LCC R03: The solid Berlin and the volatile Najdorf!

by Sagar Shah
12/6/2015 – What a round! All five games began with 1.e4. Four players replied 1…e5 – two Berlins, one Anti Berlin and one Anti Marshall, and these four games ended in a draw. Topalov played the Najdorf and was beaten by MVL! We have some exclusive pictures of elite players on the roads of London, plus analysis from the British knockout championships, and also the FIDE Open which now has a sole leader. Big 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 three by Daniel King

LCC Round Three: The solid Berlin and the volatile Najdorf!

Report from London by Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal

Botvinnik recommended walking to playing hall from the hotel, before the start of the game, as a good habit for any tournament player. The present day elite players have differing views on this. Some like to walk while some prefer to conserve their energy and arrive in an automobile. However at the London Chess Classic all the ten elite players come to the tournament hall walking. The reason?

The Olympia Center where the tournament is being held, and Hotel Hilton where the top players are staying are just 300 metres away from each other. ChessBase’s photographer Amruta Mokal positioned herself between the hotel and playing venue to take some candid pictures of the elite players walking on the streets of London!

World Champion Magnus Carlsen always comes walking to the tournament hall
with his trusted second Peter Heine Nielsen

After drawing their game in round two Aronian and Anand decide that
walking together to the venue would be a good idea!

Nakamura enters the Olympia Center with his girlfriend Mariagrazia de Rosa

21-year-old Anish Giri and 25-year-old Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
try to keep pace with Anish's coach Vladimir Tukmakov, who is 69

“Avoid the Najdorf!” – Veselin Topalov and Silvio Danailov listen to what the latter’s son has to say

Fabiano Caruana is not alone in London – a certain ex-FIDE World Champion is trying
to help him win the Grand Chess Tour (spoiler: it's Rustam Ksaimdzhanov)

The man of the moment was surely Maxime Vachier-Lagrave who
beat Veselin Topalov to score the lone victory in the third round

Topalov played a fine opening and early middlegame. However, he went horribly wrong with 28…Bxf1. The mutual exchanges left White with a strong a-passer. A few further inaccuracies meant that Topalov slumped to his second defeat in the tournament, and MVL joined Anish Giri at the top.

Topalov’s currently leads the Grand Chess Tour standings but his 0.5/3 start at the
London Chess Classic means that his chances of winning the GCT are pretty grim

[Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2015.12.06"] [Round "3.5"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Topalov, Veselin"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2765"] [BlackElo "2803"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "75"] [EventDate "2015.12.04"] 1. e4 c5 {The only non e4-e5 game of the round and the only decisive one. Of course it had to be the Sicilian!} 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 {The h3 line has become quite popular in the last year or two. Mainly it seems to be fashion more than the objective strength of the move. White gots pretty much nothing in the main lines (Be3, Bc4, Bg5) and tried to deviate with 6.h3 and is enjoying good results.} e5 7. Nde2 {If White were to achieve g4 and Ng3 now he would get a very nice harmonious position. This explains Black's next move.} h5 8. g3 Nbd7 9. Bg2 b5 10. Nd5 {is quite rare. It was played by Navara just a few days ago at the European Team Championships and this must have caught MVL's attention.} (10. O-O {is the mian move.}) 10... Nxd5 11. Qxd5 Rb8 (11... Nb6 $5) (11... Qc7 $5 {was Djukic's choice against Navara. The rook is taboo in the corner because of Nb6.}) 12. Be3 Be7 13. Qd2 Nf6 14. O-O O-O 15. Kh2 Bb7 16. Nc3 Rc8 17. a4 b4 18. Nd5 Nxd5 19. exd5 { The last few moves have been pretty normal. White has got nothing special out of the opening. In fact Black can opt for quick queenside play with Qa5, Rc4 and Rfc8.} a5 (19... Qa5 $5 {[%cal Gc8c4,Gf8c8] was pretty good.}) 20. Qe2 Bg5 $1 21. Bxg5 (21. Qxh5 Bxe3 22. fxe3 Rxc2 $36) 21... Qxg5 22. h4 Qf6 23. Qb5 Qe7 24. Qxa5 Rxc2 25. Rac1 (25. Qxb4 Qc7 {with Ba6 and Rb8 to follow up Black will surely recover his pawn.}) 25... Rxb2 26. Rb1 Ra2 27. Qxb4 Ba6 28. Qb3 Bxf1 $2 (28... Rd2 $11 {Keeping the rook was important.}) 29. Qxa2 Bxg2 30. Kxg2 { Because of the exchange manoeuvre initiated by Topalov, White has been left with a strong passed pawn on a-file. The first player is better here.} Ra8 $6 ( 30... e4 {Good or bad it was necessary to create play on the kingside.} 31. a5 (31. Rb3 Qe5 32. Qd2 f5 $132) 31... e3 $1 {and Black could cling on.}) 31. a5 { Now White gets an extra tempo to push his pawn and this makes a huge difference.} e4 32. Rb3 $1 {Good prophylactic play, stopping e4-e3.} f5 (32... Qe5 33. a6 Qxd5 34. Rb8+ $18 {[%cal Ga2d5] This is also one move which wouldn't have been possible had the rook been on f8.}) 33. Qd2 $6 (33. a6 f4 34. Rb7 Qe5 (34... f3+ 35. Kh2 $18) 35. a7 {would have had been immediate curtains for Black.}) 33... Qc7 (33... Qf7 {was more tenacious.}) 34. Qb2 Rxa5 $6 (34... Qxa5 35. Rb7 Qa1 36. Rxg7+ Kh8 {and believe it or not, Black can survive this after} 37. Qxa1 Rxa1 38. Rg5 Kh7 39. Rxf5 Kg6 40. Rg5+ Kh6 $16 { Is this winning? I am not so sure. Rd1 is coming up and the d5 pawn is weak. Meanwhile it's not easy to get the white king into the game.}) 35. Rb7 Ra2 { This was the resource Topalov was banking on.} 36. Qb5 Rxf2+ $2 (36... Qc2 $2 37. Qe8+ Kh7 38. Qxh5+ Kg8 39. Rb8+ Qc8 40. Rxc8#) (36... Qc1 $1 {was the best defence.} 37. Qe8+ Kh7 38. Qxh5+ Qh6 39. Qxf5+ Qg6 40. Qf4 $16 {White should win this, but it will require some work to be done.}) 37. Kxf2 Qc2+ 38. Qe2 { There is absolutely no perpetual and Topalov had to resign the game. Quite an unfortunate defeat for the Bulgarian who played the opening and the early middlegame quite well.} 1-0

Danny King dissects the MVL-Topalov game on his powerplay video given at the top of this report.

The match-up which everyone was definitely looking forward to

Carlsen played a provocative move order in the Berlin Endgame with 10…Be6. Vishy Anand replied well and had a very tangible advantage. However, an inaccuracy meant that the roles had been reversed. It was Carlsen now in the driver’s seat. But surprisingly Carlsen too wasn’t able to play accurately and in the end the players had to split the point.

Oh no, YABE! Yet another Berlin Endgame...

[Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2015.12.06"] [Round "3.4"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2803"] [BlackElo "2850"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "111"] [EventDate "2015.12.04"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nc3 Ke8 10. h3 Be6 11. Rd1 Bc5 12. g4 Ne7 13. Ng5 Bd5 14. Nge4 Bb6 15. Kg2 Rd8 16. Bf4 Ng6 17. Bg3 h5 18. f4 hxg4 19. hxg4 Ke7 20. Rh1 Bd4 21. Nxd5+ cxd5 22. Nc3 Bxc3 23. bxc3 Kd7 24. f5 Ne7 25. Rae1 {White has a dominating position here. His pawns on e5 and f5 are extremely strong and his bishop works perfectly. It might not be a very huge advantage, but it's very easy to play as White and Magnus's defensive task is not so easy.} Rde8 26. Kf3 $6 {A pretty bad oversight by Anand who loses all his advantage.} (26. Rxh8 Rxh8 27. Kf3 Nc6 {Trying to play like in the game doesn't work, as now the rook is on h8 and not on e8.} 28. Rd1 $1 $16) 26... Rxh1 $1 27. Rxh1 Nc6 { Suddenly the e5 pawn is hanging. Black is already pretty fine.} 28. Re1 g5 $1 { Keeping the king out of the f4 square.} 29. a4 a6 30. Kg2 Kc8 31. Kf2 b6 32. Kf3 Kd7 33. Kf2 Kc8 {Both of the players were sort of repeating moves and maybe a draw would have been agreed immediately if Anand would not have made the following mistake.} 34. Re3 $2 {The rook move to e3 is an embarrassingly poor move, as Anand pointed out in the press conference. There is no point to it and the rook simply comes under attack after Na5-c4.} Na5 $1 35. Re1 Nc4 { The tables have turned. Black is the one in the driver's seat and his next task is to create a passed pawn on the queenside.} 36. Kf3 Kd7 37. Kg2 a5 ( 37... c6 {It could have been more accurate to start with c6, although what Carlsen played in the game is also fine.}) 38. Kf2 c6 39. Kg2 {Anand moves his king from f2-g2 while Carlsen slowly strengthens his position.} b5 40. Rb1 Rh8 (40... Nxe5 $1 {would have been very interesting.} 41. axb5 Nxg4 42. b6 Ne3+ 43. Kf2 (43. Kf3 g4+ $1) 43... Nxf5 44. b7 Nxg3 45. b8=Q Ne4+ 46. Ke3 Rxb8 47. Rxb8 Nxc3 $17 {Black has excellent winning chances.}) 41. Bf2 $1 {Now the threat is to take on b5.} (41. axb5 cxb5 42. Rxb5 Kc6 $15) 41... Nxe5 42. axb5 Nxg4 43. bxc6+ Kxc6 44. Bd4 {White is a pawn down but just too active to have any problems.} Re8 45. Kg3 Ne5 46. Rb6+ Kc7 47. Rf6 Kd7 48. Bxe5 Rxe5 49. Kg4 Ke7 50. Kxg5 Re1 51. Ra6 f6+ 52. Kg4 Rg1+ 53. Kf4 Rf1+ 54. Kg4 Rg1+ 55. Kf4 Rf1+ 56. Kg4 {A topsy turvy encounter where first Anand had a superior position and then Carlsen botched up his chance.} 1/2-1/2

The post-game conference saw a relaxed Anand and a not-so-happy Magnus

Sunday meant that a huge number of people came to watch
the strongest tournament ever held on English soil

Aronian had the slightly more comfortable side of the draw in his game against Michael Adams

[Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2015.12.06"] [Round "3.3"] [White "Adams, Michael"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2744"] [BlackElo "2781"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "68"] [EventDate "2015.12.04"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 b4 9. d4 d6 10. dxe5 dxe5 {This line of the Anti Marshall is something which Aronian has tremendous experience in with the black pieces. He has already has played eight games in it with top players like Carlsen, Nakamura, Giri, Topalov, Svidler, etc.} 11. Qxd8 Rxd8 12. Nbd2 Bd6 {This move prepares Na5 as now the e5 pawn is defended. Hence White's next move is forced.} 13. a5 h6 14. Bc4 Re8 $1 {Commentators were debating the real motive of this move. Suddenly Levon Aronian comes to the commentary room and says "I want to exchange the light squared bishops to get the b5 square for my rook!" Now this is what we call super GM understanding.} 15. Nb3 Be6 16. Bd3 $1 {Mickey realizes that he shouldn't give up the b5 square and maintains the bishops.} Red8 17. Nfd2 Nd7 18. Nc4 Nc5 19. Nxc5 Bxc5 {Black surely has the more comfortable position but White is still well within the realms of equality.} 20. Be3 Bxe3 21. Nxe3 b3 22. Bf1 Nd4 (22... bxc2 23. Nxc2 Rab8 24. Bxa6 Rxb2 25. Ne3 $11) 23. cxb3 Nxb3 24. Ra3 Rd2 25. Re2 Rxe2 26. Bxe2 Nd4 27. Bf1 Kf8 28. Rc3 Rb8 29. Rxc7 Rxb2 30. h4 (30. Ra7 Rb1 31. Rxa6 Ne2+ 32. Kh1 Nc3 $132) 30... Ra2 31. Bxa6 Rxa5 32. Bc8 Ra8 33. Bxe6 Nxe6 34. Rc2 h5 {Not particularly an exciting game, but Aronian once again proved that this line is pretty good for Black.} 1/2-1/2

“Come on Mickey, you cannot expect to employ a line of the Anti-Marshall
in which I have already beaten Carlsen, Nakamura and Giri, and get the better of me!”

Grischuk showcased some fierce preparation in the Berlin Endgame today…

…but Giri quite miraculously survived

[Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2015.12.06"] [Round "3.2"] [White "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2750"] [BlackElo "2778"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2015.12.04"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Ke8 10. Nc3 h5 11. Ne2 b6 12. Bg5 {Anish was following the game Grischuk-Caruana from the EU cup 2015. But in that game Black had played 12...Bb7 and here Anish continues with 12...c5.} c5 13. Nc3 Bb7 14. Rad1 Bxf3 15. gxf3 c6 16. Ne4 Be7 17. f4 Bxg5 18. fxg5 Ke7 19. Nd6 Ke6 ({After the game Alexander shows that he had analyzed this position at home and the pawn ending arising after the double rook exchange is lost for Black!} 19... Nxd6 20. Rxd6 Rhd8 21. Rfd1 Rxd6 22. Rxd6 Rd8 23. Rxd8 Kxd8 24. f4 Ke7 25. Kf2 Ke6 26. Kf3 Kf5 27. Ke3 $18 {Now according to Alexander White will just keep shuffling between Ke3-f3 and soon Black will run out of moves. He will have to move back and the white king will come to e4 and win the game! Unbelievable level of preparation, don't you agree?!!}) 20. f4 (20. Nxf5 Kxf5 21. Rd7 Rhf8 {is nothing.}) 20... Rad8 $2 (20... Ne3 $6 21. f5+ Ke7 22. f6+ gxf6 23. exf6+ Kf8 24. Nxf7 $3 (24. Nf5 Nxd1 25. Rxd1) 24... Kxf7 25. Rd7+ Kf8 (25... Ke8 26. Re7+ $18) 26. Rf3 $16) (20... Nxd6 {According to Grischuk this was the most critical.} 21. Rxd6+ Kf5 22. Rd7 (22. Rxc6 Rac8 23. Rd6 Rhd8) (22. Kg2 Rad8) 22... Rhf8 23. Kg2 {[%cal Gg2f3]} Rad8 24. Rxa7 Rd2+ 25. Rf2 Rxf2+ 26. Kxf2 Kxf4 27. Rc7 Kxe5 28. Rxc6 Rb8 $11 {Black should be able to hold this position. }) 21. Rfe1 g6 22. Kf2 Nd4 23. c3 Nf5 24. Kf3 {At this point White is unconditionally winning. But Grischuk had spent so much time on calculating lines that he was left with very little to convert this position.} Ng7 25. Rd2 Ke7 26. Red1 Rhg8 27. a4 (27. h4 Nf5 28. Nxf5+ gxf5 29. Rd6 Rxd6 30. Rxd6 Rg6 31. Rf6 $1 {and this pawn ending after the rook exhange is a win for White.}) 27... a6 28. Nc4 Rxd2 29. Rxd2 b5 30. Na5 Rc8 31. Rd6 bxa4 32. Rxc6 Rd8 33. Nc4 (33. Rxa6 $1) 33... a3 34. bxa3 $6 (34. Rc7+ $1 Ke6 35. Nxa3 Rd3+ 36. Ke4 Rxh3 37. Nc4 $16) (34. Nxa3 Rd3+ 35. Ke4 Rxh3 {is still better for White, but Black has some counterplay.}) 34... Rd3+ $1 {Now Anish gets enough counterplay to hold the draw.} 35. Ke4 Rxc3 36. Nd6 Rxa3 37. Rc7+ Ke6 38. Rxf7 Ne8 39. Rf8 Nxd6+ 40. exd6 Ra4+ 41. Ke3 Kxd6 42. Rf6+ Kd5 43. f5 Ra3+ 44. Kf4 Ra4+ 45. Ke3 Ra3+ 46. Kf4 Ra4+ 47. Ke3 {A terrible result for Grischuk who obtained a winning position out of the early middlegame but couldn't convert it.} 1/2-1/2

Typical Alexander Grischuk: when you think for 63 minutes on your 20th move
you need a lot of coffee to support the effort!

The Nakamura Stare© did the trick as he saved a lost position against Fabiano Caruana

[Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2015.12.06"] [Round "3.1"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2787"] [BlackElo "2793"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "89"] [EventDate "2015.12.04"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 Qe7 7. h3 O-O 8. Nc4 Nd7 9. Qe2 b5 10. Ne3 Nb6 11. Nf5 Bxf5 12. exf5 Nd7 $2 {This was quite a critical mistake.} (12... e4 {was what Nakamura was planning to play when he went for this position. However he realized that Qxe4 is just too strong here.} 13. Qxe4 $1 (13. dxe4 $6 Rfe8 14. Nd2 Nc8 15. O-O Nd6 16. Re1 Nxf5 $11) 13... Qxe4+ 14. dxe4 Rfe8 15. Nd2 Nc8 16. g4 Nd6 17. f3 $16 {[%csl Ge4,Gf3,Gf5,Gg4] It's an unusual structure, but white is a pawn up and will untangle and make his extra material count.}) (12... Qd7 $1 {was the best move and Nakamura was about to play it. However he was scared when he saw 13.f6 and desisted.} 13. Qe4 (13. f6 $6 gxf6 $15 {There is no real attack against the black king.}) 13... f6 $11 {[%cal Gd7d5]}) 13. Nd2 Bb4 14. c3 Ba5 15. Ne4 $14 {White has a clear advantage.} b4 16. O-O Rfd8 17. cxb4 Bxb4 18. Be3 f6 19. Qc2 (19. Rac1 $16 {White has a clearly better position here. Maybe almost winning.}) 19... Nb6 20. a3 Bd6 21. Qxc6 Qd7 22. Qxd7 Rxd7 23. Rfc1 {White is a pawn up, but Black now has some activity.} Nd5 24. Bd2 Bf8 25. g3 (25. Rc6 $16 {[%cal Ga1c1] }) 25... a5 26. Kf1 a4 {After Black has achieved this White's extra pawn does not make itself felt.} 27. Ke2 Rb8 28. Rc2 Rb3 29. Rac1 Rd8 30. Nc3 Nxc3+ 31. Bxc3 Rd5 32. g4 c6 33. Rg1 h6 34. h4 Be7 35. Rg3 Kf7 36. Kd2 (36. Re3 $16 { with the idea of Re4 would have been strong.}) 36... Bd6 37. Ke2 Bc5 38. g5 Bd4 39. gxh6 gxh6 40. Rg6 Bxc3 41. bxc3 h5 42. Rh6 Kg7 43. Rg6+ (43. Rxh5 Rdb5 $132 ) 43... Kf7 44. Rh6 Kg7 45. Rg6+ {A lucky escape for Nakamura.} 1/2-1/2

Game of the Day Round two

The lucky winner of the London Chess Classic Round two poll is John Bottomley. He wins a copy of Fritz 15 or ChessBase Magazine, which will be delivered to him.

You can still vote for round three.

British Knockout Championships

At the halfway mark in this six-game match David Howell leads with a score of 2:1.

£30,000 is at stake in the six-match British knockout finals between David Howell and Nicholas Pert - £20,000 to the winner and £10,000 to the runner-up. After a tame draw in game one we saw two fighting games in rounds two and three. In the second round David won taking 1.5:0.5 lead in the match. Today in game three, Pert seemed determined to level the scores. He played the Qb3 variation in the c6-d5 Grunfeld. A slow maneuvering game ensued where Howell took the risky decision of giving up his g7 bishop in order to win a pawn. White had ample of compensation, and this turned into a serious advantage when Howell blundered back the pawn. Material was even and Pert had the bishop pair. It seemed as if the scores were going to be leveled, but it was not to be. David defended well and the game ended in a draw after 78 moves.

[Event "British ch-KO 2015"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2015.12.07"] [Round "3.3"] [White "Pert, Nicholas"] [Black "Howell, David W L"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E60"] [WhiteElo "2569"] [BlackElo "2693"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "156"] [EventDate "2015.12.01"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. g3 c6 5. Bg2 d5 6. Qb3 O-O 7. O-O Qb6 8. Nc3 Rd8 9. Na4 Qxb3 10. axb3 Na6 11. Bf4 Be6 12. Rfc1 Ne8 13. h3 dxc4 14. bxc4 Bxd4 $5 {Howell decides to pick up a pawn at the cost of giving up his strong dark squared bishop.} 15. Nxd4 Rxd4 16. b3 $14 {White has excellent compensation thanks to his two bishops and also because none of the Black's minor pieces are playing in the game.} Rdd8 17. Be3 Kf8 18. Nc3 Nec7 19. Ne4 f6 20. Kf1 Bf7 21. Nd2 Nb4 22. Ne4 Nba6 23. Rab1 {Of course Pert doesn't repeat with Nd2 again, instead tries to play for a win. After all he is point down in the match.} Nb4 $2 {A tactical blunder by Howell.} (23... b6 {was better but it is not a good feeling to weaken the long diagonal.}) 24. Nxf6 $1 exf6 25. Bc5+ Ke8 26. Bxb4 $16 {White not only has restored the material equilibrium but also has the bishop pair. This is quite a tangible advantage to White. The game went on for another 50 moves but White was unable to make the most of his edge and the game ended in a draw.} Rd7 27. Rc3 Rad8 28. Ke1 Ne6 29. Re3 Bg8 30. Ba5 Rc8 31. Rd1 Rxd1+ 32. Kxd1 Kd7 33. Bc3 Rf8 34. Kc2 g5 35. Rd3+ Ke7 36. Bb2 Rd8 37. Ba3+ Ke8 38. Kc3 Rxd3+ 39. exd3 Bf7 40. b4 Kd7 41. b5 cxb5 42. Bxb7 bxc4 43. dxc4 h5 44. Be4 Nd8 45. Bc5 Be6 46. h4 gxh4 47. gxh4 Nc6 48. Bxc6+ Kxc6 49. Bxa7 Bg4 50. Bd4 f5 51. Be3 Kd6 52. Kd4 Be2 53. c5+ Ke6 54. c6 Kd6 55. c7 Kxc7 56. Ke5 Kd7 57. Kxf5 Ke7 58. Kg6 Bf3 59. Bc5+ Ke6 60. Bb4 Ke5 61. Kg5 Ke6 62. Kg6 Ke5 63. Bd2 Ke6 64. Bc3 Ke7 65. Bb4+ Ke6 66. Ba3 Ke5 67. Kg5 Ke6 68. Bb2 Kf7 69. Kf4 Bd1 70. Ke4 Ke6 71. Kf4 Kf7 72. Kf5 Bf3 73. Ke5 Ke7 74. Ba3+ Kf7 75. Bb4 Bd1 76. f4 Be2 77. f5 Bd1 78. Bc3 Be2 1/2-1/2

FIDE Open

Evgeny Postny is the sole leader after four rounds at the London Chess Classic FIDE Open. He is followed by a huge pack of 19 players on 3.5/4.

The top seed of the event has maintained a clean slate with four victories

In the fourth round Postny faced the talented Danish International Master Mads Andersen. It seemed as if the position arising from the QGA would end in a draw. However Mads got his bishop on d5 badly pinned. In the end the bishop was lost to a nice little tactic:

[Event "London Classic Open 2015"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2015.12.06"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Andersen, Mads"] [Black "Postny, Evgeny"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D26"] [WhiteElo "2459"] [BlackElo "2672"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "82"] [EventDate "2015.12.04"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 dxc4 4. e3 Nf6 5. Bxc4 a6 6. Bd3 c5 7. O-O Nc6 8. Nc3 cxd4 9. exd4 Be7 10. Bg5 O-O 11. Re1 Nb4 12. Bb1 b6 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Be4 Nd5 15. Ne5 Bb7 16. Qh5 g6 17. Qf3 Bg7 18. Nxd5 exd5 19. Bc2 Rc8 20. Bb3 Qd6 21. Re2 a5 22. Re3 b5 23. a4 Qb4 24. Qd1 Rc7 25. axb5 Qxb5 26. h3 Bh6 27. Rf3 Rfc8 28. Kh2 Qb6 29. Ng4 Bg7 30. Ne5 Qd6 31. g3 Bxe5 32. dxe5 Qc5 33. Rf4 Re8 34. Qd4 Qxd4 35. Rxd4 Rxe5 36. Rxa5 Re2 37. Kg2 Rxb2 38. Bxd5 {The position looks completely drawn. However, Black has some chances because he can now pin the bishop with} Rd7 $1 {This is a little uncomfortable for White as he is unable to wriggle out of the pin.} 39. Kg1 $2 (39. Kf3 $1 {Bringing the king into the battle would have allowed White to hold.} Kg7 40. Rc5 f5 (40... Rb6 41. Ke3 Rbd6 42. Ke4 f5+ 43. Ke5 $11) 41. Ke3 Rb6 42. Kd3 Rbd6 43. Kc4 $11) 39... Rb6 $1 {Threatening Rbd6 winning the bishop.} 40. Ra7 Rb1+ $1 41. Kh2 Bxd5 { and due to the mate on h1 White loses the piece. A pretty win for Postny who is now in sole lead.} 0-1

The famous English player GM Mark Hebden is on 3.5/4

GM Aleksandr Lenderman won his game against IM Marc Esserman to reach 3.5/4

Standings after round four

Rk. SNo Ti. Name Nat. Rtg Pts.
1 1 GM Postny Evgeny ISR 2670 4.0
2 5 GM Lenderman Alex USA 2626 3.5
  8 GM Bok Benjamin NED 2594 3.5
  9 GM Hansen Eric CAN 2577 3.5
  10 GM Hawkins Jonathan ENG 2569 3.5
  12 GM Rambaldi Francesco ITA 2560 3.5
  13 GM Vakhidov Jahongir UZB 2546 3.5
  14 GM Baron Tal ISR 2544 3.5
  16 GM Vishnu Prasanna V IND 2514 3.5
  18 IM Sadzikowski Daniel POL 2506 3.5
  22 GM Fodor Tamas Jr HUN 2492 3.5
  23 GM Arkell Keith Cc ENG 2490 3.5
  26 IM Swayams Mishra IND 2477 3.5
  28 GM Hebden Mark L ENG 2469 3.5
  33 IM Bartholomew John USA 2443 3.5
  36 IM Sagar Shah IND 2441 3.5
  51 IM Krishna Crg IND 2367 3.5
  59 IM Cox John J ENG 2342 3.5
  89   Lahtela Silvo GER 2236 3.5
  107   Osborne Marcus E ENG 2180 3.5

Legendary photographer Ray Morris-Hill, excellent reviewer of chess books and DVDs
Carl Portman and sublime chess player and commentator Tania Sachdev

Oh, yes, she did DVD recording with us – you can order them in the ChessBase Shop

The spirit of a true winner!

GM Matthew Sadler prepares himself for a long day of chess analysis!

Nette Robinson, a chess artist, has done some wonderful paintings of the elite players. On the right
you can see the trophy that will be presented to the winner of the London Chess Classic designed by her.

In this video Nette explains the various facets of the 2015 London Chess Classic trophy

Two ChessBase.com authors share a moment of mirth: Sagar Shah and John Nunn

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
-
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 9 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
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.
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pathikd pathikd 12/8/2015 05:02
What does Anand say at the end of that post-match analysis that makes the commentators laugh? The last five seconds of the video.
johnmk johnmk 12/8/2015 01:36
Shah's analysis saying that 33 Qd2 is questionable. He gives the variation
"33.a6 f4 34. Rb7 Qe5 35.a7 would have had been immediate curtains for Black. "

But 34. .. Qf6! 35 a7 fg3 36 fg3 Qf3+ 37 kh2 kh7 and Black is still hanging on. So 33 Qd2 not so bad.
LAMIB LAMIB 12/7/2015 04:48
I must say, Great pictures! Really enjoying this coverage.
johnmk johnmk 12/7/2015 03:27
Solid Berlin: translation boring Berlin. Keeping the draw in hand is a bore.
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