London Chess Classic 5: Adams strikes, Vlad escapes by ColinMcGourty

Dec 13, 2016, 8:37 PM |

Mickey Adams took full advantage of a Veselin Topalov in full tilt mode to score the only win of Round 5 of the London Chess Classic. That game featured some brilliant attacking chess, but the most memorable encounter of the day was perhaps the 6-hour epic in which Hikaru Nakamura came within a whisker of beating his third former World Champion in a row. Vladimir Kramnik walked a tightrope and found a beautiful stalemate trick to save the day.

Yet again, though, the games were anything but dull, with a little of everything.  

Brilliant opening preparation

Vishy Anand and Anish Giri are two of the best prepared players in modern chess, and they both demonstrated that in style in Round 5 to score easy draws with the black pieces.Vishy Anand came up with a new idea after Wesley So’s 10.Qd2, a move first introduced by our own Jan Gustafsson against Arkadij Naiditsch in the 2015 Spanish Team Championship:

Naiditsch and later Karjakin against Nakamura played 10…Nd5, while in the Paris Grand Chess Tour blitz tournament Carlsen played 10…Ne2 against Nakamura, with Vishy commenting:

No matter what you find in this position it’ll always be the second most beautiful move in the position, because the most beautiful by far is 10...Ne2.

Magnus did win that game, though not because of the opening. In London, though, Vishy unleashed yet another move, 10…Bxa3!?, which sent Wesley into a 31-minute think.