SIMPLECHESS

Carlsen out on his own

Magnus Carlsen (photo by Ray Morris-Hill)
A win over Hikaru Nakamura has enabled Magnus Carlsen to take the lead after three rounds of the London Classic. An enterprising exchange sacrifice paid off as Carlsen then built up a decisive attack. Luke McShane has again hit good form, just like in last year's tournament, and is now in second place after his victory over Michael Adams.

After a relatively closed Italian Game, Luke McShane snatched Michael Adams's h-pawn with a bishop sacrifice. Adams decided not to capture the piece as his king would then have come under a strong attack, but he was unable to get much compensation. Later McShane was able to engineer simplification and a winning endgame.

Levon Aronian only obtained a nominal pull out of the opening, but gradually increased his advantage with pressure down the c-file. Short was able to liberate with ...c5, but still had inferior pieces.

Although Anand-Howell was officially a Slav, White had typical Isolated Queen's Pawn opportunties as in a Queen's Gambit Accepted. The thematic sacrifice d4-d5 however was well defended by Howell who riposted the attack and was better with just major pieces on the board. Anand opened up Black's king which enabled him to draw the queen endgame.

The 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

Vladimir Kramnik (Russia, 2800) sat out the third 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

Magnus Carlsen

NOR

2826

1

21

3 7
2

Luke McShane 

ENG 2671 74 27 3 5
3

Vladimir Kramnik

RUS

2800

4

36

2 4
4-5

Levon Aronian

ARM 2802 3 29 3 4
4-5

Hikaru Nakamura

USA

2758

10

24

3 4
6

Viswanathan Anand

IND

2811

2

41*

2 2
7-8

Michael Adams

ENG 2734 17 40 3 2
7-8

David Howell

ENG

2633

139

21

3 2
9

Nigel Short

ENG 2698 48 46 2 0

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

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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