London Chess Classic – Carlsen, Anand, McShane lead

12/13/2010 – The game between the two leaders was a tough trial for the tournament's dark horse, McShane, who found himself in a difficult position, in danger of losing. Adams and Kramnik had a hard game before they also drew. Short played a rare offshoot of the Marshall Attack against Nakamura which backfired, while Carlsen outplayed Howell in a simplified middlegame and won. Full report with pictures.

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London Chess Classic 2010

The tournament is an eight-player round-robin for seven rounds played at 40/2h + 20/1h + g/15'+30" using the Sofia Rules. Prizes: 1st 50,000 Euros, 2nd 25,000 Euros, 3rd 15,000 Euros, 4th 10,000 Euros, 5th 10,000 Euros, 6th 8,000 Euros plus seven daily Best Game prizes of 1,000 Euros voted on by the public. Tie Breaks: In order of priority. 1. Number of games with Black. 2. Number of games won with Black. 3. Number of games won. 4. Ranking based on the games between the tied players only.

Report on round five

By John Saunders / pictures by Christian Sasse

Today’s chess was an unofficial ‘England versus the World’ match as well as a critical juncture in the tournament as the joint leaders Vishy Anand and Luke McShane clashed.

Round 5: Sunday, December 12, 2010

Michael Adams 

½-½

 Vladimir Kramnik

Viswanathan Anand 

½-½

 Luke McShane

Hikaru Nakamura 

1-0

 Nigel Short

David Howell 

0-1

 Magnus Carlsen

The first game to finish was Anand-McShane, which ended in a draw. Luke seemed to be under some pressure from the opening and Vishy retained an edge for most of the game, but he was never able to amplify this to a win.


Amid a crush of photographers and under the guidance of tournament director Malcolm Pein
two young chess players (more about them in a later report) execute the first move for Anand


World Champion Vishy Anand facing the co-leader...


Luke McShane, the big surprise in this tournament

Anand,Viswanathan (2804) - McShane,Luke J (2645) [C67]
2nd London Chess Classic London ENG (5), 12.12.2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Nxe5 Be7 7.Bf1 Nxe5 8.Rxe5 0-0 9.d4 Bf6 10.Re1 Nf5 11.d5 d6 12.Nd2 Nh4 13.g3 Ng6 14.a4 Ne5 15.Ra3 a5 16.Ne4 Be7 17.f4 Ng4 18.Bg2 h6 19.c4 Nf6 20.Nc3 Nd7 21.Nb5 Nc5 22.Rae3 Bf6 23.Bf3 Bd7 24.b3 Rb8 25.Kg2 Re8 26.Ba3 Rxe3 27.Rxe3 Bxb5 28.cxb5 b6 29.Bg4 g6 30.h4 Bg7 31.Be2 Qf6 32.Bc4 Kf8 33.Bxc5 dxc5 34.Qf3 Re8 35.Rxe8+ Kxe8 36.d6 Qxd6 37.Qe4+ Kf8 38.Qa8+ Ke7 39.Qg8 Qf6 40.Qc8 Qd6 41.Qg8 Qf6 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Nigel Short had another off-day. He tried a sideline of the Marshall Attack (9...e4) for which Hikaru was barely prepared but the American found a very sensible continuation based on 11 g3 which suggests that this line may not be feasible at super-GM level. Short’s position after 20 Qf5 looked hopeless and so it proved.


What did you say? Nigel Short chatting with Hikaru Nakamura before the start of the game


Really funny guy, the American GM


But in the game there is no jesting (in the background Indian TV journalist Vijay Kumar)

Nakamura,Hikaru (2741) - Short,Nigel D (2680) [C89]
2nd London Chess Classic London ENG (5), 12.12.2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 e4 10.dxc6 exf3 11.g3 Re8 12.d4 Bg4 13.Bg5 h6 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Nd2 Qd6 16.h3 Bh5 17.Qc2 Bg5 18.Ne4 Qxc6 19.Nxg5 hxg5 20.Qf5 Rxe1+ 21.Rxe1 Re8 22.Re5 Rxe5 23.dxe5 Bg6 24.Qxg5 Qe4 25.Qd8+ Kh7 26.Qh4+ Qxh4 27.gxh4 f6 28.exf6 gxf6 29.Bd5 a5 30.b4 axb4 31.cxb4 Bd3 32.Kh2 Bc4 33.Be4+ Kh6 34.a3 1-0. [Click to replay]

Mickey Adams confronted Vlad Kramnik’s celebrated Berlin Wall with 4 d3, which the great Russian said he thought of as the “second main line” against his favourite barricade. After some exchanges, the players reached a position with a small edge for White but one which proved readily defensible by Black. After some further exchanges a draw was agreed.


Big Vlad Kramnik before the start of his game against...


... the immovable force, Michael Adams

Adams,Michael (2723) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2791) [C65]
2nd London Chess Classic London ENG (5), 12.12.2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.c3 0-0 6.0-0 d6 7.Nbd2 a6 8.Ba4 b5 9.Bb3 Bb6 10.Re1 Ne7 11.Nf1 Ng6 12.Ng3 Re8 13.Ng5 Nh8 14.d4 h6 15.Nf3 Ng6 16.h3 Bb7 17.Bc2 d5 18.Nxe5 Nxe5 19.dxe5 Nxe4 20.Nxe4 dxe4 21.Qh5 g6 22.Qxh6 Rxe5 23.Be3 Qf6 24.Rad1 Rae8 25.Bb3 Bc8 26.Bxb6 Qxb6 27.Qf4 Rf5 28.Qg3 Qf6 29.Rd5 Ree5 30.Rxe5 Rxe5 31.f4 Re8 32.Qe3 Be6 33.Qxe4 Bd7 34.Qb1 Rxe1+ 35.Qxe1 Qxf4 36.Qf2 Qc1+ 37.Kh2 Bf5 38.Qg3 Qxb2 39.Qe5 Qa3 40.Qxc7 Be6 41.Qd8+ Kg7 42.Qd4+ Kg8 43.Qd8+ Kg7 44.Qd4+ Kg8 45.Qd8+ 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

At the back of the field but just ahead of Nigel Short, David Howell, like his senior English colleague, found that “he that has not, from him shall be taken even that which he has”. Chess is a cruel game and there is a tendency to gang up on players who are not doing too well. Of course, the fact that he was paired with Magnus Carlsen didn’t help. Even so, David was alive and reasonably well at the time control. However, almost immediately he went astray with 42 g5 and then the disastrous 43 Qg3 which cost him a piece. This third success for Magnus catapulted him into the joint lead with Vishy Anand and Luke McShane; technically he is the leader on tie-break because he has had more Blacks (and more wins) than his rivals. The unofficial ‘England versus the World’ thus ended 3-1 in favour of the World.


Facing a grim task: young English talent David Howell


Unstoppable, once he gets going: Magnus Carlsen

Howell,David W L (2611) - Carlsen,Magnus (2802) [B90]
2nd London Chess Classic London ENG (5), 12.12.2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 e6 7.g4 Be7 8.Bg2 Nfd7 9.Be3 Nc6 10.Qd2 0-0 11.0-0 Nde5 12.b3 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 Ng6 14.Be3 Qc7 15.Ne2 b5 16.c4 bxc4 17.Rac1 Bb7 18.Rxc4 Qd7 19.Rfc1 Rac8 20.Bb6 Rxc4 21.Rxc4 Rc8 22.Qc2 Rxc4 23.Qxc4 Qe8 24.a4 Qa8 25.f4 h6 26.Bf2 Bh4 27.Be3 Bf6 28.Qd3 Bc6 29.Ng3 Be7 30.Nh5 Bf8 31.Bf2 Qb7 32.Qc4 Ne7 33.Qd3 d5 34.e5 d4 35.Bf1 Bd5 36.Qxa6 Qxb3 37.Qd3 Qxa4 38.Qxd4 Qa8 39.Qa7 Qc8 40.Qc5 Nc6 41.Qc3 Qa8 42.g5 Qa4 43.Qg3 Qd1 44.Nf6+ gxf6 45.gxf6+ Kh8 46.Qd3 Qxd3 47.Bxd3 Nb4 48.Bb1 Ba2 49.Be4 Nd5 50.f5 Nf4 51.Kh2 exf5 52.Bxf5 Be6 53.Bg4 Bxg4 54.hxg4 Ne6 55.Kg3 Bc5 0-1. [Click to replay]

Standings after round five

Nr
Sd
Name Rating Fed
Score
TPR   Born Tiebreak
1
2
Carlsen, Magnus 2802 NOR
9
2728   1990 3 x black
2
1
Anand, Viswanathan 2804 IND
9
2902   1969 2 x black
3
7
McShane, Luke J 2645 ENG
9
2942   1984 2 x black
4
4
Nakamura, Hikaru 2741 USA
8
2752   1987 win over Kramnik
5
3
Kramnik, Vladimir 2791 RUS
8
2764   1975 loss to Nakamura
6
5
Adams, Michael 2723 ENG
6
2685   1971  
7
8
Howell, David W L 2611 ENG
2
2572   1990  
8
6
Short, Nigel D 2680 ENG
1
2419   1965  

Traditional cross table


Pairings of the London Chess Classic

Round 1: Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Nigel Short 
0-1
 Vladimir Kramnik
Luke McShane 
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen
Michael Adams 
1-0
 David Howell
Viswanathan Anand 
½-½
 Hikaru Nakamura
Round 2: Thursday, December 9, 2010

Vladimir Kramnik 

0-1

 Hikaru Nakamura

David Howell 

½-½

 Viswanathan Anand

Magnus Carlsen 

1-0

 Michael Adams

Nigel Short 

0-1

 Luke McShane

Round 3: Friday, December 10, 2010

Luke McShane 

½-½

 Vladimir Kramnik

Michael Adams 

½-½

 Nigel Short

Viswanathan Anand 

1-0

 Magnus Carlsen

Hikaru Nakamura 

½-½

 David Howell

Round 4: Saturday, December 11, 2010

Vladimir Kramnik 

1-0

 David Howell

Magnus Carlsen 

1-0

 Hikaru Nakamura

Nigel Short 

0-1

 Viswanathan Anand

Luke McShane 

½-½

 Michael Adams

Round 5: Sunday, December 12, 2010

Michael Adams 

½-½

 Vladimir Kramnik

Viswanathan Anand 

½-½

 Luke McShane

Hikaru Nakamura 

1-0

 Nigel Short

David Howell 

0-1

 Magnus Carlsen

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rest day

Round 6: Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vladimir Kramnik 

-

 Magnus Carlsen

Nigel Short 

-

 David Howell

Luke McShane 

-

 Hikaru Nakamura

Michael Adams 

-

 Viswanathan Anand

Games – Report
Round 7: Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Viswanathan Anand 

-

 Vladimir Kramnik

Hikaru Nakamura 

-

 Michael Adams

David Howell 

-

 Luke McShane

Magnus Carlsen 

-

 Nigel Short

Games – Report

Remaining tournament schedule

Monday December 13th Free day  
Tuesday December 14th Classic Round 6 14:00
Wednesday December 15th Classic Round 7 12:00

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 the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!


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