LCC R2: victories for Nakamura and Kramnik, Carlsen escapes

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage

In a spectacular second round of the London Chess Classic Hikaru Nakamura beat Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik was too strong for Nigel Short, while Magnus Carlsen had to defend a very difficult position against Luke McShane. David Howell and Mickey Adams drew their game; Vishy Anand had a rest day.

Round 2 of the London Chess Classic in progress | all photos © Ray Morris-Hill for the official website except when mentioned otherwise

EventLondon Chess Classic 2011PGN via TWIC
DatesDecember 3rd-12th, 2011
LocationLondon, UK
System9-player round robin
PlayersCarlsen, Anand, Aronian, Kramnik, Nakamura, Adams, Short, McShane, Howell
Rate of play2 hours for 40 moves followed by 1 hour for 20 moves followed by 15 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from move 61
Prize fund€ 160,000
Tiebreak1. # games won. 2. # games won with Black. 3. Result of the game(s) between the tied players. Otherwise Armageddon.
NotesDraw offers only through the arbiter. 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw. The player who has a “bye” will assist the commentators during the round.

Videos by Macauley Peterson

Let's start this second round report with a tweet from Hikaru Nakamura, who played such a disappointing Tal Memorial.

The single most important thing in life is to believe in yourself regardless of what everyone else says.

Nakamura could use a win to get his confidence back on track, and Levon Aronian helped him by spoiling a good position in timetrouble.

[Event "3rd London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2011.12.04"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Nakamura, Hi"]
[Black "Aronian, L."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D31"]
[WhiteElo "2758"]
[BlackElo "2802"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "107"]
[EventDate "2011.12.03"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Be7 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bf4 c6 6. e3 (6. Qc2 Bd6 (6... Bg4
7. e3 Bh5 8. Bd3 Bg6 9. Bxg6 hxg6 10. O-O-O Nf6 {Carlsen,M (2815)-Nakamura,H
(2774)/Medias ROU 2011}) 7. Bxd6 Qxd6 8. e3 Qg6 9. Qxg6 hxg6 10. b4 a6 11. f3
Nd7 12. Bd3 Ne7 13. Nge2 g5 {Nakamura,H (2774)-Ponomariov,R (2754)/Saint Louis
USA 2011}) 6... Bf5 7. Nge2 (7. Bd3 Bxd3 8. Qxd3 Nf6 9. Nge2 Nh5 10. Bxb8 Rxb8
11. f3 O-O 12. O-O f5 13. a3 a6 14. b4 Qd7 {Nakamura,H (2774)-Ponomariov,R
(2754)/Saint Louis USA 2011}) 7... Nd7 8. Ng3 Bg6 9. Be2 Nb6 10. Be5 (10. Rc1
Nf6 11. h4 h6 12. h5 Bh7 13. Bd3 Bxd3 14. Qxd3 O-O 15. Nf5 Re8 16. f3 Bf8 17.
Kf2 {1/2-1/2 Grischuk,A (2728)-Aronian,L (2737)/Kazan 2011}) 10... Nf6 $146 (
10... f6 11. Bf4 Bd6 12. Bxd6 Qxd6 13. h4 Ne7 14. h5 Bf7 15. Bd3 Qd7 16. Qc2 h6
{Berczes,D (2514)-Akesson,R (2484)/Stockholm 2009}) 11. h4 h6 12. h5 Bh7 13.
Bd3 {"Like in a Caro-Kann, thanks to the pawn on h5 the f5 square will be
incredibly powerful" (Anand)} O-O 14. Bxh7+ Kxh7 15. Qc2+ Kh8 16. Nf5 Nc4 17.
b3 {Committal, but concrete. Anand wasn't sure about it, but added "it's
impossible to say whether it's wrong or right".} (17. O-O-O $5 {Hodgson}) 17...
Nxe5 18. dxe5 Ng4 19. f4 Qd7 20. O-O-O f6 {This is all very concrete so "it's
very interesting to know whether this was still in Hikaru's preparation."
(Anand)} 21. e4 fxe5 22. Qe2 Nf6 23. Nh4 exf4 24. Ng6+ Kg8 25. Nxf8 Bxf8 26.
exd5 cxd5 27. Qd3 Rd8 28. Kb1 Bc5 (28... Bb4 29. Rhf1 Qg4) 29. Rhf1 (29. g3)
29... Be3 30. g3 d4 31. gxf4 (31. Ne2 Nxh5 32. Nxf4 Nxf4 33. gxf4 Qf7 34. f5)
31... Qe7 $6 (31... Qe8 {was better.}) 32. Rde1 Rd7 33. Nd1 Nd5 34. Nxe3 dxe3
35. Rc1 Rd8 {Here Aronian had about ten seconds left on the clock.} 36. Qf5 Qe8
$6 (36... e2 37. Rfe1 Qe3 38. Rc8 Nc3+ 39. Ka1 Qd2 40. Rxd8+ Qxd8 $11) 37. Rfe1
b6 38. a3 Kh8 39. Kb2 a5 $2 (39... e2 {should still be enough for a draw:} 40.
Rc2 Qe3 41. Qe5 Qxe5+ 42. fxe5 Nf4) 40. Rc4 (40. Rcd1 $1 Qg8 41. Qe5 $18 {was
even simpler.}) 40... Nf6 (40... b5 41. Rc5 Nf6 42. Re5) 41. Qe5 $1 {White is
probably winning from here.} Qf8 42. Qxe3 b5 (42... Nxh5 $5 43. a4 Qf6+ 44. Qe5
Rf8) 43. Rd4 b4 44. a4 Rxd4 45. Qxd4 Nxh5 46. Re5 Nxf4 47. Rxa5 Ne6 48. Qd2 g5
49. Ra6 Qf6+ 50. Ka2 Qe5 51. Qb2 Qxb2+ 52. Kxb2 Nf4 53. Rxh6+ Kg7 54. Rd6 1-0

As you can see from the notes above, in this second round it was the World Champion who had a free day and assisted the commentators for about an hour. It was a pleasure to have Anand behind the microphone. An example: his description of Magnus Carlsen.

It's his main strength nowadays, or in general: he's extremely confident that he'll find his way in almost any position and he's willing to test boundaries where other players can't go. On top of that he's incredibly versatile.

However, on Sunday Carlsen was on the verge of defeat against Luke McShane.

[Event "3rd London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2011.12.04"]
[Round "2"]
[White "McShane, L."]
[Black "Carlsen, M."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C78"]
[WhiteElo "2671"]
[BlackElo "2826"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "166"]
[EventDate "2011.12.03"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. c3 d6 8. a4
Rb8 9. d4 Bb6 10. axb5 axb5 11. Qd3 O-O 12. Bg5 h6 {"Magnus is trying to draw
Luke to a territory totally unfamiliar." (Anand)} (12... exd4 13. cxd4 h6 14.
Bh4 g5 15. Bg3 Nh5 16. Rc1 Bd7 17. e5 Kg7 18. exd6 Nxg3 19. dxc7 Qxc7 20. hxg3
Qd6 21. Nc3 Nxd4 22. Nd5 Nxb3 23. Qxb3 b4 24. Nxb6 Qxb6 25. Qd5 Rfd8 26. Qe5+ {
1/2-1/2 Almasi,Z (2707)-Saric,I (2648)/Porto Carras 2011}) 13. Bxf6 Qxf6 14.
Qxb5 Na7 (14... Na5 {has also been tried here.}) 15. Qa4 Qg6 $146 (15... g5 16.
Nbd2 g4 17. dxe5 dxe5 18. Ne1 Nc6 19. Bd5 Ne7 20. Nc4 c6 21. Nxb6 Rxb6 22. Bc4
Rxb2 {Negi,P (2538)-Lahno,K (2459)/New Delhi 2006}) 16. Re1 Bh3 17. g3 Qf6 18.
Nbd2 Rbd8 {"White is a pawn up but the bishop on b6 doesn't have a counter
part. Black will continue undermining d4. My hunch is Black has enough
compensation." (Anand)} 19. Qc4 g5 20. Qd3 Bg4 21. Nc4 Nc6 22. Re3 Kg7 23. Kg2
h5 24. Nxb6 cxb6 25. h3 Bd7 26. Ba4 Ra8 27. Bxc6 Bxc6 28. Rxa8 Rxa8 29. Qc4 Rc8
30. Qa6 Rb8 31. d5 Bd7 32. h4 g4 33. Nd2 Qd8 34. Qa3 Qc7 35. Re1 b5 36. Ra1 b4
37. cxb4 Bb5 38. Qe3 f6 39. Qc3 (39. Ra7 Rb7 40. Rxb7 Qxb7 41. Qa3 Kg6) 39...
Qb7 40. b3 Kg6 41. Rc1 Qb6 42. Kg1 Be2 43. Qc6 Qd8 44. Nc4 Rxb4 45. Nxd6 Rb6
46. Qc2 Qxd6 47. Qxe2 Rxb3 48. Rd1 Rb4 49. Qc2 Rb8 50. Qc3 Ra8 51. Qc6 Rd8 52.
Rb1 Qd7 53. Kg2 Qd6 54. Rb3 Qd7 55. Rb1 Qd6 56. Rb3 Qd7 57. Qa6 Qc8 58. Qd3 Qc5
59. Rc3 Qb4 60. Rc4 (60. Rc1 Qd4 61. Qe2 Ra8 62. Rd1 Qc3 63. d6 Rd8) 60... Qe1
61. Qc3 Qxc3 62. Rxc3 Ra8 63. Rd3 Kf7 64. f3 Ra2+ 65. Kf1 Ra1+ 66. Kf2 Ra2+ 67.
Kf1 Ra1+ 68. Ke2 Ra2+ 69. Rd2 gxf3+ 70. Ke1 Ra4 71. d6 Rxe4+ 72. Kf2 Ke8 73.
Kxf3 Ra4 74. d7+ Kd8 75. Rd6 f5 76. Re6 Ra3+ 77. Kf2 e4 78. Rd6 Rf3+ 79. Kg2 f4
80. gxf4 Rxf4 81. Kg3 Rf3+ 82. Kg2 Rf4 83. Kg3 Rf3+ 1/2-1/2

Based on the tiebreak rules used in London, Vladimir Kramnik is the "sole leader" after two rounds based on his win with Black. His victim was Nigel Short, who chose an unambitious opening and the played a "naive move" (Anand) which was based on a calculating error.

Vishy Anand assisting commentators IM Lawrence Trent and GM Stephen Gordon, who also do the Full English Breakfast series

The Englishman got his king's bishop locked and sealed on the queenside and was basically playing a piece down for the rest of the game.

[Event "3rd London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2011.12.04"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Short, N."]
[Black "Kramnik, V."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C48"]
[WhiteElo "2698"]
[BlackElo "2800"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "86"]
[EventDate "2011.12.03"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nd4 5. Nxd4 exd4 6. e5 dxc3 7. exf6 Qxf6
8. dxc3 Bc5 9. Qe2+ Qe6 {"In my preparation it always finished here: draw.
Move on." (Anand)} 10. O-O O-O (10... Qxe2 11. Bxe2 O-O 12. Re1 d5 13. Bd3 Be6
14. Be3 Bxe3 15. Rxe3 Rfe8 16. Rae1 Bd7 17. Rxe8+ Rxe8 18. Rxe8+ Bxe8 19. c4
dxc4 20. Bxc4 {1/2-1/2 (20) Vallejo Pons,F (2650)-Gelfand,B (2720)/ Cala Mayor
2008}) 11. Qf3 $146 {"OK, White can get a small edge if Black plays something
inaccurate. But in Vlad's case, he won't do that and he even looked at it
before the game." (Anand)} (11. Bf4 d6 12. Bd3 Qxe2 13. Bxe2 a5 14. a4 Bd7 15.
Bb5 Bxb5 16. axb5 Rfe8 17. Rfe1 Kf8 18. Kf1 {Nunn,J (2578)-Hebden,M (2505)/
Paignton 2000}) 11... d6 12. Bg5 Qf5 13. Be7 $2 {"Maybe a bit naive. Very
careless. If Vlad allows you Be7 it's probably not going to work." (Anand)}
Qxf3 14. gxf3 {"I don't trust this, I don't see any advantage for White."
(Anand)} a6 $1 {Basically refuting the whole move. Short must have missed this.
} (14... Bh3 15. Bxf8 Bxf1 {is equal (Anand).}) 15. Ba4 b5 16. b4 Re8 17. Rfe1
Bb6 18. Bb3 Bb7 19. Kg2 d5 {Commentators IM Lawrence Trent and GM Stephen
Gordon compared Short's position to the current economic situation. Anand
immediately agreed that "White is just lost" as he's "simply a piece down"
(the bishop on b3 does not participate at all).} 20. Re5 c6 21. Rae1 Bc7 22.
R5e2 Bc8 23. a4 Bd7 24. Bh4 Rxe2 25. Rxe2 Re8 26. Rxe8+ Bxe8 27. Bg3 Bd8 28.
Be5 f6 29. Bb8 Bg6 {With this bishop on g6, even White's resource of giving a
pawn with c3-c4 followed by Bb3-a2 and c2-c3 doesn't work.} 30. axb5 axb5 31.
Kf1 Kf7 32. Ke2 Ke6 33. Ke3 Bb6+ 34. Ke2 Bh5 35. Ba2 g5 36. Bb3 f5 37. Ba2 f4
38. Bb3 Kf5 39. Bd6 g4 40. Kf1 g3 41. fxg3 fxg3 42. Bxg3 Bxf3 43. Ba2 Be3 ({
White will face Zugzwang soon:} 43... Be3 44. Bf2 (44. Ke1 Kg4 45. Kf1 h5 46.
Ke1 Kh3 47. Kf1 h4 48. Be5 Bg2+ 49. Ke2 Bg1) 44... Bf4 45. h3 (45. Bg3 Bxg3 46.
hxg3 Kg4 47. Kf2 h5 48. Bb3 Be4 {is Zugzwang}) 45... Ke4 46. Bb3 Be5 47. Be1
Ke3 48. h4 h5 49. Bf2+ Kd2 50. Be1+ Kd1 $19) 0-1

A relatively easy win for "Vlad" Kramnik

The draw between Englishmen David Howell and Mickey Adams was quite interesting as well. Both players found it extremely difficult to find plans and make evaluations.

[Event "3rd London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2011.12.04"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Howell, D."]
[Black "Adams, Mi"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C88"]
[WhiteElo "2633"]
[BlackElo "2734"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "70"]
[EventDate "2011.12.03"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. h3
Bb7 9. d3 d5 {"The most tricky line for White to play against." (Adams)
"Definitely critical. It's very difficult to prove an advantage here." (Howell)
} 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Nxe5 Nd4 12. Bd2 (12. Nc3 Nb4) 12... c5 13. Nc3 Nxb3 14.
axb3 Nb4 15. Ne4 Qd5 16. Nf3 {Until here all theory.} Rfe8 $5 $146 {Adams
wanted to play the position without ...f5 - something that's often been played,
here or earlier.} (16... f5 17. Ng3 {1/2-1/2 Palac,M (2591)-Filippov,A (2606)/
Sibenik 2011}) 17. Bxb4 cxb4 18. c4 bxc3 19. bxc3 a5 20. d4 Bf8 21. Ned2 Rxe1+
22. Qxe1 a4 23. bxa4 bxa4 24. c4 Qa5 {At first Howell was a bit nervous here.}
25. Qe3 a3 26. Ra2 {"It feels like Black should be doing fine." (Anand)} Qa4 {
"Not sure this was good." (Adams)} 27. Qd3 (27. d5 {"worried me a bit" (Adams).
} Qb4 28. Ne5) (27. Qb3 {is "tempting but not as ambitious" (Howell).}) 27...
h6 28. Nf1 {"Somehow this looked a bit suspicious to me." (Adams) "I wanted
the knight on e3." (Howell)} (28. d5 $5 Qb4 29. Ne4 {Adams. It looks like if
White pushes, the pawns will be fixed and Black can play around them, but the
variations might be trickier than that.}) (28. Ne5 Qd1+ 29. Qf1 Qxf1+ 30. Kxf1
Bb4 31. Nb3 Be4 {looks scary for White.}) 28... Bxf3 ({Howell even looked at}
28... Ba6 29. Ne3 Rb8 30. Ne5 Rb2 31. Qf5 Qe8 {and now maybe} 32. Rxb2 axb2 33.
Qb1 Ba3 34. Nc2 Qa4 35. Nd3) 29. gxf3 Rd8 30. Kg2 ({Howell had missed the
double attack} 30. Ne3 Qd7 $1 {which means there's no time to get the knight
to d5.}) 30... Bc5 31. d5 (31. Qf5 Bxd4 32. Qd3 Bf6 33. Rxa3 {is probably a
draw too.}) 31... Rb8 32. Nd2 {Threatening 33.Ne4.} Qd1 33. Qf1 Qa4 34. Qd3 Qd1
35. Qf1 Qa4 {"Quite a difficult game." (Adams)} 1/2-1/2

Howell-Adams at the start of the round

 

Round 2 standings

No.NameRtgScore/gameTiebreakTPR
1Kramnik,V28004.0/2Black win2921
2-3Carlsen,M28264.0/2White win2845
2-3Nakamura,N27584.0/2White win2994
4-5Adams,M27342.0/2 2722
4-5McShane,L26712.0/2 2814
6Anand,V28111.0/1 2734
7-8Aronian,L28021.0/2 2522
7-8Howell,D26331.0/2 2587
9Short,N26980.0/1 2065

Round 2 standings (classical)

 

London Chess Classic 2011 | Schedule & results

Round 103.12.1115:00 CET Round 204.12.1115:00 CET
Kramnik½-½Nakamura Howell½-½Adams
Aronian½-½McShane McShane½-½Carlsen
Carlsen1-0Howell Nakamura1-0Aronian
Adams½-½Anand Short0-1Kramnik
ShortbyeAssisting the commentary AnandbyeAssisting the commentary
Round 305.12.1115:00 CET Round 406.12.1117:00 CET
Aronian-Short Carlsen-Kramnik
Carlsen-Nakamura Adams-Short
Adams-McShane Anand-Nakamura
Anand-Howell Howell-McShane
KramnikbyeAssisting the commentary AronianbyeAssisting the commentary
Round 508.12.1115:00 CET Round 609.12.1115:00 CET
Nakamura-Howell Adams-Aronian
Short-Anand Anand-Kramnik
Kramnik-Adams Howell-Short
Aronian-Carlsen McShane-Nakamura
McShanebyeAssisting the commentary CarlsenbyeAssisting the commentary
Round 710.12.1115:00 CET Round 811.12.1115:00 CET
Short-McShane Anand-Carlsen
Kramnik-Howell Howell-Aronian
Aronian-Anand McShane-Kramnik
Carlsen-Adams Nakamura-Short
NakamurabyeAssisting the commentary AdamsbyeAssisting the commentary
Round 912.12.1113:00 CET    
McShane Anand    
Nakamura-Adams    
Short-Carlsen    
Kramnik-Aronian    
HowellbyeAssisting the commentary    

 

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