Reports | December 09, 2011 18:38

LCC R6: All games drawn, Nakamura maintains lead

LCC R6: All games drawn, Nakamura maintains lead

On his 24th birthday, Hikaru Nakamura maintained his lead at the London Chess Classic as all games in the sixth round ended in draws. Magnus Carlsen had his free round today, and saw Vladimir Kramnik and Luke McShane catch him in second place.

Four draws in round 6 in London | All photos © Ray Morris-Hill for the official website

Event London Chess Classic 2011PGN via TWIC
Dates December 3rd-12th, 2011
Location London, UK
System 9-player round robin
Players Carlsen, Anand, Aronian, Kramnik, Nakamura, Adams, Short, McShane, Howell
Rate of play 2 hours for 40 moves followed by 1 hour for 20 moves followed by 15 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from move 61
Prize fund € 160,000
Tiebreak 1. # games won. 2. # games won with Black. 3. Result of the game(s) between the tied players. Otherwise Armageddon.
Notes Draw offers only through the arbiter. 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw. The player who has a “bye” will assist the commentators during the round.

Videos by Macauley Peterson

For iPhone/iPad users: you can access the video feed in iTunes here.

We can't have summer all year long. Just when we noted that the 3rd London Chess Classic was seeing much less draws than normal, in the next round all four games end peacefully. Oh well, before we'll look at these games, let's start with someting completely different.

Danny King asked Magnus Carlsen, the GM commentator of the day, what's the situation with him and the World Championship cycle.

My intention is to participate, as long as the conditions are good.

What kind of conditions?

Stuff like contracts...

Does the venue matter?

Yeah, a little bit. But I really don't want to get into this. The tournaments I play in are just so much more interesting than the World Championship. I only think about that when people ask me about it.

Meanwhile, the current World Champion was playing against a former World Champion.

PGN string

David Howell and Nigel Short provided some interesting background information about their game at the post-mortem/press conference. Howell (about his choice of the Alapin):

On any other day I would have played the Open Sicilian - I guess I wasn't feeling that confident.

Nigel Short then pointed out that he accompanied Howell in 2009 to Patagonia (for the World Juniors) and that during that trip David kept saying to him how good an opening the Alapin was! Then the former World Championship contender added, about his choice of turning it into a Tarrasch French:

I wanted to play something familiar. I woke up last night and spent several hours analyzing my game against Vishy so I was a bit tired.

PGN string

In fact also the third draw which follows in this report was quite interesting actually.

PGN string

There's not much to say about the next game, though, except for the fact that it's understandable that Mickey Adams, who hasn't been in great shape so far, didn't want to risk anything against Levon Aronian.

PGN string

Round 6 standings

No. Name Rtg Score/game Tiebreak Perf
1 Nakamura,H 2758 11.0/6   2878
2 McShane,L 2671 9.0/5 2 black wins 2898
3 Kramnik,V 2800 9.0/5 1 black win 2913
4 Carlsen,M 2826 9.0/5 2 white wins 2880
5 Anand,V 2811 6.0/5 1 black win 2725
6 Aronian,L 2802 6.0/5 1 white win 2737
7 Short,N 2698 4.0/5   2609
8-9 Howell,D 2633 3.0/6   2559
8-9 Adams,M 2734 3.0/6   2545

Round 6 standings (classical)


London Chess Classic 2011 | Schedule & results

Round 1 03.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 2 04.12.11 15:00 CET
Kramnik ½-½ Nakamura   Howell ½-½ Adams
Aronian ½-½ McShane   McShane ½-½ Carlsen
Carlsen 1-0 Howell   Nakamura 1-0 Aronian
Adams ½-½ Anand   Short 0-1 Kramnik
Short bye Assisting the commentary   Anand bye Assisting the commentary
Round 3 05.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 4 06.12.11 17:00 CET
Aronian 1-0 Short   Carlsen ½-½ Kramnik
Carlsen 1-0 Nakamura   Adams 0-1 Short
Adams 0-1 McShane   Anand 0-1 Nakamura
Anand ½-½ Howell   Howell 0-1 McShane
Kramnik bye Assisting the commentary   Aronian bye Assisting the commentary
Round 5 08.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 6 09.12.11 15:00 CET
Nakamura 1-0 Howell   Adams ½-½ Aronian
Short 0-1 Anand   Anand ½-½ Kramnik
Kramnik 1-0 Adams   Howell ½-½ Short
Aronian ½-½ Carlsen   McShane ½-½ Nakamura
McShane bye Assisting the commentary   Carlsen bye Assisting the commentary
Round 7 10.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 8 11.12.11 15:00 CET
Short - McShane   Anand - Carlsen
Kramnik - Howell   Howell - Aronian
Aronian - Anand   McShane - Kramnik
Carlsen - Adams   Nakamura - Short
Nakamura bye Assisting the commentary   Adams bye Assisting the commentary
Round 9 12.12.11 13:00 CET        
McShane   Anand        
Nakamura - Adams        
Short - Carlsen        
Kramnik - Aronian        
Howell bye Assisting the commentary        


Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Harish Srinivasan's picture

Great interesting game by Vishy sacrificing the exchange and the Kramnik giving a piece back. Certainly its been some time since he did sacrifice an exchange. Nice to see him in the an aggressive mood. And now some very interesting games for the weekend Aronian-Anand and on Vishy's birthday he will white against Carlsen.

Anthony's picture

Tomorrow we will have another leader, that much seems certain........

Poor Howell.
He won't be scoring much the last three rounds.......

mishanp's picture

Certainly not in the last round :) It's funny, actually, as they moved the rounds after the draw so that the player with the lowest rating (Howell) would be commentating on the last day - which meant they ended up with people repeating colours unnecessarily in the middle of the tournament. Alexander Khalifman pointed out on a Russian forum that it would have been much more sensible just to give Howell the required seed number to have a bye on the last day and then draw the rest of the players' numbers at random.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

I can't see the video where Aronian and Carlsen give their post match analysis. May be it is round 5 - part 5 and its not yet uploaded.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

From one perspective this was an important draw for Kramnik. Now even if he loses the remaining three rounds the average of the Januray 2012 and July 2011 ratings will put Kramnik ahead of Karjakin. Hence with this draw Kramnik has secured his place in the candidates tournament for world chess championship 2013. The 8 players are (in order of seeding although it does not matter for tournament): Svidler, Grischuk, Ivanchuk, Gelfand/Anand , Carlsen, Aronian, Kramnik and one nominee (Radjabov if Azherbaijan and Nakamura if USA)

redivivo's picture

One thing is certain, and that is that it won't be Azerbaijan after what happened with the latest bidding/candidates.

Thomas Richter's picture

Azerbaijan expressed interest, and you never know with FIDE ... but IMO it would already be odd for another reason - the same country getting a wildcard twice in a row. To me it seems unclear whether Russia will bid - first they expressed interest or spread such rumors, then there was a report on Whychess that they will probably refrain from bidding. Does the Russian federation speak with one voice? Other countries might be Ukraine for Ponomariov or even Bulgaria for Topalov - here my personal reaction would also be "oh no not again".

IMHO, Ponomariov (who narrowly missed World Cup qualification twice in a row) or Karjakin (next on the rating list) would be the most logical wildcards - but there's no logic in chess politics.

Webbimio's picture

Fantasctic press conference by Anand and Kramnik! Really entertaining!

Pulern's picture

Carlsen is most likely braking his all time FIDE rating of 2826 with his current live rating of 2833. But there is also another interresting personal record that he could break: Since he first took the #1 spot,h is best lead over #2 place has been 23 points. Currently his lead on the Live rating list is 22,1 points.

Chess Fan's picture

As the top chess players know, these world #1 rating matters, but only to certain extent. You can have the #1 rating 23 times or 54 times or second only to Kasparov, but what ultimately matters is winning the ultimate World Champion crown through regular channels and not giving reasons and jettisoning the responsibility (directed only against Carlsen) as it is the ONLY honor in chess that is the ultimate honor and the pathway to riches, fame, and recognition.
Till then all you people can shout from the top of the hill how great Magnus is, as we say here in the West, "till the cows come home".

Anonymous's picture

Chess Fan, I agree with you except when it comes to "riches, fame, and recognition", Carlsen has plenty of that and all of his commercial endorsements are evidence of that. However, winning the world title is what secures a player legacy.

monte44's picture


Zacalov Ramsay's picture

It is easy to see that Carlsen's fame is ten-fold in comparison to Anand. The meaning of a "World Champion" title is becoming more and more meaningless. How can one player win practically every super GM tournament for the year and another player sit and win a match every two to three years against one person- and that have much meaning? Its a tradition that, the wider public and a lot of modern chess players just won't worship- and Carlsen seems to be the one trail blazing this trend. With so many Super GM events, and not only regularly published ratings, but also a live rating- there are much better objective means of judging the best player in the world- and if Gelfand shocks us next year and wins, you will all quickly dispel your unjustified love for it.

RealityCheck's picture

The never ending mob desparately working toward making meanningless the "World Champion" title.... You, Zacalov, subscribe to their brutish ignorance, do you?

I'll give you a couple reasons why Carlsens' tournament wins lack authority.

1. He's failed to consistently beat the real competition Anand, Aronian, Kramnik
2. There have been one too many shared firsts.
3. All the new, improved tie-break doesn't impress.

Had he not DROPped OUT of the recent Candidates Matches, had he been LOCKed OUT because he's a white boy, a fag, a christian, too young, a Norwegian, or some other arbitrary reason, his tournament wins at least would have carried some moral authority. But, this isn't the case. He's given the same rights as all other players.

redivivo's picture

"Carlsens' tournament wins lack authority"

Thanks for clearing that up.

RealityCheck's picture

You're welcome. Even though I know you're being sarcastic.

redivivo's picture

"you people can shout from the top of the hill how great Magnus is, as we say here in the West, "till the cows come home""

Carlsen is a great player, I'll never understand the often repeated argument that no one cares about or remembers anything else than who is World Champion. What is it that is so annoying with Carlsen playing great chess year after year?

Phogy's picture

for some reason many people think that Carlsen is just a lucky patzer who happens to be the number 1 ranked player in the world.

rick's picture

of course that conclusion come from theirs patzer reasoning.

redivivo's picture

Combined with total ignorance about chess history, it's "I never heard of Rubinstein or Keres so they can't have been great players and if Carlsen isn't World Champion yet after turning 21 a week ago his results must lack moral authority". It isn't even good trolling, just embarrassing.

RealityCheck's picture

Listen. redivivo. I don't like the cheap way you go about trying to undermine my idea of "moral authority". I'm going to say this once more loud and clear just for you. Had Carlsen been discriminated against and kept out of the cycle for for stupid reasons beyond his control his tournament wins might carry some moral authority. His bent on tournnament play might carry some weight. But, he himself chose to drop out. His business. Besides, his play isn't good enough to dictate to us tournament play shd decide the best player in the world. The world champion.

jmd85146's picture

To bad u can longer flip the board when u replay a game. Any reasons why this is chessvibes?

Johnny's picture

Like Obama's campaign slogan, "Yes We Can". FLip the board, that is. Click the black and white disc in the lower-right corner of the replay board.

jmd85146's picture

I had that figured out a long time ago. Before it worked and now it doesn't (at least for me it doesn't).

1-pac's picture

Carlsen is no patzer. He is lazy. He could play much better than what he does today.
He also needs to grow up a little in order to be the great player he can be.

He is afraid, as many other players are, of losing and failing even after giving it all at the board.
When you learn everything there is to learn, when you play with all your heart, and still lose... Well, that's a tough pill to swallow.

To anyone.

I would love to see him playing at his best.
Who dosesn't like to see a great player playing greatly?

columbo's picture

AH AH AH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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