Saturday 8 December 2012

London Chess Classic - Round seven

This was the first round with all games drawn.
It does not means that there were no fight, of course.
Vladimir Kramnik was free today and he was commentating in the commentator´s room. 
According to feedback from the public and people from tweeter, he is by far the best commentator in the tournament.
Magnus Carlsen had a chance to clinch his victory in the tournament, but even he made a mistake and was forced to switch to the defence against Hikaru Nakamura.
Adams could make thinks interesting in the finish of the tournament, but he managed not to win his promising position against Luke McShane.

Here are the results from the seventh round:

Hikaru Nakamura - Magnus Carlsen     draw
Judit Polgar - Vishy Anand                   draw
Michael Adams - Luke McShane          draw
Gawain Jones - Lenon Aronian            draw

The table after the seventh round:

Rankings after Round 7
1.Magnus Carlsen  177
2.Vladimir Kramnik126
3.Michael Adams116
4.Hikaru Nakamura96
5.Viswanathan Anand76
6.Levon Aronian66
7.Luke McShane56
8.Gawain Jones37
9.Judit Polgar

We can see that Carlsen has substantial advantage on the top, but he has a free day tomorrow.
Vladimir Kramnik will play against Gawain Jones, which of course does not mean that Kramnik can count on three points, but he is a favourite.
In the case of his win, he will get a nice chance in the last round.
He is going to play against Adams (as black) and Carlsen will play against The World Champion, Vishy Anand.
It will be very interesting last round, and just for this reason I want Kramnik to win tomorrow.
I have to mention Kramnik´s performance in London, which is outstanding. He pointed out something very interesting in the commentary room. He said that Aronian can play on equal basis against Carlsen when he is on his top. The problem for Aronian (and obviously for everyone else) is that they are not as stable as Magnus.
This statement is in my opinion quite correct, but mainstream media today do not like that.
They like one Champion clearly better then everyone else, smashing his opponents.
Magnus did that in London so far, but not forget Kramnik who is very very near and actually has a good chance of winning the tournament.
I still fancy Magnus chances, just to be clear, and I still think that he is the best player in the World.
Kramnik said that he just do not have enough energy to compete with Magnus in tournaments, and he mentioned Anand also who according to Kramnik, focused all his energy on the World Championship matches.
Let´s see what happened in the games:

In this position Magnus played excellently:

17. axb4, Nxb4
18. Rad2, Rxd3
19. Rxd3, Nxd3
20. Qxd3, Rd8
21. Qe2, Rxd1
22. Qxd1

This is the position which Vladimir Kramnik disscused with Nigel Short. According to Kramnik, he would never exchange his light-square bishop. Black is in no risk of losing, and he can try to push his pawns on the queen side.
Interesting that after Aronian´s game finished, he commented on magnus game in the commentary room.
He too was not so enthusiastic about Carlsen´s move.

23. gxf3, Qxe5

Carlsen was clearly better but Nakamura managed to activate his queen with:

24. Qd7

Later on Carlsen was on defence, but he managed to save a draw without any difficulties.
There were one more game which could add some dramatic to the finish of the tournament.
Michael Adams played against Luke McShane, and he got positional advantage in the early middlegame.
It was very long game and at the end Adams did not managed to win it.
It means that his chances of winning the tournament are only theoretical.
I had a feeling that the games between Jones and Aronian  respective Polgar and Anand were lacking an ambition. The weaker players played with white pieces, and they do not have impressive result in the tournament so far, and Anand and Aronian neither have a good results in the tournament.
It seemed to me that they were ready to play a draw (all four players).

As usual, you can play through the games in the chess viewer.

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