Reports | December 07, 2012 20:58

London R6: Carlsen also beats Polgar, Anand blunders, McShane beats Jones

On Friday Magnus Carlsen also defeated Judit Polgar to get to a stunning 5.5/6, a 3147 performance rating and a 2863.6 live rating. In the London Chess Classic's 6th round Luke McShane won against his compatriot Gawain Jones, and Vishy Anand blundered horribly against Mickey Adams.

On stage at the start of round 6 in London | Photo © ChessVibes

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.

Just before the start of the round, the players (joined by commentator of the day
Nakamura) are waiting to be called onto the stage
 | Photo © ChessVibes

By now it's clear that London 2012 will make the history books. After winning yet another game, Magnus Carlsen only needs half a point out of his last two games to break Garry Kasparov's record officially, and in this super form he's in, we don't see him losing a game actually.

Michael Basman plays the first move at the board of Magnus Carlsen, saying
"It's such an important event that I should play this!" | Photo 
© Ray Morris-Hill

On Friday his victim was Judit Polgar, who finds herself on the other end of the leaderboard having a very bad tournament.

Carlsen puts back the h-pawn to start with 1.c4 instead | Photo © ChessVibes

After Carlsen had entered the commentary room under a big applause, he said

It was probably my best game so far.

and indeed for the first time there were no moments of hesitation and no positions where he was worse. It was a smooth win from start to finish.

PGN string

Carlsen in the commentary room after the game | Photo © ChessVibes

When Carlsen sat down next to commentators Danny King and Lawrence Trent, he was first asked whether he "had seen it". For about twenty minutes, King and Trent had talked about one thing only: the Blunder by the World Champ. But Magnus didn't know this of course, and in fact, he hadn't seen it was a blunder either, despite the fact that after Anand had made his 41st move, he had looked at the position on stage. This made it clear that although it was a blunder, Adams' reply (and that Bxf7 could be answered by Kg7!) was also the kind of move anyone can miss every now and then. At the press conference Adams said he saw Qd1 quickly, and that he noticed that Anand saw it too. He added that the Indian "was quite nice after the game actually".

PGN string

A rare blunder by the World Champion, Vishy Anand | Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

About an hour later, the other two games also ended almost simultaneously. Like in their match in Zurich last year, Aronian played 1.e4 to enter the complications of the Berlin Ending, which he plays with Black as well. For a long time it wasn't clear whether Black was better or not (the players seemed to disagree at the press conference) but from move 25 onwards Aronian was on the defending side.

PGN string

A tough fight in a Berlin Endgame between Aronian and Kramnik | Photo © ChessVibes

The all-English clash between McShane and Jones saw the latter sacrificing material once more, and again it was both creative but not enough. McShane could have decided the game quicker but he was always in control.

PGN string

 Luke McShane beats Gawain Jones | Photo © Ray Morris-Hill


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 3-0 McShane   Carlsen 3-0 Polgar
Jones 0-3 Anand   Anand 0-3 Adams
Adams 0-3 Carlsen   McShane 3-0 Jones
Polgar 0-3 Nakamura   Aronian 1-1 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 6 standings (football)


London Chess Classic 2012 | Round 6 standings (classical)



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.


Zeblakob's picture

This kid plays goodly.
♰♰♰ My condolence to Anand ♰♰♰

Thomas's picture

By his own words, "this kid" finally played a good game today (Kramnik already has more than one good game!?).
Anand may have thought: "people love decisive games, let's blunder - Mickey has done it already, my turn today!"

rogge's picture

Ah, yes, the hype. Unbearable.

Kramnik is clearly better.

Anonymous's picture

you must be really suffering seeing carlsen winning all the time...

rogge's picture


Rough days for Thomas, Bronk, S and RC, but I can live with that.

Calvin Amari's picture

The Flat Earth Society.

Carlsen did say this was his cleanest game. He did not say what he need not, because it is plain for all (except those in an apoplectic state of denial) to see: even with less than his best play in prior games he nevertheless surpasses his competition with ease. Because Magnus will outperform Vlad in this competition by objective measures, we have heard throughout from some commenters that Vlad somehow wins on style points despite his real results. I guess when you have so much egg on your face your vision gets obscured.

barry's picture

Yes. Thomas has so much egg on his face he can make omlets for an army. His apoplexy will last because he lives in an era of magnus's dominance. We can gleefully watch thomas suffer and make a fool of himself for years. Notice however that even Thomas seems to have quietly given up his stupid claims that anand is better.

Anonymous's picture

Thomas is both a better player and better informed than the usual posters here. He also never attacks or insults other posters. You could learn a thing or two of him.

Anonymous's picture

no, sorry, you're right. thomas is full of ...egg.

barry's picture

Sorry Anon but gathering unrelated facts a and half truths and spurious arguments in support of the absurd view that kramnik outperformed carlsrn in London is not " well informed". It is a testiment to the topical BS we get from this commenter.

Thomas's picture

This mini-thread arose after I referred to Carlsen's words in the press conference - I don't remember them exactly, but it was along the lines of "You played your best game of the tournament!!" "Well, there isn't much competition". Recurrent theme 1: Carlsen fans don't like quotes by Carlsen himself if they are sensible in such a way - for them, every single one of his wins is BRILLIANT and fully deserved.
Not sure what you mean with "stupid claims that anand is better". I do remember pointing out that Anand's tournament record in late 2010 to January 2011 (four consecutive second places in Bilbao, Nanjing, London and Wijk aan Zee) was arguably better than Carlsen's, and that he scored +2=4 against Magnus in these events. Recurrent theme 2: Carlsen fans don't like such annoying facts.

For the rest, statements by Calvin Amari and barry lack contents!?

Anonymous's picture

egghead, argumentation full of strawmen, as usual. u can't describe carlsen fans as one entity.

Thomas's picture

OK that's a fair point: not all Carlsen fans, but some of them - particularly those who post that kind of allergic reactions.

Anonymous's picture

that's right, thomas, some of them. the vast majority of carlsen fans doesn't fit your description, so stop stigmatising carlsen fans (and nakamura fans) en masse.

Thomas's picture

Maybe I should have written fanboys (implying childish behavior and lack of objectivity) - even if (for me) "fan" is already short for fanatic, as opposed to simple supporters who might even like several players. Just a matter of semantics.

redivivo's picture

"Carlsen fans don't like quotes by Carlsen himself if they are sensible in such a way - for them, every single one of his wins is BRILLIANT"

This sort of stuff is just embarrassing to read.

norton's picture

"Carlsen did say this was his cleanest game. He did not say what he need not, because it is plain for all (except those in an apoplectic state of denial) to see: even with less than his best play in prior games he nevertheless surpasses his competition with ease."

As we say in chess: the point!

Anonymous's picture

We notice @ Calvin Amari's still suferring "foot in mouth" syndrom. Get a life!

celso's picture

Please, do not make yourself a mental retard.

sab's picture

Calm down.

JW's picture

Carlsen has 5.5/6 and not 5/6! Incredible!

Anonymous's picture

yes!! Chessvibes pls retreat!!!

Morley's picture

Carlsen actually has 5.5/6, not 5/6! Great game today, he made it (again) seem effortless.

Anand really dropped the ball on this one. Look at what "type" of move Bc4 is. He had been defending most of the game, and just wanted to trade down, get into a dead even endgame, and get the draw. In his hurry to get this game over with, he played what the commentators called one of the worst blunders of his career.

Glad to see McShane on the board, hopefully he can score well in the remaining rounds.

Thomas's picture

"Great game today [by Carlsen], he made it (again) seem effortless."
I agree, but 'again' must refer to earlier events, not to earlier games in London? And today's game also indicates that Polgar is out of form or maybe out of place in this field: not just Carlsen, but also Kramnik and Adams beat her quite effortlessly (plus her loss against Nakamura).

Anand "had been defending most of the game"?! This wasn't the impression of the commentators, biased as they understandably are in favor of the English player, nor of Adams himself (Anand of course skipped the press conference). Both sides had their plusses: black the bishop pair, white nice squares (d5 and c4) for his knights - even if engines prefer the bishop pair giving black a slight advantage.

And yes, I do think Kramnik so far played the best, most creative and most stable chess - he just didn't get any presents from his opponents.

Anonymous's picture

"And yes, I do think Kramnik so far played the best, most creative and most stable chess - he just didn't get any presents from his opponents."

Not very surprised by your opinion, though I guess you have it exclusively the way you said it.

Stable? - Yes. Creative? - hmm.. Best? - Not.

S3's picture

It's obvious that Kramniks was (the) most impressive so far, but Nepomniachi's isn't doing bad either !

Anonymous's picture

.... and your wrecked joke makes it to the 'mildly amusing' column today. Sorry mate, you've been funnier before.

Anonymous's picture

Kramnik's jacket, I suppose? :-)

Morley's picture

Carlsen "made it seem" effortless in his victory over Jones, for one. That game had a lot more than meets the eye, however. I didn't say it WAS effortless, just that Carlsen made it seem so. He hasn't really spent too much time the whole tournament. His moves have generally been quick and precise.

Judit is definitely in bad form, she didn't seem like she had a plan. Too much shuffling back and forth; the Qb8-a8-b8 maneuver comes to mind.

I have been running the Anand-Adams game in an engine the whole afternoon, and from Anand's 13. Be3 to about move 30, Black enjoyed a slight edge (the commentators agreed somewhat) due to his bishop pair and active position. Once White succeeded on getting the knight to d5, it was clearly a draw. So maybe Anand wasn't "defending" per se, but he was clearly worse.

Kramnik has had a great tournament so far, but I think it is disingenuous to say that he hasn't gotten any presents (the obvious implication is that Carlsen has gotten nothing but). The endgame with Nakamura was probably drawn up until Naka's 67. Qd6+, which just hangs a pawn. And in the first round, Judit's 11. ... d5 and 12. ... dxc4 were completely unnecessary. She simply blundered a piece for two pawns out of the opening. Further, McShane played just as poorly in his game against Kramnik as Judit did in hers today against Carlsen. Kramnik's a5 exchange sac was inspired, for sure, but McShane responded badly and was probably lost before his 20th move.

Both Kramnik and Carlsen are having a great tournament, I don't see why people have to go out of their way to take away from Carlsen's achievements.

S3's picture

I completely agree on Nakamura-Kramnik (although such an ending against Kramnik is always lost) and Kramnik-Polgar, but not on Kramnik-McShane. To me that was defenitely the game of the tournament so far. And what I like about Kramnik here is that he hasn't been worse throughout the tournament. Yet, still two rounds to go.

Anonymous's picture

Was that post about Kramnik?

Thomas's picture

"His [Carlsen's] moves have generally been quick and precise."
In his games against McShane and Adams, this may be true from a certain point onwards - would you deny that he was worse at some stage of these games? Against Jones, I still consider the queen sacrifice some sort of present - even if it was correct Jones (also out of form or out of place in the event) failed to prove it. While I wouldn't talk about presents, Carlsen's win against Aronian also wasn't precise from start to finish. And against Kramnik, he was precise from the moment he was in danger of losing, not before.

By comparison: Kramnik was in the driver's seat with black against Nakamura for most of the game. The endgame was drawn but Nakamura cracked under pressure - his error wasn't exactly unforced. Polgar had a choice between being simply worse or worse in complications and chose the latter - in any case she didn't blunder but sacrificed a piece. McShane could have played better, that's for sure - show me a win where the loser didn't do anything wrong .... Kramnik went for complications and did a better job handling them, simple as that.

As to Anand-Adams, do you contradict yourself? First you say "Black enjoyed a slight edge" (maybe -0.3 or so), then you say that Anand was clearly worse ... BTW Anand got his knight to d5 on move 16, a direct and intended consequence of giving up the bishop pair.

Hortensius's picture

It may look like Carlsen gets many presents from his opponents only because he consistently utilizes the slightest inaccuracies.

Thomas's picture

There may be _some_ truth to this, but inaccuracies from McShane and Adams weren't that slight ... .
I largely agree with what Peter Doggers wrote: "indeed for the first time there were no moments of hesitation and no positions where he was worse" - which says something on how Carlsen managed to get 5.5/6 or rather 4.5/5 before yesterday's round. But he wasn't worse either against Jones - not such a big deal, noone was in the entire event

elgransenor1's picture

no he was playing for an edge, and he blundered. if black takes on c4 white is minutely better. as for carlsen, I wouldn't be surprised, given the form he's in, if he won his last two games as well.

Anonymous's picture

Two easy wins ahead for Carlsen, the world's strongest player by far .. then also three pretty clear wins for Aronian. Anand doing well for his current ability, scoring a classical fifty percent in this field so far, but he has already missed the best moment to retire gracefully as the reigning and legit "world champion". At this moment bearing this title looks more like a burden than anything else for him.

Morley's picture

I don't think Nakamura and Anand can ever be considered "easy" opponents, but considering Carlsen's record against the former, and the latter's form this tournament, I would say there is a chance Carlsen could make this 7.5/8.

Anonymous's picture

So much for your grand prognosis. Carlsen could only manage a draw against the meek and humble Nakamura.

abhi's picture

lol +1 on Anand

Jambow's picture

Strange game today as Carlsen won from a nearly even position and didn't have to come from behind.

Anand blunders and drops a game probably not because of anyone else but himself and not chessvibe commentary. Love Vishy probably would enjoy spending a day with him more than any other top player yet not seeing a world champion caliber player and his last impressive performance was Wijk aan Zee 2010 and he couldn't pass Nakamura despite going for it.

My take is that Polgars TPR is far below her actual level of play this probably applies to Gawain and McShane to a lesser degree also. Hope she doesn't get discouraged and continues to play I think she will be a force again in the 2700 club.

Not a horrible game between Kramnik and Aronian but it looked drawn early if nobody blundered.

McShane gave us another complex unusual position, this time the clock was no kinder to his opponent and he put one in the W column.

Over all this has been a great tournamnet for chess fans and Carlsen fans above all others.

Carlsen is considering challenging Rybka to further gain elo, ok thats probably not a good idea but 3147 TPR is amazing even with a little help from his freinds. Sorry they are playing in Brittian aren't they!

chesshirecat's picture

I eagerly await the arrival of Pircalert to tell us how it is all part of Anand's masterplan and that today's performace actually confirms what a great player he is. He might take a few hours to come up with the convoluted logic, but it will come : ) : )

Septimus's picture

Anand is throwing out a smokescreen. He would lost on purpose to trick his challenger into trying the same line in the WCh. When Anand loses or draws, it is obvious that he is hiding his preparation.

Anonymous's picture

To know how to hide one’s ability is great skill. – Francois De La Rochefoucauld

sab's picture

Beating dead horse...

Jambow's picture

I had a deeper look at the McShane vs Jones game and it would be better for the chess world if Luke was in it full time, clearly this was the most fantastic game of the round. Look forward to commentary when time permits.

S3's picture

Nice game by Kramnik again, never in danger and an effortless draw. If he can mantain this form till the candidates tournament he is very likely to win. Still it seems nearly impossible to catch up with Carlson this tournament.

I liked Polgar's approach this round. Carlson did little against McShane and Adams but to wait for their mistakes. Now Polgar forced him to do something active and make the play. To her loss he did so excellently, but still, it was a nice try.

elgransenor1's picture

"If he can mantain this form till the candidates tournament he is very likely to win."

errr why is carlsen intending to withdraw then?

S3's picture

elgransenor1; I think Kramnik is playing even more convincingly so far but I didn't want to say it directly because Rogge will stalk me for it again. Kramnik looks very, very strong. Mind you, I do hope the level of competition at the candidates will be higher than that of Polgar and the Brits and that might change the picture completely. Some of Kramniks wins were just too easy.

boardgame's picture

I agree, to me Kramnik is also more convincing than Carlsen during this tournament even though Carlsen is leading right now. Kramnik never really suffers in his games and his wins seem like winning starts, contrary to Carlsen's victories.

Anonymous's picture

To me, Kramnik's game is as solid as it was in his best days, yet lacking creative and aggressive ideas. Other than Carlsen, he also isn't precise enough to convert drawish positions into likely winning positions. Kramnik is currently no match for a Carlsen in this form and probably never again. Nice tournament for him though, so far.


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