London Chess Classic 2017

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  • London Chess Classic 2017

    London Chess Classic 2017

    October 8, 2017

    DATES December 1 - December 11, 2017
    LOCATION Olympia Conference Center
    FORMAT 10-Player Round Robin
    PRIZE FUND $300,000


    Magnus Carlsen • Fabiano Caruana • Sergey Karjakin • Hikaru Nakamura • Maxime Vachier-Lagrave • Viswanathan Anand • Wesley So • Ian Nepomniachtchi • Levon Aronian • Mickey Adams

    Schedule of Events


    Thursday, November 30 Pro-Biz Cup
    Friday, December 1 Round 1
    Saturday, December 2 Rest Day 1
    Sunday, December 3 Round 2
    Monday, December 4 Round 3
    Tuesday, December 5 Round 4
    Wednesday, December 6 Round 5
    Thursday, December 7 Rest Day 2
    Friday, December 8 Round 6
    Saturday, December 9 Round 7
    Sunday, December 10 Round 8
    Monday, December 11 Round 9

    London Chess Classic Prize Fund


    1st $75,000 6th $20,000
    2nd $50,000 7th $15,000
    3rd $40,000 8th $15,000
    4th $30,000 9th $15,000
    5th $25,000 10th $15,000
    Total Prize Fund $300,000

    Grand Chess Tour: Art of Chess 2017

    The Grand Chess Tour will be complemented this year by a traveling exhibition of chess-related art and artifacts from the Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield Collection and the permanent collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame. Spectators can view the exhibit November 29-December 11 at the Olympia Conference Center.

  • #2
    Re: London Chess Classic 2017

    London Chess Classic 2017

    November 8, 2017

    Classic Pairings and Schedule

    Round 1
    Friday 1 Dec, 14.00-21.00
    Ian Nepomniachtchi - Levon Aronian
    Magnus Carlsen - Fabiano Caruana
    Mickey Adams - Sergey Karjakin
    Hikaru Nakamura - Vishy Anand
    Wesley So - Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

    Rest Day 1
    Saturday 2 Dec

    Round 2
    Sunday 3 Dec, 14.00-21.00
    Wesley So - Ian Nepomniachtchi
    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave - Hikaru Nakamura
    Vishy Anand - Mickey Adams
    Sergey Karjakin - Magnus Carlsen
    Fabiano Caruana - Levon Aronian

    Round 3
    Monday 4 Dec, 16.00-23.00
    Ian Nepomniachtchi - Fabiano Caruana
    Levon Aronian - Sergey Karjakin
    Magnus Carlsen - Vishy Anand
    Mickey Adams - Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
    Hikaru Nakamura - Wesley So

    Round 4
    Tuesday 5 Dec, 16.00-23.00
    Hikaru Nakamura - Ian Nepomniachtchi
    Wesley So - Mickey Adams
    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave - Magnus Carlsen
    Vishy Anand - Levon Aronian
    Sergey Karjakin - Fabiano Caruana

    Round 5
    Wednesday 6 Dec, 16.00-23.00
    Ian Nepomniachtchi - Sergey Karjakin
    Fabiano Caruana - Vishy Anand
    Levon Aronian - Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
    Magnus Carlsen - Wesley So
    Mickey Adams - Hikaru Nakamura

    Rest Day 2
    Thursday 7 Dec

    Round 6
    Friday 8 Dec, 16.00-23.00
    Mickey Adams - Ian Nepomniachtchi
    Hikaru Nakamura - Magnus Carlsen
    Wesley So - Levon Aronian
    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave - Fabiano Caruana
    Vishy Anand - Sergey Karjakin

    Round 7
    Saturday 9 Dec, 14.00-21.00
    Ian Nepomniachtchi - Vishy Anand
    Sergey Karjakin - Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
    Fabiano Caruana - Wesley So
    Levon Aronian - Hikaru Nakamura
    Magnus Carlsen - Mickey Adams

    Round 8
    Sunday 10 Dec, 14.00-21.00
    Magnus Carlsen - Ian Nepomniachtchi
    Mickey Adams - Levon Aronian
    Hikaru Nakamura - Fabiano Caruana
    Wesley So - Sergey Karjakin
    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave - Vishy Anand

    Round 9
    Monday 11 Dec, 12.00-21.00
    Ian Nepomniachtchi - Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
    Vishy Anand - Wesley So
    Sergey Karjakin - Hikaru Nakamura
    Fabiano Caruana - Mickey Adams
    Levon Aronian - Magnus Carlsen

    14:00 London time is 9:00 AM Toronto/Montreal time


    • #3
      Re: London Chess Classic 2017

      London Chess Classic 2017

      November 28, 2017

      Round One of the London Classic starts on December 1.

      Normally, one would be talking about the arrival of the players. But, there is a story about Tania Sachdev in The Telegraph:

      She’s in London to work as a commentator for the Chess Classic, a star-studded event that kicks off at Google’s DeepMind HQ on 1 December and continues at Olympia. The event features prize money of £228,000 and will bring the year’s Grand Chess Tour to a conclusion. Among those playing will be the prodigiously talented Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, who became a Grandmaster aged 13 and World Champion in 2013 at just 22 (he is also a sometime model).

      Now, I wouldn’t comment on what a player was wearing unless it was Kovalyov’s shorts or the hijabs at the Iran WWCC tournament, but Tania is also a model and they have two fashion photos in the article.

      These are the captions:

      Tania Sachdev wears: Dress, £3,920, Bottega Veneta (; heels, £495, Manolo Blahnik (; earrings, £360, Racil ( CREDIT: KATE PETERS

      Tania Sachdev wears: Dress, £1,679, and pumps, £618, both Givenchy (; earrings, £224, Oscar de la Renta ( CREDIT: KATE PETERS

      I make the cost of those two outfits to be

      1) £4775 ($ CA 8180)

      2) £2521 ($ CA 4320)

      I’ll be looking forward to a fresh face on the commentating team!

      Tania Sachdev will be a commentator during the online broadcast of the London Chess Classic (1-11 December 2017;


      • #4
        Re: London Chess Classic 2017

        London Chess Classic 2017

        December 1, 2017

        Round One

        The commentators are Jennifer Shahade, Yasser Seirawan, Cristian Chirila in St. Louis with Maurice Ashley in London. Round 1 is played at the headquarters of Google in downtown London.

        Demis Hassabis, co-founder of the leading artificial intelligence company DeepMind, now part of Google’s Alpha Group, paid a visit to UCL Academy, a secondary school in Camden, London, on 8 November to talk to the academy students about Artificial Intelligence and give a simul with a difference in which the opponents could consult a computer engine during play.

        Though now more famous for his pioneering work in the field of neuroscience-inspired AI, Demis Hassabis is also a chess player of some renown, having reached a rating of 2300 aged just 13 on FIDE’s January 1990 list at a time when the only player of his age group rated higher than him was Judit Polgar. He also has a connection with UCL Academy in that he studied for his doctorate in cognitive neuro-science at University College London, which sponsors the school.

        Malcolm Pein: A big thank you to Demis Hassabis and the incredible team from Deep Mind A1 for hosting the first round of London Chess and for Garry Kasparov for being our guest of honour.

        Olimpiu G Urcan tweeted an indirect knock at World Chess and Agon:

        In regard to the opening round of London Chess, this is where top-level chess really belongs. On the frontline of A1 research and innovation, not promoting fertilizer.

        Wesley So on playing in Google Headquarters: “They have great food…and I have heard they have the best WiFi in the world”

        A photograph of Wesley’s So’s shoes is circulating. They are high-ankle blue suede with shiny brown leather inserts. I have been on the lookout for Tania Sachdev and her Manolo Blahnik high heels, but nothing so far.

        The games:

        Carlsen had the better game against Caruana but could not pull off a win.

        London Chess Classic
        Round 1, Dec. 1
        Carlsen, Magnus – Caruana, Fabiano
        D27 QGA, Classical

        1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e3 Nf6 4.Bxc4 e6 5.Nf3 c5 6.O-O a6 7.Be2 Nbd7 8.Nc3 b6 9.e4 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Bb7 11.Be3 Bc5 12.f3 O-O 13.Qe1 Rc8 14.Qf2 b5 15.Rac1 Qe7 16.a4 bxa4 17.Nxa4 Bd6 18.Nb3 Bc6 19.Nc3 Rb8 20.Na5 Ba8 21.Nc4 Bc5 22.Rfd1 Rfc8 23.Na4 Bxe3 24.Qxe3 Qb4 25.Qa3 h6 26.Kf1 g5 27.Rc3 a5 28.Qxb4 axb4 29.Rcc1 Kf8 30.Na5 Ke7 31.Kf2 Rxc1 32.Rxc1 Ne8 33.Ke3 Nd6 34.Nc5 Rc8 35.Nab3 f5 36.Nxd7 Rxc1 37.Nxc1 Kxd7 38.Nd3 fxe4 39.fxe4 Ke7 40.e5 Nf5+ 41.Kf2 Nd4 42.Bd1 b3 43.Nb4 Bd5 44.g3 Bc4 45.Ke3 Nf5+ 46.Ke4 Kd7 47.g4 Ne7 48.Kd4 Bf1 49.Bxb3 Be2 50.h3 Bf1 51.Nd3 Nc6+ 52.Kc5 Bxd3 53.Ba4 Be4 54.Kb6 Bd5 1/2-1/2

        Round 1, Dec. 1
        Nepomniachtchi, Ian – Aronian, Lev
        C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed

        1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a3 O-O 9.Nc3 Bg4 10.Be3 Nd4 11.Bxd4 exd4 12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.Bxd5 Rc8 14.Bc6 Bf6 15.a4 Bd7 16.Bxd7 Qxd7 17.Qd2 Rfe8 18.Rfe1 h6 19.axb5 axb5 20.Ra6 c5 21.h3 c4 22.Qb4 Qb7 23.Rea1 cxd3 24.cxd3 d5 25.Ra7 Qc6 26.R7a6 Qb7 27.Ra7 Qc6 28.R7a6 1/2-1/2

        Round 1, Dec. 1
        So, Wesley – MVL
        A04 Reti Opening

        1.Nf3 c5 2.b3 b6 3.Bb2 Bb7 4.c4 Nf6 5.g3 e6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.Nc3 O-O 8.d4 d5 9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.dxc5 Nxc3 11.Bxc3 Qxd1+ 12.Rxd1 Bxc5 13.O-O Rc8 14.Bb2 a5 15.a3 Bf8 16.Rc1 Nd7 17.Nd2 Bxg2 18.Kxg2 b5 19.Rfd1 Nc5 20.Bd4 f6 21.Bxc5 Rxc5 22.Rxc5 Bxc5 23.Nb1 Be7 24.Rc1 Rd8 25.Kf1 Kf7 26.Ke1 Ke8 27.Rc6 Rd6 28.Rc8+ Rd8 29.Rc6 Rd6 30.Rc8+ Rd8 31.Rc6 1/2-1/2

        Round 1, Dec. 1
        Adams, Michael – Karjakin, Sergey
        A13 English, Neo-Catalan open

        1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 e6 3.Bg2 d5 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.Qa4+ Nbd7 6.Qxc4 a6 7.Qc2 c5 8.Nc3 Qc7 9.d4 b6 10.Bf4 Bd6 11.Bxd6 Qxd6 12.O-O Bb7 13.Rfd1 O-O 14.e4 cxd4 15.Nxd4 Qc7 16.Rac1 Rac8 17.Qd2 Qb8 18.Qe2 b5 19.a3 g6 20.Qe3 Rfd8 21.h3 Ba8 22.Nde2 Kg7 23.b3 h5 24.Rd2 Qb6 25.Qxb6 Nxb6 26.Rxd8 Rxd8 27.e5 Nfd7 28.Bxa8 Rxa8 29.f4 Nc5 30.Nd4 Rd8 1/2-1/2

        Maurice Ashley thought the Nakamura-Anand game the best game of the round for its complications and excitement:

        Round 1, Dec. 1
        Nakamura, Hikaru – Anand, Viswanathan
        A07 Reti, King’s Indian Attack

        1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 c5 4.O-O g6 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Bg7 7.Nb3 Nc6 8.Nc3 e6 9.e4 d4 10.Na4 O-O 11.c3 dxc3 12.Nxc3 e5 13.Be3 Bg4 14.f3 Be6 15.Nc5 Qe7 16.Nxe6 Qxe6 17.Qd2 Rfd8 18.Qf2 Bf8 19.h3 Bb4 20.Rac1 Rd3 21.Rfd1 Rad8 22.Rxd3 Rxd3 23.Bf1 Rd8 24.a3 Be7 25.g4 Kg7 26.Kh2 h6 27.h4 Nd4 28.g5 hxg5 29.hxg5 Nh7 30.Bh3 Qb3 31.f4 Nc6 32.Nd5 exf4 33.Bxf4 Bxg5 34.Bxg5 Nxg5 35.Qf6+ Kh6 36.Bg2 Nh7 37.Qxf7 Rf8 38.Qc7 Qxb2 39.Rh1 Qf2 40.Kh3 Rf7 41.Qg3 Qb2 42.Ne3 Nf6 43.Bf3 Kh7 44.Nf5 1/2-1/2

        Tomorrow is a rest day with no play

        Official Recap

        2017 London Chess Classic Recap - Round 1

        by Tatev Abrahamyan

        It was a peaceful day at the Google Headquarters in London, which hosted round one of the London Chess Classic. The day started slowly with three symmetrical positions out of the opening. It seemed that the only game that had any promise of producing a decisive result was the battle between Carlsen and Caruana until the game between Anand and Nakamura steered itself toward murkier waters. Unfortunately, neither Carlsen nor Anand were able to drive the full point home and now all the players have equal points. It is very unusual to have a rest day after round one, but the games will resume on Sunday at the usual location of the Olympia Conference Center.

        Ian Nepomniachtchi – Levon Aronian ½-½

        Aronian repeated the opening he played against Vachier-Lagrave during the World Cup in September which resulted in a loss. As Levon put it himself, he likes to play something that has brought him unhappiness in the past, for he likes to prove that his play was the culprit, not the opening itself. His approach seemed to work out as Nepomniachtchi was not able to put significant pressure on his opponent, ending the game in a draw by repetition.

        Wesley So – Maxime Vachier-Lagrave ½-½

        The American surprised his opponent in the opening by playing an anti-theoretical quiet system. Of course, the downside of playing in such a manner can be the inability to pose any realistic problems for the opponent to solve. The Frenchman equalized without any problems and the position remained symmetrical throughout the game. The players agreed to a draw in the endgame once they reached the 30-move draw requirement.

        Michael Adams – Sergey Karjakin ½-½

        Adams gained the upper hand out of the opening but lost the thread of the game. He felt that he had the wrong set up and his position was going nowhere as he kept shuffling his queen around. At the end, he pulled himself together and played a few accurate moves to reach completely equality and draw the game.

        Hikaru Nakamura – Viswanathan Anand ½-½

        This was the game of missed opportunities. Nakamura had the better position but pushed too hard and found himself defending his weakened king. Anand did not play the most precise way and suddenly both kings were in provocative positions. Nakamura offered a draw in a complicated position. Anand regretted agreeing to a draw quickly instead of spending twenty minutes to calculate all the intricacies of the position but felt that the draw was still a good result.
        Last edited by Wayne Komer; Friday, 1st December, 2017, 07:05 PM.


        • #5
          Re: London Chess Classic 2017

          London Chess Classic 2017

          December 3, 2017

          Round Two

          The games:

          London Classic 2017
          Round 2, Dec. 3
          Karjakin, Sergey – Carlsen, Magnus
          C50 Giuoco Piano

          1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.O-O Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.c3 a6 7.a4 Ba7 8.Re1 h6 9.Nbd2 g5 10.b4 Nh5 11.Nb3 g4 12.b5 gxf3 13.Qxf3 Qf6 14.Qxf6 Nxf6 15.bxc6 bxc6 16.d4 Be6 17.Bxe6 fxe6 18.Be3 exd4 19.Bxd4 e5 20.Bxa7 Rxa7 21.Na5 Kd7 22.Rab1 Raa8 23.f3 Rab8 24.Kf2 h5 25.h4 Rhf8 26.Ke3 Rg8 27.Kf2 Rgf8 28.Ke3 Rg8 29.Kf2 Rgf8 30.Ke3 1/2-1/2

          Round 2, Dec. 3
          MVL – Nakamura, Hikaru
          B78 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack

          1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.h4 h5 11.Bb3 Rc8 12.O-O-O Ne5 13.Bg5 Rc5 14.Kb1 Re8 15.g4 hxg4 16.f4 Nc4 17.Qd3 Na5 18.Bxf6 exf6 19.Bd5 Nc6 20.Nxc6 bxc6 21.Bxf7+ Kxf7 22.Qxd6 Rxc3 23.Qxd7+ Qxd7 24.Rxd7+ Ke6 25.Rxg7 Rf3 26.Rxg6 Rxf4 27.Rg1 Rxe4 28.R6xg4 Rxg4 29.Rxg4 f5 30.Ra4 Rg8 31.b3 Rg4 32.Rxa7 f4 33.Kc1 f3 34.Kd2 Rxh4 35.Ra8 Rh2+ 36.Kd3 Kf5 37.a4 Kg4 38.a5 Rh1 39.Rg8+ Kf4 40.Rf8+ Kg3 41.Rg8+ Kf4 42.Rf8+ Kg3 43.b4 f2 44.Kd4 f1=Q 45.Rxf1 Rxf1 46.Kc5 Rc1 47.Kxc6 1/2-1/2

          Position after White’s 17th move

          Hikaru spent 55 minutes on his 17th move.

          Mikhail Golubev – Glad that Hikaru went for the Dragon vs MVL but wonder why he hasn’t played 17…Qc8, which, by the way, scored well for Black in practice (like 4.5/5)

          Round 2, Dec. 3
          Caruana, Fabiano – Aronian, Levon
          C84 Ruy Lopez, Closed

          1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a3 O-O 9.Nc3 Bg4 10.Be3 Nd4 11.Bxd4 exd4 12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.Bxd5 Rc8 14.Bc6 Bf6 15.a4 Rb8 16.h3 Be6 17.axb5 axb5 18.Qd2 Rb6 19.Bd5 Bxd5 20.exd5 b4 21.b3 Rb5 22.Ra4 Qb8 23.Re1 Qb6 24.Re4 Qc5 25.g4 g6 26.Kg2 Bg7 27.Re7 Bf6 28.Re4 Bg7 29.Re7 Bf6 30.Re2 Bg7 31.Re7 1/2-1/2

          Round 2, Dec. 3
          So, Wesley – Nepomniachtchi, Ian
          E60 King’s Indian Defence

          1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d6 4.e4 e5 5.Ne2 c5 6.d5 Nbd7 7.Nbc3 a6 8.a4 Nh5 9.g3 Bg7 10.h4 f5 11.exf5 gxf5 12.g4 fxg4 13.fxg4 Nf4 14.g5 O-O 15.Ne4 Nb6 16.N2g3 Bd7 17.Rg1 Kh8 18.Bd2 Nc8 19.Nh5 Bf5 20.Neg3 Qd7 21.Nxg7 Qxg7 22.Nxf5 Rxf5 23.Qb3 Na7 24.Qb6 Nc8 25.Qb3 Na7 26.Qb6 Nc8 27.Qb3 1/2-1/2

          Round 2, Dec. 3
          Anand, Viswanathan – Adams, Michael
          C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence

          1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.c3 O-O 6.O-O d5 7.exd5 Qxd5 8.Bc4 Qd8 9.b4 Be7 10.Nbd2 Bf5 11.Qc2 a6 12.a4 Qd7 13.Bb2 Bd6 14.Ne4 Nxe4 15.dxe4 Be6 16.Be2 f6 17.a5 Rfd8 18.Bc1 Qf7 19.Be3 Bf8 20.Rfb1 Bc4 21.Bxc4 Qxc4 22.Nd2 Qe6 23.Kf1 Na7 24.Bxa7 Rxa7 25.Qa2 Kf7 26.Ke2 Raa8 27.Qxe6+ Kxe6 28.Nc4 c6 29.Nb6 Rab8 30.Rd1 c5 31.Rxd8 Rxd8 32.Nd5 cxb4 33.cxb4 Rc8 34.Kd3 f5 35.f3 Bd6 36.Rb1 h5 37.Ne3 g6 38.b5 fxe4+ 39.fxe4 Bc7 40.Nd5 Bxa5 41.Ra1 Bd8 42.bxa6 bxa6 43.Rxa6+ Kf7 44.Ra7+ Ke8 45.Rh7 Rc6 46.g3 Rc1 47.Rh8+ Kd7 48.Rh7+ 1/2-1/2

          Peter Dogger’s report in

          After two days the fans are still awaiting the first decisive game at the London Chess Classic. However, among the five draws in Sunday's second round was a sharp and highly entertaining Sicilian Dragon between Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Hikaru Nakamura.

          "Everyone's sharp, everyone's well-prepared" said Vachier-Lagrave about the fact that the first 10 games in London ended in draws. It's a draw fest so far, but to call it an uninteresting tournament would be highly exaggerated. This round, So vs Nepomniachtchi and MVL vs Nakamura were great fights.

          With the tournament returning to its traditional venue, the Olympia Convention Center on Hammersmith Road, the game of the day was that Dragon Sicilian between MVL and Nakamura. This line, potentially one of the sharpest opening variations in the whole spectrum of theory, is not very common at top level but will always remain popular at club level because of the abundance of mutual attacks and pretty sacrifices.

          Afterward Nakamura revealed that he had prepared it for his game with Vachier-Lagrave two weeks ago at the Palma de Mallorca FIDE Grand Prix: "I was gonna play this against Maxime in Palma and I was gonna win or I was gonna lose. Either I was gonna take the lead in the tournament or he was gonna qualify for the Candidates', that was my attitude."

          In Palma he didn't get the chance because the French GM went for 3.Bb5+. Today, Nakamura figured "why not use it."
          It didn't come as a complete surprise to MVL, who nonetheless lamented his lack of proper study. But, the principled player that he is, Vachier-Lagrave didn't shy away from the main line and then it was Nakamura who took the first long thought, on move 17.

          After more than 50 minutes the American player went for 17...Na5, which was virtually a novelty. "I was trying to figure out the different variations. I just couldn't remember the lines." He had some worries about the (theoretical) move 17...Qc8.

          MVL admitted that he "made a couple of miscalculations" which included taking on c6, which took Nakamura "totally by surprise." Still, the endgame was tougher to defend than it seemed, and Naka was happy with his accurate play in the ending.


          • #6
            Re: London Chess Classic 2017

            London Chess Classic 2017

            December 4, 2017

            Round Three

            The games:

            Round 3, Dec. 4
            Carlsen, Magnus – Anand, Vishy
            E04 Catalan, open

            1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 dxc4 5.Nf3 c5 6.O-O Nc6 7.Na3 cxd4 8.Nxc4 Bc5 9.b3 Qe7 10.Nfe5 Nxe5 11.Nxe5 Nd7 12.Bf4 O-O 13.Rc1 Rd8 14.Nd3 Bb6 15.Bc7 Re8 16.Qc2 e5 17.Rfd1 Nf8 18.a4 Bg4 19.Bxb6 axb6 20.h3 Rac8 21.Qd2 Be6 22.Nxe5 Rxc1 23.Rxc1 Bxb3 24.Nf3 Bxa4 25.Nxd4 Ne6 26.Nf5 Qf6 27.Ne3 Qd4 28.Qa2 Nc5 29.Rc4 Bb3 30.Rxd4 Bxa2 31.Rb4 Re6 1/2-1/2

            Round 3, Dec. 4
            Nakamura, Hikaru – So, Wesley
            B44 English, Sicilian Szen

            1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.e4 Bb4 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.Bd3 e5 9.O-O O-O 10.Be3 d5 11.exd5 Bxc3 12.bxc3 cxd5 13.Bg5 dxc4 14.Bxc4 Qc7 15.Bxf6 Qxc4 16.Bxe5 Bf5 17.Bd4 Rfe8 18.Qc1 h6 19.Qf4 Bg6 20.Qg3 Kh7 21.h4 f6 22.Rfd1 Re7 23.Rd2 Rae8 24.f3 Re2 25.Rxe2 Rxe2 26.a3 Qb3 27.Re1 Rxe1+ 28.Qxe1 Qxa3 29.c4 Qd3 30.Bxa7 Qxc4 31.Bf2 1/2-1/2

            Round 3, Dec. 4
            Nepomniachtchi, Ian – Caruana, Fabiano
            A07 Reti, King’s Indian Attack, Pachman System

            1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.O-O e5 5.d3 Ne7 6.e4 O-O 7.exd5 Nxd5 8.Re1 Nc6 9.Nc3 Nde7 10.Rb1 a5 11.a3 Re8 12.b4 axb4 13.axb4 Nf5 14.b5 Ncd4 15.Nd2 Ra7 16.Nde4 h6 17.Nd5 Ra5 18.c4 c6 19.bxc6 bxc6 20.Nb6 Qc7 21.Bd2 Ra2 22.Nc3 Ra6 23.Nxc8 Rxc8 24.Ne2 Nxe2+ 25.Rxe2 Nd4 26.Re1 Rd8 27.Bc3 Ra2 28.Ra1 Rxa1 29.Bxa1 Qb6 30.Qa4 Nb3 31.Be4 1/2-1/2

            Round 3, Dec. 4
            Adams, Michael – MVL
            B51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky Attack

            1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.a4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 Qa5 7.Ra3 e6 8.O-O Be7 9.Re1 O-O 10.d3 Qc7 11.a5 b5 12.axb6 Nxb6 13.e5 dxe5 14.Nxe5 Bd6 15.Bf4 Nxc4 16.dxc4 Bb7 17.Bg3 Rad8 18.Qe2 Rfe8 19.Raa1 Ne4 20.Nxe4 Bxe5 21.Qh5 Bxg3 22.hxg3 Bxe4 23.Rxe4 Qb7 24.Ree1 Qxb2 25.Qxc5 Rc8 26.Qa3 Qxa3 27.Rxa3 Rxc4 28.Rxa6 Rxc2 29.g4 Rb8 30.Rea1 Rcc8 31.Ra7 g6 32.Kh2 Rc4 33.R1a4 Rxa4 34.Rxa4 Rb5 35.Kg3 Kg7 36.Ra7 h5 37.gxh5 Rxh5 38.Kf3 Rf5+ 39.Ke3 Rb5 40.g4 Rb3+ 41.Kf4 Rb4+ 42.Kg3 g5 43.f3 Kg6 44.Rc7 Rb6 45.Ra7 Rd6 46.Rc7 f5 47.gxf5+ exf5 48.Rc2 Rd3 49.Kf2 Ra3 50.Rb2 Kh5 51.Kg2 Kh4 52.Rb4+ f4 53.Rb2 g4 54.fxg4 Kxg4 55.Kf2 Rh3 56.Kg2 f3+ 57.Kg1 Kg3 58.Rg2+ fxg2 1/2-1/2

            Round 3, Dec. 4
            Aronian, Levon – Karjakin, Sergey
            E00 Queen’s Pawn game

            1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Be7 5.Bg2 d5 6.Nf3 O-O 7.O-O Nbd7 8.Na3 c6 9.Rc1 Ne4 10.Be3 f5 11.Rc2 a5 12.Qc1 Bf6 13.Rd1 g5 14.Nb1 Rf7 15.Nc3 Rg7 16.Ne1 Nd6 17.b3 dxc4 18.Na4 cxb3 19.axb3 Nb5 20.Nd3 Qe8 21.Ne5 f4 22.gxf4 gxf4 23.Bxf4 Nxd4 24.Rxd4 Nxe5 25.Rd1 Qg6 26.Bg3 h5 27.Nb6 Rb8 28.Rcd2 Nf7 29.Qc5 e5 30.Qc4 Kh8 31.h4 Bf5 32.Nd7 Rbg8 33.Kh1 1/2-1/2

            Position after White’s offer of a draw

            When the draw offer was made, Aronian's clock was at 03.19 and Karjakin's at 01.30. When the latter accepted, it had gone down to 0.46

            The third round with all draws. What would happen if all nine rounds had draws? Then you would have ten people all tied for first. The regs:

            4. Where there is a tie for first place in an Event, there shall be a playoff between the top two players in the Event standings, which shall be determined as follows:

            4.1. Number of games won by each of the players involved in the tie.

            4.2. The results of the games between or amongst the players in the tie.

            4.3. If more than two players remain tied for first place after the application of Regulations 4.1 and 4.2 above, there shall not be a playoff and the Grand Chess Tour Points shall be shared amongst all players involved in the tie.

            4.4. If two or more players remain tied for second place after the application of Regulations 4.1 and 4.2 above, there shall not be a playoff. The player in first place after the application of Regulations 4.1 and 4.2 above shall be declared the winner of the event and Regulation 5 below shall apply.

            Tweets near the end of the round:

            Chess24 – Potential non-draw alert! Objectively Karjakin is now beating Aronian.

            Chess24 – There was no cheating destiny: Karjakin accepts the draw in a winning position as he’d run out of time! 15 draws in 15

            Mark Crowther – I know from my own experience that the move accompanying a draw offer can often be quite bad. Even if the position was drawish before the move.

            Anish Giri – LOL

            Jon Ludvig Hammer – Levon and I agree on that – in fact we talked about it at the Palma closing ceremony, just a week ago. Levon adamantly said he never offers draws and leaves the draw offering to opponents, but I suppose he makes an exception for losing positions!

            - That doesn’t make any sense to me. I would think that Karjakin has a decisive advantage after Kh1!

            - White’s b-pawn falls soon. I just don’t see how white is going to stop the advance of black’s three queenside pawns!

            - To, me, even if you don't see Be7, it makes sense to play on, as I certainly would in my own games. I can't know what I'd do in Karjakin's place.

            From the diagram above, a possible line:

            33. ..Be7 34.e4 Bxd7 35.Rxd7 Bh4 36.Qc3 Bxg3 etc.
            Last edited by Wayne Komer; Monday, 4th December, 2017, 10:15 PM.


            • #7
              Re: London Chess Classic 2017

              London Chess Classic 2017

              December 5, 2017

              Round Four

              The games:

              Round 4, Dec. 5
              MVL – Carlsen, Magnus
              C54 Giuoco Piano

              1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.O-O O-O 7.Re1 Ne7 8.d4 Bb6 9.a4 c6 10.dxe5 Ng4 11.Rf1 dxe5 12.Qxd8 Bxd8 13.h3 Nf6 14.Nxe5 Nxe4 15.Re1 Nd6 16.Bb3 Re8 17.Nf3 Nd5 18.Rd1 Ne4 19.Bxd5 cxd5 20.Rxd5 Be6 21.Re5 Nf6 22.Re1 Bc7 23.Na3 a6 24.Nc2 Nd5 25.c4 Nf4 26.Bxf4 Bxf4 27.b3 Rad8 28.Rad1 Kf8 29.Nb4 Bc7 30.Nd3 Bf5 31.Rxe8+ Kxe8 32.Re1+ Kf8 33.Nc5 Bc8 34.Kf1 Ba5 35.Re3 Rd1+ 36.Ke2 Rb1 37.Ne4 Rb2+ 38.Kf1 Bf5 39.Nd6 Rb1+ 40.Ke2 Rb2+ 41.Kf1 Rb1+ 42.Ke2 Rb2+ 1/2-1/2

              Round 4, Dec. 5
              Anand, Vishy – Aronian, Levon
              C8 Ruy Lopez, Closed

              1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.h3 Bb7 9.d3 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nbd2 Qd7 12.a4 Rae8 13.axb5 axb5 14.Nxe5 Nxe5 15.Rxe5 Nf6 16.Nf1 Bd6 17.Rxe8 Rxe8 18.Be3 Qf5 19.Qe2 Qg6 20.f3 Bd5 21.c4 Be6 22.c5 Bxb3 23.cxd6 cxd6 24.Qd2 h6 25.Bf2 Rc8 26.Ne3 Nd5 27.Nxd5 Bxd5 28.Kh2 Qg5 29.Be3 Qf5 30.Rc1 Rxc1 31.Qxc1 1/2-1/2

              Round 4, Dec. 5
              Nakamura, Hikaru – Nepomniachtchi, Ian
              B91 Sicilian, Najdorf, Zagreb variation

              1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.g3 g6 7.Bg2 Bg7 8.O-O O-O 9.b3 Bd7 10.Bb2 Nc6 11.Nd5 Re8 12.c4 Nxd5 13.exd5 Nxd4 14.Bxd4 b5 15.Bxg7 Kxg7 16.Qd4+ Kg8 17.Rfc1 Qa5 18.h4 h5 19.c5 dxc5 20.Rxc5 Rac8 21.b4 Qb6 22.Rac1 Qd6 23.f4 Ra8 24.Rc7 Rac8 25.Rxc8 Rxc8 26.Rc5 Ra8 27.Qe5 Ra7 28.Rc3 f6 29.Qe3 Ra8 30.Qc5 Rc8 31.Qxd6 exd6 32.Rxc8+ Bxc8 1/2-1/2

              Round 4, Dec. 5
              So, Wesley – Adams, Michael
              A08 Reti, King’s Indian Attack

              1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 c5 3.c4 d4 4.b4 cxb4 5.a3 bxa3 6.Bg2 Nc6 7.Bxa3 e5 8.Bxf8 Kxf8 9.d3 g6 10.O-O Kg7 11.Nbd2 Nf6 12.Qb3 h6 13.Qb2 Re8 14.Ra3 Re7 15.e3 dxe3 16.fxe3 Bg4 17.d4 Bxf3 18.Nxf3 exd4 19.exd4 Qd6 20.d5 Ne5 21.Nxe5 Qxe5 22.Qxe5 Rxe5 23.d6 Rd8 24.Rxa7 Rxd6 25.Rxb7 Rd7 26.Rb6 Ng4 27.Bh3 h5 28.Bxg4 hxg4 29.Rb2 Rc5 30.Rc2 Rd4 31.Rf4 Rxf4 1/2-1/2

              The game of the round and the only win

              Round 4, Dec. 5
              Karjakin, Sergey – Caruana, Fabiano
              B48 Sicilian, Taimanov variation

              1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.Qf3 Ne5 8.Qg3 b5 9.O-O-O Nf6 10.f4 Neg4 11.Bg1 h5 12.e5 b4 13.Na4 Nd5 14.Nb3 Bb7 15.Nac5 Bc6 16.Ne4 f5 17.h3 h4 18.Qe1 fxe4 19.hxg4 Nxf4 20.Rxh4 Rxh4 21.Qxh4 Qxe5 22.Bd4 Ng6 23.Qh3 Qg5+ 24.Kb1 Bd5 25.Bg1 Be7 26.g3 Ne5 27.Be2 Nf3 28.Bxf3 exf3 29.Bd4 Kf7 30.Nc1 d6 31.Nd3 e5 32.Bf2 Be6 33.Nxb4 e4 34.Qh1 Rc8 35.Nxa6 Qa5 36.Qh5+ Qxh5 37.gxh5 Bg5 38.Re1 Bc4 39.Nb4 Re8 40.Re3 Bxe3 41.Bxe3 Re5 42.g4 Rg5 0-1

              Cristian said that the early b5 in the Taimanov was played earlier this year by the Polish player Jan-Krzysztof Duda and a month later Fabi was playing it. Duda is a young player, and one with overwhelming confidence. He already has a rating of 2710. He was born in April 1998 and received his grandmaster title in 2013 at the age of 15 years and 21 days.

              Fabi now leads the tournament. Poor Sergey said that yesterday he missed a win and today, lost and so now he is at the bottom of the tournament.

              Fabi meets Vishy Anand tomorrow.

              He had a good lifetime score against him but has lost twice in 2017 - at Altibox Norway and in the Sinquefield Cup. So, tomorrow’s encounter should be interesting.

              Sergey meets Ian.


              • #8
                Re: London Chess Classic 2017

                London Chess Classic 2017

                December 6, 2017

                Round Five

                The games:

                Round 5, Dec. 6
                Adams, Michael – Nakamura, Hikaru
                B76 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, Rauser variation

                1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.O-O-O d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Qb6 14.Na4 Qc7 15.Nc5 Rd8 16.Bc4 Bf5 17.Bb3 Nb6 18.Qc3 h5 19.g3 Nd5 20.Qc4 e6 21.Rhe1 Qe7 22.Nd3 Nb6 23.Qc5 Rd6 24.Rd2 Nd7 25.Qc3 Bxd3 26.Rxd3 Rxd3 27.Qxd3 Nc5 28.Qc3 Rd8 29.a3 Qd6 30.Bc4 Na4 31.Qe3 Nb6 32.Be2 Qe7 1/2-1/2

                Round 5, Dec. 6
                Nepomniachtchi, Ian – Karjakin, Sergey
                E35 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa variation

                1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 c5 8.e3 cxd4 9.exd4 Nc6 10.Bb5 O-O 11.Ne2 Qb6 12.Bxc6 Qxc6 13.Bxf6 Qxf6 14.O-O Bxc3 15.Qxc3 Bg4 16.f3 Bd7 17.Qd2 Bb5 18.Rfe1 Bxe2 19.Rxe2 Rfe8 20.Rae1 Rxe2 21.Rxe2 Rc8 22.b3 b6 23.h3 a5 24.Qe3 a4 25.bxa4 Rc4 26.Qe8+ Kh7 27.Qe5 Rxd4 28.Qxf6 gxf6 29.Rb2 Rxa4 30.Rxb6 Rxa2 1/2-1/2

                Round 5, Dec. 6
                Aronian, Levon – MVL
                D70 Neo-Grunfeld Defence

                1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3 O-O 8.Qd2 e5 9.d5 c6 10.Rd1 cxd5 11.exd5 N8d7 12.Nh3 e4 13.fxe4 Ne5 14.Nf2 f5 15.Bc5 Rf7 16.Be2 f4 17.Bf3 Nbc4 18.Qe2 b6 19.Bd4 Ne3 20.Bxe3 fxe3 21.Qxe3 Qf8 22.Be2 Bh6 23.Qd4 Bg7 24.Qe3 Bh6 25.Qd4 Bg7 1/2-1/2

                Round 5, Dec. 6
                Caruana, Fabiano – Anand, Vishy
                C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence

                1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.Nc3 O-O 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.h3 Nd7 8.Be3 Bd6 9.Ne2 Re8 10.g4 Nc5 11.Ng3 Ne6 12.Nf5 c5 13.h4 a5 14.h5 Ra6 15.Qd2 Nd4 16.Rh3 Bf8 17.O-O-O Be6 18.Kb1 f6 19.c3 Nxf3 20.Rxf3 c4 21.Qc2 cxd3 22.Rxd3 Qc8 23.g5 fxg5 24.Bxg5 Bf7 25.h6 gxh6 26.Bc1 Qe6 27.b3 a4 28.c4 axb3 29.axb3 Qc6 30.Rg3+ Kh8 31.Rd1 b5 32.c5 b4 33.Bb2 Bg6 34.Rd5 Qb5 35.Rg1 c6 36.Rxe5 Rxe5 37.Bxe5+ Kg8 38.Bd4 Kf7 39.Nh4 1-0

                - 32……Qxc5 instead of b4 was preferred
                - Don Fabio is the only guy in London who can WIN games
                - 2 wins in a row, fabi has a good chance to win the Giri Cup
                - it would be very funny if Caruana won the tournament and nobody else won a single game. Has that ever happened before?

                Round 5, Dec. 6
                Carlsen, Magnus – So, Wesley
                C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence

                1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.Bg5 Nd4 6.Nxd4 Bxd4 7.c3 Bb6 8.Nd2 c6 9.Ba4 h6 10.Bh4 d6 11.Nc4 Bc7 12.Ne3 Bb6 13.Bb3 g5 14.Bg3 Bxe3 15.fxe3 Bg4 16.Qd2 Nh5 17.O-O O-O 18.Be1 Qe7 19.h3 Be6 20.Qe2 Bxb3 21.Qxh5 Bc2 22.Qe2 Ba4 23.b3 Bb5 24.a4 Ba6 25.b4 b6 26.c4 Bb7 27.a5 f6 28.d4 Qh7 29.c5 bxc5 30.bxc5 Qxe4 31.cxd6 exd4 32.Qc4+ Kg7 33.a6 Bc8 34.Qxd4 Qxd4 35.exd4 Rb8 36.Bf2 Rf7 37.d5 cxd5 38.Rfc1 d4 39.Bxd4 Bf5 40.Rc7 Rd8 41.Bc5 Rdd7 42.Rxd7 Rxd7 43.Kf2 Be4 44.g4 f5 45.Ke3 Kf6 46.Ra5 Bc2 47.Rb5 Ke6 48.Rb2 f4+ 49.Kd4 Bd1 50.Rb8 f3 51.Ke3 Kd5 52.Ba3 Be2 53.Rh8 Kc4 54.Rxh6 Kb3 55.Bc5 Kc4 56.Bd4 Kd5 57.Rg6 Rxd6 58.Rxg5+ Ke6 59.Bxa7 Rxa6 60.Bc5 Ra2 61.Kf4 f2 62.Re5+ Kf7 63.Rf5+ Kg8 64.Bxf2 Bf1 65.Kg3 Ra3+ 66.Rf3 Rxf3+ 67.Kxf3 Bxh3 68.Kf4 Bxg4 1/2-1/2

                - For what it's worth, the Sesse supercomputer thinks Carlsen started going wrong with 56 Bd4. The machine wanted 56 Ba3 instead with a nearly +3 advantage, and a liquidation to a couple of connected passed pawns for white on the kingside. Who knows?

                Position after 59…Rxa6

                Better is 60.Rg6+ Kf7 61.Rxa6 Bxa6 62.Kxf3


                From Peter Doggers at

                Caruana Again Only Winner In London

                Going into the rest day Fabiano Caruana took a full-point lead at the London Chess Classic. In round five he was again the only winner after beating Vishy Anand.

                Even after five rounds, seven players are still on a clean 50 percent. We have Anand and Karjakin on minus one, as both players lost to the leader: Caruana. The London Chess Classic might become the first tournament win for Caruana with Carlsen in it, since his legendary win at the 2014 Sinquefield Cup.

                The draw percentage keeps on growing and has now reached a staggering 92%, but even if all the remaining games at the 2017 London Chess Classic end peacefully it will not be "worse" than the 1999 Petrosian Memorial, where Ivkov, Portisch, Taimanov, Spassky, Smyslov, Hort, Balashov, Tseshkovsky, Gligoric, and Larsen played a closed round robin and only three games out of 45 ended decisively.

                Those were different circumstances, with probably less incentive to play for a win, but even with serious money on the line here in London, the super GMs have a hard time winning games. Except Fabiano Caruana, that is.

                Magnus Carlsen got some winning chances against Wesley So, who defended like a lion today. "I thought it was pretty much equal until he allowed this 29.c5, and then I got a huge initiative," said Carlsen. Right before the time control I thought I was close to winning; then after the time control I realized it wasn't so at all. So I had to start anew. When I got this pawn h6 I was reasonably optimistic but I didn't see a way so probably he defended very well."

                Carlsen winning this tournament got a bit less likely, but obviously he hasn't given up yet. "I first of all have to keep fighting. Today wasn't great, it wasn't the result I needed, but it was a step up from the two previous games so hopefully I can pick up on that and get some energy for the next game."

                Last edited by Wayne Komer; Wednesday, 6th December, 2017, 11:38 PM.


                • #9
                  Re: London Chess Classic 2017

                  London Chess Classic 2017

                  December 8, 2017

                  Round Six

                  The games:

                  Round 6, Dec. 8
                  MVL – Caruana, Fabiano
                  C42 Petrov, Classical Attack, Marshall variation

                  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.O-O O-O 8.c4 c6 9.Re1 Bf5 10.Qb3 Qd7 11.Nc3 Nxc3 12.Bxf5 Qxf5 13.Qxb7 Qd7 14.Qxd7 Nxd7 15.c5 Bxh2+ 16.Nxh2 Ne4 17.f3 Ng3 18.Bf4 Nf5 19.Rad1 Rfe8 20.Rxe8+ Rxe8 21.g4 Ne7 22.Rd3 Nf8 23.Rb3 Ne6 24.Be3 Ng6 25.Kf2 Ngf4 26.Rb7 Kf8 27.Nf1 Re7 28.Rb8+ Re8 29.Rb7 Re7 30.Rb8+ Re8 31.Rxe8+ Kxe8 32.Bxf4 Nxf4 33.Ke3 Ng2+ 34.Kf2 Nf4 35.Ke3 Ng2+ 36.Kf2 Nf4 1/2-1/2

                  Round 6, Dec. 8
                  So, Wesley – Aronian, Levon
                  C88 Ruy Lopez, Closed, anti-Marshall

                  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.a4 b4 9.d4 d6 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.Nbd2 Bc5 12.a5 Be6 13.Bxe6 fxe6 14.Qe2 Ng4 15.Rf1 Bxf2+ 16.Rxf2 Nd4 17.Qc4 Nxf2 18.Kxf2 Qh4+ 19.Kg1 Qg4 20.h3 Qg3 21.Qd3 Rxf3 22.Nxf3 Rf8 23.Nxd4 Qe1+ 24.Kh2 Rf1 25.Qxf1 Qxf1 26.Nf3 c5 27.b3 Qd1 28.Bb2 Qxc2 29.Bxe5 Qxb3 30.Rf1 h6 31.Rf2 c4 32.Rd2 c3 33.Rd8+ Kf7 34.Rc8 Qb1 35.Rc7+ Ke8 36.Rc8+ Kf7 37.Rc7+ Ke8 38.Rc8+ 1/2-1/2

                  Round 6, Dec. 8
                  Adams, Michael – Nepomniachtchi, Ian
                  B90 Sicilian, Najdorf

                  1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 g6 7.Be2 Bg7 8.O-O O-O 9.Be3 Nc6 10.Qd2 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Be6 12.a5 Rc8 13.Rfd1 Qc7 14.h3 Rfe8 15.Ra3 Nd7 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.Qd4+ Kg8 18.Rd2 Qc5 19.Qxc5 Rxc5 20.Nd5 Bxd5 21.exd5 b5 22.axb6 Nxb6 23.Rxa6 Nxd5 24.c3 Nc7 25.Rb6 d5 26.Rb7 e6 27.Rd3 Na8 28.Rd4 Rc7 29.Rdb4 Kg7 30.f4 Ree7 31.Rxc7 Rxc7 32.Rb8 Ra7 33.b4 Nc7 34.b5 Ra8 35.Rb7 Ne8 36.c4 Nd6 37.Rc7 dxc4 38.Bxc4 Ra1+ 39.Kf2 Rc1 40.b6 Nxc4 41.b7 Rb1 42.Rxc4 Rxb7 43.Ra4 h6 44.Ra5 Rb2+ 45.Kf3 Rb3+ 46.Kf2 Rd3 47.h4 Rd5 48.Ra7 g5 49.hxg5 hxg5 50.fxg5 Rxg5 51.g3 Kg6 52.Kf3 Rf5+ 53.Kg2 Rb5 54.Re7 e5 55.Kf2 f6 56.Re8 Kf5 57.Rf8 Rb3 58.Kg2 Rb2+ 59.Kf3 Rb3+ 60.Kg2 Ke6 61.Kf2 Ra3 62.Re8+ Kf5 63.Rf8 Ra7 64.Kf3 Rg7 65.Re8 Kg5 66.Re6 Rg8 67.Re7 Kf5 68.Rh7 Ra8 69.Rh5+ Kg6 70.Rh4 f5 71.Rb4 Kg5 72.Rb7 e4+ 73.Ke3 Ra3+ 74.Kf2 Ra2+ 75.Ke3 Kg4 76.Rg7+ Kh3 77.Rg5 Ra3+ 78.Kf2 Rf3+ 79.Ke1 Kg2 80.Ke2 Rf2+ 81.Ke3 Kf1 82.g4 Rf3+ 83.Kd4 e3 84.Rxf5 Rxf5 85.Kxe3 Rf8 0-1

                  Round 6, Dec. 8
                  Anand, Vishy – Karjakin, Sergey
                  A18 English, Mikenas-Carls, Flohr variation

                  1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 d5 4.e5 d4 5.exf6 dxc3 6.bxc3 Qxf6 7.Nf3 e5 8.d4 Nc6 9.Bg5 Qg6 10.d5 Nb8 11.h4 h6 12.h5 Qa6 13.Be3 Nd7 14.Bd3 Ba3 15.O-O Qd6 16.Nh4 O-O 17.Nf5 Qf6 18.Ng3 Qh4 19.Nf5 Qf6 20.Ng3 Qh4 1/2-1/2

                  The game of the round. The commentators were all predicting a win for Hikaru and then, that fatal 59.Rxf5

                  Round 6, Dec. 8
                  Nakamura, Hikaru – Carlsen, Magnus
                  C45 Scotch, Mieses variation, main line

                  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.h4 Bb7 9.c4 Nb6 10.Rh3 Qe6 11.f4 O-O-O 12.a4 d5 13.a5 Nxc4 14.b3 Bb4+ 15.Kf2 Nxa5 16.Bd2 c5 17.Rxa5 Bxa5 18.Bxa5 Qf5 19.Nc3 Qxf4+ 20.Kg1 Rhe8 21.Nb5 a6 22.Rf3 Qxe5 23.Qxe5 Rxe5 24.Bxc7 Ree8 25.Bxd8 Rxd8 26.Na3 Rd7 27.Bd3 Kd8 28.Bxh7 g6 29.h5 gxh5 30.Rf6 Ke7 31.Rb6 Rc7 32.Nc2 a5 33.Ne3 c4 34.Bc2 Bc6 35.bxc4 dxc4 36.Ra6 a4 37.Bxa4 Be4 38.Ra5 Ke6 39.Rxh5 c3 40.Bb3+ Kd6 41.Bc2 Bxc2 42.Nxc2 Ke6 43.Kf2 f5 44.Rh3 Ke5 45.Rd3 Kf4 46.Rd4+ Kg5 47.Kf3 Rc8 48.Ra4 Rc7 49.Ra8 Kf6 50.Ra6+ Kg5 51.Nd4 Rc4 52.Ne6+ Kf6 53.Nf4+ Ke5 54.Nd3+ Kd5 55.Ra2 Kd4 56.Nc1 c2 57.Ra5 Rc3+ 58.Kf4 Rc8 59.Rxf5 Re8 60.Rf7 Re1 61.Rd7+ Kc3 62.Rc7+ Kd2 63.Nb3+ Kd3 64.Nc5+ Kd4 65.Nb3+ Kd3 66.Nc5+ Kd4 67.Nb3+ Kd3 68.g4 Rf1+ 69.Kg5 Rb1 70.Nc5+ Ke3 71.Nb3 Kd3 72.Nc5+ Ke3 73.Nb3 1/2-1/2

                  Position after Black’s Move 58….Rc8

                  59...Re8 was the only drawing move. Carlsen found it.

                  Peter Doggers has a full analysis of the Nakamura-Carlsen game at:


                  A bit of his commentary:

                  Hikaru Nakamura had Magnus Carlsen on the ropes today, but failed to deliver. The only winner in round six of the London Chess Classic was Ian Nepomniachtchi, who beat Michael Adams.

                  Nakamura not winning his game was bad news for Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who otherwise would have become the virtual leader of the Grand Chess Tour with three rounds to go.

                  Nakamura made it an exciting game from the very start by playing 8.h4, revived by Alexander Morozevich in recent years but originally invented by the creative Dutch grandmaster John van der Wiel.

                  Carlsen was slightly worse in an endgame where he had three pawns for a piece, and even more so when he lost two of the three. It was objectively lost at some point, but despite suffering from a nasty cold today, the world champ managed to survive.

                  The game ended with a rare scene for the world champion: he stopped the clock, called the arbiter and claimed a draw as the same position was about to appear for the third time. The game had in fact seen a threefold repetition earlier as well.

                  Standings after Round Six

                  1 Caruana 4.0
                  2 Nepomniachtchi 3.5
                  3-7 Carlsen, Aronian, MVL, So, Nakamura 3.0
                  8-10 Anand, Karjakin, Adams 2.5


                  • #10
                    Re: London Chess Classic 2017

                    I was sympathizing with Mickey Adams today for having to play Magnus as black after losing (though I could hardly imagine). However I looked at his game and discovered that he had a large juicy position in the middlegame. What a great player and class act! However now I notice that he is losing in the later stages. Congratulations to Magnus for being such a great fighter.


                    • #11
                      Re: London Chess Classic 2017

                      London Chess Classic 2017

                      December 8, 2017

                      Round Seven

                      A list of Yasserisms flashed on the screen during the commentary:

                      “We’re susceptible to flattery.” – in response to a caller

                      “There isn’t enough firewood to make a fire.”

                      “The Dragon has more lives than a cat!”

                      “Wait ‘till I start using my other hand!”

                      “Give me your pawns, baby!”

                      The “other hand” quote came about this way – Mike Shahade, Jennifer’s dad, said, “Yaz, I am going to hit you with so many rights that you’ll be begging for a left”.

                      Yasser is very comfortable to listen to. Cristian Chirila is authoritative and well-spoken. He is a good addition to the broadcast team.

                      Maurice Ashley in London is listening to the live commentary by Lawrence Trent and GM Chris Ward. There is a large crowd of spectators because of the weekend.

                      Chris is the author of more than twelve chess books, including The Controversial Samisch King’s Indian and Unusual Queen’s Gambit Declined. He is an enthusiastic chess coach and, I am told, a keen salsa dancer.

                      One comment from a kibitzer on chess24:

                      A0 (AlphaZero) is chilling somewhere, laughing at all us.

                      The announcement of the unbeatable chess algorithm this past week seems to be on everyone’s mind.

                      The games:

                      Early on, there was great excitement with the London audience, when it was believed that Michael Adams had virtually won his game against Magnus Carlsen. Then the excitement waned and the game ground on with Magnus outplaying Michael.

                      Nepo beat Anand to share the lead with Fabi and MVL just behind.

                      What puzzled Cristian was the Karjakin just gave up instead of fighting on. He said in the post-game interview that he didn’t think MVL would blunder in the endgame, so he resigned.

                      Round 7, Dec. 9
                      Caruana, Fabiano – So, Wesley
                      C77 Ruy Lopez, Anderssen variation

                      1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d3 Bc5 6.c3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.Nbd2 O-O 9.Nf1 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Ng3 f6 12.O-O Be6 13.Ne4 Be7 14.d4 exd4 15.Nxd4 Nxd4 16.Qxd4 Bf7 17.Re1 Re8 18.Be3 c6 19.Ng3 Bf8 20.Bd2 Qd7 21.Bc2 c5 22.Qh4 Bg6 23.Bxg6 hxg6 24.Rad1 Rxe1+ 25.Rxe1 Re8 26.Rxe8 Qxe8 27.Qg4 Kf7 28.Qf3 Qd7 29.Ne4 Qf5 30.Qe2 c4 1/2-1/2

                      Round 7, Dec. 9
                      Aronian, Levon – Nakamura, Hikaru
                      D37 QGD, Hastings variation, main line

                      1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 O-O 6.e3 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Qc2 Nc6 9.Rd1 Qa5 10.a3 Re8 11.Nd2 e5 12.Bg5 Nd4 13.Qb1 Bf5 14.Bd3 Bxd3 15.Qxd3 Ne4 16.Nxd5 Nxg5 17.b4 Qd8 18.bxc5 Nde6 19.O-O Nxc5 20.Qb1 Rc8 21.f4 exf4 22.exf4 Nge4 23.Nxe4 Rxe4 24.Rde1 Rxe1 25.Rxe1 Rb8 26.Qb5 Nd7 27.h3 Nf6 28.Nxf6+ gxf6 29.Kh2 Qd6 30.Qf5 b6 31.c5 bxc5 32.Rc1 Kh8 33.Rxc5 Rg8 34.Rd5 Qb6 35.Rd7 Qc6 36.Rd2 Re8 37.Qh5 Qe4 38.Qh4 Qf5 39.Rb2 Re4 40.Qg3 Qg6 41.Qf2 Qf5 42.Rb8+ Kg7 43.Rb3 Qxf4+ 44.Rg3+ Kf8 45.Qxa7 Qe5 1/2-1/2

                      Round 7, Dec. 9
                      Nepomniachtchi, Ian – Anand, Vishy
                      A17 English Opening

                      1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.e3 a6 5.b3 Bd6 6.Bb2 O-O 7.g4 Nxg4 8.Rg1 f5 9.cxd5 e5 10.h3 Nf6 11.Ng5 Qe7 12.Qf3 Kh8 13.Ne6 Bxe6 14.dxe6 Qxe6 15.Qxb7 Nbd7 16.Bc4 Qe7 17.Qg2 Nb6 18.Be2 a5 19.Bb5 Rad8 20.Qg5 g6 21.Qh6 Ng8 22.Qg5 Nf6 23.Rd1 e4 24.Qh6 Rg8 25.Ne2 Be5 26.Bxe5 Qxe5 27.Nf4 g5 28.Rxg5 Rxg5 29.Qxg5 Rg8 30.Qh6 Rg7 31.Bc4 Nxc4 32.bxc4 Qb2 33.Ke2 a4 34.Ne6 Rf7 35.Nf4 Rg7 36.a3 Ne8 37.Qc6 1-0

                      Round 7, Dec. 9
                      Karjakin, Sergey – MVL
                      B96 Sicilian, Najdorf

                      1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 h6 8.Bh4 Qb6 9.a3 Be7 10.Bf2 Qc7 11.Qf3 Nbd7 12.O-O-O b5 13.g4 Bb7 14.Bg2 g5 15.h4 gxf4 16.g5 Ne5 17.Qxf4 hxg5 18.hxg5 Rxh1 19.Rxh1 Nfd7 20.Kb1 O-O-O 21.Rh3 Kb8 22.Be3 Rg8 23.Rg3 Rg7 24.Bh3 Rh7 25.Qf2 Nc5 26.Bg2 Qc8 27.Bc1 Bd8 28.Nf3 Ng6 29.Nd4 Ne5 30.Nf3 Ng6 31.Nd4 Bb6 32.Be3 Ne5 33.b3 Rh4 34.Nde2 Qc7 35.Bd4 Ncd7 36.Bxb6 Qxb6 37.Qxb6 Nxb6 38.Nd4 Ng6 39.Kc1 Nd7 40.Kd2 Nf4 41.Ke3 Nxg2+ 42.Rxg2 Rh3+ 43.Kd2 Ne5 44.Nde2 Nf3+ 45.Kc1 Nh4 46.Rg1 Ng6 47.Kd2 Kc7 48.Nd4 Kd7 49.Rf1 Ke7 50.Rg1 Ne5 51.Rg2 Ba8 52.Nde2 Nf3+ 53.Kc1 Rh1+ 54.Kb2 Nh4 55.Rg4 Ng6 56.Nf4 Nxf4 57.Rxf4 Rg1 58.Rh4 Rxg5 59.Kc1 d5 0-1

                      Position after Black’s 59….d5. Would you resign as White here?


                      Magnus has avoided losses in two consecutive games – drawing against Hikaru yesterday and beating Mickey today. It is hard not to emphasize how strong and what a fighter Magnus is. We have a champion who is always on top, meets every challenge and is versatile at every kind of chess. We should enjoy this time in our lives!

                      Round 7, Dec. 9
                      Carlsen, Magnus – Adams, Michael
                      A03 Bird’s Opening

                      1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.O-O O-O 6.d3 c5 7.c3 Nc6 8.Na3 Re8 9.Nh4 b6 10.e4 dxe4 11.Qa4 Qxd3 12.Qxc6 Bd7 13.Qc7 Ng4 14.Re1 Bd4+ 15.cxd4 Qxd4+ 16.Be3 Nxe3 17.Qe5 f5 18.Bh3 Nc2+ 19.Qxd4 Nxd4 20.Rxe4 fxe4 21.Bxd7 Red8 22.Ba4 e5 23.Re1 exf4 24.gxf4 a6 25.Bd1 b5 26.Nb1 Nf5 27.Nxf5 gxf5 28.Kf2 Kf7 29.Be2 Rd6 30.h4 c4 31.a4 Rc8 32.axb5 axb5 33.Na3 Rd5 34.Rc1 Rdc5 35.Nc2 Ra8 36.Ne3 Rac8 37.h5 Ke6 38.h6 Kf6 39.Ra1 b4 40.Ra6+ Ke7 41.Ra7+ Kf6 42.Ke1 b3 43.Rb7 Ke6 44.Rb6+ Ke7 45.Rb4 R8c6 46.Bxc4 Rxh6 47.Rxb3 Kd8 48.Rb8+ Kc7 49.Rf8 Rh3 50.Nd5+ Kb7 51.Rf7+ Kb8 52.b3 Rh2 53.Nb4 Kc8 54.Na6 Rc6 55.Rf8+ Kb7 56.Bd5 Kxa6 57.Bxc6 Kb6 58.Bd7 1-0

                      Note: The original score given was wrong and has been corrected. Thanks to Egidijus for pointing this out.

                      Rank after Round 7

                      1-2 Caruana, Nepomniachtchi 4.5
                      3-4 Carlsen, MVL 4.0
                      5-7 Aronian, So, Nakamura 3.5
                      8-10 Anand, Karjakin, Adams 2.4

                      Pairings for last two rounds

                      Round 8
                      1. Carlsen-Nepomniachtchi
                      2. Adams-Aronian
                      3. Nakamura-Caruana
                      4. So-Karjakin
                      5. MVL-Anand

                      Round 9
                      1. Nepomniachtchi-MVL
                      2. Anand-So
                      3. Karjakin-Nakamura
                      4. Caruana-Adams
                      5. Aronian-Carlsen

                      Note: Last round starts at 12:00 London time, which is 7:00 AM Toronto/Montreal time
                      Last edited by Wayne Komer; Saturday, 9th December, 2017, 09:49 PM.


                      • #12
                        Re: London Chess Classic 2017

                        Originally posted by Wayne Komer View Post
                        Magnus has avoided losses in two consecutive games – drawing against Hikaru yesterday and beating Mickey today. It is hard not to emphasize how strong and what a fighter Magnus is. We have a champion who is always on top, meets every challenge and is versatile at every kind of chess. We should enjoy this time in our lives!

                        Round 7, Dec. 9
                        Carlsen, Magnus – Adams, Michael
                        A03 Bird’s Opening

                        1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.h4 Bb7 9.c4 Nb6 10.Rh3 Qe6 11.f4 O-O-O 12.a4 d5 13.a5 Nxc4 14.b3 Bb4+ 15.Kf2 Nxa5 16.Bd2 c5 17.Rxa5 Bxa5 18.Bxa5 Qf5 19.Nc3 Qxf4+ 20.Kg1 Rhe8 21.Nb5 a6 22.Rf3 Qxe5 23.Qxe5 Rxe5 24.Bxc7 Ree8 25.Bxd8 Rxd8 26.Na3 Rd7 27.Bd3 Kd8 28.Bxh7 g6 29.h5 gxh5 30.Rf6 Ke7 31.Rb6 Rc7 32.Nc2 a5 33.Ne3 c4 34.Bc2 Bc6 35.bxc4 dxc4 36.Ra6 a4 37.Bxa4 Be4 38.Ra5 Ke6 39.Rxh5 c3 40.Bb3+ Kd6 41.Bc2 Bxc2 42.Nxc2 Ke6 43.Kf2 f5 44.Rh3 Ke5 45.Rd3 Kf4 46.Rd4+ Kg5 47.Kf3 Rc8 48.Ra4 Rc7 49.Ra8 Kf6 50.Ra6+ Kg5 51.Nd4 Rc4 52.Ne6+ Kf6 53.Nf4+ Ke5 54.Nd3+ Kd5 55.Ra2 Kd4 56.Nc1 c2 57.Ra5 Rc3+ 58.Kf4 Rc8 59.Rxf5 Re8 60.Rf7 Re1 61.Rd7+ Kc3 62.Rc7+ Kd2 63.Nb3+ Kd3 64.Nc5+ Kd4 65.Nb3+ Kd3 66.Nc5+ Kd4 67.Nb3+ Kd3 68.g4 Rf1+ 69.Kg5 Rb1 70.Nc5+ Ke3 71.Nb3 Kd3 72.Nc5+ Ke3 73.Nb3 1/2-1/2
                        Your game is not correct.

                        Carlsen, Magnus - Adams, Michael
                        London Chess Classic 2017 (7.2)

                        1. f4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. d3 c5 7. c3 Nc6 8. Na3 Re8 9. Nh4 b6 10. e4 dxe4 11. Qa4 Qxd3 12. Qxc6 Bd7 13. Qc7 Ng4 14. Re1 Bd4 15. cxd4 Qxd4 16. Be3 Nxe3 17. Qe5 f5 18. Bh3 Nc2 19. Qxd4 Nxd4 20. Rxe4 fxe4 21. Bxd7 Red8 22. Ba4 e5 23. Re1 exf4 24. gxf4 a6 25. Bd1 b5 26. Nb1 Nf5 27. Nxf5 gxf5 28. Kf2 Kf7 29. Be2 Rd6 30. h4 c4 31. a4 Rc8 32. axb5 axb5 33. Na3 Rd5 34. Rc1 Rdc5 35. Nc2 Ra8 36. Ne3 Rac8 37. h5 Ke6 38. h6 Kf6 39. Ra1 b4 40. Ra6 Ke7 41. Ra7 Kf6 42. Ke1 b3 43. Rb7 Ke6 44. Rb6 Ke7 45. Rb4 R8c6 46. Bxc4 Rxh6 47. Rxb3 Kd8 48. Rb8 Kc7 49. Rf8 Rh3 50. Nd5 Kb7 51. Rf7 Kb8 52. b3 Rh2 53. Nb4 Kc8 54. Na6 Rc6 55. Rf8 Kb7 56. Bd5 Kxa6 57. Bxc6 Kb6 58. Bd7 1-0


                        • #13
                          Re: London Chess Classic 2017

                          London Chess Classic 2017

                          December 10, 2017

                          Round Eight

                          An announcement about next year’s cycle:

                          London Chess Classic To Host 2018 Grand Chess Tour Finals

                          The 2018 Grand Chess Tour will conclude with an exciting new format at the London Chess Classic. The four top‑scoring players will contest a semi-final and final that will determine the overall winner and top 4 places in the 2018 GCT. The format change has been determined by the GCT Advisory Board and was announced earlier today during the 8th and penultimate round of the London Chess Classic.

                          The revised 2018 GCT schedule will see the GCT players participating in 3 rapid and blitz events as well as the traditional Sinquefield Cup which will maintain its classical format. Four players will proceed to the 2018 GCT Finals in London where they will battle for an enhanced GCT Bonus Prize Pool. Each match in London will consist of classical, rapid and blitz games. A play-off for 3rd and 4th will also be played.

                          The GCT has also confirmed that the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, Chess Promotions Ltd, Colliers International France, Vivendi S.A. and Your Next Move™ have all agreed to renew their financial commitments to the tour for 2018. GCT tournaments are therefore confirmed for the cities of Paris, Leuven, St Louis and London in 2018.

                          The top 3 players from the 2017 GCT tour will automatically qualify for the 2018 GCT Tour players’ roster. The rest of the tour roster will be selected on the basis of URS ratings at January 1, 2018 and average classical FIDE ratings in 2017.

                          Mr Michael Khodarkovsky
                          Grand Chess Tour Spokesperson

                          (Khodarkovsky is also the President of the Kasparov Chess Foundation)

                          Round Eight games:

                          Round 8, Dec. 10
                          Nakamura, Hikaru – Caruana, Fabiano
                          E39 Nimzo-Indian, Classical

                          1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 O-O 5.Nf3 c5 6.dxc5 Na6 7.g3 Nxc5 8.Bg2 Nce4 9.O-O Nxc3 10.bxc3 Be7 11.e4 d6 12.e5 dxe5 13.Nxe5 Qc7 14.Qe2 Nd7 15.Bf4 Nxe5 16.Bxe5 Bd6 17.Rfe1 Rb8 18.Rad1 Bxe5 19.Qxe5 Qxe5 20.Rxe5 b6 21.c5 Ba6 22.c6 Rbc8 23.Rd7 Rfd8 24.Re4 Rxd7 25.cxd7 Rd8 26.Ra4 Bb5 27.Rxa7 Kf8 28.Bf1 Bxd7 29.Rb7 e5 30.Bc4 b5 31.Bxb5 Be6 32.c4 Rd1+ 33.Kg2 Rc1 34.a4 Bxc4 35.Bxc4 Rxc4 36.a5 Ra4 37.Ra7 e4 38.Ra8+ Ke7 39.a6 Kf6 40.g4 e3 41.fxe3 Rxg4+ 42.Kf3 Ra4 43.a7 1/2-1/2

                          Round 8, Dec. 10
                          MVL – Anand, Vishy
                          C53 Giuoco Piano

                          1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 O-O 6.O-O d5 7.exd5 Nxd5 8.a4 a6 9.Re1 Bg4 10.h3 Bh5 11.Nbd2 f6 12.Ne4 Ba7 13.b4 Kh8 14.Bd2 Nce7 15.b5 axb5 16.axb5 c6 17.Ng3 Be8 18.Bxd5 cxd5 19.c4 Bc5 20.Rxa8 Qxa8 21.d4 exd4 22.Nxd4 Bxd4 23.Rxe7 Bc5 24.Rc7 Bb6 25.Re7 Bc5 26.Rc7 Bb6 27.Re7 1/2-1/2

                          Round 8, Dec. 10
                          Adams, Michael – Aronian, Levon
                          C67 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence, open variation

                          1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Nxe5 Be7 7.Bf1 Nxe5 8.Rxe5 O-O 9.d4 Bf6 10.Re1 Nf5 11.c3 d5 12.Bf4 c6 13.Nd2 Nh4 14.Bd3 Bf5 15.Bxf5 Nxf5 16.Nf3 Qd7 17.Ne5 Bxe5 18.Rxe5 f6 19.Re1 Rfe8 20.Qd3 Rxe1+ 21.Rxe1 Re8 22.Re2 Rxe2 23.Qxe2 Kf7 24.Qh5+ Kg8 25.Qe2 Kf7 26.Qh5+ Kg8 27.Qe2 1/2-1/2

                          Round 8, Dec. 10
                          So, Wesley – Karjakin, Sergey
                          E00 Queen’s Pawn game

                          1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Be7 5.Nf3 d5 6.Bg2 O-O 7.O-O Nbd7 8.Qc2 c6 9.Bf4 b6 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.Rc1 Bb7 12.Qb3 Rc8 13.Rxc8 Qxc8 14.Nc3 Nh5 15.Bg5 Bxg5 16.Nxg5 Nhf6 17.e3 Qb8 18.Bf1 Rc8 19.a4 h6 20.Nf3 Ne4 21.a5 Bc6 22.axb6 Nxc3 23.Qxc3 Nxb6 24.Qa3 Rc7 25.Ne5 Be8 26.Qb4 Nd7 27.Qxb8 Nxb8 28.Nd3 Rb7 29.Ra2 Nc6 30.Nc5 Rb6 31.b3 Kf8 32.Ba6 Nb4 33.Ra3 Nxa6 34.Nxa6 Bb5 35.Nc5 a6 36.f4 Ke7 37.Kf2 f6 38.g4 Rc6 39.Ra2 g5 40.Rc2 Rc8 41.Kg3 gxf4+ 42.exf4 e5 43.fxe5 fxe5 44.dxe5 d4 45.Rc1 Rd8 46.Nb7 Rd5 47.Rc5 Ke6 48.Kf4 d3 49.Rxd5 Kxd5 50.Ke3 Kxe5 51.h4 d2 52.Kxd2 Kf4 53.g5 hxg5 54.hxg5 Kxg5 55.Nc5 Kf6 56.Nxa6 Ke5 1/2-1/2

                          Round 8, Dec. 10
                          Carlsen, Magnus – Nepomniachtchi, Ian
                          A04 Reti Opening

                          1.Nf3 c5 2.c3 d5 3.d4 cxd4 4.cxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Bf4 Nh5 7.Bd2 Nf6 8.e3 e6 9.Bd3 Bd6 10.e4 dxe4 11.Nxe4 Be7 12.O-O O-O 13.Qc2 h6 14.Rad1 Bd7 15.a3 Rc8 16.Nc3 a6 17.Qc1 Re8 18.Rfe1 Bf8 19.Bf4 b5 20.Qd2 b4 21.axb4 Nxb4 22.Ne5 Nxd3 23.Qxd3 a5 24.Qf3 Bb4 25.Re3 Bxc3 26.bxc3 Ba4 27.Ra1 Bc2 28.h3 Bf5 29.g4 Bh7 30.c4 Nd7 31.Nc6 Qf6 32.Nxa5 Nb6 33.c5 Rxc5 34.dxc5 Qxa1+ 35.Kh2 Qxa5 36.Qc6 Qa4 37.Qxa4 Nxa4 38.c6 Nb6 39.c7 f6 40.Rb3 Nc8 0-1

                          Position after Black’s 35th move Qxa5

                          Carlsen: "I missed everything. There’s not much else to say. I think I failed to predict a single one of his moves"

                          Maurice: “Your thoughts about the next game?”

                          Magnus: “I don’t care at all – I have zero thoughts about the next game!”

                          Magnus admitted he simply missed his c5-pawn could be taken until he pushed it (33.c5)

                          Standings after Round Eight

                          1 Nepomniachtchi 5.5
                          2 Caruana 5.0
                          3 MVL 4.5
                          4-7 Carlsen, Aronian, So, Nakamura 4.0
                          8-10 Anand, Karjakin, Adams 3.0

                          Round Nine Pairings

                          1. Nepo-MVL
                          2. Anand-So
                          3. Karjakin-Nakamura
                          4. Caruana-Adams
                          5. Aronian-Carlsen

                          If everyone draws Round 9 then:

                          - Nepomniachtchi wins the London Chess Classic

                          - Magnus Carlsen wins the 2017 Grand Chess Tour by half a point, after splitting London GCT points in a four-way tie for fourth place (5.5 each)

                          Remember, tomorrow’s round starts at 12:00 GMT, which is 7:00 AM Toronto/Montreal time


                          • #14
                            Re: London Chess Classic 2017

                            London Chess Classic 2017

                            December 11, 2017

                            Round Nine

                            Magnus Carlsen wins the GCT 2017

                            Nepo and Fabi Tie in London Classic – Playoff

                            The games:

                            Round 9, Dec. 11
                            Aronian, Levon – Carsen, Magnus
                            A40 Queen’s Pawn game

                            1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 c5 3.g3 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Qb6 5.Bg2 Bc5 6.e3 d5 7.Qg4 Bf8 8.O-O Nf6 9.Qe2 e5 10.Qb5+ Bd7 11.Qxb6 axb6 12.Nb3 Nc6 13.Bd2 Bd6 14.Nc3 Ne7 15.a4 O-O 16.Nb5 Bxb5 17.axb5 Rac8 18.Bc3 h5 19.Rfd1 Rfd8 20.Nd2 h4 21.Nf3 hxg3 22.hxg3 e4 23.Ng5 Ng6 24.Ra7 Rb8 25.Bd4 Bc5 26.Bxc5 bxc5 27.c4 Ne7 28.cxd5 Nc8 29.Ra4 Nb6 30.Ra3 Nc4 31.Rc3 Nd6 32.Rxc5 Ra8 33.Bh3 Re8 34.Rc7 Kf8 35.b6 Re5 36.Ne6+ fxe6 37.dxe6 Nfe8 38.Rd7 Raa5 39.b4 Rad5 40.Ra1 Rb5 41.Ra8 Rxb6 42.Bg4 Rd5 43.Kg2 Rxb4 44.Ra1 Rbb5 45.Be2 Rb2 46.Bg4 Rdd2 47.Kh3 Rxf2 48.Kh4 Rh2+ 49.Bh3 g5+ 50.Kh5 Rxh3+ 51.Kg6 Rf2 52.e7+ Kg8 53.Rxd6 Rh7 0-1

                            Round 9, Dec. 11
                            Caruana, Fabiano – Adams, Michael
                            A29 English, Bremen

                            1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Bc5 7.O-O O-O 8.d3 Re8 9.Ng5 Nf6 10.Qb3 Qe7 11.Nd5 Nxd5 12.Bxd5 Nd8 13.Qc4 Bd4 14.Bg2 h6 15.Nf3 Nc6 16.Be3 Bxe3 17.fxe3 e4 18.dxe4 a5 19.a3 Ra6 20.Rac1 Rb6 21.Rc2 Be6 22.Qc3 Rb3 23.Qd2 Rd8 24.Qc1 a4 25.Rc5 Rd7 26.h3 Qd8 27.g4 g6 28.Kh1 Kg7 29.e5 Bd5 30.Kg1 Be6 31.Kf2 Qe7 32.Kg1 Rd5 33.Rc4 Ra5 34.Rc2 Bd5 35.Nd4 Nxd4 36.exd4 Rg3 37.Rf3 Bxf3 38.exf3 c6 39.Kh2 Rxg2+ 40.Kxg2 Rd5 41.Rc4 c5 42.Rxc5 Rxd4 43.Qc3 Qd8 44.Rc8 Qb6 45.Re8 g5 46.Re7 Kg8 47.e6 fxe6 48.Qc2 Kf8 49.Rh7 Qc6 50.Qxc6 bxc6 51.Rxh6 Kf7 52.Kg3 Rd2 53.Rh7+ Kf6 54.Rb7 Ke5 55.h4 gxh4+ 56.Kxh4 Kf4 57.Rf7+ Ke3 58.Kg3 Rd1 59.g5 Rg1+ 60.Kh4 Rg2 61.Rf6 e5 62.g6 Rxb2 63.Kg5 Rg2+ 64.Kh6 Rh2+ 65.Kg7 c5 66.Kf7 c4 67.g7 Rh7 68.Ra6 1-0

                            Round 9, Dec. 11
                            Anand, Vishy – So, Wesley
                            C50 Giuoco Piano

                            1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.O-O Nf6 5.d3 O-O 6.a4 h6 7.c3 a5 8.Nbd2 d6 9.h3 Be6 10.Re1 Bxc4 11.Nxc4 Re8 12.Be3 Bxe3 13.Nxe3 Qd7 14.Qb3 Ne7 15.Nc4 Ng6 16.Rad1 b6 17.Qc2 d5 18.exd5 Qxd5 19.b3 Rad8 20.d4 exd4 21.Rxd4 Rxe1+ 22.Nxe1 Qa8 23.Rxd8+ Qxd8 24.Qd3 Qe7 25.Nc2 Nf4 26.Qd2 N6d5 27.Kf1 Nxc3 28.N4e3 Ne4 29.Qd4 c5 30.Qd1 Qf6 31.Ng4 Qc3 32.Nce3 h5 33.Nh2 Qb2 0-1

                            Round 9, Dec. 11
                            Karjakin, Sergey – Nakamura, Hikaru
                            D37 QGD, Hastings variation

                            1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 O-O 6.e3 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Nxd5 exd5 10.a3 Nc6 11.Bd3 Bb6 12.O-O Qf6 13.b4 h6 14.b5 Nd4 15.h3 g5 16.Nxd4 gxf4 17.Qf3 Bxd4 18.exd4 Be6 19.Rfe1 Kh8 20.Re5 Rg8 21.Rae1 Rg7 22.g4 Rag8 23.Kf1 Rg5 24.Bc2 Rc8 25.Qd3 Kg8 26.Bd1 Kg7 27.Bf3 b6 28.Kg2 Rh8 29.Qd2 Rc8 30.Qd3 Rh8 31.Qd2 Rc8 1/2-1/2

                            Standings after Round Nine

                            1-2 Caruana, Nepo 6.0
                            3-5 Carlsen, MVL, So 5.0
                            6 Nakamura 4.5
                            7 Aronian 4.0
                            8 Karjakin 3.5
                            9-10 Anand, Adams 3.0

                            Tiebreaks shall only be played in the event of a tie for first place or in the Final Standings of the Grand Chess Tour

                            There will be two rapid games, two blitz games and an Armageddon game as required

                            Playoff Games

                            Rapid G/10 + 5

                            Round 10, Dec.11
                            G/10 + 5
                            Nepomniachtchi, Ian – Caruana, Fabiano
                            A07 Reti, King’s Indian Attack, Pachman System

                            1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.O-O e5 5.d3 Ne7 6.e4 O-O 7.exd5 Nxd5 8.Re1 Nc6 9.Nc3 Nde7 10.Rb1 a5 11.a3 a4 12.Re4 Nd5 13.Bd2 Bf5 14.Re1 Nb6 15.Qc1 Re8 16.Bh6 f6 17.Ne4 Qe7 18.h4 Bg4 19.Nh2 Be6 20.Be3 Nd7 21.Nc3 Qf7 22.Nb5 Nf8 23.c4 Red8 24.Qc2 Rd7 25.Nc3 Bf5 26.Bd5 Rxd5 27.cxd5 Ne7 28.g4 Bd7 29.d4 Nxd5 30.dxe5 Bc6 31.Ne4 fxe5 32.Ng5 Qf6 33.Rbd1 h6 34.Ne4 Qf7 35.g5 h5 36.Qc4 Re8 37.Nf1 Re7 38.Nfg3 Rd7 39.Nc3 Qe6 40.Rd2 Kf7 41.Red1 Nxe3 42.Rxd7+ Nxd7 43.Qxe6+ Kxe6 44.fxe3 Bf8 45.Nge4 Be7 46.Kf2 Nb6 47.Nd2 Nd7 48.Nc4 b6 49.Nd2 Nc5 50.Ke2 Bb7 51.e4 Ba6+ 52.Kf3 Bd6 53.Nf1 Bc4 54.Ne3 Bb3 55.Rd2 c6 56.Nf1 Ke7 57.Ng3 Ne6 58.Nge2 b5 59.Nd1 Bc5 60.Ne3 Bb6 61.Nc1 Nd4+ 62.Kg3 Be6 63.Rd3 1/2-1/2

                            Round 11, Dec. 11
                            G/10 + 5
                            Caruana, Fabiano - Nepomniachtchi, Ian
                            B23 Sicilian, Closed

                            1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.Nge2 Nf6 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.d3 Nc6 7.a3 Rb8 8.Rb1 O-O 9.O-O b5 10.b4 a6 11.h3 Nd7 12.Be3 Bb7 13.Qd2 Nd4 14.f4 e6 15.Bf2 f5 16.Nxd4 cxd4 17.Ne2 e5 18.c3 fxe4 19.dxe4 Nf6 20.cxd4 Nxe4 21.Qd3 Nxf2 22.Rxf2 Qb6 23.Rd1 Kh8 24.Bxb7 Rxb7 25.dxe5 dxe5 26.Qd6 Qa7 27.Rd5 Rbf7 28.Qc5 Qb7 29.Rd1 Rc7 30.Qe3 Rcf7 31.Rdf1 Qc7 32.fxe5 Rxf2 1/2-1/2

                            Blitz G/5 + 3

                            Fabi up a piece but Nepo saves the game in time pressure

                            Round 12, Dec. 11
                            G/5 + 5
                            Nepomniachtchi, Ian – Caruana, Fabiano
                            A05 Reti, King’s Indian Attack

                            1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.O-O O-O 5.c4 c6 6.b3 d6 7.d4 e5 8.dxe5 dxe5 9.Bb2 e4 10.Qxd8 Rxd8 11.Ng5 Bf5 12.Nc3 h6 13.Ncxe4 Nxe4 14.Bxg7 hxg5 15.Be5 Nd7 16.Bc7 Rdc8 17.Ba5 b6 18.Be1 g4 19.Rd1 Re8 20.f3 gxf3 21.exf3 Nec5 22.Bc3 Re2 23.g4 Be6 24.Rf2 Rxf2 25.Kxf2 a5 26.h4 f6 27.Rd6 Rc8 28.a3 Kf7 29.b4 axb4 30.axb4 Na4 31.Be1 Nb2 32.Bf1 Ne5 33.c5 bxc5 34.bxc5 Bc4 35.Bc3 Bxf1 36.Bxb2 Nd3+ 37.Kxf1 Nxb2 38.Rd4 Re8 39.Kf2 Re5 40.Rd7+ Re7 41.Rd4 Re5 42.Rd7+ Kf8 43.Rd6 Ke7 44.Rxc6 Rxc5 45.Rb6 Nd3+ 46.Ke3 Ne5 47.Rb7+ Ke6 48.Rb6+ Rc6 49.Rb3 Rd6 50.Ke4 Rc6 51.Ke3 Ra6 52.Kf2 g5 53.Kg3 gxh4+ 54.Kxh4 Ra1 55.Rb6+ Kf7 56.Rb3 Rg1 57.Kh3 Kg6 58.Kh2 Rd1 59.Kg3 Rd3 60.Rxd3 Nxd3 61.f4 Nc5 62.Kf3 Kf7 63.Kg3 Ke6 64.Kh4 Nd3 65.f5+ Ke5 66.g5 fxg5+ 67.Kxg5 Nf4 1/2-1/2

                            Round 13, Dec. 11
                            G/5 + 5
                            Caruana, Fabiano – Nepomniachtchi, Ian
                            B52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky Attack

                            1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.a4 Nc6 5.O-O g6 6.c3 Nf6 7.d4 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bg7 9.Nc3 O-O 10.h3 a6 11.Bc4 Rc8 12.Re1 Ne8 13.Bb3 Na5 14.Ba2 Nc4 15.Qd3 b5 16.axb5 axb5 17.b3 Na5 18.Nxb5 Qb6 19.Na3 Nc6 20.Nc2 Nc7 21.Be3 Qb5 22.Qd2 d5 23.e5 Bf5 24.Rec1 Ne6 25.Nce1 Be4 26.Nh2 Nb4 27.Rxc8 Rxc8 28.Bb1 h5 29.Nhf3 Nc6 30.Bc2 Bxc2 31.Qxc2 Rb8 32.Nd3 Bf8 33.Rb1 Ng7 34.Nc5 Nf5 35.e6 Bg7 36.exf7+ Kxf7 37.Nd7 Ncxd4 38.Nde5+ Bxe5 39.Nxe5+ Ke6 40.Bxd4 Nxd4 41.Qxg6+ Kxe5 42.Re1+ Ne2+ 43.Kf1 Kd4 44.Rxe2 e5 45.Qg3 e4 46.Qe3+ Ke5 47.Kg1 Qxb3 48.Qg5+ Ke6 49.Qg6+ Kd7 50.Rd2 h4 51.Qf5+ Kc6 52.Qf6+ Kc5 53.Qd4+ Kc6 54.Qf6+ Kc5 55.Qxh4 Rb7 56.Qd8 Rb6 57.Qc7+ Rc6 58.Qa5+ Kd6 59.Qd8+ Kc5 60.h4 e3 61.Qe7+ Kb5 62.Qb7+ Rb6 63.Rxd5+ Kc4 64.Qf7 exf2+ 65.Kxf2 Qb2+ 66.Rd2+ 1-0

                            Fabiano Caruana wins the London Chess Classic. He is 5th on the 2017 Grand Chess tour with a total prize money of $95,000.
                            Last edited by Wayne Komer; Monday, 11th December, 2017, 06:59 PM.


                            • #15
                              Re: London Chess Classic 2017

                              London Chess Classic 2017

                              December 12, 2017

                              Round 9 Report

                              Fabiano takes the Tournament and Magnus wins the Tour

                              John Saunders reports: The ninth and final round of the 9th London Chess Classic, played on Monday 11 December 2017 at the Olympia Conference Centre, concluded with two of the players lifting trophies. Fabiano Caruana needed a tie-breaker against Ian Nepomniachtchi to win the first prize in the tournament itself, while Magnus Carlsen clinched the first prize in the overall Grand Chess Tour. A pulsating final day’s play saw three decisive games as the gruelling event took its toll in errors but the fans were also treated to a display of top-notch technique.

                              As things stood overnight, Ian Nepomniachtchi was half a point clear of Fabiano Caruana in the running for the first prize in the tournament. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, a further half point back, also had an interest in the trophy but would have to win with Black against the leader to finish level with him and hope that Caruana would do no better than draw for a three-way tie. The Grand Prix leader board was more complicated with Carlsen leading and Vachier-Lagrave and various permutations of their results and those of others determining the destination of the year’s big-money prizes.

                              The first issue to be resolved (or at least partially resolved) came with a quick-ish draw between Nepo and MVL. It lasted just 17 moves and resulted in a repetition but still had an element of interest when Nepo played 9.Ndb5 followed by a pawn sacrifice. It was probably all planned in advance by White as it occurred in a pet line of MVL’s. The basis of the plan was to open up the d-file against the black queen, and also exploit a pin on a knight, and it was hard to see how Black was expected to continue without running the risk of having a much worse position.

                              No better exploitation of his positional advantages was available to White than the repetition, which had probably been his game plan (“I’m not really happy with what I did today... and I think no-one really liked it, me neither” said Nepo with a rueful smile at the post-game interview). So the game was over in just 35 minutes. That cut MVL out of the running for first prize in the tournament and meant that Nepo would have to wait to see how Caruana fared with White against Adams.

                              In fact, Nepo had to wait another 5+ hours to see whether he would have to play a tie-breaker as Caruana-Adams went the distance. It was, as soccer commentators like to say, “a game of two halves”. An imbalanced middlegame seemed to favour Adams around move 30-33, with Caruana admitting later that he had been prepared to repeat position in lieu of anything better to do. But some inaccuracies from the Englishman (Adams himself thought 33...Ra5 could have been a key mistake) saw his position disintegrate markedly and by the time control it had resolved itself into a queen and rook endgame with Caruana having an extra pawn. Mickey may have been able to do better in the endgame but in practice the defence was tough and Fabi relentless. Beating Mickey Adams is never easy and this was a fine way for the US player to conclude his tournament. England’s number one said of his own performance, “I gave away too many early Christmas presents.”

                              The other major issue was the outcome of the Grand Chess Tour and here much depended on the outcome of Aronian versus Carlsen. They say that a common military mistake made by generals is to fight a war based on their experiences of a previous campaign. There was an element of this about Aronian’s play against Carlsen. After a cagy start, in which neither of them was willing to commit to mainstream theory, the Armenian super-GM gained a small positional edge but pushed his luck a little too far, perhaps too conscious of Carlsen’s dismal showing in round eight effort and too trusting in Carlsen’s comment after that game about having ‘zero interest’ in their current encounter. Unluckily for Aronian, the Monday Carlsen, cold or no cold, was a very different proposition from that of the day before. He may still have been suffering from the head cold but, as opening morphed into middlegame, it became clear that he was back at full functionality on the chessboard. Aronian gave up a piece for pawns and an attack but he was thwarted at every turn by some relentlessly accurate, active defence from the world champion.

                              Round nine coincided with Vishy Anand’s 48th birthday but it proved an unlucky one at the chessboard. Perhaps a birthday becomes something of a burden to an active professional chess player in their 40s as it provides an unwelcome excuse for writers, pundits and wiseacres in general to hint that maybe it’s time for the old boy to retire. Losing a game on the same day can make the chorus of unsolicited retirement advice all the louder. So I’ll try to buck the trend by expressing the hope that Vishy carries on playing indefinitely and wishing that we see him at the Classic again next year. However, though not Vishy’s finest hour, the game itself is worth seeing as it showcased Wesley So at his best. Good to see him back on song.

                              Nakamura completed a sweep of nine draws in the tournament with his game against Sergey Karjakin and commentator Maurice Ashley suggested he should expect some Twitter banter from Anish Giri who has been known to tease rivals who emulate his own pacific tendencies. Hikaru took this with a smile and expressed positive thoughts about his play in London. He thought his game with Sergey was the only one where he was in some trouble during the course of the tournament though it didn’t prove terminal. Sergey had welcomed Hikaru’s 15...g5 after which he had gained an edge but he had not ultimately seen a good way to exploit it. “I was worse but I don’t think I was ever losing,” commented Hikaru.

                              The Playoff

                              After six hours of playing against Mickey, I was too tired to feel any pressure,” was Fabiano Caruana’s insightful comment after winning a four-game blitz play-off against Ian Nepomniachtchi. He had had only 30 minutes’ respite after a long endgame before returning to the board for two 10m+5s rapid/blitzes, and then two more games at 5m+3s, compared to Nepomniachtchi’s luxurious 5+ hours’ rest after the briefest of classical games but it underlines the paradoxical psychology that often plays out in such situations. It is not always the tired, harassed competitor who succumbs, and there is such a thing as being too relaxed for a key encounter. Remember Fabi’s comment, readers, the next time you play off for the London Chess Classic title, or perhaps, more realistically, your local club championship.

                              As always with play in rapids and blitzes, it was a roller coaster ride, with the clock situations being as important as the positions on the board. The two rapid mode games were drawn after a particularly seesaw struggle in the first game and less so the second. That was followed by blitz games, with both going beyond 60 moves.

                              Missing the win in the third play-off game might have proved a psychological hammer blow for Caruana but he took it in his stride and came back to win the next game and with it the London Classic title. Congratulations to him!

                              John Saunders on the official site: