Poll
Who will be the winner of London Chess classic 2015?
Magnus Carlsen 4
Veselin Topalov 0
Viswanathan Anand 3
Fabiano Caruana 1
Hikaru Nakamura 2
Levon Aronian 1
Anish Giri 0
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 1
Alexander Grischuk 0
Michael Adams 0
Total Votes: 12
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London Chess Classic 2015
Posted: 21 November 2015 10:21 AM  
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The Super-GM tournament in London starts December the 4th.

Read our article HERE for details, schedule and ICC coverage.

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Posted: 04 December 2015 06:38 PM   [ # 1 ]  
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Round 1

The LCC 2015 started with a violent and riveting round, despite four draws out of five games. Carlsen, who needs to show the world he’s still Numero Uno, played a novelty versus the ever-raising French GM with two names; in a Sicilian Pelikan, Chelyabinsk variation, Magnus deviated from theory at move 16 with Qc8. The game went on with tactics lurking all over the board, to finish in a perpetual check. Nakamura played an excellent game against Grischuk, placing a menacing attack on the h file, but - strangely enough - it was Hikaru to get in serious time trouble in a complicated position, and the game was decided by a move repetition. The Game Of the Day is Giri versus Topalov. The leader of the Grand Chess Tour blundered in time trouble - a common theme in this round - and resigned facing a quick checkmate. Congratulations to the young Hollander, who played an amazing game, precise and aggressive. Tomorrow’s pairings: Giri-Adams, Aronian-Anand, Carlsen-Caruana, Nakamura-MVL, Topalov-Grischuk. Round 2 starts at 9AM EST.

GM Jon Speelman’s video recap

We have two winners for the Guess the Results contest: Fork and Radja! They get 1.5 free months each.

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Posted: 05 December 2015 07:14 PM   [ # 2 ]  
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Round 2

GM Davis Smerdon recaps Round 2. Five draws in Round 2. This makes a total of 9 drawn games out of 10 played so far. Yet, nobody can say that the first two rounds of the London Chess Classic have been boring. Today the game Nakamura vs. Vachier-Lagrave was amazingly interesting, with the two super-GMs battling hard over the board. Carlsen vs. Caruana was another game worth watching. Carlsen tried to lure Fabiano into some tricky path, but the strong American GM didn’t fall for it, and the game ended in a draw. Carlsen is slowly trying to get back to his best play, and two hard-fought draws might help him with his quest. The other three games were not extremely exciting. Giri had a slight advantage vs. Adams, but the English number one was able to equalize. Tomorrow’s pairings: Grischuk-Giri, MVL-Topalov, The all-American derby Caruana-Nakamura, Anand-Carlsen, Adams-Aronian. Play starts at 9AM EST.

GM David Smerdon’s video recap

The winner of the Guess The Result contest is TheGMhunter. He wins 3 FREE months of membership.

The winner of the GOTD TRIVIA contest is CottageGuy. He wins 3 FREE months of membership.

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Posted: 06 December 2015 05:50 PM   [ # 3 ]  
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Round 3

IM Christof Sielecki recaps Round 3. Third draw for most of the super GMs playing in London, and second loss for Topalov, today victim of the ever raising French star Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who joins Giri on top after three rounds. Carlsen and Anand played a riveting game, with Magnus going for an unusual line of the Berlin defense, with 11. ...Bb5. The two champions played well all through the game, to make some minor imprecisions toward the end. Anand kept shuffling his pieces in the ending, not being able to find a convincing plan, whereas Magnus played an incomprehensible move when he had his chance to get some advantage. Draw seemed a fair result after the struggle. The all-American derby was another interesting battle, with Caruana up a pawn and Nakamura defending fiercely, again in a Berlin defense. Adams vs. Aronian was a quiet and rather uneventful game. Grischuk is probably disappointed about his game: he had an advantage but wasn’t able to convert it to a full point, mostly because the strong Russian thought for 70 minutes on a single move, diving into time trouble. On a lighter note, it’s almost impossible not to notice that every tournament has its own fetish opening. Berlin in London this time, which sounds like an oximoron. Renaming this great event The Berlin Chess Classic might not be appropriate, but it’s tempting. Tomorrow Round 4 starts at 11AM EST. Pairings: Giri-Aronian, Carlsen-Adams, Nakamura-Anand, Topalov-Caruana, Grischuk-MVL.

IM Sielecki’s video recap

We have SEVEN winners for the Guess The Results! It is a record! Each of them win 2 free weeks of membership. Well done!

The winner of the GOTD TRIVIA is Djimzovich. He wins 3 FREE months of membership!

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Posted: 07 December 2015 08:14 PM   [ # 4 ]  
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Round 4

Again only one decisive game, but today in London at least three games were really exciting, and ICC’s broadcast went on for almost 7 hours with GMs Pablo Zarnicki and Maxim Dlugy analyzing the games to bits. Let’s start with the excellent game Nakamura played today, beating former World Champion Vishy Anand for the second time in a row in a Catalan. Nakamura played at his best, waiting when it was needed, and striking hard when Anand played imprecise. It’s not easy to beat Anand, especially if you have to do your magic, pulling the classic rabbit out of the hat. Caruana and Topalov played a who-misses-the-best-chance game, with mistakes on both fronts. Fabiano set up one of the best traps seen in recent times, with the amazing 45. ...Rc8!, inviting Topalov to win an exchange. Topalov couldn’t resist - or did he calculate all the possible variations? - and took the rook, only to see Caruana’s passed pawns roll over towards his king in a quite thundery way. Yet, Fabiano wasn’t able to go for the kill, and after long struggle the game ended in a draw. Carlsen went for one of his famous squeezes in the endgame, with rook and bishop vs. knight and bishop plus a pawn for Adams, but was not able to break through. Adams defended well, holding the world champion to his fourth draw in the event. Thus far we have seen only three decisive games out of 20, but the tournament is not boring at all, with the players trying hard to find a way to win. Giri, MVL and Nakamura lead with 2.5/4, followed by Carlsen, Caruana, Aronian, Grischuk and Adams with 2. Anand at 1.5 after today’s loss and Topalov closes the list with 1 point. Tomorrow Round 5 starts again at 11AM. Pairings: MVL-Giri, Caruana-Grischuk, Anand-Topalov, Adams-Nakamura, Aronian-Carlsen.

GM Max Dlugy’s video recap

TWO winners in the Guess The Results contest today. trevone and Radja were able to guess all the 5 results! Well done. they win 1.5 months of FREE membership each.

The winner of the GOTD TRIVIA is MarzapanCat. He wind 3 FREE months of membership!

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Posted: 08 December 2015 07:35 PM   [ # 5 ]  
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Round 5

Sometimes human nature is cruel, but most of us “mortals” feel a bit better about our game when we see the top guns blunder like there were no tomorrow. Today’s game between Caruana and Grischuk is a good example of this. Both the super GMs played some unbelievable mistakes: Caruana missed a win on the spot, after Grischuk blundered horribly at move 45; Fabiano had to start it all over again, and after more imprecisions, the game ended in a rather sad draw. The only decisive game - is it a leitmotif in London? - was Anand vs. Topalov. Anand was able to strike back after yesterday’s loss, at the expenses of an almost unrecognizable Topalov, who now is down to -3, with very little chances to get back in the race for the final victory of the Grand Chess Tour. Carlsen and Aronian drew their 5th game in a row, and Giri, the only unbeaten player in the whole Grand Chess Tour series, showed again how solid he is, despite being the youngest player in the lot. Nakamura tried hard to get something out of his game with Michael Adams; Naka got a good position after the opening, pawn up, but Adams was never in real danger. The standings still see the trio with Giri, MVL and Nakamura on top with 3/5, then all the rest of the pack with 2.5 and Topalov in last with 1 out of 5. Tomorrow is a rest day; play resumes Thursday the 10th, at 11AM EST. Nakamura will be pleased that the only rest day of the event happens the day he celebrates his 28th Birthday. Best wishes to him! Pairings for Round 6: Giri-Carlsen, Nakamura-Aronian, Topalov-Adams, Grischuk-Anand, MVL-Caruana.

GM Ronen Har-Zvi’s video recap

Corocotta is the winner of the Guess The Results contest. He guessed all the 5 results correctly. Well done! Corocotta wins 3 FREE months of membership.

Surlycurmudgeon is the winner of the GOTD TRVIA contest. He wins 3 FREE months of membership.

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Posted: 10 December 2015 09:20 PM   [ # 6 ]  
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Round 6

Quite an interesting round today in London. Only one decisive game - remember the leitmotif? - but three out of the five games were entertaining and worth the ticket. Carlsen, who is still winless in this event, drew an uneventful game vs. Giri. Aronian tried an unusual maneuver with the rook in the opening, but he and Nakamura played in conservative mode, and the game ended in a rook ending draw. Topalov has been struggling during the whole tournament, but today he got a nice position against Adams. The British GM, who has not lost any game so far, was though able to react by sacrificing an exchange complicating the game. Topalov still had a chance to win his first game, but could not find the right plan to do so, and had to settle for a draw, allowing Adams to force a move repetition. There is no chance for a free-Berlin-zone in the London Chess classic, so we had our Berlin today in the MVL vs. Caruana encounter. Like most Berlins, the game was in the ending phase after 10 moves, when Caruana played the unusual 10. ...b6. MVL ideated a good plan after some Knight’s checks with 18. a4, creating the ground for tactic possibilities. Caruana is a great defender though, and despite being in constant danger of a decisive blow, he managed to remain clam, keeping MVL at bay. Maxime was probably concerned about his clock, and decided to go for the repetition. Anand, after striking back yesterday, today lost a drawn game against Grischuk. Alexander decided to play chess today, avoiding super-theoretical lines: 1.c4,d4 2.d3 and let’s see how it goes. The game developed into a long struggle, with Grischuk low in time, but always able to create problems to the Indian genius. In the endgame Anand had a beautiful d passed pawn, rolling down dangerously toward the first rank. Such a strong outpost should have ensured at the least the draw, but Vishy played an unexpected move, placing his king in front of the soon-to-be Queen pawn. This gave Grischuk the go to let his own passed pawns roll, and Anand had to resign a few moves later. Now 4 players lead with 3.5/6, at +1: Nakamura, MVL, Giri and Grischuk. Half a point behind Carlsen, Caruana, Aronian and Adams. Anand follows with 2.5. Topalov closes the list with 1.5. Tomorrow round 7 starts at 11AM EST. Pairings: Caruana-Giri, Anand-MVL, Adams-Grischuk, Aronian-Topalov, Carlsen-Nakamura.

GM Joel Benjamin’s video recap

TiredDad is the sole winner of today’s Guess The Results contest. He was able to guess all the 5 results. Well done. TiredDad wins 3 FREE months of membership. Well done!

Leijona is the winner of the GOTD TRIVIA contest. He wins 3 FREE months of membership.

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Posted: 11 December 2015 09:06 PM   [ # 7 ]  
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Round 7

All of sudden, the tournament gets set on fire by three decisive games in a round! Paraphrasing a marvelous book written by the great Cormac McCarty, England is no country for old men. MVL, the young French ace, played a spectacular game against Anand, precise and aggressive. The endgame, with 32. ...Rxf2! was a minor masterpiece. Topalov continues to live his personal nightmare in London. Nobody would have imagined that Veselin, who was on top of the Grand Chess Tour standings entering this event, had to play the punching-ball. -4 is almost incredible a score for the strong Bulgarian GM. Today he lost with Aronian, who after 6 draws now is finally at +1. Caruana and Giri drew, as well as Adams and Grischuk. It took almost 7 hours to Magnus Carlsen to win his first game in London, but it was a rollercoaster. Magnus and Hikaru got into an endgame with two knights vs. two bishops. Tons of complications and tactics made playing really hard for both of them. We all know how strong is Magnus when it comes to endgames: he’s able to squeeze wins out of thin air, and this is what he did today. Nakamura defended strenuously, but the two bishops and Carlsen’s magic prevailed. The standings now see MVL in the sole lead with 4.5/7, followed by a howling pack with Carlsen, Aronian, Giri and Grischuk, half a point behind. Then a trio with 50%: Nakmura, Adams, and Caruana. The “old men” close the list: Anand with 2.5 and Topalov with 1.5. Tomorrow play starts at 9AM EST. Pairings: Giri-Nakamura, Topalov-Carlsen, Grischuk-Aronian, MVL-Adams, Caruana-Anand.

GM Alex Yermolinsky’s video recap

Today we have TWO winners in the Guess The Results contest: odyssey and Corocotta. They get 1.5 months of FREE membership each. Well done!

CaseMoney is the winner of the GOTD TRIVIA contest. He gets 3 FREE months of membership.

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Posted: 12 December 2015 06:05 PM   [ # 8 ]  
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Round 8

With today’s game, young GM Anish Giri poses a serious and heavy word on who is the real challenger to Carlsen for the World Title. Giri played an amazing game, showing how brilliant, accurate and ruthless his chess can be. With a rip-roaring sequence of moves he annihilated one of the strongest players in the world. There was nothing Nakamura could do to fight back such a storm. MVL drew with Adams, who so far has been able to hold all the bug guys, without losing a game; so much for calling himself the “underdog”! Carlsen tried again his notorious squeezing strategy, today against Topalov, but this time the World Champion could not get his opponent to made a mistake, and the long endgame finished in a draw. Anand fought hard against Caruana, who seems to have an advantage in the endgame, to draw an important game, after two consecutive losses. Giri join MVL on top of the standings at 5 points, with one round to go. Half a point behind three wolves ready to bite: Carlsen, Aronian and Grischuk. With 4 points Caruana and the excellent Adams; Nakamura 3.5, Anand 3 and Topalov 2 points. Last round starts at 9AM EST—15:00 CET. Pairings: Anand-Giri, Adams-Caruana, Aronian-MVL, Carlsen-Grischuk, Nakamura-Topalov.

Gm Alex Yermolinsky’s video recap

Today we have FOUR winners in the Guess The Results contest: Smallerville, TheGMhunter, Radja and nikenwidiartto. They win 3 weeks of FREE membeship each. Well done!

The winner of the GOTD TRIVIA contest is Laurence. He wins 3 months of FREE membership.

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Posted: 13 December 2015 10:00 PM   [ # 9 ]  
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Round 9

What an epic and dramatic day of chess in London! Almost 10 hours of tense and spectacular games, commentated live by hour heroic GMs Lars Bo Hansen and John Fedorowicz. Let’s try to summarize what happened today. Giri and MVL entered last round in the lead, half a point ahead of Carlsen, Aronian and Grischuk. Carlsen won a wild game with Grischuk. Sasha got in time trouble and didn’t take advantage when he had a chance to; then he missed a theoretical draw by perpetual check and eventually blundered with a rook sac believing he had a perpetual which wasn’t there. The four remaining games were draws, which left Magnus, Giri and MVL in a three-way tie for first. The tiebreak mechanism is rather complicated, but as a result of it, MVL and Giri had to play the first playoff, a sort of semifinal. The winner would then play Carlsen for the title. Two rapid games with time control 25+5 and, if still tied, Armageddon to decide Carlsen’s opponent. Giri won the first rapid in a convincing way, with MVL appearing tired and imprecise. The second game went in the opposite direction: MVL playing aggressively and winning, to tie again the younger foe. So, it was down to the (in)famous Armageddon: 6 minutes for white, 5 minutes for black, with black having drawn odds. MVL won the coin flip and chose to play black. And on they went, with an English Opening. Giri seemed to crack under the great pressure and wasn’t able to fight a pushing MVL, who won to move on to the “final”. Giri had a remarkable Grand Tour, losing only the final game against MVL. 27 regular games without a loss, with such a tremendously strong field is a great performance. In the final playoff, Magnus was white in the first game. The World Champion and the Frenchman went for a Sicilian, getting into a drawn rook ending. Maxime had a sure draw on the board, but he blundered horribly, allowing Carlsen to set up the Lucena position and win the first rapid. Probably a sign of tiredness, caused by the long day and the stressful comeback in the semifinal. Now, all what Magnus needed was a draw. Useless to say that the Norwegian ace, despite MVL tried to complicate things, was able to force a draw, winning the London Chess Classic and the Chess Grand Tour. A great comeback for the World Champion, who this year has lost 10 games, a very unusual thing for his amazing standards. Now Magnus goes on to the Qatar Open, that is taking place from December 20th to 28th. Congratulations to Magnus Carlsen for a great victory! A last word about the English number one GM Michael Adams, the wild card in London. He managed to finish the tournament unbeaten, scoring a considerable 50%, and finishing 5-7 with Caruana and Grischuk. Well done!

GM Lars Bo Hansen’s video recap

Today’s winner of the Guess the Results contest is nikenwidiartto. He wins 3 FREE months of membership. Well done!

The winner of the GOTD TRIVIA contest is RonJB. He wins 3 FREE months of membership.

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