Reports | December 11, 2010 5:46

Anand beats Carlsen in round 3 London Chess Classic

Anand beats Carlsen in 3rd round London Chess ClassicIn what was not a perfect game from both sides, Vishy Anand defeated Magnus Carlsen in a Breyer Lopez today. The other three games of the London Chess Classic's third round ended in a draw.

General info

The second London Chess Classic takes place December 8-15 at the Olympiad Conference Centre on Hammersmith Road in Kensington, London. Besides the Classic itself there's a big open, a women's invitational, rapid and blitz events, simuls by Viktor Kortchnoi, lectures by GMs Boris Avrukh and Jacob Aagaard, and more. This wonderful fresh tradition in the capital of the United Kingdom anticipates a FIDE World Championship in 2012 and supports chess in schools and communities at the same time. In the top group Anand, Carlsen, Kramnik, Nakamura, Adams, Short, McShane and Howell play. More info here.

London Chess Classic

Round 3

Hans Arild Runde's live list hasn't been updated, yet but with just three points difference after round 2 it's clear that Anand has won back the number one spot by beating Carlsen in round 3 of the London Chess Classic. He did it in a Breyer Ruy Lopez that started not so well for the Indian, but somehow his young opponent didn't have his best day on Friday. Carlsen started to miss several things, then survived a winning kingside attack twice, and then lost anyway after the World Champion showed impressive patience and determination.

Vladimir Kramnik was very close to beating the tournament leader Luke McShane with Black in a Berlin Wall - yes, Big Vlad went for that Big Opening again, after he had only played it once in 2009 and 2010 together. (Perhaps his shaky Petroff in Moscow has something to do with it?) The former World Champ showed once more his feel for complicated endings, and slowly but surely outplayed McShane... but then just didn't deliver the decisive blow. The Englishman could escape into a R vs RB ending which he then defended impeccably.

The top English encounter between was quite an interesting draw. Short tried a "Greek speciality" in the Caro-Kann (5.Ng5 Nf6 6.Bd3 g6) which should be accompanied "with an ouzo", he added. Adams probably didn't find the most critical line and therefore Black was fine after the opening. The game became quite sharp at some point, but White was never far away from the draw.

Nakamura-Howell was a bit of a strange game. After 26 moves Nakamura had spent 15 minutes, while Howell had 6 left. As it turned out, the American was still in his preparation there - quite impressive for someone who played 1.e4 and 2.Qh5 not so long ago! However, after he had to give his queen for rook and knight Howell didn't have trouble finding a fortress, and so Nakamura's time advantage was worth nothing.

The press conferences of last two games mentioned can still be watched in the videos 3.3 and 3.4 below.

Videos by Macauley Peterson

Game viewer

Game viewer by ChessTempo

London Chess Classic 2010 | Pairings & results

London Chess Classic 2010 | Pairings

London Chess Classic 2010 | Round 3 standings

London Chess Classic 2010 | Pairings
London Chess Classic

Vishy Anand seems to be virtually the world's highest rated player again


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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

In Anand-Carlsen: Why not 37.Rf7 chasing the queen out of there?

Deep Mikey's picture

Why are you asking here? No engine which tells you that you saw more than the World Champion?

James's picture

Carlsen has become more lazy than ever. I used to wish him well, but his careless style and lack of engagement in post match discussions (Whenever he loses he doesnt contribute much to the discussions, claiming he is upset on his blog....) just strikes me as arrogance.

Septimus's picture

In Anand-Carlsen: Why not 37.Rf7 chasing the queen out of there? Then go with Bxf6

AljechinsCat's picture

The move has been analyzed by the commentators (groan).

leigh's picture

like his claim on tradition rules; like his refuse to play simul with kids in China; ...

I don't like the tradition rule for world champion too. But some people like, it needs time to change. if you don't like it, you don't chose to discuss and change it, you chose the way to escape. is that right?

furthermore, if the chess rule not change as you think, wether you are going to give up to play chess. If you did, people just simply tell you who care.

widnchane's picture

Anand is truly the world's best!

VladimirOo's picture

What do you mean by Carlsen's argument outside cheesboard?

donteatmyfingers's picture

Hey, someone said before anand hasn't played a tournament and won while also beating Carlsen and Kramnik.. well he's halfway there and I think he's gonna make it.

leigh's picture

While learning some chess from Kasparov, he also learned some bad habits from Kasparov, like fighting, argument outside chessboard. I think he couldn't be the world champion. Let's see!

bhabatosh's picture

Carlsen still needs few more lesson. Kramnik and Anand certainly is capable of that . After those lessons he should be ready for World championship :-)

Joker's picture

Yes those games have shown the real reason why Carlsen quit the WCh cycle: lack of hard work.

Joker's picture

Yes those games have shown the real reason why Carlsen quit the WCh cycle: lack of hard work.

reality check's picture

First GM McShane, now WC Anand; who's next in line to wipe the hype off Carlsen's shit eatin grin?

Stephen's picture

Spectacular start by McShane ! Let's hope he can keep it together for the remainder of the tournament.

Any news from any of the other events at the London Classic ?

john's picture

Carlsen's lone stance on the current cycle just became even more irrelevant. Good game Anand!

reality check's picture

Good observation John!

lefthandsketch's picture

I believe 37.Rf7 wins, In fact, Anand missed several clear wins but there was never any rush. Look at his position! it's solid and he can turn the screws slowly, while black is painfully hoping for some kind of drawing chance which just isn't there.

I hope the drubbing that Magnus is taking here will make him reconsider his "decision" to drop out of the WCC cycle.

kleppert's picture

Come on guys. Look at the ratinglist. Carlsen is n1 and a few losses doesnt change that. He is the man. You cant talk that down.

meshrath's picture

Officially, on the last published FIDE rating list, Anand is no.1, and on the live rating list, Anand again should be no. 1 after beating Carlsen. So where am I supposed to look? :)

Tony's picture

It seems to me that Carlsen is 'distracted'.
He made a life changing decision and I think he might be feeling some regrets. His performance since he has made this decision has been less than stellar. [remember Kasparov's final game, he was not really into it since he had already made a decision about quiting and had won the tournament no matter the result.]
Carlsen's fan base and his peers question his decision. No matter how right he may think his decision was, when everyone questions your choice it effects you on a certain level. At his age this is even more pronounced.
Being highest rated is one thing but the title world champion is a double exclamation point to a career.

Inkly's picture

Closed Ruy (no Marshall) has been in the dumps for some time. If MC can't boost it, maybe there's no future. The Live Ratings weren't updated, but Carlsen is no longer #1?

AljechinsCat's picture

What superficial is this statement like? What kind of "opening expert" is commenting here--

Kaushik's picture

Go Anand!! The Chess World is At Your Feet!! CRUSH 'em ALL!! :) :) and By the Way. . MANY MANY HAPPY RETURNS OF THE DAY!!! :) :)

harami's picture

So Anand beat Carlsen again? Maybe Carlsen was a bit unlucky, and Anand too seemed to be not at his best in this game, but converted eventually.

Not to purposefully sound rude, i think Carlsen's decision to quit candidates was arrogant and ill advised. He needed to grab these valuable match experience that came his way, and not to mention some idiots here on this message trying to pass it off as modern logic, even calling some who opposed his decision as Cro Magnon thinking.. Something for them to think about now, though i won't be surprised if they continued to fool themselves...

Sumit Balan's picture

Anand is Anand ,always ahead !!!

PircAlert's picture

Hey, that is a good old my quote!!!

Check out Anand won, Kramnik done daily dirt page from 2008. Can't give the link here.

AfkaM's picture

Live rating list is "live" unless Carlsen loses a couple of games ...
FIDE should do the live ratings instead of leaving the matter to people who is not always able to do justice to the word " live"...

Zeblakob's picture

The most funny comment here,

AfkaM's picture

Thx , and please notice how Carlsen moved from 3rd to 2nd place just seconds after beating Naka in today's round ...
Maybe we need a less biased monkey applying the formula after each round , and thats why someone from FIDE would be perfect , they hate all professional players equally.

cak's picture

Carlsen beat Nakamura yesterday. The list was updated today. Your comment is factually incorrect and therefore has little merit.

AfkaM's picture

I never said how many seconds passed so my comment is factually correct and yours is biased , evil and clearly against chess and freedom and everything that is fair in this world.

S's picture

maybe call it lie-ratings?

Andre's picture

Losing against Anand and Kramnik and then bragging to the world of no 1 spot being more important than world championship is ridiculous and that spot being obtained by beating lower rated players. In chess by repeatedly beating lower rated players ones's rating continuoslly increases , which kramnik called rating inflation in one interview.

gg's picture

Why they don't respect it? Because they aren't particularly gifted in the thinking department maybe?

pb0071's picture

Why don't you people just respect Carlsen decision to NOT participate in WCC cycle and stop being so self rightious. I am sure he is more than qualified to decide what he wants to do with his Chess Career than any of you. But of course you are all entitled to your opinions, but that's all it is an opinion. You can criticize him all you want but the bottom line is, its still his decision not yours.

jussu's picture

I fully agree here.It is hard to believe but many people seem to think that Carlsen was somehow obliged to play in the WCh cycle. And now that he has lost a few games (one of them to, think of it, the World Champion), they run wild and talk about "hype". Some gifts clearly missing indeed.

harami's picture

I don't understand. IMO i am one of those who think it is absolutely fine if Carlsen wanted to stay away from the candidates. For all i care, he can stop playing chess completely. He is free to do whatever he feels like ofcourse.

Citing World Champion 'privileges' as one of the main reasons for quitting when he is yet to start making a mark in the World Championship events is a sign of misinformation or even arrogance IMO only. Consider the fact that all this at a time when the Chess world emerged out of chaos with multiple world champions and so on.. and a new kid on the block suddenly finds things not to 'his' taste. There have been players , great players in the past who would talk AFTER they've won, not before. So even though Carlsen is justified in his own right to not participate, his reasons to do have not been satisfactory. He will have chances in the future for sure, as he is a great talent.

All this is assuming some people have a right to criticise him for it atleast if it is ok...

gg's picture

It was stupid by Carlsen to mention not liking the champion-challenger system, I give you that. He should have realised that people won't like hearing that opinion and should have refrained from writing it. Anyway, the match system was one of the many things he said that he didn't support, but hardly the most important reason for his withdrawal since he did sign up for a cycle with those rules and wanted real matches instead of the knockout joke. But people that have followed Carlsen and his complaints for many years concerning FIDE's constant changes know that it is these changes that are the central reason for his finally getting tired of it all. The idea that you can only be against a certain way of doing things after you've won is apparently not how Carlsen sees it. But people are trying to turn FIDE into the good guys that stand for stability when it is in fact they who just keep changing things every week, while Carlsen now supposedly stands for chaos just because he refuses to jump every time FIDE says jump.

reality check's picture

It wasn't stupid of MC to speak his mind about not liking FIDE or the champion-challenger system or whatever just because many other people wouldn't like hearing it, it was stupid because the line of reasoning was a joke just as your line of reasoning in support of his actions is a joke.
Both MC, you, and like-minded people ignore the most obvious: things have gotten much better not much worse since GK quit. Therefore, putting "all" the blame on FIDE is also wrong. It takes two to tango.

gg's picture

It takes two to tango? Carlsen declined to dance, so how can he be blamed for FIDE messing it all up again? You like what Kirsan is doing with the World Championship, Carlsen doesn't, it isn't more complicated than that.

VladimirOo's picture

The problem is not his decision to quit but the reasons he gave to justify it.

pb0071's picture

Do you think it would have been better if Carlsen did not speak his mind and did not say his reason for declining to participate in WCC? Then you guys would have criticize him for not saying it also, damn if you do and damn if you don't.

Andre's picture

Agree 100%

reality check's picture

GM Carlsen, whos Performance Rating is 2604 in London this year, plays against GM Howell Performance Rating 2634. This shd be another close game.

reality check's picture

Anand beats Carlsen twice in a single game!!

hmmm's picture

Carlsen throwing his toys out of the pram looks a bit silly now, doesn't it?

Mejnour's picture

I don't know why people making such a story about Carslen loss.

He had a advantage with black before this ugly Be4, not bad.

Kudos to Vishy for the rest of the game.

Stanley Peters's picture

I agree, Mejnour.

When Anand plays to win a tournament, he is an astonishing tournament player, and is adept at all forms of chess - classic, rapid and blitz. He is one of the most successful tournament players in the history of chess.

Magnus, since 2009, has been equally astonishing, and is also a wizard of all forms of chess.

In the course of their battles, over the next couple of years, Magnus will win some and so will Anand.

Of course, all of us are disappointed that Magnus has pulled out of the World Championship Cycle ( I still believe 'chickening out' is the right phrase) and therefore we may never have the opportunity to see a battle between Anand (when he is still capable of performance at a champion's level) and Magnus.

But that does not mean Magnus losing to Anand at London Chess Classic 2010 is a big setback for him or proved his actions (WCC) wrong. In many ways, Anand was lucky to have won this match and Magnus winning or losing has nothing to do with his announcement to FIDE.

The battle between Magnus and Anand was great to watch (I had promised myself I won't their match in London after Magnus pulled out of WCC but couldn't resist) and it was fascinating to see their mental tussle blow by blow.

Both are great players at different stages of their careers, and till 23rd of December 2010 I will still hope that Magnus will ultimately play in the Candidates.

gg's picture

"I still believe ‘chickening out’ is the right phrase"

And you've said so many times. I don't know, but don't you seriously think it sounds ridiculous? I mean, Carlsen "chickening out"?!


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