2010 London Chess Classic

GMs Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik. Photo by Frederic Friedel.

GMs Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik.
Photo by Frederic Friedel.

Four of the world’s top players will be in Kensington for the 2010 London Classic. World Champion Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik and Hikaru Nakamura will join four of the top English players in a marquee event. Michael Adams, Nigel Short, Luke McShane and David Howell will defend homecourt. The prize fund is 145,000 euros.

The tournament is a single round-robin with time controls of 40/2 then 15 minutes with 30-second increment. “Sofia Rules” are in effect and will include the scoring system of three points for a win and one point for a draw. There will be a daily Best Game prize of 1,000 euros. Carlsen is the defending champion.

2010 London Chess Classic
December 8-15, 2010 (London, England)
#
Name
Title
Federation
Flag
Rating
1 Anand, Viswanathan GM India
2804
2 Carlsen, Magnus GM Norway
2802
3 Kramnik, Vladimir GM Russia
2791
4 Nakamura, Hikaru GM USA
2741
5 Adams, Michael GM England
2723
6 Short, Nigel GM England
2680
7 McShane, Luke GM England
2645
8 Howell, David GM England
2611
Official Site

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

17 Comments

  1. Round #1: Wednesday December 8, 2010
    Nigel Short 1-0 Vladimir Kramnik
    Michael Adams 1-0 David Howell
    Luke McShane 1-0 Magnus Carlsen
    Viswanathan Anand ½-½ Hikaru Nakamura

  2. Round #2: Thursday December 9, 2010
    Vladimir Kramnik 0-1 Hikaru Nakamura
    David Howell ½-½ Viswanathan Anand
    Magnus Carlsen 1-0 Michael Adams
    Nigel Short 0-1 Luke McShane

    GM Hikaru Nakamura. Photo by Frederic Friedel.

    Nakamaru scored big win today against Kramnik.
    Photo by Frederic Friedel.

    Standings after Round #2

    Luke McShane 2/2 for 6 points; Hikaru Nakamura, 1½/2 for 4 points; Vladimir Kramnik, Magnus Carlsen, Michael Adams; 1/2 for 3 points; Viswanathan Anand, 1/2 for 2 points; David Howell, ½/2 for 1 point; Nigel Short, 0/2 for zero points. (Note: Scoring is 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss)

    ICC’s Game of the Day (Carlsen-Adams)
    Commentary by GM Yasser Seirawan


    Videos by Macauley Peterson for ICC.

  3. Round #3: Friday December 10, 2010

    Luke McShane ½-½ Vladimir Kramnik
    Hikaru Nakamura ½-½ David Howell
    Viswanathan Anand 1-0 Magnus Carlsen
    Michael Adams ½-½ Nigel Short

    Anand topples slumping Carlsen…
    McShane holds Kramnik, maintains lead

    Anand and Carlsen analyzing. Photo by Frederic Friedel.

    Anand and Carlsen in post-mortem. Photo by Frederic Friedel.

    Standings after Round #3

    Luke McShane 2½/3 for 7 points; Viswanathan Anand, Hikaru Nakamura, 2/3 for 5 points; Michael Adams, Vladimir Kramnik, 1½/3 for 4 points; Magnus Carlsen, 1/3 for 3 points; David Howell, 1/3 for 2 points; Nigel Short, ½/3 for one point. (Note: Scoring is 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss)

    ICC’s Game of the Day (Anand-Carlsen)
    by GM Larry Christiansen


    Videos by Macauley Peterson for ICC.

  4. Round #4: Saturday December 11, 2010

    Magnus Carlsen 1-0 Hikaru Nakamura
    Luke McShane ½-½ Michael Adams
    Vladimir Kramnik 1-0 David Howell
    Nigel Short 0-1 Viswanathan Anand

    Anand wins again… Kramnik back on track… Carlsen rebounds

    Standings after Round #4

    Luke McShane, Viswanathan Anand, 3/4 for 8 points; Vladimir Kramnik, 2½/4 for 7 points; Magnus Carlsen, 2/4 for 6 points; Michael Adams, Hikaru Nakamura, 2/4 for 5 points; David Howell, 1/4 for 2 points; Nigel Short, ½/4 for one point. (Note: Scoring is 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss)

  5. The main website has a nice slideshow at the London Classic with some familiar faces. World Championship contender Viktor Korchnoi is seen giving a simul while the Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) rolled out their programs aimed at youth chess. Also seen in the photos taken by photographer Ray Morris-Hill is Sabrina Chevannes who is apparently working with CSC along with IM Malcolm Pein.

    Sabrina Chevannes is now passing on her success to her predecessors.
    Photo by Ray Morris-Hill.

    Check out the CSC website!!

  6. After four rounds, the battle for 1st place is still in doubt. McShane and Anand lead by two points, but play tomorrow. Anand and Carlsen have to play Kramnik. Nakamura has the “easiest” schedule with Short, McShane and Adams left. Of course none are easy opponents. The point system makes it very interesting.

  7. Round #5: Sunday December 12, 2010

    David Howell 0-1 Magnus Carlsen
    Viswanathan Anand ½-½ Luke McShane
    Michael Adams ½-½ Vladimir Kramnik
    Hikaru Nakamura 1-0 Nigel Short

    Carlsen joins leaders… beats Howell

    Carlsen comes charging back! Photo by John Saunders.

    Carlsen comes charging back! Photo by John Saunders.

    Standings after Round #5

    Luke McShane, Viswanathan Anand, 3½/5 for 9 points, Magnus Carlsen, 3/5 for 9 points; Vladimir Kramnik, Hikaru Nakamura, 3/5 for 8 points; Michael Adams, 2½/5 for 6 points; David Howell, 1/5 for 2 points; Nigel Short, ½/5 for one point. (Note: Scoring is 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss)

  8. Round #6: Tuesday December 14, 2010

    Vladimir Kramnik ½-½ Magnus Carlsen
    Nigel Short ½-½ David Howell
    Michael Adams ½-½ Viswanathan Anand
    Luke McShane ½-½ Hikaru Nakamura

    Miracle save by Carlsen! Kramnik botches beautifully-played game. Carlsen in position to win tournament facing hapless Short while Kramnik faces Anand tomorrow.

    Both Vladimir Kramnik and Hikaru Nakamura were a point behind the field and were looking to convert in the penultimate sixth round. Nakamura had black against Luke McShane who sitting atop the field. Kramnik was playing Magnus Carlsen in an epic battle. Unfortunately, Nakamura and Kramnik missed winning continuations in their games and now Carlsen appears to be in the driver’s seat to win the tournament. The only thing standing between Carlsen and victory is the hapless Nigel Short who has two draws in six games.

    Nakamura (right) played well, but allowed McShane to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat. Photo by Christian Sasse.

    Nakamura (right) played well, but allowed McShane to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat. Photo by Christian Sasse.

    In McShane-Nakamura, chose the English Opening, but got nothing out of the opening. Within 30 moves, black has wrested the initiative and Nakamura’s pieces were bearing down on white’s position. After arriving at a winning position, the American allowed Luke McShane to get counter play against the king and the game ended in a perpetual check. It appears that black would have had winning chances with 36…Qb4.

    In Kramnik-Carlsen, an even worse fate was met when former world #1 and World Champion dismantled his opponent in Petrosian style only to allow black to set up an endgame fortress. No one is sure why Kramnik opted for 62.Rxd6+ Kxd6 63.Ne4+ Kc6 64.Kxc5 instead of 62.Rd3! to continue applying pressure. This simplifies into a winning position, but it is certainly not as easy as it appears. It turns out that Kramnik had a problem-like win, but nevertheless it was a win.

    Kramnik was unable to find 69.g5! hxg5 70.g3! (70.Kg4 Kg4 71.g3! also wins) Kd4 71.Kg4 winning.

    Kramnik dawdled with 69.Kg3? when the winning plan was 69.g5! hxg5 70.g3! (70.Kg4 Ke3 71.g3! also wins) Kd4 71.Kg4 winning. Kramnik’s text was one of the worst moves on the board for white since black soon cornered the white king with 69…Ke3. Ironically, Kramnik had a second chance with 70.g5! but continued to allow the black king to invade with the inexplicable 70.Kh4? Carlsen then found the fortress and chess commentators and fans were stunned at yet another Kramnik mental meltdown.

    Thus, a three-way tie remains with one round and Carlsen has the better tiebreaks since he will have played black four times, a strange tiebreaker. If Carlsen beats Nigel Short he would win the tournament despite having two losses in seven games. McShane will end with David Howell while Nakamura will get Michael Adams. The epic matchup will be Viswanathan Anand against Kramnik, but nothing is expected here. Short’s abysmal performance will only be forgotten if he beats Carlsen on his home turf. That would be redemption!

    Standings after Round #6

    Luke McShane, Viswanathan Anand, 4/6 for 10 points, Magnus Carlsen, 3½/6 for 10 points; Vladimir Kramnik, Hikaru Nakamura, 3½/6 for 9 points; Michael Adams, 3/6 for 7 points; David Howell, 1½/6 for 3 points; Nigel Short, 1/6 for 2 points. (Note: Scoring is 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss)

    ICC’s Game of the Day (Kramnik-Carlsen)
    by GM Jonathan Speelman

    Videos by Macauley Peterson for ICC.

  9. Carlsen has clinched victory! By the virtue that he has played four blacks means that he has the best tiebreaks. Short gave little resistance in this game and has been almost gleeful in his losses. Of course, we were expecting more from him. I don’t think he’s ever scored 1/7 as a professional. Perhaps he should go the way of Anatoly Karpov and focus on chess exhibitions and promotion. It is a disappointment for such a legend go down that way.

  10. Round #7: Wednesday December 15, 2010

    Magnus Carlsen 1-0 Nigel Short
    Viswanathan Anand ½-½ Vladimir Kramnik
    Hikaru Nakamura ½-½ Michael Adams
    David Howell ½-½ Luke McShane

    Short fails to salvage tournament… Carlsen wins finale to clinch 1st place!

    Standings after Round #7

    Magnus Carlsen, 4½/7 for 13 points; Luke McShane, Viswanathan Anand, 4½/7 for 11 points, Vladimir Kramnik, Hikaru Nakamura, 4/7 for 10 points; Michael Adams, 3½/7 for 8 points; David Howell, 2/7 for 4 points; Nigel Short, 1/7 for 2 points. (Note: Scoring is 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss)

      1. I’m sure Fischer is rolling in his grave on Kramnik’s blown win. Kasparov must also be shaking his head. The reputation of the famed Russian School of Chess appears to have taken a hit.

        1. Yeah im certain Bobby is going off right about now! This game kinda remind me of Moro back in 2005, i mentioned on Susan’s site about 10 months ago that he played “better chess” (by Ultramodern Standard) than Topy in that tourny yet he didnt come in 1st place and missed possible World Title , it seem this happens more often than previous THEORIZERS may know, now that we have this “new strategy”, clearly this trend will continue at a much higher rate. Oh you probably can use one of their traditional machines and analyze the 2005 games of Moro and Topy and tell that way, i havent tried it but it may work! Peace.

  11. I am not a Carlsen fan, but he showed a great deal of fighting spirit in winning this tournament. This is the sign of a true champion: to come back from defeat, adversity, dispare. It would have been easy for him to accept 2nd or 3rd place, but he did give up. I like that kind of fight in a person.

  12. In the Kramnik-Carlsen, many keep saying Carlsen played the endgame brilliantly, but it was still lost. Kramnik didn’t find the zugzwang manuever. Certainly Carlsen could have resigned, but if you look at the position, it is not easy for white to play while black’s moves are limited. Kramnik perhaps got a bit tired since he missed the winning move several times. Here are some similar examples shown by players well below Kramnik’s caliber. First, Hou Yifan’s beautiful zugzwang with 44.Be7!! and then Stanley Chumfwa’s gem of 57.Bg8+!!

    GM Hou Yifan (China) – GM Koneru Humpy (India), 1-0
    Stanley Chumfwa (Zambia) – Shadrack Kantinti (Uganda), 1-0

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