Sunday 9 December 2012

London Chess Classic - Round eight

As I said yesterday, one could easily predict that tomorrows round will decide who will win this years edition of London Chess Classic.
Kramnik won his game against Jones and he is just half a point behind Magnus Carlsen (who had a free round).
Michael Adams played just a draw against Levon Aronian and he is out of the fight for the first place.
In other games Polgar won as black against McShane and showed that she still can play on a very high level.
Anand and Nakamura played a very good and interesting game in which Anand had a big advantage out of opening but Hikaru missed some clear winning continuations near the end.

Here are the results of the eight round:

Vishy Anand - Hikaru Nakamura      draw
Vladimir Kramnik - Gawain Jones   1-0
Luke McShane - Judit Polgar           0-1
Levon Aronian - Michael Adams      draw

I will publish both tables, but this table with 3 points for a win is official one.
In matter of fact, it is not important when looking for the fight for the first place, as in the case of a tie Kramnik had to win tomorrow with Magnus drawing with Anand.
In that case, they would be levelled even on the traditional table.

London scoring system

Classical scoring system

This is the position from the game Anand-Nakamura and it is obvious that there will be a pawn race.
This kind of positions are favorable for the player who calculates better.
I think that Vishy played very good compared to his play in the previous rounds.
Is this just temporary thing or he is going to play better we can see for about a one month when he will play in Wijk an Zee.
However, Vishy got very promising position at one point but just blundered something and Nakamura was on his way to the victory.
They reached the position on the next diagram.

Nakamura was winning at this point.
He played:


I am not sure if this move throws away a win. My computer indicates that Black still has +2 but this can be tricky in the endgames. It can be out of horizon for the computer.
Latter on Nakamura just drew.
The winning move here was:

58. Ke5, Qc6!

...and now there are no way to saving the rook.

This is the position from the game Kramnik-Jones.
Kramnik just played 2. b3.
In the commentary room Nigel Short and Magnus Carlsen explained very well what is Kramnik´s idea.
Jones is a played who likes to develop his dark squared bishop in a fiachetto.
Kramnik wants to answer it on a very interesting way.

3. Bb2, Nf6
4. Bxf6!, gxf6
5. c4

This is a common trick already known from the game of Zoltan Ribli.
I was a victim of this thing in my only bad game in 119th Scottish Championship in Glasgow this year.
The only difference was that I was White, and Black answered my 1.c4 with 1...b6.

It means that White are actually playing a very good idea with a tempo more!
Yes it is a tempo extra (compared to the reversed version), but it is spent on Nf3 which maybe is not the very good way of developing this knight. It should go towards d5 square (via h3-f4 or e2-c3(f4) ).
This idea of giving White an tempo extra in already favourable position, but with a tempo spent on the move which actually weakens White position, was recently played in the game between Daniel Semcesen and Nils Grandelius.
Both are interviewed on this blog.
All in all, after the Nigel Short´s explanation about this favourable exchange on f6, Magnus Carlsen reacted immediately and pointed out that the White´s knight looks bad on f3.
Interesting indeed!
In the game Jones went for:


...and was forced to play the position without fianchetto of his bishop.
Kramnik proved his point and won convincingly.

You can go through the games in the chess viewer.

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