London: Kramnik beats McShane (and we have a new video)

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Carlsen wins again at London Chess ClassicVladimir Kramnik is just one point behind Magnus Carlsen in the standings of the London Chess Classic after three rounds. Thursday the former World Champion crushed Luke McShane with the black pieces, while Carlsen missed a win against Howell and eventually drew.

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 3

"Slightly embarrasing," that was Magnus Carlsen's reaction when he was told that he could have won his game against Howell with the not too difficult move 52...Ra2+. For the (online) spectators it was hard to understand what happened, because the variation was just "check-check-check and wins". But things are always much easier when you're not sitting behind the board yourself, and both players had simply missed it. These grandmasters are humans too, you know!


Carlsen's small failure allowed Vladimir Kramnik to come closer in the standings. The Russian easily defeated Luke McShane with the black pieces, making full use of White's weakened light squares. Especially the Qd5-b5-b3 manoeuvre was neat. A nice game, although not one what would win a brilliancy prize since McShane didn't defend that well. In any case, the commentary room was packed when the two players went throught the game afterwards.

Kramnik & McShane

Ni Hua-Adams was quite a good game as well. After a brief period of popularity last year, we haven't seen a top GM going for the Marshall main line that often recently. But the Chinese grandmaster, who by the way was still a 2700 player when he was invited, went for it. A courageous decision which he possibly regretted at some point during the game, because as so often, Black got more than enough compensation for the pawn. The strong 30.e6! was necessary for White, and right in time to avoid a disaster along the long diagonal.

Nigel Short had a very original approach of the Nimzo-Indian in his game against Nakamura. The knight going to c6, then the bishop from b4 to g5, who would have thought of that? It wasn't so bad, but according to GM Sipke Ernst Black shouldn't have traded that bishop for White's knight. White got a small plus, but one that wasn't enough for serious winning chances.


Friday is the first and only rest day of the tournament, although there is some chess in the Olympia Conference Centre: rounds 4 and 5 of both the FIDE rated open and the Women Invitational.


We've also added a new video, in which organizer IM Malcolm Pein explains how it all started:

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

Games round 3

Game viewer by ChessTempo


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