Sunday 13 December 2009

Live From Olympia...

Here's a quick trip around the main new from yesterday's games...

Chess Classic

All the games in Round 4 were drawn.

Kramnik v Adams

An opposite-coloured Bishop ending arose, after which there was nothing to be done. Solid stuff from Adams.

Short v Ni Hua

Good to see the French Defence in action. Short won a pawn but could not win the ending.

Carlsen v Nakamura

A bold display by Nakamura, playing for the initiative as Black but nevertheless - a draw.

McShane v Howell

An early liquidation into a King and pawn ending and one in which McShane had the better structure, but it was not enough to win.


8: Carlsen

7: Kramnik

4: McShane, Nakamura, Howell, Adams

3: Short, Ni Hua

Round 5 Pairings

Howell v Kramnik

Nakamura v McShane

Ni Hua v Carlsen

Adams v Short

Every round brings exciting pairings. Carlsen and Kramnik must keep each other in sight, points-wise, but both have Black today. With a win earning three points, a victory can really catapult a mid-table player considerably higher in the standings. British Champion David Howell, who is playing extremely well, can catch Kramnik if he beats him.

Nakamura and McShane have earned thier four points in very different ways. The former has drawn in all four rounds and the latter has had three decisive games. An interesting clash should develop.

Today's all-English battle should be very interesting too. Short recently overtook Adams as the country's top rated player, so both will have a point to prove.


GM Jon Ludvig Hammer has a slender half-point lead going into round 7. Today he plays White against Neil McDonald. Neil is one of six players on 5/6.

Top Pairings:

(5.5) GM Hammer v GM McDonald (5)

(5) GM Williams v GM Cherniaev (5)

(5) IM Houska v GM Hebden (5)

(5) IM Aikhoje v GM Wells (4.5)

Many more strong players lurk just below.

Women's Invitational

Arianne Caoili won again yesterday maintains her lead of a whole point.

Susan Lalic still has a game in hand but is currently two points behind the top spot, after losing to Arlette van Weersel in yesterday's game.

Arlette currently shares second place with Maria Ikonompoulou. The latter has White today against Arianne, which will be a key game of the tournament.

The Weekend Classics started yesterday and conclude today.

The full list of players and results to date can be found here:

There's even more players at the Olympia today, thanks to the Rapidplays, details of which can be found here:

Meanwhile, I'm sure the people who are booked in for the first of the simultaneous displays by GM Viktor Korchnoi will be getting excited at the prospect of facing the great chess legend. He'll be playing 30 people tonight and 30 more tomorrow night, both with a 7.00 p.m. start.

Games, photos, pairings and everything else can be found on the official site:

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