Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

4th London Chess Classic 2012 (8)

Kramnik still in the hunt after beating Jones in Round 8 of London Classic

Vladimir Kramnik managed the win he needed to keep his chances going of winning the London Chess Classic. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill.

Vladimir Kramnik managed the win he needed to keep his chances going of winning the London Chess Classic. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill. |

Vladimir Kramnik beat Gawain Jones to keep alive his chances of retaining his London Chess Classic title. Kramnik will need to beat Michael Adams with black and hope that Carlsen can do no better than draw with Anand as white in the final round. If they tie then there will be a single game Armageddon blitz playoff.

Kramnik took advantage of Jones' slightly limited opening repertoire and inhibit his ability to play g6. This is a sideline which Kramnik has played in a couple of important rapid games including his must win in the Candidates against Radjabov. Kramnik got a big time advantage and a nice position and even though he let some of the advantage go he won pretty easily.

Judit Polgar crushed Luke McShane who seemed to be out of gas after his marathon save against Michael Adams the day before. Polgar was obviously delighted to score her first win. She said Mahail Marin suggested the unusual English sideline she chose. McShane lost his opening advantage with 7.d3 and his 10.Qc1 was maybe not terribly good either. McShane then allowed Polgar to bury a knight on c3 which led to a miserable position which collapsed very quickly.

Viswanathan Anand against Hikaru Nakamura was a tremendously difficult battle that swayed one way and another. Nakamura played aggressively but gradully got pushed back as Anand played well. The key moment for Anand was whether to play 32.Raf1 or not, this would almost certainly have been better although the lines aren't totally clear. Further inaccuracies on move 40 and 44 and suddenly it was Nakamura who was pushing. The position was very complicated and difficult and there were many possilibities. Nakamura had a final win with 57.Qa4+ which he couldn't see to the end after such an exhausting struggle.

Michael Adams had much the best of it against an out of sorts Levon Aronian and won a pawn but it wasn't that easy to convert and in the final game to finish he had to settle for a draw.

Round 8 Standings: Carlsen 17pts, Kramnik 15, Adams 12, Nakamura 10, Anand 8, Aronian 7, McShane and Polgar 5 and Jones 3.

London Chess Classic Final Round 9 earlier at 12pm: Adams-Kramnik, Polgar-Aronian, Nakamura-McShane, Carlsen-Anand with Jones assisting in commentary. Armageddon playoff if a tie.

Hrant Melkumyan and Robin Van Kampen finished on 7.5/9. in the open.

Vladimir Kramnik against Garawin Jones

Vladimir Kramnik against Garawin Jones. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

Kramnik,Vladimir - Jones,Gawain C B [A14]
4th London Chess Classic London ENG (8.1), 09.12.2012

1.Nf3 c5 2.b3 d5

Kramnik plays a variation aimed against g6. Wanted to avoid Jones' preparation as he needed a win.

3.e3 Nf6 4.Bb2 e6 5.g3 Nc6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.c4 b6 9.Nc3 Bb7 10.cxd5 exd5

[10...Nxd5 11.Nxd5 Qxd5 12.d4 Not easy for black to equalise - Kramnik.]


Gawain Jones


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 11.d4

"Objectively slightly better and much more time." Kramnik outlines the success of his opening surprise.

11...Ne4 12.dxc5 Nxc3 13.Bxc3 bxc5 14.Qe2 Re8

[14...Qb6 15.Qb2 was a concept overlooked by Jones.; 14...Qd6 15.Rfd1 Rfd8 16.Ne1 Qe6 17.Nd3]

15.Rfd1 Bf8

"I liked everything here." - Kramnik.


Going for an ending where white has very big winning chances.


[16...Rb8 17.Ne1 Ba8 18.Qa4 Ne7]

17.Qxb6 axb6 18.Rxd5 Nd4 19.Nxd4 Bxd5 20.Bxd5 cxd4 21.Bxd4

"I need to keep my rook. If I keep my rook by bishop on d5 is very strong." - Kramnik.


[21...Rab8 22.a4]

22.e4 Bc5

[22...b5 23.Rc1]

23.Bc3 Ra3 24.Bb2 Ra7 25.a4 Rc7 26.Ra2

Protecting against Bf2+

[26.Rc1 Bd6 27.Rxc7 Bxc7 28.Bd4 With the king coming in to b5.]



27.Kg2 Kh7

Gawain Jones


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 27...Kh7. Kramnik is completely winning but was critical of his next which allows Jones at least some counter-play. The very slow 28.g4 and 29.Bf6 is better.


[28.g4 g6 29.Bf6]

28...f6 29.Kf3


29...Rd7 30.a5

Wasn't Kramnik's plan but he didn't like the way he had played and felt this was forced.

[30.Bc3 Rxd5 31.exd5 Re3+]

30...bxa5 31.Rxa5 Rc8 32.Rb5

[32.Be6 Rd3+ 33.Kg4 Rc6 leads to a mess.]


[32...Ra7 33.Be6 Rc6 34.Bd5 Rc8 35.e5]

33.Rb7 Rb6 34.Rf7 Rf8?

[34...Rcb8 35.Kg4 Rxb3 36.Bxf6]

35.Rc7 Bd6 36.Rd7 Ra6 37.Bd4 Bb8 38.Bc5 Re8 39.Kg4 Ra2 40.h4 Rc8 41.b4 Ra3 42.h5

Gawain Jones


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 42.h5

White didn't see a reason to hurry.

42...Rc3 43.Bd4 R3c7 44.Rxc7

The most human way. - Kramnik.

44...Bxc7 45.Kf5 Bd6 46.b5 Rc1 47.b6 Bb8 48.Ke6 Rh1 49.Bc5 1-0

Viswanathan Anand against Hikaru Nakamura

Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

Anand,Viswanathan - Nakamura,Hikaru [B90]
4th London Chess Classic London ENG (8.3), 09.12.2012

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 e5 7.Nde2 h5 8.Bg5 Be6 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.Nd5 Qd8 11.Nec3 Nd7 12.Bc4 g6 13.a4 Bh6

[13...Rc8 1-0 Heberla,B (2539)-Nitin,S (2387)/Mumbai IND 2011/The Week in Chess 881 (67)]

14.a5 Rc8 15.Ba2 0-0 16.0-0 Kg7 17.b4 Rc6 18.Qd3 Qg5 19.Rfd1 Rfc8 20.Bb3 f5 21.exf5 gxf5

Hikaru Nakamura


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 21...gxf5

Nakamura spent a lot of time here on the consequences of 22.b5 and felt foolish at the wasted time when he saw Anand's quick reply.


Played straight away!

[22.b5; 22.f4 exf4 23.Ne2 Ne5 24.Ndxf4 Bxb3 25.Qxb3 Kh7]

22...f4 23.Ndxf4 Bxb3 24.h4 Qg4 25.f3 Bxc2 26.fxg4 Bxd3 27.Nxh5+ Kg8

[27...Kg6 28.Rxd3 Bf8 29.Rad1]

28.Rxd3 Bf8 29.Kh2 Rc4 30.Kh3

Vishy played it very accurately.

30...Rxb4 31.Rf3 Rc2 32.Nc3?!

Hikaru Nakamura


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 31...Rc2

Anand got a long way to calculating the consequences of Raf1 which would have been much clearer than the game.

[32.Raf1 Rxe2 33.Rf7 Rb3+ 34.Kh2 Rbb2 (34...Rb1!) 35.Rxd7 Rxg2+ 36.Kh3 Rh2+ 37.Kg3 Rbg2+ 38.Kf3 e4+ 39.Kf4 (39.Kxe4!) 39...Rxh4 40.Nf6+ Kh8 "But this might be winning anyway." - Anand. 41.Kg5 "Basically I screwed up." - Anand]

32...e4 33.Rg3 Rd2 34.Re1 d5 35.Nf4 Rbd4 36.Ncxd5 Rxd5 37.Nxd5 Rxd5 38.Rxe4 Rxa5 39.g5 Ra3

Hikaru Nakamura


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 39...Ra3


Anand didn't like this either and he had a lot of time.

[40.Rxa3 May well have been better. Now what follows is just terribly difficult to calculate and so the errors can't really be called errors. 40...Bxa3 41.Kg4 b5 42.Kf5 b4 43.Re7 Nf8 44.Rb7 a5 45.g6 Bb2 46.h5]

40...Rxg3+ 41.Kxg3 b5 42.Rd8 Nc5 43.Rb8 Kf7

Hikaru Nakamura


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 43...Kf7

Very tricky.


In retrospect probably not very good.

[44.Kg4 Nd7 45.Rb7 Ke6 This is what I didn't like. - Anand. 46.g6 b4 47.h5 a5 48.Kg5 Be7+ 49.Kh6 Nf6 50.g7 Kf7 51.g4 Nxg4+ 52.Kh7 It's difficult to have any clarity at the board.]

44...Kg7 45.Kg4 b4 46.h5 b3 47.Kf5 Bd6 48.Rb4

[48.Rb6 Bc7 49.Rc6 Ba5 50.Rc8]

48...a5 49.Rb6 a4 50.Rxd6 b2

Now calculation at the end of such a long game is very hard. I believe some computers think this was an error but it is hard to say.

51.Rb6 a3 52.Kg5

[52.g4 Ne4]

52...Ne4+ 53.Kf4

Anand played this and just about let go but really wanted to play Kf5. It isn't really that clear which move is best anyhow.

[53.Kf5 I hestitated as to whether I could do a Garry. 53...a2 54.Rxb2 Nd6+ 55.Kg5 a1Q 56.h6+ Kf8 57.g7+]

53...a2 54.Rb7+ Kf8 55.Rxb2 a1Q 56.Rb8+ Ke7 57.Kxe4

Hikaru Nakamura


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 57.Kxe4

Nakamura was down to three minutes and so calculation was very hard. He saw Qa4 followed by Qd7 rather than the easily winning Qc6 but it might be that works too. Nakamura didn't appreciate how safe white's king becomes. White wants to get his rook to f3 if he can and his king in the corner but he's a mile away from that.


[57...Qa4+ 58.Ke5 Qc6 (58...Qd7 59.Rb1 Qe6+ 60.Kd4 Qg4+ 61.Kc3 Qxh5 and a fortress will be impossible to achieve. 62.Rb7+ Kf8 63.Kd4 Qxg6 64.Kc5) 59.Rb1 Qc5+ 60.Kf4 Qd4+ 61.Kg5 Qe3+ wins.]

58.Kf3 Qc3+ 59.Kg4 Qd4+ 60.Kh3 Qd3+ 61.Kh4 Qe4+ 62.g4 Qe1+ 63.Kh3 Qe3+ 64.Kh4 Qe1+ 65.Kh3 Qe3+ 1/2-1/2

Luke McShane against Judit Polgar

Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

McShane,Luke J - Polgar,Judit [A37]
4th London Chess Classic London ENG (8.4), 09.12.2012

1.c4 g6 2.g3 Bg7 3.Bg2 c5 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 b6 6.0-0 Bb7 7.d3

Keeping his options open. "I was kind of happy with d3." - Polgar. Carlsen didn't like the choice from McShane either.

[7.e3; 7.Rb1]


[7...d6 1/2-1/2 Mensch,E (2366)-Bauer,C (2612)/Biel SUI 2010/The Week in Chess 820 (47)]

8.Bg5 h6

[8...0-0 9.Qd2]

9.Bd2 d5 10.Qc1?!

"It's not a ridiculous idea." McShane but Polgar was happy to see it.

[10.cxd5 Nxd5 11.Rc1]

10...Rc8 11.Rb1 Qd7 12.b3 d4! 13.Nb5 h5 14.b4 cxb4 15.Bxb4 a6 16.Na3 Nxb4 17.Rxb4 Nd5 18.Rb3 Nc3

Judit Polgar


Luke McShane

Position after 18...Nc3

"The problem was that I underestimated the power of the knight coming to c3 so I end up with a rotten position by force." - McShane.

19.Qd2 Bxf3 20.Bxf3 h4 21.g4

[21.Rxb6 hxg3 22.hxg3 Qh3 23.Re1 (23.Ra1 Bh6 24.Qe1 Be3 25.fxe3) 23...Bh6 24.Qb2 Be3 "I didn't see it to a forced win but it looked absolutely terrifying." - McShane.]


Practically there are no counterchances - Polgar.

22.h3 0-0 23.cxb5 axb5 24.Nc2

[24.Nb1 Qd6 25.Nxc3 dxc3 26.Qc2 b4 27.Rfb1 Rb8 28.e3 e5]

24...Rc5 25.Ne1 Bf6 26.Ng2 Bg5 27.Qb2 Rfc8 28.Kh1

[28.Be4 Nxe4 (28...Bc1 29.Rxc1 Nxe2+ 30.Qxe2 Rxc1+ 31.Kh2 R8c2 32.Qf3 Qd6+ 33.Qf4 Qxf4+ 34.Nxf4 Rxf2+ 35.Ng2 g5 36.Rxb5 f6) 29.dxe4 Rc2 (29...Bc1) ]

28...Qd6 29.Ra3 Na4 30.Rxa4 bxa4 31.Ne1 Rc1 32.Qb7 Rb8 33.Qa7 Bd2 0-1

Levon Aronian against Michael Adams

Levon Aronian against Michael Adams. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

Aronian,Levon - Adams,Michael [A07]
4th London Chess Classic London ENG (8.2), 09.12.2012

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 c6 3.Bg2 Bg4 4.0-0 Nd7 5.d3 e6 6.Nbd2 Bd6 7.e4 Ne7 8.Re1 0-0 9.d4

Carlsen pointed out this was the kind of repertoire that Aronian played as a junior but that he was a better player once he learned some theory.

9...a5 10.a4 Rc8 11.c3 Bh5 12.Qe2 Re8 13.Qf1 Bb8

Already black must be at least equal.

14.b3 dxe4 15.Nxe4 Nd5 16.Bb2 e5 17.Ned2 Bxf3 18.Bxf3 exd4 19.Rxe8+ Qxe8 20.cxd4 Bd6 21.Re1 Qd8 22.Nc4 Bb4 23.Re2 N7f6 24.Qc1 Qc7 25.Kg2 Rd8 26.Qc2 h6 27.Ne3 Bf8 28.Nf5 Qd7 29.Re5 g6 30.Nh4 Bg7

Michael Adams


Levon Aronian

Position after 30....Bg7


Losing a pawn.

31...Nb4 32.Qe2 Qxd4 33.Re7 Rd7 34.Rxd7 Qxd7 35.Bxb4 axb4 36.Qd1 Nd5

[36...Qxd1 37.Bxd1 Nd5]

37.Be2 Bf6 38.Nf3 Kg7 39.Qd2 Bc3 40.Qc2 Qg4 41.Qc1 Qe4 42.Qd1 Bf6 43.Bc4 Nb6 44.Bf1 Bc3 45.h3 Qe7 46.Bd3 Qe6 47.Bf1 Bf6 48.Qc2 Qd5 49.Bd3 Bc3 50.h4 Qe6 51.h5 g5 52.Bf5 Qd5 53.Be4 Qd6 54.Bd3 Qd5 55.Be4 Qd6 56.Bd3 Nd7 57.Bc4 Nf6 58.Qe2 b6 59.Nh2 b5 60.axb5 cxb5 61.Bxb5 Qd5+ 62.Kg1 Qxb3 63.Bc4 Qb1+

[63...Qa4 64.Ng4 Nxg4 65.Qxg4 b3 66.Qe4 b2 67.Bd3 Qxe4 68.Bxe4 Kf6 69.Kf1 Ke5 70.f3 Kd4 71.Ke2 Bb4 72.Bb1 Kc3 73.Ke3 Ba5 74.g4 Bb6+ 75.Ke2 Doesn't seem to win either.]

64.Nf1 Qe1 65.Qxe1 Bxe1 66.Ne3 Ne4 67.Nf5+ Kf8 68.Nxh6 Bxf2+ 69.Kg2 Nd6 70.Bd3 Bd4 71.Nf5 Nxf5 72.Bxf5 Kg7 73.Bc2 g4 74.Bf5 b3 75.Bxg4 Kh6 76.Bf5 Kxh5 77.g4+ Kg5 78.Kf3 b2 79.Bb1 Be5 80.Bc2 Bd4 81.Bb1 Be5 82.Bc2 Bd4 1/2-1/2

4th London Chess Classic 2012 London ENG Sat 1st Dec 2012 - Mon 10th Dec 2012
Leading Round 8 (of 9) Standings:
1Carlsen, MagnusNOR28487*131 3333173045
2Kramnik, VladimirRUS279571* 311333152977
3Adams, MichaelENG271070 *131133122853
4Nakamura, HikaruUSA27607101*13 3110 2805
5Anand, ViswanathanIND27757 101*11138 2735
6Aronian, LevonARM2815701101*3 172700
7McShane, Luke JENG27137001 10*035132597
8Polgar, JuditHUN2705700001 3*1510.52591
9Jones, Gawain C BENG2644800010101*32511
9 players
4th London CC Open London ENG Sat 1st Dec 2012 - Mon 10th Dec 2012
Leading Final Round 9 Standings:
1Melkumyan, HrantGMARM264911111½½½17.52707
2Van Kampen, RobinGMNED257011½1½1½117.52658
3Rowson, JonathanGMSCO258611½½11½½17.02571
4Hamitevici, VladimirIMMDA2440111½1½½½17.02548
5Kiik, KalleIMEST24371½½1½11½17.02487
6Zhou, Yang-FanIMENG24191111010117.02558
7Houska, JovankaIMENG2396½111½½1½17.02557
8Hebden, Mark LGMENG254711½1½½1106.52534
9Holzke, FrankGMGER2521½1½½110116.52407
10Williams, Simon KGMENG2515111½1½1½06.52562
11Hawkins, JonathanIMENG2507111½½½1½½6.52494
12Sadzikowski, DanielIMPOL24491½11½½1016.52470
13Boruchovsky, AvitalIMISR244811011½½1½6.52432
14Bartholomew, JohnIMUSA2427½111½1½016.52470
15Hanley, Craig AIMENG2412111½010116.52459
16Ferguson, MarkIMENG240211½101=1½6.52425
17Gullaksen, EirikIMNOR238411½1½01½16.52430
18Weber, TomFMLUX23721101½½½116.52406
19Bates, Richard AIMENG237011½01½11½6.52423
20Guerrero, AndresVEN2206101½111016.52435
21Hillarp Persson, TigerGMSWE25461½111½½½06.02480
22Gundavaa, BayarsaikhanIMMGL2530111011½½06.02444
23Schneider, DmitryIMUSA24771½11½½1½06.02443
24Arkell, Keith CGMENG2470110½½1½1½6.02360
25Golubka, PetrIMUKR2418111½½01½½6.02403
26D`Costa, Lorin A RIMENG241711½1½½0½16.02399
27Sarakauskas, GediminasIMLTU240811½1½01106.02431
28Rendle, Thomas EIMENG23811½11½½01½6.02370
29Ansell, Simon TIMENG237711½½1½01½6.02481
30Roberson, Peter TFMENG2350111½½1½½06.02514
31Kojima, ShinyaFMJPN23401101101016.02380
32Kvisvik, BredeFMNOR2316½1100111½6.02287
33Rudd, JackIMENG22881011011½½6.02354
34Chapman, Terry P DENG2279==1½=½1½16.02392
35Coleman, David JCMENG2268½10110½116.02265
36Roe, Simon JENG22651½½1001116.02254
37Gunajew, RafalFMPOL2260½110111½06.02354
38Tan, JustinAUS223911½01½0116.02335
39Grant, Jonathan I MSCO2217101½10½116.02318
40Semprun Martinez, FernandoESP218310½1½01116.02270
41Cherniaev, AlexanderGMRUS2460101½011105.52260
42McDonald, NeilGMENG245411½0100115.52216
43Pert, Richard GIMENG24541½½0111½-5.52304
44Slavin, AlexeyIMRUS23971½0011½1½5.52173
45Szabo, BenceHUN2365110½110105.52356
46Radovanovic, JovicaFMSRB23611½1010+105.52278
47Richardson, John RFMENG2320½110½11½05.52308
48Zimmermann, JulianFMGER229911011½½½05.52379
49Player, Edmund CENG224811010110½5.52240
50Berry, NeilFMSCO22471½½½½1½½½5.52288
243 players

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