London Chess Classic: Three decisions in round 1

by André Schulz
12/9/2016 – Three decisive games - the London Chess Classic is on. Georg Meier shows how Vladimir Kramnik outplayed Veselin Topalov from the opening to score a quick and clean win. Hikaru Nakamura celebrated his 29th birthday but blundered in the opening and lost in 28 moves against Wesley So. Michael Adams also blundered and lost against Levon Aronian. Report, results, games...

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London Chess Classics 2016

Round 1, Kramnik-Topalov - Notes by Georg Meier

 

Georg Meier's commentary will be delivered with the next ChessBase Magazine #176, together with most of the games of the London Chess Classic annotated - and many more. You can find the fresh ChessBase Magazine #175 with annotations by Vladimir Kramnik, Wesley So, David Navara, Pavel Eljanov, Simon Williams, Daniel King any many other exclusive authors in our shop → here.


Round 1 Highlights by Daniel King

Fotos: Lennart Ootes

At 4 pm London time the London Chess Classic 2016 began. It is the last tournament of the "Grand Chess Tour". The tournament winner in London receives 75,000 USD, the overall winnner of the "Grand Chess Tour" receives another 75,000 USD.

After winning the Sinquefield Cup Wesley So is first in the overall standings of the Grand Chess Tour. Nakamura is the only one who can overtake So, but only if he becomes clear first and So does not finish fourth or better.

Standings of the 2016 #GrandChessTour before the #LondonChessClassic pic.twitter.com/itOJp5ya0q

 

In the first round So played against Nakamura who on this very day celebrated his 29th birthday. However, So was not willing to make presents. On the contrary. So played with Black and surprised Nakamura with a rare move in the Grünfeld - 9...e5. A few moves later Nakamura allowed So a tactical maneuver which gave Black a great advantage. So continued energetically and Nakamura resigned on move 28.

Wesley So wants to win the Grand Chess Tour

Hikaru Nakamura

With an Elo-rating of 2822 Fabiano Caruana is currently number two in the world and only 18 points behind Carlsen. If things go really, really well in London Caruana might become the new number one - or at least narrow the gap to Magnus Carlsen. In the first round Caruana played with White against Anand and drew a quiet game.

Levon Aronian and Michael Adams played an interesting game. After an Italian Opening both sides played creatively but Adams seized the initiative. He used it to grab a pawn on a2 which allowed Aronian counterplay. In a dynamically even position Adams then blundered a piece and resigned a few moves later.

Levon Aronian - creative as always

Ever since their World Championship match in Elista 2006 the relation between Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov has been tense. Therefore Kramnik is perhaps glad that he managed to outplay Topalov in round one of the London Chess Classic. Kramnik was well prepared and reached a promising position after bringing a novelty on move 9. Topalov never managed to shake off the pressure and after making a mistake in a bad position (27...f5) he resigned one move later.

Kramnik and Topalov in the press conference: "It's nothing personal, as always" (Twitter translation)

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Anish Giri played the shortest game. Giri, who was playing with Black, tried the Najdorf against Najdorf-expert Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The French Grandmaster opted for 6.h3 but got nothing out of the opening. After 24 moves and a repetition of moves the game ended in a draw.

Results of round 1

Bo. Title Name Country ELO Res. Title Name Country ELO
1 GM Hikaru Nakamura
 
2779 0 - 1 GM Wesley So
 
2794
2 GM Fabiano Caruana
 
2823 ½ - ½   V Anand
 
0
3 GM Vladimir Kramnik
 
2809 1 - 0 GM Veselin Topalov
 
2760
4 GM Maxime Vachier Lagrave
 
2804 ½ - ½ GM Anish Giri
 
2771
5 GM Levon Aronian
 
2785 1 - 0 GM Michael Adams
 
2748

Games round 1

 

Standings after round 1

Rg. Title Name Country ELO 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pts. Perf. TB
1 GM Vladimir Kramnik
 
2809                 1   1.0 / 1 3560 0.00
2 GM Wesley So
 
2794               1     1.0 / 1 3579 0.00
3 GM Levon Aronian
 
2785                   1 1.0 / 1 3548 0.00
4 GM Fabiano Caruana
 
2823             ½       0.5 / 1 2200 0.25
5 GM Maxime Vachier Lagrave
 
2804           ½         0.5 / 1 2771 0.25
6 GM Anish Giri
 
2771         ½           0.5 / 1 2804 0.25
7 GM V Anand
 
2779       ½             0.5 / 1 2823 0.25
8 GM Hikaru Nakamura
 
2779   0                 0.0 / 1 1994 0.00
9 GM Veselin Topalov
 
2760 0                   0.0 / 1 2009 0.00
10 GM Michael Adams
 
2748     0               0.0 / 1 1985 0.00

 

London in the 1960s (History in Pictures)

 

Tournament page London Chess Classic...

Grand Chess Tour...

London Chess Conference...

Report of round one on ChessBase India by IM Sagar Shah



André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.