London Chess Classic Round 8

  • SonofPearl
  • on 12/11/11, 12:40 PM.

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












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.

14712 reads 56 comments
5 votes


  • 5 years ago


    fogetaboutit. gelfand is a fish outa water.  but krmnik winning?  boooring!!!!

  • 5 years ago


    go Cramneck go

  • 5 years ago


    "the way the tournament was structured didn't really lend to the best guy winning"

    It was a very bad system in the Candidates, that is true. I wouldn't rank Kramnik ahead of Carlsen as the player I'd prefer to see in a title match though. Kramnik has played so many of them already and we have seen Anand-Kramnik before. Carlsen won four tournaments this year, the strongest being Tal Memorial where Kramnik shared 8-9th with Gelfand. At the same time I'm not as excited by title matches nowadays as once upon a time, I'll probably have more fun following Wijk 2012 than Anand-Gelfand.

  • 5 years ago


    @sidpn, call him a patzer all you like, but Naka finished +3 and clear second. So clearly he's not a patzer of any kind.
  • 5 years ago


    In the canidates though wasn't it determined that the way the tournament was structured didn't really lend to the best guy winning.  Not taking away from Gelfend, but I remember that there were just tons and tons of draws, and a lot of people were complaining about how it is structured.  He still seems to be so very dangerous in the chess world.  I'd like to see a rematch for the title.

  • 5 years ago


    "Should Kramnik be the one who should really play for the title?  I think so."

    He participated in the Candidates when Gelfand won, and Carlsen has scored better results in the top tournaments, so I don't think so.

  • 5 years ago


    Should Kramnik be the one who should really play for the title?  I think so.

  • 5 years ago


    I totally agree with you sidpn...

  • 5 years ago


    Enough with this Nakamura fellow.He thinks he knows it all and has an ego the size of CHina.In fact ,he's only a very good internet patzer.If any of Kramnik,Anand,Aronian or Carlse would play at full strenght,Naka wouldnt last 30 moves.

    Im sorry but he is too arrogant and infatuated and...Vlad punished him.

  • 5 years ago


    Naka wins with the King's Gambit! 

  • 5 years ago


    Good job Naka winning from a terrible position yet again in this tournament.

  • 5 years ago


    Kramnik will win! It's a dead draw in Short - Carlsen game. Naka is still fighting for the second, he needs a win.

  • 5 years ago


    I hate Anand approach, he gets all money for just 23 minutes he spend. Other people would be happy to have draw with him(like Mcshane 90 minutes comparing to 23 of Anand)

  • 5 years ago


    I love that Nakamura played the King's Gambit in the last game.

  • 5 years ago


    I'm so sorry that this tournament is almost at an end.

  • 5 years ago


    Naka can't win anymore, because he has only one black win and plays white today.

    McShane has 3 black wins, so he wins the tournament if he wins, Kramnik loses and Carlsen doesn't win.

  • 5 years ago


    Yes, people marks Anand performance as dissapointing. But on the other hand he nearly beat Nakamura which would bring him +2 score. Bad luck. But still 2750 performance isn´t a disaster.

  • 5 years ago


    Anand's overall results may look disappointing, given that he is the WC, but one must understand that chess is unlike other physical or mental sports and a few months away from the world championship, it is wise to not show your cards.

  • 5 years ago


    After this penultimate round, Kramnik is rated once again over 2800 on the live rating list, and has just surpassed Anand by a fraction of a point in his ELO, claiming #3 spot in the world (behind Carlsen and Aronian).

    A possible draw in the final round (with white) against Aronian will ensure 1st place for Kramnik, as even if Carlsen catches him on points, Kramnik would have 2 wins with black versus 1 for Carlsen.  Plus, it'll also help him stay over 2800 in the rankings for the end of the year, leading to a qualification for candidates matches in the next WCC cycle (as one of the top 3 rated players not otherwise qualified: Carlsen, Aronian, and Kramnik).

  • 5 years ago


    Carlson is going to wipe the floor with Short.  

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