Carlsen increases lead in London

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Carlsen wins again at London Chess ClassicIn round 5 of the London Chess Classic Magnus Carlsen increased in the standings by beating Ni Hua with the black pieces while his closest rival Vladimir Kramnik was held to a draw by David Howell. Luke McShane beat Hikaru Nakamura with Black and the all-English encounter between Adams and Short was drawn.

The London Chess Classic takes place December 8th till 15th in Kensington, Londen. Venue is the Auditorium of the Olympiad Conference Centre. The time control is 2 hours for 40 moves, then 1 hour for 20 moves and then 15 minutes plus 30 seconds increment to finish the games. Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik, Hikaru Nakamura, Nigel Short, Michael Adams, Ni Hua, Luke McShane and David Howell play.

Round 5 by John Saunders

There were two decisive games in an exciting round at the London Chess Classic today. Magnus Carlsen stretched his lead to three points over Vladimir Kramnik, while Luke McShane won again to move into third place.

Before moving onto a blow-by-blow account of round five, let’s clear up a couple of errors from round four. One was in the original issue of the press release, where we tried to tell you that Short-Ni Hua was the round four best game winner. I hope neither of those gentlemen nipped out to spend their 500 euros (each) on Christmas presents on the strength of this comment because it was wrong.

The best game winners of round four were Carlsen and Nakamura (shared). The other error was by the aforementioned Carlsen and (to a lesser extent) Nakamura. At yesterday’s press conference Carlsen told the audience that he regretted playing 32 Qe2 and wished he had played 32 Re2. Nakamura backed him up and the opinion was related to a packed commentary room. Nobody present spotted that 32 Re2 had a huge flaw and would have lost instantly (we’re assuming that, at the chessboard, Hikaru would have found what he missed during commentary), but all our computers found it instantly (you can find it mentioned in yesterday’s game annotations).

After his game today, and before commenting on his round five, Magnus Carlsen came to the commentary room and delivered rather a delightful little speech, owning up to the unsoundness of the line he advocated at yesterday’s commentary session and advising us against taking anything he said in his post-round comments as gospel. It went down very well with the audience. Magnus has remarkable poise for a young man of tender years and he’s made a big hit with the London chess audience. You’ll remember that Big Vlad had some problems getting into the country; I’m rather hoping that Britain’s over-zealous passport authorities will take similar action when Magnus tries to get out of Britain after the tournament. We’d like to keep him.

Carlsen wins again at London Chess Classic

In today’s round, Carlsen was soon out of the ‘book’ (as he admitted afterwards) and the watching grandmasters were not too convinced about the safety of his position for the first part of the game. It is possible that Ni Hua could have made more of some early attacking chances but the Norwegian soon consolidated and, slowly but surely, outplayed his opponent. The game seemed to hinge on a couple of judgement calls; in particular, compare and contrast the trajectory of the two kings in the final phase of the game.

ChessVibes LiveToday you can follow IM Merijn van Delft's live commentary of the 6th round in London and the tiebreak of the World Cup final between Gelfand and Ponomariov. We're covering the World Cup and the London Chess Classic for free; starting from 2010 our live commentary will be subscription-based. You'll find more info here.

Games round 5



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Videos





London Chess Classic 2009 | Pairings & results

London Chess Classic

London Chess Classic 2009 | Standings ('football system')

London Chess Classic

London Chess Classic 2009 | Standings (regular system)

London Chess Classic



London Chess Classic

A British trio: Englishmen Adams and Short going through their game, with Scottish GM Jonathan Rowson as the host of the commentary



London Chess Classic

Watching and waiting: Magnus Carlsen and Ni Hua (and Ian Rogers)



London Chess Classic

Some technical problems at the start - L-R IM Lawrence Trent, Frederic Friedel, Magnus Carlsen, Ni Hua, GM Stephen Gordon and IM Malcolm Pein...



London Chess Classic

...and then finally the entertaining post-mortem slash commentary by the players



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