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.


Septimus's picture

Regarding Carlsen, just wow! He is unstoppable. If you are equal in eval half way through, there is a 100% probability that Carlen will grind you down in the end game. Simply unbelievable!

Anand's blunder was pretty horrific. Is this going to be curtains for Anand?

trollaras's picture

Come on, give Anand a break...mistakes like that happen to everybody, my 6-year old nephew made a similar mistake today, big deal

Terrance's picture

I don't get it. I've just seen so much negativity in a lot of places directed towards Anand. I don't understand. He is such a great human being and obviously one of the greatest players ever. 5 time World Champion. But most importantly, he is a great human being.

filiusdextris's picture

Anand's awesome. The big thing on this site is there are several people who hate on Carlsen, saying that he is no where near Anand's level, using various factual arguments over the past two years. I don't think anyone is trying to denigrate Anand so much as to say that Carlsen is just stronger now. Anand is a great ambassador, and despite his clearly non-Championship worthy recent results, he has earned the right to take it easy if he wants to.

Terrance's picture

Head to head Anand leads in wins 6 to 2. Also, Anand is the freaking World Champion, he just defended his crown again, despite not playing his best. I love Carlsen, but please lets not disrespect the WC. Anand can play with anyone.

filiusdextris's picture

Lol, since 2009 when Carlsen became #1, Carlsen is +3, -2 in classical chess versus Anand and +5, -2 in other formats (rapid, blitz, blind). Carlsen is clearly better in their rivalry as of late. Also by your not-so-bright reasoning Tiviakov is clearly better than Anand since he leads in wins against Anand 4-2 in classical chess. To conclude, Carlsen is clearly better than Anand these days; you can't take stats to blindly suit your purpose.

filiusdextris's picture

correction: +2, -2 for Carlsen - Anand since 2009, but +6, -2 in rapid, blitz, blind since then...I misidentified an event as classical chess.

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.

Septimus's picture

Anand is throwing out a smokescreen. He would have 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.

armtwister's picture

Anand should go back to his past opening repertoire rather than copying the openings played by Kramnik,Aronian and other strong postional players. His strength is tactics and he was so good with 1.e4 which made him a top 3 player in the 90's and early to late 2000's. 1.d4 won him the match against Kramnik and Topalov but he lost his sharpness in play , especially with white.

I think he should go back to his datcha and go though the good games he won with English attack, Stanitz French, Rauzer attack etc,and prepare 1.e4 extensively and also with black, play the Nimzo ,Ruy lopez etc which worked for him.

The unfamiliar openings and dry postions are the problems he is facing right now. He is under the illusion that , since kramnik,aronian etc wins with 1.d4 and 1.c4,that will work for him too. Unfortunately that is not the case. If Kramnik or Aronian switch to 1.e4, their results also will be not so impressive as they are now.It might work once in a while,for surprise value,like happened in Anand-Kramnik or Anand-Topalov matches, but not regularly. Sharp players should play 1.e4 and never should they try to change their style,because once you change your style, its difficult to go back to your old style ,since your subconscious chess mind is searching for that sharp tactical position all the time. if its not in your system, you bound to make mistakes in less familiar or less interesting positions.

So i request you Mr.World Champion,Please play to your strength and give us back the pleasure of watching your sharp games in action ,once again !!

trollaras's picture

Have you ever considered that Anand may not be as sharp tactically as he used to be? And that this is the reason why he tries to play positionaly now? Like many other players, he is not as good in tactics as he used to be when he was young. His recent game is a testament to this. He knows it and he has had to adapt his play. Unfortunately for him, there are other better players positionaly, like Kramnik and lately Carlsen. The game is over for Anand. Most of us like him immensely because he is such an exceptional human being, but the sad truth is that he is past his prime.

Saheed Saibu's picture

Carlsen is just too wonderful in play. I love studing his game. Go Carlsen, Go Carlsen

chesshirecat's picture

Armtwister has a point! I also think these closed openings don't work so well for Anand, although of course you can point out exceptions (e.g. match v Kramnik - some games...but also, inexperience showed in others). Time and time again we see him going astray in "typical" positions in certain closed openings. The thing is, modern super GMs don't play all that many games against varied opponents. So, he can be prepared for openings in that he has looked in the database and learned the lines, but he has not had years of practical experience in most of the variations to really "feel" the opening. Example: loss to Naka in KID though "in theory" he had a huge position. Even the best of the best usually had/have a limited opening repertoire, else they avoided certain lines.

armtwister's picture

Exactly Chesshirecat !!! Closed openings work well at times ,but not always,since he doent have the 'feel' of the positions that may arise in different variations that he maynot have studied.But he can be at home in any open positions at a given time. Fischer also stuck to his 1.e4 in 1992,coming back after a 20 year gap. And look at Adams, he still plays 1.e4 with good results, so is Dominguez,Karjakin ,Caruana,Leko etc. Play 1.d4 against specific opponents to avoid some lines, or if you feel his/her repertoire is too tight against 1.e4 or loose against 1.d4. But primarily,you must stick to a style you are familiar with from childhood.

See Gelfand, he still stick to his 1.d4, but lost his match with Karpov in 1994, mainly because he switched1.e4 for surprise value and although he was super well prepared in Advance caro kann short system, he couldn't solve the problems or create new problems for Karpov back then. And we all know what happened to Kramniks performence when he temporarily switched to 1.e4 between 2002 to 2005

cdorf1977's picture

looking forward to seeing Anand vs Carlsen Wch match

Anonymous's picture

How many years will it take for someone to take Carlsen 1 spot ? SCARRY

Anonymous's picture

What a bore.

webbimio's picture

A match-tournament with Carlsen, Kramnik, Aronian, Anand to determine the WC would be interesting! Like that in 1948...

Anonymous's picture

i don't agree. I do like the format of two players playing 12/14/ or more matches to decide who is the world champion

RealityCheck's picture

@Webbimio No. Absolutely not! We have a brilliant WCh and a legitimate cycle in which to determine his challenger. You want the crown, dethrone 5ive times WCh Vishwanathan Anand.

Winning side-shows for the masses don't cut the mustard.

Round robin tournaments were used to determine the WCh in the past to get us out of a crisis. f.e. Alehkine's sudden death, Fischer's chicken feces default, and Kasparov's sleazy break from FIDE.

webbimio's picture

Yes, you're probably right. The problem is that I will be disappointed when one of the first three players will be cut off from the cycle :)

Anonymous's picture

@ webbimio I feel you! They're all noteworthy challengers. The bright side, there's only a healthy two year wait before the next world championship.

sab's picture

"Winning side-shows for the masses don't cut the mustard."

You are the man. :D

redivivo's picture

The TWIC annotations are as often slightly weird at some places, for example they give Polgar's 32. ... Nxe5 a question mark while all engines see it as the clearly strongest move.

Harry's picture

The commentary videos produced by Macauley Peterson are just really wonderful!!!!


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