Three winners in third round London, Carlsen leads

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage

Magnus Carlsen defeated Hikaru Nakamura on Monday to grab sole lead at the London Chess Classic. Luke McShane, who won with Black against Mickey Adams, is now in second place. Nigel Short is clear last after losing against Levon Aronian while Vishy Anand and David Howell drew their game. Vladimir Kramnik had a rest day.

Vishy Anand is pleased with the first move choice from his young assistant, Niall Ali | 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

Again the London Chess Classic shows chess at its best, with an amazing atmosphere, superb commentary with well-spoken English GMs assisted by one of the top GMs and on top of that, great games so far. Again, one of the many special guests is 80-year-old Viktor Korchnoi and on the third evening of the festival he gave a simul.

Vladimir Kramnik enjoyed his rest day and at the point when he joined the commentators, he immediately started talking about the game Anand-Howell. The reason was, of course, that the World Champion was looking at a horrible position after 32 moves with White.

32...Rb2 looks just winning here.

said Kramnik.

Vishy is a magician in defending worse positions but he is as close to losing as ever.

[Event "3rd London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2011.12.05"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Howell, David W L"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D16"]
[WhiteElo "2811"]
[BlackElo "2633"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "130"]
[EventDate "2011.12.03"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 e6 6. e3 c5 7. Bxc4 Nc6 8. O-O
cxd4 9. exd4 Be7 10. Qe2 O-O 11. Rd1 Nd5 12. Qe4 Nf6 13. Qh4 Nb4 14. Bg5 b6
$146 (14... h6 15. Bd2 b6 16. Ne5 Bb7 {Grischuk,A (2756)-Karjakin,S (2725)/
Nice 2010}) 15. Bd3 {"I felt this was suspicious. For some reason I wanted to
play this d5 sac and later we get to the same position." (Anand) "I didn't
really understand it but it's intereting." (Kramnik)} Nxd3 16. Rxd3 Ba6 17. Rd2
({The problem of} 17. Re3 {is} Bb7 18. Ne5 Nd5 19. Rh3 h6 {and White has
nothing.}) 17... Bb7 18. d5 {The logical follow-up.} (18. Ne5 Nd5 {doesn't
make sense.}) 18... Bxd5 19. Nxd5 exd5 20. Nd4 Qd7 21. Rd3 Rfe8 $1 {Forced but
strong.} 22. Rh3 h5 $1 {Excellent play by Howell.} 23. Bxf6 Bxf6 24. Qxh5 g6
25. Qh7+ Kf8 26. Qh6+ Kg8 27. Qd2 ({Anand avoided the draw with} 27. Qh7+ Kf8
28. Qh6+ {but Howell was intending} Bg7) 27... Re4 28. Rd3 Rae8 29. b3 $2 {
"Obviously a mistake." (Anand)} (29. h3 {Anand}) 29... Bxd4 30. Rxd4 Re2 31.
Qd1 (31. Qc3 $2 Qc7 $19 {is the point.}) 31... Qf5 32. Qf1 R8e4 $6 ({At this
point Kramnik joined the commentators and he immediately pointed out} 32... Rb2
$1 {"This looks just winning."} 33. Rad1 (33. g3 Ree2 34. Rf4) 33... Ree2 34.
Rxd5 Qc2 (34... Qf6 {Anand}) 35. Rc1 Qxb3 36. Rb5 Qxa4 37. Rxb2 Rxb2 38. Qd3)
33. Rad1 Qe6 $6 {In timetrouble (a bit over a minute to reach 40) Howell
spoils most of his advantage.} (33... Rxd4 $1 34. Qxe2 $1 (34. Rxd4 $2 Qe6 35.
Rd1 d4 $19) 34... Qe4 $1 35. Kf1 $1 Rxd1+ 36. Qxd1 d4 {was a good chance here,
e.g.} 37. f3 Qe3 38. Qe2 Qxb3 39. Qe8+ Kh7 {Anand}) 34. Rxe4 Qxe4 35. g3 Kg7
36. h4 a5 37. Rd4 Qe6 38. Qg2 Re1+ 39. Kh2 Re4 40. Rxe4 dxe4 41. Qh1 (41. g4 {
might be OK as well. "My only chance is to push my pawns and expose his king
to go for a perpetual. " (Anand)}) 41... Qxb3 (41... e3 $1 42. fxe3 Qxb3 {was
slightly better but White should still be able to hold it.}) 42. Qxe4 Qb2 43.
Kg2 b5 44. h5 bxa4 45. Qxa4 Qb7+ 46. Kg1 Qb1+ 47. Kg2 Qb7+ 48. Kg1 Qd5 49. Qa1+
Kh7 50. hxg6+ Kxg6 51. Qa4 Kf5 52. Kh2 Ke6 53. Qe8+ Kd6 54. Qd8+ Kc6 55. Qa8+
Kd6 56. Qd8+ Ke5 57. Qg5+ Ke6 58. Qe3+ Qe5 59. Qb6+ Ke7 60. Qb7+ Kf6 61. Qc6+
Kg7 62. Qc4 Qh5+ 63. Kg2 Qe5 64. Kh2 Qh5+ 65. Kg2 Qe5 1/2-1/2

Vishy Anand escaped with a draw against David Howell | Photo © John Saunders

On behalf of the online fans (either via Twitter or via other channels) Macauley Peterson asked the World Champion whether he is already in the situation where he has to hide the opening preparation he's planning for his upcoming World Championship match against Boris Gelfand in May 2012. Anand answered:

Not really. I realize my recent play is giving the impression I'm hiding something. Hopefully at some point I'll snap out of it.

Smiling, then Anand added:

But with such a question you shouldn't believe any of my answers anyway. If you're Gelfand, don't believe anything I say!

After his first win in a long time on Sunday, Hikaru Nakamura had to suffer another defeat the day after. He lost to Magnus Carlsen, who would later that night see Fulham beat Liverpool 1-0 at Craven Cottage.

[Event "3rd London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2011.12.05"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2826"]
[BlackElo "2758"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2011.12.03"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 d6 6. Bb3 a6 7. Nbd2 Ba7 8. Nf1
h6 9. Ng3 O-O 10. O-O Be6 11. h3 Qd7 {"This might be wrong;} ({in retrospect}
11... d5 {is probably a much better move. I'm not really sure why I didn't
play this move actually." (Nakamura)} 12. Qe2 Re8 {"Black hasn't any
particular problem." (Carlsen)}) 12. Be3 {"I was pretty happy getting this in
because now I have some ideas with d4 at some point and after Black has played
...h6, taking on e3 will be less attactive because White will have sacrifices
on f6." (Carlsen)} Ne7 $146 (12... Rfe8 13. Nh2 d5 14. Qf3 Bxe3 15. fxe3 Rad8
16. Rad1 dxe4 17. dxe4 Qe7 18. Nf5 Bxf5 19. Qxf5 Rxd1 20. Rxd1 Rd8 {De la Paz
Perdomo,F (2442)-Ivanchuk,V (2741)/Merida 2006}) 13. Nh4 Ng6 ({The players
briefly looked at} 13... Bxh3 14. Bxa7 Rxa7 15. gxh3 Qxh3 16. Ng2 {and now
Black should continue} Ng4 {(otherwise just Re1 and Nf1)} 17. Re1 {and now
after} Qh2+ 18. Kf1 Qh3 19. f3 $1 {was Carlsen's idea.}) 14. Nhf5 Ne7 15. Nxe7+
Qxe7 16. Bxa7 ({Carlsen really wanted to go} 16. d4 {but it's just bad because
of} exd4 17. Bxd4 Nxe4 $1) 16... Rxa7 17. f4 c5 {Black can't just take on f4
and occupy the e5 square because White has d3-d4.} 18. Bc2 ({Carlsen also
looked at} 18. a4 {but then Black just goes} b5 {anyway (Nakamura).}) 18... b5
19. Qd2 Rb7 20. a3 a5 21. Rf2 b4 {"I just played intuitively. I think it's not
a bad plan." (Nakamura)} 22. axb4 axb4 23. Raf1 bxc3 (23... Bd7 $5 {Carlsen})
24. bxc3 exf4 25. Rxf4 Nh7 26. d4 cxd4 27. cxd4 Qg5 28. Kh2 Nf6 29. Bd1 Rfb8 (
29... Rb1 30. h4 Rxd1) (29... Ng4+ 30. Bxg4 (30. Kg1 Ne5 31. Nf5 Bxf5 32. h4
Nc4 $1) 30... Bxg4) ({"I think I should go} 29... Ra8 {here so that after} 30.
h4 {there is} Qa5 31. Qf2 Qa2 32. Rxf6 Rb2 {(Nakamura)} 33. Be2 gxf6 34. d5 $1)
30. h4 Qg6 31. Rxf6 $1 gxf6 32. Qf4 Rb2 $6 33. Bh5 $1 ({Nakamura had looked at
} 33. d5 {and}) (33. Bf3) 33... Qg7 34. Bf3 Ra8 $6 (34... Qg6 {"keeps Black in
the game" (Carlsen)} 35. d5 Bc8 36. Rc1 $1 (36. Nh5 f5 {is not clear.})) 35. d5
Bc8 36. Nh5 Qf8 37. Nxf6+ Kh8 (37... Kg7 38. e5 dxe5 39. Qxe5 Qb4 40. Nh5+ Kf8
41. d6 $1 Qxh4+ 42. Kg1 $18) 38. Rc1 $1 {No Black has no moves anymore.} Kg7
39. e5 dxe5 40. Nh5+ Kh7 41. Be4+ {After the exchange sacrifice "the key thing
is that it's easier to play for White" (Carlsen).} 1-0

Magnus Carlsen is the sole leader after three rounds

A good sport, Nakamura did join the analysis in the press room after the game. Asked whether the players change their play with the 3-1-0 point system, the American answered:

Not particularly. In general it's very hard to change your style to suddenly go all out. I think the verdict is still out if it's good or bad.

Kramnik was surprised to see Mickey Adams going for a position a pawn down where the Englishman could have reached a draw easily.

[Event "3rd London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2011.12.05"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Adams, Michael"]
[Black "McShane, Luke J"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2734"]
[BlackElo "2671"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "122"]
[EventDate "2011.12.03"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. Nbd2 Bb6 8. Nc4
Ne7 9. Ba4 (9. Nxb6 axb6 10. Ba4 Ng6 11. h3 Nh5 12. Bg5 f6 13. Be3 Nhf4 14.
Bb3+ Kh8 15. Bxf4 Nxf4 16. Nh4 f5 17. Nxf5 Qg5 18. Qg4 Qf6 19. Qh4 Qxh4 20.
Nxh4 Nxd3 {Anand,V (2817)-Carlsen,M (2823)/Moscow 2011}) 9... Ng6 10. h3 Be6
11. Bc2 h6 12. a4 c5 $146 (12... Bxc4 13. dxc4 a5 14. g3 Qe7 15. Kg2 Qe6 16.
Qe2 Rfe8 17. Bd2 Nd7 18. Rad1 Nc5 19. Bc1 Qd7 20. b3 Qe6 {Svidler,P (2731)
-Akopian,V (2691)/Plovdiv 2010}) 13. Nxb6 axb6 14. d4 Qc8 15. Re1 b5 16. Bd2
bxa4 17. Rxa4 Rxa4 18. Bxa4 Bxh3 19. Nh2 $2 {This is "admitting that I
blundered a pawn" (Kramnik).} ({Taking into account that Adams still had 40
minutes in the clock, Kramnik was very surprised that the Englishman didn't
play} 19. gxh3 Qxh3 20. Qe2 ({or even} 20. Bb5 {to allow a draw instead of
playing a position a pawn down}) 20... Ng4 {because there is} 21. Qf1 $1 Qxf3
22. Bd1 {and now the ending after} Qxf2+ 23. Qxf2 Nxf2 24. Kxf2 exd4 25. cxd4
cxd4 {is of course better for White.}) 19... Bd7 20. Bb3 Be6 21. d5 Bd7 22. Nf1
b5 23. Qf3 Nh7 24. Ng3 Ne7 25. Qh5 f5 26. f4 Nf6 27. Qe2 c4 28. Bc2 fxe4 29.
fxe5 dxe5 30. d6 Qc5+ 31. Be3 Qxd6 32. Nxe4 Nxe4 33. Bxe4 Bf5 34. Rd1 Qg6 35.
Bxf5 Rxf5 36. Rd7 Rf7 37. Bf2 Qb1+ 38. Be1 Ng6 39. Rd6 Kh7 40. Kh2 Qf5 41. Bg3
Nf4 42. Qf3 Qc2 43. Re6 Rf5 44. Bxf4 Rxf4 45. Qh5 Rf2 46. Qg4 Qd3 47. Rxe5 Rxb2
48. Qf4 Qg6 49. Qf3 Rd2 50. Rxb5 Qd6+ 51. Kg1 Rd1+ 52. Kf2 Qd2+ 53. Kg3 Qe1+
54. Kg4 Rd6 55. g3 Rf6 56. Rf5 Qe6 57. Qd5 h5+ 58. Kg5 Rxf5+ 59. Qxf5+ Qxf5+
60. Kxf5 Kh6 61. Kf4 Kg6 0-1

Mickey Adams thought he blundered a pawn but missed a tactic...

...which allowed Luke McShane to go into sole second place

Nigel Short is still the cellar-dweller with zero points out of two rounds. He came quite close to a draw this time against Levon Aronian, but in the long run the Armenian proved too strong.

[Event "3rd London Chess Classic"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2011.12.05"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Short, Nigel D"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E15"]
[WhiteElo "2802"]
[BlackElo "2698"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "119"]
[EventDate "2011.12.03"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bxd2+ 6. Qxd2 Ba6 7. b3 O-O 8.
Bg2 d5 9. cxd5 exd5 10. O-O Qd6 11. Nc3 $146 (11. Re1 Nc6 12. Nc3 Ne4 13. Qc2
Rae8 14. Rac1 Bb7 15. e3 Nxc3 16. Qxc3 Re7 {Ferrari,J (2220)-Janetschek,K
(2268)/Austria 2003}) 11... Nc6 {"Solid yet extravagant. White has to play
very precisely." (Aronian)} 12. Rac1 Rfe8 13. Qf4 Rad8 14. Rfe1 g6 (14... h6 $5
{(Aronian)}) 15. a3 (15. e3 Nb4 16. Ne5 Nd3 17. Nxd3 Bxd3 $11 {Aronian}) 15...
Kg7 16. Bf1 {Aronian was happy to have found his last two moves.} (16. e3 Qxa3
17. Ra1 Qxb3 18. Rxa6 Qxc3) (16. Qxd6 Rxd6 17. e3 Nb8) 16... Na5 $6 ({Aronian
expected} 16... Nb8 {which protects Ba6, so ideas with e2-e4 are avoided.}) 17.
Qxd6 Rxd6 18. Nd2 Ne4 (18... c5 19. dxc5 bxc5 20. Na4 c4 21. b4 Nb7 22. e4) 19.
Ncxe4 dxe4 20. b4 Nc6 21. e3 Bxf1 22. Kxf1 Re7 23. Nc4 Rd8 24. Re2 f6 25. Rec2
Nb8 26. a4 $6 {"Spoiling a nice position." (Aronian)} ({With} 26. b5 {or}) (26.
Nd2 {White keeps a nice advantage (Aronian).}) 26... Na6 {Aronian just missed
this.} 27. Nd2 c5 $1 {"I forgot this somehow." (Aronian)} 28. bxc5 bxc5 29. Nb3
cxd4 30. Nxd4 Nb4 31. Rc7 {"I was lucky I still had this." (Aronian)} Rdd7 32.
Rxd7 Rxd7 33. a5 Kf7 ({"I was} 33... f5 {and with accurate play he should get
close to a draw." (Aronian)}) 34. g4 $1 {Playing at both sides of the board.}
Nd5 35. Rc8 Ke7 36. h4 Rb7 37. h5 f5 ({It's not clear whether Black could have
avoided the loss of a pawn, but} 37... gxh5 $5 38. gxh5 Rd7 {might have been
more tenacious.}) 38. hxg6 hxg6 39. gxf5 gxf5 40. Nxf5+ Kd7 41. Rc5 Nb4 42. Ng3
Nc6 43. Nxe4 Rb1+ 44. Ke2 Ra1 45. f4 Rxa5 46. Rc2 Nb4 47. Rd2+ Ke7 48. Kf3 Rh5
49. Ng5 a5 50. e4 Rh1 51. e5 Rf1+ 52. Kg4 a4 53. e6 a3 54. Rd7+ Ke8 (54... Kf6
55. Rf7+ Kg6 56. f5+ Rxf5 57. Rxf5 a2 58. e7 $18) 55. Ne4 $1 ({White could
still spoil things with} 55. Nh7 $2 Nd5 {and it's suddenly a draw.}) 55... Nd5
56. Rxd5 a2 57. Rd7 a1=Q (57... Rg1+ 58. Kf5 Rg7 59. Rxg7 a1=Q 60. Nf6+ Kd8 (
60... Kf8 61. Rf7#) 61. e7+ Kc7 62. e8=Q+) 58. Nd6+ Kf8 59. e7+ Kg8 60. e8=Q#
1-0

Nigel Short and Levon Aronian in the front row of the Olympia Auditorium, just before the round

 

Round 3 standings

No.NameRtgScore/gameTiebreakPerf
1Carlsen,M28267.0/3 2960
2McShane,L26715.0/3 2912
3Kramnik,V28004.0/2 2921
4-5Nakamura,N27584.0/3 2809
4-5Aronian,L28024.0/3 2709
6Anand,V28112.0/2 2684
7-8Howell,D26332.0/3 2665
7-8Adams,M27342.0/3 2580
9Short,N26980.0/2 2066

Round 3 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 Carlsen-Kramnik
Carlsen1-0Nakamura Adams-Short
Adams0-1McShane Anand-Nakamura
Anand½-½Howell 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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