Kramnik Wins 2011 London Classic
Vladimir 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:
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!