Balm for the spectators' hearts


D'Artagnan was too good a fencer to "feel out" his opponents, as fencers say (A. Dumas, "Twenty Years Later" )   


Тhe same can be said of the musketeers at the London Classic. Without wasting any time on preliminary sparring, the grandmasters gotr straight on with landing some heavy blows on each other.

"Yes, today we saw Carlsen in all his glory. Of course, McShane committed some inaccuracies, but believe me, if anyone else had been playing Black, we would not have noticed them. The blunder at move 57 was certainly bad, but firstly, Luke was already exhausted, for which his opponent must get the credit for constantly posing problems in a seemingly equal position; and, secondly, White's positionw as already dangerous and only quiet analysis can show whether it is tenable or not". (Evgeny Gelizerov 

Certainly, it was hard to believe, looking at the position after White's 25th move, 

that 25 moves later, it would have transformed itself into the following,

and then, after a bad time-trouble blunder by Luke, into a hopeless position.  Incidentally, to add to Evgeny Gleizerov's observations, one can say that Magnus not only means "great" in Latin. Followers and contemporaries of the "Shaker of the Universe" Genghis Khan used the name Magnus to refer to evil spirits, so we can see where the Norwegian's strength comes from. "Making moves with bad intentions", in any position, he is obviously a hopeless case...

The result of the game Kramnik-Polgar was to a large extent predicatble. Traditionally, Vladimir Borisovich has been not just a difficult, but THE MOST DIFFICULT opponent for the women's number one. It is hard to give the exact score between them, but it is totally disastrous for Judit, and tradition was upheld in this latest meeting. As early as move 11, Judit advanced her centre pawns fatally, after which White played the critical 12.а3! Deciding to go down fighting, Judit sacrificed a piece. The ex-world champion happily picked up the gauntlet and the rest was one-sided. The game was decided by the striking move 29.Сd7!

After this, the game could have been ended without undue fireworks, but Kramnik allowed himself the pleasure of sacrificing (if indeed, it was a sacrifice...) the exchange on f7. 

Once more, the «Еnfant terrible» of world chess beat beat with the blakc pieces no less a player than Aronian. In this position, the fearless Houdini gives an assessment of only 0,17 (,

but Levon now made the bad blunder 26.Лd2?? and after 26…b6 was already busted.. 

A great start for the American hooligan

The last game to finish was Jones-Adams, Gradually and patiently, like in his best years, "Spiderman" weaved his web out of micro-pluses. The sufferings of his young opponent did not end until move 91, when, having lost most of his pawns, he resigned. 

The rivers of blood set flowing in the first round were balm to the hearts of chess fans, used to series of depressing, even if full of content, draws. From the very start, the "London chess classic" is showing its teeth. 


(Text by Sergey Kim).