Plaudits and Letters
Click to read our plaudits
and letters page following the conclusion of this highly
successful and enjoyable event.
London Chess Classic -
At the gala
prizegiving, held at Simpsons in the Strand on the
evening of 15 December, the trophy and winner’s cheque
for 25,000 euros was presented to the tournament winner,
Magnus Carlsen. The trophy and 10,000 euros prize for
tournament’s brilliancy prize was awarded to Luke
McShane for his round five win against Hikaru Nakamura.
Nigel Freeman presents the trophy
winners cheque for €25,000 to World No. 1
Classic winner 2009, Magnus Carlsen.
Nigel Freeman presents the
trophy and a
cheque for €10,000 to
brilliancy prize winner, Luke McShane.
photos © Mark Huba
London Chess Classic -
Winner: Magnus Carlsen
Magnus Carlsen won the London Chess
Classic after a nail-biting finish against Nigel Short.
The game ended in a draw and the single point gained was
enough to put him one point clear of Vladimir Kramnik,
who drew with Hikaru Nakamura. The other two games ended
decisively. David Howell played a superb game with Black
to defeat China’s Ni Hua, while Michael Adams outplayed
Luke McShane in another close struggle.
The first game to finish was
Nakamura-Kramnik where both players made strenuous
efforts to win. Ex-world champion Vladimir Kramnik gave
up a rook for a bishop and pawns, and some threats
against White’s king but the American stood firm and the
players repeated the position for a draw.
and Nigel Short during round 7
Three-time Chinese champion Ni Hua
played the Ruy Lopez against England’s top-rated
teenager David Howell, but the young man from Sussex
played an excellent game. First, Howell made an
energetic pawn sacrifice to pen Ni Hua’s bishop into the
corner of the board and then attacked in the centre. Ni
Hua used too much time at the critical juncture and made
some mistakes as his time ebbed away. David Howell made
no mistake and launched a winning counter-attack. As the
lowest-rated player in the field as well as the least
experienced, Howell’s final score of one win, six draws
and no losses was a superb achievement.
England’s Michael Adams too had an
excellent last round, making the same final score as
David Howell. It was a classic Adams game: a slow
build-up of pressure to tie his opponent in knots. Luke
McShane made some ingenious attempts to wriggle out of
trouble but Adams successfully defused all his
counterplay and won.
More in John Saunder's
round 7 report.
All games in PGN
brilliancy prize was awarded to Luke McShane
for his round 5 win over Nakamura.
Festival FIDE Open
GM Jon Ludvig
The London Chess Classic was not just about
super-grandmasters. The congress was remarkably inclusive and catered for
chessplayers of all abilities, from children who had just mastered how the
‘horsey one’ moved, right up to the world rated number one.
Ranked immediately below the Classic itself was the London
Festival FIDE-Rated Open, a nine-round Swiss tournament which ran from
December 8-15 (with rounds four and five both played on Friday 11 December).
With a first prize of £2,500, and overall prize fund of £8,250, it attracted
a strong field of 125 players, including nine grandmasters and 17 IMs.
The highest rated competitor was Jon Ludvig Hammer of
Norway, and he was expected to be pursued by a posse of 2500+ rated England
grandmasters, namely Stuart Conquest, Simon Williams, Mark Hebden of England
and a few others of a slightly lesser rating. One of the aforementioned
posse was sensationally unhorsed in the first round by an English amateur:
Stuart Conquest lost to the 61-year-old, 2119-rated Alan Barton of Hastings
Chess Club. See
John Saunders illustrated report.
The posse never quite caught
up with the Norwegian thoroughbred. Jon Ludvig is just a few months older
than his superstar compatriot who was busy winning the Classic in the next
room. He won his first four games, drew with Hebden, and then won games
against three titled players. Read John Saunders
illustrated report about this event.
by Macauley Peterson of ICC
London Chess Classic LIVE
Korchnoi simul - a great success
London Chess Classic guest of
honour Viktor Korchnoi's first of two simuls was
a great success last night as 'Viktor the
Terrible' scored 21 wins, four draws and one
loss. Jamie Morgan was the winner with a 21 move
victory in a Benko Gambit.
The simul went on
until 22:30 and the last few games had to be
speeded up and eventually adjudicated. A full
report, with games, will appear in a CHESS
still plays high level chess at the
age of 78 and recently played on
board one for Switzerland at the
EU team Championship. He
fought two world title matches
against Anatoly Karpov in 1978 and
1981 which captured the imagination
of the world.
Even in defeat Korchnoi has shaped the future of
chess. It should not be forgotten that he
sportingly agreed to play Garry Kasparov in a
Candidates semi final after the Soviets had
refused to allow Kasparov to take part in the
match after it had been scheduled to take place
at Pasadena in 1984. Although he had already won
by default, Korchnoi agreed to play in London
and Kasparov eventually won and went on to
challenge Anatoly Karpov.