Thursday 6 December 2012

London Chess Classic - Round four

The fourth round of the fourth edition of London chess Classic was played yesterday.
On the top, Magnus Carlsen made a step forward as he won his game against lowest rated player with "only" 2644 Elo points, while Vladimir Kramnik played "just" a draw against The World Champion Wishy Anand.
Hikaru Nakamura did not manage to get something real against very solid play of Michael Adams, while the game of the day was the game between Levon Aronian and Luke McShane.
It looked that Aronian will win this game quite easily, but Luke put very hard resistance. After very interesting endgame Aronian won his first game in the tournament.

The results of the fourth round:

Hikaru Nakamura - Michael Adams    draw
Magnus Carlsen - Gewain Jones        1-0
Wishy Anand - Vladimir Kramnik       draw
Luke McShane - Levon Aronian         0-1

In London Chess Classic they have a system with 3 points for the victory and 1 point for a draw so besides classical table I will provide also London scoring system.
These detailed tables are taken from Chessbase web site.

Classical scoring

London scoring

Before I let you lie back in your comfortable chair, and go through the games in the chess viewer, I will share some thoughts about the games.

This is the position after the opening in the game between Carlsen and Jones.
Carlsen played a variation with Qxd4 (It is the Anti-Sicilian yet, Open Sicilian line) and then he tried to establish The Maroczy Bind (Guess who are an expert in this system?).
When I was quite inexperienced player without Elo, I got a chance to play a game against Russian GM Vasilij Yemelin.
He was the student in the famous Dvoretsky/Yusupov school of chess and he implemented quite interesting setup in Maroczy Bind against my Accelerated dragon.
Later on, somewhere in Czech Republic I noticed that one of the Russian juniors plays the same setup. The trainer of that junior was (or still is) Sergey Dolmatov (one of the Dvoretsky´s assistants). I thought that this rather prophylactic setup in Maroczy Bind can be the product of that school.
I was quite surprised when I have seen Magnus implementing very similar setup with a queen on e3 and this prophylaxis h3.

However, Jones played the position in very aggressive style.
He played f7-f5 and in this position he choose to sacrifice a queen for the two minor pieces (18...Qxa3!?) and some positional compensation.
Otherwise he could play very interesting move:


I think that this approach of Jones is a lack of confidence.
It looks very brave, but for me it just lacks responsibility.
Of course he got quite a good compensation and the unbalanced position but advantage was still in Magnus hands.
After nice play he won the game.

Levon Aronian is not on his top level in this tournament.
He got this position after one blunder of Luke McShane and in the normal circumstances he would prevent the White´s counterplay and won relatively easily.
Insted he went for:

33. Nxf7, Rf6
34. Rxf6, gxf6
35. Nxh6+

His idea was to win a pawn on c3 and then White would be forced to give up a piece for the c pawn.

He was right, but he got the position on the diagram.
It is very hard to win this position and he managed to do that just after some additional mistakes from Luke McShane.
To go through this endgame would require to much analysis and time, so I will let the readers to see the game in the chess viewer.
I have to mention that a public in the commentator room was very similar as on the football matches in the moment when Luke McShane promoted his g pawn into the knight.
In the game between Anand and Kramnik it was never a real fight. 
Anand was White and Kramnik did not want to take the risk. Of course he was satisfied with a draw with black pieces.
Anand is just not the player who wants to take risks anymore and I wonder if he gets all these invitations to the top tournaments just because of his title.
I want him to play well and to show us much more than he is showings in the last two years.
I read somewhere that he did not win the single game in his last 17 classical games.
Adams is very good example that the players from his generation still can play on the highest level.
Nakamura plays almost every single top-tournament nowadays, while Adams basically has not the same number of chances but as the yesterdays game showed it is not easy to crack players like Adams.

 Here are the games in the chess viewer.

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