CHESS Magazine: A crushing sacrifice at Simpson's

2/8/2012 – It was the closing dinner of the London Chess Classic 2011, where it is tradition for the tournament GMs to play a sequential simul against the individual tables. At one there was the Shadow Secretary to the Treasury Rachel Reeves, together with other notables. With some minimal assistance Rachel found a nice bishop sac to win the game. No wonder: she was a UK U14 girls champion.

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CHESS Magazine was established in 1935 by B.H. Wood who ran it for over fifty years. It is published each month by the London Chess Centre and is edited by John Saunders. The Executive Editor is Malcolm Pein, who organised the London Chess Classic.

Chess Editorial

By Executive Editor IM Malcolm Pein

I think I have just about recovered from a memorable 3rd London Chess Classic. It broke all the previous records for attendance, ticket sales, competitors and visiting schools. We had an extra two days this year as the nine-player format required nine rounds, with one player free every day.

Congratulations to the victor, Vladimir Kramnik, who produced one of those performances we were used to seeing in his prime. Unbeatable and picking off the players not in the elite. Vlad was the English nemesis and defeated all four home representatives, while drawing against Carlsen, Nakamura, Anand and Aronian. We had a very decent proportion of decisive games and put the Tal Memorial, held just before the LCC, in the shade.

At the closing ceremony, held again at Simpson’s in the Strand, Garry Kasparov joked that Vlad’s mistreatment of the flag of St George may be due to his prolonged stay in Paris where he lives with his wife Marie Laure. This year we were treated to a visit from mum and daughter Daria, who can be seen here trying to attract Dad’s attention during the Twitter game with which we launched the event.


Daria Kramnik tries to attract her daddy’s attention during the Twitter game.

The closing dinner saw the now traditional simul against the guests by the players. As one might expect, the GMs are considerably weaker than the sum of their parts and often play at cross purposes. Overall the score was about even. Most tables have a chess advisor whose job is to guide rather than direct and that levels it up a bit. The guests are divided into 18 tables of seven, the eighth place at the dinner table has a chess board and pieces.

After the speeches and the award of the trophy, I send the players out one by one. There are guests from the worlds of business, the arts and politics. Notable guests this year included; Joanna Trollope (pictured below with the composer, pianist and chessplayer Jason Kouchak and Dominic Lawson), and Ken Rogoff, the GM and now world famous economist from Harvard University. Also, in a private capacity, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne returned, although this year the economic crisis prevented him visiting the tournament.


Novelist Joanna Trollope, with concert pianist Jason Kouchak and journalist Dominic
Lawson at the Classic gala dinner at Simpson’s in the Strand.

One particularly high-powered table had Rachel Reeves MP, the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Professor Vinayak Dravid, a leading nanotechnologist from the University of Chicago, the Indian High Commissioner Rajesh N Prasad, Jo Johnson MP, brother of Boris, and Frederic Friedel. Their advisor was Garry Kasparov and they produced this rather nice game. Note that the GMs making each moves are abbreviated: DH = David Howell, LM = Luke McShane, MC = Magnus Carlsen, etc.

[Event "3rd London Chess Classic"] [Site "London"] [Date "2011.12.12"] [Round "?"] [White "LCC GMs"] [Black "Reeves/Johnson"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A25"] [PlyCount "124"] [EventDate "2011.??.??"] 1. c4 {DH} e5 2. Nc3 {LM} Nf6 3. Nf3 {MC} Nc6 4. g3 {HN} Bc5 5. Bg2 {MA} O-O 6. d3 {VK V} h6 7. a3 {LA} d6 8. b4 {VA} Bb6 9. O-O Be6 10. Bb2 e4 11. dxe4 Bxc4 12. Rc1 {VK} Be6 13. e3 {DH} Re8 14. Nd4 {LA. White has the edge.} Bg4 15. Qd2 {DH} Ne5 16. Nd5 {MA} Nxd5 17. exd5 {VA} Bd7 (17... Bh3 $5 18. Bxh3 $2 (18. f4 $1) 18... Bxd4 $1) 18. h3 $2 {[#]Played by DH - but this is too much. At this point GK just said "wow", nothing more than that.} Bxh3 $1 {Worked out by Rachel and Frederic.} 19. f4 {Played by Luke, who looked at Garry accusingly, but he was innocent(ish).} Bxg2 20. Kxg2 {VK} Ng4 21. Rfe1 {LA} Qd7 22. e4 {MC} Bxd4 23. Qxd4 {HN} f6 {It looks like White has some play but his position is quite loose.} 24. Re2 {MA} Re7 25. Qd3 {VA} Rae8 26. Rce1 {LA} a6 27. Bd4 {DH} h5 28. Rh1 {HN} Qb5 29. Qxb5 {LM} axb5 30. Rhe1 {MA} Kf7 31. Kf3 {MC} g6 32. Bb2 {LM} Rd8 33. Rc1 {HN} Rdd7 34. Rec2 {DH} f5 {Black has a big advantage now and converted it with one or two hiccups.} 35. exf5 {LA} gxf5 36. Bd4 {VA} Kg6 37. Rc3 {VA} Rh7 38. Bf2 {MA} Rde7 39. Bd4 {MC} h4 40. gxh4 {VK} Re4 41. Bg1 { VA} Rxh4 42. Kg3 {VA} Rh8 43. Rxc7 {LA - and all remaining moves by Levon Aronian.} Nf6 44. Kg2 Nxd5 45. Rd7 Nxf4+ 46. Kf1 Ne2 47. Re1 Ng3+ 48. Kf2 Rxe1 49. Kxe1 Ne4 50. Rxb7 Rh3 51. Rxb5 Rxa3 52. Bd4 f4 53. Rb7 f3 54. Rg7+ Kf5 55. Rf7+ Ke6 56. Rf4 Kd5 57. Bh8 Rb3 58. Kd1 f2 59. Ke2 Rb1 60. Rxf2 Nxf2 61. Kxf2 Rxb4 62. Ke2 Kc4 0-1

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Previous articles from CHESS Magazine

A funny thing happened on the way to the tournament hall…
27.11.2011 – Vassily Ivanchuk’s recent mugging in Sao Paulo shocked the chess world but it’s far from being the only mishap to befall a chessplayer on the way to or from work. It reminded Steve Giddins of some other off-board misfortunes in the past, from fire on the board (literally) to dog attacks and shootings. It's all in the latest issue of CHESS Magazine's Top Ten Greatest Chess Tournament Mishaps.

CHESS Magazine: Starry, Starry Knights
28.10.2011 – This is the story of GM Stuart Conquest’s adventurous summer, losing his belongings in Switzerland but finding the grave of a famous chessplayer in London. He did some digging (literally!) and found out a lot more about the player, and a world famous artist who was in London at the same time and may have crossed his path. Read all about it in the latest issue of CHESS Magazine.
CHESS Magazine: Judit Polgar on life as a Super-GM mom
12.08.2011 – When Lars Grahn asked Judit Polgar eleven years ago, as she was about to get married to her boyfriend Gustav, if she thought it was possible to combine family life with a chess career at top level, and she told him she would let me know when she had some experience of it. Eleven years and two children later Judit replied provided the answer in an in-depth interview in CHESS Magazine.
Bobby Fischer Against the World, premiering in July
21.06.2011 – More than three years have now passed since Bobby Fischer died, but it is quite clear that the final word has yet to be written on the former world chess champion’s life. Interest in him seems to be as strong as ever and there is no shortage of people keen to retell his story. July 5th is the premiere of a remarkable new movie which was discussed in the latest issue of CHESS Magazine.
Brady – Bobby Fischer's Game of the Century
29.05.2011 – We recently published a review by Sean Marsh on Frank Brady's new biography of Bobby Fischer. In the meantime we have received the handsome volume from the author and are actually reading it – with immense pleasure. To give you an impression of the quality of this book we bring you a short excerpt of a story you know. Read how wonderfully Dr Brady weaves the well-known tale.
Alekhine, Pomar, Reshevsky – Chess After the War
08.03.2011 – It is remarkable how quickly international competition was re-established after the Second World War. Alexander Alekhine was still very much alive, though understandably none too popular as a suspected Nazi collaborator. There was a first "Match of the Century" and the code-crackers chess masters were honoured. Yes, and can you guess when the electronic chessboard was invented?
Chess in the War – Part II
24.02.2011 – Here’s a question which no chess magazine editor would ever want to face – what do you put in your magazine in the event of a world war? The November 2010 issue of CHESS looked back at how BH Wood coped with the onset of World War Two, and how difficult running a magazine became as the war escalated. Today John Saunders takes another look into chess in the war years.
Chess in the War
17.02.2011 – Though chess is a war game, few things are more inimical to competitive chess than the advent of real war. Still worse is the threat posed to chess publications, as the populace lacks the time and money to spend on leisure activities, while vital resources have to diverted elsewhere. CHESS magazine has published a review of its survival in WWII. Here is part one of the harrowing story.

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