Nakamura Beats Anand In London
Vishy 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
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!
The standings after day four:
| Luke McShane
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 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:
- Number of games won
- Number of games won with black
- Result of direct encounter
- 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!