London Chess Classic – Carlsen wins after incredible comeback
15.12.2010
– The 2nd London Chess Classic was as exciting an event as could be hoped. McShane started like a rocket, to later be joined by World Champion Anand who seemed a likely candidate to snatch first. Instead, Carlsen, who started with two losses in three, came back with 3.5/4, and his uncompromising play (only one draw) throughout gave him the clear win using London’s scoring system. Express report.

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London Chess Classic 2010

The tournament is an eight-player round-robin for seven rounds played at 40/2h + 20/1h + g/15’+30″ using the Sofia Rules.

Prizes: 1st 50000 Euros, 2nd 25000 Euros, 3rd 15000 Euros, 4th 10000 Euros, 5th 10000 Euros, 6th 8000 Euros plus seven daily Best Game prizes of 1,000 Euros voted on by the public. To further incentivate combativity, there is a winners’ pool of 20,000 Euros for each game won. At the end of the tournament the number of wins is counted with a proportionate prize is awarded for each win, all of equal value. For example if there are twenty decisive games then the prize will be 1000 Euros per win.

Tie Breaks: In order of priority. 1. Number of games with Black. 2. Number of games won with Black. 3. Number of games won. 4. Ranking based on the games between the tied players only.

Express report of round seven

By John Saunders

Magnus Carlsen clinched first place and the 50,000 euros first prize in the 2010 London Chess Classic at Olympia on Wednesday with a consummate positional win against England’s Nigel Short. Theirs was the second game to finish but the tie-break ensured that Magnus would take first regardless of other results. Vishy Anand and Vlad Kramnik drew their game and the two results should also see Magnus Carlsen Carlsen reclaim his place at the top of the official rating list in January 2011.

The first game to finish was the pairing of the current world champion Vishy Anand and his great predecessor Vlad Kramnik. Vlad’s own great predecessor Garry Kasparov was present in the building to see how his successors fared. Garry witnessed a Berlin Defence, which was his own nemesis in London in 2000. Vishy too was unable to overcome it. Vlad played 10…h5 in a position where he had previously played 10…Be7 or 10…b6. Vishy carried a token edge into the middlegame but it came down to an opposite-coloured bishop endgame where his extra pawn was of no consequence.

Anand,V (2804) – Kramnik,V (2791) [C67]
2nd London Chess Classic London ENG (7), 15.12.2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 Ke8 10.h3 h5 11.Bg5 Be6 12.Rfd1 Be7 13.g3 f6 14.exf6 gxf6 15.Bf4 Rc8 16.Kh2 Kf7 17.Rd2 Rcd8 18.Rxd8 Bxd8 19.Rd1 Re8 20.Nd4 Nxd4 21.Rxd4 Bf5 22.Rd2 Be7 23.Nd1 Rd8 24.Rxd8 Bxd8 25.Ne3 Be4 26.g4 hxg4 27.hxg4 Be7 28.Bxc7 Bc5 29.c3 Bxe3 30.fxe3 Ke6 31.Kg3 a6 32.Kf4 Bc2 33.e4 Bd1 34.a3 Be2 35.Bb6 Bd1 36.Bd4 Be2 37.Be3 Bd1 38.Bd4 Be2 39.Be3 Bd1 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Nigel Short faced leader Magnus Carlsen with the black pieces and his plan seemed to be to play the French defence and swap off some material to try and stop the rampant Norwegian in his tracks. Unfortunately the exchanges did not relieve the pressure as Magnus restrained Nigel’s queenside development. Magnus gave up the two bishops to round up Nigel’s a-pawn and it soon subsided into a straightforward technical win as Nigel’s various tricks were defused.

Carlsen,M (2802) – Short,N (2680) [C10]
2nd London Chess Classic London ENG (7), 15.12.2010

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Be7 6.Bc4 Ngf6 7.Nxf6+ Nxf6 8.0-0 0-0 9.Ne5 c5 10.dxc5 Qxd1 11.Rxd1 Bxc5 12.Be2 Ne4 13.Nd3 Be7 14.Be3 h6 15.a4 a5 16.g3 Rd8 17.Ne5 Nf6 18.Nc4 Rxd1+ 19.Rxd1 Nd5 20.Nb6 Nxe3 21.fxe3 Rb8 22.Kf2 e5 23.Rd5 Be6 24.Rxa5 Rd8 25.Bd3 Bf6 26.e4 Rd4 27.Rb5 g6 28.a5 Kg7 29.Ke2 Bg4+ 30.Kf2 Be6 31.Kf3 h5 32.Nd5 Bd8 33.b4 Bc8 34.Ke2 Bg4+ 35.Ke1 f5 36.Rxb7+ Kh6 37.Ne3 Bf3 38.a6 fxe4 39.Be2 Bg5 40.a7 1-0. [Click to replay]

David Howell and Luke McShane are the heirs apparent of English chess and they played a full-blooded Sicilian Dragon – one of the wildest openings in the canon. Game followed theory until Luke’s 17…Be6 (17…e5 has been played before). David seemed to have much the best of it of the early part of the game and it appeared his attack was crashing through when he played 33 Rxd5. But next move he hesitated and demurred to play 34 Rxh7+ Kg8 and White has the improbable 35 Rf7!! and all the tactics seem to work. Luke then missed his defence and David once more had the chance to win had he played 38 Rxh7+ and 39 Rhe7 which surely wins. Instead the game was drawn by repetition. A watching Garry Kasparov made a wicked observation: “Is Howell a member of Amnesty International?” So the game was drawn and Luke McShane had improbably remained unbeaten in the tournament.

Howell,D (2611) – McShane,L (2645) [B76]
2nd London Chess Classic London ENG (7), 15.12.2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Qb6 14.Na4 Qa5 15.b3 Qc7 16.h4 Bf5 17.g4 Be6 18.Nc5 Rad8 19.Bc4 Bc8 20.h5 e5 21.Qf2 Qe7 22.Ne4 g5 23.h6 Kh8 24.Qc5 Qxc5 25.Nxc5 f5 26.gxf5 Rxf5 27.Rhe1 Rxf3 28.Rxe5 g4 29.Ne4 Rdf8 30.Bxd5 cxd5 31.Ng5 R3f6 32.Re7 Rg6 33.Rxd5 g3 34.Rf7 Re8 35.Re5 Rd8 36.Rd5 Re8 37.Re5 Rd8 38.Rd5 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Nakamura,Hi (2741) – Adams,Mi (2723) [C89]
2nd London Chess Classic London ENG (7), 15.12.2010

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 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.Re1 Bd6 13.d3 Bf5 14.Qf3 Qh4 15.g3 Qh3 16.Bxd5 cxd5 17.a4 Rae8 18.Bd2 Bg4 19.Qxd5 Rd8 20.d4 b4 21.Be3 bxc3 22.bxc3 Bxg3 23.Qg2 Bc7 24.Qxh3 Bxh3 25.Nd2 Rd6 26.Kh1 Ba5 27.Rac1 Be6 28.Bf4 Rc6 29.Re3 Rd8 30.Kg2 h6 31.Ne4 Bd5 32.f3 Rc4 33.Nc5 Bb6 34.Nxa6 Bxd4 35.Rd3 Bf6 36.Nb4 Bb7 37.Rxd8+ Bxd8 38.Rd1 Ba5 39.Bd2 g5 40.h3 Rc5 41.Re1 Rf5 42.Re3 h5 43.Nc2 Kf8 44.Nd4 Rd5 45.Bc1 Bb6 46.Ba3+ Kg7 47.Re7 Bxd4 48.Rxb7 Bxc3 49.Bc1 Kg6 50.Rb5 Rxb5 51.axb5 Bd4 52.Bd2 Bb6 53.Be1 Kf5 54.Bf2 Bxf2 55.Kxf2 Ke6 56.f4 f6 57.b6 Kd7 58.Kf3 Kc6 59.fxg5 fxg5 60.Ke4 Kxb6 61.Kf5 g4 62.hxg4 hxg4 63.Kxg4 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Pairings of the London Chess Classic


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