Reports | December 04, 2012 23:15

London R4: Carlsen in sole lead after another win, epic fight McShane-Aronian

Jones-Carlsen and McShane-Aronian in round 4

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

Event London Chess Classic |  PGN via TWIC
Dates December 1st-10th, 2011
Location London, UK
System 9-player round robin
Players Carlsen, Anand, Aronian, Kramnik, Nakamura, Adams, Polgar, McShane, Jones
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.

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.

PGN string

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.

PGN string

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.

PGN string

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!

PGN string

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
McShane 0-3 Carlsen   Polgar 1-1 Jones
Aronian 0-3 Nakamura   Nakamura 0-3 Kramnik
Kramnik 3-0 Polgar   Carlsen 3-0 Aronian
Jones 0-3 Adams   Anand 1-1 McShane
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
Aronian 1-1 Anand   Nakamura 1-1 Adams
Kramnik 1-1 Carlsen   Carlsen 3-0 Jones
Jones 1-1 Nakamura   Anand 1-1 Kramnik
Adams 3-0 Polgar   McShane 0-3 Aronian
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
Kramnik - McShane   Carlsen - Polgar
Jones - Anand   Anand - Adams
Adams - Carlsen   McShane - Jones
Polgar - Nakamura   Aronian - Kramnik
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
Jones - Aronian   Anand - Nakamura
Adams - McShane   McShane - Polgar
Polgar - Anand   Aronian - Adams
Nakamura - Carlsen   Kramnik - Jones
Kramnik bye Assisting the commentary   Carlsen bye Assisting the commentary
Round 9 10.12.12 13:00 CET        
Adams   Kramnik        
Polgar - Aronian        
Nakamura - McShane        
Carlsen - Anand        
Jones bye Assisting the commentary        

London Chess Classic 2012 | Round 4 standings (football)

 

London Chess Classic 2012 | Round 4 standings (classical)

 

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, 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.

Chess.com

Comments

killabeechess's picture

will be interesting to see if an in form Mickey can do something about Carlsen

Anonymous's picture

specially when you know that adams / carlsen : two draws and one win for adams in classical ... But Carlsen must have wings in his back right now, he will be extremely difficult to beat in this tournament

elgransenor1's picture

As far as i'm aware carlsen has a plus score against adams in classical chess.

rogge's picture

Of course, 6 to 1.

Thomas's picture

Yeah but it's 6-0 for Carlsen with the white pieces, and 1-0 (with 3 draws) for Adams when he has white. Tomorrow Adams will have the white pieces.

rogge's picture

Well, don't count on Carlsen playing the Norwegian gambit like he did when Adams won.

Btw, no mention of Luke's queen sac against Aronian. I guess it was sound (as it wasn't played against Carlsen).

Anonymous's picture

S3, Norwegian defense, not gambit.

rogge's picture
S3's picture

Norwegian defense, not gambit.

Thomas's picture

OK, then (given their past record) a draw would be the most likely result if Carlsen doesn't play the Norwegian defense or something similarly weird.
McShane probably didn't deliberately (at least not 'actively') sacrifice his queen but lost material - either queen against rook and minor piece or, worse in the given case, two minor pieces against a rook. Of course it wasn't sound, and the game only became exciting because Aronian continued inaccurately. Whether such a game qualifies for "game of the year" is another story - I could name a few other candidate games.

elgransenor1's picture

I thought it was called the north sea defence.

S3's picture

That's right elgransenor, if we hold on to NIC's nomenclature instead of Rogge's chess.com

Anonymous's picture

Adams with white against Carlsen has a plus 1 in classical

Bobby Fiske's picture

Historic day!
Today, after beating Jones, Magnus reached live rating of Elo 2857,4, breaking Kasparovs old record from February 2000. (These numbers are unofficial live rating).

RealityCheck's picture

An historic day it was. Prosit! Gawain C. B. Jones. You'll always be remembered, in the annals of chess history, as the young lad who gifted Magnus Carlsen his Queen and the few remaining Elo points needed to top Garry Kasparov's record on the live rating list.

Happy Holidays!

Anonymous's picture

Gifted his queen ? Tell us more about it ! Unlight us oh reality

RealityCheck's picture

My english often terrible. Thx for pointing that out.
* Gawain donated his Queen and a few Elo points Magnus needed to... is that worded better grand master anonymous?

Anonymous's picture

We're not talking about your English, we're talking about your chess capacities ... Can you explain why you think Gawain donated his queen ??? the situation after the EXCHANGE is not lost ... Don't you think ? OH REALITY

Anonymous's picture

whychess (usually well informed) seems to agree with RC

redivivo's picture

In my opinion Whychess is quite obsessed with declaring what a bad chessplayer Carlsen is. Just a few quotes from recent articles:

Carlsen is "taking the path of least resistance and impoverishing himself in purely chess terms". His games "doesn’t open our eyes to a new approach to chess. It doesn’t make a bold aesthetic impression", "he’s emphatically left the chess mainstream, which is something you can’t do even if you possess his talent – it’s a road to nowhere", he “prefers to wait for his opponent to make a mistake rather than try to outplay him as real chess players do”. Carlsen "isn't capable of finding new ideas", he is "a product of computerization", "it's precisely against Carlsen people play their worst chess, certainly below what they are capable of", and "it's unlikely he'll ever become World Champion" unless he changes his approach", Carlsen's chess "is disappointing" etc etc.

I find it weird that such a talented player is being so massively criticized at the site, so I stopped looking at their articles, they were just too weak.

RealityCheck's picture

@redvivo Is that why you're always here, hanging out with the MC fanboys. They make you feel strong. Your buddies often pat you on the back remind you how clever you are?
Weird that you find the other site to be overtly critical of MC and in the same breath you (seem to) rejoice in the massive attacks on WCh VC here at this blog.

Tip. Read the interviews at the other site with Anand, Kramnik, Gelfand, Gritschuk, and Carlsen among others. You might learn something.

redivivo's picture

"Is that why you're always here, hanging out with the MC fanboys. They make you feel strong. Your buddies often pat you on the back remind you how clever you are?"

Yes, that's why.

Anonymous's picture

Redivivo those quotes, if they are quotes, mean nothing without context. Whychess is balanced but they don't censor people who have a different opinion than yours.
At any rate the writer doesn't criticize Carlsen's play but that of Jones. Just like Houdini.

redivivo's picture

"those quotes, if they are quotes, mean nothing without context. Whychess is balanced but they don't censor people who have a different opinion than yours"

"If they are quotes" as in if I didn't just make them up? Posting the whole articles is rather difficult, but most of the quotes were taken from the reports written during Biel by Atarov and Tkachiev, who are the guys behind the site (one or two are from interviews with Russian players, posted mainly because their opinions of Carlsen are so negative). I find their tone quite ridiculous considering that they discuss a player that has had unbelievable results over the last years and played excellent chess on a level no one else has come close. The site is certainly not balanced, I don't think any serious site repeatedly would use such extremely negative words towards any player, and they did it during a tournament where Carlsen performed 2878 after an undefeated +4 score.

Thomas's picture

Whychess is provocative, and such statements are opinions diverging from the mainstream - at least the western mainstream, I think we can consider Whychess a Russian site. Some statements are over the top (like quite a few in favor of Carlsen). The quote about Carlsen waiting for mistakes rather than outplaying the opponent is from former world-top player Dreev comparing Carlsen with Karjakin - who has a somewhat similar style but is a "real chess player" according to Dreev. It's an opinion, but Dreev's chess understanding is certainly superior to redivivo's, mine and that of most others commenting here.

redivivo's picture

Another example of how obvious the agenda of that site is: in Biel Nakamura chose a drawish setup with white and Carlsen complained that he had failed to find anything more active than the easy draw he got with black. Atarov/Tkachiev/Whychess boldly stated in their report that Carlsen's drawing the game was "in no way justified". Now that's pretty strong words, no one else was even close to come to that conclusion. They also declared that Carlsen's chess is in "systematic crisis" in 2012. Having read an endless amount of such descriptions of Carlsen and his chess I just concluded that the site is better suited for S3, RC and Thomas than for me :-)

Anonymous's picture

If you don't like different opinions than indeed whychess is not a fun site. They are also more critical about all players than most other sites.

But you shouldn't mistake the opinion of f.i. Dreev for that of whychess; the views expressed in an interview don't have to correspond to the view of the authors.
And that is also why I object to your contextless quotes and their use to intentionally misrepresent the facts.

RealityCheck's picture

Who are you? Who's "we"? You speak in the plural like some tragically devided nut. @Anonymous

It's clear my chess capacities exceed yours because you can't see through the hoax; even with your high speed chess program you still blind.

Listen, no one in their right mind goes coffee house against one of the worlds top players in a serious game. End of story.

Anonymous's picture

what an answer ! no explanation, pure emptiness, talking about croissant and coffee ?!?!?!? URGHHH !!! come back when you can tell us why Gawain made a blunder by exchanging his queen ...

RealityCheck's picture

@Anonymous Just for you but face empty heads. So, you've never heard the sound of one hand clapping. No surprise.

Anyone taking such an un-serious approach (two minor pieces for the queen with no clear plan of attack--straight up coffee house chess) playing his first big tournament against one of the top dogs would lead any rational person to think he's either stupid or he threw the game to help a buddy achieve his goal.

That's what you wanted to hear isn't it?

Saji's picture

But Carlsen said serious moves. I don't know why?

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen is 2857,4 Elo

THAT'S WHAT YOU NEED TO HEAR

AND NOW CLAP YOUR HAND !!!

Anonymous's picture

And bang your head with the bible, you are very good at that too it seems... Fact is you always try to pit Carlsen down. It' s ridiculous, soon the ulcer ?

The Golden Knight's picture

Carlsen makes history: 2857,4!!!
RealityCheck is probably banging his head against a concrete wall :))

Me's picture

That is too much to hope for...:-)

Zeblakob's picture

Or he is working out the last details of the "inflation theory".

Thomas's picture

I am kidding, but it almost seems as if the English players were instructed to lose against Carlsen to make this happen: McShane blowing a promising position is something that can happen, but Gawain Jones' queen sacrifice is hard to believe!?
Of course he might still have lost in a 'normal' way, and Carlsen fans will probably say that he was under tremendous pressure from Magnus blablabla.

Anonymous's picture

Today was a historic day. It will also be a historic day the day Thomas actually praises Magnus instead of whining about how bad his opponents play.

Ray's picture

:-)

S3's picture

Hi guys! Thomas is right. Not about the queen sac, which was quite reasonable, but right about the english lads who did get in awful time trouble. Jones had to play 20 moves in 20 minutes after he sack'd the queen (Carlsen had 1,5 hour ) and McShane helped a lot to destroyed himself. I don't think Carlsens wins were very special for a top GM, and his rating is more a reflection of his superior stability than superior chess skills over players like Kramnik, Aronian, Anand when they are in form. ..Admitedly, Anand is perhaps not often in form but luckily for him he only has to be once every couple of years.

Zeblakob's picture

@S3, you argument is unfalsifiable (always true!!?). It might happen that MC beat Anand, Kramnik and Aronian because they are all in bad form. Thus MC has no credit and S3 remains right.

redivivo's picture

Never gonna happen.

logicmofo's picture

A conspiracy to let Magnus Carlsen win against 2600something players is probably impossible to proof without alien support.

redivivo's picture

I don't know, I think bronkenstein posts on every Carlsen game since time immemorial that his actual rating isn't even in the higher 2650s (over at Chessbomb). This is "proved by science" since another guy that doesn't like Carlsen claimed this in a blog list without giving any reasoning behind it whatsoever. I wonder if that makes Anand and Gelfand lower 2500s?

bondegnasker's picture

"Carlsen fans will probably say that he was under tremendous pressure from Magnus blablabla"
- Yep, that would clearly be rubbish. You'd have to be a delusional Carlsen fan to come up with something like that.
Thomas, let go of your hatred. It takes you to the dark side :-)

Anonymous's picture

forget the Magnus FAN !!! and watch the EELO RATING LIST

2857 IT IS A HISTORICAL DAY

END OF THE QUESTIONZZZZZZZZ

Tom Servo's picture

Yes you are right, the English players were instructed by God himself to lose against Carlsen. True story!

Tom Servo's picture

Yes you are right, the English players were instructed by God himself to lose against Carlsen. True story!

harvey's picture

Elo 2857,4 - he may become good this kid.

Gary's widow's picture

2857,4!!!! Waaaaaa.....waaaa.....

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