Reports | December 10, 2012 19:12

Carlsen wins 4th London Chess Classic

Carlsen wins 4th London Chess Classic

Magnus Carlsen won the 4th London Chess Classic on Monday, finishing two points ahead of Vladimir Kramnik. In the last round the top of the standings didn't change as Adams-Kramnik, Carlsen-Anand and Polgar-Aronian ended in draws. Hikaru Nakamura beat Luke McShane.

Magnus Carlsen, the winner of the 4th London Chess Classic |  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.

A really great tournament in London finished with a slight anti-climax as three of the four games ended in draws. This way Carlsen kept his two-point lead and won without having to play an Armageddon game, while Kramnik, with the same score as last year, had to be satisfied with second place this time. Nakamura and Adams did pretty well too but Anand's score was mediocre and his games included too many big mistakes. Aronian and Polgar played below their standard and in fact the two locals, McShane and Jones, did so too, with TPRs in the 2500.

Polgar and Aronian seemed to be quite happy to be able to finish their tournament with a short draw, to get it over with. They cheerfully analysed their game a bit at the press conference even though it wasn't too interesting and the first 22 moves had been played before.

PGN string

Polgar:

After the beginning I was not even hoping that I will somehow recover as much as I did. Obviously this level is not exactly what I'm prepared for, doing other things in my life. One of the biggest problems I felt that I have that simply my mind was not focused on the tournament. Besides that, of course some lack of preparation was there. For chess unfortunately you need a clear mind and a lot of energy which none of them I had much had too much of. And obviously they're great players.

Aronian:

I was playing my usual but my opponents were not, they were playing much better than usual! Tomorrow I'm going to Beijing to play the Mind Games. It's the best thing, that you can have another tournament when you have been playing chess in this manner. I'm sure I'm going to do better there.

Not long after, Adams-Kramnik also ended in a draw which meant that the tournament had been decided. Kramnik needed to win his game against Adams but decided to follow his opening repertoire anyway. About this he said:

When you're playing Black against such a strong player you cannot really count on winning. Actually the last time I managed to win with Black against Mickey was in January 1998! Of course there was the choice of playing some very rare, random openings and I looked at the games of Mickey and he's scoring incredibly well there. He knows exactly what to do against any kind of random opening. I'm quite experienced and usually what happens in such cases you lose the game like an idiot; you get a worse position and you lose. So I decided to play my repertoire and I see what Mickey is doing. He's playing many lines against Berlin, with d3, and we can get a complicated game with a lot of pieces like my game against Anand.

PGN string

Adams:

I think in the end some games could have gone better, some games could have gone worse but in the end my score is about right, so obviously I'm very happy to have a decent score, really. I would be absolutely over the moon if someone told me before the tournament I could get this.

Kramnik repeated exactly his performance of 2011 with four wins and four draws.

That time it was enough to be clear first and actually the tournament was more or less of the same strength. This time unfortunately it's only enough to be clear second but of course. It seems that the only chance to win this tournament was to win the direct encounter against [Carlsen] and I was close but he defended very well. But I was really happy with my play; I was playing really well, better than last year. My form was close to optimal. I don't think I can play much better than I did here. If I get a little bit more luck I will get some chances to win the Candidates Tournament and actually I am now number two in the world and also exactly twenty years in the top 10. It's a good way to celebrate that I am number two in January, you can almost say number one because Magnus is not here, he is in the space. Between humans I'm the best probably!

Nakamura got a belated birthday present from McShane, who dropped a full piece.

PGN string

Nakamura:

Except for today's game and the one against Kramnik where I got completely outplayed, overall I played very well. It's always nice to do well here in London.

Tomorrow I fly to China for the World Mind Sports Games, another strong event, and after that I will be playing in Wijk aan Zee in January.

For McShane it wasn't the best of finishes. He said:

I think I played quite a few interesting games here. I think I had a pretty tough time from the first four rounds to come away with only half a point because the games were quite interesting and a couple of them could have been different but of course it's always difficult when you're playing against the best players in the world so that's the way it goes. After that I thought I played reasonably well against Gawain, that was a good game, but the last couple of rounds I don't seem to have been showing particularly good chess.

When Vishy Anand arrived at the last press conference (while Magnus Carlsen was delayed as he was giving an interview to Norwegian media) he seemed quite frustrated about his play. He started by saying

It's completely ridiculous. Every day I have positions I should draw in my sleep and I'm sitting there awake and I just blunder and blunder and blunder.

PGN string

After the post-mortem Anand said:

I would say it's more or less catastrophic. It was the same last year and it has been the same for a while. I really had hopes that it would go better this time but somehow they were not realized. It seems to just go from bad to worse. The only thing I can say is that yesterday and today I actually played "fun" chess, maybe that's a kind of compensation.

It's a real pity to see the World Champ struggling with his form for not just one or two tournaments, but for longer than a year now and we certainly hope that he'll find it back in time to be able to fight for the top places in Wijk aan Zee next month!

As a compliment to the organizers we'll finish off by referring to their charity Chess in Schools & Communities. We strongly suggest you to donate (we did!) which will also help to create the 5th edition of the Classic.

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

London Chess Classic 2012 | Final standings (football)

 

London Chess Classic 2012 | Final 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

bronkenstein's picture

+1, it was quite rude indeed, but on the other hand Vishy is the reigning World Champion, not ´...the "world champion"... ´.

Iraqi Master's picture

Anand is a great player, nobody can argue with that, but as a chess fan I want to see the world champion wins big tournment and has the highest rate as both carlsen and kramnik do. Therefore, I was only critisising Anand not making fun of him.

Roger's picture

He wins world chess championship every now and then..keep your sarcasm to yourself please!

RealityCheck's picture

@Roger Every now and then?? He's competed in and won every WCh (that means all 4) since 2007...

You make for a poor defense attorney using weak language like that!

Roger's picture

He wins world chess championship every now and then..keep your sarcasm to yourself please!

bronkenstein's picture

Much,much more recently than ´world No 1´ qualified as a challenger (not to mention winning the crown).

NBC's picture

So what exactly is the point of the football score? :)

NBC's picture

So what exactly is the point of the football score? :)

Morley's picture

It encourages players to play for the win, which results in more entertainment for fans and (theoretically) more sponsorship.

Anonymous's picture

There is no point. The organizer, Mr Pain just flexing his muscle.

Anonymous's picture

@ Andreas; Ah yes, sorry, of course we have no sense of humour and sexism is 'just a joke'.

valg321's picture

Judit, is that you my dear?

Zeblakob's picture

I bless this tournement.

Ians's picture

It was really a great event , it was very well organized , great live coverage , the players themselves played some brilliant games , this tourney helped promote chess to kids as well so i think it was great , we need more of those tournaments . I wish we could host a high profile tournament like this in France

bronkenstein's picture

+1, Very nice and fighting tournament indeed, It was great pleasure to follow it. My congratulations to the winners and organizers (and sympathy to the ´others´ , especially Gawain & Luke).

wortwart's picture

It's really bad luck when 6/8 aren't good enough for even a shared first place ...

By the way, what was up with Aronian? I guess nobody would have expected him to finish with -1.

elgransenor1's picture

this tournament has opened up the possibility of carlsen breaking through the 2900 barrier; such is his dominance over the rest of the field now. there would be a certain symmetry if he were to do so, following in the footsteps of fischer (the first person to break through 2700) and kasparov (the first to break 2800.) the three greatest players of the modern era? however today and the rest of the tournament showed that it's premature to write vishy off completely- he will still be a formidable rival for carlsen or anyone else who qualifies through the candidates stage.

Anonymous's picture

His dominance over Aronian, Adams, Polgar, Jones and McShane was indeed amazing. His dominance over Anand, Nakamura and Kramnik not so clear.

RealityCheck's picture

The only thing Carlsen has over Anand, Aronian and Kramnik is Elo points. He doesn't "dominate" any of these players. Ok, we'll throw in a few milk bones for momentum and recent tournament wins. For, he has been on a two year roll. Plus he beat Garri, but Vlad already did that at the turn of the century. So, I don't know how much importance one shd place on beatin a dead horse.
However, even the three bilind mice can clearly see no dominance here. This exhibition tournament is no stage on which to make allusions of Carlsen even remotely dominating Anand, Kramnik, or Aronian.

Leo's picture

"The only thing Carlsen has over Anand, Aronian and Kramnik is Elo points." Fair enough - but what isn't fair is how you refer to the London Chess Classic (category XXI) as an "exhibition tournament", implying that Carlsen's win didn't matter, when a while back Anand's win in the Botvninnik Memorial rapid (!) tournament, an actual exhibition tournament, was evidently all the proof you needed to appoint him the greatest ever ... (Now, before you go off on a rant, please note that I didn't claim this win alone proves Carlsen is the greatest ever, or indeed that Vishy is not great. Just pointing out the glaring bias in your argumentation, that's all.)

Leo's picture

*Botvinnik, sorry.

Anonymous's picture

No biggie. @Leo You must be talking about the Botvinnik Memorial 2011, where Anand annihilated the entire field. Kramnik, Aronian, and Carlsen and...., and that was it.

There were no misc point donors on the start list. No full time mom's, no full time stockbrokers, no college students, no low Elo rated GM's. There was only the cream at the top. Yeah Leo, I remember that rapid tournament, I remember it well. Brings home some good memories.

I most certainly used this tournament win by Anand, blowing its importance out of proportion, to shed some light on the ridiculously loud reactions coming from media and fans after Carlsen's wiin in an even more comical exhibition in Norway a few months earlier that included Anand, Hammer, and Polgar.

Maybe you can help me with the name of the tournie and double check the participant names.

RealityCheck's picture

Sorry, forgot to add my handle to the previous post. And, I don't want Anonymous catching hell for my comments.

No biggie. @Leo You must be talking about the Botvinnik Memorial 2011, where Anand annihilated the entire field. Kramnik, Aronian, and Carlsen and...., and that was it.

There were no misc point donors on the start list. No full time mom's, no full time stockbrokers, no college students, no low Elo rated GM's. There was only the cream at the top. Yeah Leo, I remember that rapid tournament, I remember it well. Brings home some good memories.

I most certainly used this tournament win by Anand, blowing its importance out of proportion, to shed some light on the ridiculously loud reactions coming from media and fans after Carlsen's wiin in an even more comical exhibition in Norway a few months earlier that included Anand, Hammer, and Polgar.

Maybe you can help me with the name of the tournie and double check the participant names.

RealityCheck's picture

Got cut off. So, I hadn't mentioned the Botvinnik Memorial victory to make a case for Anands' greatness. Afterall, he was already (4x World Champion back then) the greatest.

Really, he has nothing to prove to you guys. You'd all be better people if you got off his back. Let him enjoy the WCh Crown for a while.

Leo's picture

@RC: Well, I don't have a fresh recollection of that Norwegian tournament (Arctic Chess Challenge?) or of any reactions to the result, but I agree that was obviously an even less significant spectacle than the Botvinnik Memorial rapid. (I'm sure both you and Anand himself have fonder memories of the latter event than of this LCC, where, despite a starting field half consisting of "point donors ... full time mom's, ... full time stockbrokers, ... college students, [and] low Elo rated GM's", Anand couldn't make his way past the middle of the pack.)

I'm sorry if I come across as an Anand basher - I'm not - but you do kind of bring this on yourself when your admiration of him leads you to make these very biased remarks. I absolutely think that Anand is a great champion, but that he is now somewhat declining. It´s no secret that he is dissatisfied with his own play.

I would be thrilled if he could recover his full playing strength, and maybe win some tournaments, but perhaps his commitment to his family will make that increasingly difficult for him - after all, family comes first. Time will tell. Anyway, as you say, he doesn't have to prove anything to anyone, and he also doesn't need you to prove anything on his behalf. No offense intended.

Peace :)

Morley's picture

My thoughts exactly. Anand is one of the greatest players of the modern age. He is just in a slump, and I hope he comes out of it soon.

RealityCheck's picture

@Leo Don't be sorry, you're not alone--plenty of sly Anand bashers right here on this site.

Btw, I wasn't talking about the Snow Boarding competition.....we're talking chess here. :-)

The Arctic Securities Chess Challenge they called it.The players I mentioned was correct. Carlsen won the final >>cough TWO GAME cough<< rapid match against Anand; which in itself is no biggie but, the loud reaction from fanboys at the blogs and print media gave me the impression he'd just won the WCh Title. See for yourself, start by reading this sites blog-end of Aug 2010.

I agree, Anand doesn't need me to prove anything on his behalf; his overall record does that.

At the same time, he doesn't need you or anyone else to remind him that he's had a bad patch. No offense intended.

Leo's picture

@RT: "Not alone"? I thought I made it clear that I *don't* consider myself an Anand basher; pointing out that he is in poor form certainly doesn't make me one. Besides, if you didn't notice, my initial response was in no way critical of Anand, for whom I have the greatest respect, but was directed at your dismissal of the LCC as an unimportant "exhibition tournament".

Regarding the ASCC, I won't bother to check; I'm quite sure you're right that there were plenty of exaggerated comments, which would of course be equally ridiculous.

I too agree that Anand's record is ample proof of his greatness, just as Carlsen's is of his, etc. I hardly think rapid tournaments have any sort of prominent place in either; however, the LCC does.

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year :)

Andreas's picture

R.C.: does it really hurt THAT MUCH, the outcome of the tournament? well, now you can recover for at least one month ...

abhi's picture

R.C...your love for Anand is unparalleled....Aruna must be jeleous ....lol

....as is your hatred for Carlsen

The Golden Knight's picture

RC is mental ill - forget him...

Anonymous's picture

@ TGK..he is just a little bit tense because of morons like you. And he clearly knows a lot more about chess than most of us.

@RC: chill my friend!. Anand is the wch and the posts of silly patzers and fanboys are really not worth the fuss.

RealityCheck's picture

You can bet your bottom The Golden Knight has a chronic hemorrhoid condition. Help him.

Donate 1£ via PayPal. Or more if you'd like. No upper limit.

RealityCheck's picture

@abhi You are mistaken. To confuse romantic love with the feeling of holding someone in high esteem is a sure sign of your immaturity. Grow up. :-)

Why would Aruna become jealous of someone that holds her husband in high esteem?

As regards the Norwegian chess prodigy:

I feel neither love nor hate for Magnus Carlsen. My respect for him is growing at about the same rate as is my disgust for his fanboys. Get my drift?

RealityCheck's picture

@Andreas. Heck No! Me bothered by the outcome of the tournament?? HaHaHa. You should know by now I do not place little to no importance on these exhibition tournies.

The Gran Prix series interests me. In my eyes, these candidate tournaments are a type of serious competition. We should be using the results of similar competitions only to compare the players strength/weakness.

Had Anand lost the world championship match against Gelfand, that would've hurt.

Leo's picture

There you go again with the "exhibition tourney", lol. Now, be honest: If Anand had won this event, you would surely have characterized it a little differently?

Andreas's picture

what a funny comment - carlsen indeed dominated the tournament like he used to dominate most events he was playing recently (therefore his rating, isn't it). a blind can see his domination, which doesn't mean he has to win every single game.

adam's picture

awesome tournament--warm congrats to Magnus, Vladimir and all the other players for making it happen!

Bob's picture

Yes, I think the most entertaining tournament in ages. Thanks to them all.

Septimus's picture

"It's completely ridiculous. Every day I have positions I should draw in my sleep..."

Quite telling when Anand is unhappy that he did not make the draw instead of being unhappy about not winning more than one game.

He just needs to go to the local club and smash a few noobs. Maybe he should freshen his opening book and stop hiding his preparation.

Anonymous's picture

I believe Carlsen-Anand had a chance to take it to bare kings had they wanted, if I haven't screwed something up of course.

There was a move order within the commentators analysis, in which they were looking for a "take-take-take variation" and overlooked one that allowed this very idea at move 58.

So Magnus proceeds with 58. Rb5+ Kc6 69. Nf6! (move order - first the knight, not Rxg3, which befuddled Howell) Ra3+ 60. Kc2 Rxg3 61. Nxh5 Re3 62. Rxe5 Nxe4 63. Nf6 Re2+ 64. Kd3 Rd2+ 65. Ke3 Nd6 66. Re6 Rd1 67. Ne4 Re1+ 68. Kf3 Rxe4 (takes) 69. Rxe4 (takes) Nxe4 (takes) 70. Kxe4 (takes) Kc5 71. Ke5 Kxc4 (takes). Take, take, taking - down to the bare kings!

Jambow's picture

Well London was fantastic a great tournament with a lot of great games. I feel the comments by the players were spot on and felt like McShane was reading my posts too. Up until the last two rounds he played much better than his score would indicate the last two were just not good games and he knew it too, but ill take his hard fought losses over striving for mediocrity anyday.

Nakamura called it correct and big Vlad just out played him he is playing great chess. He has been showing signs of a return to top form for some time imho.

Vishy maybe the problem is you"re dreaming of drawing in your sleep, I bet you used to dream of winning give it a try we remember your complex dynamic open games they are on chessgames or youtube check them out.

Judit its tuff in the big boys club and while you were away it got tougher. I think she like Luke actually played better than her score would indicate but by a smaller margin. No offence to anyone that urinates from the seated position note I love having her play because she goes for it and often gets it done too.

Mickey fought hard and was rewarded for it.

Jones was in over his head and the guys and gal standing on his head are no light weights.

Bravo London please keepscoring and bonuses in effect the results satisfy me oh yes and probaly drop players who continue to draw too many fighters not too.

Jambow's picture

Well London was fantastic a great tournament with a lot of great games. I feel the comments by the players were spot on and felt like McShane was reading my posts too. Up until the last two rounds he played much better than his score would indicate the last two were just not good games and he knew it too, but ill take his hard fought losses over striving for mediocrity anyday.

Nakamura called it correct and big Vlad just out played him he is playing great chess. He has been showing signs of a return to top form for some time imho.

Vishy maybe the problem is you"re dreaming of drawing in your sleep, I bet you used to dream of winning give it a try we remember your complex dynamic open games they are on chessgames or youtube check them out.

Judit its tuff in the big boys club and while you were away it got tougher. I think she like Luke actually played better than her score would indicate but by a smaller margin. No offence to anyone that urinates from the seated position note I love having her play because she goes for it and often gets it done too.

Mickey fought hard and was rewarded for it.

Jones was in over his head and the guys and gal standing on his head are no light weights.

Bravo London please keepscoring and bonuses in effect the results satisfy me oh yes and probaly drop players who continue to draw too many fighters not too.

armtwister's picture

Playing Fun chess should be the way to go for World Champion Anand !!! Play aggressive attacking chess ,and forget about the results.

nathan's picture

Even with his terrible form, Anand "nearly" did quite well. He could have easily drawn with Adams, and beaten Nakamura.
In that case, he would have gained 7.1 rating points, and would have overtaken Caruana, Karjakin to be back in top 5 in the ratings.

redivivo's picture

Both McShane and Nakamura missed several wins against him though, so he could just as easily be a bit below top ten.

Rodzjer's picture

Could have... In that case... would have... would have...
Bit too much to hope for, innit?

trollaras's picture

How lower can Anand get? Well, we will find out at the next tournament he participates...if, of course, he decides to continue getting humiliated.

Anonymous's picture

Humiliated? Anand managed to draw the all time strongest and hottest player of the universe with black!!

Anonymous's picture

Humiliated! Carlsen and his flunky Nepomniasty should be worried; not putting away the old, tired, weary, out of form Anand. In this condition! Show's how toothless these 2850's can be.

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