final results in london chess classic tournm,london,olympia


Magnus Carlsen won the London Chess Classic after a nail-biting finish against Nigel Short. The game ended in a draw and the single point gained was enough to put him one point clear of Vladimir Kramnik, who drew with Hikaru Nakamura. The other two games ended decisively. David Howell played a superb game with Black to defeat China’s Ni Hua, while Michael Adams outplayed Luke McShane in another close struggle.


The first game to finish was Nakamura-Kramnik where both players made strenuous efforts to win. Ex-world champion Vladimir Kramnik gave up a rook for a bishop and pawns, and some threats against White’s king but the American stood firm and the players repeated the position for a draw.



Magnus Carlsen and Nigel Short during round 7

Three-time Chinese champion Ni Hua played the Ruy Lopez against England’s top-rated teenager David Howell, but the young man from Sussex played an excellent game. First, Howell made an energetic pawn sacrifice to pen Ni Hua’s bishop into the corner of the board and then attacked in the centre. Ni Hua used too much time at the critical juncture and made some mistakes as his time ebbed away. David Howell made no mistake and launched a winning counter-attack. As the lowest-rated player in the field as well as the least experienced, Howell’s final score of one win, six draws and no losses was a superb achievement.


England’s Michael Adams too had an excellent last round, making the same final score as David Howell. It was a classic Adams game: a slow build-up of pressure to tie his opponent in knots. Luke McShane made some ingenious attempts to wriggle out of trouble but Adams successfully defused all his counterplay and won.


It was entirely fitting that the last game to finish was Nigel Short versus Magnus Carlsen. Short went wrong in the middlegame and it seemed as if the young Norwegian would coast to victory and take the first prize without trouble. But perhaps the prospect of imminent victory made Magnus Carlsen a little nervous as he suddenly spoilt his game and even endangered the draw. The audience was enthralled by a queen and pawns endgame which favoured Short, but Carlsen recovered his equanimity, picked his way through a minefield of tricks and drew the game.


This is another momentous tournament victory for Magnus Carlsen. As a result of his victory in London, Carlsen will become the first teenaged chessplayer in history to occupy the first place in the official world rankings (to be published on 1 January 2010).


Latest: At the gala prizegiving, held at Simpsons in the Strand on the evening of 15 December, the trophy and winner’s cheque for 25,000 euros was presented to the tournament winner, Magnus Carlsen. The trophy and 10,000 euros prize for the tournament’s brilliancy prize was awarded to Luke McShane for his round five win against Hikaru Nakamura. Malcolm Pein announced that there would be another London tournament (dates not yet fixed) in 2010 and also that it was the intention to hold a world chess championship match in London in 2012.


There will be a longer report about the final round, with annotated games and more photos later today.


Round 7, Tue Dec 15th, 12:00

Standings and Crosstable after round 7


All games in PGN


Replay: Round 1  Round 2  Round 3  Round 4

Replay: Round 5  Round 6  Round 7

Hikaru Nakamura


Vladimir Kramnik

Ni Hua


David Howell

Michael Adams


Luke McShane

Nigel Short


Magnus Carlsen


Daily Best Game prize of 1,000 in round 6 was awarded to Vladimir Kramnik for his win over Nigel Short. Each day you can email your choice to Complete the subject line, 'My choice for game of the day is ...