The Chess Carousel never stops! The echoes of the World Championship Match still resound, and here we are again with yet another awesome elite event: The London Chess Classic. Yes, this year we're back to classic time control. The line-up is quite amazing:
GM Fabiano Caruana, Number two in the world, who impressed the chess experts and fans at the Sinquefield Cup this year and is leading the Grand Prix series..
GM Vishy Anand. He doesn't need any presentation. The World Championship match, recently concluded, has made all of us appreciate once again the style and the good nature of this great champion.
GM Anish Giri. Born in 1994, Anish is number 8 in the world in the LIVE rating list. Many see him as one of the future challengers to Magnus' crown.
GM Hikaru Nakamura. Hikaru recently won his match against the strong Armenian GM Levon Aronian, played in the US Chess capital: St. Louis, Missouri. Hikaru is playing well, and he is for sure on of the favorite in London.
GM Vladimir Kramnik. The former world champion is playing the strong Qatar Open at the moment. Probably using the strong open as a warm-up for the London Chess Classic.
GM Michael Adams. Adams has been the strongest player in the UK for years now, and he's always a tough opponent for everyone.
The tournament is a 5-rounder Round Robin. Rounds 1, 2 and 3 start at 11AM ICC time (EST) - Last two rounds at 9AM EST.
ICC will have LIVE commentary, TRIVIA and the traditional Game Of the Day Service.
Here is the commentary line-up:
|Mark Crowther||GM Max Dlugy|
|GM Joel Benjamin||GM Larry Christiansen|
|GM Ben Finegold||GM Lars Bo Hansen|
|GM Yasser Seirawan||GM John Fedorowicz|
|GM Jonathan Speelman||GM Ronen Har-Zvi|
The warming up for the LCC 2014 was a Rapid Open, with the Super Six flexing their muscles in a funny and entertaining event. GM Hikaru Nakamura won apparently easily, with a staggering 9.5/10, followed by rising super-star Anish Giri with 8.5 and then a plethora of super.strong GMs, with 8 points, among whom were Caruana, Anand, Kramnik, Short and Lenderman.
Hikaru had only a really difficult game, when he kept on playing in a lost position, ending up to win it! He even posted a Tweet about that game: "Some really hilarious stuff today. Both myself and Caruana won lost position."
Mikey's back! Well, he has never left, actually, and it is good to see the strong English GM do so well in an elite event. Adams today scalped number two Fabiano Caruana, in a 73-move struggle. Michael went for his favorite 1.e4, and Fabiano replied with e5. A closed Ruy Lopez led to a very complicated game, where all the results were possible. Adams played well, and Caruana found himself in time trouble with a difficult position to handle. The other two games ended in a draw, therefore Adams leads solo half a point ahead of Nakamura, Anand, Kramnik and Giri.
TRIVIA winners: MikeAngelo, CaseMoney, Rookie7
Video recap with IM Christof Sielecki
Happy Birthday to the great Vishy Anand! Today Vishy decided he wanted to celebrate his 45th birthday without having to sit 6 hours in front of his much younger opponent, Italian Fabiano Caruana, who was nice enough to allow the tiger to get a GM-draw in 17 moves. The other two games, on the contrary, were very hard-fought battles. Giri, showing a rather mature technique, defeated the round 1 matador, local hero Michael Adams. Kramnik played a slightly unusual system in the Kings-Indian, and came out of the opening with a solid position. The Russian was able to convert his advantage and defeat Hikaru Nakamura. With the football score system - 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw - the standings can change quite dramatically in just one round: now Kramnik and Giri lead with 4 points, followed by Michael Adams with 3 points; Anand 2 points and the duo Nakamura-Caruana 1 point.
Trivia winners: ForkNPin, Agustina, paganini2
Video recap with GM Larry Christiansen
Three draws today. Yet, it was arguably the most exciting round of the London Chess Classic so far. Hikaru Nakamura wanted to get out of the normal paths and played the Evans Gambit against Anand; it's very unusual to see this old opening used at the top level. Not content with that, Hikaru played the novelty 9.a4. Anand was able to contrast Hikaru's preparation, and the game went on to end in a well played draw. Kramnik and Adams played a hard-fought game, with Kramnik missing a win in time trouble, to then play a flawless defense after the time control. Caruana tried to win his game against Giri, to come back after the first two games, where he collected a draw and a loss. But Giri defended well, and there was no chance for the Italian to score the three soccer-like points. Kramnik and Giri keep the lead, with 5 points and two rounds to go. Adams follows with 4, then Anand with 3. Nakamura and Caruana close the list with 2 points.
Trivia winners: blackending, Agustina, Imle
Video recap with GM Lars Bo Hansen
It is Nakamura's day. Hikaru won his game with Michael Adams, playing a precise rook and pawn ending. With the soccer-like score system, Nakamura jumps in second now, with 5 points, only one point behind the leading duo Kramnik-Giri. Tomorrow Giri and Kramnik will play each other, and Giri lost to Kramnik at the recently concluded Qatar Open; the young Anish might decide to go for a solid game, playing for a draw. Nakamura will play Caruana, not the easiest guest to deal with over the board. But Caruana needs to win, and he could overextend himself a bit, allowing Nakamura to play for a win. We'll see, tomorrow at 9AM EST - 15:00 CET. A very exciting last round of the 2014 London Chess Classic!
Trivia winners: BobSacamano, MikeAngelo, grancaruso
Video recap by GM John Feodorowicz
The Tiger is back! Vishy Anand won the London Chess Classic 2014 on tiebreaks after an interesting last round, confirming the rule that sees the loser of a World Championship Match fare extremely well in the next events. Round five started with Kramnik and Giri in the lead, playing each other. Their game was a hard fought Catalan, which led to a draw. At that point, Nakamura started pushing hard to try to win his game against Fabiano Caruana, but after 80 moves the American number one had to give up, and settle for a draw. Anand played well in a Berlin - which seems to be the trend in openings among top players nowadays - taking advantage of a couple of indecisions by Adams, to get into a winnning knight and pawns ending. All in all it's been a good tournament, and for sure the football score system helped the suspense until the very end. Congratulations to the great Vishy Anand!
Trivia winners: MichaelCrichton, Leijona, ModernBaloney
Video recap by GM Ronen Har-Zvi