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5th London Chess Classic 2013 (Quarter Finals)

London Super 16 semi-finals to be Adams vs Gelfand and Kramnik vs Nakamura

Gelfand eliminated Caruana who had started the event so well. As Svidler pointed out even though Caruana is number 5 in the world he hasn't played many of these rapid events. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill.

Gelfand eliminated Caruana who had started the event so well. As Svidler pointed out even though Caruana is number 5 in the world he hasn't played many of these rapid events. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill. |

The 5th London Chess Classic Super 16 rapid semi-final lineup was decided after almost 8 hours play on the penultimate day of the event.

Vladimir Kramnik was the first to progress through defeating Viswanathan Anand with black in the second game where Anand missed an important tactic in a position where he was trying to stear for a draw. Kramnik said he wasn't optimistic about the match, it is over a decade since he beat Anand in a rapid game but today he didn't miss his chance. Kramnik's opponent will be Hiraku Nakamura who had too much for Nigel Short outplaying him in a Closed Sicilian in game one (31..f6 would have shortened things considerably) and then guiding the second game to a draw with white with reasonable comfort. Nakamura and Kramnik have exchanged a lot of decisive games, Kramnik won their last game, a rapid one in the Geneva Masters in June. Kramnik also revealed this will be his last event before the Candidates in March. If by choice that's a lot of time to set aside for preparation.

Michael Adams will renew one of the longest current rivalries in chess going back 25 years when he plays Boris Gelfand in the other semi-final. That said they really haven't played as many games as they might with only 46 games in that time starting in 1988 with games in Sydney and a painful loss for Adams with "some Nxb2" in the European Junior Championships in Arnhem which includes a 1994 Candidates match also won by Gelfand. Gelfand has also won the last three games the players have played together 2012-13 and has quite a plus record over all.

Michael Adams got past Peter Svidler winning nicely in the first game, losing the second but then totally dominated the 10 minute plus 10 seconds a move tie-breaks after Svidler dropped a pawn for nothing and collapsed in the first game ("Not my finest hour." - . "The first game was a bit of a blackout." - Svidler) and then didn't put up much of a fight in the second either. After two rapid game draws Boris Gelfand inflicted two huge defeats in the 10 minute games against Caruana to go through. Perhaps the turning point may have been as early as the first rapid game where Caruana failed to convert a winning advantage.

The first semi-final games begin at 13.00GMT Sunday 14th Dec. The second games (reversed colours) are at 14.30 Kramnik - Nakamura, Gelfand - Adams. Colours to be determined by a coin toss at the beginning of the round. (info official twitter account). Final to follow at 17:30.

5th Classic KO 2013 London ENG Sat 14th Dec 2013 - Sun 15th Dec 2013
Leading Round 1 (of 3) Standings:
1Kramnik, VladimirGMRUS2793=11.5
2Anand, ViswanathanGMIND2773=00.5
1Nakamura, HikaruGMUSA27861=1.5
2Short, Nigel DGMENG26830=0.5
1Adams, MichaelGMENG275410113
2Svidler, PeterGMRUS275801001
1Gelfand, BorisGMISR2777==113
2Caruana, FabianoGMITA2782==001
8 players

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