Reports | December 03, 2012 23:24

London Chess Classic R3: Adams beats Polgar

Malcolm Pein, Joshua Altman, Vladimir Kramnik

It was the game between the winners of 2011 and 2010, and the one between the leaders of the 2012 tournament. Vladimir Kramnik was a pawn up against Magnus Carlsen for a long time, but in the end the world's #1 held the draw. Mickey Adams won against Judit Polgar, Aronian escaped with a draw against Anand and Jones-Nakamura was drawn as well.

Joshua Altman prepares to make the first move for Vladimir Kramnik in his round 3 clash with Magnus Carlsen | 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.

So far the visitors are getting their money's worth at Olympia. In 12 games, 781 moves have been made, which means an average of 65! All players seem to be full of energy and hopefully it will stay this way until the end. They all have one rest day each on which they assist the commentary team, and besides that, this year there's another general rest day on Wednesday the 5th. (By the way, ChessVibes will be in London from Thursday onwards!)

Let's start with the Big Game of round 3, the game between the winners of 2011 and 2010, and the one between the leaders of the 2012 tournament. The system Carlsen played against Kramnik's English was dubbed the "Swiss Cheese variation" by Nigel Short, who was referring to the holes on b5 and d5. King's Indian players will look at it as a "Botvinnik System reversed". Due to an inaccuracy in the opening the world's number one was a pawn down for a long time, but he defended very well.

PGN string

Levon Aronian doesn't seem to be in top shape in London. Again he was "playing some dubious moves" as he said in the commentary, and so also the world's number two was a pawn down for most of the game. His opponent, Vishy Anand, didn't feel he "missed anything big" but we dare to disagree: even though 26...Rxc1 and 27...Nxa3 was a computeresque pawn snatch, it should have been winning in the hands of a World Champion.

PGN string

Mickey Adams started in the best possible manner. As he pointed out himself at the post-mortem, two wins is more than he managed in any previous year. In the third round (he enjoyed a rest day during the second) he surprised Polgar a bit with 3.g3 in the Sicilian, but only Black's 13th was the first dubious move.

PGN string

Gawain Jones is holding himself decently so far with a loss and then two draws. On Monday he held a slightly worse ending against Hikarua Nakamura, who played 7...Na6 in the Grünfeld, Russian System – the move Garry Kasparov like to play as well in that position.

PGN string


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


London Chess Classic 2012 | Round 3 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.


The Golden Knight's picture

Magnus rules!

RealityCheck's picture

The Norsemen are coming
The Norsemen are coming
The warnings are given
The Norsemen are coming

Bertje Enkelhaar's picture

a normal videosite is coming
a normal videosite is coming
a normal videosite is coming

Oh wait... We already have youtube.

Been living under a stone realitycheck????

RealityCheck's picture

No, I don't live under a stone. Do you live in a glass house Bertje Enkelhaar? I have some rocks in my pocket.

I'm not selling books or youtube subscriptions! Me simply gave credit to the band, Iron Maiden, who's song, Invasion, I borrowed the lyrics from. Lyrics which i used to elbow GoldenKnight's comment.

chivas's picture
RealityCheck's picture

@ Chivas What septic tank did you just climb out of? You're full of .... For your info, I don't have a drinking problem, nor do I have a mirror at hand. Do you, Chivas? You like to drink too much?

You give Chivas Regal a bad name. Go away.

Morley's picture

Kramnik-Carlsen did not disappoint. Great game, and the analysis afterwards with the two players was excellent as well.

Real fighting games so far ... the games are averaging 65 moves each!

harvey's picture

Kramnik-Carlsen 's post-analysis was brilliant - and entertaining. One for the books.

eric's picture

Exactly, so far the best tournament of the year.

trollaras's picture

Anand is pathetic. He can't even beat Aronian who is completely out of form.

Anonymous's picture

troll troll troll !

MW's picture

Nah, can't be with the name trollaras.

john's picture

why dont u beat Aronian

Anonymous's picture

I happen to think Anand is playing well. Being a little ahead or a little behind and still managing to draw is reasonable. He doesn't like to take risks but his play is inventive.

I am starting to wonder what is going on with Nakamura, however. Seems to me that his opponent today played with a little more Pizzazz than he did.

By the way, does anyone know where I may find a copy of:

"My 61 Memorable Games"

I just read an article by famed chess historian Edward Winter and it sounds as if it was Bobby Fischer's last book. It could turn out to be priceless.

I've already visited a couple of bookstores but no one seems to know how I can order it. Any information about it would be helpful.

redivivo's picture

That book is an extremely obvious fake that Fischer had nothing to do with.

Anonymous's picture

Since when is anything about Fischer "extremely obvious"?

redivivo's picture

Since I read the few quotes I saw from that "book". Fake Fischer writes all kinds of self-analyzing drivel that makes it clear that the fake isn't even a good fake:

"inwardly they fed my need for something I had not recognized inside myself"

"this perpetual 'fawning' over me was almost therapeutic"

Frankly I'm surprised that Winter takes the whole "book" as seriously as he does, I wonder if anyone reading just the given quotes (I couldn't find all the other examples in the same style I saw when I wasted a few minutes looking over the thing) thinks Fischer wrote like that about himself. It's just not his tone at all.

valg321's picture

that book is as fake as can be. don't be so gullible anon

AAR's picture

Anand true to his colors managed to draw a game which he was leading mid way.

kaspyischt's picture

well, anand as force is finished,
i think he may play bit better if he is not world champion, he is just too scared of loosing while the hole world makes fun of him. he still can play at the highest level like kramnik is playing but he has to fight first...

Thomas's picture

"So far the visitors are getting their money's worth at Olympia. In 12 games, 781 moves have been made"
It indicates that the event is hard-fought, but is more (moves) really more? Is a longer movie, or a longer book worth more money? In round 1, I wonder how many spectators took their money's worth staying till the end of Jones-Adams ... .

The high move average is also due to two factors:
- just three games were decided before the time control. Such games might be the most attractive ones, and spectators probably wouldn't complain if there had been more such games.
- two or three games had many 'redundant' moves towards the end. Nakamura could have resigned about 20 moves earlier against Kramnik, and accepted a draw 20 moves earlier against Jones. Anand-McShane may be a borderline case: for the last roughly 20 moves, Anand "only" had to demonstrate that he can hold a theoretically drawn rook ending (going wrong once but McShane couldn''t benefit).

Anonymous's picture

Gee Thomas, you're the biggest nit-picker I've ever seen. Stick to your (often valuable) contributions, please.

Anonymous's picture

what would happen if after h5 kramnik answer by Rc1 ... ???

Martin Matthiesen's picture

Then just Rxb2 Rc8 Rxe2 Rxf8+ Bxf8 with an equal position

Anonymous's picture

Thanks Martin !

Frits Fritschy's picture

I must confess I don't get all the subtleties of the variation 24 Ba3. Really no way to win that final position? I could imagine something like using the extra pawn as a decoy to get your king to g5.
And what about 29 Ra7 directly instead of f4? Even more complicated.
Before anyone buries me with engine variations: I'm just amazed how easily these guys, without engines, evaluate such an endgame.

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