London R1: three decisive games

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
London Chess Classic R1: three decisive gamesThe London Chess Classic saw a spectacular start today with three decisive games. The biggest story was Luke McShane beating Magnus Carlsen in a superb game. Nigel Short went down with the white pieces against Vladimir Kramnik while Michael Adams easily defeated David Howell. Hikaru Nakamura managed to hold a Berlin Wall ending to a draw against Visy Anand.

The London Chess Classic took off today in London | Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

General info

The second London Chess Classic takes place December 8-15 at the Olympiad Conference Centre on Hammersmith Road in Kensington, London. Besides the Classic itself there's a big open, a women's invitational, rapid and blitz events, simuls by Viktor Kortchnoi, lectures by GMs Boris Avrukh and Jacob Aagaard, and more. This wonderful fresh tradition in the capital of the United Kingdom anticipates a FIDE World Championship in 2012 and supports chess in schools and communities at the same time. In the top group Anand, Carlsen, Kramnik, Nakamura, Adams, Short, McShane and Howell play. More info here.

Opening press conference audio

At the press conference on Tuesday organizer Malcolm Pein confirmed that the negotiations with FIDE to get the 2012 World Championship to London are in an 'advanced stage' and he hopes to have more news on that during that tournament. Here's an audio file of the press conference:


London Chess Classic R1: three decisive games

Round 1

Our poll pointed out that Magnus Carlsen was the favourite (47.11%) to win the second London Chess Classic, but already after the first round it looks like the Norwegian will have a hard time retaining his "title" in London. In the first round he played with Black against Luke McShane, made just one big mistake and didn't get a chance to recover, as the young English grandmaster continued to play as strongly as he had done until then.

London Chess Classic

Luke McShane had an excellent start against Magnus Carlsen

At the press conference, which was followed by dozens of chess fans locally and thousands online through both Playchess and Livestream, McShane admitted that his first move had partly been inspired by his opponent's victory over Kramnik in the first round last year. In the game Carlsen repeated a setup he had used successfully at the Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, but soon he was on his own.

Video of the round 1 live commentary produced by Macauley Peterson

Whilst giving up the bishop pair at an early stage McShane managed to keep a small edge out of the opening, with a strong bind on the queenside. Then, just after Carlsen had made a good decision on move 19, he blundered on the next. Thanks to a nasty little move 22, White could just take Black's a-pawn and then break through on the queenside. With his 32nd move McShane then showed that he's still in top shape, after winning the Remco Heite tournament last week.

London Chess Classic

Magnus Carlsen in trouble in round 1

Michael Adams was the other Englishman to score a full point. He defeated David Howell, who did so well last year, quite easily. A 'Fingerfehler' at move 14 was answered strongly with a rook switch to the kingside, and before even Adams himself knew what was going on, he was winning. Howell proved a good sport by allowing a mate on the board and appearing at the press conference quite cheerfully.

London Chess Classic

A smooth victory for Michael Adams

The third winner of the day was Vladimir Kramnik. At the press conference his opponent Nigel Short lamented that he had now started several tournaments with a loss as a result of indecisiveness and subsequent timetrouble. After yet another exotic opening from the former super grandmaster (1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Qe2!?) White was doing alright in the early middlegame, but then Short just couldn't find a good plan. Kramnik, on his turn, only had to play healthy moves to gain the upper hand, and then finished it off in a smooth attack.

London Chess Classic

Nigel Short vs Vladimir Kramnik

After the drawing of lots yesterday Hikaru Nakamura had tweeted "Opening the London Chess Classic with Black against Anand! Time to make everyone back in the United States proud!" And so he did, as he showed strong nerves in a tough Berlin Wall and held a bishop ending to a draw. Where he faltered in his last-round game against Grischuk in Moscow last month, the American proved up to the task in his very next classical game, today in London.

London Chess Classic

Hikaru Nakamura started with drawing with Black against the World Champ

All photos © Ray Morris-Hill

By the way don't miss Nakamura - Carlsen, Private Blitz Match, published today by Macauley Peterson - yes, that "secret blitz match" was played!

Game viewer

Game viewer by ChessTempo

The notes to Anand-Nakamura were based on Sergey Shipov's commentary.

London Chess Classic 2010 | Pairings & results
London Chess Classic 2010 | Pairings


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