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London Chess Classic 2015 - Round 9 Recap

Opening: B51, B52: Siclian

Player(s): Carlsen, Grischuk, Vachier-Lagrave

GM Lars Bo Hansen recaps 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!

Teacher's library (50) B51 B52 Carlsen Grischuk Vachier-Lagrave recap

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London Chess Classic 2015 - Round 9 Recap

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