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London Chess Classic



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 15th 09, 10:35 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
ChessFire
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Posts: 2,381
Default London Chess Classic

A draw was enough and The Kid does it - aced London - what a
performance!

Short, N (2707) - Carlsen, M (2801) [B76]
London Chess Classic (7), 15.12.2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6
8.Qd2 0–0 9.0–0–0 d5 10.Kb1 Nxd4 11.e5 Nf5 12.exf6 exf6 13.Bc5 d4
14.Bxf8 Qxf8 15.Nb5 Ne3 16.Rc1 Bh6 17.Qxd4 Nf5 18.Qc3 Bxc1 19.Kxc1 Bd7
20.Bd3 Rc8 21.Qd2 Bxb5 22.Bxb5 Qc5 23.Bd3 Ne3 24.Re1 Re8 25.Qf2 f5
26.f4 Qd4 27.g3 Re6 28.Qd2 Ng4 29.h3 Rxe1+ 30.Qxe1 Nf2 31.Bf1 Ne4
32.Bg2 b6 33.c3 Qd3 34.g4 Ng3 35.b3 Ne2+ 36.Kb2 Kf8 37.Bc6 fxg4
38.hxg4 h5 39.gxh5 gxh5 40.a4 a6 41.f5 h4 42.Bg2 Ng3 43.f6 Qd6 44.Qf2
Kg8 45.b4 a5 46.bxa5 bxa5 47.Kc2 Kh7 48.c4 Qa3 49.Be4+ Kg8 50.Qf4
Qxa4+ 51.Kd2 Nxe4+ 52.Qxe4 Qa2+ 53.Kc3 Qa1+ 54.Kb3 Qd1+ 55.Kb2 Qh5
56.c5 h3 57.c6 a4 58.Ka2 Qd1 59.Qe8+ Kh7 60.Qxf7+ Kh6 61.c7 Qc2+
62.Ka3 h2 63.Qg7+ Kh5 64.Qh8+ Kg6 65.Qg8+ Kxf6 66.c8Q Qxc8 67.Qxc8 h1Q
68.Qa6+ Ke5 69.Qb5+ Qd5 70.Kxa4 Qxb5+ 71.Kxb5 ½–½
  #2  
Old December 15th 09, 11:12 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
ChessFire
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Default London Chess Classic

News release
Tuesday 15th December 2009

LONDON CHESS CLASSIC: ROUND 7 INTERIM PRESS RELEASE

Please note that this is an interim summary press release - full press
release to follow

Magnus Carlsen won the London Chess Classic after a nail-biting finish
against Nigel Short. The game ended in a draw and the single point
gained was enough to put him one point clear of Vladimir Kramnik, who
drew with Hikaru Nakamura. The other two games ended decisively. David
Howell played a superb game with Black to defeat China’s Ni Hua, while
Michael Adams outplayed Luke McShane in another close struggle.

The first game to finish was Nakamura-Kramnik where both players made
strenuous efforts to win. Ex-world champion Vladimir Kramnik gave up a
rook for a bishop and pawns, and some threats against White’s king but
the American stood firm and the players repeated the position for a
draw.

Three-time Chinese champion Ni Hua played the Ruy Lopez against
England’s top-rated teenager David Howell, but the young man from
Sussex played an excellent game. First, Howell made an energetic pawn
sacrifice to pen Ni Hua’s bishop into the corner of the board and then
attacked in the centre. Ni Hua used too much time at the critical
juncture and made some mistakes as his time ebbed away. David Howell
made no mistake and launched a winning counter-attack. As the lowest-
rated player in the field as well as the least experienced, Howell’s
final score of one win, six draws and no losses was a superb
achievement.

England’s Michael Adams too had an excellent last round, making the
same final score as David Howell. It was a classic Adams game: a slow
build-up of pressure to tie his opponent in knots. Luke McShane made
some ingenious attempts to wriggle out of trouble but Adams
successfully defused all his counterplay and won.

It was entirely fitting that the last game to finish was Nigel Short
versus Magnus Carlsen. Short went wrong in the middlegame and it
seemed as if the young Norwegian would coast to victory and take the
first prize without trouble. But perhaps the prospect of imminent
victory made Magnus Carlsen a little nervous as he suddenly spoilt his
game and even endangered the draw. The audience was enthralled by a
queen and pawns endgame which favoured Short, but Carlsen recovered
his equanimity, picked his way through a minefield of tricks and drew
the game.

This is another momentous tournament victory for Magnus Carlsen. As a
result of his victory in London, Carlsen will become the first
teenaged chessplayer in history to occupy the first place in the
official world rankings (to be published on 1 January 2010).

Final scores: 1st Carlsen 13/21, 2nd Kramnik 12, 3-4th Adams, Howell
9, 5th McShane 7, 6-7th Nakamura, Ni Hua 6, 8th Short 5.

Latest: At the gala prizegiving, held at Simpsons in the Strand on the
evening of 15 December, the trophy and winner’s cheque for 25,000
euros was presented to the tournament winner, Magnus Carlsen. The
trophy and 10,000 euros prize for the tournament’s brilliancy prize
was awarded to Luke McShane for his round five win against Hikaru
Nakamura. Malcolm Pein announced that there would be another London
tournament (dates not yet fixed) in 2010 and also that it was the
intention to hold a world chess championship match in London in 2012.

There will be a longer report about the final round, with annotated
games and more photos in a few hours’ time.

For more information, please go to www.londonchessclassic.com
  #3  
Old December 16th 09, 09:56 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
madams[_2_]
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Posts: 717
Default London Chess Classic

..
Luke McShane vs Ni Hua
London Chess Classic 2009 · French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Open
System Euwe-Keres Line (C07) · 0-1

[WhiteElo "2615"]
[BlackElo "2665"]
[PlyCount "160"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. Ngf3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. exd5 Qxd5 7. Nb5
Na6 8. c4 Qc6 9. a3 Be7 10. b4 O-O 11. Qf3 Nb8 12. Rb1 a5 13. bxa5 Qxf3
14.
Nxf3 Rxa5 15. Be2 Nbd7 16. O-O b6 17. Bd2 Ra4 18. Bb4 Nc5 19. Rfd1 Bb7
20.
Ne5 Ba8 21. f3 Rb8 22. Rd2 Ne8 23. Nd7 Rb7 24. Rbd1 g5 25. Nxc5 bxc5 26.
Bc3 Rb8 27. Be5 Rc8 28. Rd7 Bf6 29. Nd6 Bc6 30. Nxc8 Bxd7 31. Bxf6 Nxf6
32.
Nb6 Ra7 33. a4 Kf8 34. Nxd7+ Nxd7 35. Ra1 Ke7 36. Kf2 Ne5 37. Ke3 Nc6
38.
Kd3 Rb7 39. Kc3 Na5 40. Bd3 Rb3+ 41. Kc2 h5 42. g3 g4 43. f4 f5 44. Re1
Kd6
45. Rd1 Kc7 46. Re1 Rb6 47. Kc3 Nb3 48. Bc2 Nd4 49. Ra1 Rb8 50. Bd1 Rh8
51.
Kd2 h4 52. Ra3 Kb6 53. a5+ Ka6 54. Ke1 hxg3 55. hxg3 Rh1+ 56. Kd2 Rg1
57.
Ba4 Rg2+ 58. Ke1 Kxa5 59. Bc6+ Kb4 60. Ra4+ Kb3 61. Bxg2 Kxa4 62. Bb7
Kb4
63. Ba6 Ka5 64. Bc8 Kb6 65. Kd2 Kc7 66. Ba6 Nc6 67. Bb5 Na7 68. Ba4 Nc8
69.
Ke3 Nd6 70. Kf2 Kd8 71. Bc2 Ke7 72. Bd3 Kd7 73. Kg2 Kc6 74. Bf1 Kb6 75.
Kf2
Ne4+ 76. Kg2 Ka5 77. Bd3 Nd6 78. Kf2 Kb4 79. Bb1 Kc3 80. Kg2 Ne4 0-1

---

Magnus Carlsen vs Michael Adams
London Chess Classic 2009 · Nimzo-Indian Defense: Reshevsky Variation
(E46) · 1/2-1/2

[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2698"]
[PlyCount "122"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Nge2 d5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. g3
Re8
8. Bg2 Bf8 9. O-O Na6 10. a3 c6 11. f3 c5 12. g4 h6 13. h3 b6 14. Ng3
Bb7
15. f4 Rc8 16. g5 hxg5 17. fxg5 Ne4 18. Ncxe4 dxe4 19. Qg4 g6 20. Nxe4
Bxe4
21. Bxe4 cxd4 22. Bb7 Rc2 23. Bxa6 Qc7 24. Qf4 Bd6 25. Qf3 Bc5 26. Qf4
Bd6
27. Qf3 Bc5 28. Qf4 Qxf4 29. Rxf4 dxe3 30. Kf1 e2+ 31. Ke1 Rd8 32. Bxe2
Re8
33. Bd2 Rxd2 34. Kxd2 Be3+ 35. Kc2 Bxf4 36. Bc4 Bxg5 37. Rg1 Re5 38. h4
Bxh4 39. Rxg6+ Kf8 40. Rd6 Re7 41. Bb5 Rc7+ 42. Rc6 Re7 43. Rd6 Re5 44.
Bc4
Rf5 45. b4 Ke7 46. Rd5 Rf2+ 47. Rd2 Rf4 48. Bb5 Ke6 49. Re2+ Kf6 50. Rd2
Ke6 51. Re2+ Kf6 52. Rd2 Bf2 53. Rd7 a5 54. bxa5 bxa5 55. a4 Bc5 56. Rd5
Bb4 57. Kd3 Ke6 58. Rd4 Rf3+ 59. Ke2 Ra3 60. Bc4+ Ke5 61. Rd3 Rxd3
1/2-1/2

---

Nigel Short vs Magnus Carlsen
London Chess Classic 2009 · Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation.
Yugoslav Attack Modern Line (B76) · 1/2-1/2

[ECO "B76"]
[WhiteElo "2707"]
[BlackElo "2801"]
[PlyCount "2"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2
O-O 9.O-O-O d5 10.Kb1 Nxd4 11.e5 Nf5 12.exf6 exf6 13.Bc5 d4 14.Bxf8
Qxf8 15.Nb5 Ne3 16.Rc1 Bh6 17.Qxd4 Nf5 18.Qc3 Bxc1 19.Kxc1 Bd7 20.Bd3
Rc8 21.Qd2 Bxb5 22.Bxb5 Qc5 23.Bd3 Ne3 24.Re1 Re8 25.Qf2 f5 26.f4 Qd4
27.g3 Re6 28.Qd2 Ng4 29.h3 Rxe1+ 30.Qxe1 Nf2 31.Bf1 Ne4 32.Bg2 b6
33.c3 Qd3 34.g4 Ng3 35.b3 Ne2+ 36.Kb2 Kf8 37.Bc6 fxg4 38.hxg4 h5
39.gxh5 gxh5 40.a4 a6 41.f5 h4 42.Bg2 Ng3 43.f6 Qd6 44.Qf2 Kg8 45.b4 a5
46.bxa5 bxa5 47.Kc2 Kh7 48.c4 Qa3 49.Be4+ Kg8 50.Qf4 Qxa4+ 51.Kd2
Nxe4+ 52.Qxe4 Qa2+ 53.Kc3 Qa1+ 54.Kb3 Qd1+ 55.Kb2 Qh5 56.c5 h3
57.c6 a4 58.Ka2 Qd1 59.Qe8+ Kh7 60.Qxf7+ Kh6 61.c7 Qc2+ 62.Ka3 h2
63.Qg7+ Kh5 64.Qh8+ Kg6 65.Qg8+ Kxf6 66.c8=Q Qxc8 67.Qxc8 h1=Q
68.Qa6+ Ke5 69.Qb5+ Qd5 70.Kxa4 Qxb5+ 71.Kxb5 1/2-1/2

---

Ni Hua vs David Howell
London Chess Classic 2009 · Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Anderssen
Variation (C77) · 0-1

[ECO "C77"]
[WhiteElo "2665"]
[BlackElo "2597"]
[PlyCount "80"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 b5 6. Bb3 Be7 7. O-O O-O
8.
a4 Bb7 9. Nc3 b4 10. Nd5 Na5 11. Ba2 Nxd5 12. exd5 b3 13. cxb3 Bxd5 14.
Nxe5 Rb8 15. Nc4 Nc6 16. Bd2 Be6 17. Rc1 Re8 18. Re1 Bc5 19. Ne3 Ba7 20.
Bc3 Nd4 21. Qh5 h6 22. Nc4 Qg5 23. Qxg5 hxg5 24. Nd2 Bf5 25. Bxd4 Bxd4
26.
Ne4 Bxb2 27. Rb1 Ba3 28. f3 d5 29. g4 dxe4 30. gxf5 exd3 31. Rxe8+ Rxe8
32.
Rd1 Re2 33. Bb1 d2 34. Bc2 Bc5+ 35. Kh1 a5 36. Rf1 Kf8 37. Bd1 Re1 38.
Kg2
Ke7 39. Bc2 Kf6 40. h3 Ke5 0-1

---

Michael Adams vs Luke McShane
London Chess Classic 2009 · Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Breyer
Defense Zaitsev Hybrid (C95) · 1-0

[ECO "C95"]
[WhiteElo "2698"]
[BlackElo "2615"]
[PlyCount "92"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6
8.
c3 O-O 9. h3 Nb8 10. d4 Nbd7 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Bc2 Re8 13. Nf1 Bf8 14.
Ng3
c6 15. a4 Qc7 16. Be3 Rad8 17. Qc1 h6 18. b3 Qb8 19. Rb1 Qc8 20. Qb2 Qc7
21. Rbd1 Bc8 22. c4 bxc4 23. bxc4 exd4 24. Bxd4 c5 25. Bc3 Bb7 26. Nf5
Re6
27. Nd2 Rde8 28. f3 Nh5 29. Nf1 Ne5 30. N1e3 Rg6 31. Kh1 Nf4 32. Qc1 Qc8
33. Ng4 Nxg2 34. Kxg2 h5 35. Kf2 Nxf3 36. Nfh6+ Kh7 37. Kxf3 f5 38. Kg3
fxg4 39. e5 h4+ 40. Kxh4 Be7+ 41. Kg3 Rf8 42. Rf1 gxh6 43. Qb1 h5 44.
Bxg6+
Kh6 45. Bxh5 Rg8 46. Bd2+ 1-0

[chessgames.com]

m.
  #4  
Old December 16th 09, 12:17 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
SAT W-7
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Posts: 2,999
Default London Chess Classic

Carlsen , he is the Man or i should say KID..

Kasporov has turned him into an unstoppable machine right now .....He
is playing chess at a very high level in every game ...Very consistent
and that is what wins tournaments and world championships..

Hey how will they determine and winner to face the winner of Topolov
vs Anand ? I am assuming that will be taken care of next year since Top
and Anand play next year .....But i am not sure how it will be done ,
do you ?

Id say a Classical Game knock out tournament , that mite take awhile
but you would have to lose two games to get knocked out and draws do not
count.....

Thanks for all the good reading

  #5  
Old December 16th 09, 02:07 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc
ChessFire
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Posts: 2,381
Default London Chess Classic

On Dec 16, 7:17*am, (SAT W-7) wrote:
Carlsen , he is the Man or i should say KID..

* Kasporov has turned him into an unstoppable machine right now .....He
is playing chess at a very high level in every game ...Very consistent
and that is what wins tournaments *and world championships..


The first teenager to become #1 in the world. Here is likely the last
report - mostly on the final round, where England's Nigel Short gave
Carlsen a tough game - this is the official press release verbatim and
complete:-

News release
Tuesday 15th December 2009

LONDON CHESS CLASSIC: ROUND 7 PRESS RELEASE

ISN’T IT GOOD, NORWEGIAN WOOD

For many years now there has been a unique and rather touching
tradition that the people of Norway make an annual Christmas gift to
Britain of a 20-metre high Norwegian spruce tree, which is put up in
Trafalgar Square and festooned with Christmas decorations. This year
the Norwegian tree was sent to London as usual and can be seen in all
its glory in the famous square, but Norway also thoughtfully sent
another present – not as tall but every bit as impressive to anyone
who appreciates top-quality chess. 19-year-old Magnus Carlsen came,
saw and conquered at the London Chess Classic and, in the process,
launched himself to the top of the official world chess ratings.
Nobody has ever achieved this at a younger age.

So, “Magnus venit, vidit, vicit” (I knew all that school Latin would
come in handy one day)... but, before we get too carried away with all
this hyperbole, we must give credit to his last-round opponent, Nigel
Short, who gave him a terrific run for his money and provided
excellent entertainment for the chess fans at the Olympia Conference
Centre.

Let’s take things chronologically. The first game to finish was
Nakamura-Kramnik, in which both players made strenuous efforts to win.
Ex-world champion Vladimir Kramnik, needing a win to give himself a
realistic chance of the first prize, gave up a rook for a bishop and
pawns, and some threats against White’s king but the American stood
firm and the players eventually repeated the position for a draw. Both
players will be slightly disappointed with their final results in
London but they both deserve great credit for their part in making the
tournament a roaring success and entertaining the audience in the
commentary room.

Three-time Chinese champion Ni Hua played the Ruy Lopez opening
against England’s top-rated teenager David Howell. The young man from
Seaford in Sussex played an excellent game. First he made an energetic
pawn sacrifice to block up Ni Hua’s bishop in the corner of the board
and then attacked the weakened white defences in the centre. Ni Hua
used too much time at the critical juncture and made some mistakes as
his time ebbed away. David Howell made no mistake and launched a
lethal counter-attack. As the lowest-rated player in the field as well
as the least experienced, David’s final score of one win, six draws
and no losses, and third place after the two megastars, was a superb
achievement. Asked afterwards where this result ranked in his chess
career, David had no hesitation in pronouncing it his best ever.

Ni Hua - David Howell
Ruy Lopez C84

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 d3

Not seen very often and probably designed to dodge the more thoroughly
analysed lines.

5...b5 6 Bb3 Be7 7 0–0 0–0 8 a4 Bb7 9 Nc3 b4 10 Nd5 Na5 11 Ba2 Nxd5 12
exd5

12 Bxd5 avoids some of the problems that accrue after the text.

12...b3!
This sacrifice of a pawn is designed to make a mess of White's pawn
structure and also hem the bishop in on a2.

13 cxb3 Bxd5 14 Nxe5 Rb8 15 Nc4 Nc6 16 Bd2

Theory in the much-analysed Ruy Lopez goes deep into the game and can
be quite antique. Here the moves 16 d4 f5 17 Ne3 Bf7 18 Nxf5 Bf6 19
Be3 Kh8 20 Rc1 , etc, were played in the game Leonhardt-Duras,
Gothenburg 1909 - that's exactly 100 years ago.

16...Be6 17 Rc1 Re8 18 Re1 Bc5

White is still a pawn up but the extra pawn is worth less to him than
the powerful dark-square grip is to Black.

19 Ne3 Ba7 20 Bc3 Nd4

White had threatened to play d3-d4 so Black quickly slams the door on
that possible escape for the entombed a2 bishop.

21 Qh5 h6 22 Nc4 Qg5 23 Qxg5 hxg5 24 Nd2 Bf5

25 Bxd4?

Faced with the attack on his d3 pawn, White should probably just play
25 Ne4 when his position looks uncomfortable but playable. As played
the two bishops become too powerful and the d3 pawn remains under
attack.

25...Bxd4 26 Ne4 Bxb2 27 Rb1 Ba3 28 f3?

28 Nxg5 Bxd3 29 Rbd1 Bc2 30 Rxe8+ Rxe8 31 Rf1 d5 leaves White with a
number of positional problems to solve but the text, played in time
trouble, was worse still.

28...d5! 29 g4

29 Nf2 Bb4 30 Rxe8+ Rxe8 31 Kf1 c5 32 Rd1 a5 33 Bb1 leaves White very
tied up.

29...dxe4 30 gxf5 exd3 31 Rxe8+

The point is that a move such as 31 Red1? runs into 31...Re2 when the
a2 bishop is lost.

31...Rxe8 32 Rd1 Re2 33 Bb1 d2 34 Bc2

34 Kf1 Rxh2 wins in easy stages.

34...Bc5+ 35 Kh1

35 Kf1 Rxh2 is hopeless.

35...a5 36 Rf1 Kf8 37 Bd1 Re1 38 Kg2 Ke7 39 Bc2 Kf6 40 h3 Ke5 0–1

All roads lead to zugzwang. David Howell exploited his opponents
weaknesses with great skill. This game was later adjudged the best
played in the round, though there was no monetary prize for this in
the last round.

England’s Michael Adams too had an excellent last round, making the
same final score as David Howell and remaining unbeaten. His game
against Luke McShane started as a classic Adams squeeze: he applied
gradual pressure to the weak spots in his opponent’s position, to the
point where Luke could barely move. But Luke then demonstrated why he
is such a dangerous fighter. His ingenious attempts to wriggle out of
trouble brought about an exceedingly complicated position, but Adams
somehow defused all the counterplay and won. This will be great fillip
to Adams and should help to narrow the rating gap between him and
England’s number one, Nigel Short. For McShane, there was tangible
consolation in the shape of the tournament brilliancy prize of 10,000
euros, given for his win against Hikaru Nakamura in round five.


Michael Adams - Luke McShane
Ruy Lopez C95

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0–0 Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 d6 8 c3
0–0 9 h3 Nb8 10 d4 Nbd7 11 Nbd2 Bb7 12 Bc2 Re8 13 Nf1 Bf8 14 Ng3 c6 15
a4 Qc7 16 Be3 Rad8 17 Qc1 h6 18 b3 Qb8 19 Rb1 Qc8 20 Qb2

You are probably wondering why no comments have appeared until now.
Because it has all been played before (as both players were aware) by
Michael Adams against Alexander Morozevich in Lugo in 2007. That game
continued with 20 b4 Qc7 21 Nd2 d5 22 dxe5 Nxe5 23 Bd4 Ned7 24 exd5
Nxd5 and they then agreed a draw - not an option for the players in
London, of course.

20...Qc7 21 Rbd1 Bc8 22 c4 bxc4 23 bxc4 exd4 24 Bxd4

The Ruy Lopez is sometimes referred to as the "Spanish Torture".
Despite his mild-mannered appearance, Michael Adams is one of the most
skilled torturers in the business. He is in his element in this sort
of position, gradually creeping forward to exploit barely perceptible
weakness in the enemy camp.

24...c5

Black creates another weakness (on d5). An alternative may be 24...Re6
but it is getting uncomfortable for Black.

25 Bc3 Bb7 26 Nf5 Re6

26...Bxe4? 27 Bxe4 Rxe4 28 Rxe4 Nxe4 29 Bxg7 would be disastrous.

27 Nd2 Rde8 28 f3 Nh5 29 Nf1 Ne5 30 N1e3 Rg6 31 Kh1 Nf4 32 Qc1 Qc8 33
Ng4

33...Nxg2?!

Luke McShane feels he has to make a game of it. He could play 33...Nh5
but one imagine the 'creeping barrage' would continue slowly with 34
a5 followed by weaving the web tighter with the knights on the
kingside.

34 Kxg2

You may find your computer suggests 34 Rg1!? which could be very good,
but the super-GM prefers to keep the amount of calculation required
within bounds; he doesn't want any nasty surprises.

34...h5 35 Kf2 Nxf3!?

What was I saying about avoiding complications? Sometimes, however
hard you try to keep things under control, the position gets messy
anyway. Of course, when forced to play tactically, as here, Michael
Adams is well up to the task.

36 Nfh6+!

The point was that 36 Kxf3? is answered by 36...Qxf5+ 37 Qf4 hxg4+ 38
hxg4 Qe6 . But Adams answers fire with fire.

36...Kh7

36...gxh6 37 Nf6+ Rxf6 38 Bxf6 is another variation which is hard to
evaluate.

37 Kxf3 f5

37...hxg4+ 38 Nxg4 f5 39 Ne3 leaves White's king very exposed but
Black only has a pawn for the sacrificed piece and it may not be
enough.

38 Kg3!

Stepping into the line of the g6 rook's fire looks very risky but
Michael has subjected the position to some concrete analysis and
worked out that he can survive.

38...fxg4 39 e5!

This opens up the b1–h7 diagonal and pins the rook with deadly effect.

39...h4+!? 40 Kxh4!

Luke gambles on some hesitation from Michael (but is not rewarded). If
White retreats with, for example, 40 Kh2?? he is lost: 40...g3+ 41 Kg1
Qxh3 and Black wins.

40...Be7+

41 Kg3

You may find your computer suggests 41 Kh5!? but it could be quite
hard for a human to figure out what is happening after, say, 41...Qe6
42 exd6 Bf3 (although a computer can find a couple of good moves
easily enough). Instead, Michael plays something more readily
calculable.

41...Rf8

41...gxh6 42 Qb1 Reg8 43 Rxd6! Bxd6 44 exd6 and now the threat of 45
Re7+ is very powerful.

42 Rf1 gxh6 43 Qb1 h5 44 Bxg6+ Kh6 45 Bxh5 Rg8

45...Kxh5 46 Qh7+ Kg5 47 h4 is mate.

46 Bd2+ 1–0

46...Bg5 47 Rf6+ mates very soon.

That just left Magnus Carlsen’s crucial game against Nigel Short. It
lasted around five and a half hours and was a game of considerable
fluctuations. Once Kramnik had agreed a draw, Carlsen only needed a
draw to secure the first prize. However, the tournament rules
precluded the agreeing of a draw in a position with life in it, so the
two players got on with the job of playing the game through to its
logical conclusion. After a fairly equal opening, Nigel Short made a
mistake around move 25, and Carlsen seemed to be on the verge of
victory. As with many sports stars on the brink of victory (e.g. a
tennis player needing to serve out for a grand slam title or a golfer
needing a straightforward putt for an open championship), nerves
played their part. Magnus sometimes plays chess like a machine but he
is human like the rest of us.

The game swung in favour of Short as they reached a queen and pawns
endgames where Nigel had checkmating threats and even the chance of
having two queens operating together on the board. It was an
enthralling finish for the spectators but Carlsen recovered his
equanimity and picked his way through a minefield of tricks laid for
him by the former world title challenger. At the end of the game, just
the two kings were left on the board – and there can be no better
proof of a game fought to the bitter end.


Nigel Short - Magnus Carlsen
Sicilian Dragon B76

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 g6

Magnus goes for the Sicilian Dragon, virtually guaranteeing the
spectators an entertaining game. One imagines that his coach, Garry
Kasparov, would have had some say in this opening choice.

6 Be3 Bg7 7 f3 Nc6 8 Qd2 0–0 9 0–0–0 d5 10 Kb1 Nxd4 11 e5 Nf5 12 exf6
exf6 13 Bc5

Nigel can recapture the pawn more or less when he wants and the
priority is to preserve the e3 bishop.

13...d4

Looks very daring but the players are still following established
theory.

14 Bxf8 Qxf8 15 Nb5 Ne3 16 Rc1

16 Re1 has been played before in an obscure game and should have
continued 16...f5 17 Nxd4 f4 when Black's powerful knight on e3 and
potential pressure against the c2 pawn would have given him some
compensation for the exchange sacrifice.

16...Bh6 17 Qxd4

Giving back the exchange is not quite forced but probably best.

17...Nf5 18 Qc3 Bxc1 19 Kxc1 Bd7 20 Bd3 Rc8 21 Qd2

21 Qxf6 Qh6+ 22 Kb1 Bxb5 23 Bxb5 Qd2 is probably about equal.

21...Bxb5 22 Bxb5 Qc5 23 Bd3 Ne3 24 Re1 Re8

25 Qf2

After the game, Nigel berated himself for this move, though computers
seem to think better of it. The position is fairly balanced.

25...f5 26 f4?!

Maybe this is some kind of concession. Fritz advocates 26 Be4!? fxe4
27 Qxe3 Qxe3+ 28 Rxe3 f5 29 fxe4 fxe4 30 Kd2 as being a little better
for White.

26...Qd4 27 g3 Re6 28 Qd2 Ng4 29 h3?!

White's position becomes difficult after this. One neat path to a draw
found by Fritz is 29 Rxe6 fxe6 30 h3 Nf2 (after 30...Nf6 White has 31
Be2!? Qg1+ 32 Qd1 Qxg3 33 Qd8+ , also with perpetual check) 31 Bc4!?
Qxc4 32 Qd8+ and it is drawn by perpetual check.

29...Rxe1+ 30 Qxe1 Nf2 31 Bf1 Ne4 32 Bg2 b6

White is now forced on the defensive.

33 c3 Qd3 34 g4 Ng3 35 b3

Not 35 Qe8+?? which loses after 35...Kg7 36 Qe5+ Kh6 37 g5+ Kh5 38 b4
Ne2+ 39 Kb2 Qd2+ 40 Ka3 Nxf4, etc.

35...Ne2+ 36 Kb2 Kf8 37 Bc6 fxg4

Around here, the commentators looked at 37...g5!? with a view to
forcing a passed f-pawn. They were working without benefit of a
computer engine. Fritz gives 38 fxg5 f4 39 a4 a6 40 Bd5!? b5 41 axb5
axb5 42 Bg2 f3 43 Bf1 Kg7 and Black certainly looks to have some
chances.

38 hxg4 h5 39 gxh5 gxh5 40 a4 a6

Black cannot allow the killing Bb5.

41 f5!

This maintains the balance. Though he stays tied to the defence of his
c3 pawn, White will have a few threats of his own once this pawn comes
to f6.

41...h4

41...f6 has some merit but White can play 42 Bb7 and it is not
entirely clear if White can make progress.

42 Bg2 Ng3 43 f6 Qd6

43...Qe2+!? 44 Qxe2 Nxe2 looks quite promising for Black, but White
may be able to hold.

44 Qf2 Kg8 45 b4 a5 46 bxa5 bxa5 47 Kc2 Kh7 48 c4 Qa3! At this stage
Black is in the ascendant and White has a difficult defensive task.

49 Be4+ Kg8

49...Nxe4? would be very bad: 50 Qxh4+ Kg6 51 Qxe4+ Kxf6 and only
White could win.

50 Qf4 Qxa4+ 51 Kd2 Nxe4+ 52 Qxe4 Qa2+ 53 Kc3 Qa1+ 54 Kb3

54...Qd1+?

What is wrong with 54...Qxf6 , you ask? The answer is "nothing". Nigel
was amazed that Magnus didn't play this move, after which Black could
well be winning.

55 Kb2 Qh5?!

Magnus is suffering a momentary wobble. 55...Qd2+ is the safe way to
bale out for a draw (which by now was all Magnus needed to secure a
tournament victory).

56 c5!

Suddenly things are not so clear. Nigel only has two pawns to Magnus'
three, but the English duo are a couple of stops nearer their
destination than the Norwegian trio, and the f6 pawn provides the
white queen with some mating possibilities.

56...h3 57 c6 a4 58 Ka2!

Nigel was rightly pleased with this quiet little move, which sets
Magnus a horribly difficult puzzle to solve with only a few seconds
left on his clock. Black to play and find the only move to draw,
secure a famous tournament victory and go to number one in the world
rankings. Imagine the pressure - would Magnus do it?

58...Qd1!!

Online commentator Daniel King was one of the many who were staggered
by the young man's ability to find this crucial move as his time ebbed
away.

59 Qe8+ Kh7 60 Qxf7+ Kh6

The time control. Now the players had 15 minutes each, with 30–second
increments. Perhaps I am too fanciful for my own good, but it struck
me that the pawn race was a sort of chessboard re-enactment of the
1911 race to the South Pole between the great English hero Captain
Scott and the legendary Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen.

61 c7

At the moment the English horses seem to have the better of the
Norwegian husky on h3.

61...Qc2+ 62 Ka3 h2! 63 Qg7+ Kh5 64 Qh8+ Kg6 65 Qg8+ Kxf6 66 c8Q Qxc8
67 Qxc8 h1Q 68 Qa6+ Ke5 69 Qb5+ Qd5 70 Kxa4 Qxb5+ 71 Kxb5

So "Scott-Amundsen: The Rematch" ends in a draw. A goodly share of the
credit for some fighting chess goes to "Short of the Antarctic" but
Carlsen wins the tournament and claims the right to plant the
Norwegian flag. A fitting conclusion to an historic tournament in
London.

The single point gained from this draw was enough to put Magnus
Carlsen just ahead of ex-world champion Vladimir Kramnik and clinched
a momentous tournament victory. As a result of his result in London,
Carlsen will become the first teenage chessplayer in history to occupy
first place in the official world rankings (to be published on 1
January 2010).

Final scores (after applying tie breaks):

1st Carlsen 13/21
2nd Kramnik 12
3rd Howell 9
4th Adams 9
5th McShane 7
6th Ni Hua 6
7th Nakamura 6
8th Short 5

LONDON CHESS CLASSIC: THE SEQUEL?

That is not quite the end of the story. At the gala prizegiving, held
at Simpsons in the Strand in the evening, where the trophy and
winner’s cheque for 25,000 euros were presented to the tournament
winner, and the 10,000 euros prize for the tournament’s brilliancy
prize awarded to Luke McShane for his round five win against Hikaru
Nakamura, tournament director Malcolm Pein announced that there would
be another London tournament (dates not yet fixed) in 2010 and also
that it was the intention to hold a world chess championship match in
London in 2012. Watch this space...

For more information, please go to www.londonchessclassic.com

ENDS

For further information please call:
John Saunders
Chess Press Chief, London Chess Classic
Mobile: 07777 664111
E :
 




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