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London 03: The Naka effect!

by Sagar Shah - 12/12/2016

After a scintillating win in round two against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Vishy Anand was completely off colour against Hikaru Nakamura. The American made quite a few errors and Anand had the chance to take over the advantage, however, it was not to be. Anand made some huge mistakes and Nakamura took the full point. This was the only decisive game of the day, but surely not the most exciting one. It was Aronian versus So that caught the eyeballs of our 10-year-old annotator Aditya Mittal and he brings to you some high quality analysis.

Pictures by Lennart Ootes

Results of round 3:

Levon Aronian

½-½

Wesley So

 

Michael Adams

½-½

Anish Giri

 

Hikaru Nakamura

1-0

Viswanathan Anand

 

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

½-½

Veselin Topalov

 

Fabiano Caruana

½-½

Vladimir Kramnik

The role of a second in chess must never be underestimated. They are often the scriptwriters for the brilliant games that are showcased by the players. When Amruta Mokal was in London in 2015 as a photographer, she stood on the street between Hilton, where the players were staying, and Olympia Center, the playing hall, and took some wonderful pictures of the players along with their seconds. The seconds often just walked with the players until the tournament hall and went back. In order to catch them you had to stand on the street!

This was Amruta's favourite click - the World Champion with his trusted second Peter Heine Neilsen on the streets of London!

A four minute walk separates the playing venue from the hotel

Fabiano Caruana walks in with Rustam Kasimdzhanov

Nakamura is assisted by his trusted second Kris LittleJohn. Kris is just rated around 2100 on the Elo scale. Why does Nakamura have him as his second? I asked him this question at the Candidates and this is what Naka had to say:

The question about Kris LittleJohn is from 2 minutes 30 seconds onwards

Anish is assisted by GM Erwin l'Ami

IM Silvio Danailov has been with Topalov for years now. A friend, second and a manager!

The birthday boy has fans everywhere!

Anand makes sure that he is back in the groove for the game by getting his thoughts back on the 64 squares

The last three decisive classical games between Anand and Nakamura have all been won by the American - Candidates 2016, London Chess Classic 2015 and Sinquefield 2015. Make it four now! The overall score is 8-1 in favour of Nakamura in Classical.

Key moments in the game

Soon we will have to start calling this the Anand line. He has played 4...Nbd7 in six games against world class opposition in 2016.

Kf8 to g7 is a typical idea in this opening and one that must be kept in mind. The rook is required on h8 and the king feels safe on g7.

Qd2 by Nakamura was a terrible mistake in the game. Black can now simply take the free pawn on c5. However, Vishy erred with Rhe8 and this allowed Hikaru to take on g5 and break in the center with e4.
This was the last chance for Vishy to limit the damages by playing ...Bh5. Instead he chose Rxe4 and after that it was just curtains.
The knight came to f6 and Black had to sacrifice his queen for a rook and a knight. There was no fortress in sight.

Detailed Analysis of Nakamura - Anand

[Event "8th London Chess Classic 2016"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2016.12.11"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D38"]
[WhiteElo "2779"]
[BlackElo "2779"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[TimeControl "40/7200:3600+30"]
{Chess players don't really care for each others birthday! Wesley So defeated
Nakamura on his birthday and the Naka made sure that he spoiled Anand's party!
} 1. d4 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:10]} 2. c4 {[%emt 0:00:14]} e6 {
[%emt 0:00:07]} 3. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:19]} d5 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 4. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:
07]} Nbd7 {[%emt 0:00:09][%cal Gb8d7] As we already know well now, this is
Anand's favoured way of meeting the Queen's Gambit since Candidates 2016. He
keeps flexibility with the square on which the bishop on f8 is going to.} 5.
cxd5 {[%emt 0:00:27]} exd5 {[%emt 0:00:10]} 6. Bg5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Bb4 {
[%emt 0:00:16] Now we have transposed into a popular line of the Ragozin.} 7.
e3 {[%emt 0:00:33]} h6 {[%emt 0:00:14]} 8. Bh4 {[%emt 0:00:09]} g5 {[%emt 0:00:
07]} 9. Bg3 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Ne4 {[%emt 0:00:07] Anand has already played this
against Carlsen at the Leuven blitz in June 2016.} 10. Nd2 {[%emt 0:00:06]}
Nxg3 {[%emt 0:00:24]} (10... Nxc3 11. bxc3 Bxc3 12. Rc1 Ba5 13. h4 g4 14. Bd3
$44 {White has excellent compensation.}) 11. hxg3 {[%emt 0:00:25]} c6 {[%emt 0:
00:08]} 12. a3 {[%emt 0:00:07] That's the first new move of the game a novelty
by Nakamura.} (12. Qc2 Kf8 13. Bd3 Kg7 14. O-O-O Nf6 15. Nf3 Ng4 16. Kb1 Bxc3
17. bxc3 Qe7 18. Rhe1 f5 $11 {Black had a fine position in Carlsen,M (2855)
-Anand,V (2770) Leuven 2016 ½-½ (57)}) 12... Ba5 {[%emt 0:00:29]} 13. Bd3 {
[%emt 0:00:11]} Kf8 $5 {[%emt 0:00:31][%cal Ge8f8,Gf8g7] A very typical idea
in this line. The king will be well placed on g7 and the rook has to remain on
h8. So castling by hand is a must.} 14. Qc2 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:
58]} 15. O-O-O {[%emt 0:00:14]} Kg7 {[%emt 0:01:17] Overall this is quite an
acceptable position for Black out of the opening. But Nakamura's preparation
involved the fact that he would like to take his opponent in a fresh, unknown
position.} 16. Kb1 {[%emt 0:00:10]} Be6 {[%emt 0:06:54]} 17. Nb3 {[%emt 0:04:
02] The first move where Nakamura spent some time.} Bb6 {[%emt 0:07:15]} (17...
Bxc3 18. Qxc3 $14) 18. f4 {[%emt 0:13:42] I like this move for the simple
reason that the pawn on g5 is over extended and it must be used as a hook. f4
is a fine move.} Bg4 {[%emt 0:09:06]} 19. Rde1 {[%emt 0:21:24]} (19. Rdf1 Qe7 {
And White has to defend his e-pawn in some way.}) 19... Qd6 {[%emt 0:13:53]}
20. Rhf1 {[%emt 0:22:20]} (20. Bf5 Rae8 {seems fine for Black.}) 20... Rae8 {
[%emt 0:06:40] Overall Anand has played the opening quite well. Now Nakamura
has to decide how is he going to breakthrough. White has many plans here - Bf5
can be one, Qf2 is another and an interesting one is putting the knight on a4
to c5.} 21. Nc5 $5 {[%emt 0:19:00] But Nakamura puts his knight on c5 straight
away! Doesn't this just lose a pawn? Well you must always check the tactics!}
Re7 {[%emt 0:09:46]} (21... Bxc5 22. dxc5 Qxc5 $2 23. fxg5 $1 hxg5 $4 24. Rxf6
$1 Kxf6 25. Ne4+ $18 {loses the queen.}) 22. Qd2 $2 {[%emt 0:01:55][%cal Gc2d2,
Rb6c5,Rh8e8] Now what is the point? Isn't the c5 pawn hanging here?} (22. Qc1
$14 {was Nakamura's idea and then he thought why not Qd2. He had forgotten
that c5 was hanging.}) 22... Rhe8 $2 {[%emt 0:21:47] Why didn't Vishy pick up
the pawn on c5? That too after 22 minutes of thought.} (22... Bxc5 $1 23. dxc5
(23. fxg5 hxg5 24. e4 $2 Bxd4 $19) 23... Qxc5 24. fxg5 hxg5 25. e4 {This looks
extremely scarey as the g5 pawn is en prise, but the queen on c5 can defend it
after} dxe4 $1 26. Nxe4 Nxe4 27. Bxe4 Rhe8 $17 {And Black has absolutely no
problems.}) 23. fxg5 {[%emt 0:01:43]} hxg5 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 24. e4 {[%emt 0:02:
04] Now there are real problems with the g5 pawn.} Nxe4 {[%emt 0:00:16]} (24...
Nh5 $5 25. e5 (25. Qxg5+ $2 Qg6 $17 {surprisingly this is clearly better for
Black.} 26. Qxg6+ fxg6 27. e5 Bxc5 28. dxc5 Rxe5 $19)) 25. N5xe4 {[%emt 0:03:
40]} (25. N3xe4 $1 {It was much better to take with this knight. The exchange
of one pair of rooks would have been to White's advantage.} dxe4 26. Rxe4 (26.
Qxg5+ $2 Qg6 $17) 26... Rxe4 27. Nxe4 Qxd4 (27... Qg6 28. Nf6 $1 $16) 28. Qxg5+
Kf8 29. Qh6+ Qg7 30. Qd6+ Re7 31. Nf6 $18) 25... dxe4 {[%emt 0:00:13]} 26. Rxe4
{[%emt 0:00:04][%cal Gg4h5,Re7e4]} Rxe4 $2 {[%emt 0:11:10] Vishy makes sure
that the game transposes into the variation that we just looked at. It was
possible to not take the rook on e4.} (26... Bh5 $1 27. Qxg5+ (27. Rxe7 Qxe7
$17) 27... Qg6 $11 (27... Bg6 28. Rh4 $18)) 27. Nxe4 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Qg6 {
[%emt 0:04:51]} 28. Nf6 {[%emt 0:06:38][%cal Ge4f6] Black has to give up his
queen.} Qxf6 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 29. Rxf6 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Kxf6 {[%emt 0:00:07]
The rest of the game is sheer torture. Anand is good at setting up fortresses,
but here it is just impossible.} 30. Qc3 {[%emt 0:00:41]} Bd7 {[%emt 0:08:44]}
31. d5+ {[%emt 0:00:39]} Re5 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 32. Be4 {[%emt 0:00:15]} g4 {
[%emt 0:05:08]} 33. dxc6 {[%emt 0:03:14]} bxc6 {[%emt 0:00:14]} 34. Bxc6 {
[%emt 0:00:36]} Bxc6 {[%emt 0:01:33]} 35. Qxc6+ {[%emt 0:00:07]} Kg5 {[%emt 0:
00:11]} 36. Qd7 {[%emt 0:07:36]} Re3 {[%emt 0:01:41]} 37. Qxf7 {[%emt 0:03:11]}
Rxg3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 38. Qd5+ {[%emt 0:00:42]} Kh4 {[%emt 0:00:16]} 39. a4 {
[%emt 0:00:07]} Bf2 {[%emt 0:00:58]} 40. Qd8+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} Kh5 {[%emt 0:00:
08]} 41. Qe8+ {[%emt 0:02:25]} Kg5 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 42. Qe5+ {[%emt 0:00:07]}
Kg6 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 43. Qf4 {[%emt 0:00:07] I wouldn't call this is a great
win for Nakamura as he made quite a few mistakes. But Vishy was just
completely out of sorts and didn't take any advantage of the mistakes made by
his opponent.} (43. Qf4 Be1 44. Qe4+ $18) 1-0

 

Not the cleanest of wins, but a point is a point. Naka now moves to 50%.

Aronian vs Wesley So

Aronian took on the leader Wesley So in the third round 

The little boy executes his favourite move on the board 1.e4!, but Aronian stuck to his English Opening!

Aronian played like a wizard making excellent moves, often the first line of the engine in very complex positions

But Wesley So has proved to be a hard nut to crack. He drew the game with some excellent defensive moves.

"Suffice it to say, I need to give this two exclamations! The computers screaming out for moves handled as a toy by Levon Aronian! He finds these moves so simply." Our young annotator 10-year-old CM Aditya Mittal was in his element mixing humour with instruction as he embarks on the tough task of annotating the game between Aronian and So. He has done an extremely comprehensive job and there is a lot to learn from his notes.

Wesley took 54 minutes to execute the natural 22...Bxc6. Aditya writes,"Bxc6 is the obvious move. But let's have a look at Qxc6. To illustrate some of the lines, I will try to go into Wesley's head." This is precisely the reason why we must have a closer look at this young boy's annotations. He doesn't just annotate on the surface, but goes deep into the game trying to understand the various nuances.

Levon Aronian vs Wesley So (analysis by Aditya Mittal) 

 

[Event "London Chess Classic 2016"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.12.11"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A34"]
[WhiteElo "2785"]
[BlackElo "2794"]
[Annotator "Aditya Mittal"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:10:35"]
[BlackClock "0:01:34"]
1. c4 {Boy plays 1.e4. Aronian: Very good move. Arbiter: Levon, good move?
Aronian: Yes, yes. The best move! However he starts with the English.} c5 {
The symmetrical English.} 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nb4 (5...
Nxc3 {you can go like this if you want a quiet game but White has an edge after
} 6. dxc3 Qxd1+ 7. Kxd1 $14) 6. Bc4 {Aronian is ready for all the
complications.} Nd3+ 7. Ke2 {So White loses his castling rights.} Nf4+ 8. Kf1
Nd3 $1 {Of course. Wesley wants a draw. Why not? He was already 2/2!} (8... Ne6
{is played more often when Black wants to win.}) 9. Qe2 (9. Qb3 {is also
possible.} e6 10. Qb5+ Bd7 $1 11. Qxb7 Nc6 {with quite good compensation.} (
11... Bc6 12. Bb5 {is a common trick.})) 9... Nxc1 10. Rxc1 {What a
position!With 5 White pieces developed, it seems like it's gonna be a crush!
Well..... Black is so solid that White doesn't have an advantage here. In fact
it's unclear!} e6 11. h4 $5 {Interesting, with the idea of either h5 or Rh3.} (
11. Rd1 {was normal.} a6 12. d4 cxd4 13. Nxd4 Qc7 14. e5 $13) 11... a6 12. e5 {
Complications!} Nc6 (12... b5 13. Qe4 Ra7 $1 {forced but so pleasing.} 14. Be2
Rd7 $13) 13. Rh3 {White is trying to get as much activity as he can!} b5 14.
Bd3 Bb7 15. Be4 {Aronian is centralising his pieces with good speed. Wesley,
however doesn't have any intentions to slow down.} (15. Ne4 c4 16. Bb1 Nd4 $1
$15) 15... Qd7 16. Rg3 g6 17. Kg1 {Manual castling.} (17. h5 {can be met with}
Bh6 $1 18. Kg1 O-O-O $13) 17... Be7 18. Qe3 (18. d3 {was a 'slower' move.})
18... O-O-O 19. Rg4 $1 {The computers were screaming for this move and the
point looks like really nothing! Kudos to Aronian who found this extremely
subtle idea.} (19. h5 {was what I expected but it falls short} Kb8 20. a4 b4
21. Ne2 a5 $10) 19... Kb8 20. Rf4 Rhf8 21. a4 $1 {He does know what he is
doing. Aronian playing like god!} (21. Bxc6 {might have been a simple reaction.
} Bxc6 22. Ne4 Bxe4 23. Qxe4 Qd5 $10 {But of course, Aronian didn't want a
draw.}) 21... b4 22. Bxc6 {[%cal Gb7c6] And here was the moment that Wesley
sank into a deep deep deep deep thought! 54 minutes!} Bxc6 {But it wasn't
really clear what he was thinking for. Bxc6 was too obvious to be untrue,
while Qxc6 was too unobvious to be true. Haha!} (22... Qxc6 {to illustrate
some of the lines, I will try to go into Wesley's head.} 23. Ne4 Rc8 $5 (23...
Rd5 24. Nf6 Bxf6 25. Rxf6 $14 {I seriously don't understand why Wesley thought
so long. This is just torture!}) (23... Qxa4 24. Nxc5 Qb5 25. Ng5 {is
overwhelming.}) 24. Nf6 Bxf6 {and here} 25. exf6 $1 (25. Rxf6 a5 $1 $13 {
and it is not easy to see what White will do next.}) 25... Qd6 26. Ne5 $1 $16 {
White has a clear edge.}) 23. Ne4 Bxe4 24. Rxe4 a5 $5 {A committal decision,
probably a bad one, but I am not too sure.} (24... Qxa4 {was my preference.}
25. Rxc5 $1 Rd3 $1 {An important move.} (25... Bxc5 26. Qxc5 {is just winning.}
) 26. Qxd3 Bxc5 {I thought this position must be ok.}) 25. Rec4 $6 (25. d4 $1 {
was the best way. Aronian could have got something out of this.} Qxa4 (25...
cxd4 26. Rxd4 Qxa4 27. Rxd8+ Bxd8 28. Qc5 $18) 26. b3 $1 Qb5 (26... Qc6 27.
dxc5 Rd5 28. Nd4 $14 {and White is quite good.}) 27. dxc5 Rd5 28. Rec4 Qc6 {
We reach the same position as in the game with Aronian having an extra b3.} 29.
Qh6 $1 $16) (25. b3 $2 Qd3 $1 $15) 25... Qxa4 26. d4 Rd5 27. dxc5 Qc6 28. Nd4 (
28. Qh6 {is not possible here.} Rfd8 29. Qxh7 Rxc5 {and here the rook is under
threat unlike what we saw in the previous variation where b3 was played!})
28... Qc7 29. Qf3 $3 {Suffice it to say, I need to give this two exclamations!
The computers screaming out for moves handled as a toy by Levon Aronian! He
finds these moves so simply. Aronian: This is my left hand's play. (That was
just a joke)} Rfd8 30. Nb5 Qxe5 $1 31. c6 Rc8 $1 {I commented too much on
Aronian till now. However, I admit that Wesley has really defended well. Levon
now goes wrong.} 32. Qxf7 $6 (32. c7+ $1 {is a computer line. Just see:} Kb7
33. Nd4 $1 Bd6 34. Nc6 Qh2+ 35. Kf1 Ka6 $3 {I am not commenting on these moves,
it is just too confusing!} 36. g3 Rxc7 37. Ke2 Bxg3 $14 {would be the normal
human move to avoid Rh1. However....} (37... h5 $3 {The engine! What a move!
As if White has no threat!} 38. Nxa5 $1 (38. Rh1 {is met with} Qxh1 39. Qxh1
Bc5 $1 {Wow!}) 38... Kxa5 39. Rxc7 Bxc7 40. Rh1 Qxh1 41. Qxh1 {White has some
chances. I don't criticise either of the players. This is just an engine line.}
)) 32... Qf6 33. Rf4 $1 {Without this move White is lost. (!)} Qxf7 (33... Qxb2
{probably Aronian was expecting this. It is too messy after} 34. Rcc4 Rxb5 35.
Qxe7 {and Black has to devise a way to defend. I believe there must be one.})
34. Rxf7 Rxb5 35. Rxe7 Rc7 36. Rxe6 Ka7 37. Kf1 {A well played game. 32. c7
could be played but it was too hard. The best chance Aronian had was 25.d4!
Wesley is still leading the tournament. Hikaru spoiled Vishy's 47th birthday
with a win. Isn't it strange?Shouldn't you be supposed to play well on your
birthday?} 1/2-1/2

MVL gets ready for his game against Veselin Topalov

The Bulgarian played a highly imaginative game of chess, which teaches us that you can play for a win in just about any position

Yes, the Berlin is boring, the Re1 line in it more so. However, when Topalov made the move ...g5 it was clear that he was very well prepared. In fact the Bulgarian had based his preparation on the three blitz games played by MVL against Nakamura in the chess.com match.
[Event "8th London Chess Classic 2016"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2016.12.11"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Topalov, Veselin"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2804"]
[BlackElo "2760"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[TimeControl "40/7200:3600+30"]
1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:03]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:03]} Nc6 {
[%emt 0:00:05]} 3. Bb5 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:18]} 4. O-O {[%emt 0:
01:55]} Nxe4 {[%emt 0:01:03]} 5. Re1 {[%emt 0:00:50][%cal Gf1e1] The Berlin is
a boring open, but Re1 in the Berlin is even worse!} Nd6 {[%emt 0:00:14]} 6.
Nxe5 {[%emt 0:00:03]} Be7 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 7. Bf1 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Nf5 {
[%emt 0:03:40]} (7... Nxe5 8. Rxe5 O-O {is the main line.}) (7... O-O 8. d4 Nf5
9. d5 $14) 8. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:44]} O-O {[%emt 0:00:09]} 9. d4 {[%emt 0:00:19]}
d5 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 10. g3 {[%emt 0:00:36] This position was reached thrice in
MVL-Nakamura in the their online chess.com match. Naka won all the three games
with the black pieces. This might have motivated Topalov to play this system.}
Re8 {[%emt 0:02:53]} 11. Nc3 {[%emt 0:02:40]} Be6 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 12. Ne2 {
[%emt 0:03:40]} g5 $1 {[%emt 0:00:08][%cal Gg7g5] An excellent move by Topalov,
gaining space, preventing Nf4 and preparing Ng7. How much more can one move
achieve!} 13. h3 {[%emt 0:11:03] Played by MVL after 11 minutes of thought.
This clearly meant that he was unprepared.} h6 {[%emt 0:08:47]} 14. Bg2 {
[%emt 0:15:45]} Ng7 {[%emt 0:09:34]} 15. Ne5 {[%emt 0:04:31]} f6 {[%emt 0:15:
59]} 16. Nxc6 {[%emt 0:05:17]} (16. Ng4 $5 f5 17. Ne3 $14) 16... bxc6 {[%emt 0:
00:06]} 17. c4 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Qd7 {[%emt 0:03:20]} 18. Kh2 {[%emt 0:00:10]}
Bb4 {[%emt 0:11:31]} 19. Bd2 {[%emt 0:11:53]} Bxd2 {[%emt 0:01:09]} 20. Qxd2 {
[%emt 0:00:05]} dxc4 {[%emt 0:00:05][%csl Rc4,Rc6,Rc7] There are tripled pawns
on the c-file but Black has activity and the d5 square for his bishop to
compensate.} 21. Nc3 {[%emt 0:01:46]} Bd5 {[%emt 0:00:45]} 22. Ne4 {[%emt 0:02:
26]} Qf7 {[%emt 0:02:13]} 23. Qa5 $6 {[%emt 0:01:59]} f5 $1 {[%emt 0:14:39]}
24. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Bxg2 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 25. Kxg2 {[%emt 0:00:06]} f4 $1
{[%emt 0:00:06] Black now has a strong attack.} 26. Qc5 {[%emt 0:15:14]} fxg3 {
[%emt 0:02:23]} 27. fxg3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Rxe1 {[%emt 0:05:41]} 28. Rxe1 {
[%emt 0:00:10]} Rf8 {[%emt 0:00:11] Qf2 is a big threat now.} 29. d5 Nh5 $5 (
29... Qf3+ 30. Kh2 Qf2+ 31. Qxf2 Rxf2+ 32. Kg1 Rxb2 33. dxc6 Kf7 {By simple
means, Black has a very huge advantage.} 34. Nd5 Ne6 $17) 30. Rg1 {[%emt 0:19:
47]} cxd5 $6 {[%emt 0:20:35]} (30... Nxg3 $5 31. Kxg3 Qf4+ 32. Kg2 Qd2+ 33. Kg3
(33. Kh1 Rf3 $19) 33... Rf5 {White's defensive task is not at all easy. Black
threatens h5-h4 with a mating attack.} (33... h5 34. dxc6) 34. Nd1 Qf4+ 35. Kg2
Qf3+ 36. Kh2 Qe2+ 37. Rg2 (37. Kh1 Rf3 $19) 37... Qxd1 $15) 31. Qxd5 {[%emt 0:
03:01] The queen exchange is to White's benefit.} Qxd5+ {[%emt 0:02:07]} 32.
Nxd5 {[%emt 0:00:09]} Rd8 {[%emt 0:01:37]} 33. Rd1 {[%emt 0:01:43]} Kg7 {
[%emt 0:00:22]} 34. Kf3 {Now it's just equal.} c6 {[%emt 0:02:01]} 35. Ne3 {
[%emt 0:02:58]} Rd3 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 36. Rxd3 {[%emt 0:00:19]} cxd3 {[%emt 0:
00:06]} 37. Nf1 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Kf6 {[%emt 0:01:25]} 38. Ke3 {[%emt 0:00:16]}
Ke5 {[%emt 0:00:20]} 39. Kxd3 {[%emt 0:00:06]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:29]} 40. Ne3 {
[%emt 0:00:00]} h5 {[%emt 0:00:52]} 41. Nc4+ {[%emt 0:01:57]} Kd5 {[%emt 0:00:
24]} 42. Ne3+ {[%emt 0:00:03]} Ke5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 43. Nc4+ {[%emt 0:00:03]}
Kd5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 44. Ne3+ {[%emt 0:00:04]} 1/2-1/2

 

Your form is determined by how easily you can finish off your opponents from a better position. In this regard Topalov has been completely off colour.

Fabiano Caruana played an exciting game against Vladimir Kramnik where white held the edge for most part of the game, but it ended in a draw

Is the glass half full or half empty! Fabiano in a philosophical mood during the game!
[Event "8th London Chess Classic 2016"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2016.12.11"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2823"]
[BlackElo "2809"]
[Annotator "ChessBase"]
[PlyCount "92"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[TimeControl "40/7200:3600+30"]
1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:03]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Nc6 {
[%emt 0:00:06]} 3. Bc4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Bc5 {[%emt 0:00:08]} 4. c3 {[%emt 0:00:
06]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:09]} 5. d3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} O-O {[%emt 0:00:14]} 6. a4 {
[%emt 0:00:29]} d5 {[%emt 0:01:25]} 7. exd5 {[%emt 0:00:09]} Nxd5 {[%emt 0:00:
05]} 8. a5 {[%emt 0:00:18]} a6 {[%emt 0:04:32]} 9. O-O {[%emt 0:00:23]} b5 {
[%emt 0:12:02]} 10. axb6 {[%emt 0:00:20]} Nxb6 {[%emt 0:00:33]} 11. Bb3 {
[%emt 0:00:17]} Bf5 {[%emt 0:05:25]} 12. Bc2 {[%emt 0:07:59]} Qd7 {[%emt 0:13:
11]} 13. Qe2 {[%emt 0:05:10]} Rfd8 {[%emt 0:09:25]} 14. Nxe5 {[%emt 0:23:11]}
Qe6 {[%emt 0:02:12]} 15. d4 {[%emt 0:04:47]} Bxc2 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 16. Qxc2 {
[%emt 0:00:08]} Bxd4 {[%emt 0:04:15]} 17. Nf3 {[%emt 0:10:14]} Be5 {[%emt 0:01:
09]} 18. Bg5 {[%emt 0:11:39]} f6 {[%emt 0:01:50]} 19. Be3 {[%emt 0:05:45]} Nc4
{[%emt 0:02:19]} 20. Re1 {[%emt 0:00:55]} Rab8 {[%emt 0:04:38]} 21. Bc1 {
[%emt 0:00:41]} a5 {[%emt 0:07:20]} 22. Ra4 {[%emt 0:03:35]} Qd5 {[%emt 0:06:
00]} 23. Nbd2 {[%emt 0:04:59]} Nb6 {[%emt 0:01:34]} 24. Rae4 {[%emt 0:11:28]}
a4 {[%emt 0:04:09]} 25. Rh4 {[%emt 0:11:13]} Qd3 {[%emt 0:00:54]} 26. Qxd3 {
[%emt 0:00:07]} Rxd3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 27. Nc4 {[%emt 0:00:35]} Nxc4 {[%emt 0:
08:43]} 28. Rxc4 {[%emt 0:00:34]} a3 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 29. Rxc6 {[%emt 0:02:29]}
axb2 {[%emt 0:00:19]} 30. Bxb2 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Rxb2 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 31. Nxe5
{[%emt 0:00:20]} fxe5 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 32. Rxc7 {[%emt 0:00:18]} Rdd2 {[%emt 0:
02:03]} 33. Rc8+ {[%emt 0:01:37]} Kf7 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 34. Rc7+ {[%emt 0:00:03]
} Kf6 {[%emt 0:00:32]} 35. Rf1 {[%emt 0:01:34]} h6 {[%emt 0:02:48]} 36. h4 {
[%emt 0:01:42]} e4 {[%emt 0:09:21]} 37. h5 {[%emt 0:01:02]} Rb5 {[%emt 0:02:26]
} 38. Ra1 {[%emt 0:01:52]} Rd6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 39. Kf1 {[%emt 0:02:04]} Rxh5 {
[%emt 0:01:48]} 40. Raa7 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rh1+ {[%emt 0:02:15]} 41. Ke2 {
[%emt 0:00:13]} g5 {[%emt 0:02:53]} 42. Rf7+ {[%emt 0:05:51]} Kg6 {[%emt 0:00:
35]} 43. g4 {[%emt 0:00:49]} Rdd1 {[%emt 0:00:32]} 44. Rg7+ {[%emt 0:00:07]}
Kf6 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 45. Rgf7+ {[%emt 0:00:08]} Kg6 {[%emt 0:00:05]} 46. Rg7+ {
[%emt 0:00:03]} Kf6 1/2-1/2

 

Anish tried hard in a pawn rook endgame against Michael Adams but had to settle for a draw

A good feeling for Adams who is finally on the scoreboard
[Event "8th London Chess Classic 2016"]
[Site "London"]
[Date "2016.12.11"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Adams, Michael"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B51"]
[WhiteElo "2748"]
[BlackElo "2771"]
[Annotator "ChessBase"]
[PlyCount "123"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[TimeControl "40/7200:3600+30"]
1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} c5 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} d6 {[%emt 0:
00:04]} 3. Bb5+ {[%emt 0:00:04]} Nd7 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 4. d4 {[%emt 0:00:06]}
cxd4 {[%emt 0:00:15]} 5. Qxd4 {[%emt 0:00:07]} a6 {[%emt 0:00:13]} 6. Bxd7+ {
[%emt 0:00:07]} Bxd7 {[%emt 0:00:21]} 7. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:07]} e5 {[%emt 0:01:
16]} 8. Qd3 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Rc8 {[%emt 0:02:28]} 9. O-O {[%emt 0:00:19]} h6 {
[%emt 0:09:50]} 10. Nd2 {[%emt 0:01:03]} Qc7 {[%emt 0:00:20]} 11. Rd1 {[%emt 0:
00:54]} Bg4 {[%emt 0:00:16]} 12. f3 {[%emt 0:02:06]} Be6 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 13.
Nf1 {[%emt 0:02:40]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:01:26]} 14. Ne3 {[%emt 0:02:27]} Be7 {
[%emt 0:00:09]} 15. a4 {[%emt 0:01:28]} O-O {[%emt 0:00:08]} 16. Bd2 {[%emt 0:
00:20]} Rfd8 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 17. Be1 {[%emt 0:22:25]} d5 {[%emt 0:02:26]} 18.
Nexd5 {[%emt 0:16:39]} Bxd5 {[%emt 0:05:07]} 19. exd5 {[%emt 0:00:26]} Bb4 {
[%emt 0:06:45]} 20. Kh1 {[%emt 0:04:42]} Bxc3 {[%emt 0:14:28]} 21. Qxc3 {
[%emt 0:10:37]} Qxc3 {[%emt 0:05:09]} 22. Bxc3 {[%emt 0:01:10]} Nxd5 {[%emt 0:
03:10]} 23. Bxe5 {[%emt 0:03:36]} Ne3 {[%emt 0:01:36]} 24. Rxd8+ {[%emt 0:04:
27]} Rxd8 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 25. Rc1 {[%emt 0:10:50]} f6 {[%emt 0:09:46]} 26. Bc3
{[%emt 0:07:51]} Nxc2 {[%emt 0:02:56]} 27. Kg1 {[%emt 0:01:45]} Nd4 {[%emt 0:
09:37]} 28. Kf2 {[%emt 0:02:56]} Nb3 {[%emt 0:02:29]} 29. Re1 {[%emt 0:03:19]}
Nc5 {[%emt 0:05:51]} 30. Re7 {[%emt 0:00:15]} b6 {[%emt 0:02:52]} 31. a5 {
[%emt 0:02:01]} bxa5 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 32. Bxa5 {[%emt 0:02:39]} Rb8 {[%emt 0:
00:08]} 33. Bc3 {[%emt 0:03:58]} Nd3+ {[%emt 0:00:25]} 34. Ke2 {[%emt 0:01:23]}
Nxb2 {[%emt 0:00:19]} 35. Re4 {[%emt 0:01:30]} Rc8 {[%emt 0:00:26]} 36. Bxb2 {
[%emt 0:01:24]} Rc2+ {[%emt 0:00:09]} 37. Ke3 {[%emt 0:00:15]} Rxb2 {[%emt 0:
00:12]} 38. g4 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Rb3+ {[%emt 0:06:31]} 39. Kf4 {[%emt 0:00:46]}
Kf7 {[%emt 0:05:32]} 40. Ra4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rb6 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 41. h4 {
[%emt 0:01:27]} g6 {[%emt 0:09:35]} 42. h5 {[%emt 0:09:31]} g5+ {[%emt 0:00:52]
} 43. Ke4 {[%emt 0:04:56]} Re6+ {[%emt 0:00:41]} 44. Kd4 {[%emt 0:01:33]} Ke7 {
[%emt 0:02:12]} 45. Ra5 {[%emt 0:04:35]} Kd7 {[%emt 0:01:16]} 46. Kc4 {[%emt 0:
06:32]} Kc7 {[%emt 0:03:48]} 47. Kb4 {[%emt 0:01:42]} Rc6 {[%emt 0:05:30]} 48.
Rf5 {[%emt 0:05:30]} Re6 {[%emt 0:10:52]} 49. Kc4 {[%emt 0:01:07]} Kb7 {
[%emt 0:03:15]} 50. Kb4 {[%emt 0:01:06]} Kb6 {[%emt 0:00:26]} 51. Rd5 {[%emt 0:
01:14]} Rc6 {[%emt 0:00:52]} 52. Rf5 {[%emt 0:01:43]} Rd6 {[%emt 0:06:07]} 53.
Kc4 {[%emt 0:00:27]} a5 {[%emt 0:05:09]} 54. Kb3 {[%emt 0:00:16]} Ka6 {[%emt 0:
06:10]} 55. Kb2 {[%emt 0:04:55]} Rb6+ {[%emt 0:01:26]} 56. Ka3 {[%emt 0:00:10]}
Rc6 {[%emt 0:07:51]} 57. Kb2 {[%emt 0:00:35]} Kb6 {[%emt 0:01:01]} 58. Kb3 {
[%emt 0:00:13]} Rd6 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 59. Kb2 {[%emt 0:02:33]} Ka6 {[%emt 0:04:
37]} 60. Kb3 {[%emt 0:00:31]} Rb6+ {[%emt 0:00:05]} 61. Ka3 {[%emt 0:00:12]}
Kb7 {[%emt 0:02:32]} 62. Ka4 {[%emt 0:00:46]} 1/2-1/2

Standings after round three. Wesley So leads with 2.5/3

A big honour for Indians lies in the fact that Tania Sachdev is in Saint Louis commentating for the Grand Chess Tour along with Yasser Seirawan, Alejandro Ramirez and Maurice Ashley. Tania made her commentating debut at the Chennai World Championship Match in 2013 and since then she has gone from strength to strength and worked for Gibraltar Masters, Millionaire Open and now Grand Chess Tour! Tremendous achievement.

Check out the entire six hour plus video with Tania's commentary on Youtube

 

Official website

All annotated games in PGN