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7th London Chess Classic 2015 (3)

Vachier-Lagrave beats Topalov in London Chess Classic Round 3

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave beat Veselin Topalov in round 3. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill. Photo ©

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave beat Veselin Topalov in round 3. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill. Photo © | https://raymorris-hill.smugmug.com/Sports/Chess-2015/2015-London-Chess-Classic/i-nNLCCrs

There was only one decisive game in round 3 of the London Chess Classic but at one stage as many as four were expected. Anish Giri shares the lead with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave after both have one win against the same opponent, Veselin Topalov.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won a sharp Najdorf Sicilian against Veselin Topalov. At first it seemed as if Topalov was doing well but gradually he lost the initiative and bemoaned his play later on "When I get in time trouble my reactions are not good."

Alexander Grischuk came well prepared in the Berlin Defence against Anish Giri even down to the endgame but he couldn't remember the details, only that it was promising for him. He took 1hr 5minutes over the move 20.f4 which left Giri unsettled "After hour and 20 minutes he knocked me out. I couldn't handle it" and immediately blundered with 20...Rad8 ("If I knew he was going to play like this, I would have played f4 in a minute" Grischuk). However Grischuk's time trouble eventually caught up with him and he allowed Giri to escape with a draw on the run up to move 40.

Viswanathan Anand got a large advantage out of the opening against Magnus Carlsen but started to drift and after 28...g5 the position was equal. 34.Re3 was an error, Anand was planning to bring his king to the queenside but forgot about 34...Na5 after which it was Carlsen who was pressing. However Carlsen didn't find a good way to exploit his advantage and the game was equal just after move 40. Carlsen "it was a bit embarrassing for both of us".

Fabiano Caruana got a winning advantage out of the opening against Hikaru Nakamura whose 9...b5 was based on a miscalculation that he could play 12...e4. Nakamura was critical of Caruana's 19.Qc2 and after trading into an endgame a pawn down he felt he had good practical saving chances. Again by move 40 Caruana's winning chances had disappeared.

Michael Adams was on the back foot a bit against Levon Aronian but after 25.Re2 the game was quickly traded to a draw.

Round 3 Standings: Vachier-Lagrave, Giri 2pts, Adams, Carlsen, Nakamura, Caruana, Anand, Aronian 1.5pts, Topalov 0.5pts.

Round 4 Monday 7th December 2015 4pm: Giri-Aronian, Carlsen-Adams, Nakamura-Anand, Topalov-Caruana, Grischuk-Vachier-Lagrave

7th London Classic 2015 London (ENG), 3-14 xii 2015 cat. XXII (2785)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
1. Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime g FRA 2765 * . . ½ ½ . . . . 1 2 2940
2. Giri, Anish g NED 2778 . * ½ . . . . . ½ 1 2 2890
3. Adams, Michael g ENG 2744 . ½ * . . . ½ ½ . . 2787
4. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2850 ½ . . * . ½ ½ . . . 2785
5. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2793 ½ . . . * ½ . . ½ . 2767
6. Caruana, Fabiano g USA 2787 . . . ½ ½ * . ½ . . 2808
7. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2803 . . ½ ½ . . * ½ . . 2791
8. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2781 . . ½ . . ½ ½ * . . 2778
9. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2750 . ½ . . ½ . . . * ½ 2791
10. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2803 0 0 . . . . . . ½ * ½ 2491
Round 3 (December 6, 2015)
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime - Topalov, Veselin 1-0 38 B90 Sicilian Najdorf Variation
Adams, Michael - Aronian, Levon ½-½ 34 C88 Ruy Lopez Closed
Caruana, Fabiano - Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ 45 C65 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Anand, Viswanathan - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 56 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Grischuk, Alexander - Giri, Anish ½-½ 47 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin

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