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Sunday, December 7, 2014

London Chess Classic 2014 Super Rapidplay begins

Hello chess blog friends, the London Chess Classic 2014 began with the Super Rapidplay Chess Rounds 1-5 December on Saturday. At the halfway stage of the London Super Rapidplay Open, the six overnight leaders on 5/5 are Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Fabiano Caruana (Italy), Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), Anish Giri (Netherlands), Matthew Sadler and David Howell (both of England). Just behind on 4½ are Vishy Anand and Mickey Adams of the elite group, plus Simon Williamsand Nick Pert of England and Eric Hansen of Canada. The final five rounds will be played on Sunday 7 December, starting at 12 noon UK time.

The official website has a great live broadcast along with lots of lovely photos and videos. 

Here is an excerpt from the official report: Given that the London Chess Classic is as much about the development of children’s chess as it is about super-GMs, the tournament started with another novelty: pairings of the super-elite players (who will start playing their own closed Classic event on Wednesday) and six under 18 players from the host nation. Of course, nobody expected any shock results, with rating differences of around 1,000 points in some cases; it was just a once-in-a-lifetime chance for promising juniors to sample the atmosphere of big-time chess, rather like the way children accompany adult players onto the pitch to take part in the formalities before the start of a big international soccer match.

Theodore Slade, Hikaru Nakamura, William Golding, Mickey Adams, Rishul Karia, Vishy Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, Naomi Wei, Fabiano Caruana, Richard Zhu, Anish Giri, Alexander Jamieson
Photo © John Saunders

Naturally the super-GMs didn’t get where they are today without being able to dispatch sub-2000-rated players and most of the games were pretty effortless on their part. One player, Theo Slade, aged 14, who comes from the same part of the world as England’s number one player, played a steady Adams-like game to reach a minor piece endgame against Hikaru Nakamura with material equality. Not at all a bad effort but the American had the advantage of the two bishops and delivered a master class in how to exploit this positional advantage.

Elsewhere round one pairings were as per normal. There were no major surprises in the first round, except that Danny Gormally was unable to grind out a rook and knight versus rook against an English amateur, Tony Stewart.

With GMs of the strength of Jon Speelman and Jonathan Parker lurking as low down as board 40 and beyond, the second round was also a massive win for the higher rated. The only concessions of significance were Nigel Short’s draw with Johan Salomon of Norway, while Russian GM Alex Cherniaev lost to Astrit Zymberi, an untitled 40-year-old Albanian, rated 2116.

Read further at the official website.

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