Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Carlsen Wins London Chess Classic 2009

The London Chess Classic ended today with very well-contested draws by Magnus Carlsen (against Nigel Short, in a game played "to the kings") and Vladimir Kramnik (against Hikaru Nakamura) that kept Carlsen's one-point margin in place.  Luke McShane was awarded the brilliancy prize for his innovative Round 5 victory over Nakamura using the King's Indian Defense with Na6. Carlsen's countryman, Norwegian GM Jon Ludvig Hammer, won the concurrent London FIDE Open a full point ahead of the field.  And WIM Arianne Caoili won the London FIDE Women's Invitational by a point and a half over the rest of the field.  You can find games from all of the events in the Downloads / PGN Games section of the official website, and you can easily find and play over main event games at Chessgames.com.  I have found some of the games in the lower tournaments to be of great interest and may return to them in future posts.

I have put together a round-by-round webliography of articles analyzing the games from the main event.  Long ago I got in the habit of looking at GM games using multiple sets of notes, finding that every commentator focuses on different questions in the game that are worth considering, and that opinions often diverge even where the same issues are considered.  Edward Winter once very nicely explored the case of "Analytical Disaccord" surrounding the game Capablanca - Bogoljubow, Moscow 1925 which was only an extreme example of just how differently various annotators can see things.  I hope readers find this collection of notes useful.  I will add more as they become available and welcome links from readers.

With his performance in this tournament, Carlsen guarantees that he will keep his world  number one ranking on the official FIDE ratings list, making him the youngest official number one player in history.  Next up for the champ will be the Corus tournament in Wijk aan Zee (January 15 - 31).

Round 7
Round 6
Round 5

Round 4
Round 3
Round 2

Round 1

Additional Coverage

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