The torrid pace continued at the London Chess Classic on Thursday as three of the four games again ended decisively.
Luke McShane of England, who had pulled off a big upset by beating Magnus Carlsen of Norway in Round 1, won again in Round 2, beating Nigel Short, another Englishman. It was Short’s second loss.
Carlsen bounced back by upending Michael Adams, one of the four English players.
Hikaru Nakamura of the United States, who had managed to draw a long game against the world champion Viswanathan Anand of India in Round 1, had Black for the second game in a row. It was also his 23rd birthday. His opponent, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, the former world champion, ended up giving Nakamura an unexpected birthday present.
Nakamura equalized easily against Kramnik and then Kramnik blundered, losing a piece. Though he squirmed and fought hard, Kramnik could not overcome his material deficit and he eventually resigned.
Anand had a player on the ropes for the second game in a row and once again he let him slip through his fingers. This time it was David Howell, the other English player. Anand won a pawn on move 38, but then inexplicably returned it a few moves later, leading to a draw.
The tournament is using the Bilbao Scoring System, which awards three points for a win and a point for a draw. McShane is the leader with 6 points, followed by Nakamura with 4, Kramnik, Carlsen and Adams, who each have 3, Anand has 2, Howell has 1, and Short has been shut out so far.