London Super Sixteen: Semis ready!

by Alejandro Ramirez
12/15/2013 – The four players that will play the semi-finals have been defined. Kramnik crushed Anand with black in the second game to move on. Nakamura was a far superior player than Short and will face the Russian. Adams took advantage of Svidler being far from "his finest moment" and won the tiebreaks. Caruana blundered against Gelfand also in the tiebreaks. Take a look at the action packed games!

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

The London Super Sixteen rapid tournament has started. The main event of the London Chess Classic takes place from December 11th to December 15th at the Olympiad Conference Center in London, England. The tournament brings together many of the best players of the World as well as two qualifiers from the Open section of the London Chess Classic.

Daniel King's highlights of the day

Quarter-Finals

Player Rtg G1 G2 Pts
Kramnik,Vladimir 2793
½
1
1.5
Anand, Vishy 2773
½
0
0.5

Kramnik had no problems with Anand

This series was defined in the second game. Anand used a relatively passive opening and Kramnik countered with an aggressive pawn sacrifice. The Indian did not accept and quickly lost:

[Event "5th Classic KO 2013"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2013.12.14"] [Round "1.2"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D40"] [WhiteElo "2773"] [BlackElo "2793"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "54"] [EventDate "2013.12.14"] [EventType "k.o."] 1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 e6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 c5 5. e3 Nc6 6. a3 a6 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. b4 Bd6 $5 (8... Ba7 {is a far more common retreat, and it has been seen at the top level many times. Anand himself played it against Aronian in 2011.}) 9. Bb2 O-O 10. Qc2 (10. cxd5 exd5 11. Be2 Be6 {is more common but Black seems to be fine in this variation. Anand's move tries to lock in the light-squared bishop for at least a little longer.}) 10... Qe7 11. Rd1 Rd8 12. Be2 dxc4 13. Bxc4 b5 14. Bd3 Bb7 {Something has obviously gone wrong for White. If he castles he is basically simply a tempo down in a symmetrical position, not to mention that he would rather have put the f-rook on the d-file rather than his queenside rook. These little details would give Black an edge.} 15. Ne4 Nxe4 16. Bxe4 Rac8 $1 {A strong move.} 17. Qb1 $2 {Anand plays the human move, but he runs into quick trouble.} (17. Bxh7+ Kh8 18. Qb1 Nxb4 $1 (18... f5 $2 19. Bxf5 exf5 20. Qxf5 {is not playable for Black. White has sufficient material and a strong king-side initiative.}) (18... a5 $6 19. h4 $1 $13) 19. axb4 Bxb4+ 20. Ke2 f5 21. Bxf5 exf5 22. Qxf5 Rf8 {is a crazy position that is nearly impossible to evaluate. A sample crazy variation:} 23. Qh3+ Kg8 24. Rd7 Rc2+ ( 24... Bd5 {is not a move anyone is going to find.}) 25. Kd1 Rd8 26. Rxd8+ Qxd8+ 27. Kxc2 Be4+ 28. Kb3 Qd5+ 29. Kxb4 $11 {and there is apparently nothing more than a perpetual.}) 17... f5 18. Bd3 a5 19. bxa5 Nxa5 20. O-O Nc4 {White is passive. His kingside and his queenside are both under fire and he has no clear plan.} 21. Be2 Be4 22. Qa1 Nxb2 23. Qxb2 b4 $1 $19 (23... Rc2 24. Qxb5 { doesn't quite work.}) 24. axb4 Rc2 {A decisive fork, and the point of 23...b4. Now the game is over.} 25. Qb3 Rxe2 26. Nd4 Bd5 27. Qd3 Qh4 0-1

One bad game and it is all over for Vishy

Player Rtg G1 G2 Pts
Short, Nigel 2683
0
½
0.5
Nakamura, Hikaru 2786
1
½
1.5

Nakamura was dominant on game one. He sacrificed a little material for an initiative and with the use of clever tactics he won an exchange and converted with superb technique. He played 1.b3 again in the second game and he was never in any danger of losing.

Player Rtg G1 G1 T1 T2 Pts
Adams, Michael 2754
1
0
1
1
3.0
Svidler, Peter 2758
0
1
0
0
1.0

A topsy-turvy match. Not a single drawn was seen! Adams started off with a nice victory but Svidler countered with his own win with white. However the tiebreaks went horribly wrong for the Russian, as the games really speak for themselves:

[Event "5th Classic KO 2013"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2013.12.14"] [Round "1.3"] [White "Adams, Michael"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2754"] [BlackElo "2758"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "51"] [EventDate "2013.12.14"] [EventType "k.o."] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nf3 Qc7 8. a4 Be6 9. Be2 h6 10. O-O Nbd7 {an already kind of rare position in the Najdorf. The lines with 7...Nb3 are much better known.} 11. h3 Be7 12. Nh2 $5 {A weird and interesting maneuver. The idea is to gain more control over the d5 square by exchanging its defenders.} O-O 13. Ng4 Qc6 14. Qd3 Rfc8 15. Rfd1 Rab8 16. a5 Nc5 $2 {A huge oversight.} 17. Nxf6+ {Suddenly there is no good way to recapture on f6!} Bxf6 (17... gxf6 18. Bxc5 Qxc5 19. Bg4 {is actually worse than losing the pawn.}) 18. Qxd6 Qxd6 19. Rxd6 Be7 20. Rd2 {White is a pawn up and has all the positional advantages. It is very hard to devise something to do with Black now.} Bg5 21. Bxg5 hxg5 22. Bg4 b5 23. axb6 Rxb6 24. Nd5 Rb7 25. f3 Rcb8 $6 26. b4 {Black is forced to retreat, which will mean further material losses. A quick demolition!} 1-0

Tiebreaks were not Svidler's friends this time around

[Event "5th Classic KO 2013"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2013.12.14"] [Round "1.4"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A14"] [WhiteElo "2758"] [BlackElo "2754"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "48"] [EventDate "2013.12.14"] [EventType "k.o."] 1. g3 d5 2. Bg2 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. Qc2 $6 {already a strange move.} d4 7. c5 $6 {a strange followup.} Nc6 8. Ne1 e5 9. e4 Nb4 10. Qc4 a5 {White is already lost!} 11. a3 Be6 12. Qe2 Na6 13. c6 bxc6 (13... Nc5 { would have prepared the unstoppable Nb3, winning immediately, but the move in the game is also good.}) 14. d3 Nc5 15. Nd2 Nfd7 16. f4 exf4 17. gxf4 f5 18. Rb1 a4 19. Ndf3 Nb3 20. Ng5 Bxg5 21. fxg5 fxe4 22. Bxe4 Nxc1 23. Rxc1 Qxg5+ 24. Ng2 Bd5 {Black is simply up two pawns...} 0-1

Player Rtg G1 G1 T1 T2 Pts
Caruana, Fabiano 2777
½
½
0
0
1.0
Gelfand, Boris 2782
½
½
1
1
3.0

As in Svidler-Adams, this tiebreak also went completely wrong for one player. Caruana had an equal position in the first tiebreak when disaster struck:

[Event "5th Classic KO 2013"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2013.12.14"] [Round "1.3"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Gelfand, Boris"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E46"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2777"] [PlyCount "62"] [EventDate "2013.12.14"] [EventType "k.o."] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Nge2 d5 6. a3 Bd6 $5 {This plan is becoming increasingly popular as of late since 7.c5 hasn't been yielding great results for White.} 7. Ng3 c6 (7... c5 {is also possible.}) 8. Bd3 dxc4 9. Bxc4 e5 10. O-O Nbd7 11. dxe5 Bxe5 12. Qc2 Nb6 13. Be2 Re8 14. e4 Ng4 15. Bxg4 Bxg4 16. f4 Bd4+ 17. Kh1 Qh4 {Something has obviously gone wrong. Black's bishops dominate the board and it is White that is completely in the defensive.} 18. Nce2 $1 {Accurate, this forces one bishop off the board and White equalizes.} Bxe2 19. Qxe2 Rad8 20. e5 Qe7 21. Be3 Qe6 22. Rae1 Bxe3 23. Qxe3 f5 24. Rd1 g6 25. Ne2 Qc4 26. Nd4 Rd5 27. Nf3 Qc2 28. Rd2 $4 (28. Rxd5 Nxd5 29. Qd4 Rd8 30. Rd1 {maintains an approximate equality although I would prefer to be Black.}) 28... Nc4 $1 {oops. Suddenly White is completely lost.} 29. Rxc2 Nxe3 { Unfortunately for Caruana both of his rooks are under attack.} 30. Rcc1 Nxf1 31. Rxf1 Red8 {and on top of that Gelfand will force an exchange of rooks, making the win trivial. Very unfortunate turn of events for the Italian.} 0-1

Gelfand used a very clever combination in game two to force his opponent between a horrible position and a draw by repetition as early as move eight. The Italian chose the former but ended up losing anyways.

Quarter Final games

Select games from the dropdown menu above the board

Semi Final matches:

Player Rtg G1 G2 Pts
Nakamura, Hikaru 2786
 
 
 
Kramnik, Vladimir 2793
 
 
 
Player Rtg G1 G2 Pts
Gelfand Boris 2777
 
 
 
Adams, Michael 2754
 
 
 

Group Stage results

Round 01 – Group A: Wednesday December 11th, 14:00
Luke McShane 2697
0-1
Vishy Anand 2775
Andrei Istratescu 2709
0-1
Michael Adams 2761
Round 01 – Group B: Wednesday December 11th, 14:00
Vladimir Kramnik 2794
1-0
Peter Svidler 2746
Jonathan Rowson 2573
1-0
Matthew Sadler 2646
Round 01 – Group C: Wednesday December 11th, 15:30
Boris Gelfand 2764
1-0
Judit Polgar 2696
Gawain Jones 2633
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura 2772
Round 01 – Group D: Wednesday December 11th, 15:30
Nigel Short 2684
½-½
David Howell 2644
Fabiano Caruana 2779
1-0
Emil Sutovsky 2663
Round 02 – Group A: Wednesday December 11th, 18:00
Vishy Anand 2775
½-½
Michael Adams 2761
Luke McShane 2697
1-0
Andrei Istratescu 2709
Round 02 – Group B: Wednesday December 11th, 18:00
Peter Svidler 2746
½-½
Matthew Sadler 2646
Vladimir Kramnik 2794
1-0
Jonathan Rowson 2573
Round 02 – Group C: Wednesday December 11th, 19:30
Judit Polgar 2696
0-1
Hikaru Nakamura 2772
Boris Gelfand 2764
1-0
Gawain Jones 2633
Round 02 – Group D: Wednesday December 11th, 19:30
David Howell 2644
1-0
Emil Sutovsky 2663
Nigel Short 2684
0-1
Fabiano Caruana 2779
Round 03 – Group C: Thursday December 12th, 14:00
Gawain Jones 2633
0-1
Judit Polgar 2696
Hikaru Nakamura 2772
½-½
Boris Gelfand 2764
Round 03 – Group D: Thursday December 12th, 14:00
Fabiano Caruana 2779
 ½-½
David Howell 2644
Emil Sutovsky 2663
0-1
Nigel Short 2684
Round 03 – Group A: Thursday December 12th, 15:30
Andrei Istratescu 2709
0-1
Vishy Anand 2775
Michael Adams 2761
 ½-½
Luke McShane 2697
Round 03 – Group B: Thursday December 12th, 15:30
Jonathan Rowson 2573
0-1
Peter Svidler 2746
Matthew Sadler 2646
 ½-½
Vladimir Kramnik 2794
Round 04 – Group C: Thursday December 12th, 18:00
Judit Polgar 2696
½-½
Boris Gelfand 2764
Hikaru Nakamura 2772
1-0 
Gawain Jones 2633
Round 04 – Group D: Thursday December 12th, 18:00
David Howell 2644
0-1
Nigel Short 2684
Emil Sutovsky 2663
0-1
Fabiano Caruana 2779
Round 04 – Group A: Thursday December 12th, 19:30
Vishy Anand 2775
1-0
Luke McShane 2697
Michael Adams 2761
1-0 
Andrei Istratescu 2709
Round 04 – Group B: Thursday December 12th, 19:30
Peter Svidler 2746
1-0
Vladimir Kramnik 2794
Matthew Sadler 2646
1-0
Jonathan Rowson 2573
Round 05 – Group A: Friday December 13th, 14:00
Luke McShane 2697
0-1 
Michael Adams 2761
Vishy Anand 2775
½-½
Andrei Istratescu 2709
Round 05 – Group B: Friday December 13th, 14:00
Vladimir Kramnik 2794
½-½
Matthew Sadler 2646
Peter Svidler 2746
1-0 
Jonathan Rowson 2573
Round 05 – Group C: Friday December 13th, 15:30
Boris Gelfand 2764
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura 2772
Judit Polgar 2696
0-1
Gawain Jones 2633
Round 05 – Group D: Friday December 13th, 15:30
Nigel Short 2684
1-0
Emil Sutovsky 2663
David Howell 2644
0-1
Fabiano Caruana 2779
Round 06 – Group A: Friday December 13th, 18:00
Michael Adams 2761
½-½
Vishy Anand 2775
Andrei Istratescu 2709
1-0
Luke McShane 2697
Round 06 – Group B: Friday December 13th, 18:00
Matthew Sadler 2646
½-½
Peter Svidler 2746
Jonathan Rowson 2573
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik 2794
Round 06 – Group C: Friday December 13th, 19:30
Hikaru Nakamura 2772
½-½
Judit Polgar 2696
Gawain Jones 2633
1-0
Boris Gelfand 2764
Round 06 – Group D: Friday December 13th, 19:30
Emil Sutovsky 2663
1-0
David Howell 2644
Fabiano Caruana 2779
1-0
Nigel Short 2684

Photographs by Ray Morris-Hill

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 there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register