Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

4th London Chess Classic 2012 (1)

Carlsen, Nakamura, Kramnik and Adams start with wins at the London Chess Classic

Luke McShane was gradually outplayed after he let go an opening advantage against Magnus Carlsen. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

Luke McShane was gradually outplayed after he let go an opening advantage against Magnus Carlsen. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill |

The 4th London Chess Classic started with a bang with all four games finishing decisively. Vladimir Kramnik has a tremendous record against Judit Polgar with white and he won yet again after Polgar sacrificed a piece for tactical play which seemed to be at best only just sufficient. Kramnik whilst being polite seemed to suggest that he didn't believe that the sacrifice was sound. It did take good accuracy to defuse but in the end it was Polgar who blundered. Magnus Carlsen came closer to breaking Garry Kasparov's 1999 elo peak after defeating Luke McShane with black in the first round. At first McShane's insipid opening choice looked to be paying dividends as he seemed to have a nasty initiative but once he allowed equalisation he gradually drifted into trouble and Carlsen won a very nice endgame. Levon Aronian was caught out in the opening by Hikaru Nakamura allowing at least equality. Later he blundered outright losing a piece giving the US player a win. Gawain Jones against Michael Adams was the last game to finish with Jones getting the worst of the opening and having to break on the kingside just to get any play at all. Later it looked like Jones might save the game but he gradually weakened and lost in 91 moves. Round 2 Sunday 2nd December 2pm GMT. Polgar-Jones, Nakamura-Kramnik, Carlsen-Aronian and Anand-McShane. I will be hosting ICC's commentary with David Smerdon.

Magnus Carlsen can break Garry Kasparov's record rating of 2851 at this tournament. These days people measure the performance round by round and with this win Carlsen equals Kasparov's mark although it is said Kasparov had a peak of 2856 at one point during a tournament. Nevertheless this win starts Carlsen on the road to the record very nicely.

McShane,Luke - Carlsen,Magnus [C67]
4th London Chess Classic London ENG (1.1), 01.12.2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Nxe5 Be7 7.Bf1 Nf5 8.Nf3 0-0 9.d4 d5 10.g3 Bf6 11.c3 Re8 12.Rxe8+ Qxe8 13.Bf4 Qd8 14.Bd3

[14.Na3 g5 15.Bc1 Be6 16.Nc2 h6 17.Ne3 Qd6 18.Bd3 Nxe3 19.Bxe3 Bg4 20.Be2 Re8 21.Ne1 Bf5 22.Bd3 Be4 23.f3 Bg6 24.Ng2 Bg7 25.Qc2 b6 26.Rf1 Na5 27.f4 Nc4 28.Bc1 Bxd3 29.Qxd3 Qg6 30.Qxg6 fxg6 31.fxg5 hxg5 32.Bxg5 c5 33.dxc5 bxc5 34.Nf4 Nd2 35.Nxg6 Nxf1 36.Kxf1 Kf7 37.Nf4 Rb8 38.b3 c4 39.b4 d4 40.Ke1 dxc3 41.a3 Rb6 42.Ne2 Rd6 43.Bf4 Rd7 44.Bc1 c2 45.a4 Rd1+ 46.Kf2 Bc3 0-1 Felgaer,R (2585)-Kurnosov,I (2662)/Moscow RUS 2011/The Week in Chess 850]

14...Nfe7 15.Na3 a6 16.Nc2 Bf5 17.Bxf5 Nxf5 18.g4 Nfe7 19.Ne3

[19.g5 Ng6 20.gxf6 Nxf4 is probably better for black.]

19...g6 20.Qf1

A nice move I hadn't seen that.

20...Qd7 21.Qh3 Bg7 22.Qg3 Rc8 23.g5

Black is in a bit of a tangle.

23...Nd8 24.Be5 Ne6 25.Bf6 Re8 26.Ne5 Qd6

[26...Qb5 27.Qf3 (27.b3 Sufficient according to Carlsen, Luke looked at some nice stuff instead.) 27...Qxb2 28.Bxg7 Qxa1+ 29.Kg2 Nxg7 30.Qxf7+ Kh8 31.N3g4 with a threat of Qg8+!! 31...Nef5 32.Nh6 Nd6 (32...Nh4+ 33.Kh3 Qf1+ 34.Kxh4 Nf5+ 35.Nxf5 Qxf2+ 36.Ng3) 33.Qg8+ Rxg8 34.Nhf7+]


Magnus Carlsen


Luke McShane

Position after 27.Kh1?!

[27.h4 Keeps the bind.; 27.N5g4 Qxg3+ 28.hxg3 and Carlsen wasn't worried.]


Black's only real idea in the position and now he's equal.

28.Bxg5 f6 29.Bxf6

[29.Nxg6 Nxg6 30.Qxd6 cxd6 and the bishop is trapped.]

29...Qxf6 30.Re1 c6 31.Kg2 Nc8?! 32.N3g4 Qd8

[32...Qf5 33.Nxg6! wins for white.]


[33.h4 Nd6 34.h5 Ne4 (34...Nf5 35.Qh3 and Carlsen couldn't see a follow up.) ]

33...Rxe1 34.Nxe1 Nd6 35.Nd3 Nf5 36.Qh3

Marginally better for black but should be a draw - Carlsen.

36...Bf8 37.Ne3 Qg5+ 38.Kf1 Nxe3+ 39.fxe3 Kg7 40.Nf4 Qf6

Time control. McShane gets more time after being in bad time trouble.

41.Ke2 Bd6 42.Qg4 Kf7 43.h3

[43.Qd7+ Qe7 44.Qxe7+ Kxe7 White should probably look to get queens off when he has good saving chances.]

43...h5 44.Qc8 Qe7 45.Nd3

[45.Kd2! with the idea of h4 if black's king comes up the board.]

45...Kf6 46.b3 Kg5 47.c4 Kh4

Magnus Carlsen


Luke McShane

Position after 47....Kh4

Suddenly it looks like black is the one pressing. Carlsen is good at making the best of endings and also he had a big time advantage. "Now I was already feeling very optimistic." - Carlsen.


"At this point I thought it was over." - Carlsen.

[48.cxd5 cxd5 49.Qg8 Qg5 50.Qe6 Qg2+]

48...Bg3 49.b4 Qf7 50.a4 g5 51.Kd2 Bh2 52.Ne1 Kg3 53.Nc2 Bg1 54.Qd8

[54.Kc3 Bf2 55.Qd8 g4 56.hxg4 hxg4]

54...Kh4 55.Qc8 Bf2 56.Ke2 Kg3 57.Qd8?

A final blunder but he was heading for a loss anyway.

57...Qf5 58.Kd2 Kxh3 59.b5 g4 60.bxc6 bxc6 61.Nb4 g3 62.Nd3 g2 0-1

Vladimir Kramnik against Judit Polgar. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

Kramnik,Vladimir - Polgar,Judit [A34]
4th London Chess Classic London ENG (1.2), 01.12.2012

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 c5 3.g3 Nc6 4.Bg2 d6 5.e3 e5

[5...Bg4 0-1 Paschall,W (2352)-Rajlich,I (2411)/Budapest HUN 2007/The Week in Chess 683 (51)]

6.Nge2 Be6 7.Nd5! Be7

[7...Bxd5; 7...g6; 7...e4; 7...a5]






[9.d4; 9.b3]

9...Nb4 10.Nxe7+ Qxe7 11.d3 d5?!

Judit Polgar


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 11...d5?!

A piece sacrifice that is at the least very risky for black. It betrays Polgar's unwillingness to go into an extended positional struggle against Kramnik.

12.a3 dxc4 13.axb4 cxb4 14.Ne4 Nxe4 15.Bxe4 f5 16.Bg2

There is no doubt that black gets some practical compensation but Kramnik is probably not the guy to try this against. A piece is a piece at the end of the day and that seemed to be Kramnik's attitude in the post-mortem.

16...Rfd8 17.d4 a5 18.Qe2 e4 19.f3 Bd5 20.fxe4 fxe4 21.Rf5 Qd7

Forced. Kramnik thought he was winning here as he underestimated it.

22.Re5 Re8 23.Bh3 Qc6 24.Rxe8+ Qxe8 25.Bd2 Qe7?

Judit Polgar


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 25...Qe7?

Now the position really is lost. Black can play on with:

[25...b6; 25...b5]

26.Qh5 Qd8 27.Rf1 g6 28.Qe5 Ra6 29.Bd7 Bf7 30.Rxf7 Kxf7 31.Bb5 Rf6 32.Bxc4+ Kg7 33.Qxe4 Qc7 34.Qd5 Rf8 35.e4 b5 36.Qxb5 Qd6 37.Qb7+ Kh8 38.Qa7 g5 39.Bxg5 Qc6 40.Qe7

Presumably on time, Polgar only had seconds on her clock for the last few moves.


Levon Aronian against Hikaru Nakamura

Levon Aronian against Hikaru Nakamura. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

Aronian,Levon - Nakamura,Hikaru [A31]
4th London Chess Classic London ENG (1.3), 01.12.2012

1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.g3 e5 6.Nb5 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 a6 8.N5c3 d5 9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.Bg2 Be6 11.0-0 Nb6

Aronian had already started using lots of time. Nakamura knew all the theory.


[12.Ne4 Be7 13.Be3 Nc4 14.Bc1 Qxd1 15.Rxd1 Nd4 16.Nbc3 0-0-0 17.Rf1 h6 18.b3 Na3 19.e3 Ndc2 20.Bxa3 Nxa3 21.Na4 Kb8 22.Nec5 Bd5 23.e4 Bc6 24.Rac1 Bb5 25.Rfe1 Bg5 26.f4 exf4 27.h4 Be7 28.e5 Rd2 29.Ne4 Rd4 30.gxf4 Bxh4 31.Red1 Nc2 32.Bf3 Rhd8 33.Nd6 Rxf4 34.Bxb7 Bf2+ 35.Kh2 Ne3 36.Nxb5 Rh4# 0-1 Shchekachev,A (2537)-Edouard,R (2587)/Caen FRA 2011/The Week in Chess 876; 12.Na4 Be7 13.Nxb6 Qxb6 14.Nc3 Rd8 15.Qc1 0-0 16.Be3 Nd4 17.Rd1 Rd7 18.b3 Rc8 19.Bxd4 Rxd4 20.Qb2 Qa5 21.Rxd4 exd4 22.Ne4 f5 23.Nd2 Qc3 24.Rb1 Qxb2 25.Rxb2 Rc1+ 26.Nf1 Bb4 0-1 Lalith,B (2484)-Istratescu,A (2627)/Hastings ENG 2011/The Week in Chess 895]

12...Nc4 13.Qc1 0-0 14.Rd1 Qc7 15.a3

Maybe a bit ambitious according to Aronian.

[15.Nd5 Bxd5 16.Bxd5 Nxe3 17.fxe3 was an Aronian post-game suggestion. (17.Qxe3) ]

15...Nxe3 16.Qxe3 Ba5 17.Nd2 Bb6 18.Qf3 Rad8 19.Na4 Ba7 20.Qc3 Rd4 21.Qc2 f5 22.e3 Rdd8 23.b4 e4 24.Nb3 Qf7 25.Nbc5 Bd5 26.Rd2?

Hikaru Nakamura


Levon Aronian

Position after 26.Rd2

Aronian said he forgot about white's next move.

[26.Nc3 Bxc5 27.Rxd5 Rxd5 28.Nxd5 Qxd5 29.bxc5 was Nakamura's planeed idea.]


Wins a piece.


[27.Nxa6 Bb3 is the idea Aronian seems to have forgotten about.]

27...Rxd5 28.Nxa6 Ne5 29.Rd1 Rfd8 30.Rxd5 Qxd5 31.Nb2 Qd2 32.Qc7 Ng4 0-1

Gawain Jones against Michael Adams

Gawain Jones against Michael Adams. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

Jones,Gawain C B - Adams,Michael [E46]
4th London Chess Classic London ENG (1.4), 01.12.2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Nge2 d5 6.a3 Bd6 7.c5 Be7 8.b4 b6 9.Nf4 c6 10.Be2 Nbd7 11.Bb2 Qc7 12.0-0 bxc5 13.bxc5 e5 14.Nd3

This seems new and probably a mistake.

[14.dxe5 Nxe5 15.Qd4 Ned7 16.Na4 Re8 17.Rac1 Bf8 18.f3 Rb8 19.Bc3 Rb3 20.Ra1 Qb8 21.Rfc1 Ne4 22.Bb4 Ng5 23.Rc3 Rxc3 24.Bxc3 f6 25.Kf2 Ne5 26.Qb4 Qc7 27.Qa5 Qe7 28.Bd4 Bf5 29.Nc3 Rb8 30.g4 Bc2 31.Rc1 Bg6 32.Nxg6 Nxg6 33.Rb1 Rxb1 34.Nxb1 Ne6 35.Nd2 f5 36.Nb3 Qh4+ 37.Kg1 fxg4 38.fxg4 Qh3 39.Qd2 Nh4 40.Bd1 Nf3+ 41.Bxf3 Qxf3 42.Be5 Ng5 43.h4 Nh3+ 44.Kh2 Nf2 0-1 Gelfand,B (2733)-Kramnik,V (2785)/Monaco MNC 2011/The Week in Chess 854]

14...e4 15.Nf4 Re8 16.Rb1 Nf8 17.f3

The kind of plan you might try in a French Defence as black. White's probem is that his bishop on b2 seems to have no prospects and that if he doesn't play this break he doesn't seem to have a plan at all.

17...exf3 18.gxf3 Bd8 19.Bc1 Ng6 20.Nxg6 hxg6 21.Bd3 Bf5 22.Rf2 Qc8 23.Ne2 Bc7 24.Ng3 Bxd3 25.Qxd3 Qh3

White seems to get close to equality now but the position remains tricky and probably the kind that Michael Adams likes.

[25...g5 26.Rg2 g6 27.Nh1 Qh3]

26.Qf1 Qh4 27.Qg2 Rab8 28.Rfb2 Rxb2 29.Rxb2 Rb8 30.Rxb8+ Bxb8 31.Bd2 Bc7 32.Be1 Nh7 33.Kf1 Qf6 34.Qe2 Ng5 35.f4 Ne6 36.Kg1 Qe7 37.Kf1 Bd8 38.Qa6 Qd7 39.Ke2 Bh4 40.Kd2 Nf8 41.Ne2 Bxe1+ 42.Kxe1 Nh7 43.Kd2?

Michael Adams


Gawain Jones

Position after 43.Kd2

Allowing black to break up white's pawns.

[43.Ng3 Nf6 44.Kd2]

43...g5 44.Ng3 gxf4 45.exf4 Nf6 46.f5 Qc7 47.Kc2 Kh7 48.Kb1 Ng4 49.Qf1 Kg8 50.Qe2 Nf6 51.Qa6 Ng4 52.Qe2 Nf6 53.Qa6 Kf8 54.Qd3 Qa5 55.Qe3 Kg8 56.Kb2 Kh7 57.Kc2 Qa6 58.h3 Qb7 59.Qe2 Qd7 60.Kd1 Kg8 61.Qe3 a5 62.Qf3 Qb7 63.Kc2 a4 64.Qe3 Qb8 65.Qf3 Kf8 66.Qe3 Ne8 67.Kc1 Qd8 68.Ne2 Qb8 69.Ng3 Nf6 70.Kc2 Qb5 71.Kc1 Qc4+ 72.Kb2 Qb5+ 73.Kc1 Qc4+ 74.Kb2 Ne4 75.f6?

[75.Ne2 Kg8 seems worse.; 75.Nxe4 dxe4 76.Qxe4 Qb3+ 77.Kc1 Qxa3+ 78.Kc2 Qb3+ 79.Kd2 Qb4+ 80.Ke2 Qb5+ 81.Ke3 a3 82.Qh4 Doesn't seem immediately decisive for black.]

75...Nxf6 76.Nf5 Qb5+ 77.Kc2 Ne4 78.h4?

There are only bad choices now.

[78.Nd6 Qb3+ 79.Qxb3 axb3+ 80.Kb2 Nxd6 81.cxd6]

78...Qc4+ 79.Kb2 Qb5+ 80.Kc2 Qc4+ 81.Kb2 Qf1 82.Nd6 Qg2+ 83.Kc1 Qh1+ 84.Kb2 Qh2+ 85.Kc1 Qh1+ 86.Kb2 Qh2+ 87.Kc1 Nxd6 88.cxd6 Qxd6 89.Qh3 g6 90.Qf3 Kg7 91.Qe3 Qf6 0-1

4th London Chess Classic 2012 London ENG Sat 1st Dec 2012 - Mon 10th Dec 2012
Leading Round 1 (of 9) Standings:
1Nakamura, HikaruGMUSA27601* 1 3
2Carlsen, MagnusGM NOR28481* 13
3Adams, MichaelGM ENG27101 * 1 3
4Kramnik, VladimirGMRUS27951 * 1 3
5Jones, Gawain C BGMENG26441 0 * 0
6Polgar, JuditGM HUN27051 0 * 0
7Aronian, LevonGMARM281510 * 0
8McShane, LukeGM ENG271310 *0
9Anand, ViswanathanGMIND27750
9 players

There was also a strong open at the same time as the Classic. Top boards were broadcast.

4th London CC Open London ENG Sat 1st Dec 2012 - Mon 10th Dec 2012
Leading Round 1 (of 9) Standings:
1Melkumyan, HrantGMARM264911.02984
2Rowson, JonathanGMSCO258611.02921
3Van Kampen, RobinGMNED257011.02905
4Hebden, Mark LGMENG254711.02882
5Hillarp Persson, TigerGMSWE254611.02881
6Gundavaa, BayarsaikhanIMMGL253011.02865
7Rahman, ZiaurGMBAN2518+1.00
8Williams, Simon KGMENG251511.02850
9Hawkins, JonathanIMENG250711.02842
10Schneider, DmitryIMUSA247711.02812
11Arkell, Keith CGMENG247011.02805
12Cherniaev, AlexanderGMRUS246011.02795
13McDonald, NeilGMENG245411.02789
14Pert, Richard GIMENG245411.00
15Sadzikowski, DanielIMPOL244911.02784
16Boruchovsky, AvitalIMISR244811.00
17Hamitevici, VladimirIMMDA244011.02776
18Kiik, KalleIMEST243711.02773
19Shaw, JohnGMSCO243511.02773
20Zhou, Yang-FanIMENG241911.02764
21Golubka, PetrIMUKR241811.02754
22D`Costa, Lorin A RIMENG241711.02753
23Mandiza, FaraiIMZIM2415+1.00
24Hanley, Craig AIMENG241211.02751
25Sarakauskas, GediminasIMLTU240811.02746
26Ferguson, MarkIMENG240211.02746
27Minhazuddin, AhmedIMBAN2401+1.00
28Slavin, AlexeyIMRUS239711.00
29Gullaksen, EirikIMNOR238411.02739
30Crouch, Colin SIMENG238211.02739
31Rendle, Thomas EIMENG238111.02736
32Ansell, Simon TIMENG237711.02735
33Schneider, IgorFMUSA237611.02734
34Weber, TomFMLUX237211.02733
35Bates, Richard AIMENG237011.02732
36Szabo, BenceHUN236511.02732
37Abu Sufian, ShakilIMBAN2364+1.00
38Radovanovic, JovicaFMSRB236111.02729
39Roberson, Peter TFMENG235011.02727
40Kojima, ShinyaFMJPN234011.02726
240 players

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