SIMPLECHESS

A bad day for the English!

Hikaru Nakamura versus David Howell
Hikaru Nakamura won comfortably against David Howell and has taken the lead after five rounds of the 2011 London Classic. The English players scored 0/3 today, with Short losing to Anand and Adams to Kramnik. In second place is Magnus Carlsen after he drew with Levon Aronian.

David Howell suffered at the hands of Hikaru Nakamura who had the bishop pair. Under pressure he gave up the a-pawn, but he failed to stem the tide of the American's initiative.

Magnus Carlsen's interpretation of the Slav was quite interesting as he spent time on both ...a6 and ...h6 to safeguard his light-squared bishop. Aronian was able to keep a small lead in development, but Carlsen managed to liquidate the queenside to equality.

Viswanathan Anand sacrificed a pawn for some play. When he regained the material, Nigel Short had two isolated pawns which the World Champion set about pressurizing. Anand emerged with an extra pawn and had little difficulty in converting the advantage.

In a complex Catalan/Bogoljubov Michael Adams pushed both rooks pawns, but his a-pawn became weak and eventually Vladimir Kramnik won the pawn and thus ultimately the game.

The fifth round:

White Country Rating Result Black Country Rating Moves Opening details
Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2800 1-0 Michael Adams ENG 2734 55 Bogoljubov Defence
Levon Aronian ARM 2802 0.5-0.5 Magnus Carlsen NOR 2826 55 Chebanenko Slav
Hikaru Nakamura USA 2758 1-0 David Howell ENG 2633 38 English Opening
Nigel Short  ENG 2698 0-1 Viswanathan Anand IND 2811 62 Sicilian Moscow Variation

Luke McShane (England, 2671) sat out the fifth round whilst helping out with the live commentary.

Here is the tournament situation so far:

Position

Name

Country

Rating

(1/11/2011)

World Ranking

(1/11/2011)

Age

Games

played

Points

1

Hikaru Nakamura

USA 2758 10 24 5 10
2

Magnus Carlsen

NOR

2826

1

21

5 9
3-4

Luke McShane 

ENG 2671 74 27 4 8
3-4

Vladimir Kramnik

RUS

2800

4

36

4 8
5-6

Levon Aronian

ARM 2802 3 29 4 5
5-6

Viswanathan Anand

IND

2811

2 41* 4 5
7

Nigel Short

ENG 2698 48 46 4 3
8-9

Michael Adams

ENG 2734 17 40 5 2
8-9

David Howell

ENG

2633

139

21

5 2

There are 3 points for a win and 1 for a draw in London.

(*Anand will be 42 on the 11th of December).

The details of the earlier rounds follow on below.

First round:

White Country Rating Result Black Country Rating Moves Opening details
Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2800 0.5-0.5 Hikaru Nakamura USA 2758 45 Catalan with ...dxc4
Levon Aronian ARM 2802 0.5-0.5 Luke McShane ENG 2671 42 Chebanenko Slav
Magnus Carlsen NOR 2826 1-0 David Howell ENG 2633 40 Spanish with d3
Michael Adams ENG 2734 0.5-0.5 Viswanathan Anand IND 2811 49 Sicilian Najdorf

Second round:

White Country Rating Result Black Country Rating Moves Opening details
Nigel Short ENG 2698 0-1 Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2800 43 Four Knights Rubinstein
Hikaru Nakamura USA 2758 1-0 Levon Aronian ARM 2802 54 Queen's Gambit 3...Be7
Luke McShane ENG 2671 0.5-0.5 Magnus Carlsen NOR 2826 79 Spanish Neo-Archangel
David Howell ENG 2633 0.5-0.5 Michael Adams ENG 2734 35 Spanish Anti-Marshall

Third round:

White Country Rating Result Black Country Rating Moves Opening details
Levon Aronian ARM 2802 1-0 Nigel Short ENG 2698 60 Queen's Indian Defence
Magnus Carlsen NOR 2826 1-0 Hikaru Nakamura USA 2758 41 Quiet Italian
Michael Adams ENG 2734 0-1 Luke McShane ENG 2671 61 Spanish with d3
Viswanathan Anand IND 2811 0.5-0.5 David Howell ENG 2633 65 Slav Defence

Fourth round:

White Country Rating Result Black Country Rating Moves Opening details
Michael Adams ENG 2734 0-1 Nigel Short ENG 2698 71 French Tarrasch
Magnus Carlsen NOR 2826 0.5-0.5 Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2800 55 Nimzoindian with g3.
David Howell ENG 2633 0-1 Luke McShane ENG 2671 37 Scotch Opening
Viswanathan Anand IND 2811 0-1 Hikaru Nakamura USA 2758 49 King's Indian Classical Bayonnet

The playing schedule (local time):

Rounds 1 to 3, the 3rd to 5th of December at 2pm.

Round 4 on the 6th of December at 4pm.

(Rest day on the 7th of December)

Rounds 5-8, the 8th to the 11th of December at 2pm.

Round 9 will be on the 12th of December at 12 noon.

For Los Angeles subtract eight hours.

For New York subtract five hours.

For Paris and Madrid, add one hour.

For Moscow add three hours.

For Mumbai add five-and-a-half hours.

For Sydney add eleven hours.

More information from the official site: http://www.londonchessclassic.com/classic.htm


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