Reports | December 10, 2011 20:39

Again three winners in London; McShane back in the lead

Again three winners in London; McShane back in the lead

Luke McShane is still doing very well in London. The English grandmaster, who has a regular job when he doesn't play tournaments, is leading the Chess Classic with two rounds to go. He beat Nigel Short on Saturday, who tried his luck in a King's Gambit. Vladimir Kramnik and Magnus Carlsen, who beat David Howell and Mickey Adams respectively, are equal with McShane on points, but placed 2nd and 3rd on tiebreak.

McShane is sharing first with Kramnik and Carlsen | All photos © Ray Morris-Hill for the official website

Event London Chess Classic 2011PGN via TWIC
Dates December 3rd-12th, 2011
Location London, UK
System 9-player round robin
Players Carlsen, Anand, Aronian, Kramnik, Nakamura, Adams, Short, McShane, Howell
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.

Videos by Macauley Peterson

For iPhone/iPad users: you can access the video feed in iTunes here.

Hikaru Nakamura enjoyed his free round on Saturday and so chances were high that the tournament would have a different leader after round 7. For this to happen, either Luke McShane, Magnus Carlsen or Vladimir Kramnik had to win, and in fact all did.

Especially Kramnik's game and subsequent analysis session was impressive. Earlier in the tournament the Russian had lamented about his age and his calculation abilities, but the lines he showed were just amazing. See for yourself:

PGN string

Nigel Short, always good for some entertainment on and off the board, played the King's Gambit against Luke McShane. After the game he explained:

I did beat Garry Kasparov a few weeks ago with the King's Gambit so I thought it was worth a try. It is a lousy opening and you should be in the mood for it. I slept very well last night so I felt refreshed, and ready for some action.

PGN string

Magnus Carlsen is still in the running for winning yet another top event, after what was a strange game against Mickey Adams. Just look at all these queen moves by White! Carlsen said about them:

I thought all of these queen moves were just as ugly to me as they were to all of those who were watching this but I didn't see anything else.

PGN string

Levon Aronian and Vishy Anand got the highly topical 5.Bf4 QGD on the board, which seems to be the opening against 1.d4 what the Petroff is against 1.e4 - verrrrrry drawish.

PGN string

Round 7 standings

No. Name Rtg Score/game Tiebreak Perf
1 McShane,L 2671 12.0/6 3 black wins 2933
2 Kramnik,V 2800 12.0/6 1 black win 2934
3 Carlsen,M 2826 12.0/6 0 black win 2924
4 Nakamura,H 2758 11.0/6   2878
5 Anand,V 2811 7.0/6 1 black win 2738
6 Aronian,L 2802 7.0/6 1 white win 2750
7 Short,N 2698 4.0/6   2551
8-9 Howell,D 2633 3.0/7   2531
8-9 Adams,M 2734 3.0/7   2523

Round 7 standings (classical)


London Chess Classic 2011 | Schedule & results

Round 1 03.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 2 04.12.11 15:00 CET
Kramnik ½-½ Nakamura   Howell ½-½ Adams
Aronian ½-½ McShane   McShane ½-½ Carlsen
Carlsen 1-0 Howell   Nakamura 1-0 Aronian
Adams ½-½ Anand   Short 0-1 Kramnik
Short bye Assisting the commentary   Anand bye Assisting the commentary
Round 3 05.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 4 06.12.11 17:00 CET
Aronian 1-0 Short   Carlsen ½-½ Kramnik
Carlsen 1-0 Nakamura   Adams 0-1 Short
Adams 0-1 McShane   Anand 0-1 Nakamura
Anand ½-½ Howell   Howell 0-1 McShane
Kramnik bye Assisting the commentary   Aronian bye Assisting the commentary
Round 5 08.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 6 09.12.11 15:00 CET
Nakamura 1-0 Howell   Adams ½-½ Aronian
Short 0-1 Anand   Anand ½-½ Kramnik
Kramnik 1-0 Adams   Howell ½-½ Short
Aronian ½-½ Carlsen   McShane ½-½ Nakamura
McShane bye Assisting the commentary   Carlsen bye Assisting the commentary
Round 7 10.12.11 15:00 CET   Round 8 11.12.11 15:00 CET
Short 0-1 McShane   Anand - Carlsen
Kramnik 1-0 Howell   Howell - Aronian
Aronian ½-½ Anand   McShane - Kramnik
Carlsen 1-0 Adams   Nakamura - Short
Nakamura bye Assisting the commentary   Adams bye Assisting the commentary
Round 9 12.12.11 13:00 CET        
McShane   Anand        
Nakamura - Adams        
Short - Carlsen        
Kramnik - Aronian        
Howell bye Assisting the commentary        


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.


Chess Fan's picture

Your point is?
Are you even in the right forum?

Eric's picture

Yes James. I also remember Magnus, after his own sessions with Kasparov, opining that he was superior to Kasparov in positional feel, though of course GK had his strengths. I don't think the lads are exactly disrespectful of Kasparov, but they seem less reverent of him than older generations of players (e.g. Anand, Seirawan). Wonder if Garry is muttering at the chutzpah of these whippersnappers when he reads their comments.

Anonymous's picture

Well Kasparov himself said in an interview that Magnus had a much better intuitive feel for where to put his pieces than he did while he felt that the was a better calculator than Magnus.

noyb's picture

Wow, MOST impressive display by Kramnik. Hard to believe he's not still WC!

redivivo's picture

It would have been easier for him if he had faced Howell in that match instead of Anand.

Chess Fan's picture

Dec 11: Happy Birthday to Vishy Anand.

redivivo's picture

With Adams, Short and Howell in horrible form (Short was lost after 15 moves with white against both McShane and Kramnik and lost with white also against Anand), the real competition is between the other players. Much tougher to beat them and only Nakamura and Carlsen have a plus there, Anand and Aronian have a minus while Kramnik and McShane are =. If Nakamura just can win his last white games against Short and Adams as he is "supposed" to do he will also win the tournament, but once in a while Short or Adams might play decent chess and it's never easy to win on demand. I still see Nakamura as the favourite to win the event.

columbo's picture

today's Carlsen Anand is the match of the year


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