12 Dec 2010

Luke McShane had a draw against Adams while Anand came out with a win.
They now share the lead after four rounds.

10 Dec 2010


Whilst Carlsen as Black is trying to swindle Anand in a lost position, McShane is holding his own as White against Kramnik.

The youngsters aren't pulling any punches against the old guard. Like lat year, this tourney is providing ample entertainment and fascinating chess.

Carlsen is doing his usual time squeeze trick, but Anand knows how to handle this and isn't going to be tripped up. Still, time is of the essence, with 3 minutes for two tricky moves.

McShane is hanging in there, with a marginal equilibrium against Kramnik, but here also 2 moves needed with one minute each

9 Dec 2010

LONDON Round 2

Is McShane the new Carlsen?

Playing black against Short, Luke McShane is playing another canny game.
By move 15.Qd3 Nxb2, he has tipped the balance and is ready to fork White's Queen and Rook.
The King will take this Knight of course, but after levelling exchanges the black position is strenghtened and Black will be able to push into the kingside, even though the king isn't actually there at the minute.

A draw at least. probably not more, as there is little chance of wringfooting White from hereonin. Still, a draw as black is not bad. I still think that this has to be rewarded more than a draw as White.

But McShane isn't in it for the draw and rejects the obvious, playing for a win, he rejects taking the b2 pawn and plays 15....Qc6 instead.
Wonderful stuff.

And then we get to the question of the =g5= square:
Whoever gets on there by move 21 has the win in hand.

Both refuse. What kept them off of it until the golden moment had passed I wonder.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2
Nc6 9. g4 Be6 10. Nxe6 fxe6 11. O-O-O Rc8 12. Bc4 Qd7 13. Bb3 Na5 14. h4 Nc4
15. Qd3 Qc6 16. Ne2 Nd7 17. Nd4 Qa6 18. f4 e5 19. fxe5 Ndxe5 20. Qe2 Kh8 21. h5
gxh5 22. g5 Ng4 23. Bg1 Nce3 24. Qxa6 bxa6 25. Bxe3 Nxe3 26. Rd3 Bxd4 27. Rxd4
Rc5 28. Rd3 Ng2 29. Rg3 Nf4 30. Kd2 Re5 31. Re1 Kg7 32. Ke3 Kg6 33. c3 Rxg5 34.
Rxg5+ Kxg5 35. Rg1+ Kh6 36. e5 dxe5 37. Ke4 Ng6 38. Bc4 a5 39. Kd5 Rf2 40. b4
axb4 41. cxb4 h4 42. a4 h3 43. a5 h2 44. Rh1 Kg5 45. b5 Kg4 46. b6 axb6 47. a6
Kg3 48. a7 Rf8 49. Kc6 Nf4 50. Ra1 e4 51. Ba6 Nh3 52. Bb7 Ng1 0-1

8 Dec 2010


McShane played a blinder, and didn't put a foot wrong in round 1.
Admittedly Carlsen is not back to his best, but this time it wasn't so mych a falling off by black as a very well thought out game by White.

White's win hinged around move 10.Qb3. considered a novelty. It took the Queen to waht appeared to be a dead end on the queenside, when Qb3 was folled by 12.Qa3.

By then she had nowhere to go and this was pounced upon by Black to then played 12..a5, locking her in completely.

Rather than taking the Knight to the kingside by palying the customary 10.Nf3, White knotted up the queenside to tempt black into a onesided game, where being White with a move in hand really paid off.

White seemed to totally ignore the rest of the board and 14.b4 was utterly daring, when 14.e3 would have been a conservative continuation.

Black was probably not sure where this was going and did some futile up and down moves with the a-Rook. It might have been wiser to bring his knight forward with 13. Ne5 14.c5 Nc4, where there was at least some active participation in a queenside scuffle.

All going well, and it DID go well, White had it won there and then. making black lose yet another tempo was the foot in the door and White kept on pushing from then on.

Now e3 was perfect, with the scene set for a solid defence against an attack that wasn't forthcoming. 13...a4 wasn't going anywhere and the belated 16...Bg7 had the sting taken out as the Queen was on the other diagonal. some may suggest she was sidelined, but in my book she was merely biding her time on an excellent defensive square.

17.....Qb6 seemed lame. More a reflex move that a thought out attack. And so it proved. There was too much hardware between the black Queen and the white King to make the -b6- square worthwhile. White didn't even have to lose a tempo with making Luft by h3.

Now the white Knight leisurely makes its way to =b4 and the Queen can either retrace her steps to=d8= or be sidelined on =a5=. Not a pleadant choice. Carlsen switches to the kingside with 19...f5, but this is too little too late and doesn't work out at all.