London R4: Carlsen in sole lead after another win, epic fight McShane-Aronian
Magnus Carlsen is the sole leader after four rounds at the London Chess Classic. In round 4 the Norwegian beat Gawain Jones with white using the rare 4.Qxd4 in the Sicilian. The game of the round (tournament? Year?), however, was the epic fight between Luke McShane and Levon Aronian. At the end there were two queens for Black and White promoted to a knight! Anand-Kramnik and Nakamura-Adams ended in draws. Wednesday is a rest day.
Jones-Carlsen and McShane-Aronian in round 4 | Photos © Ray Morris-Hill
After three days full of exciting chess, round 4 of the London Chess Classic "finally" saw a game that can be dubbed as a boring draw. World Champions Vishy Anand and Vladimir Kramnik got a Berlin with 4.d3 and 5.Bxc6 and followed a recent game Carlsen-Aronian for a while. After lots of manoeuvring, just before the time control the position became very static and neither side had anything left to do.
Luckily the other three games were good fun (with a queen sacrifice in two of them!), so nobody was really bothered about this friendly meeting between Vishy and Vlad. The first to give up his queen was Gawain Jones.
I thought I might as well sacrifice my queen against the world's number one if I'm going to do it against anyone.
It was a great, creative, brave decision, and probably correct – Carlsen called it "a serious move". If Black had played differently on move 21, the Norwegian wasn't sure how to continue. Besides, even in the game there were many tricks, as became clear at the post-mortem.
It's no surprise that in Norway everyone is talking about one thing only: Carlsen beating Kasparov's rating record. In several newspapers it was reported yesterday that the world's number one now has a live rating of 2857.4, which is probably more than Kasparov's highest "live rating" ever, which has been calculated at 2856.7. For now we'll just repeat that Carlsen needs to score 2.5/4 in the remainder of the tournament to make not an IM norm, not a GM norm, but a "history norm". :-)
Hikaru Nakamura was better throughout his game with Mickey Adams, but the Englishman just refused to stumble. At move 35 an ending BB vs BN with four pawns each came on the board, 20 moves later White finally was a pawn up but at move 69 only two kings were left.
We've saved the best for last: the game between Luke McShane and Levon Aronian. At the end there were two queens for Black and White promoted to a knight!
We'll finish with reminding you that Wednesday is a rest day in London.
Commentary videos (produced by Macauley Peterson)
Pairings & results
|Round 1||01.12.12||15:00 CET||Round 2||0212.12||15:00 CET|
|Anand||bye||Assisting the commentary||Adams||bye||Assisting the commentary|
|Round 3||0312.12||15:00 CET||Round 4||04.12.12||17:00 CET|
|McShane||bye||Assisting the commentary||Polgar||bye||Assisting the commentary|
|Round 5||06.12.12||15:00 CET||Round 6||07.12.12||15:00 CET|
|Aronian||bye||Assisting the commentary||Nakamura||bye||Assisting the commentary|
|Round 7||08.12.12||15:00 CET||Round 8||09.12.12||15:00 CET|
|Kramnik||bye||Assisting the commentary||Carlsen||bye||Assisting the commentary|
|Round 9||10.12.12||13:00 CET|
|Jones||bye||Assisting the commentary|
London Chess Classic 2012 | Round 4 standings (football)
London Chess Classic 2012 | Round 4 standings (classical)
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