Kramnik Wins 2011 London Classic

  • SonofPearl
  • on 12/12/11, 10:54 AM.

London Chess Classic 2011.jpgVladimir Kramnik had no problems achieving the draw he needed in the final round with white against Lev Aronian to win the 2011 London Chess Classic.

Kramnik had an excellent tournament, winning all his games against the English players in the field for a +4 score of 6/8 in the traditional scoring system.

Hikaru Nakamura finished the tournament with a King's Gambit win against Mickey Adams to claim second place, but Adams had the better position for most of the game before blundering into a loss. The British #1 really had a tournament to forget, finishing in last place.

Magnus Carlsen slipped back to third after a draw with Nigel Short in his final game. Short clearly wanted to avoid losing at all costs, and a very quiet opening served to frustrate Carlsen's attempts to catch Kramnik in the standings.

A clearly shattered Luke McShane ended with a quiet draw against world champion Vishy Anand to claim a fourth place that could so easily have been more.

Vishy Anand had a distinctly mediocre tournament, which he himself called a "disaster". He will need to rediscover his true form to successfully defend his title against Boris Gelfand next year.

Congratulations to Vladimir Kramnik on his victory, and congratulations also to the event organiser Malcolm Pein and everyone involved in the website coverage for an excellent show!

The final standings in the 2011 London Classic:

 Vladimir Kramnik     RUS 2800 * 1 1 3 1 1 3 3 3 16
 Hikaru Nakamura      USA 2758 1 * 0 1 3 3 1 3 3 15
 Magnus Carlsen    NOR 2826 1 3 * 1 1 1 1 3 3 14
 Luke McShane    ENG 2671 0 1 1 * 1 1 3 3 3 13
 Vishy Anand     IND 2811 1 0 1 1 * 1 3 1 1 9
 Lev Aronian     ARM 2802 1 0 1 1 1 * 3 1 1 9
 Nigel Short     ENG 2698 0 1 1 0 0 0 * 1 3 6
 David Howell     ENG 2633 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 * 1 4
 Michael Adams     ENG 2734 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 * 3


The winner! A satisfied Vladimir Kramnik after his game




Hikaru Nakamura claimed 2nd place after Adams messed up a good position




Nigel Short played the Giuoco Pianissimo to draw with Magnus Carlsen




Neither Luke McShane or Vishy Anand wanted a tough fight in the final round




The total prize fund was €160,000 (before tax), with the winner receiving €50,000.

The "Sofia" anti-draw rules were in operation, and the 3-1-0 scoring system.

The time control was 40 moves in 2 hours, followed by 20 moves in 1 hour, and then 15 minutes to a finish with a 30 second increment.

Many thanks to Ray-Morris Hill for his excellent photos throughout the competition!

15681 reads 51 comments
2 votes


  • 4 years ago


    Has Anand won a tournament this year?  It's very disappointing such a world champion...

  • 4 years ago


    I never thought Nakamura will get this position after losing in Tal :D

    Grats Kramnik! Everyone did a good game!

  • 4 years ago


    i like the gesture of Mc Shane in the above pic. it was like saying "you can relax when facing Anand. just get out of opening with a slight advantage, and he will offer a draw!" 

  • 4 years ago


    I'm not a total Naka fan. He's a bit too cocky for me, but let's face it, his opponents blundered for a reason. He plays brash chess and they took a long time to consider their moves. He's a better blitz player than most, so give him credit.

  • 4 years ago


    nakamura's style to play a KINGS GAMBIT on the final round speaks for itself!! that is a style worth mentioning! entertaining!! 

  • 4 years ago


    yes fantastic website coverage, the boards, the players, the commentators ,all live and it didnt cost me anything . thanks.

  • 4 years ago


    To those who say it was "luck" that Naka played the white side of a King's Gambit against a GM and won, I might advise you to pull your head of a dark, warm place where it is so obviuously shoved.

  • 4 years ago


    Even Kramnik - Aronian draw was lifeless... Obviously, both were contented with a draw.


  • 4 years ago


    Great tournament! Many great games, great venue, and great for chess. Exciting to see McShane do so well and of course to Kramnik. For those that say Naka ended up in second due to luck  - utter nonsense. Give the man his due, he played exciting chess and deserves his finish. Most dissappointing - Anand. I know people are saying he didn't want to show his stuff, but have some respect for the organizers and the other players and play to win - at least occasionally. I'm already looking forward to next year Smile

  • 4 years ago


    Nakamura had three objectivly loosing positions against Anand, Aronian and Adams. I would say his blitz-skills greatly helped, as Nakamura and his opponents were low on time. Carlsen is hard to beat, even in worse positions he kept making good moves. 

    This tournament was bout taking points from the weaker English players and Kramnik did this best. Aronian and Anand was both dissapointments. 

    Nakamuras comments on Kasparov were kind of funny. Reducing 20 years of Kasparovs achievements to opening preparation.

  • 4 years ago


    I am happy that carlsen didn't won this :D BRAVO KRAMNIK !!!

  • 4 years ago


    Carlsen and Nakamura tied under 1-1/2-0 scoring. According to the tie break rules, number of wins being the first tie break, Nakamura would still place second but since Carlsen beat Nakamura in their game, I say Carlsen had the better tournament and is the true second place finisher. 

  • 4 years ago


    I don't even like Nakamura, but SerbianChessStar, you're an idiot if you think that luck was all that got Nakamura 2nd place, or to think that Carlsen didn't profit from a decent bit of luck himself in his games against Aronian, McShane, and Adams. Get over it. Both of them played fantastic, and both experienced a little luck against a couple of players, but moreso played amazing (and exciting) chess that got them 14 and 15 points (a lot more than most of the rest of the players there).


    Also, I'm a bit disappointed that it always seems to be Anand with those really short (20-30 move) draws. It's so boring. What's the point of even playing if you're just going to do that every game? It's stupid that people call him drawnand when Aronian drew as many games as he did, but the way he draws is just frustrating to anyone watching. There's no point in playing if you're just going to agree to a draw after a handful of moves. At least TRY to win. That is the point, right? Winning?

  • 4 years ago


    It's a shame for Adams that due to three blunders in time trouble he lost a winning position, and finished last (Bc5+? instead of Bd6, Bxe3+? and finally b3).

  • 4 years ago


    Good job Kramnik and Carlsen! You guys did superb!

    However Naka has shown me that you can get to the top of the standings by luck, which is important in some cases but you cannot always depend on it.

  • 4 years ago

    FM VPA

    I thought, it was Carlsen but Congrats to Kramnik for his best performance & winning the crown!Kiss

  • 4 years ago


    Well done Kramnik.


  • 4 years ago


    The live coverage was just amazing. Congratulations to the organizers!!!

  • 4 years ago


    great King's gambit game. Go Nakamura! And congrats on second place

  • 4 years ago


    congrats kramnik...!!!

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