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3rd London Chess Classic 2011 (5)

Nakamura leads London Classic after defeating Howell in Round 5

New leader Hikaru Nakamura with 10 points and 3 wins is a point clear of Carlsen. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill.

New leader Hikaru Nakamura with 10 points and 3 wins is a point clear of Carlsen. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill. |

Hikaru Nakamura defeated a dispirited David Howell in Round 5 of the London Chess Classic to take a clear lead on 10 points. Levon Aronian had a big position against Magnus Carlsen's original opening setup but a number of inaccuracies led to a draw. Both players agreed there were too many errors on the day. Vladimir Kramnik had to work hard initially against Michael Adams rare black setup but once things turned his way Adams lost fairly quickly. Nigel Short and Viswanathan Anand played an interesting offbeat Sicilian which was balanced for some time before Short's 34.Na6? wrecked his position. This is Anand's first win since beating Vallejo in the final round of Bilbao. Round 6 Fri Dec 9th 2pm: Adams-Aronian, Anand-Kramnik, Howell-Short, McShane-Nakamura - Carlsen in commentary.


Aronian-Carlsen. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill:

Levon Aronian got a big advantage against Magnus Carlsen before a number of errors led to a draw. Neither player could explain the number of errors, 17...Bc5 seems to have been bad but the trouble probably started earlier. In particular it seems that 25.e4 was good and Aronian saw it but then "forgot" to play it. In the end he allowed complete equalisation.

Aronian,Levon - Carlsen,Magnus [D12]
3nd London Chess Classic London ENG (5), 08.12.2011

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.e3 Bf5 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 h6 7.Qb3 Ra7 8.cxd5 cxd5 9.Bd2 e6 10.Ne5 Be7 11.Rc1 0-0 12.0-0 Nfd7 13.Nxd7 Nxd7 14.a4

[14.a3 b5 15.Na2 Nb6 16.Nb4 Nc4 17.Nc6 Nxd2 18.Qd1 Qd6 19.Qxd2 Rc7 20.Nxe7+ Qxe7 21.Rxc7 Qxc7 22.Rc1 Qb7 23.Qc3 b4 24.axb4 Rb8 25.b5 axb5 26.Qb4 Qa7 27.h3 Qa4 28.Qd6 Ra8 29.b4 Qa2 30.Qc6 Kh7 31.Bf1 Qd2 32.Qc3 Ra2 33.Qxd2 Rxd2 34.Bxb5 Rb2 35.Be8 Rxb4 36.Bxf7 Rb7 37.Bh5 g6 38.Bg4 Kg7 39.Kh2 Kf6 40.Kg3 h5 41.Bxf5 Kxf5 42.Rc8 Kf6 43.Kf3 Rb2 44.Rc7 g5 45.Kg3 1-0 Pogore lov,R (2462)-Serna Lara,S (2251)/La Roda ESP 2007/The Week in Chess 649]

14...Nb8 15.e4! dxe4 16.d5 Nd7 17.Be3 Bc5

[17...Nc5 Looks like a stronger move.]

18.Nxe4 Bxe3 19.Qxe3 Qb6 20.Ng3

Aronian thought he was winning around here and so didn't look for alternatives.


20...Qxe3 21.fxe3 Bg6 22.dxe6 fxe6 23.Rfd1 Nf6 24.Rd6 Bf7

Magnus Carlsen


Levon Aronian

Position after 24...Bf7


[25.e4 e5 26.a5 and white has a lovely bind. Aronian saw this but when it came to this move forgot about the variation.]

25...a5 26.Rb6 Be8 27.Rxe6

Aronian started to get annoyed with himself as his advantage has mostly gone away.

27...Bxa4 28.Re7 Re8 29.Nf5 Rxe7 30.Nxe7+ Kf8 31.Nc8 Ra6 32.Bxb7 Re6 33.e4 Bd7 34.Rc5 Nxe4 35.Rxa5 Bxc8 36.Bxc8 Rc6 37.Rf5+ Nf6 38.Bb7 Rb6 39.Bf3 Rxb2 1/2-1/2


Nakamura-Howell. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill:

Hikaru Nakamura outplayed David Howell particularly taking advantage of the latter's terrible time trouble which he put down to nervousness and lack of confidence. Nakamura's recipe for avoiding time pressure is to play positions you know well, in fact both seemed to be on their own early on and Nakamura always looked in charge.

Nakamura,Hikaru - Howell,David W L [A22]
3nd London Chess Classic London ENG (5), 08.12.2011

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 Bb4 4.Nf3 Bxc3 5.bxc3 Nc6 6.Bg2 0-0 7.0-0 Re8 8.d3 e4 9.Nd4 exd3 10.exd3 Nxd4 11.cxd4 d5

Nakamura was pretty much on his own as was Howell who was in a setup he didn't want to play.

12.Be3 h6

[12...Bf5 13.Qb3 Qd7 14.Rfe1 c6 15.Bg5 Rxe1+ 16.Rxe1 Re8 17.Rxe8+ Qxe8 18.h3 Qe1+ 19.Kh2 Bxh3 20.Bxf6 Bxg2 21.Kxg2 dxc4 22.Qxb7 gxf6 23.Qc8+ Kg7 24.Qg4+ Kf8 25.dxc4 Qe6 26.Qf4 Kg7 27.c5 a5 28.a4 Kf8 29.Qb8+ Kg7 30.Qf4 Kf8 31.Kh2 f5 32.Qb8+ Kg7 33.Qd8 Qh6+ 34.Kg2 f4 35.Qh4 Qxh4 36.gxh4 Kf6 37.Kf1 Kf5 38.f3 h5 39.Ke2 Ke6 40.Kd3 Kf5 41.Kc3 Kf6 42.Kc2 Ke6 43.Kd2 Kf6 44.Kc3 1-0 Giri,A (2672)-So,W (2674)/Biel SUI 2010/The Week in Chess 821]

13.h3 b6

[13...Be6 14.Qb3 b6 15.Rac1 c6 16.a4 Qd7 and black is solid.]

14.Rc1 Qd7 15.Bf4 Bb7 16.Be5 Nh7 17.c5

[17.cxd5 Rac8 18.Qg4 Qxg4 19.hxg4; 17.Qg4 f5 18.Qf4]


[17...c6 18.f4 f5]

18.h4 Nf8 19.Kh2 bxc5 20.Bh3 Ne6 21.Rxc5 f6 22.Bf4 Qd8 23.Ra5 c5

Nakamura initially was worried by this move.

[23...a6 24.Qb3 Nxf4 25.Bxc8 Qxc8 26.gxf4 Qg4]

24.Rxa7 Qb6 25.Ra4 Nxd4 26.Qh5 Qc6?

[26...f5 27.Rxd4 cxd4 28.Bxf5 Ra8 29.Rc1 Re7 Is solid for black.]


A tricky move in Howell's time trouble, he was down to a minute.

[27.Rxd4 cxd4 28.Bf5]

27...Ra8 28.Rxa8 Rxa8

[28...Bxa8 29.Rb6]

29.Bg2 Ne6?

David Howell


Hikaru Nakamura

Position after 29...Ne6

A final losing error in a difficult position [29...Rd8 30.Qg6 Kf8 31.a4]

30.Rxb7 Qxb7 31.Bxd5 Qc8 32.Bxh6 Ra6 33.Be3 Rd6 34.Bxc5 Rxd5 35.Qxd5 Kf7 36.Be3 Qa6 37.Qc4 Qa8 38.d4 1-0


Kramnik-Adams. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill:

Vladimir Kramnik thought Michael Adams opening was interesting and he certainly had his chances early on. But Adams seems to be having a crisis of confidence and once the position turned it went in Kramnik's favour fairly quickly.

Kramnik,Vladimir - Adams,Michael [E00]
3nd London Chess Classic London ENG (5), 08.12.2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Bxd2+ 5.Qxd2 d5 6.Bg2 0-0 7.Nf3 Nbd7 8.0-0 dxc4 9.Na3 e5 10.Nxc4 e4 11.Nfe5 Nb6 12.Ne3

[12.Rad1 Nxc4 13.Nxc4 Be6 14.Qc2 Re8 15.Ne3 c6 16.Rd2 Qa5 17.a3 Rad8 18.Rc1 h6 19.Qc3 Qb6 20.Qc5 Rd7 21.Qxb6 axb6 22.Nc4 b5 23.Nb6 Rd6 24.Rc5 Nd5 25.Nxd5 Bxd5 26.Rc3 Rde6 27.Kf1 Kf8 28.Bh3 R6e7 29.Bg2 Re6 30.Bh3 R6e7 31.Bg2 1/2-1/2 Gyimesi,Z (2586)-Schebler,G (2453)/Antwerp BEL 2008/The Week in Chess 720]

12...a5 13.Rac1 c6 14.b3 Re8 15.Rfd1 Be6 16.Rc5 a4 17.b4 a3 18.Ra5 Qd6 19.Rc1 Nbd5 20.Nxd5 Bxd5 21.Nc4 Qe7 22.e3 h5 23.Rxa8 Rxa8 24.Nb6 Rd8 25.Nxd5 Nxd5 26.Rc5 h4 27.Bf1 g6 28.b5

Michael Adams


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 28.b5

Up to here Adams had been doing OK but very quickly he gets a lost position.

28...cxb5 29.Rxb5 Qc7 30.Qa5 b6 31.Qxa3 Rd6 32.Qb3 Nf6 33.Rb4 Kg7 34.Rc4 Rc6 35.Rxc6 Qxc6 36.gxh4 Ng4 37.h3 Nh6 38.Qb5 Qf6 39.Qe5 Nf5 40.Bg2 Nd6 41.a4 Qxe5 42.dxe5 Nc4 43.Bxe4 Nxe5 44.Kg2 Kh6 45.Kg3 f6 46.Bc2 Nc4 47.Bd3 Nd6 48.Kg4 Nf7 49.Be2 Nd6 50.Kf4 Nb7 51.h5 gxh5 52.Kf5 Nc5 53.Kxf6 Ne4+ 54.Kf5 Nxf2 55.h4 1-0

Nigel Short against Viswanathan Anand

Nigel Short against Viswanathan Anand. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill:

Nigel Short played an offbeat Sicilian against World Chess Champion and got a balanced position. Short said he basically collapsed on the run up to first time control. "It's not enough to play reasonable chess for three or three hours 50 minutes, you have to play for the whole game." 34.Na6? "A move of criminal stupidity." - Short after which he was pretty much lost.

Short,Nigel D - Anand,Viswanathan [B52]
3nd London Chess Classic London ENG (5), 08.12.2011

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.0-0 Nc6 6.Qe2

Anand didn't anticipate this variation. [Peter Heine] "Nielsen has been telling me to quickly look at this line and I just never bothered. He even sent me a summary of ideas he had in this Bb5+ line and I still don't know what they are. But today I wlll go an look at them."

6...g6 7.c3 Bg7 8.Rd1 e5 9.b4!

"By this point I had worked out he was going to do something like this." - Anand.

[9.d3 Nge7 10.Be3 f5 11.exf5 Nxf5 12.d4 cxd4 13.Bxd4 0-0-0 14.Be3 Nxe3 15.Qxe3 Qf5 16.Nbd2 d5 17.Nb3 h5 18.Qc5 Bf8 19.Qb5 a6 20.Qb6 g5 21.Na5 Nxa5 22.Qxa5 g4 23.Ne1 Qe6 24.Nd3 Rh7 25.b4 Bd6 26.Rab1 Bc7 27.Qa4 e4 28.Nc5 Qd6 29.g3 e3 30.fxe3 h4 31.Qc2 Rh5 32.Qe2 Rg8 33.e4 hxg3 34.hxg3 Qxg3+ 35.Qg2 Qe3+ 36.Qf2 Rh1+ 0-1 De Waal,I-Kerr,J/Kemer TUR 2007/The Week in Chess 682]

9...cxb4 10.cxb4 Nge7

[10...Nxb4 11.d4 exd4 12.Bb2 d3 (12...Nc6 13.Nxd4 Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Bxd4 15.Rxd4 Ne7 16.Nc3 0-0 17.Rad1) 13.Rxd3 Bxb2 14.Qxb2 Nxd3 15.Qxh8; 10...Nd4]

11.d4 exd4 12.Bb2 0-0 13.b5 Ne5 14.Nxd4 Rac8 15.Nd2 d5 16.h3

[16.f4 Nc4 17.Nxc4 Rxc4 18.e5 Rfc8 and black is comfortable.]


[16...Nc4 17.Nxc4 Rxc4 18.exd5 Rc5 19.Nb3 Rxd5 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.Rxd5 Nxd5]

17.Rab1 Qc7

[17...Nc4 18.Nxc4 Rxc4 19.Nf5!]]

18.Rbc1 Qb6 19.Rxc8 Nxc8 20.exd5 Nd6 21.Qf1

Anand was starting to "get a bit excited." but he couldn't find anything here.


[21...Qa5 22.N2b3 Qb4 (22...Qxa2 23.Bc3) ]

22.N2b3 Nec4 23.Ba1 Na3 24.Qe1

A really clever move that Anand missed.


But Anand still finds an excellent response.


"I spent a lot of time here because I've got a lot of plausible looking moves." - Short. Anand thought Short went down from 45 to 18 minutes over this decision, which is obviously key.

[25.Ne6 "We were having fun having a look at Ne6, what did you thinkg?" - "Where's the fun?" - Short. 25...Nc2 is the problem. (25...fxe6 26.Bxg7 Kxg7 27.Nd4) 26.Qe2 Nxa1 27.Nxd8 Nxb3 28.Nxf7; 25.Qa5 "If I just want to play a nothing move, that might be it." - Short. 25...Qxa5 26.Nxa5 Rc8]

25...Re8 26.Qg5

[26.Qd7 Nac4]

26...Naxb5 27.Nxb5 Qxb5 28.Bxg7 Kxg7 29.Qf4 Qb6 30.Rc1 h5

[30...Re4 31.Qd2 Qb4 32.Qb2+]

31.Nc5 Qd8

[31...Qb2 Was Vishy's initial intention. 32.Ne6+]

32.Qb4 Qe7

Is ridiculous, I can just play b6 here - Anand.


33.a4 b6 34.Na6?

Viswanathan Anand


Nigel Short

Position after 34.Na6?

In time trouble Short goes horribly wrong. "A move of criminal stupidity." - Short.

[34.Nd3 and black is not better.]

34...Qf6 35.Re1

[35.Rc6 Re2; 35.Nc7 Re4 (35...Re2 36.Rf1 Qe5 37.a5) 36.Qxe4 Nxe4 37.Ne8+]


[35...Rxe1+ 36.Qxe1 Qd4 37.Nc7 and white has counterplay.]

36.Qb1 Rc4 37.Nb4 Qc3 38.Nc6 Rxa4

And black is just winning. "Your technique was not the best." - Short.

39.Qd1 b5 40.Kh2 Qf6 41.Qd2 Ne4 42.Qe3 Qd6+ 43.Kg1 Qxd5 44.Nxa7 Qb7 45.Qd3 Qxa7 46.Rxe4 Rxe4 47.Qxe4 Qa1+ 48.Kh2 Qc3 49.f4 Qc5 50.Qd3 b4 51.f5 h4 52.Qd7 g5 53.Qd8 Qxf5 54.Qd4+ Kg6 55.Qd6+ Qf6 56.Qxb4 Qf4+ 57.Qxf4 gxf4 58.Kg1 Kf5 59.Kf1 Ke4 60.Ke2 f3+ 61.gxf3+ Kf4 62.Kf2 f6 0-1

3rd London Chess Classic London (ENG), 3-12 xii 2011 cat. XX (2748)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2758 * 0 ½ . 1 1 . . 1 10 2923
2. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2826 1 * ½ ½ ½ . . . 1 9 2881
3. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2800 ½ ½ * . . . 1 1 . 8 2947
4. McShane, Luke J g ENG 2671 . ½ . * ½ . . 1 1 8 2941
5. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2802 0 ½ . ½ * . 1 . . 5 2738
6. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2811 0 . . . . * 1 ½ ½ 5 2705
7. Short, Nigel D g ENG 2698 . . 0 . 0 0 * 1 . 3 2593
8. Adams, Michael g ENG 2734 . . 0 0 . ½ 0 * ½ 2 2482
9. Howell, David W L g ENG 2633 0 0 . 0 . ½ . ½ * 2 2520
Round 5 (December 8, 2011)
Nakamura, Hikaru - Howell, David W L 1-0 38 A22 English Opening
Kramnik, Vladimir - Adams, Michael 1-0 55 E00 Catalan
Aronian, Levon - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 39 D12 Slav Defence
Short, Nigel D - Anand, Viswanathan 0-1 62 B52 Sicilian Rossolimo

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