London Chess Classic 2: So joins the 2800 -by Colin McGourty
Wesley So beat Mickey Adams in Round 2 to leapfrog Maxime Vachier-Lagrave into the world no. 4 spot, enter the 2800 club for the first time, take the sole lead in the London Chess Classic and make it even less likely that he fails to take the $100,000 bonus for winning the 2016 Grand Chess Tour. Another spectacular round also featured Vishy Anand demolishing MVL’s Najdorf and Fabiano Caruana finding a beautiful winning move in a game where it seemed his gambles were going to backfire against Veselin Topalov.
If the fear was that after the hijinks of Round 1 the players would settle into the usual solidity of a supertournament we needn’t have worried. We got the same combination of risk-taking, blunders and drama:
Even the draws included plenty to talk about. Giri-Nakamura witnessed a Nakamura who was determined not to make the same mistake of blundering in the opening after playing too quickly. He took things to the other extreme, and on move 7, in a position Anish Giri had had before against Bacrot in a tournament Nakamura also played, he spent 43 minutes. Giri returned the favour on move 12 by thinking for 29 minutes, and despite the Dutchman having a promising edge it never seemed like blossoming into more and the game ended drawn in 43 moves.