Saturday, 3 December 2011

London Classic 2011 tipping!

"Sam is one of the Gold Coast's young talents and has been introducing many kids to chess with the Gardiner Chess Academy. Today it was Sam who learned a lesson." - IM Aleks Wohl

from the official website,

Just a week after the Tal Memorial concluded in Moscow, the 2800 club + Nakamura head west to play in the 3rd London Classic, joined by four of the best English players for a 9-player round robin. The pairings are here.
The football scoring system of 3 points for a win and 1 for a draw is being used.

Andrew's predictions:
1st: Carlsen - 16, 2nd: Aronian - 15, 3rd-4th: Kramnik, Adams - 12,
5th: Anand - 11
Fedja's predictions:
1st: Charlsen - 16, 2nd: Aronian, 3rd-4th Anand, Kramnik, 5th: McShane

Junta's predictions:
1st: Aronian - 16, 2nd: Carlsen -15, 3rd: Anand - 12,
4th-5th: Nakamura, Adams - 11

Moulthun's predictions:
1st: McShane        2nd: Hikaru        Equal 3rd: Aronian, Short, Carlsen

The games will be at 1am AEST, except for Round 4 at 3am and the final, Round 8 at 11pm. The rest day is at the halfway mark on the 7th, but with nine players, one gets a rest from playing each round - they will be providing commentary on the games, a brilliant idea which has received widespread praise.

Information for the numerous side events, exhibitions and innovations are all on the official website - it sure sounds like one professionally organised, fun chess event to be a part of. On Friday afternoon, the 9 participants took part in a game vs. the world on Twitter, which, amusingly, the super GMs won with the North Sea Defence (1.e4 g6 2.d4 Nf6 3.e5 Nh5) as Black in 23 moves!

Some (especially) interesting games to watch will be:
Round 1: Kramnik-Nakamura, a re-match from last year where Kramnik made a surprising knight sacrifice right out of the opening but Nakamura won.
Round 2: McShane-Carlsen, another grudge match from last year where McShane surprised observers by conducting a smooth positional victory in R1.
Round 3: Carlsen-Nakamura, with Kramnik commentating. Key word: Kasparov.
Round 5: Aronian-Carlsen - Let's hope we'll witness another fascinating game between the two highest rated players in the world (2829 and 2815 on the live list).
Round 7: Aronian-Anand - the decisive game count is 5-0 in favour of Aronian since Anand became WC in 2007 (four of them with Black)!
Round 9: Short-Carlsen - will we see another of his vital last round wins?

In any case, it's hard to see there not being more decisive games than in Moscow (just 10/45), although the chess played there was very entertaining and of admirably high quality.

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