London Chess Classic Round 8

London Chess Classic Round 8

SonofPearl
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London Chess Classic 2011.jpgThe dramatic showdown between Luke McShane and Vladimir Kramnik was the key game of round eight at the London Chess Classic.

Hoping to secure the outright lead, McShane took the game to Kramnik with an exchange sacrifice to create a powerful bishop with threats to Kramnik's king.

However, any advantage that McShane had achieved evaporated during time-trouble and Kramnik took the initiative, but despite being a full rook ahead the result was still far from clear.

However, eventually the tactical tricks ran out and Kramnik earned a crucial win to take the sole lead with just one round remaining.

Nigel Short managed to completely block the position against Hikaru Nakamura, and remarkably there were no captures at all until move 30! Yet "thanks" in part to the anti-draw rules, the players continued shuffling their pieces around until move 90 before a draw was mercifully agreed!

Magnus Carlsen drew his game with black against Vishy Anand, and David Howell ended his event on a positive note by holding Lev Aronian to a draw.

The game of the round: Luke McShane against Vladimir Kramnik

Vladimir_Kramnik_Luke McShane_LCC2011_Rd8.jpg

 

 

Magnus_Carlsen_Vishy_Anand_LCC2011_Rd8.jpg

 

 

David_Howell_Lev_Aronian_LCC2011_Rd8.jpg

 

 

Hikaru_Nakamura_Nigel_Short_LCC2011_Rd8.jpg

 

 

The scores with one round remaining:

 Name     Elo     Played      Score 
 Vladimir Kramnik    2800 7 15
 Magnus Carlsen  
2826 7 13
 Luke McShane  
2671 7 12
 Hikaru Nakamura     2758 7 12
 Vishy Anand    2811 7 8
 Lev Aronian    2802 7 8
 Nigel Short    2698 7 5
 David Howell    2633 8 4
 Michael Adams    2734 7 3

 

The pairings for the final round on Monday:

 Luke McShane
v  Vishy Anand
 Hikaru Nakamura
v  Michael Adams
 Nigel Short
v  Magnus Carlsen
 Vladimir Kramnik
v  Levon Aronian

 

David Howell has completed all his games and will have a bye in the final round.

The final round starts 2 hours earlier at 12:00 (UTC).

The excellent official website has live commentary on all the action. 

The total prize fund is €160,000 (before tax), with the winner receiving €50,000. If there are any ties in the final scores, they will be broken for ranking purposes only (prize money will be shared) in this order:

  1. Number of games won
  2. Number of games won with black
  3. Result of direct encounter
  4. Rapid tie-breaks and Armageddon game (first place tie only)

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

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

All photos courtesy of Ray-Morris Hill at the official website.

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