Nakamura wins London Chess Classic!

Hikaru Nakamura on the mark versus Boris Gelfand.
Photo by Ray Hill-Morris.

Hikaru Nakamura stormed to victory at the London Chess Classic in a new rapid format featuring 16 players in four sections. The top two from each section (double round robin) then went to in a knockout format. Nakamura defeated Boris Gelfand after winning a thrilling battle against Vladimir Kramnik in the semifinal match. Gelfand had beaten Michael Adams to advance to the final winning the right to face-off against Nakamura.

In the first game, Gelfand played his patented Grunfeld defense, but was taken aback after Nakamura’s bold 11.Nxf7!? ultimately winning the exchange. Many felt this was a dubious attempt to rattle Gelfand. However, the Israeli got a nice piece play and may have missed an opportunity to apply pressure to white centralized king. After that the American bore down, kept the exchange and wrapped up the point. Now it was up to Gelfand to win with white and carry into tiebreaks.

GM Hikaru Nakamura, 2013 London Classic
Photo by Ray Hill-Morris.

In an Averbakh King’s Indian, Gelfand was able to drum up complications and given Nakamura chances to go wrong. However, Nakamura waded through the mine fields and was actually better in the finally position. Thus, the American wins the London Chess Classic and cements his status as one of the world’s elite rapid players. This is part of the evolution of Nakamura’s quest to threaten the Carlsen-Aronian-Kramnik tripartite to change the order of the world rankings. He certainly has ambitions to challenge for the world title in the near future.

This tournament present a more exciting format than it previous year’s and may have created a winning formula. IM Malcolm Pein is promoting chess through his Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) and using the London Chess Classic as a platform to extol the virtues of chess.

Official Site: https://www.londonchessclassic.com/
Games: https://www.londonchessclassic.com/pgn/super16/super16_2013.pgn

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.

2 Comments

  1. 2013 London Chess Classic
    December 7th-15th, 2013 (London, England)
    GROUP STAGE RESULTS
    Group A
    #
    Name
    Title
    Federation
    Flag
    Rating
    Pts.
    TPR.
    1 Adams, Michael GM England
    2761 12 2902
    2 Anand, Viswanathan GM India
    2775 12 2895
    3 McShane, Luke GM England
    2697 4 2539
    4 Istratescu, Andrei GM France
    2709 4 2544
    Group B
    #
    Name
    Title
    Federation
    Flag
    Rating
    Pts.
    TPR.
    1 Svidler, Peter GM Russia
    2746 11 2794
    2 Kramnik Vladimir GM Russia
    2793 9 2714
    3 Sadler, Matthew GM England
    2573 7 2706
    4 Rowson, Jonathan GM Scotland
    2573 4 2539
    Group C
    #
    Name
    Title
    Federation
    Flag
    Rating
    Pts.
    TPR.
    1 Nakamura, Hikaru GM USA
    2772 10 2833
    2 Gelfand, Boris GM Israel
    2764 9 2768
    3 Jones, Gawain GM England
    2633 7 2695
    4 Polgar, Judit GM Hungary
    2696 5 2614
    Group D
    #
    Name
    Title
    Federation
    Flag
    Rating
    Pts.
    TPR.
    1 Caruana, Fabiano GM Israel
    2779 16 3061
    2 Short, Nigel GM England
    2684 10 2750
    3 Howell, David GM England
    2644 5 2582
    4 Sutovsky, Emil GM Israel
    2663 3 2428
    Games (PGN)


  2. 2013 London Chess Classic
    December 7th-15th, 2013 (London, England)
    PLAYOFF RESULTS
    Quarterfinals
    #
    Name
    Title
    Fed
    Flag
    ELO
    Score
    Name
    Title
    Fed
    Flag
    ELO
    1 Kramnik V GM RUS
    2793 1½-½ Anand, V GM IND
    2775
    2 Nakamura, H GM USA
    2772 1½-½ Short, N GM ENG
    2684
    3 Adams, M GM ENG
    2754 3-1 Svidler, P GM RUS
    2746
    4 Gelfand, B GM ISR
    2764 3-1 Caruana, F GM ITA
    2779
    Semifinals
    #
    Name
    Title
    Fed
    Flag
    ELO
    Score
    Name
    Title
    Fed
    Flag
    ELO
    1 Nakamura, H GM USA
    2772 1½-½ Kramnik V GM RUS
    2793
    2 Gelfand, B GM ISR
    2764 1½-½ Adams, M GM ENG
    2754
    Finals
    #
    Name
    Title
    Fed
    Flag
    ELO
    Score
    Name
    Title
    Fed
    Flag
    ELO
    1 Nakamura, H GM USA
    2772 1½-½ Gelfand, B GM ISR
    2764
    Games (PGN, VIEWER)

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