LCC R6: All games drawn, Nakamura maintains lead

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage

On his 24th birthday, Hikaru Nakamura maintained his lead at the London Chess Classic as all games in the sixth round ended in draws. Magnus Carlsen had his free round today, and saw Vladimir Kramnik and Luke McShane catch him in second place.

Four draws in round 6 in London | All photos © Ray Morris-Hill for the official website

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

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We can't have summer all year long. Just when we noted that the 3rd London Chess Classic was seeing much less draws than normal, in the next round all four games end peacefully. Oh well, before we'll look at these games, let's start with someting completely different.

Danny King asked Magnus Carlsen, the GM commentator of the day, what's the situation with him and the World Championship cycle.

My intention is to participate, as long as the conditions are good.

What kind of conditions?

Stuff like contracts...

Does the venue matter?

Yeah, a little bit. But I really don't want to get into this. The tournaments I play in are just so much more interesting than the World Championship. I only think about that when people ask me about it.

Meanwhile, the current World Champion was playing against a former World Champion.

[Event "3rd London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2011.12.09"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Anand, V."]
[Black "Kramnik, V."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2811"]
[BlackElo "2800"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "2011.12.03"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Be2 dxc4 8.
O-O c5 (8... Nd5 9. Bxc4 Nxf4 10. exf4 c5 11. dxc5 Qc7 12. g3 Qxc5 13. Qe2 Nb6
14. Bd3 {Aronian,L (2802)-Anand,V (2811)/Moscow 2011}) 9. dxc5 Nxc5 10. Bxc4
Qxd1 11. Rfxd1 b6 12. Nd4 Bb7 13. f3 $146 {"White has to try something because
the pawn structure is symmetrical and otherwise it will just be a draw."
(Kramnik)} (13. Rac1 a6 14. b4 Nce4 15. Nxe4 Bxe4 16. a3 Rfc8 17. f3 Bb7 18. e4
a5 {Gelfand,B (2744)-Kramnik,V (2800)/ Moscow 2011}) 13... Rfc8 ({Kramnik
mentioned that if} 13... a6 14. b4 Ncd7 15. Nxe6 {might be a problem but in
fact} Rfc8 $1 {looks more than OK.}) 14. Rac1 a6 15. a3 Nh5 16. Be5 (16. b4
Nxf4 17. exf4 Nd7 18. Nxe6 Rxc4 19. Rxd7 Bf6 20. Rxb7 fxe6 {"and Black is OK"
(Kramnik).}) 16... Nf6 17. Bg3 Kf8 18. e4 Ke8 19. Bf1 {"Of course white has a
pleasant setup but I'm not sure if he really has something." (Kramnik)} (19.
Be2 Nh5 20. Bf2 Nf4 21. Bf1 g5 {Anand}) 19... g6 (19... g5 $5 20. Bf2 h6 {
Kramnik}) 20. Bf2 (20. Rb1 b5) 20... e5 21. Nc2 Nb3 22. Rb1 b5 23. Ne3 (23. Nb4
Rd8 24. Nd3 Nd7) 23... Rd8 (23... Bc5 24. a4 b4 25. Ncd5 Nxd5 26. Nxd5 Bxf2+
27. Kxf2 Bxd5 28. Rxd5) 24. a4 Nd2 (24... b4 25. Ncd5 Nxd5 26. exd5 Nd4 27. Nc4
) 25. axb5 $5 {"A very resourceful exchange sacrifice." (Kramnik)} Nxb1 26.
Rxb1 Bc5 ({Carlsen wanted to exchange the very bad bishop on b7 with e.g.}
26... Kf8 27. Nc4 axb5 28. Nxb5 Ba6) ({but then suggested that Kramnik might
have been afraid of} 26... Kf8 27. b6 {which the Russian later confirmed.}) 27.
Nc4 Bxf2+ 28. Kxf2 axb5 29. Nxb5 Kf8 30. Nxe5 Bxe4 $1 {Afterwards the players
thought this to be forcing the draw. "Otherwise White can press Black for a
very long time." (Anand)} (30... Nd7 31. Nc4 Ba6 32. Nbd6 Bxc4 33. Nxc4 Rdb8 {
"I don't think Black should lose this." (Carlsen)}) 31. fxe4 Nxe4+ 32. Kg1 (32.
Ke3 Nd2 33. Rd1 Nxf1+ 34. Rxf1 Re8 35. Nc7 Rxe5+ 36. Kd4 Raa5 ({or} 36... Rf5
37. Rxf5 Ra4+ {Anand}) 37. b4 Rf5 {Kramnik}) 32... Nd2 33. Rc1 Ra2 $1 {"A very
good move." (Carlsen)} 34. Na3 $1 {Deciding that it's time to liquidate to a
draw.} (34. Be2 {would be too risky:} Rxb2 35. Rc7 Rb1+ ({or} 35... Re8 36.
Rxf7+ Kg8) 36. Kf2 Ne4+ 37. Ke3 Ng5) 34... Rxb2 35. Nac4 Nxc4 36. Nxc4 Rc8 37.
Ra1 Rc2 38. Ne5 Rc1 39. Rxc1 Rxc1 1/2-1/2

David Howell and Nigel Short provided some interesting background information about their game at the post-mortem/press conference. Howell (about his choice of the Alapin):

On any other day I would have played the Open Sicilian - I guess I wasn't feeling that confident.

Nigel Short then pointed out that he accompanied Howell in 2009 to Patagonia (for the World Juniors) and that during that trip David kept saying to him how good an opening the Alapin was! Then the former World Championship contender added, about his choice of turning it into a Tarrasch French:

I wanted to play something familiar. I woke up last night and spent several hours analyzing my game against Vishy so I was a bit tired.

[Event "3rd London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2011.12.09"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Howell, D."]
[Black "Short, N."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B22"]
[WhiteElo "2633"]
[BlackElo "2698"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "72"]
[EventDate "2011.12.03"]

1. e4 c5 2. c3 $5 e6 3. d4 d5 4. exd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Bb5 Bd6 7. dxc5 Bxc5
8. O-O Nge7 9. Nbd2 O-O 10. Nb3 Bb6 11. Re1 Bg4 12. Be3 Re8 {"I think I had
this with White against Vlastimil Hort thirty years ago - before David's
mother was born." (Short)} 13. h3 Bh5 14. Bxb6 Qxb6 15. Bxc6 Bxf3 $146 {
"Absolutely correct." (Carlsen)} ({Also possible was} 15... bxc6 16. g4 Bg6 17.
Qd4 f6 (17... Bc2 {was actually still known from a game Malbran,G (2306)
-Valerga,D (2472)/Buenos Aires 2006}) 18. Re3 Bf7 19. Rae1 Ng6 20. Rxe8+ Rxe8
21. Rxe8+ Bxe8 22. Qc5 Nf4 {"but I wanted to play in a more simple way.
Because I'm a simple man." (Short)}) 16. Qxf3 bxc6 17. Re2 {Now Black can
solve all his problems quite easily.} ({Carlsen suggested} 17. h4 $1 {"The
move that concerned me most during the game." (Short)} Ng6 (17... h6 18. h5 Kf8
19. Qf4 {Short}) (17... c5 18. h5 c4 19. Nd4 Qxb2 20. Rab1 Qxa2 21. Rb7 $18)
18. h5 Ne5 19. Qg3 Nc4 20. h6 g6 21. Qf4 c5 22. Rad1 {and said: "This is not
fun for Black."}) 17... Ng6 18. Rae1 Rxe2 19. Rxe2 Rd8 20. Nd4 c5 21. Nf5 d4 {
"This is all very nice from Nigel." (Carlsen)} 22. Qe4 h6 ({Carlsen and other
VIP room residents thought that} 22... d3 23. Qe8+ Nf8 24. Ne7+ Kh8 25. Qxf7
Ne6 26. Rd2 {would be good for White but} (26. Rxe6 d2 27. Rxb6 axb6) 26... Rf8
$1 27. Qh5 Nf4 $1 28. Qe5 Ne2+ 29. Kh2 c4 30. Nf5 Qb7 {is not that clear.}) 23.
cxd4 cxd4 24. Rd2 Qa5 25. Rxd4 Rxd4 26. Nxd4 Qxa2 27. b3 {White doesn't really
have an edge anymore.} Nf8 28. g3 g6 29. Kg2 a5 30. Qc6 Qd2 31. Qa4 Qd3 32. Nf3
Qd5 33. b4 axb4 34. Qxb4 Ne6 35. Qd2 Qxd2 36. Nxd2 Kg7 1/2-1/2

In fact also the third draw which follows in this report was quite interesting actually.

[Event "3rd London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2011.12.09"]
[Round "6"]
[White "McShane, L."]
[Black "Nakamura, Hi"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B40"]
[WhiteElo "2671"]
[BlackElo "2758"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2011.12.03"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 d5 4. exd5 exd5 5. d4 Nf6 6. Bg2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8.
dxc5 (8. Nc3 Nc6 9. Be3 Bg4 10. h3 cxd4 11. Bxd4 Be6 12. Re1 Rc8 {Chadaev,N
(2573)-Ivanchuk,V (2779)/Olginka 2011}) 8... Bxc5 9. Bg5 Be6 10. Nc3 Nc6 11.
Rb1 $146 (11. Bxf6 Qxf6 12. Nxd5 Qxb2 13. Ng5 Bf5 14. Ne4 Bb6 {Fressinet,L
(2619)-Nataf,I (2553)/Cap d'Agde 2002}) (11. Ne1 Bd4 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. Nxd5
Bxb2 14. Rb1 Bd4 15. c4 {was something Nakamura's computer suggested during
his preparation.}) 11... d4 12. Bxf6 Qxf6 13. Ne4 Qe7 14. Nxc5 Qxc5 15. b4 Qb5
{"I think this is really the critical point in the whole game. Luke spent a
lot of time here." (Nakamura)} 16. a4 ({After the game McShane thought he
might have done better with} 16. Nxd4 Nxd4 17. Qxd4 Bxa2 18. Ra1 Rfd8 19. Qh4
$1 (19. Qe3 Bc4 20. Rfb1 a6 {and Black is fine - Nakamura}) 19... Bc4 (19...
Be6 20. Rxa7) 20. Rfb1 Rd2) 16... Qxa4 17. b5 Ne7 ({McShane had see things like
} 17... Na5 18. Ra1 Qxb5 19. Nxd4 Qc5 20. Nxe6 fxe6 21. Qe1 Nc6 22. Qxe6+ Kh8
23. Qd7 $1 {and White will win a pawn, although it might still be a draw.}) 18.
Nxd4 Rfd8 19. c3 Qxd1 20. Rfxd1 Bd5 21. Bf1 {"In the VIP room we were
impressed about this move." (Carlsen)} ({Earlier McShane had planned} 21. Nf5 {
but here he saw it was "just a hallucination".}) 21... a5 22. bxa6 (22. c4 Be4
23. Ra1 b6) 22... bxa6 23. Re1 {McShane first takes e4 away from Bd5 before
playing c3-c4.} Kf8 24. c4 Nc6 $1 {Perhaps missed by McShane (Carlsen).} ({
Carlsen thought that McShane was probably planning} 24... Bxc4 25. Bxc4 Rxd4
26. Rb7 Nd5 27. Bxa6 Rb4 28. Bb5 g6) 25. Nb3 (25. cxd5 Nxd4 26. Red1 Rxd5 (
26... Nf5 27. Rb4) 27. Bg2 Ne2+ 28. Kf1 Rxd1+ 29. Rxd1 Nc3 (29... Re8 30. Rd6)
30. Rc1 Rc8 31. Bb7 $11) 25... Be6 26. Bg2 Rac8 27. Nc5 Bf5 (27... Bxc4 28. Nb7
Rd4 29. Bxc6 Rxc6 30. Na5 Re6 $1 31. Rb8+ Ke7 32. Rxe6+ Kxe6 33. Nxc4 Rxc4 34.
Rb6+ $11 {McShane}) 28. Nb7 Bxb1 29. Nxd8 Nxd8 30. Rxb1 Rxc4 31. Ra1 1/2-1/2

There's not much to say about the next game, though, except for the fact that it's understandable that Mickey Adams, who hasn't been in great shape so far, didn't want to risk anything against Levon Aronian.

[Event "3rd London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2011.12.09"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Adams, Mi"]
[Black "Aronian, L."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2734"]
[BlackElo "2802"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2011.12.03"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6 6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bf1 Nxe5
8. Rxe5 O-O 9. d4 Bf6 10. Re1 Re8 11. Rxe8+ Nxe8 12. c3 d5 13. Bf4 Bg5 $146 (
13... c6 14. Bd3 g6 15. Nd2 {1/2-1/2 Palac,M (2580)-Balogh,C (2662)/Porto
Carras 2011}) 14. Qf3 Bxf4 15. Qxf4 Qd6 16. Qxd6 Nxd6 17. Nd2 a5 18. a4 Bf5 19.
f3 f6 20. Kf2 Kf7 21. h4 h5 22. Be2 Bg6 23. Nf1 Nf5 24. Ne3 c6 25. g3 Nxe3 26.
Kxe3 Bf5 27. Kd2 Ke7 28. Bd3 Bxd3 29. Kxd3 Kd6 30. Ke3 Re8+ 31. Kd3 Ra8 32. Ke3
Re8+ 33. Kd3 Ra8 34. Ke3 1/2-1/2

Round 6 standings

No.NameRtgScore/gameTiebreakPerf
1Nakamura,H275811.0/6 2878
2McShane,L26719.0/52 black wins2898
3Kramnik,V28009.0/51 black win2913
4Carlsen,M28269.0/52 white wins2880
5Anand,V28116.0/51 black win2725
6Aronian,L28026.0/51 white win2737
7Short,N26984.0/5 2609
8-9Howell,D26333.0/6 2559
8-9Adams,M27343.0/6 2545

Round 6 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
Aronian1-0Short Carlsen½-½Kramnik
Carlsen1-0Nakamura Adams0-1Short
Adams0-1McShane Anand0-1Nakamura
Anand½-½Howell Howell0-1McShane
KramnikbyeAssisting the commentary AronianbyeAssisting the commentary
Round 508.12.1115:00 CET Round 609.12.1115:00 CET
Nakamura1-0Howell Adams½-½Aronian
Short0-1Anand Anand½-½Kramnik
Kramnik1-0Adams Howell½-½Short
Aronian½-½Carlsen McShane½-½Nakamura
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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