Nakamura Beats Anand In London

  • SonofPearl
  • on 12/6/11, 2:39 PM.

London Chess Classic 2011.jpgVishy Anand finally looked set to break his recent run of draws by beating Hikaru Nakamura in the fourth round at the London Chess Classic.

Amazingly, he faltered badly and threw away a winning position, and the draw sequence was broken by a loss instead!

The game was arguably more of a loss by Anand than a win by Nakamura, but they all count and it's the first time an American has defeated the reigning world champion for 19 years*.

Magnus Carlsen nursed a minuscule plus against Vladimir Kramnik for 55 moves before finally conceding a draw in an opposite-coloured bishop ending.

That draw allowed Luke McShane to join Carlsen at the top of the leaderboard by beating David Howell with the black pieces.  Howell badly miscalculated some middlegame tactics and was punished severely. That's McShane's second win in a row with the black pieces, which could prove vital if the final result comes down to tie-breaks.

Nigel Short's game with Mickey Adams was the last to finish, and it was Short who finally got off the mark with a win to climb off the bottom of the standings.

Have you heard the one about the American chesser who beats the world champion?




Pressure? What pressure? Magnus catches some shut-eye before his game with Kramnik begins

Magnus Carlsen_LCC2011_Rd4.jpg



McShane replies to Howell's first move in front of a packed audience at the Olympia Conference Centre




Today Nigel Short was the checkmater, not the checkmatee!

Nigel Short_LCC2011_Rd4.jpg



The standings after day four:

 Name  Elo  Played   Score 
 Luke McShane
4 8
 Magnus Carlsen 2826 4 8
 Hikaru Nakamura  2758 4 7
 Vladimir Kramnik 2800 3 5
 Lev Aronian 2802 3 4
 Nigel Short 2698 3 3
 Vishy Anand 2811 3 2
 David Howell 2633 4 2
 Michael Adams 2734 4 2


Tomorrow is a rest day, so round five is on Thursday.

The pairings for round five:

 Hikaru Nakamura
v  David Howell
 Nigel Short
v  Vishy Anand
 Vladimir Kramnik
v  Michael Adams
 Lev Aronian
v  Magnus Carlsen

Luke McShane will have a bye. Games start  at 14:00 local time (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.

*The last time was when Kamsky beat Kasparov in 1992 according to Mig!

16367 reads 64 comments
3 votes


  • 5 years ago


    Nakamura is leading after round five.

  • 5 years ago

    NM smalugu

    Not sure if I have to sad or happy to see Vishy, my fellow Indian country man, atleast on paper loose to Naka, my current resident country man winning. Character wise I'd still go with Anand, he is typical modest and likeable person, I hated Naka after seeing a 10 minute video interview. 

    Playing style I like Naka because of sharp tactics and risk, while Anand's is almost boring. So I am pretty divided on whom to root for. 

  • 5 years ago

    NM dcremisi

    update: round five results: Levon Aronian-Magnus Carlesen drawn Hikaru Nakamura beats David Howell. The other two games are still playing. This puts Hikaru in first place!

  • 5 years ago


    Go Naka!!!!

  • 5 years ago


    Great exciting game, nice to see players go for a win. 

  • 5 years ago


    nak-anand 27Be6

  • 5 years ago


    WoW all games r impressiveSurprised

  • 5 years ago


    Lucky win for the American!
  • 5 years ago


    I am glad you called Nakamura an American. He is Japanese American and his name is just as American as Obama's. 

  • 5 years ago


    come on luke

  • 5 years ago


    Funny, look at Nakamura's results against the top players counting from London 2010:

    vs Aronian +2 -0 =3

    vs Anand +1 -0 =5

    vs Kramnik +2 -1 =3

    vs Carlsen +0 -5 =3

  • 5 years ago


    Nakamura very american name :)

  • 5 years ago


    So Nakamura has recently played the KID with black against Anand, Kramnik and Gelfand and beaten them all, not bad:

  • 5 years ago


    really? 19 years?? lol! short did good in that game finally and adams isn't doing to well...

  • 5 years ago


  • 5 years ago


    Naka win over Anand!!!!!! is  just a choke!! still i can't believe Anand misses Bh3.. may be Anand waiting to Naka to win.. or Anand in wonderland!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 5 years ago


    Short did well in this game.Wink

  • 5 years ago


    Well done Nigel!

  • 5 years ago


    This is the first I saw Michael Adams beaten on his pet line Tarrasch against the French Defence

  • 5 years ago


    Congratulations Hikaru! Congratulations USA! Congratulations Japan!-very nice victory-Nakamura chess-ninja!

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