3rd London Chess Classic 2011 (2)
Nakamura and Kramnik join Carlsen in lead after he escapes McShane after Rd2 of London Classic
Mark Crowther - Sunday 4th December 2011
Hikaru Nakamura beat Levon Aronian to join Kramnik and Carlsen in the lead. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill. | http://www.rmhphoto.eu
The 2nd round of the London Chess Classic finished with three players sharing first place on 4/6. Magnus Carlsen survived a lost position to draw against Luke McShane when the latter blundered on move 60. Hikaru Nakamura was worse against Levon Aronian who ran down his clock in pursuit of a win before blundering and losing. Nigel Short admitted to "woeful" play as he miscalculated a lot to end up with a truly disgusting position against Vladimir Kramnik who brought home the win easily. David Howell and Michael Adams had a very hard position to understand and analyse and eventually they drew by repetition. World Champion Viswanathan Anand was in the commentary box for an hour and it is worth watching on the video. Rd3 2pm Mon 5th Dec Aronian-Short, Carlsen-Nakamura, Adams-McShane, Anand-Howell, Kramnik in commentary.
Luke McShane let Magnus Carlsen off the hook in time trouble. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill: http://www.rmhphoto.eu/
Luke McShane came very close to beating World Number 1 Magnus Carlsen for the second year running in the second round of the London Chess Classic. A topical Ruy Lopez where Carlsen sacrificed a pawn went quite quickly wrong for black and he was reduced to throwing his kingside pawns forward for any compensation at all. McShane traded into an ending where he had all the winning chances but he still had to exercise precision. Unfortunately McShane was very short of time and so had to repeat. On move 60 he allowed the active 60...Qe1 before which Carlsen had been reduced to passivity.
Magnus Carlsen. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill: http://www.rmhphoto.eu/
"I had abount a minute left, I saw there was no obvious refutation, I have to go for it." was Carlsen's comment. This forced queens off the board after which it seems that the game should finish in a draw which it did on move 83.
McShane,L (2671) - Carlsen,M (2826) [C78]
3rd London Chess Classic London ENG (2), 04.12.2011
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 7.c3 d6 8.a4 Rb8 9.d4 Bb6 10.axb5 axb5 11.Qd3 0-0 12.Bg5 h6 13.Bxf6 Qxf6 14.Qxb5 Na7 15.Qa4
[15.Qd3 exd4 16.cxd4 Nc6 17.Ra4 Bd7 18.Bc2 Ne7 19.Ra3 Ng6 20.e5 dxe5 21.Nxe5 Rbd8 22.Nc3 Bxd4 23.Nxg6 Qxg6 24.Qxg6 fxg6 25.Nd5 Rde8 26.Ne3 Bxb2 27.Ra7 Be5 28.Bxg6 Ra8 29.Rxa8 Rxa8 30.Rd1 Be6 31.Be4 Ra2 32.g3 c5 33.Bd5 Bxd5 34.Rxd5 Bd4 35.Rd7 Bxe3 36.fxe3 c4 37.Rc7 Rc2 38.e4 Kf8 39.e5 c3 40.e6 g5 41.g4 Re2 1/2-1/2 Svetushkin,D (2554)-Fressinet,L (2670)/Clichy FRA 2010/The Week in Chess 803]
[15...g5 16.Nbd2 g4 17.dxe5 dxe5 18.Ne1 Nc6 19.Bd5 Ne7 20.Nc4 c6 21.Nxb6 Rxb6 22.Bc4 Rxb2 23.Nd3 Rd2 24.Ra2 Rxa2 25.Qxa2 Ng6 26.f3 gxf3 27.Rxf3 Qe7 28.Qf2 Kg7 29.Nb4 Bd7 30.Qa7 Be8 31.Qxe7 Nxe7 32.Nd3 f5 33.exf5 e4 34.Re3 Nxf5 35.Rxe4 Nd6 36.Rg4+ Kf6 37.Bb3 Bg6 38.Rf4+ Ke7 39.Ne5 Be4 40.Rxf8 Kxf8 41.Ba4 Nb5 42.c4 Nd6 43.Kf2 Ke7 44.Bb3 c5 45.g3 Ke6 46.Ng4 h5 47.Ne3 Ke5 48.Bd1 Bg6 49.Kf3 Kd4 50.Kf4 Nxc4 51.Nxc4 Kxc4 52.Kg5 Be8 53.g4 hxg4 54.Bxg4 Kd3 55.h4 c4 56.h5 Bxh5 1/2-1/2 Negi,P (2538)-Lahno,K (2459)/New Delhi 2006/CBM 115 ext]
16.Re1 Bh3 17.g3 Qf6 18.Nbd2 Rbd8 19.Qc4 g5 20.Qd3 Bg4 21.Nc4 Nc6 22. Nxb6 cxb6 23. Re3
Things are already looking very bad for black.
Kg7 24. Kg2 h5 25. h3 Bd7 26. Ba4 Ra8 27. Bxc6 Bxc6 28.Rxa8 Rxa8 29.Qc4 Rc8 30.Qa6 Rb8 31.d5 Bd7 32.h4 g4 33.Nd2 Qd8 34.Qa3 Qc7 35.Re1 b5 36.Ra1 b4 37.cxb4
"As you might expect the number one player isn't lying down and dying." - Short. But white is winning. Carlsen is just doing the best he can.
37...Bb5 38.Qe3 f6 39.Qc3 Qb7 40.b3 Kg6 41.Rc1 Qb6 42.Kg1 Be2 43.Qc6 Qd8 44.Nc4 Rxb4 45.Nxd6
McShane was starting to get short of time here.
45...Rb6 46.Qc2 Qxd6 47.Qxe2 Rxb3 48.Rd1 Rb4 49.Qc2 Rb8 50.Qc3 Ra8 51.Qc6 Rd8 52.Rb1
"Of course I can never take on c6." - Carlsen. McShane is looking for neutral repeats to get to move 60.
52...Qd7 53.Kg2 Qd6 54.Rb3 Qd7 55.Rb1 Qd6 56.Rb3 Qd7 57.Qa6 Qc8 58.Qd3 Qc5 59.Rc3 Qb4
Almost any other configuration of pieces would do here but right now McShane can't stop black's rook reaching the first rank without exchanging into a drawish rook and pawn ending.
[60.Rc2 Qe1 61.Rd2 Ra8 62.Rd1]
If white's pieces were on almost any other squares he would win.
61.Qc3 Qxc3 62.Rxc3 Ra8 63.Rd3 Kf7
Here knowing your King and Pawn endings is essential. f3 is the try but the point is that fxg4 hxg4 doesn't lead to a winning ending in spite of the outside protected passed pawn. g4xf3 leads to a winning ending for white but can't be forced.
[64.d6 Ke6 65.d7 Rd8 66.f3 Rxd7 67.Rxd7 Kxd7 68.fxg4 hxg4 is a draw. Because of Ke6 and f5. Black can't capture on f3 because it is losing.]
64...Ra2+ 65.Kf1 Ra1+ 66.Kf2 Ra2+ 67.Kf1 Ra1+ 68.Ke2 Ra2+ 69.Rd2 gxf3+ 70.Ke1
White has even to be a little careful here.
70...Ra4 71.d6 Rxe4+ 72.Kf2 Ke8 73.Kxf3 Ra4 74.d7+ Kd8 75.Rd6 f5 76.Re6 Ra3+ 77.Kf2 e4 78.Rd6 Rf3+ 79.Kg2 f4 80.gxf4 Rxf4 81.Kg3 Rf3+ 82.Kg2 Rf4 83.Kg3 Rf3+ 1/2-1/2
Kramnik and Short in conversation prior to their game. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill: http://www.rmhphoto.eu/
Vladimir Kramnik was very sympathetic towards Nigel Short whom he defeated in a most painful manner. Short has a terrible record against Kramnik but they got a drawish position from the Four Knights which he would normally have drawn. As Kramnik pointed out afterwards sometimes if you're not very sure what you are playing for (safe of for some advantage) then accidents like this happen. After 12...Qf5 Short could have probably have held by taking the Queens off. However Short probably wanted to play for something interesting but his 13.Be7 was an error missing the idea of 13...Qxf3 14. gxf3 a6! when although white can win the exchange the dark squared bishop gets locked in on e7 and black is probably winning. Anand pointed out that Short should have been more suspicious because if Kramnik allows such a move it is probably good for him. As it was once Short couldn't take the exchange his position quickly became totally lost (not before failing to play 15.b4 which is probably fine for him) as his bishop became entombed on the queenside. Kramnik had no problems winning after that.
Short returned later to talk about the game.
"Truly woeful. I missed so many things. My calculation was very, very bad indeed. " In particular Short turned down 15.b4 when white is still very much in the game, turning it down for reasons he had trouble understanding himself after the game. Later he missed another idea: "19.d5 and I was actually very surprised by that. and then I thought, I've just lost."
He pointed out the similarity of his predicament with William Winter's loss to Capablanca in Hastings Victory Congress of 1919 where almost exactly the same thing happened to Winter's bishop on g3. He wanted to resign on move 20.
"At the start of events I am very sluggish. It's always been the case." he added and that it was getting worse with age.
Short,Nigel D - Kramnik,Vladimir [C48]
3rd London Chess Classic London ENG (2), 04.12.2011
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nd4 5.Nxd4 exd4 6.e5 dxc3 7.exf6 Qxf6 8.dxc3 Bc5 9.Qe2+ Qe6 10.0-0 0-0 11.Qf3
[11.Bf4 1/2-1/2 Liiva,R (2425)-Sepp,O (2440)/Parnu EST 1996 (46); 11.Re1 1/2-1/2 Sedina,E (2431)-D'Amore,C (2448)/Mount Buller 2005/CBM 104 ext (16); 11.Qh5 1/2-1/2 Wismayer,C (2136)-Briscoe,C (2192)/West Bromwich 2003/EXT 2005 (30)]
11...d6 12.Bg5 Qf5 13.Be7?
If Kramnik allows this then it probably isn't very good for you was Anand's comment. This isn't losing but black gets all the chances.
[13.Qxf5 Bxf5 14.Ba4 h6 15.Be7 Rfb8 16.Rfe1 b5 17.Bb3 a5]
13...Qxf3 14.gxf3 a6
Almost game over.
[15.b4 Short and white should be able to hold. 15...axb5 (15...Bxb4 16.cxb4 axb5 17.Bxf8 Kxf8 it is ridiculous I was avoiding things like this.; 15...Ba7 16.Ba4 b5 17.Bxf8 bxa4 18.Be7 f6 My bishop is not optimally placed on e7. 19.Rfe1 This was the key moment in the game. I was just miscalculating horribly.) 16.bxc5 Re8 17.cxd6 cxd6 18.Bxd6 may still be OK for white]
15...Bh3 was what Short expected Kramnik to play which is equal.
[16.Bxf8 bxa4 17.Be7 f6 18.Rfe1 Bb7 19.Kg2 Kf7 20.Re2 Re8 21.Rae1 and white is totally tied up.]
17...Bb6 18.Bb3 Bb7 19.Kg2 d5!
"d5 and I was actually very surprised by that. and then I thought, I've just lost." - Short.
Black is now winning, white is effectively a piece down with his bishop on b3 playing no further part in the game. Short strongly considered resigning.
21.Rae1 Bc7 22.R5e2 Bc8 23.a4 Bd7 24.Bh4 Rxe2 25.Rxe2 Re8 26.Rxe8+ Bxe8 27.Bg3 Bd8 28.Be5 f6 29.Bb8 Bg6 30.axb5 axb5 31.Kf1 Kf7 32.Ke2 Ke6 33.Ke3 Bb6+ 34.Ke2 Bh5 35.Ba2 g5 36.Bb3 f5 37.Ba2 f4 38.Bb3 Kf5 39.Bd6 g4 40.Kf1 g3 41.fxg3 fxg3 42.Bxg3 Bxf3 43.Ba2 0-1
Hikaru Nakamura against Levon Aronian. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill: http://www.rmhphoto.eu/
Levon Aronian and Hikaru Nakamura again started with 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Be7 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bf4 c6 6. e3 Bf5 which saw a win for Nakamura in Bilbao and a draw in the Tal Memorial.
Here there was another very complex struggle where both players agreed that Aronian had a significant advantage.
Aronian was highly critical of his clock handling "It was foolish to spend so much time on this [move]." and "I was spending time on moves and not playing them." Astonishingly neither player seemed certain of the time control and Nakamura only realised they had no increment when Aronian started to speed up. Whilst tournaments have a variety of time controls a professional player should be distinctly aware and indeed prepared to change his chess in response to these differences. There has been appalling clock handling in recent times in events without increment from some truly great players, this stuff actually really matters.
The game is far too complicated for me to comment on in detail. Some key moments: 17.b3 was very forcing although not necessarily in Nakamura's favour. 31...Qe8 was better than 31...Qe7 and Aronian turned down 37...e2 because it only drew but he should have played that.
After only just making time control Aronian was lost and resigned on move 52.
Nakamura,Hi (2758) - Aronian,L (2802) [D31]
3rd London Chess Classic London ENG (2), 04.12.2011
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bf4 c6 6.e3 Bf5 7.Nge2
[7.g4 Be6 8.h4 Nd7 9.h5 (9.Bg3 Nb6 10.f3 Bd6 11.Bxd6 Qxd6 12.Qc2 Ne7 13.Bd3 h5 14.g5 0-0-0 15.Nge2 Kb8 16.Kf2 g6 17.a4 a5 18.Ng3 Rdf8 19.Qd2 f6 20.gxf6 Rxf6 21.Nce4 dxe4 22.Nxe4 Rxf3+ 23.Kxf3 Qd5 24.Qh2+ Ka7 25.Qe5 Rf8+ 26.Ke2 Qxe5 27.dxe5 Nd7 28.Nd2 Nxe5 29.Be4 Bg4+ 30.Ke1 Nd5 31.Ra3 Rd8 32.Rh2 Nb4 33.Kf1 Bd1 34.Rg2 Bg4 35.Rh2 Bf5 36.Bxf5 gxf5 37.Rg2 Ng4 38.Nc4 Re8 39.Re2 Nd5 40.Ke1 Re6 41.Rd3 f4 42.e4 Nde3 43.Nxe3 Nxe3 44.Rd7 Rxe4 45.Kf2 Rb4 46.Rh7 Rb3 47.Rxh5 Ng4+ 48.Kf1 f3 49.Rd2 Rb4 50.Rxa5+ Kb6 51.Rg5 Rxa4 52.Rxg4 Rxg4 53.Rh2 1/2-1/2 Nakamura,H (2758)-Aronian,L (2802)/Moscow RUS 2011/The Week in Chess 889) 9...Nh6 10.Be2 Nb6 11.Nh3 g5 12.hxg6 hxg6 13.Bg3 Qd7 14.Nf4 0-0-0 15.Nxe6 Qxe6 16.Rg1 Bd6 17.Qc2 Bxg3 18.Rxg3 f5 19.0-0-0 Nxg4 20.Bxg4 fxg4 21.Rdg1 Rh4 22.Qe2 Rf8 23.Nd1 Rf4 24.Kd2 Nc4+ 25.Ke1 Rf3 26.Rxf3 gxf3 27.Qxf3 Qf5 28.Qg3 Rh6 29.b3 Nb6 30.Qg4 Nd7 31.Qxf5 gxf5 32.Nc3 Nf6 33.Ne2 Ng4 34.Nf4 Rh2 35.Nd3 Kd8 36.b4 Ke7 37.a4 b6 38.Ke2 Kd6 39.Kf3 a5 40.bxa5 bxa5 41.Kg3 Kc7 42.Rc1 Rh7 43.Kf4 Re7 44.Rc2 Re4+ 45.Kg5 Re8 46.Rb2 Rf8 47.Nc5 Kc8 48.Kf4 Rh8 49.f3 Nh2 50.Rf2 Rh3 51.Nb3 Kc7 52.Nxa5 Kb6 53.Nb3 Ka6 54.Nc1 Ka5 55.Ne2 Kxa4 56.Ng1 Rh6 57.Kg3 Ng4 58.fxg4 fxg4 59.Rf5 Rh1 60.Kg2 Rh4 61.Ne2 Kb5 62.Nf4 Rh8 63.Kg3 Rg8 64.Re5 Kc4 65.Re6 Kb5 66.Re7 Kb4 67.Nd3+ Kc3 68.Ne5 c5 69.dxc5 d4 70.exd4 Kxd4 71.Nd7 Rd8 72.c6 Rc8 73.Re6 Rc7 74.Rd6+ Kc4 75.Kxg4 Kb5 76.Ne5 Rh7 77.Rd7 Rh8 78.Kf5 Kb6 79.Ke6 1-0 Nakamura,H (2753)-Aronian,L (2807)/Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP 2011/The Week in Chess 883]
7...Nd7 8.Ng3 Bg6 9.Be2 Nb6 10.Be5 Nf6
[10...f6 11.Bf4 Bd6 12.Bxd6 Qxd6 13.h4 Ne7 14.h5 Bf7 15.Bd3 Qd7 16.Qc2 h6 17.Nce2 a5 18.Nf4 a4 19.Rh4 Nc4 20.Nf5 Nxf5 21.Bxf5 Qe7 22.a3 Ra5 23.Rg4 0-0 24.Rg3 Rb5 25.Qe2 Nd6 26.Bd3 Ne4 27.Rh3 Rb3 28.Rc1 Re8 29.Rc2 Qd6 30.Qg4 Re7 31.Bxe4 dxe4 32.Rg3 Be8 33.Qf5 Rb5 34.d5 cxd5 35.Qc8 d4 36.Qc4+ Kh7 37.Ng6 Rf7 38.Qxb5 Bxb5 39.Rc8 1-0 Berczes,D (2514)-Akesson,R (2484)/Stockholm SWE 2009/The Week in Chess 739]
11.h4 h6 12.h5 Bh7 13.Bd3 0-0 14.Bxh7+ Kxh7 15.Qc2+ Kh8 16.Nf5 Nc4 17.b3
[17.0-0-0 Re8 18.g4 Bb4; 17.g4 Bb4 (17...Nxe5 18.dxe5 Nxg4 19.f4) 18.f3 Re8 19.Bf4]
17...Nxe5 18.dxe5 Ng4
[18...Bb4 19.exf6 Qxf6 20.Nd4 c5 with a draw.]
19.f4 Qd7 20.0-0-0 f6
Black is much better here.
21.e4 fxe5 22.Qe2 Nf6 23.Nh4 exf4 24.Ng6+ Kg8 25.Nxf8 Bxf8 26.exd5 cxd5 27.Qd3 Rd8 28.Kb1 Bc5 29.Rhf1 Be3 30.g3 d4 31.gxf4
[31...Qe8 I should have gone for this. 32.Rfe1 Rd7 33.Qg6 Qe6 (33...Qf7) 34.Rd3]
32.Rde1 Rd7 33.Nd1 Nd5 34.Nxe3 dxe3 35.Rc1 Rd8 36.Qf5
Aronian had about 10 seconds left.
[36...e2 Should hold. 37.Rfe1 Qe3 38.Rc8 Nc3+ 39.Ka1 Qd2 40.Qe6+ Kh8 (40...Kh7 41.Rxd8 (41.Qg6+) 41...Qxa2#) 41.Rxd8+ Qxd8 42.Rc1 Qd2 43.Qe8+ with perpetual.]
37.Rfe1 b6 38.a3
Both very low on time.
38...Kh8 39.Kb2 a5 40.Rc4
[40.Rcd1 was also supposed to be a win for white. 40...Qg8 41.Qe5]
40...Nf6 41.Qe5 Qf8 42.Qxe3
42...b5 43.Rd4 b4 44.a4 Rxd4 45.Qxd4 Nxh5 46.Re5 Nxf4 47.Rxa5 Ne6 48.Qd2 g5 49.Ra6 Qf6+ 50.Ka2 Qe5 51.Qb2 Qxb2+ 52.Kxb2 Nf4 1-0
David Howell against Michael Adams. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill: http://www.rmhphoto.eu/
David Howell drew with Michael Adams in a Ruy Lopez Anti-Marshall. This variation is very theoretical and Adams headed to a position that Howell had only looked at fairly superficially before the game (his 17.Bxb4). Adams said that it was "A very difficult position to calculate, there aren't many general principals." The players avoided the messiest variations and the game was agreed drawn by repetition on move 35.
Howell,D (2633) - Adams,Mi (2734) [C88]
3rd London Chess Classic London ENG (2), 04.12.2011
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.h3 Bb7 9.d3 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxe5 Nd4 12.Bd2 c5 13.Nc3 Nxb3 14.axb3 Nb4 15.Ne4 Qd5
[15...f5 16.Ng3 Qd5 17.Nf3 Qd7 18.Ne5 Qd5 19.Nf3 Qd7 20.Bxb4 cxb4 21.d4 Rac8 22.Qd3 Bd6 23.Ne5 Qc7 24.Nxf5 Bxe5 25.Rxe5 Qxc2 26.Ne7+ Kh8 27.Qg3 Rcd8 28.Rae1 Qd2 29.R1e3 Qxb2 30.Qh4 Rd6 31.Rf5 Ra8 32.Qf4 Rdd8 33.Rf7 1-0 Karjakin,S (2747)-Onischuk,A (2688)/Khanty-Mansiysk RUS 2010/The Week in Chess 829]
[16...f5 Adams plan was not to play this.]
Howell only looked at this superficially.
[17.Bc3 was the alternative.]
17...cxb4 18.c4 bxc3 19.bxc3 a5 20.d4 Bf8 21.Ned2 Rxe1+ 22.Qxe1 a4 23.bxa4 bxa4 24.c4 Qa5 25.Qe3 a3 26.Ra2 Qa4
I'm not sure Qa4 was good.
[27.d5 was worrying Adams. 27...Qb4 28.Ne5]
Adams wondered about this move but Howell was worried about getting his pieces tangled up.
[28.d5 Qb4 29.Ne4]
28...Bxf3 29.gxf3 Rd8 30.Kg2 Bc5 31.d5
At first Adams thought this was what he was trying to achieve but it isn't that clear.
31...Rb8 32.Nd2 Qd1 33.Qf1 Qa4 34.Qd3 Qd1 35.Qf1 Qa4 1/2-1/2
|3rd London Chess Classic London (ENG), 3-12 xii 2011||cat. XX (2748)|
|4.||McShane, Luke J||g||ENG||2671||.||½||.||*||.||.||½||.||.||2||2814|
|8.||Howell, David W L||g||ENG||2633||.||0||.||.||½||.||.||*||.||1||2587|
|9.||Short, Nigel D||g||ENG||2698||.||.||0||.||.||.||.||.||*||0|
|Round 1 (December 3, 2011)|
|Carlsen, Magnus||- Howell, David W L||1-0||40||C65||Ruy Lopez Berlin|
|Kramnik, Vladimir||- Nakamura, Hikaru||½-½||45||E04||Catalan|
|Adams, Michael||- Anand, Viswanathan||½-½||49||B92||Sicilian Najdorf with 6.Be2|
|Aronian, Levon||- McShane, Luke J||½-½||42||D15||Slav Defence|
|Round 2 (December 4, 2011)|
|Nakamura, Hikaru||- Aronian, Levon||1-0||54||D31||Semi-Slav Defence|
|McShane, Luke J||- Carlsen, Magnus||½-½||83||C78||Ruy Lopez Moeller Defence|
|Howell, David W L||- Adams, Michael||½-½||35||C88||Ruy Lopez Closed|
|Short, Nigel D||- Kramnik, Vladimir||0-1||43||C48||Four Knights Rubinstein|
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