London R02: All games drawn!

by Sagar Shah
12/5/2015 – Maxime Vachier-Lagrave came closest to scoring the full point today. He had a winning position against Hikaru Nakamura but he failed to convert it. Magnus against Fabi was quite an interesting struggle, while the rest three were pretty dull draws. David Howell was able to beat Nick Pert to take the lead in the British Knockouts. We also have some pictures from the FIDE Open. Detailed illustrated report.

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The 7th London Chess Classic, England's premier tournament, takes place at its traditional venue of Kensington Olympia from Friday December 4th to Sunday December 13th. The main event, the strongest ever held in the UK, is a nine-round ten-player super tournament played at a rate of 40 moves in 2 hours, followed by the rest of the game in one hour with a 30-second increment from move 41. The overall prize fund is $300,000, with the winner getting $75,000.

Watch it live on Playchess!

When the games are running, clicking on the above link will take you to our live broadcast. It is free and open to all – as a Premium Account member you have access to the Live Book, Chat, chess engine analysis – all in your browser, on a notebook, tablet or even your smartphone. And the Let's Check function will show you what the most powerful computers in the world think of the current position, as each move is being played. Below are the four most-watched boards.

Round 2 Sat. 5 Dec, 14.00-21.00
Anish Giri
½-½
Michael Adams
Levon Aronian
½-½
Viswanathan Anand
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Fabiano Caruana
Hikaru Nakamura
½-½
M Vachier-Lagrave
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Commentary Round 2: Oliver Reeh/Karsten Müller

15-minute summary of round two by Daniel King

London Chess Classic Round Two: All games drawn!

Report from London by Sagar Shah

Today the FIDE Open at the London Chess festival, in which I am participating, had two rounds. Usually when you have to play a double round in a normal event you wonder about what is to be done in the break between the two games. But at the London Chess Classic this was not at all a problem. As soon as my game finished, I rushed to the auditorium where the second round of the elite category was just about to begin.

Before the start of the game: Anish in a snazzy shirt, blazer and tie, and Anand in his informal avatar

A loss yesterday didn’t seem to deter Veselin, who came to the second game in good spirits

A few minutes into the game and the players had already started kibitzing

All of us, at some point or the other, have followed live games on the Internet. The excellent video coverage provided by elite events like Shamkir, Norway, London, etc. ensures that you get a near-to-being-present feeling at the venue. However, it is completely different to be seated in the auditorium and to witness the drama unfold in real life right in front of your eyes.

The game which everyone was looking forward to was definitely Carlsen against Caruana

Magnus played the relatively toothless 5.Re1 in the Berlin. But the game soon reached an exciting position, one where Caruana had to deal with the dangerous white passed pawn on d6. He managed to hold on to a draw, but only by a whisker.

[Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2015.12.05"] [Round "2.4"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2850"] [BlackElo "2787"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "84"] [EventDate "2015.12.04"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Re1 {Magnus goes for a pretty sedate line, trying to get a small edge.} Nd6 6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bf1 Nxe5 8. Rxe5 O-O 9. Nc3 Ne8 10. Nd5 Bd6 11. Re1 c6 12. Ne3 Be7 13. c4 Nc7 14. d4 d5 15. cxd5 Nxd5 16. Nxd5 cxd5 17. Bf4 {All of this has been seen before in the game Areshechenko-Bacrot in June 2015. White won that game. The position is very symmetrical. However, White seems to have a small edge due to better placement of his pieces, like the rook being on e1 and the bishop on f4. However, this is nothing much.} Bf6 18. Be5 Bxe5 19. Rxe5 {One of the reasons why White should have a small edge here is because the d5 pawn is on a light square, which means that the bishop on c8 is slightly a bad piece.} Re8 20. Rxe8+ Qxe8 21. Qb3 {Magnus was playing his moves pretty quickly and confidently.} Qc6 22. Bb5 Qb6 {Black is ready to sacrifice his d5 pawn in order to get some counterplay.} (22... Qd6 23. Rc1 (23. Re1 Be6 $11) 23... Be6 {also looks fine. But Caruana wanted to be more precise and hence chose Qb6 over Qd6.}) 23. Qxd5 a6 $1 {Very accurate.} (23... Be6 24. Qc5 $1 Qxc5 25. dxc5 $16 {is just an extra pawn.}) 24. Bd3 {Magnus retreats to a square where he can create some mating threats with Bd3.} Be6 25. Qe4 g6 26. d5 {It seems as if White has things going his way, but Caruana has everything under control.} Bf5 27. Qe2 Bxd3 28. Qxd3 Qxb2 {Black recovers the pawn. However, the d5 pawn is not at all a unit that should be underestimated.} 29. Re1 Rd8 30. d6 Rd7 {Stopping the pawn in the tracks. This is not all easy to defend but Caruana does a fine job.} (30... Qxa2 31. Qd4 $1 {looks pretty dangerous with Qf6 coming up next.}) 31. g3 $5 {Magnus takes out time to secure his back rank.} Qf6 32. Rd1 Qe5 33. Qa3 a5 34. f4 {This move might well be practically strong, however in the end it was this move that led to the perpetual check.} Qe2 35. Qc1 Qe6 36. Qc5 b5 37. Qxb5 (37. Qe5 $11 {Anand and Aronian analyzed this move in their press conference and it is also equal.}) 37... Rxd6 $1 {Caruana is tactically alert and sacrifices his rook in order to get a perpetual check.} 38. Qb8+ Kg7 39. Qxd6 Qe3+ 40. Kg2 Qe2+ 41. Kg1 Qe3+ 42. Kg2 Qe2+ 1/2-1/2

Magnus put some pressure on his opponent…

…but “Fabi” was up to the task!

Overnight leader Anish Giri was playing quickly and moving around confidently on the stage…

…but England’s Michael Adams gave him absolutely no winning chances

[Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2015.12.05"] [Round "2.2"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E37"] [WhiteElo "2778"] [BlackElo "2744"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "52"] [EventDate "2015.12.04"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 Ne4 7. Qc2 c5 8. dxc5 Nc6 9. Nf3 Qa5+ 10. Bd2 Qxc5 11. e3 Nxd2 12. Nxd2 dxc4 13. Bxc4 O-O 14. b4 Qe7 15. Bd3 h6 16. Qc3 a6 17. O-O Bd7 18. Nc4 Rab8 19. Nb6 Rfd8 20. Rac1 Be8 21. Be4 {[#]} Na7 $1 {[%csl Gb5,Gc6][%cal Ge8c6,Ga7b5] You can bank on Michael Adams to find the most accurate way to equalize the game. The knight frees the c6 square for the e8 bishop, while at the same time it is also threaning to come to b5 with a tempo.} 22. a4 Qd6 23. Nc4 Qe7 24. Nb6 Qd6 25. Nc4 Qe7 26. Nb6 Qd6 {Optically it seems that White should be clearly better. But on close inspection you realize that Black is completely fine and the position is just equal.} 1/2-1/2

Veselin Topalov went on the scoreboard with a draw against Alexander Grischuk

A draw with black was not a bad result for Grischuk who found the nice Qb8-b4 maneuver

[Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2015.12.05"] [Round "2.5"] [White "Topalov, Veselin"] [Black "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2803"] [BlackElo "2750"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2015.12.04"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. Nbd2 d6 7. h3 a6 8. Bxc6 bxc6 9. O-O Re8 10. Re1 h6 11. Nf1 Bb6 12. Ng3 Bd7 13. Be3 {I like this game because of Grischuk's imaginative activation of the queen.} Qb8 $1 {Just look how the queen comes in to the game.} 14. Qd2 Bxe3 15. Rxe3 a5 16. d4 exd4 17. cxd4 Qb4 $1 {[%cal Gd8b8,Gb8b4] After the queen exchange the position is equal. } 18. b3 Qxd2 19. Nxd2 a4 20. a3 axb3 21. Rxb3 Ra4 22. Rb7 Rxd4 23. Nf3 Ra4 24. Rxc7 Rc8 (24... Rd8 {the knight attacks the e4 pawn.} 25. e5 Ne8 26. Rb7 c5 27. exd6 Bc6 28. Rb3 Nxd6 $11 {is also round about equal.}) 25. Rxc8+ Bxc8 26. e5 dxe5 27. Nxe5 c5 28. Rc1 Rxa3 29. Rxc5 Be6 30. Rc1 Ra8 31. Nf3 Rc8 32. Rxc8+ Bxc8 33. Nd4 1/2-1/2

For a brief while Anand was under pressure against Levon Aronian,
but after an inaccuracy by the Armenian the game ended in a draw

[Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2015.12.05"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2781"] [BlackElo "2803"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2015.12.04"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bd2 O-O 6. e3 c5 7. a3 Bxc3 8. Bxc3 Ne4 9. Qc2 Nxc3 10. bxc3 Nd7 11. Bd3 h6 12. cxd5 exd5 13. Qb2 Qe7 14. O-O Nf6 15. Rfb1 c4 16. Bc2 Ne4 17. a4 Re8 18. a5 $1 {White has some pressure as the c8 bishop cannot be developed for the time being. However, Black can easily solve the problem either with Rb8 or, as Anand does in the game, Nd6.} Nd6 19. Qb4 Be6 20. Re1 $6 {Aronian would like to play e3-e4 but he removes the pressure from the b7 pawn. This helps Anand to exchange the key bishops.} (20. Ne5 {was much better keeping a minute edge.}) 20... Bf5 $1 21. Bxf5 Nxf5 { After this exchange the position is completely equal.} 22. Qxe7 Rxe7 23. h4 h5 24. g3 Nd6 25. Reb1 Rc8 26. Kg2 f6 27. Ng1 g5 28. Nf3 Ne4 29. Ra3 Rf8 30. Rb5 Rd7 31. Rb2 Rg7 32. Rb5 Rd7 33. Rb2 Rg7 34. Rb5 1/2-1/2

Aronian would have wanted to test Anand more with the position he had achieved out of the opening, but Re1 made the Indian player’s task quite easy. By the way do you see something unusual in the picture?

The hand with the red nail polish is, of course, not Aronian’s! It belongs to
Jennifer Shahade who is doing a commendable job of interviewing of all the elite players

The game of the day was surely the one between Hikaru Nakamura and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Nakamura’s unusual opening experiment fared pretty badly as he came out of the first phase with an inferior position, that too with the white pieces. Maxime played excellently and at one point had a clear win. However, he couldn’t find the critical continuation and the game petered out to equality.

[Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2015.12.05"] [Round "2.3"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A48"] [WhiteElo "2793"] [BlackElo "2765"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "113"] [EventDate "2015.12.04"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. e3 $5 {Nakamura plays something offbeat to get an original position.} Bg7 4. c4 O-O 5. Be2 {By not developing his knight on c3 White dissuades Black from playing the Grunfeld.} c5 (5... d5 6. cxd5 Nxd5 7. e4 {is considered pleasant for White.}) 6. d5 d6 7. Nc3 e6 8. O-O exd5 9. cxd5 {Now we are in Benoni territory where White has played the e3 Be2 line. Of course this is in no way theoretically threatening, especially because White will be a tempo down in the main lines when he has to go e3-e4. However, the position is still quite interesting and White can hope for a small edge.} Na6 10. Nd2 Rb8 11. e4 Re8 12. f3 Nh5 13. f4 Nf6 14. Kh1 Nc7 15. a4 a6 16. a5 Bd7 { Black has a very comfortable version of the Benoni. White's pieces are clumsily placed. Black can use the b5 square for his own pieces.} 17. Bf3 Nb5 18. e5 $6 dxe5 19. fxe5 Rxe5 $17 {Nakamura sacrifices a pawn to muddy the waters, but the position is just clearly better for Black.} 20. Nc4 Rf5 21. Ne2 Rxf3 $5 {A very interesting exchange sacrifice.} (21... Ng4 $1 22. Bxg4 Rxf1+ 23. Qxf1 Bxg4 $17 {was even stronger.}) 22. gxf3 Bh3 23. Re1 Qxd5 24. Nf4 Qxd1 25. Rxd1 {Black has two pawns for the exchange and excellent co-ordination.} Bd7 26. Be3 Bc6 27. Kg2 Re8 28. Kf2 g5 29. Nd3 g4 30. Nde5 Bd5 31. Rg1 h5 32. h3 {[#]} Bxc4 $6 (32... gxf3 $1 {would have lead to a winning position for Black but requires great deal of calculation.} 33. Bh6 Ne4+ $1 34. Ke3 (34. Kxf3 $2 Ng5+ $19) 34... Kh7 $1 35. Bxg7 f2 $1 36. Rg2 Nd4 $19 {and Black is a complete rook down, but with threats like Nc2+ he has a winning position. Of course this is not so easy to see during the game.}) 33. Nxc4 $11 {The worst is over for White.} Nd5 34. fxg4 Nxe3 35. Nxe3 Bxb2 36. Rae1 Bc3 37. Re2 Bd4 38. Kf3 Nc3 39. Ree1 Ne4 40. gxh5+ Kh7 41. Rg2 Nd6 42. Ree2 Re5 43. Nc2 Rxh5 44. Nxd4 cxd4 45. Rg4 Rxa5 46. Rxd4 Nf5 47. Rb4 b5 48. Kf4 Nh6 49. Ke5 Ra3 50. h4 Rg3 51. Ra2 Rg6 52. Rb1 Re6+ 53. Kf4 Rf6+ 54. Ke4 Re6+ 55. Kf4 Rf6+ 56. Ke4 Re6+ 57. Kf4 1/2-1/2

Nakamura had a grim day at the office, but he hung in there

I was sooo close to winning, I just don’t know where I went wrong!

Game of the Day Round two

Veselin Topalov against Anish Giri was nominated game of the day for round one by readers and visitors.

The lucky winner of the London Chess Classic poll is Lee Phillips. He wins a copy of Fritz 15 DVD, which will be delivered to him.

British Knockout Championships

We had a decisive result in the second game of the British Knockout Championships final between David Howell and Nick Pert. The game started with an English Opening that looked highly drawish. No pawns were exchanged until move 19, and by move 24 the players had reached a completely equal rook ending with seven pawns each. Well, the position was equal, not drawn. The finalists fought hard in the endgame trying to make use of every little resource available in the position. There were some nice themes of mutual zugzwang. Finally, Pert made a few errors and Howell scored the full point. He leads the match with a score of 1.5:0.5.

David Howell came in a fighting mood

The game seemed to be hardly interesting out of the opening...

... but full credit to both the players for not agreeing to a draw and fighting right to the bitter end

[Event "British ch-KO 2015"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2015.12.06"] [Round "3.2"] [White "Howell, David W L"] [Black "Pert, Nicholas"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A26"] [WhiteElo "2693"] [BlackElo "2569"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "105"] [EventDate "2015.12.01"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 d6 5. d3 Bg7 6. e4 Nd4 7. Nce2 c5 8. Nxd4 cxd4 9. h4 h5 10. Nh3 Bh6 11. f4 Nf6 12. Nf2 Ng4 13. Nxg4 Bxg4 14. Bf3 Qd7 15. Bxg4 Qxg4 16. Qxg4 hxg4 17. O-O Ke7 18. a4 Rag8 19. Kg2 exf4 20. Bxf4 Bxf4 21. Rxf4 g5 22. hxg5 Rxg5 23. Rh1 Rxh1 24. Kxh1 a5 $11 {The position is just equal. } 25. Kg2 Ke6 26. Rf1 Rh5 27. Rf4 Rg5 28. Kf1 f6 29. Ke1 Rh5 30. Rxg4 Rh2 31. Rf4 Rxb2 32. Rf5 Rg2 33. Rd5 Rxg3 34. Rxd4 Rg5 35. Kd2 b6 36. Kc3 Rg1 37. Rd5 Rb1 38. Kd4 Rb4 $2 (38... Rb3 $1 39. Rb5 Rb4 $1 $11) 39. Rb5 $1 Rxa4 (39... Rxb5 40. cxb5 $18) 40. Rxb6 Rb4 {[#]} 41. Ra6 $6 (41. Rc6 $3 {A position of mutual zugzwang. If the rook leaves the fifth rank then c4-c5 becomes possible. And if the black king moves backwards, then the white king comes up.} Kd7 ( 41... a4 42. Ra6 $18) (41... Ra4 42. Ra6 $18) (41... Rb3 42. c5 $18) 42. Kd5 $18) 41... Ra4 42. Rb6 Rb4 43. Rc6 $1 {David Howell hits the right track.} a4 44. Ra6 Kd7 45. Kd5 $18 Kc7 46. Rxd6 Rb8 47. Kc5 a3 48. Rxf6 Kb7 49. Rf2 Ka6 50. Ra2 Rb3 51. d4 Ka5 52. d5 Ka4 53. d6 1-0

FIDE Open

There were two rounds at the FIDE open today. After three games ten players are in joint lead with 3.0/3. Top seed Evegeny Postny of Israel scored two fine victories and so did Eric Hansen of Canada. A few of the higher rated players who aren’t playing up to par are Tigran Gharamiyan, Edouard Romain, Sergey Grigoriants and Rinat Jumabayev – all of them are on 2.0/3.

Oh my god, 1.c4. I cannot play the Modern Tiger!

On 3.0/3 is Canada’s Eric Hansen

England’s leading female player Jovanka Houska is on 2.0/3

Some players, like the aggressive GM Simon Williams, sport a ponytail...

…while others do the same with a beard!

Top standings after round three

Rk. SNo Ti. Name Rtg Pts.
1 1 GM Postny Evgeny 2670 3,0
9 GM Hansen Eric 2577 3,0
13 GM Vakhidov Jahongir 2546 3,0
23 GM Arkell Keith Cc 2490 3,0
26 IM Swayams Mishra 2477 3,0
27 IM Andersen Mads 2474 3,0
28 GM Hebden Mark L 2469 3,0
33 IM Bartholomew John 2443 3,0
36 IM Sagar Shah 2441 3,0
51 IM Krishna Crg 2367 3,0

Full results and standings here

Editorial note: IM Sagar Shah, who is writing these reports and at the same time playing the open section, has with gratuitous modesty neglected to mention that he too is on 3.0/3. He beat Andrew Harley (2226) and Vuilleumier Alexandre (2342) in rounds 2 and 3. He is on track to complete his third GM norm.

Before coming to London, Sagar spent a week at the ChessBase office in Hamburg, where his first DVD Learn from the Classics was released.

Learning from the Classics

By IM Sagar Shah

Languages: English
ISBN : 978-3-86681-500-1
Delivery: Download, Post
Level: Tournament player, Professional
Price: €29.90 or €25.13 without VAT (for Customers outside the EU) $27.06 (without VAT)

Wise and successful players of the game have always told us to study the classics – games by the great masters of the past. But in this age of cutting-edge opening theory, preparation and engines, is studying the classics really that helpful?

On this DVD, Sagar Shah does'nt merely preach. First, he shows you classical games of great legends such as Petrosian, Botvinnik, Fischer, Korchnoi and Kasparov, looking at typical patterns and ideas from the middlegame. The author then goes on to explain how you can use these ideas in your own battles – by showing you examples of applied classical knowledge from his own games!

As well as looking at the middlegame, Sagar also focuses on the opening. The information explosion has ensured that opening theory continues to evolve at a rapid pace. The author shows that playing through the classics can help us establish a strong and stable feel for the initial phase of the game, and analyzes the opening duel between Botvinnik and Petrosian from their World Championship match in 1963. Going over these games will give you an excellent idea of how the classics can be used to prepare your own openings.

Order Sagar Shah's Learn from the Classics in the ChessBase Shop

Photos by Amruta Mokal of ChessBase India

Schedule of the London Chess Classic 2015

Round 1 Friday 4 Dec, 16.00-23.00
Veselin Topalov
0-1
Anish Giri
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura
M Vachier-Lagrave
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Fabiano Caruana
½-½
Levon Aronian
Viswanathan Anand
½-½
Michael Adams
 
Round 2 Sat. 5 Dec, 14.00-21.00
Anish Giri
½-½
Michael Adams
Levon Aronian
½-½
Viswanathan Anand
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Fabiano Caruana
Hikaru Nakamura
½-½
M Vachier-Lagrave
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Round 3 Sunday 6 Dec, 14.00-21.00
Alexander Grischuk
-
Anish Giri
M Vachier-Lagrave 
-
Veselin Topalov
Fabiano Caruana
-
Hikaru Nakamura
Viswanathan Anand
-
Magnus Carlsen
Michael Adams
-
Levon Aronian
 
Round 4 Monday 7 Dec, 16.00-23.00
Anish Giri
-
Levon Aronian
Magnus Carlsen
-
Michael Adams
Hikaru Nakamura
-
Viswanathan Anand
Veselin Topalov
-
Fabiano Caruana
Alexander Grischuk
-
M Vachier-Lagrave
Round 5 Tuesday 8 Dec, 16.00-23.00
M Vachier-Lagrave 
-
Anish Giri
Fabiano Caruana
-
Alexander Grischuk
Viswanathan Anand
-
Veselin Topalov
Michael Adams
-
Hikaru Nakamura
Levon Aronian
-
Magnus Carlsen
 
Wednesday 11 Dec – Free day
Round 6 Thursday 10 Dec, 16.00-23.00
Anish Giri
-
Magnus Carlsen
Hikaru Nakamura
-
Levon Aronian
Veselin Topalov
-
Michael Adams
Alexander Grischuk
-
Viswanathan Anand
M Vachier-Lagrave
-
Fabiano Caruana
 
Round 7 Friday 11 Dec, 16.00-23.00
Fabiano Caruana
-
Anish Giri
Viswanathan Anand
-
M Vachier-Lagrave
Michael Adams
-
Alexander Grischuk
Levon Aronian
-
Veselin Topalov
Magnus Carlsen
-
Hikaru Nakamura
Round 8 Saturday 12 Dec, 14.00-21.00
Anish Giri
-
Hikaru Nakamura
Veselin Topalov
-
Magnus Carlsen
Alexander Grischuk
-
Levon Aronian
M Vachier-Lagrave
-
Michael Adams
Fabiano Caruana
-
Viswanathan Anand
 
Round 9 Sunday 13 Dec, 14.00-21.00
Viswanathan Anand
-
Anish Giri
Michael Adams
-
Fabiano Caruana
Levon Aronian
-
M Vachier-Lagrave
Magnus Carlsen
-
Alexander Grischuk
Hikaru Nakamura
-
Veselin Topalov

Live commentary on Playchess

Day and round English German
04.12 Friday Round 1 Merijn van Delft Sebastian Siebrecht
05.12 Saturday Round 2 Oliver Reeh/Karsten Müller Sebastian Siebrecht
06.12 Sunday Round 3 Merijn van Delft Oliver Reeh/Karsten Müller
07.12 Monday Round 4 Merijn van Delft Georgios Souleidis/Dorian Rogozenco
08.12 Tuesday Round 5 Merijn van Delft Oliver Reeh/Dorian Rogozenco
10.12 Thursday Round 6 Merijn van Delft Sebastian Siebrecht
11.12 Friday Round 7 Mihail Marin Sebastian Siebrecht
12.12 Saturday Round 8 Georgios Souleidis/Oliver Reeh Sebastian Siebrecht
13.12 Sunday Round 9 Yannick Pelletier Oliver Reeh/Martin Breutigam

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 there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.
 


Sagar Shah is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant and would like to become the first CA+GM of India. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder of the ChessBase India website.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


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Truffaut Truffaut 12/8/2015 12:34
I like Nigel Short's comment:

Nigel Short @nigelshortchess
"When I see the Berlin, I almost become happy that I am no longer a top player"
Aighearach Aighearach 12/7/2015 07:14
To update my comment in response to responses, I just want to clarify that I like fighting draws. Draws are good, they're an important part of chess. Probably 4/5 of my own best tournament games were draws. But they were all games where if it was equal, both sides were playing to win! Not these nonsense games, where it is equal and nobody has any threats, and yet there is plenty of pieces to maneuver and attempt to create something. Look how many "equal" endgames Carlsen has won by playing them out! Just because it is equal, doesn't mean it is a draw. I'm not complaining about the draws agreed in pawn endgames, but most of these are middlegames and if they did in fact play them out a lot of them would have decisive results.
Bostonian Bostonian 12/6/2015 02:18
Wonderful commentary Sagar Shah. Keep it up and Thank you!
Pterosaurus Pterosaurus 12/6/2015 11:34
I have suggested a solution to this, better than Fischer Random, involving modest changes to the chess rules. I wrote an article about it here: "Relocation variants - rearranging the initial array"

http://www.two-paths.com/bg/relocationvariants.htm

The various relocation methods allow the players optionally to relocate king and/or queen before the play begins, whilst retaining the castling rights. The players can abstain from this if they prefer the standard setup. It is a cogent method of rearranging the initial position to enhance opening ramification, while allowing the players to remain in control. The resultant positions deviate marginally from the standard position and would be experienced as natural by most chess players. The rooks remain in their standard positions. Castling follows Chess960 rules (Fide-chess castling is just a special variant of Chess960 castling).

There are different relocation variants. I haven't decided wich is preferable. Some methods will generate only mirrored positions, just as in Chess960. Thus, a subset of Chess960 is generated, as in "Placement Chess", here: http://www.two-paths.com/bg/placementchess.htm

Diagrams of the 20 possible positions in Placement Chess can be viewed here:
http://www.two-paths.com/bg/placementpos.htm

The diverse positions could easily be tried try out with a program that can handle Chess960 castling. I have also created downloadable Zillions programs that follow the diverse relocation rules. By comparison, Chess960 employs randomization. Thus, the players lack control, which is frustrating to some, since chess players like to deliberate their choices. In relocation variants the player himself decides how the pieces should stand. It is interesting from move one. It is a very simple rule change which dramatically increases the ramification of the chess tree. Since it gives rise to only a limited number of positions, the players can still prepare and study the different positions at home. After all, chess players are fond of study and preparation. /MW
Darkergreen1327 Darkergreen1327 12/6/2015 11:13
Sorry, but this will be a complain about the webpage: Main page has the advertisement window pops-up all the time, and while trying to click for the latest news, I mistakenly keep clicking for the add window and then find myself in your shopping site. I do not think chessbase needs such tricks to sell products. Best.
lgb lgb 12/6/2015 11:11
Or to give draws 1 point and for victory 3 points, like in football; it means to work also to change the ELO system too. Nice !
Pentium Infinite Pentium Infinite 12/6/2015 09:46
Give draws and losses the same points. Nobody will be afraid to lose. They will play on.
DJones DJones 12/6/2015 07:34
Yeah. First weekend round was quite dreadful. Peaceful draws in long events with unbalanced colors don't bother me much but they are bad for chess in general, to be sure.
vincero vincero 12/6/2015 05:23
CHESS lovers understand all the issues that prevent the game from being more exciting and even if they were solved i am not sure it would lead to larger audiences.....or more people playing.
i have never been unable to force a result ...not a draw!...from opponents of equal strength....though i have no idea if it is possible for these players.
but there is no denying way way to many agreed draws are the biggest detriment to enjoyment of watching ...professional games even to us who love the game.
perhaps it is time to introduce the Fischer Random model to at least try and make the game more enjoyable to the audience.
sharpnova sharpnova 12/6/2015 05:18
I agree. I don't know why chessbase is claiming that naka's game was interesting enough to be considered the thing that averted some disaster.

If you want to call a round where there are no decisive games a disaster, then I think I agree.

And no one saved anything.

There were TONS of opportunities for naka and mvl both in their game. They played it safe.

Exchange sac was nice and I'd have liked to see mvl win. He had a ton of pressure throughout.

But it seems the flavor of this tournament will be water.
Aighearach Aighearach 12/6/2015 03:20
Everything happened except a decisive result. I'm not convinced the day was saved at all. Carlsen-Caruana was the only other game that was played to completion. Giri and Adams managed to find a repetition, but it more accurately described as mutual surrender rather than a threat being thwarted with a counter threat, which is the more normal and reasonable situation for a repetition. Topolov and Grischuk played a world-class snoozer lacking even the threat of a sustained attack from either side. Aronian and Anand quite simply agreed not to bother finishing their game.
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