London Rd9: Three-way playoff, Carlsen is champion

12/14/2015 – Three players finished with 5.5/9 points, leading to a very exciting three-way playoff. Due to the nature of the rules, Vachier-Lagrave and Giri first squared off, with MVL prevailing in a dramatic turnaround. He then faced Carlsen for the title. More playoff tension, but in the end Magnus Carlsen claimed both the London Classic title and the Grand Chess Tour. Express 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.

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Round 9 Sunday 13 Dec, 14.00-21.00
Viswanathan Anand
½-½
Anish Giri
Michael Adams
½-½
Fabiano Caruana
Levon Aronian
½-½
M Vachier-Lagrave
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Alexander Grischuk
Hikaru Nakamura
½-½
Veselin Topalov

Playoff

Tiebreak regulations:

Three Players: The two players placed lowest on tiebreak shall contest a two game Rapidplay match at a time limit of Game / 25 mins + 5 secs / move throughout. Lots shall be drawn to decide which player has White in the first game. If the two game Rapidplay match is drawn the players shall contest an Armageddon Game. The successful player in that game shall then play the player with the highest tiebreak in accordance with the procedure for two players specified in Regulation 6.

Match one

Player
G1
G2
G3
Total
M. Vachier-Lagrave
0
1
1
2.0
Anish Giri
1
0
0
1.0

Game one: For many, the appearance of the Berlin in game one was synonymous of groans, but Anish Giri's play as black was nearly exemplary to the very end as he made it almost look like a walk in the park. MVL eventually conceded after 43 moves, and will have a significant mountain to climb as he faces a must-win with black in game two. The stakes could not be higher: the overall winner will not only win the London Chess Classic tournament, he will win the entire Grand Chess Tour.

Game two: At the top, the players are quick to point out that if White refuses to fight, there is very little Black can do about it. Anish Giri showed how true that can be as he chose the Fianchetto line against the Gruenfeld and was content to kill any of MVL's ambitions in their tracks. The Frenchman did his best but was never able to generate any play, until late in the endgame, MVL began to see a light at the end of the tunnel. What had seemed like a done deal in favor of Anish Giri was suddenly no longer obvious, and in the mad time scramble the Frenchman pulled off his miracle.

Armageddon: Being described as the most solid player of the Grand Chess Tour is a mixed blessing as Anish Giri found out. In the Armageddon game, the young Dutch player had White, which meant a draw was effectively a loss. MVL's renowned blitz skills came to the fore as he did more than hold with black and dominated the game to reserve a seat for a showdown with the World Champion.

Match two

Player
G1
G2
G3
Total
Magnus Carlsen
1
½
 
1.5
M. Vachier-Lagrave
0
½
 
0.5

Game one: It was a strange choice by MVL, who played his pet Sicilian, but somehow went for a line that allowed a form of Maroczy bind. This was the sort of position Carlsen lives for and the ensuing middlegame seemed all in his favor as he built a huge position. Incredibly, just when it seemed only a matter of time, the World Champion began to falter at the finish line and a number of inaccuracies saw a huge advantage dissipate and the game seemed destined for a draw. Then Magnus pulled off his magic as he played one simple move that confused his opponent, and showing that even the very best can err in basic endgames, MVL lost.

Game two: It became clear fairly soon that MVL was still not recovered from his shock loss in the previous game, and a number of dubious positional moves that left grandmasters perplexed eventually led to a worse and even lost game. Magnus felt no need to push the point, content to draw, winning both the London Chess Classic and the Grand Chess Tour.

Video of round nine

Replay games of round nine and playoff (with times per move)

[Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London"] [Date "2015.12.13"] [Round "9"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B51"] [WhiteElo "2834"] [BlackElo "2747"] [PlyCount "75"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [TimeControl "40/7200:3600+30"] 1. Nf3 {(3s)} c5 {(49s)} 2. e4 {(11s)} d6 {(5s)} 3. Bb5+ {(3s)} Nd7 {(23s)} 4. O-O {(9s)} a6 {(158s)} 5. Bd3 {(11s)} Ngf6 {(74s)} 6. Re1 {(18s)} b5 {(206s)} 7. c4 {(8s)} g5 {(6s)} 8. Nxg5 {(4s)} Ne5 {(11 s)} 9. Be2 {(4s)} bxc4 {(121s)} 10. Nc3 {(2s)} Rb8 {(1004s)} 11. Rf1 {(1321s)} h6 {(989s)} 12. Nf3 {(8s)} Nd3 {(6s)} 13. Ne1 {(664s)} Nxb2 {(709s)} 14. Bxb2 {(354s)} Rxb2 {(20s)} 15. Bxc4 {(2s)} Rb4 {(861s)} 16. Qe2 {(170s)} Bg7 {(53s)} 17. Nc2 {(445s)} Rb6 {(12s)} 18. Rab1 {(166s)} O-O {(549s)} 19. Rxb6 {(8s)} Qxb6 {(6s)} 20. Ne3 {(6s)} e6 {(272s)} 21. f4 {(8s)} Kh8 {(596s)} 22. f5 {(407s)} a5 {(23s)} 23. a4 {(208s)} Qd8 {(40s)} 24. h3 {(150s)} Qe7 {(241s)} 25. Ba6 {(92s)} Bxa6 {(390s)} 26. Qxa6 {(3s)} Nh5 {(17s)} 27. Rf3 {(219s)} Rg8 {(73s)} 28. Nb5 {(465s)} Be5 {(11s)} 29. Ng4 {(231s)} Qh4 {(178s)} 30. fxe6 {(198s)} fxe6 {(114s)} 31. Nxe5 {(135s)} dxe5 {(43s)} 32. Qxe6 {(50s)} Qe1+ {(130s)} 33. Kh2 {(7s)} Rxg2+ {(53s)} 34. Kxg2 {(4s)} Qxd2+ {(9s)} 35. Kg1 {(128s)} Qe1+ {(7s)} 36. Rf1 {(38s)} Qe3+ {(2s)} 37. Rf2 {(68s)} Qe1+ {(82s)} 38. Kg2 {(14s)} 1-0 [Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London"] [Date "2015.12.13"] [Round "9"] [White "Adams, Michael"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C78"] [WhiteElo "2737"] [BlackElo "2787"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [TimeControl "40/7200:3600+30"] 1. e4 {(3s)} e5 {(4s)} 2. Nf3 {(4s)} Nc6 {(4s)} 3. Bb5 {(6s)} a6 {(3s)} 4. Ba4 {(10s)} Nf6 {(6s)} 5. O-O {(9s)} Bc5 {(3s)} 6. c3 {(197s)} b5 {(6s)} 7. Bb3 {(3s)} d6 {(10s)} 8. a4 {(17s)} Bg4 {(16s)} 9. d3 {(142s)} O-O {(1003s)} 10. Nbd2 {(434s)} Na5 {(496s)} 11. Ba2 {(459s)} b4 {(8s)} 12. h3 {(8s)} Bh5 {( 237s)} 13. Nc4 {(812s)} Nxc4 {(12s)} 14. Bxc4 {(6s)} bxc3 {(340s)} 15. bxc3 {(5s)} c6 {(4s)} 16. g4 {(363s)} Bg6 {(117s)} 17. Bg5 {(6s)} d5 {(136s)} 18. Ba2 {(268s)} dxe4 {(456s)} 19. Nxe5 {(8s)} exd3 {(20s)} 20. Nxg6 {(95s)} hxg6 {(6s)} 21. Qf3 {(221s)} Qc7 {(372s)} 22. Rad1 {(348s)} Qe5 {(337s)} 23. Bxf6 {(18s)} Qxf6 {(285s)} 24. Rxd3 {(214s)} Rfd8 {(240s)} 25. Qxf6 {(37s)} gxf6 {(4s)} 26. Rfd1 {(15s)} Be7 {(100s)} 27. Rxd8+ {(455s)} Rxd8 {(5s)} 28. Rxd8+ {(4s)} Bxd8 {(3s)} 29. Kf1 {(13 s)} a5 {(7s)} 30. Ke2 {(91s)} g5 {(42s)} 31. Bb1 {(9s)} Bc7 {(5s)} 32. Be4 {(5s)} Be5 {(8s)} 33. Kd3 {( 6s)} c5 {(5s)} 34. Kc4 {(22s)} Kg7 {(13s)} 35. f3 {(8s)} 1/2-1/2 [Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London"] [Date "2015.12.13"] [Round "9"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Topalov, Veselin"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2793"] [BlackElo "2803"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [TimeControl "40/7200:3600+30"] 1. e4 {(3s)} e5 {(8s)} 2. Nf3 {(22s)} Nc6 {(5s)} 3. Bb5 {(12s)} Nf6 {(6s)} 4. O-O {(34s)} Nxe4 {(8s)} 5. d4 {(4s)} Nd6 {(8s)} 6. Bxc6 {(8s)} dxc6 {(5s)} 7. dxe5 {(13s)} Nf5 {(4s)} 8. Qxd8+ {(8s)} Kxd8 {( 4s)} 9. Rd1+ {(10s)} Ke8 {(9s)} 10. b3 {(4s)} Ne7 {(308s)} 11. Nbd2 {(14s)} h6 {(549s)} 12. Nd4 {( 157s)} Ng6 {(821s)} 13. Bb2 {(560s)} Be7 {(671s)} 14. Nc4 {(87s)} Nf4 {(208s)} 15. Ne3 {(539s)} g6 {(572s)} 16. g3 {(564s)} Ne6 {(7s)} 17. Ne2 {(109s)} h5 {(54s)} 18. a4 {(429s)} a5 {(132s)} 19. Ba3 {(28s)} Bxa3 {(727s)} 20. Rxa3 {(14s)} Ke7 {(15s)} 21. Raa1 {(33s)} Nc5 {(325s)} 22. Kg2 {(394s)} Re8 {(339s)} 23. Nd4 {(214s)} Kf8 {(481s)} 24. f4 {(27s)} Bd7 {(247s)} 25. h3 {(65s)} Rad8 {(89s)} 26. Nf3 {(7s)} Be6 {(252s)} 27. g4 {(1304s)} hxg4 {(8s)} 28. hxg4 {(1s)} Bd5 {(113s)} 29. Rh1 {(96 s)} Ke7 {(51s)} 30. Nxd5+ {(115s)} cxd5 {(50s)} 31. Rh7 {(68s)} Ne6 {(285s)} 32. Kg3 {(43s)} Rg8 {( 86s)} 33. Rf1 {(79s)} Nf8 {(15s)} 34. Rh2 {(235s)} Ne6 {(5s)} 35. Rh7 {(229s)} Nf8 {(30s)} 36. Rh2 {(478s)} Ne6 {(6s)} 1/2-1/2 [Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London"] [Date "2015.12.13"] [Round "9"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A04"] [WhiteElo "2788"] [BlackElo "2773"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [TimeControl "40/7200:3600+30"] 1. Nf3 {(3s)} c5 {(3s)} 2. c4 {(6s)} Nc6 {(2s)} 3. Nc3 {(9s)} e5 {(2s)} 4. e3 {(7s)} Nf6 {(3s)} 5. d4 {( 8s)} e4 {(3s)} 6. d5 {(7s)} exf3 {(2s)} 7. dxc6 {(6s)} dxc6 {(3s)} 8. Qxd8+ {(11s)} Kxd8 {(3s)} 9. gxf3 {(9s)} Kc7 {(12s)} 10. b3 {(32s)} Be7 {(31s)} 11. Bb2 {(35s)} Rd8 {(36s)} 12. h4 {(373s)} g6 {( 263s)} 13. Bh3 {(338s)} Bxh3 {(866s)} 14. Rxh3 {(107s)} Kd7 {(848s)} 15. Rd1+ {(717s)} Ke6 {(40s)} 16. Rxd8 {(206s)} Bxd8 {(561s)} 17. Ke2 {(42s)} Rb8 {(196s)} 18. Nb1 {(740s)} b5 {(816s)} 19. Nd2 {(6s)} Ba5 {(8s)} 20. Bxf6 {(341s)} Bxd2 {(8s)} 21. Kxd2 {(84s)} Kxf6 {(7s)} 22. Kc3 {(4s)} bxc4 {( 296s)} 23. Rh1 {(576s)} cxb3 {(615s)} 24. axb3 {(9s)} h5 {(503s)} 25. Ra1 {(172s)} g5 {(19s)} 26. hxg5+ {(4s)} Kxg5 {(7s)} 27. Rxa7 {(10s)} Kg6 {(31s)} 28. Ra1 {(531s)} h4 {(47s)} 29. Kc4 {(155s)} Rb4+ {(159s)} 30. Kxc5 {(9s)} Rxb3 {(5s)} 31. Kxc6 {(4s)} Rb2 {(18s)} 32. Rh1 {(9s)} Rxf2 {(15s)} 33. Rxh4 {(6s)} Rxf3 {(7s)} 1/2-1/2 [Event "7th London Classic 2015"] [Site "London"] [Date "2015.12.13"] [Round "9"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2796"] [BlackElo "2784"] [PlyCount "66"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [TimeControl "40/7200:3600+30"] 1. e4 {(5s)} e5 {(4s)} 2. Nf3 {(6s)} Nc6 {(3s)} 3. Bb5 {(9s)} Nf6 {(11s)} 4. O-O {(8s)} Nxe4 {(7s)} 5. d4 {(8s)} Nd6 {(3s)} 6. Bxc6 {(10s)} dxc6 {(2s)} 7. dxe5 {(10s)} Nf5 {(2s)} 8. Qxd8+ {(12s)} Kxd8 {( 10s)} 9. Nc3 {(13s)} Ke8 {(6s)} 10. h3 {(8s)} h5 {(3s)} 11. Bf4 {(57s)} Be7 {(12s)} 12. Rad1 {(12s)} Be6 {(6s)} 13. Ng5 {(23s)} Rh6 {(6s)} 14. g3 {(12s)} Bxg5 {(15s)} 15. Bxg5 {(10s)} Rg6 {(3s)} 16. h4 {(25s)} f6 {(92s)} 17. exf6 {(129s)} gxf6 {(8s)} 18. Bf4 {(12s)} Nxh4 {(125s)} 19. f3 {(27s)} Rd8 {(7 s)} 20. Kf2 {(429s)} Rxd1 {(10s)} 21. Nxd1 {(26s)} Nf5 {(4s)} 22. Rh1 {(87s)} Bxa2 {(13s)} 23. Rxh5 {(90s)} Be6 {(8s)} 24. g4 {(74s)} Nd6 {(18s)} 25. Rh7 {(112s)} Nf7 {(28s)} 26. Ne3 {(53s)} b6 {(20s)} 27. Ng2 {(986s)} Rg8 {(168s)} 28. Bxc7 {(550s)} Rh8 {(874s)} 29. Rxh8+ {(598s)} Nxh8 {(8s)} 30. Ne3 {(47s)} Nf7 {(400s)} 31. Bg3 {(284s)} Nh6 {(208s)} 32. Bf4 {(63s)} Nf7 {(7s)} 33. Bg3 {(10s)} Nh6 {(6s)} 1/2-1/2 [Event "7th London Classic 2015 TB"] [Site "London"] [Date "2015.12.13"] [Round "10.1"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2773"] [BlackElo "2784"] [PlyCount "86"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [TimeControl "1500+5"] 1. e4 {(0s)} e5 {(0s)} 2. Nf3 {(0s)} Nc6 {(0s)} 3. Bb5 {(0s)} Nf6 {(2s)} 4. O-O {(2s)} Nxe4 {(1s)} 5. d4 {(1s)} Nd6 {(2s)} 6. Bxc6 {(1s)} dxc6 {(1s)} 7. dxe5 {(1s)} Nf5 {(2s)} 8. Qxd8+ {(2s)} Kxd8 {(1s)} 9. h3 {(1s)} Ke8 {(30s)} 10. Nc3 {(1s)} h5 {(1s)} 11. Ne2 {(205s)} b6 {(5s)} 12. Rd1 {(2s)} Be7 {(2s)} 13. Bg5 {(65s)} Bb7 {(29s)} 14. Bxe7 {(78s)} Kxe7 {(2s)} 15. Ned4 {(4s)} Nxd4 {(99s)} 16. Nxd4 {( 35s)} c5 {(4s)} 17. Nb5 {(2s)} Rhc8 {(115s)} 18. f4 {(41s)} Bc6 {(41s)} 19. Nc3 {(67s)} Ke6 {(13s)} 20. Kf2 {(8s)} h4 {(119s)} 21. a4 {(563s)} Kf5 {(246s)} 22. Ke3 {(58s)} Re8 {(339s)} 23. Nd5 {(84s)} Rac8 {(15s)} 24. Rd2 {(35s)} f6 {(37s)} 25. Rf1 {(8s)} fxe5 {(15s)} 26. fxe5+ {(1s)} Kg5 {(18s)} 27. Nc3 {(48s)} Rxe5+ {(21s)} 28. Kf2 {(0s)} Rf8+ {(79s)} 29. Kg1 {(1s)} Rxf1+ {(5s)} 30. Kxf1 {(1s)} Rf5+ {(5s)} 31. Kg1 {(7s)} Rf4 {(32s)} 32. Re2 {(64s)} Kf6 {(23s)} 33. b3 {(14s)} a6 {(33s)} 34. Nd1 {(33s)} Bd5 {(49s)} 35. c4 {(87s)} Be6 {(16s)} 36. a5 {(1s)} Rd4 {(28s)} 37. Nf2 {(2s)} Bf5 {(9s)} 38. Ra2 {(16s)} Rd6 {(1s)} 39. Kf1 {(24s)} Ke5 {(7s)} 40. Re2+ {(8s)} Kf4 {(18s)} 41. Ra2 {(52s)} g5 {(3s)} 42. Ke1 {(8s)} Re6+ {(32s)} 43. Kf1 {(1s)} Re3 {(4s)} 0-1 [Event "7th London Classic 2015 TB"] [Site "London"] [Date "2015.12.13"] [Round "10.2"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D76"] [WhiteElo "2784"] [BlackElo "2773"] [PlyCount "118"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [TimeControl "1500+5"] 1. d4 {(0s)} Nf6 {(0s)} 2. c4 {(0s)} g6 {(0s)} 3. Nc3 {(1s)} d5 {(0s)} 4. cxd5 {(4s)} Nxd5 {(0s)} 5. g3 {(1s)} Bg7 {(6s)} 6. Bg2 {(2s)} Nb6 {(3s)} 7. Nf3 {(3s)} Nc6 {(3s)} 8. e3 {(7s)} O-O {(2s)} 9. O-O {(2s)} Re8 {(18s)} 10. b3 {(3s)} e5 {(37s)} 11. Nxe5 {(7s)} Nxe5 {(8s)} 12. dxe5 {(1s)} Bxe5 {(2s)} 13. Bb2 {(3s)} Qe7 {(112s)} 14. Qc2 {(43s)} c6 {(9s)} 15. Rad1 {(32s)} Bg4 {(2s)} 16. f3 {(56s)} Be6 {(25s)} 17. f4 {(81s)} Bg7 {(3s)} 18. e4 {(8s)} Rad8 {(61s)} 19. e5 {(14s)} Bg4 {(146s)} 20. Bf3 {(103s)} Rxd1 {(139s)} 21. Qxd1 {(9s)} Rd8 {(1s)} 22. Qe2 {(20s)} Bxf3 {(77s)} 23. Rxf3 {(61s)} f6 {(108s)} 24. exf6 {(288s)} Qxe2 {(115s)} 25. Nxe2 {(2s)} Bf8 {(1s)} 26. Bd4 {(171s)} Kf7 {(10s)} 27. Rc3 {( 19s)} Nd5 {(17s)} 28. Rc4 {(65s)} Nxf6 {(2s)} 29. Kg2 {(30s)} Nd5 {(132s)} 30. Kf3 {(19s)} a5 {(21s)} 31. Bc5 {(46s)} Bg7 {(173s)} 32. Bd4 {(46s)} Bf8 {(1s)} 33. Bc5 {(1s)} Bh6 {(107s)} 34. Rd4 {(5s)} Bg7 {(16s)} 35. Rd2 {(19s)} a4 {(11s)} 36. Bd4 {(118s)} Bxd4 {(105s)} 37. Rxd4 {(26s)} axb3 {(1s)} 38. axb3 {(1s)} Ra8 {(1s)} 39. Rd3 {(12s)} Ra2 {(13s)} 40. h3 {(34s)} Rb2 {(2s)} 41. Nd4 {(5s)} h5 {( 31s)} 42. f5 {(72s)} g5 {(14s)} 43. Ne6 {(12s)} Kf6 {(51s)} 44. Nd8 {(4s)} Rh2 {(45s)} 45. Nxb7 {(53 s)} Rxh3 {(1s)} 46. Nd6 {(127s)} Rh2 {(21s)} 47. Ke4 {(11s)} Re2+ {(12s)} 48. Kd4 {(6s)} Ne7 {(4s)} 49. Kc5 {(36s)} g4 {(17s)} 50. Kb6 {(12s)} Re5 {(8s)} 51. Kc7 {(8s)} c5 {(10s)} 52. Nc4 {(27s)} Rxf5 {(7s)} 53. Rd6+ {(12s)} Kg5 {(2s)} 54. Re6 {(2s)} Nd5+ {(18s)} 55. Kd6 {(7s)} h4 {(11s)} 56. gxh4+ {( 5s)} Kxh4 {(1s)} 57. Ne5 {(4s)} Nf4 {(14s)} 58. Rh6+ {(6s)} Kg5 {(1s)} 59. Rh8 {(1s)} Rxe5 {(3s)} 0-1 [Event "7th London Classic 2015 TB"] [Site "London"] [Date "2015.12.13"] [Round "10.3"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A30"] [WhiteElo "2784"] [BlackElo "2773"] [PlyCount "82"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "ENG"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. b3 Bg7 4. Bb2 b6 5. Bg2 Bb7 6. O-O O-O 7. c4 c5 8. e3 d6 9. Qe2 Nbd7 10. Rd1 e6 11. Nc3 Qe7 12. d4 Rad8 13. Qc2 d5 14. Ne5 cxd4 15. exd4 Nxe5 16. dxe5 Ng4 17. cxd5 exd5 18. Bxd5 Nxe5 19. Qe4 Bc8 20. Re1 Bf5 21. Qe3 Qc5 22. Rad1 Bg4 23. Rb1 Bf5 24. Be4 Nd3 25. Qxc5 bxc5 26. Bxd3 Rxd3 27. Na4 Rd2 28. Bxg7 Kxg7 29. Rb2 Rfd8 30. Re2 Rd1+ 31. Kg2 c4 32. bxc4 Bd3 33. Re7 Bxc4 34. Re3 R8d6 35. a3 Bf1+ 36. Kf3 Rf6+ 37. Ke4 Re6+ 38. Kf3 Rf6+ 39. Ke4 Re6+ 40. Kf3 Rf6+ 41. Kg4 Rd4+ 0-1 [Event "7th London Classic 2015 TB"] [Site "London"] [Date "2015.12.13"] [Round "11.1"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B52"] [WhiteElo "2834"] [BlackElo "2773"] [PlyCount "113"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "ENG"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 g6 7. d4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bg7 9. f3 O-O 10. Be3 Nc6 11. Rc1 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 Rfc8 13. b3 Nh5 14. O-O Bxd4+ 15. Qxd4 Nf6 16. Rfe1 Rc7 17. Rcd1 Qc6 18. Nb5 Rd7 19. Nxa7 Qc5 20. Qxc5 dxc5 21. Nb5 Rxa2 22. e5 Rxd1 23. Rxd1 Nh5 24. g3 Rb2 25. Rd8+ Kg7 26. Re8 Rb1+ 27. Kg2 Rb2+ 28. Kg1 Rb1+ 29. Kg2 Rb2+ 30. Kh3 e6 31. Re7 Rxb3 32. Kg4 Kf8 33. Rxb7 h6 34. Rc7 f5+ 35. exf6 Nxf6+ 36. Kf4 g5+ 37. Ke5 Ne8 38. Rxc5 Re3+ 39. Kd4 Rxf3 40. Re5 Rf2 41. Rxe6 Rxh2 42. c5 h5 43. Nd6 Nxd6 44. cxd6 Kf7 45. Re3 h4 46. g4 h3 47. Ke5 Rh1 48. d7 Ke7 49. Kf5+ Kxd7 50. Kxg5 Kd6 51. Kh5 Rf1 52. Rxh3 Ke7 53. Kg6 Rf6+ 54. Kg7 Rf7+ 55. Kg6 Rf6+ 56. Kg5 Ra6 57. Rf3 1-0 [Event "7th London Classic 2015 TB"] [Site "London"] [Date "2015.12.14"] [Round "11.2"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A34"] [WhiteElo "2773"] [BlackElo "2834"] [PlyCount "101"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [TimeControl "1500+5"] 1. c4 {(0s)} Nf6 {(4s)} 2. Nc3 {(0s)} c5 {(2s)} 3. Nf3 {(11s)} e6 {(4s)} 4. e4 {(17s)} Nc6 {(11s)} 5. Be2 {(1s)} e5 {(47s)} 6. d3 {(13s)} d6 {(2s)} 7. a3 {(2s)} Be7 {(26s)} 8. b4 {(3s)} b6 {(87s)} 9. O-O {( 28s)} O-O {(4s)} 10. Rb1 {(172s)} Nd4 {(129s)} 11. bxc5 {(1s)} bxc5 {(11s)} 12. Bg5 {(40s)} Be6 {(76 s)} 13. Rb7 {(23s)} Nd7 {(77s)} 14. Bxe7 {(32s)} Qxe7 {(3s)} 15. Qa4 {(141s)} Nb6 {(443s)} 16. Qa6 {(2s)} Bc8 {(7s)} 17. Rxe7 {(2s)} Bxa6 {(1s)} 18. Rb1 {(22s)} Rfb8 {(71s)} 19. Kf1 {(56s)} Kf8 {(194s)} 20. Rc7 {(2s)} Ne6 {(49s)} 21. Rc6 {(2s)} Rd8 {(11s)} 22. a4 {(149s)} Bb7 {(10s)} 23. Rcxb6 {(2s)} axb6 {(2s)} 24. Rxb6 {(1s)} Bc8 {(10s)} 25. Bd1 {(20s)} Ra6 {(2s)} 26. Rb2 {(8s)} Bd7 {(1s)} 27. g3 {(52s)} Bc6 {(8s)} 28. Ke1 {(5s)} Rda8 {(16s)} 29. Ra2 {(10s)} Rb6 {(21s)} 30. Kd2 {(2s)} g6 {(5s)} 31. Kc1 {(22s)} Nd4 {(20s)} 32. Nd2 {(19s)} Rb4 {(11s)} 33. Rb2 {(7s)} Rab8 {(45s)} 34. Nb5 {(5s)} Rxb2 {(11s)} 35. Kxb2 {(2s)} Ke7 {(2s)} 36. Kc3 {(15s)} Bd7 {(9s)} 37. f4 {(11s)} f6 {(44s)} 38. Nf1 {(32s)} exf4 {(40s)} 39. gxf4 {(1s)} Ne6 {(25s)} 40. f5 {(1s)} gxf5 {(1s)} 41. Ne3 {(36s)} Nf4 {(4s)} 42. exf5 {(112s)} Bc6 {(2s)} 43. d4 {(21s)} Be4 {(45s)} 44. d5 {(29s)} Ng2 {(10s)} 45. Nxg2 {(58s)} Bxg2 {(2s)} 46. Bc2 {(23s)} Bf3 {(42s)} 47. Kb3 {(6s)} Ra8 {(7s)} 48. Nc7 {(9s)} Ra7 {(11s)} 49. Nb5 {(1s)} Ra8 {(1s)} 50. Nc7 {(1s)} Ra7 {(1s)} 51. Nb5 1/2-1/2

Standings after nine rounds

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
½-½
Levon Aronian
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Michael Adams
Hikaru Nakamura
1-0
Viswanathan Anand
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Fabiano Caruana
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
M Vachier-Lagrave
Round 5 Tuesday 8 Dec, 16.00-23.00
M Vachier-Lagrave 
½-½
Anish Giri
Fabiano Caruana
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Viswanathan Anand
1-0
Veselin Topalov
Michael Adams
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura
Levon Aronian
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
 
Wednesday 9 Dec – Free day
Round 6 Thursday 10 Dec, 16.00-23.00
Anish Giri
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Hikaru Nakamura
½-½
Levon Aronian
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Michael Adams
Alexander Grischuk
1-0
Viswanathan Anand
M Vachier-Lagrave
½-½
Fabiano Caruana
 
Round 7 Friday 11 Dec, 16.00-23.00
Fabiano Caruana
½-½
Anish Giri
Viswanathan Anand
0-1
M Vachier-Lagrave
Michael Adams
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Levon Aronian
1-0
Veselin Topalov
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Hikaru Nakamura
Round 8 Saturday 12 Dec, 14.00-21.00
Anish Giri
1-0
Hikaru Nakamura
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Levon Aronian
M Vachier-Lagrave
½-½
Michael Adams
Fabiano Caruana
½-½
Viswanathan Anand
 
Round 9 Sunday 13 Dec, 14.00-21.00
Viswanathan Anand
½-½
Anish Giri
Michael Adams
½-½
Fabiano Caruana
Levon Aronian
½-½
M Vachier-Lagrave
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Alexander Grischuk
Hikaru Nakamura
½-½
Veselin Topalov

Live commentary on Playchess

Day and round English German
13.12 Sunday Round 9 Yannick Pelletier Oliver Reeh/Martin Breutigam

Links

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DJones DJones 12/15/2015 06:42
Nakamura choking against him helped more than anything else. I believe Nakamura draws either his games with giri or Carlsen and he would have at least been in the playoff instead. Perhaps he should just avoid Carlsen from now on because the humiliation is not worth the money.
VVI VVI 12/15/2015 05:15
Shame on the organizing committee for having such a lousy tiebreak system . It was a joke.

One mistake by Grischuk for letting Magnus off the hook in their game, let Magnus not only win the LCC with better conditions but the GCT as well.
unspiek unspiek 12/15/2015 07:22
I was pleased to see MVL do so well; both he and Giri deserve congratulations.

And, of course, so does Carlsen.

It was a good comeback for the World Champion, in that his play wasn't ridiculous this time, and he did eke out first place. But he still doesn't look much like his old (April, 2014!) self, when people were talking about how soon his rating would pass 2900. Here's hoping he heads back in that direction!
Aighearach Aighearach 12/15/2015 07:06
Some people are failing to understand that a tie-break is not supposed to be "fair." They had a fair chance to win clear first, and they didn't, they were tied. Another way to resolve who gets the trophy would be to flip coins, or draw straws. If they were flipping coins, it would also be "unfair" with 3 people tied, unless you have a 3-sided coin.

In most tournaments, prizes are based on the real games and the tiebreak is merely to determine who stands up and gets which trophy and who is listed first on the website.
yesenadam yesenadam 12/15/2015 12:44
Thank you "DrZeiss" :
"For comparison, the real results...are: .. Which proves that the metrics the actually used to determine the...winner was clearly wrong."
Weerogue has already pointed out the obvious fatal flaws. I'd like to say that your comment's effrontery ("the real results"), pseudo-scientific language ("which proves") and hyperbole/category mistake ("was clearly wrong"), with sense of justice outraged, packed into so few words, make it really, in my view, a classic in the genre. Remarkable. Thank you.
Karlus Karlus 12/15/2015 12:26
These rules are antisportives because Magnus was fresh whereas Maxime was stressed by 2 matches, it is scandalous!!
Karlus Karlus 12/15/2015 12:24
These rules are
Adilson Adilson 12/14/2015 10:20
Fabulous Carlsen.
Adilson Adilson 12/14/2015 09:41
Fabulous Carlsen.
donwaffel donwaffel 12/14/2015 09:18
http://static.sportskeeda.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/499948424-1450069400-800.jpg

this pic is quite telling. Innit ?
weerogue weerogue 12/14/2015 05:12
@DrZeiss: ah, I see what you've done - just added up the board pts scored by all competitors from each event - that's quite interesting to see. Certainly Anish going unbeaten in all three events is pretty impressive (...though he is a bit of a draw-meister!)
However, this certainly doesn't prove anything regarding how correct or otherwise the way they determined the winner was. The rules were published and were the same for everyone. The fact the the GCT scoring system was based on awarding points for player's ranking in three different tournaments actually affected some player's strategy - e.g. Magnus went all-guns-blazing against Hammer in Norway to try a last-ditch attempt at improving his rank for that one tournament.
If the rules were that the winner would be based on the highest total number of board points gained, then you would have seen different strategies and potentially different results.

hpaul hpaul 12/14/2015 05:03
Dr.Zeis: "the metrics actually used to determine the GCT 2015 winner was clearly wrong"

Not so, my good doctor. The rules were spelled out ahead of time, so they were known to all the players. It was the placement in each of the three separate tournaments that counted in the overall score, not the points in each tournament. There's perhaps no reason why the GCT could not have been set up the way you propose. It just wasn't, and it isn't "wrong". Clearly, your man didn't win. We call this kind of after-the-fact griping "sour grapes" where I come from.
weerogue weerogue 12/14/2015 05:01
@Dr Zeiss: I think perhaps you're looking at the standings prior to the results for the London leg, as these numbers aren't correct otherwise.

@Matenstock, ChessTalk: Yeah, I thought it was strange that MVL ended up 3rd in London after he beat Giri in tiebreak.
The rules are a little strange: if there is a tie for first, then you get these rapid matches to determine the winner. As there were 3 players tied, the player with the best S-B tiebreak score (Magnus) gets a pass to the tie-break playoff final, while the other two compete in a semi-final (Giri & MVL). Magnus then won the final and won London (and when added to his other points, it meant he won the overall Grand Chess Tour.
MVL placed 3rd because the tiebreak match he played with Giri was purely to determine first place. All other places are determined by the S-B Score tiebreak criteria, and MVL's was worse than Giri's; their tiebreak match effectively had no bearing on the standings for determining 2nd/3rd.
ChessTalk ChessTalk 12/14/2015 04:17
Given the complexity of the GCT tie breaks, maybe ChessBase should elucidate. I know London had a clear set of rules in the event of a three way tie, thus Carlsen got to watch Giri vs MVL and play the winner. But the overall GCT tiebreaks is a bit confusing. Maybe spell it out?
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 12/14/2015 04:11
I fully agree with Wodzu and snosko. The rules are very unfair for the player who is in the situation MVL was - having played two rapids and an Armaggedon in a highly stressing situation while Magnus could rest.

The mini-match between Magnus and MVL should have been postponed to the next day.
nonoyski nonoyski 12/14/2015 12:46
Hail to the King of Chess, the Great Magnus Carlsen.
daftarche daftarche 12/14/2015 10:36
all of these guys are great chessplayers. if two former world champions finished at the bottom, it just proves what a difficult tournament it was. magnus had superior tb and he earned the right to rest. let's not forget superior tb is enough to determine the winner in many tournaments and organizers don't make players play additional games.
also anish and maxim had two uneventful draws in their classical games but magnus won a tense and difficult game. so anish and maxim playing each other just made it fair for magnus.
Matenstock Matenstock 12/14/2015 10:29
I don't understand anything in that rules : MVL beat A. Giri, then he has lost in a final vs M. Carlsen and finally, he's third ?! Someone can just tell me more about those strange rules ?
scoobeedo scoobeedo 12/14/2015 10:07
Magnus Carlsen:

Enjoy the improved version 2.0

No waste of CPU Power!

The new excellent power saving mode was designed to keep reserves for the whole year.

The version 2.0 is environment friendly.

digupagal digupagal 12/14/2015 09:47
@ Aighearach everyone is entitled to their own opinions, IMO Carlsen did nothing extraordinary. It was a normal shared victory. As a WC and the highest rated player he is supposed to outplay rest of the field everytime, then that will be great.

Also he failed to win against Topalov, Anand (both in poor shape) which means that if you play patiently and with confidence you can hold your own against him. This tournament proves that there are many players who are closer to him in terms of pure playing strength which is what we want right?
oputu oputu 12/14/2015 09:30
Dr Zesis: I actually dont know why you bother with your calculations. If any sponsors finds a way for MC to win, they will always use it, regardless of the original rules...lol. And we the chess fans will always be pleased.....LOL.

Meanwhile, 'we'-the fans, have to do something about this MVL issue. What kind of twisted rules are these. You qualify for the final of a world cup but then placed behind someone who exited in the semi-finals?? Crazy sporting rules

Chessbase, kindly start a polling thing for the 2016 wild card. MVL cannot be excluded without a fight. This is injustice. We need to point fingers, name names, break sh**t,.......you know......
Dr Zeiss Dr Zeiss 12/14/2015 08:37
For comparison, the real results of the GCT 2015 are:
1. Giri 16
2. Nakamura 15
3. MVL 14,5
4.-5. Aronian and Carlsen 14
6. Topalov 13,5
7. Anand 13
8. Grischuk 12,5
9. Caruana 12.

Which proves that the metrics the actually used to determine the GCT 2015 winner was clearly wrong.
Wodzu Wodzu 12/14/2015 07:51
I don't understand this, why MVL had to play another match at the same day? That is really unfair. Couldn't they move it to a next day?
CostaMaison3 CostaMaison3 12/14/2015 06:42
Giri played well this time. +2 in such a strong tournament is an extraordinary achievement for him. Well done Giri.
snosko snosko 12/14/2015 06:29
Magnus-Alexander 31...Qe1+ if 32.Rf1, Rxg2 and draw and if 32. Rh2, Ng3 33. Ng4, Ne2 and black mates soon, winning MVL the tournament and the Tour?.
Having MVL to play 2 consecutive matches was really unfair. Not only he had to come back against Giri but also he had to beat a fresh Magnus. Congratulations to Magnus (great game against Hikaru) but this time my support goes to Maxime.
Aighearach Aighearach 12/14/2015 06:06
Winning just isn't enough for you, eh @pmiletic? He must not be your favorite, but it wasn't a popularity contest. If it was, Morozevich and Kosteniuk would be our world champions!

Of course, it was not only great but highly impressive! Carlsen sneaks in under the wire in the last rounds, and bewilders his opponent in the tiebreak! If he did it once, it would be seen by many as luck. But experience has already taught us, this is just Carlsen. A glance at the ratings list proves he's in his own class. He's just that good. A narrow path to first place is all he needs, really.
fistoffury fistoffury 12/14/2015 05:50
Congrats Magnus! Through the tournament Magnus was not in the lead but in his usual style he clinched the title in the final round. Style and nerves!! way to go Magnus
pmiletic pmiletic 12/14/2015 05:47
lol.. nothing great about this.. such undeserving victory..
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 12/14/2015 01:53
great comeback win by carlsen!
guest1227491 guest1227491 12/14/2015 01:35
Carlsen, what a monster!

I can't wait till Wei Yi comes along to at least give some competition.
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