakamura (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 8: Sunday, December 11, 2011
Vishy Anand
  Magnus Carlsen
David Howell
  Levon Aronian
Luke McShane
  Vladimir Kramnik 
Hikaru Nakamura
  Nigel Short 
Michael Adams (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 9: Monday, December 12, 2011
Luke McShane
  Vishy Anand 
Hikaru Nakamura
  Michael Adams 
Nigel Short
  Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik
  Levon Aronian
David Howell (bye) – assisting commentary

All games 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 (sorry Murray!), 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. Stand by for further details on Saturday. The games of the final round start two hours earlier.


Links

The games are being 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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