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4th London Chess Classic 2012 (5)

Carlsen beats Adams from worse position for yet another London Classic win

Playing hall for round 5. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill. Photo ©

Playing hall for round 5. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill. Photo © |

The 4th London Chess Classic looks like a two horse race between previous winners Magnus Carlsen (13pts) and Vladimir Kramnik (11pts) after 5 rounds. Magnus Carlsen showed a level of ruthlessness in managing to beat Michael Adams after overlooking a strong idea from his opponent just out of the opening. Carlsen was lucky he wasn't substantially worse but he kept the game going even when he got the position to one where he was a tiny bit worse. Adams' position deteriorated in time trouble and his error on move 40 with just 3 seconds left seems to have been the fatal one. Vladimir Kramnik has huge experience in Open Catalans and Luke McShane little or none and in a fascinating battle of deep calculation Kramnik's experience clearly won out as he got a huge position by move 22 and even though McShane some how kept the game going the result was not in doubt. Was Jones-Anand a case of curiosity killed the cat? Gawain Jones went down a razer sharp line of the Gruenfeld Viswanathan Anand used in his recent World title match, innovated early, and was just lost four moves later. Not very pragmatic from Jones but maybe he wanted to know more of what Anand had prepared. Hikaru Nakamura surprised Judit Polgar with his opening choice, got an initiative and finally found a mating net. Round 6 Friday 7th Dec 2pm BST. Carlsen-Polgar, Anand-Adams, McShane-Jones, Aronian-Kramnik. I will be hosting ICC's live coverage with expert commentary from US No5 Varuzhan Akobian.


Kramnik-McShane. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

Kramnik,Vladimir (2795) - McShane,Luke J (2713) [D15]
4th London Chess Classic London ENG (5.1), 06.12.2012

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.g3 dxc4 6.a4 e6 7.Bg2 c5 8.0-0 cxd4 9.Nxd4 Nbd7 10.Nc2 Qc7 11.Bf4

Kramnik remembered he'd had this against Gelfand and they had drawn quickly. He also tried to remember what he'd concluded about this posiion. He's trying to get a specific setup with this move order and seemingly wasting time with his bishop.

[11.Qd4 Bc5 12.Qh4 Be7 13.Na3 Ne5 14.Bf4 h6 15.Bxe5 1/2-1/2 Kramnik,V (2740)-Gelfand,B (2700)/Linares 1997/CBM 057]


Kramnik hopes to use d5 now he apparently wastes time with Bd2 but he wants to go Bg5 only when he can wreck the kingside.

12.Bd2 Nc5 13.Bg5 Be6 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.Nd5 Qd8 16.Nce3

[16.a5 Nb3 17.Ra4 Nxa5 18.Nce3 Bc5]

16...Nb3 17.a5 Rc8

[17...Bc5 18.Ra4 Nxa5 19.Rxa5 Qxa5 20.Nxf6+ Kf8 21.Qc1]

18.Ra4 Nd4 19.Nb6 Rc7 20.Rxc4

Luke McShane


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 20.Rxc4

Kramnik gave a number of lines where he sacrificed the exchange. All of which were extremely dangerous.

20...Bxc4 21.Nexc4 Nb5

[21...Be7 22.e3]


Kramnik is obviously much more experience than McShane who was eating time and already knew he was in desperate trouble. He wanted to hang on to the exchange as long as possible.

22...Qd4 23.Rd1 Qc5 24.e3 Be7 25.Qf5 Kf8 26.Bd5 Kg7 27.Qg4+ Kh6

Kramnik was looking for the finish here but somehow McShane hangs on all be it only in the sense that he doesn't lose immediately.

28.e4 Nd4 29.Ne3 f5 30.Qh3+ Kg7 31.Rxd4

A second exchange but getting rid of McShane's most active piece.

31...exd4 32.Nxf5+ Kf8 33.Qh6+ Ke8 34.Bxf7+ Kd8 35.Qg7 Rf8 36.Nxd4 Rc6 37.Nxc6+ bxc6 38.Qg4 Kc7 39.Qd7+ Kb8 40.Qd2

A cheapo that doesn't spoil anything.



[40...Rxf7 41.Nd7+]

41.Qd7+ Kb8 42.Kg2 Bd6 43.b4 Qd4 44.Qxc6 Ka7 45.Kh3 Qd1 46.Nc8+ Rxc8 47.Qxc8

[47.Qb6+ Ka8 48.Bd5+]

47...Qf1+ 48.Kg4 h5+ 49.Kxh5

There isn't a single reason for black to play on.



Adams-Carlsen Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

Adams,Michael (2710) - Carlsen,Magnus (2848) [C84]
4th London Chess Classic London ENG (5.2), 06.12.2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a4 Bd7 9.h3 0-0 10.Be3 Be6

[10...Na5 1-0 Volokitin,A (2709)-Postny,E (2638)/Istanbul TUR 2012/The Week in Chess 930 (62)]

11.Bxe6 fxe6 12.Nbd2 b4 13.c3 d5?!

[13...bxc3 14.bxc3 d5]


Magnus Carlsen


Michael Adams

Position after 14.cxb4

This anti-positional move caught Carlsen completely by surprise and Aronian in commentary was impressed with it's sharp nature.

14...Bd6 15.b5 axb5 16.axb5 Rxa1 17.Qxa1 Nb4

Carlsen commented after the game that both he and Adams were surprised that white didn't seem to have an easy advantage here.

18.d4 exd4 19.Nxd4 Qe8 20.Qa4 Nxe4 21.Nxe4 dxe4 22.Nc6 Nd5 23.Qxe4 Nxe3 24.Qxe3 Rf5 25.Nd4

Around about here Carlsen commentated afterwards that even though he thought he was a tiny bit worse he decided not to simplify but to keep playing in the hope something would turn up.

[25.Qe2 Was a suggestion from Short. ]


[25...Bc5 26.Ra1 Bxd4 27.Qxd4 Qxb5 28.Ra8+ Kf7 29.Rd8]

26.Qb3 Rd5 27.Qc4 Qf7 28.b3 Qd7 29.Nf3

[29.Nc6 Qf7 30.Qe2]


Black has completely eqalised and the trend is with him. Adams started to get in time trouble.

30.Ra1 Rd5 31.g3 h6 32.Qe4 Qe8 33.Kg2 Kf7 34.Ra2 Qd8 35.Re2 Qf6 36.h4 Qf5 37.Qc4 Rd3 38.Re3


38...Rxe3 39.fxe3 Qb1 40.e4?

Played with just three seconds left on the clock. Black is now better.


40...Qb2+ 41.Kh3 Qf2 42.e5

Sadly for Adams this converts to an almost certainly lost ending for him.

42...Qxf3 43.exd6 Qh1+!

Magnus Carlsen


Michael Adams

Position after 43...Qh1+

This and precisely only this way.

44.Kg4 Qd1+ 45.Kh3 Qxd6!

and the game is practically over as black is the only one with a passed pawn.

[45...cxd6 46.b4 Would most likely finish in a draw.]


[46.b4 was the line of strongest resistance.]

46...c5 47.g4 Qd4 48.Qf1+ Ke7 49.Qf3 Qd5 50.Qc3 e5 51.Kg3 Kd6 52.Qc4

White doesn't have any way of resisting. Carlsen calculated the rest out from here.

52...Qxc4! 53.bxc4 e4 54.Kf4 e3 55.Kf3 Ke6 56.Ke2 Kf6 57.Kf3 Kg5 58.Kxe3 Kxg4 59.Ke4 Kxh5 60.Kd5 g5 61.Kxc5 g4 62.Kd4 g3 63.Ke3 Kg4 0-1


Polgar-Nakamura. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

Polgar,Judit (2705) - Nakamura,Hikaru (2760) [C78]
4th London Chess Classic London ENG (5.3), 06.12.2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 7.a4 Rb8 8.axb5 axb5 9.Nxe5 Nxe5 10.d4 Bxd4 11.Qxd4 d6 12.f4 Nc6 13.Qc3 Ne7 14.Nd2

Polgar has been caught by surprise and went back to a line she played against Shirov but couldn't remember too clearly.

[14.e5; 14.Ra7 c5 15.e5 Nfd5 16.Bxd5 Nxd5 17.Qg3 0-0 18.Nc3 Ne7 19.exd6 Nf5 20.Qf2 Qb6 21.Rc7 Nd4 22.f5 b4 23.f6 g6 24.Nd5 Qxd6 25.Ne7+ Kh8 26.Bh6 1-0 Polgar,J (2670)-Shirov,A (2700)/Tilburg NED 1997]

14...0-0 15.e5 Nfd5 16.Bxd5?!

White can't be better if she gives up the two bishops. From now on Nakamura was looking for complications.

[16.Qf3; 16.Qd3 was the line Nakamura expected.]

16...Nxd5 17.Qd4 Bb7 18.Ne4 f5!?

Hikaru Nakamura


Judit Polgar

Position after 18...f5

Playing for complications. Nakamura admitted he would have traded to a draw here against Carlsen.

[18...c5 19.Qf2 dxe5 20.fxe5 c4]

19.Ng5 Qd7 20.Nf3 Ra8 21.Bd2 c5 22.Qd3 c4 23.Qd4 dxe5 24.Nxe5 Qc7 25.Rfd1

White's problem now is the lack of an active plan.

25...h6 26.Be1 Rfe8 27.Bd2 Red8 28.Rxa8 Rxa8 29.h3 Ra2 30.Rb1 Nf6 31.Bb4 Be4 32.Re1 Bxc2 33.g4

White has to do something and indeed this counter-attack should be good enough for a draw.

33...Qa7 34.Qxa7 Rxa7 35.Nc6 Ra6 36.Ne7+ Kf7 37.g5

[37.Nxf5 might well have drawn somehow.]

37...hxg5 38.fxg5 Ne4 39.Nxf5 Nxg5 40.Re7+ Kg6 41.Nd4 Bd3 42.Rb7

Nakamura didn't like this idea for white but it seems it might be just sufficient.

42...Nxh3+ 43.Kh2 Ng5 44.Nxb5 Rf6

Hikaru Nakamura


Judit Polgar

Position after 44...Rf6


Polgar's sense of danger escaped her.

[45.Nd6! Rf2+ 46.Kg3 Rxb2 47.Rxg7+ Kxg7 48.Bc3+ is the main reason for Nd6]

45...Rf4 46.Nc3?

This now loses. However the defence is very difficult now.

[46.Rb8 Rg4 47.Be3 Nf3+ 48.Kh3 Ne5 49.Rf8 Be4 50.Nd4]

46...Rg4 47.Nd1 Bf1

....Nf3+ Kh1 followed by Bg2 mate is an attractive possible finish.



Jones-Anand. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

Jones,Gawain C B (2644) - Anand,Viswanathan (2775) [D70]
4th London Chess Classic London ENG (5.4), 06.12.2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2 e5 9.d5 c6 10.h4 cxd5 11.exd5 N8d7 12.h5 Nf6 13.hxg6 fxg6 14.Nh3

Viswanathan Anand


Gawain Jones

Position after 14.Nh3

Over the board creation or over the board creation. Jones has only just taken up 1.d4 and he decided to go down one of Anand's main lines for his recent world championship match against Gelfand. Here he deviates after some thought.

[14.0-0-0 Bd7 15.Kb1 Rc8 16.Ka1 e4 17.Bd4 Na4 18.Nge2 Qa5 19.Nxe4 Qxd2 20.Nxf6+ Rxf6 21.Rxd2 Rf5 22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.d6 Rfc5 24.Rd1 a5 25.Rh4 Rc2 26.b3 Nb2 27.Rb1 Nd3 28.Nd4 Rd2 29.Bxd3 Rxd3 30.Re1 Rd2 31.Kb1 Bf5+ 32.Nxf5+ gxf5 33.Re7+ Kg6 34.Rc7 Re8 35.Rh1 Ree2 36.d7 Rb2+ 37.Kc1 Rxa2 1/2-1/2 Anand,V (2791)-Gelfand,B (2727)/Moscow RUS 2012/The Week in Chess 914]


The most energetic.

15.fxe4 Ng4 16.Bf4 Ne5 17.Bg5

[17.Nf2 Nec4 18.Bxc4 Nxc4 19.Qc1]


Already black is better.


[18.0-0-0 Bg4]]


Black is now winning.


There is no good continuation here.

19...Bxh3! 20.Be3 Qc8!

Viswanathan Anand


Gawain Jones

Position after 20....Qc8

Surprisingly this is the only move that even gives black an advantage. It is in fact crushing. The rest is trivial for Anand.

[20...Qe7 21.Rxh3]

21.Rc1 Qg4 22.Rxh3 Qxh3 23.gxh3 Nf3+ 24.Ke2 Nxd2 25.Bxd2 Bxb2 26.Nb5 Bxc1 27.Bxc1 Nxd5 28.exd5 Rae8+ 29.Be3 Rxf1 0-1

4th London Chess Classic 2012 London ENG Sat 1st Dec 2012 - Mon 10th Dec 2012
Leading Round 5 (of 9) Standings:
1Carlsen, MagnusNOR28485*½ 1 111 13.03117
2Kramnik, VladimirRUS27955½*1 ½ 1111.03001
3Nakamura, HikaruUSA27605 0*½ 1½ 18.0 2804
4Adams, MichaelENG271040 ½* 1 17.02827
5Anand, ViswanathanIND27754 ½ *½1½ 6.0 2830
6Aronian, LevonARM281540 0 ½* 1 4.02686
7Jones, Gawain C BENG264450 ½00 * ½2.02519
8McShane, Luke JENG2713400 ½0 * 1.03.002471
9Polgar, JuditHUN27054 000 ½ *1.01.002390
9 players

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