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2nd London Chess Classic 2010 (5)

Carlsen hits the front on tie-break from Anand and McShane

David Howell couldn't survive the psychological pressure of playing Magnus Carlsen. Photo ©

David Howell couldn't survive the psychological pressure of playing Magnus Carlsen. Photo © |

In spite of losing two games already Magnus Carlsen leads the London Chess Classic after a third win, against David Howell in Round 5. Level with him on 9 points are Viswanathan Anand and Luke McShane who drew going into the rest day. Adams drew with Kramnik and Nigel Short's sideline of the Marshall was almost refuted by some impressively simple play by Nakamura.

Now with added video footage of Nakamura and Short discussing their game.

David Howell against Magnus Carlsen. Photo © 2010 Mark Crowther.

Magnus Carlsen took the lead in the 2nd London Chess Classic on tie-break after he defeated David Howell with the black pieces. Howell to his credit played a main line Sicilian but didn't get anything from the opening. Nor was he much worse but it was Carlsen who was setting the agenda feeling out the weaknesses. Howell kept his position together until first time control but then, in spite of having more time to think, he blundered almost straight away making his position difficult and then lost within just a handful of moves.

Howell,David - Carlsen,Magnus [B90]
2nd London Chess Classic London ENG (5), 12.12.2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 e6 7.g4 Be7 8.Bg2 Nfd7 9.Be3 Nc6 10.Qd2 0-0

[10...Nde5 1/2-1/2 Dominguez Perez,L (2717)-Topalov,V (2812)/Sofia 2009/CBM 131/[Ftacnik] (43)]


[11.0-0-0 1-0 Leon Hoyos,M (2525)-Jakubowski,K (2502)/Guingamp-Pabu FRA 2010/The Week in Chess 799 (46)]

11...Nde5 12.b3 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 Ng6

[13...b5 14.a4 bxa4 15.Nxa4 Bb7 16.Nb6 Rb8 17.Bxe5 1/2-1/2 Svidler,P (2731)-Ivanisevic,I (2613)/Khanty-Mansiysk RUS 2010/The Week in Chess 829]

14.Be3 Qc7 15.Ne2 b5 16.c4 bxc4 17.Rac1 Bb7 18.Rxc4 Qd7 19.Rfc1 Rac8 20.Bb6 Rxc4 21.Rxc4 Rc8 22.Qc2 Rxc4 23.Qxc4 Qe8 24.a4 Qa8 25.f4 h6 26.Bf2 Bh4 27.Be3

White can't swap the bishops off. Black has nasty pressure but it shouldn't be enough for a win.

27...Bf6 28.Qd3 Bc6 29.Ng3 Be7 30.Nh5 Bf8 31.Bf2 Qb7 32.Qc4 Ne7 33.Qd3 d5 34.e5 d4 35.Bf1 Bd5 36.Qxa6 Qxb3 37.Qd3 Qxa4 38.Qxd4 Qa8 39.Qa7 Qc8 40.Qc5 Nc6 41.Qc3 Qa8 42.g5?!

Magnus Carlsen


David Howell

Position 42...g5?!

[42.Bb5; 42.Ng3 Qa4 43.Qe3 Qa1 44.Ne4 Bb4 45.Qd3 Qc1 46.Be3 Qe1 47.Nf2 g5 48.Qe2 Qc3 49.Bg2 gxf4 50.Bxf4 Bc5 51.Bxd5 exd5 52.Kg2 Qc4 53.Qf3 Qd4 as a sample line and white should hold but it is still complicated.]

42...Qa4 43.Qg3? Qd1 44.Nf6+ gxf6 45.gxf6+ Kh8 46.Qd3 Qxd3 47.Bxd3 Nb4 48.Bb1 Ba2 49.Be4 Nd5 50.f5 Nf4 51.Kh2 exf5 52.Bxf5 Be6 53.Bg4 Bxg4 54.hxg4 Ne6 55.Kg3 Bc5 1-0

Michael Adams against Vladimir Kramnik. Photo © 2010 Mark Crowther.

Vladimir Kramnik put the Berlin Defence in the spotlight in beating Garry Kasparov and taking his title just down the road in Hammersmith. Kramnik revealed that he feared Kasparov might try the 4.d3 that Adams chose today. Kramnik demonstrated a lot of long tactical lines that he used to keep strategic control of his position and in the end Michael Adams tiny edge didn't amount to anything.

Adams,Michael - Kramnik,Vladimir [C54]
2nd London Chess Classic London ENG (5), 12.12.2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3

Kramnik said that he regarded this as a serious test of the Berlin and in fact he feared that Kasparov might have tried it against him in their world title match. White keeps pieces on the board and has a small nagging edge.

4...Bc5 5.c3 0-0 6.0-0 d6 7.Nbd2 a6 8.Ba4 b5 9.Bb3 Bb6

[9...Kh8 0-1 Dominguez Perez,L (2719)-Naiditsch,A (2689)/Moscow 2009/EXT 2010 (47); 9...Bb7 1/2-1/2 Atakisi,U (2330)-Demirel,T (2183)/Kusadasi 2004/CBM 099 ext (44)]


[10.a4 1-0 Karjakin,S (2723)-Naiditsch,A (2689)/Moscow 2009/EXT 2010 (42)]

10...Ne7 11.Nf1 Ng6 12.Ng3 Re8 13.Ng5 Nh8

An amusing way of avoiding the draw.

14.d4 h6 15.Nf3 Ng6 16.h3 Bb7 17.Bc2 d5

This was Kramnik's plan.

18.Nxe5 Nxe5 19.dxe5 Nxe4 20.Nxe4 dxe4 21.Qh5 g6


22.Qxh6 Rxe5 23.Be3 Qf6 24.Rad1 Rae8 25.Bb3 Bc8

[25...Bxe3 26.fxe3 is something Black never wants to play.]

26.Bxb6 Qxb6 27.Qf4 Rf5 28.Qg3 Qf6 29.Rd5 Ree5 30.Rxe5 Rxe5 31.f4!

A surprise for Kramnik and one that forces him to continue to be accurate.

31...Re8 32.Qe3 Be6!

Vladimir Kramnik


Michael Adams

Position 32...Be6

Secures equality, but only with accurate play still.

33.Qxe4 Bd7 34.Qb1 Rxe1+ 35.Qxe1 Qxf4 36.Qf2 Qc1+ 37.Kh2 Bf5

Much better than Be8 which may also hold but in that case if white gets Qe7 in its all over.

38.Qg3 Qxb2 39.Qe5 Qa3 40.Qxc7 Be6 41.Qd8+ Kg7 42.Qd4+ Kg8 43.Qd8+ Kg7 44.Qd4+ Kg8 45.Qd8+ 1/2-1/2

Viswanathan Anand against Luke McShane. Photo © 2010 Mark Crowther.

The battle of the leaders Viswanathan Anand and Luke McShane saw Anand try for a tiny positional edge. McShane played pretty accurately and by move 32 Anand recognised he had nothing and headed to the draw as soon as decently possible.

Anand,Viswanathan - McShane,Luke [C67]
2nd London Chess Classic London ENG (5), 12.12.2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Nxe5 Be7 7.Bf1 Nxe5 8.Rxe5 0-0 9.d4 Bf6 10.Re1 Nf5 11.d5 d6 12.Nd2 Nh4 13.g3

[13.Ne4 Bf5 14.Qh5 Bxe4 15.Rxe4 Re8 16.Rxe8+ Qxe8 17.Bd2 Qe5 18.Qxe5 Bxe5 19.c3 Re8 20.a4 Kf8 21.a5 Bf6 22.f4 Nf5 23.Bb5 Re7 24.g4 Nh4 25.Kf2 h6 26.g5 hxg5 27.fxg5 Be5 28.Ra4 Nf5 29.Bd3 g6 30.Bxf5 gxf5 31.h4 Kg7 32.Be3 b6 33.axb6 cxb6 34.h5 Rc7 35.Kf3 a5 36.Ra3 Rc4 37.Rb3 Rh4 38.h6+ Kg6 39.Rxb6 f6 40.gxf6 Kxf6 41.Bd4 Bxd4 42.cxd4 Rxd4 43.Rxd6+ Ke5 44.Rd8 Rd3+ 45.Kf2 Rh3 46.Rh8 Kf6 47.d6 Rd3 48.Rg8 1-0 Rozentalis,E (2628)-Meier,V (2304)/Bad Woerishofen GER 2010/The Week in Chess 802]

13...Ng6 14.a4

[14.Bg2 Ne5 15.h3 Nd7 16.Ne4 Be7 17.Qe2 Nb6 18.c4 Bf5 19.Be3 Re8 20.Rad1 Bxe4 21.Bxe4 Bg5 22.Bxh7+ Kxh7 23.Qh5+ Bh6 24.Bxh6 gxh6 25.Qxf7+ Kh8 26.Re6 Rxe6 27.dxe6 Qe8 28.Qxc7 Qxe6 29.Rxd6 Rc8 30.Rxe6 Rxc7 31.Rxh6+ Kg7 32.Re6 Nxc4 33.Re2 Kf6 34.Kg2 Rd7 35.Rc2 Nd2 36.h4 Ne4 37.Re2 Kf5 38.f3 Nf6 39.Rc2 Rd4 40.Kf2 Rb4 41.Rc5+ Ke6 42.b3 Nd5 43.g4 Rd4 44.h5 Rd2+ 45.Kg3 Rxa2 46.h6 Ra1 47.Kh4 Rf1 48.Rc8 Nf6 49.Rc7 Rxf3 50.Rxb7 Rf1 51.Rxa7 Rg1 52.Rg7 Rh1+ 53.Kg5 Nxg4 54.Rg6+ Kf7 55.Rg7+ Ke6 56.Kxg4 Rxh6 57.Rc7 Rh1 58.Kf4 1/2-1/2 Brkic,A (2500)-Saric,I (2441)/Sibenik 2005/CBM 108 ext]

14...Ne5 15.Ra3


15...a5 16.Ne4 Be7 17.f4 Ng4 18.Bg2 h6

Just avoiding some problems with Ng5 before playing Nf6.


Not an entirely happy decision but black does have counter-play.

19...Nf6 20.Nc3 Nd7 21.Nb5 Nc5 22.Rae3 Bf6 23.Bf3 Bd7 24.b3 Rb8 25.Kg2 Re8 26.Ba3 Rxe3 27.Rxe3 Bxb5 28.cxb5 b6 29.Bg4

Anand admitted he wasn't quite sure what he was trying to achieve now.

29...g6 30.h4 Bg7 31.Be2 Qf6 32.Bc4 Kf8!

Luke McShane


Viswanathan Anand

Position 32...Kf8

Anand had given up now. This final accuracy really rules out any chances for a win. Anand complained that McShane took his time in changing the rooks on the file that finally make sure of the draw.

33.Bxc5 dxc5 34.Qf3 Re8 35.Rxe8+ Kxe8 36.d6 Qxd6 37.Qe4+ Kf8 38.Qa8+ Ke7 39.Qg8 Qf6 40.Qc8 Qd6 41.Qg8 Qf6 1/2-1/2

Photo © 2010 Mark Crowther.

For the second year in a row the London Chess Classic has been a dispiriting affair for Nigel Short. His openings are getting exposed and this led him to try and drift even further from the well trodden paths. Today he played a rare variation of the Marshall as black. Nakamura hadn't looked at it for a couple of years and knew that 11.d4 was the main line. Instead he played 11.g3 and made it look like a forced win. Even after the game it was quite hard to put ones finger on where Short went wrong. Nakamura played simply and straightforwardly and by move 20 was just winning. Perhaps the whole idea is just rubbish at this level, but one shouldn't take anything away from Nakamura's win which was almost casual. For Short it is back to the drawing board, not for this tournament, where just some kind of respectibility is the only target, but for his approach to preparing for such high level events. Short has played some really nice chess in the last couple of years but here he has just been punished.

Below you can see a video of the Press Conference where Nakamura and Short discuss the game. Presentation by Macauley Peterson.

Nakamura,Hikaru - Short,Nigel [C89]
2nd London Chess Classic London ENG (5), 12.12.2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 e4 10.dxc6 exf3 11.g3

A rare sideline and one that works out really well for Nakamura.

11...Re8 12.d4 Bg4 13.Bg5

[13.Qd3 1-0 Weisskopf,L (2132)-Lang,D/Recklinghausen GER 2003/The Week in Chess 459 (39)]


[13...Qc8 1-0 Olejka,T-Kosik,J/Slovakia 2001/EXT 2002 (36)]

14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Nd2 Qd6 16.h3 Bh5 17.Qc2 Bg5 18.Ne4 Qxc6 19.Nxg5! hxg5 20.Qf5

Nigel Short


Hikaru Nakamura

Position after 20.Qf5

And white is really just winning.

20...Rxe1+ 21.Rxe1 Re8 22.Re5

[22.Re3 Rxe3 23.fxe3 b4 With a small degree of mess.]

22...Rxe5 23.dxe5 Bg6 24.Qxg5 Qe4 25.Qd8+ Kh7 26.Qh4+ Qxh4 27.gxh4 f6 28.exf6 gxf6 29.Bd5 a5 30.b4!

A final accuracy.

30...axb4 31.cxb4 Bd3 32.Kh2 Bc4 33.Be4+ Kh6 34.a3 1-0

2nd London Chess Classic London ENG Mon 6th Dec 2010 - Wed 15th Dec 2010. Category: 19. Ave: (2725)
Rk Name Title FED Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts GmBl WiBl Wins TPR
1 Carlsen, Magnus GM NOR 2802 # 0 0 1 1 1 9 3 1 3 2777
2 Anand, Viswanathan GM IND 2804 1 # = = = 1 9 2 1 2 2845
3 McShane, Luke J GM ENG 2645 1 = # = = 1 9 2 1 2 2909
4 Kramnik, Vladimir GM RUS 2791 = # 0 = 1 1 8 3 1 2 2752
5 Nakamura, Hikaru GM USA 2741 0 = 1 # = 1 8 3 1 2 2810
6 Adams, Michael GM ENG 2723 0 = = # 1 = 6 2 0 1 2706
7 Howell, David W L GM ENG 2611 0 = 0 = 0 # 2 3 0 0 2532
8 Short, Nigel D GM ENG 2680 0 0 0 0 = # 1 2 0 0 2375
Round 5. Sun 12th Dec 2010
Howell, David W L 0-1 Carlsen, Magnus 55 B90 Sicilian
Nakamura, Hikaru 1-0 Short, Nigel D 34 C89 Ruy Lopez
Anand, Viswanathan 1/2-1/2 McShane, Luke J 41 C67 Ruy Lopez
Adams, Michael 1/2-1/2 Kramnik, Vladimir 45 C65 Ruy Lopez

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