London Chess Classic – Carlsen vs Nakamura, and a walk in the park

12/12/2010 – One more round on Sunday, and after that a rest day. What to do in the fine, sunny London weather? How about a walk in the park? London has an excellent selection of open spaces to pick from, and Richmond Park is a beautiful nature reserve where you can see a wide variety of birds and animals. Meanwhile we provide you with some analysis from the round four encounter Carlsen vs Nakamura.

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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.

Commentary on round four

By John Saunders

The tournament has passed the midway point and we now have joint leaders. World champion Vishy Anand celebrated his 41st birthday by defeating backmarker Nigel Short to join Luke McShane (who drew with Mickey Adams) in the lead. It wasn’t quite such a good day for the English players as Friday as David Howell also lost, to Vladimir Kramnik. The last game to finish was Carlsen-Nakamura, which Magnus won after five hours of play. So the scores are: Vishy Anand, Luke McShane 8/12, Vladimir Kramnik 7, Magnus Carlsen 6, Hikaru Nakamura 5, Mickey Adams 5, David Howell 2, Nigel Short 1.

A walk in the park

Sunday sees the clash of the two leaders, while Monday is the rest day. I dare say everyone is looking forward to a break from the frenetic, not least Vlad Kramnik who told us that his 7 hour 47 minute marathon against Luke McShane was his personal record in terms of time at the board. I have no inside information as to what super-GMs do during these breaks in play. One of them, Luke McShane, is a London resident so I am guessing he won’t move far from his place in Pimlico on Monday. Vlad Kramnik is reputed to be a ‘night owl’ so he will probably lie low for a day, though he might be tempted to pop down to Riverside Studios near the river at Hammersmith where he relieved Garry Kasparov of his world championship title ten years ago in order to seek inspiration for the coming fray.

My own suggestion for what to do would be a walk in the park. London has an excellent selection of open spaces to pick from, my own personal favourite being Richmond Park, partly because it is so handy for where I live but also because it is a nature reserve where you can see a wide variety of birds and other animals. It is not so convenient for central London so a better bet might be St James Park, with its eclectic mixture of impressive views and water birds. For example, take a look at this...

This is a view of Whitehall from St James Park, with all the government buildings strangely clustered together like an image from a fairy tale. Here’s another...

It is probably hard to believe that this building is right in the heart of London. It is the so-called Swiss chalet in St James Park, and only a short distance from the prime minister’s residence, 10 Downing Street.

The flora and fauna in the park are also rather surprising. Take, for example, this fearsome beast...

A pelican in St James’ Park. Hardly a native species but they were introduced to the park centuries ago and thrive there, gliding up and down the lake as if they own the place. I’d like to believe that they were imported from Sicily (Sicilian Pelican - get it?) but it turns out that the Russian ambassador presented the original pelicans to King Charles II in 1664. A few years ago a pelican horrified people in the park by gulping down a live pigeon in full view. Pigeons also have to beware of danger in the air as there is now a growing population of peregrine falcons for whom London’s best-known birds are the ‘fast food’ of choice.

Moving on from St James towards Buckingham Palace, you can see some more traditional ‘touristy’ things such as brightly-coloured soldiers marching up and down...

and the ‘Queen Vic Statue’, built to commemorate the pub in England’s most popular soap opera ‘Eastenders’...

... or possibly a 19th century queen of that name. Her husband was Prince Albert and, in Hyde Park (another vast open space with much to recommend it), stands Victoria’s tribute to her much-loved consort.

In 1962 the satirical magazine ‘Private Eye’ published a photo of the Albert Memorial with the caption ‘Britain’s first man in space’.

But enough of the tourist guide. We still have to deal with the events of round four.

Carlsen,Magnus (2802) - Nakamura,Hikaru (2741)
London Chess Classic 2nd London (4), 11.12.2010 [Saunders,J]

1.c4. Magnus is now a confirmed 'anglophile' when it comes to his choice of opening for white... 1...f5 ... while Hikaru favours the Netherlands with black. Of course it is not a true Dutch, as White does not play d4 at any stage. 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 d6 4.Nc3 g6 5.e3 Bg7 6.Nge2 0-0 7.0-0 e5 8.b3 Nbd7 9.d3 c6 10.Ba3 Qc7 11.Qd2 Re8 12.Rae1 Nc5 13.h3 e4 14.dxe4. 14.d4 isn't really an option because of 14...Nd3 and the knight makes a nuisance of itself. 14...Nfxe4 15.Qc2 Nxc3 16.Nxc3 Be6 17.Rd1 Rad8 18.Bb2 Bf7 19.Rd2 a5 20.Rfd1 Be5 21.Ne2








So far, a lot of cautious jockeying for position has ensued, but now Hikaru makes a committal move. 21...a4 22.b4 Nd7 23.Bd4. Note the immediate capture of the a-pawn with 23.Qxa4 would be a very bad idea because of 23...Nb6! 24.Qb3 Nxc4 and White is actually losing material. However, the a-pawn remains a liability in the long term as it is awkward to defend. 23...Nb6. 23...Bxd4 is not a good idea as Black would be giving up a key defender of the d6 pawn. 24.Bxb6! Qxb6 25.Rb1 Qc7 26.Nd4 Rc8 27.Rc1 Qe7 28.Rd3. The a-pawn is still indirectly defended: 28.Qxa4? Bxg3! is good for Black. 28...c5 29.bxc5 Rxc5 30.Qxa4 Rec8 31.Rb1 Rxc4 32.Qd1!








White was quite brave to surrender bishop for knight on move 24 but his positional plan appears to be to target Black's loose pawns on b7 and d6. 32...b6. After this White takes a firm grip of the position. Perhaps 32...R4c5!? was worth a try, e.g. 33.Rxb7 R8c7 34.Rxc7 Qxc7 35.Qd2 Rc1+ 36.Kh2 Bxd4 37.Rxd4 Rc2. 33.Nb5 R4c5. Hikaru was short of time. He looked at 33...Rd8 34.f4 Bf6 35.Nxd6 Rc3 36.Rxb6 Qc7 37.Rxc3 Qxc3 38.Qe2 Bd4!? but didn't have time to check all the implications. 34.Nxd6 Bxd6 35.Rxd6 Bxa2 36.Ra1 Rc1 37.Rxc1 Rxc1 38.Rxg6+. A desperado move to secure the extra pawn. 38...hxg6 39.Qxc1 Qd6 40.h4 Bf7 41.h5 Kh7. 41...gxh5 42.Qc8+ Kg7 43.Qxf5 is worse. 42.hxg6+ Kxg6 43.Qc2 b5 44.g4 Qe5. 44...Be6? 45.gxf5+ Bxf5 46.e4! wins a piece; but 44...b4!? seems worth a try since it is quite hard for White to restrain the b-pawn and Black's f-pawn is lost anyway. 45.gxf5+ Kg7. 45...Kf6 46.Qc6+! Kxf5? 47.Bh3+ Kg5 48.f4+ wins the queen. 46.Qe4 Qd6








The exchange of queens leads to a win for White as we shall see shortly. 47.Qh4 Bc4 48.Bf3 Qf6 49.Qxf6+ Kxf6 50.Be4 Ba2. 50...b4 51.f4 b3 52.Kf2 b2 53.Bb1 wins. 51.f4 b4 52.Kf2 b3 53.Bd5 Kxf5 54.Kf3 Kf6 55.e4 Kg6 56.Ke3. It's now a straightforward technical win though those of us less skilled at the game could easily mess it up. For example, 56.Kg4? Bb1! is a draw. 56...Kh5 57.Kd4 Kg4 58.f5 Kg5 59.Ke5 1-0. [Click to replay]

Here are the other games which were described in our express report.

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

Kramnik,Vladimir (2791) - Howell,David (2611)
London Chess Classic 2nd London (4), 11.12.2010
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Be3 c5 8.Rc1 Qa5 9.Qd2 0-0 10.Nf3 Rd8 11.d5 e6 12.Bg5 f6 13.Be3 exd5 14.exd5 Na6 15.Be2 Be6 16.c4 Qxd2+ 17.Nxd2 Bd7 18.Ne4 b6 19.h4 Bf5 20.Nc3 Nb4 21.Kd2 Nc6 22.h5 Kf7 23.g4 Bc8 24.hxg6+ hxg6 25.Ne4 Ba6 26.Rh7 Kg8 27.Rch1 Ne5 28.Kc3 Nf7 29.Bd3 Ne5 30.g5 fxg5 31.Bxg5 Rf8 32.Be2 Nf3+ 33.Nf6+ Rxf6 34.Rxg7+ Kxg7 35.Bxf6+ Kxf6 36.Bxf3 Re8 37.Rh7 Re7 38.Rh8 Ke5 39.Bg4 b5 40.Rd8 Rf7 41.Re8+ Kf4 42.Be6 1-0. [Click to replay]

Short,Nigel (2680) - Anand,Viswanathan (2804)
London Chess Classic 2nd London (4), 11.12.2010
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 Nc6 4.Nf3 g6 5.Be2 Bg7 6.0-0 Nf6 7.Qe1 0-0 8.d3 e6 9.Kh1 b6 10.Bd2 Bb7 11.Qh4 Ne8 12.Qh3 Nd4 13.Nxd4 cxd4 14.Nd1 f5 15.c4 dxc3 16.Nxc3 Qd7 17.Rae1 Nc7 18.Bf3 Rab8 19.exf5 exf5 20.Bxb7 Rxb7 21.Qf3 d5 22.Rf2 Rbb8 23.Rfe2 Rf7 24.a3 d4 25.Nd1 Qd5 26.Qg3 Rff8 27.h4 Rfe8 28.h5 gxh5 29.Re7 Rxe7 30.Rxe7 Ne6 31.Rxa7 Kh8 32.Nf2 Bf6 33.Nh3 h4 34.Qf2 h6 35.Ng5 Nxg5 36.fxg5 hxg5 37.Bxg5 Bxg5 38.Qe2 Qd6 39.Qh5+ Qh6 40.Qf3 Rc8 41.Qxf5 Rc1+ 42.Kh2 Qd6+ 43.Kh3 Qg3# 0-1. [Click to replay]

McShane,Luke (2645) - Adams,Michael (2723)
London Chess Classic 2nd London (4), 11.12.2010
1.g3 d5 2.Nf3 Bg4 3.Bg2 c6 4.c4 e6 5.0-0 Nd7 6.cxd5 exd5 7.d3 Ngf6 8.h3 Bh5 9.Nh4 Bc5 10.d4 Bb6 11.Nc3 0-0 12.Qd3 Re8 13.Bd2 Qe7 14.g4 Bg6 15.Nxg6 hxg6 16.Bf4 Ne4 17.Nxe4 dxe4 18.Qb3 Nf6 19.Be5 Nd5 20.Bxe4 Bxd4 21.Bxd5 Bxe5 22.Bg2 a5 23.a3 a4 24.Qc2 Qe6 25.Rad1 Ra5 26.Rd2 Rb5 27.Qxa4 Bxb2 28.e3 Qa2 29.Rd3 Bf6 30.Rfd1 Rb2 31.Bd5 b5 32.Bxa2 bxa4 33.R1d2 Reb8 34.Kg2 Kf8 35.Bc4 Rxd2 36.Rxd2 Ke7 37.Rc2 Rb2 38.Rxb2 Bxb2 39.Bd3 Bxa3 40.Bc2 g5 41.Bxa4 c5 42.Bb3 Bb4 43.Bc4 Be1 44.Kf1 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Standings after round four

Nr
Sd
Name Rating Fed
Score
TPR   Born Tiebreak
1
1
Anand, Viswanathan 2804 IND
8
2902   1969 2 x black
2
7
McShane, Luke J 2645 ENG
8
2942   1984 1 x black
3
3
Kramnik, Vladimir 2791 RUS
7
2764   1975  
4
2
Carlsen, Magnus 2802 NOR
6
2728   1990  
5
4
Nakamura, Hikaru 2741 USA
5
2752   1987 3 x black
6
5
Adams, Michael 2723 ENG
5
2685   1971 2 x black
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 

-

 Vladimir Kramnik

Viswanathan Anand 

-

 Luke McShane

Hikaru Nakamura 

-

 Nigel Short

David Howell 

-

 Magnus Carlsen

Games – Report

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

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