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Rediff.com  » Sports » Carlsen first in London Classic; Anand joint second

Carlsen first in London Classic; Anand joint second

December 16, 2010 21:05 IST

World Champion Indian Viswanathan Anand drew against Russian Vladimir Kramnik to finish joint second with Luke Mcshane of England at the 2010 London Chess Classic at Olympia in London.

Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen of Norway clinched the first place with a crushing victory against Nigel Short of England on Wednesday.

The final round victory by the Norwegian ensured him a first place regardless of the other results as he had the best tiebreak score.

With four victories, one draw and two losses, Carlsen tallied 13-points in the Soccer-like scoring system and remained two points ahead of Anand and Mcshane.

Kramnik and Hikaru Nakamura of United States finished joint fourth on 10 points each while Michael Adams ended his campaign on eight points following a draw with Nakamura in the final round game.

David Howell held McShane to finish ahead of Short who scored just two points from two draws besides five losses.

The victory by Carlsen will also see him reclaim his place at the top of the official rating list in January 2011 although Anand is also having a marginal gain in rating points.

Carlsen's mentor Garry Kasparov was present at the venue to comment on the games of the final round and see his protégé win the tournament for the second successive year.

The first game to finish was the pairing of the current world champion Anand and his predecessor Vladimir Kramnik.

Anand faced the Berlin defense yet again and carried a token edge into the middle game that ensued Kramnik was up to the task in exchanging pieces at regular intervals and it came down to an opposite-coloured bishop endgame where Anand's extra pawn was of no consequence.

Nigel Short faced Carlsen with the black pieces and his plan of going for a simplified position backfired. With clinical precision, Carlsen restrained Nigel's queenside development and occupied crucial squares to win a pawn and it soon subsided into a straightforward technical win.

In the VIP room Garry Kasparov correctly predicted Magnus's plan and then said, "this is a technical win - let's look at another game!"

David Howell and Luke McShane played a full-blooded Sicilian Dragon - one of the wildest openings in the canon.

Howell got an optical advantage but missed his chances in the middle game. The result was a draw through perpetual checks.

The game between Nakamura and Adams went right down to the kings. Adams played his favourite Marshall Attack and the American came up with a new idea. The queens came off and pressure against hanging pawns ensured an equal position for the English.

In the open event, Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta suffered a shocking last round loss to Thorustur Thorllsson of Iceland while International Master Sahaj Grover won his last round to finish as the best Junior player in the tournament defeating David Eggleston of England.

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