London Rd7: Three decisive games!

by Sagar Shah
12/11/2015 – Three decisive games! The moment we saw that there was no Berlin played on any of the boards we knew that this round was going to be different. Carlsen ground down Nakamura after a marathon seven hour struggle. Maxime played a beautiful game to down Anand, and so did Aronian to beat Veselin Topalov. In the FIDE Open Dutch GM Benjamin Bok won the event with an impressive 8.0/9. We have game analysis, interviews and pictures from London.

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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.

London Chess Classic Round 7: Three decisive games!

By IM Sagar Shah

The seventh round had already started. Nine players were in their seats, four games were in progress – one of them had even reached move 13, but there was one guy who hadn’t come to playing hall yet. Nakamura waited for the World Champion to arrive. Games between Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura have held special interest for the chess world ever since Naka announced that he was the biggest threat to the Norwegian. Magnus rushed to the playing hall and climbed the stairs to take his seat and make the first move. The World Champion had arrived only five minutes late to the game but as a spectator it seemed like eternity. He shook hands with his opponent and settled down on his chair. Who would have known that in order to score his twelfth classical win against Hikaru, Magnus would have to sit and grind down his opponent for the next seven hours!

Nakamura cleaned his glasses, opened the can of RedBull and waited for the games to begin

After five minutes the World Champion arrived and we were off ...

... but first Magnus was thronged by photographers and journalists.

[Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2015.12.11"] [Round "7"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D11"] [WhiteElo "2850"] [BlackElo "2793"] [PlyCount "155"] [EventDate "2015.12.03"] 1. d4 {(370s)} d5 {(14s)} 2. c4 {(7s)} c6 {(4s)} 3. Nf3 {(15s)} Nf6 {(17s)} 4. e3 {(13s)} Bg4 {(18s)} 5. h3 {(55s)} Bh5 {(12s)} 6. cxd5 {(21s)} cxd5 {(100s)} 7. Nc3 {Played after nearly twenty minutes of thought. It was sure that Magnus had come to the board with an intention to play an original game.} e6 {(942s)} 8. g4 {(555s)} Bg6 {(18s)} 9. Ne5 {This line hasn't been played much. Anand defeated Tregubov with the black pieces here, but apart from that there haven't really been any top level games.} Nfd7 {(148s)} 10. Nxg6 {(63s)} hxg6 { (13s)} 11. Bg2 {(504s)} Nc6 {(109s)} 12. e4 $5 {When you have the bishop pair you must open up the position.} dxe4 {(376s)} 13. Nxe4 {(7s)} Bb4+ {(652s)} 14. Nc3 {(512s)} Nb6 {(583s)} 15. O-O {(24s)} O-O {(327s)} (15... Nxd4 16. Be3 Nc6 17. Qb3 {gives White ample free diagonals and activity for the pawn.}) 16. d5 $1 {Further opening up the position.} exd5 {(5s)} 17. Nxd5 {(7s)} Bc5 $1 { (210s)} (17... Nxd5 18. Qxd5 Qxd5 19. Bxd5 Rfd8 20. Rd1 {is quite a pleasant position for White who has the bishop pair.}) 18. Nc3 {(400s)} Bd4 {( 229s)} 19. Qf3 {(204s)} Qf6 {(515s)} 20. Qxf6 {(56s)} Bxf6 {(10s)} 21. Bf4 {(409s)} Rad8 {(384s)} 22. Rad1 {(117s)} Bxc3 $5 {After 21 minutes Nakamura thinks this is the best decision - to give up his bishop and leave White with a weak pawn. But in hindisght it might not have been the best because now the play is completely one sided with the bishops dominating the knights.} (22... Nc4 23. b3 Bxc3 24. bxc4 Nd4 25. Bg5 Rd7 {could have been possible but even here after} 26. Kh1 $14 {With Be3 coming up Black is not so solid.}) 23. bxc3 {(7s)} Na4 { (2s)} 24. c4 {(168s)} Nc3 {(169s)} 25. Rd2 $1 {Magnus is very strong at finding such resources which make his opponent's task of equalizing very difficult.} Rxd2 {(461s)} (25... Nd4 26. Re1 $16) 26. Bxd2 {(96s)} Ne2+ {(25s)} 27. Kh2 {(11s)} Rd8 {(6s)} 28. Be3 {(31s)} Nc3 {( 9s)} 29. a3 {(155s)} Rd3 { (17s)} 30. Rc1 {(114s)} Nd1 {(31s)} 31. Be4 {(276s)} Rd7 {(11s)} 32. Bc5 {(65s) } Nb2 {(113s)} 33. Rc2 {(30s)} Na4 {(139s)} 34. Be3 {(11s)} Nb6 {(5s)} 35. c5 { (394s)} Nd5 {(42 s)} 36. Rd2 {(11s)} Nf6 {(4s)} 37. Rxd7 {(43s)} Nxd7 {And there we have it! The pure double bishop against double knight endgame. It didn't seem that Hikaru would lose this position, especially because his knight on c6 was so firmly placed supported by the pawn on b7. However, one thing was for sure - White had an edge and he could play on forever. This is a bad position to be in as Black, especially if you are facing Magnus Carlsen.} 38. Kg3 {(22s)} Kf8 {(18s)} 39. f4 {Magnus was critical of this move after the game. According to him if he hadn't made this move it would have given him more flexibility and that square could have been used by his king or the bishop.} Nf6 {(45s)} 40. Bf3 {(0s)} Ke7 {(0s)} 41. f5 {This move was probably necessary because Ke6 is not something that White would like to allow.} gxf5 { (0s)} 42. gxf5 {(6s)} Kd7 {(121s)} 43. Kf4 {(12s)} Ne8 {(363s)} 44. Kg5 {(318s) } Ke7 {(753s)} 45. Bf4 {(332s)} a6 {One of those pawn moves which should have been avoided in hindsight. But how does one decide whether such moves are good or not? Well it all depends on your intuition at this point and any pawn move seems incorrect in this position as it creates fresh weaknesses. We will see in the game how the move a7-a6 comes to haunt Black at a crucial moment.} 46. h4 {( 442s)} Kf8 {(123s)} 47. Bg3 {(663s)} Nf6 {(120s)} 48. Bd6+ {(9s)} Ke8 { (27s)} 49. Kf4 {(6s)} Nd7 {( 215s)} 50. Bg2 {(64s)} Kd8 {(411s)} 51. Kg5 { (227s)} Ke8 {(20s)} 52. h5 {(307s)} Nf6 {(100s)} 53. h6 {(34s)} Nh7+ {(24s)} 54. Kh5 {(3s)} Nf6+ {(6s)} 55. Kg5 {(4s)} Nh7+ {(4s)} 56. Kh4 {(13s)} gxh6 { ( 114s)} 57. Kh5 {(1s)} Nf6+ {(25s)} 58. Kxh6 {The king gets in to the game. You can see how little by little Magnus is building up his advantage.} Ng4+ { (4s)} 59. Kg7 {(146s)} Nd4 $5 {(263s)} 60. Be4 {(7s)} (60. Bxb7 Nxf5+ 61. Kh7 Nf6+ 62. Kh8 Nxd6 63. cxd6 Kd7 $11) 60... Nf2 {(13s)} 61. Bb1 {(19s)} (61. Bxb7 Nxf5+ $11) 61... Ng4 {(11s)} 62. Bf4 {(168s)} f6 $2 {Now this should have been surely avoided. Hikaru misses one of Magnus' tricks in the next few moves. But one should avoid moving the pawn to f6 on general grounds as now that pawn is much more vulnerable than it was on f7.} 63. Be4 {(283s)} Nf2 {(18s)} 64. Bb1 { Magnus was low on time and needed those last few seconds to calculate the consequences of Bxb7. Until then he repeats one more time.} Ng4 {(5s)} 65. Be4 {(38s)} Nf2 {(6s)} 66. Bxb7 $1 {(8s)} Nd3 {(9s)} (66... Nxf5+ 67. Kxf6 Nd4 68. c6 $18 {And Black is busted.}) 67. Kxf6 $3 {( 4s)} (67. Bd6 Nxf5+ 68. Kxf6 Nxd6 69. Bc6+ $1 (69. cxd6 Kd7 70. Bxa6 Nc5 {leads to a drawn endgame.}) 69... Kd8 70. cxd6 Nb2 71. Ke6 {and whether is ending is winning for White is unclear. Magnus' solution was much much clearer.}) 67... Nxf4 {Nakamura used almost all of his remaining time to play this move. It suddenly dawned on him that he was being dragged in to a completely lost position.} 68. Ke5 {(1s)} Nfe2 {(34s)} 69. f6 $6 {(39s)} (69. Bxa6 Nf3+ 70. Ke4 Ng5+ 71. Ke3 Nc3 {leads to a very funny material balance position, but Black should hold this.}) (69. c6 $1 { would have led to an easy win.} Nxf5 (69... Kd8 70. f6 $18) (69... Nf3+ 70. Ke4 Ng5+ 71. Ke3 Kd8 72. Kxe2 $18) 70. Kxf5 Nd4+ 71. Ke5 $18) 69... a5 {Saving the pawn and keeping the game alive.} 70. a4 {(53s)} Kf7 {(66s)} 71. Bd5+ {(20s)} Kf8 $2 {The final error.} (71... Kg6 $1 {Things would not really have been clear after this.} 72. Be4+ Kf7 73. c6 Nxc6+ 74. Bxc6 Kf8 $11 {As Magnus said during the post game conference.: he was sure that White should be winning this endgame, but the more he looked at it, the more he realized that there was no way to break through.}) 72. Ke4 $1 {Only move to win.} Nc2 {(204s)} 73. c6 {(2s)} Nc3+ {(52s)} 74. Ke5 {(2s)} Nxa4 75. Bb3 $1 {(9s)} Nb6 {(66s)} 76. Bxc2 {(8s)} a4 {(0s)} 77. c7 {(13s)} Kf7 {(46s)} (77... a3 78. Bb3 Ke8 79. f7+ Ke7 80. Kd4 $18) 78. Bxa4 {What was this if not technique at the highest possible level? Carlsen's win shows to everyone out there that opening theory is important, but there is nothing that can replace solid endgame skills and knowledge. The way he ground out this win will surely go down as one of the best technical efforts ever.} 1-0

While everyone took off early from work, the World Champion continued his grind. He was rewarded
with the full point and he is the only one to have beaten a player apart from Topalov and Anand.

"And then, when I was 21, I went 'woosh', all the way to the top!" Vishy, who celebrated
his 46th birthday on Friday, shares life experience with Anish, who is 25 years younger!

It was a brutal Sicilian Najdorf that led to Anand’s loss in the seventh round

Vishy Anand came to the game in good spirits even though he had lost the previous game to Alexander Grischuk. MVL kept faith in his favourite Najdorf Defence and essayed it once again. Anand played the opening quickly and seemed well prepared. However, Maxime found this highly interesting plan with Bg5-f4 followed by f5! Anand defended well for a while, but on move 24 he made a crude oversight and simply slumped to a defeat. A great win for Maxime who now leads the London Chess Classic by half point.

[Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2015.12.11"] [Round "7"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B92"] [WhiteElo "2803"] [BlackElo "2765"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "68"] [EventDate "2015.12.03"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 {Maxime goes for the Najdorf after having successfully employed it against Grischuk.} 6. Be2 $5 { Anand had played h3 against Topalov, but on his birthday he plays something more classical!} e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Be3 Be6 9. Nd5 Nbd7 (9... Nxe4 10. Bb6 $16) 10. Qd3 O-O 11. c4 $5 (11. O-O {was played in the famous game Carlsen-Grischuk in which the Russian had won in the Sinquefield Cup 2015.}) 11... b5 $1 12. Nd2 $5 {This is Anand's preparation for the game. It has only been played in two games before and GM Vorobiov had used it against Farrukh Amanotov and lost.} ( 12. cxb5 axb5 13. O-O Bxd5 14. exd5 Nb6 15. Bxb6 Qxb6 16. Qxb5 Qa7 $1 {With excellent compensation for Black.}) 12... Nc5 13. Bxc5 dxc5 14. b3 (14. O-O Nxd5 15. cxd5 c4 {The move 14.b3 prevents this.}) 14... Bxd5 15. cxd5 Ne8 16. O-O Nd6 17. a4 {Anand would be happy with the position he has got. He has a small edge and for sure he is still in his preparation.} Bg5 $1 18. Nf3 Bf4 $1 {A very strong maneuvre by Maxime. By defending his e5 pawn what he is basically trying now is to attack the white centre with f5!} 19. axb5 f5 $1 20. Nd2 Qg5 $6 (20... axb5 $11 {was much better.}) 21. Rad1 (21. Nc4 $1 {would have given White a clear advantage.} fxe4 (21... Nxe4 22. d6 $1 $18) 22. Qh3 Nxb5 23. Nb6 Rad8 24. Nd7 $16) 21... axb5 22. exf5 Ra3 23. Ne4 c4 $1 24. Qc2 $2 (24. Nxg5 $2 cxd3 25. Bxd3 Bxg5 $19) (24. Qf3 $1 Qh6 25. g3 Rxb3 26. Qg2 $13 { and White is pretty much in the game.}) 24... Qxf5 $1 25. Qb2 (25. bxc4 Qxe4 $19) 25... Rxb3 26. Qxb3 {White sacrifices the queen, but the position is already lost.} (26. Nxd6 Bxh2+ $1 27. Kxh2 Qf4+ 28. g3 Qh6+ $19) 26... cxb3 27. Nxd6 Qg6 28. Nxb5 e4 29. d6 b2 30. Nd4 Qxd6 31. Bc4+ Kh8 32. Ne6 Bxh2+ 33. Kh1 Rxf2 $1 34. Ng5 (34. Rxd6 Bxd6 $1 $19 (34... Rxf1+ $2 35. Kxh2 $1 $16 (35. Bxf1 $2 Bxd6 $19))) (34. Rxf2 Qxd1+ $19) 34... Bg3 $1 {A nice finishing shot. Qh6+ is threatened and the queen cannot be taken on d6 as the b2 pawn would queen. All in all a fine game by Maxime.} (34... Bg3 $1 35. Rxd6 Rxf1+ 36. Bxf1 Bxd6 37. Nf7+ Kg8 38. Nxd6 b1=Q $19) 0-1

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave leads the tournament with 4.5/7 and is now world
number seven with a live rating of 2785

Levon Aronian at the start of the game against Veselin Topalov,
that would give him his first win in the London Chess Classic 2015

Topalov’s dismal form at the Classic continued as he lost his game in just 27 moves to Levon Aronian. The variation chosen by the players is popular at the highest level – however one glance at the position and you will realize how concrete things have become when it comes to opening theory. From the first eight moves, Topalov made six moves with his knight which started from f6-d5-b4-d3-f4 and ended up on e6. Aronian’s play was simple and logical, while the Bulgarian struggled to find good moves. In the end his chances were desolate. Veselin resigned in a position that had equal material but was completely lost for him. With this win Levon moves to a score of +1 and joint second position in the event.

[Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2015.12.11"] [Round "7"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Topalov, Veselin"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A34"] [WhiteElo "2781"] [BlackElo "2803"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2015.12.03"] 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nb4 6. Bc4 $5 Nd3+ 7. Ke2 Nf4+ 8. Kf1 Ne6 {[%cal Gg8f6,Gf6d5,Gd5b4,Gb4d3,Gd3f4,Gf4e6] What has Black achieved by making six knight moves out of the eight moves played so far? First of all White has lost the right to 0-0 and secondly the d4 square is weak. Meanwhile Black is behind in development, and a player like Aronian doesn't have to be asked twice to play aggressively.} 9. b4 $1 {Sacrificing a pawn in order to get a strong center.} cxb4 10. Nd5 g6 11. d4 Bg7 12. Be3 Nc6 13. Rc1 Bd7 (13... O-O 14. h4 $1 {White's position looks quite harmonious, however this had to be the best way for Black to play. In the game he delays 0-0 but is unable to come up with anything consructive.} h5 $1 $13) 14. Qd2 Qa5 15. h4 $1 {White makes full use of the rook being on h1.} Rc8 16. Bb3 Qb5+ 17. Kg1 h6 18. Kh2 { Levon castles artificially.} g5 19. Rhd1 Kf8 20. Kg1 {The king moved from e1-f1-g1-h2 and castled artificially. It really doesn't seem like White made so many moves with his king as Black too wasn't able to do anything concrete.} Rd8 (20... g4 21. Ne5 $1 Nxe5 22. Rxc8+ Bxc8 23. dxe5 $16) 21. hxg5 hxg5 22. Bxg5 Nxg5 $2 (22... Be8 {was relatively better but here too White has a pleasant edge after} 23. Bc4 (23. Rxc6 Nxg5 $11) 23... Qa5 24. Be3 $16) 23. Qxg5 {Rxc6 followed by Qxe7 is a strong threat. Black must do something about it.} Bh6 24. Qh4 Bg7 25. Qf4 Bh6 26. Ng5 Bxg5 27. Qxg5 {The resignation may seem premature but it is not. White is winning.} (27. Qxg5 Be6 (27... f6 28. Qf4 {[%cal Ge4e5]}) 28. Rxc6 Qxc6 (28... Bxd5 29. Rc5 $18) 29. Qxe7+ Kg7 30. Qg5+ Kf8 31. Qxd8+ $18) 1-0

Enchanted – Levon in an interview with Jennifer Shahade

A great sporting gesture by Topalov, who gave a lively interview
in spite of having one of those nightmarish events

Nothing much happened inAdams vs Grischuk – the game ended in a draw

What Sasha need during the game: coffee or tea, beer or apple juice...

Super solid Michael Adams has seven draws out of seven rounds

Come on Anish, a win is what we*re looking for! Giri’s coach Vladimir Tukmakov
and Anish' wife Sopiko Guramishvili at the start of the round

Anish, who was black, faced the Trompowsky, launched against him by Fabiano Caruana

All I wanted was an interesting game of chess!

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5!? That is not how you get an opening advantage!

Game of the Day Round six

ChessBase are offering free copies of the newly-released Fritz 15 and ChessBase Magazine 169, to the online audience of the 7th London Chess Classic. All viewers can vote online for the best game of each round of the Classic, and one randomly-drawn person will win a prize each day. Winners so far:

Round 1: Lee Phillips [Anand v Carlsen]
Round 2: John Bottomley [Carlsen v Carauna]
Round 3: Robert Bell [Topalov v Giri]
Round 4: Andrew Offord [Nakamura v Anand]
Round 5: Nicolas Chiffot [Anand v Topalov]
Round 6: Maria Antonia Navarro Coll [Giri v Carlsen]

Tournament standings

 

IM Lawrence Trent became Fabiano’s manager in June 2015. We caught up with the English International Master and asked him about the work he has to do as Caruana’s manager.

Luke McShane had a tough 20 board simul, as he lost one game and drew a few others

Luke is considered the world’s strongest amateur. In spite of not pursuing the sport professionally, every now and then he comes up with scintillating performances. We asked Luke what was the secret behind his success and the way he worked on the game:

The Gibraltar chess festival will be held from the 25th of January to 4th of February 2016. For many years now, Gibraltar event has been one of the strongest open tournaments in the world. And this year’s edition is even more special as the former World Champion Vishy Anand will be playing there. Stuart Conquest was in London and told us about what the chess fans can expect from the 2016 Gibraltar Chess Festival:

Check out the official website of the Gibraltar Chess Festival

FIDE Open

GM Benjamin Bok of Netherlands played a fine game to beat Alex Lenderman in the final round of the FIDE Open and win the title with an impressive score of 8.0/9. The tournament was held simultaneously with the elite event. With a performance of 2771 Bok goes back home richer by £5,000. Benjamin beat no less than four grandmaster opponents: Alexander Cherniaev, Keith Arkell, Eric Hansen and Alex Lenderman.

The winner of the FIDE Open: Dutch GM Benjamin Bok

Evgeny Postny, who led this event from the start, had to settle for the second spot with 7.0/9. Six more players joined him on the same score. Third to seventh positions went to Rinat Jumabayev, Eric Hansen, Jonathon Hawkins, Jahongir Vakhidov and Daniel Sadzikowski respectively. A detailed report on this event will soon follow on our newspage.

Final standings after nine rounds

Rnk Sd. Title Name Fed Rtng Pts
1 8 GM Bok Benjamin NED 2594 8,0
2 1 GM Postny Evgeny ISR 2670 7,0
7 GM Jumabayev Rinat KAZ 2599 7,0
9 GM Hansen Eric CAN 2577 7,0
10 GM Hawkins Jonathan ENG 2569 7,0
13 GM Vakhidov Jahongir UZB 2546 7,0
18 IM Sadzikowski Daniel POL 2506 7,0
8 2 GM Gharamian Tigran FRA 2654 6,5
3 GM Melkumyan Hrant ARM 2654 6,5
5 GM Lenderman Alex USA 2626 6,5
11 GM Dragun Kamil POL 2564 6,5
14 GM Baron Tal ISR 2544 6,5
15 GM Hillarp Persson Tiger SWE 2521 6,5
16 GM Vishnu Prasanna V IND 2514 6,5
17 IM Gledura Benjamin HUN 2513 6,5
22 GM Fodor Tamas Jr HUN 2492 6,5
29 IM Galyas Miklos HUN 2465 6,5
34 GM Wells Peter K ENG 2442 6,5
63 Nguyen Piotr POL 2329 6,5

Results and standing or al 168 players

Super-Rapid

The weekend will witness a super-rapid event which has ten rounds and a time control of 25 minutes + 10 seconds increment per move. Top players like Matthew Sadler, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, David Howell, Alex Lenderman and many other grandmasters will fight it out for the top prize of £2,500. Here’s the starting list of the tournament.

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
½-½
Anish Giri
M Vachier-Lagrave 
1-0
Veselin Topalov
Fabiano Caruana
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura
Viswanathan Anand
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Michael Adams
½-½
Levon Aronian
 
Round 4 Monday 7 Dec, 16.00-23.00
Anish Giri
½-½
Levon Aronian
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Michael Adams
Hikaru Nakamura
1-0
Viswanathan Anand
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Fabiano Caruana
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
M Vachier-Lagrave
Round 5 Tuesday 8 Dec, 16.00-23.00
M Vachier-Lagrave 
½-½
Anish Giri
Fabiano Caruana
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Viswanathan Anand
1-0
Veselin Topalov
Michael Adams
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura
Levon Aronian
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
 
Wednesday 9 Dec – Free day
Round 6 Thursday 10 Dec, 16.00-23.00
Anish Giri
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Hikaru Nakamura
½-½
Levon Aronian
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Michael Adams
Alexander Grischuk
1-0
Viswanathan Anand
M Vachier-Lagrave
½-½
Fabiano Caruana
 
Round 7 Friday 11 Dec, 16.00-23.00
Fabiano Caruana
½-½
Anish Giri
Viswanathan Anand
0-1
M Vachier-Lagrave
Michael Adams
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Levon Aronian
1-0
Veselin Topalov
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
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
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.
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chessbibliophile chessbibliophile 2/2/2016 10:18
The overmaginative 6...Be6!? fails to 7.Bxe6 Nd3+ 8.Kf1 fxe6 9.Ng5 Qd7 (9…Qb6 10.Qa4+ followed by 11. Qc4 is also bad for White)10.Qg4 Ne5 11.Qh3 Qd3+ 12.Qxd3 Nxd3 13.Ke2 Nf4+ 14.Ke3±

chessdrummer chessdrummer 12/13/2015 03:57
Sagar, the variation played in Aronian-Topalov is not new. A number of games have been played, but it is not often seen in top level play anymore. Aronian's b4 was powerful. Maybe instead of 6...Nd3+, he could play the alternative 6...Be6 7.Bxe6 Nd3+. However, there were many mistakes. Topalov is simply in bad form.
johnmk johnmk 12/12/2015 01:36
I love the finish to the MVL game but since there was more than 1 winning line for Black after White lost his Q, it detracts. Black could have played 27...Qf6 still winning.
fons fons 12/12/2015 01:28
Nakamura needs to fix his Carlsen problem. 12-0; this is getting ridiculous. It's a pity because it could otherwise be a great rivalry, stylistically a lot like Kasparov vs Karpov.
johnmk johnmk 12/12/2015 01:04
Both games are good , but in the Carlsen game Naka was under severe time pressure.. In the MVL game it's looking like Anand mistake was 24 Qc2, instead of 24 Qb1 but still very nice finish by MVL.
Karbuncle Karbuncle 12/12/2015 12:50
By the 21st move, I already knew Nakamura was going to lose that game. It just screamed of a typical Carlsen grind, where he exploits the bishop pair advantage in that position.
Pterosaurus Pterosaurus 12/12/2015 11:17
Carlsen game was absolutely fascinating. Of course, it was the best game of the tournament, so far.
RaoulBertorello RaoulBertorello 12/12/2015 10:55
Like oputu, Aighearach and wowbagger I think Carlsen's win is the greatest game of this round. Slightly differently from oputu and Aighearach I think Carlsen's pair of bishops was superior to Nakamura pair of Knights because when the different pairs created the position was already open enough to have a scertain advantage for thebishops. Yet there were still too many pawns on the board to turn that advantage into a win, and so I must say that I share wowbagger's surprise about the way Carlsen won: essentially by giving up a bishop for being a second pawn up, and ending up winning, that is proving his sacrifice was worthy, ten (10) moves afterward. That was really a big thing, even more than a masterful technique.
wowbagger wowbagger 12/12/2015 10:01
How on earth did Carlsen win this after sacrificing his bishop? Are 2 knights not enough to hold up 2 runners? Are 2 Nakamura knights worth less than 1 Carlsen bishop? Can he play knight odds against anyone? From how far did he plan this?
Aighearach Aighearach 12/12/2015 07:57
Anand-MVL started slow and turned into a slugfest once Anand woke up and started maneuvering. If you like a wild game from a slow start with tricky but failing attempts at defense, sure. Few themes were created or explored.

Meanwhile Carlsen-Nakamura was a beautiful and thematic battle with bishops vs knights and extended sequences with long maneuvers. Easily the more beautiful game.

Anand-MVL was a snoozer, with no brilliancy. Carlsen-Nakamura was too carefully fought to find the brilliancy, but I'll bet it is in there.
kidlat1994 kidlat1994 12/12/2015 07:11
Aronian's win is my game of the day :)
digupagal digupagal 12/12/2015 06:45
yess.... anand is busted. Pl. take a shot at the legend you guys.
Shameful behaviour of today's generation

On his part, Anand should have retired long time back. How on earth can a GM miss simple tactics on Qc2???
He is either not calculating or thinking that his opening prep. will take him through all the time.

His rating is high only because he plays less nowadays. IMO I don't think he is playing >2700 level chess
oputu oputu 12/12/2015 05:36
The reason I believe Carlsen's game is regarded to highly is cos its not a prep idea like in Aronian or Anand's 24th 'move error' in a seemingly complicated position. That is not to be-little Aronian's and MVL's victories. Infact, there were so many intermezzos in MZL's play, one would think Tal was whispering to him. After being hit with 4 intermezzos within 15 moves, even a legend is bound to blunder.

Surprising prep from Aronian too. Looks like the Jobava way of doing things.

Chess isnt just about openings and/or middle game tactics. It also depends on 'the end'! To grind down a player at 2796 like that from a seemingly equal position (opening and middle game, where any particular advantage wasnt obtained..bishop pair?) is a unique talent. Many players (having no ideas over the board) would have simplified into a draw. Recently, Nakamura himself did something similar to a weaker opponent he played...(cant remember which torney)
DJones DJones 12/12/2015 02:56
Carlsen beating up on the only guy he can beat anymore does not make for a game of the day. Any little thing he does is hyped. What about MVL and Aronian's beautiful middlegame ideas? Both of those were better than Carlsen doing what he always does to Nakamura with white.
vincero vincero 12/12/2015 02:32
I AGREE with excalibur2.......carlsen...even missed moves could have enabled naka to draw the game....hardly worthy of GOTD.....while if you play over MVL's win....YOU DO get brilliant play from the winner.
emerlion emerlion 12/12/2015 02:29
I agree with excalibur2. Yes the game of Carlsen was interesting and instructive, but both the games of MVL and Aronian were fabulous! Is the Carlsen name increasing the quality of the game?
yesenadam yesenadam 12/12/2015 01:27
Fun. :-) ..aand Kramnik to No. 2 again. I know it would be highly irregular, but I'd rather see Kramnik play Carlsen in a match than any of these guys. He has more chance of winning, I think. It's so unfortunate that somehow he managed not to qualify. :-( Maybe Svidler should 'do a Benko' and give Kramnik a chance, if he has the right. Although Kramnik already was at the top. I love Svidler as player and personaje , but does he or anyone else think he has any kind of chance of beating Carlsen?
I say get rid of knock-outs as determining the WC or candidates - they have in this case contributed to eliminating arguably the strongest challenger. Which is always a great shame. Not quite as farcical as FIDE moving the Women's WC so Hou Yifan couldn't play, but distinctly farcical. But then it's more about "fun" and the luck of the draw than, say, selecting the top candidates based on rating/results. Where's the fun in that!?
excalibur2 excalibur2 12/12/2015 12:14
How on earth is Carlsen's win over Nakamura "game of the day"? MVL's win is not only game of the day but arguably one of the best of 2015. And to do that to a legend like Anand is amazing.
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