London Chess Classic: Anand suffers a defeat

All photos by Lennart Ootes

The 9th edition of London Chess Classic is currently underway in Olympia Conference Centre, London. It’s the final leg of the 2017 Grand Chess Tour where Magnus Carlsen is currently leading the standings.

All participants of the London Chess Classic.

Drawfest

The starting three rounds saw draws on all boards—15 in total! Sparking worldwide criticism on chess having a clear problem with ‘draws’.

Meanwhile, the much-awaited third round clash between World Champion Magnus Carlsen and five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand proved to be a battle of titans.

Anand was better against Carlsen after the Norwegian employed a typical pawn sac in the Catalan opening.  A series of slick defensive moves from Indian superstar forced the tour leader to scramble for a draw.

“I think he was the one fighting for an advantage and I don’t really know where things went wrong for me,” said Carlsen after the game.

The Indian chess wizard surprised Carlsen in the opening. “I think I caught him slightly offguard in this line because I haven’t played it in a while. He tried to catch me offguard with Na3. Neither of us was very familiar and we were mostly working things out at the board.”

GM Fabiano Caruana broke the ‘draw’ jinx with two decisive results against GM Sergey Karjakin and Viswanathan Anand in fourth and fifth round respectively.

Anand played the Berlin against the American GM. Caruana chose a line where White castles queenside and tries to get an attack going, but initially he wasn’t confident. “I felt like I would lose at some point,” Caruana said.

“Obviously I completely lost the plot because from move 29 to something every move is a blunder, if not actually a blunder then by intent. It just happens,”Anand pointed out.

With two consecutive victories, Caruana took a full point lead over his rivals in the London Chess Classic.

Rank after Round 5

Rk. SNo Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1  TB2
1 3 GM Caruana Fabiano USA 2799 3,5 2,0 0,0
2 1 GM Carlsen Magnus NOR 2837 2,5 0,0 0,0
2 GM Aronian Levon ARM 2805 2,5 0,0 0,0
4 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2789 2,5 0,0 0,0
5 GM So Wesley USA 2788 2,5 0,0 0,0
7 GM Nakamura Hikaru USA 2781 2,5 0,0 0,0
9 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2729 2,5 0,0 0,0
10 GM Adams Michael ENG 2715 2,5 0,0 0,0
9 6 GM Anand Viswanathan IND 2782 2,0 0,0 0,0
8 GM Karjakin Sergey RUS 2760 2,0 0,0 0,0

London Chess Classic FIDE Open

The FIDE Open is running parallelly where 278 players from across the world are competing in the same venue. Twenty-one Indians are taking part in this nine round Swiss event.

IM Nihal Sarin briefly emerged as the joint-leader of the tournament before he succumbed to a loss against GM Melkumyan Hrant of Armenia.

IM CRG Krishna and IM G.A Stany are on 4.5 points respectively.

Round 7 on 2017/12/07 at 1630

Bo. No. Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts. Name Rtg No.
1 9 GM Melkumyan Hrant 2633 GM Hawkins Jonathan 2579 12
2 4 GM Nabaty Tamir 2657 5 GM Vakhidov Jahongir 2500 25
3 6 GM Grandelius Nils 2647 5 5 GM Handke Florian 2526 20
4 21 GM Kotronias Vasilios 2524 5 5 GM Maze Sebastien 2614 10
5 13 GM Moussard Jules 2576 5 5 IM Nihal Sarin 2507 22
6 28 GM Hector Jonny 2493 5 5 GM Donchenko Alexander 2569 14
7 16 GM Le Roux Jean-Pierre 2560 5 5 WGM Vo Thi Kim Phung 2380 61
8 35 GM Williams Simon K 2453 GM Motylev Alexander 2675 1
9 2 GM Sargissian Gabriel 2672 IM Krishna Crg 2421 44
10 11 GM Cornette Matthieu 2606 IM Ladron De Guevara Pinto Paolo 2422 43
11 48 Henderson De La Fuente Lance 2419 GM Mikhalevski Victor 2545 17
12 23 IM Stany G.A. 2502 IM Bartholomew John 2448 36
13 49 GM Arkell Keith C 2416 GM Fernandez Daniel H 2500 24
14 55 IM Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2397 IM Bellaiche Anthony 2499 26
15 31 IM Hambleton Aman 2474 IM Martins David Pt 2400 52

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