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London Chess Classic Tournament

Wesley So6/9(+3 -0 =6)[games]
Fabiano Caruana5.5/9(+2 -0 =7)[games]
Viswanathan Anand5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
Vladimir Kramnik5/9(+1 -0 =8)[games]
Hikaru Nakamura5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Anish Giri4.5/9(+0 -0 =9)[games]
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave4/9(+1 -2 =6)[games]
Levon Aronian4/9(+1 -2 =6)[games]
Michael Adams4/9(+1 -2 =6)[games]
Veselin Topalov2/9(+1 -6 =2)[games] Chess Event Description
London Chess Classic (2016)

The London Chess Classic, held from December 9th to 18th at the Olympia Conference Centre in Kensington, London, was the fourth and final leg of the Grand Chess Tour 2016. The format was a ten-player round-robin including eight of the current top ten players in the world. The field featured Viswanathan Anand, Levon Aronian, Fabiano Caruana, Anish Giri, Vladimir Kramnik, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Veselin Topalov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and wild card Mickey Adams.

The prize fund was $300,000 (about €280,000) with a first prize of $75,000, plus another $100,000 and $50,000 respectively for the top two in the overall 2016 Grand Chess Tour standings. Players received 120 minutes to make 40 moves then 60 minutes for the rest of the game with an additional 30 seconds added per move starting from move 41. In the event of a tie for first, tiebreak matches (25 mins + 5 seconds) would be played, beginning 30 minutes after the end of the last classical game. (1)

Official site:

Previous edition: London Chess Classic (2015). Next: London Chess Classic (2017)

(1) chess24: London Chess Classic:

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. M Vachier-Lagrave vs A Giri ½-½242016London Chess ClassicB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
2. Nakamura vs W So 0-1292016London Chess ClassicD85 Grunfeld
3. Caruana vs Anand ½-½442016London Chess ClassicA21 English
4. Kramnik vs Topalov 1-0282016London Chess ClassicD77 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O
5. Aronian vs Adams 1-0412016London Chess ClassicC53 Giuoco Piano
6. A Giri vs Nakamura ½-½432016London Chess ClassicA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
7. Topalov vs Caruana 0-1382016London Chess ClassicC02 French, Advance
8. W So vs Adams 1-0402016London Chess ClassicE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
9. Anand vs M Vachier-Lagrave 1-0332016London Chess ClassicB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
10. Kramnik vs Aronian ½-½322016London Chess ClassicA14 English
11. Adams vs A Giri ½-½622016London Chess ClassicB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
12. Nakamura vs Anand 1-0432016London Chess ClassicD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
13. Caruana vs Kramnik ½-½462016London Chess ClassicC53 Giuoco Piano
14. M Vachier-Lagrave vs Topalov ½-½442016London Chess ClassicC67 Ruy Lopez
15. Aronian vs W So ½-½372016London Chess ClassicA34 English, Symmetrical
16. Caruana vs Aronian ½-½312016London Chess ClassicC77 Ruy Lopez
17. Anand vs Adams ½-½322016London Chess ClassicC53 Giuoco Piano
18. A Giri vs W So ½-½562016London Chess ClassicD02 Queen's Pawn Game
19. Topalov vs Nakamura 0-1532016London Chess ClassicB12 Caro-Kann Defense
20. Kramnik vs M Vachier-Lagrave ½-½612016London Chess ClassicA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
21. Nakamura vs Kramnik ½-½612016London Chess ClassicD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. Adams vs Topalov 1-0332016London Chess ClassicC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
23. Aronian vs A Giri ½-½202016London Chess ClassicD78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
24. M Vachier-Lagrave vs Caruana ½-½342016London Chess ClassicC42 Petrov Defense
25. W So vs Anand ½-½302016London Chess ClassicD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 33 OF 34 ·  Later Kibitzing>

Dec-24-16  blackdranzer: Chessalem would sleep with so if he could...
Dec-24-16  chessalem: In hindsight a significant date was July 16th, when Wesley was crushed in 26 moves by Carlsen in the Bilbao Masters. He didn’t lose another classical game all year:

Bilbao Masters (Round 5 onwards): 6 games, +1
Sinquefield Cup: 9 games, +2
Olympiad: 10 games, +7
Isle of Man Open: 9 games, +4
London Chess Classic: 9 games, +3
Total: 43 games, +17

Such a run of form and dominance of a big series of events inevitably started talk about Wesley’s potential, with some high praise for the US no 2. You can watch all the interviews on the live coverage, including Vishy's:

Here are some quotes:

Anand: Simply I had the impression let’s say in June that he was up and coming but subsequently his play in Leuven, St. Louis and here… I guess the word that comes to mind is effortless. He doesn’t even seem to be trying too hard.

MVL: I’m not counting myself out yet, but Wesley is definitely the main man to watch. He’s won the last two very big tournaments in St. Louis and London. He’s shown even better play here in London than he did in St. Louis. We’ll see what the New Year gives him – if he can confirm his status, because that’s also not going to be easy.

Kramnik: To win two of the strongest tournaments in a year, St. Louis and London, two in a row is a huge achievement – I don’t even mention about his performance at the Olympiad as well. Yes, he’s really strong. I’m just happy and quite surprised that I’m still overtaking him by rating, but probably it’s not going to last for too long. He’s improving a lot and yes, he’s a very strong player. He was already a Top 10 player for some time but now he really belongs to the Top 5 players. As I said before, he’s a serious contender to the world title, though I didn’t still completely lose hope myself as well.

Nakamura: He’s the hottest player right now.
Maurice Ashley kept asking every player in every interview about Wesley, which began to rile them (Caruana: “I don’t think anything has changed since yesterday or the day before…”) and led to some less diplomatic responses than we might otherwise have expected.

Wesley sure he'd done enough when he drew with MVL in the final round | photo: Lennart Ootes, official website As we mentioned after Round 8, Nakamura and Aronian cautioned about getting carried away, with Levon saying he preferred “more aggressive players” and “more blood on the board”. After the tournament ended similar comments were made:

Caruana: He doesn’t make any mistakes at all, and even the mistakes he makes aren’t so significant… I don’t see anything terrifying in his play as well. What he’s doing, avoiding mistakes, is not something that’s impossible to overcome.

Giri: I wonder where he stole that idea [of playing solidly and picking up points] from. He’s playing very risk-free and very, very good. I only wonder how he will create chances if the opponents also play the same way as him, but this way it worked very well. He scored a great result +3, but things also fell into place… If you look at the first round there have been some supernatural forces intervening obviously.

Anish was referring to Nakamura’s strange blunder against So in Round 1 (13.Ne2?), something that also happened in Round 1 of the Sinquefield Cup. In both events Veselin Topalov also self-destructed against Wesley in decent positions, while the extra half point in London came when Mickey Adams committed an uncharacteristic blunder. That meant that in both tournaments Wesley could take things very easily in the other games, but then again, as Vishy suggested, there’s nothing easy about preventing the world’s Top 10 from getting any chances against you! You might also add, for instance, that So was close to beating Giri with the black pieces in Round 4, while he showcased brilliant defensive skills to hold a difficult position against Aronian in Round 3.

It was Magnus Carlsen who had the difficult task of handling multiple trophies in 2015 | photo: Ray Morris-Hill In short, the New Year will tell us much more about whether Wesley So is ready to challenge Magnus Carlsen, who was the notable absentee in London – after all, last year it was Magnus who won it all, and even without playing in the classical events he finished in an unofficial 4th place in the tour. They meet in Wijk aan Zee for the Tata Steel Masters starting on the 14th January.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Sokrates:

Giri-jokes, utterly tiresome, repeating themselves>

For Giri it's:

tie-ersome, 3 fold repeating themselves.

Dec-24-16  Absentee: <Sokrates: Giri-jokes, utterly tiresome, repeating themselves, but apparently persistant.>

It's time to draw the line.

Dec-24-16  not not: Giri contribution to chess is popularizing chess on internet by drawing endlessly: feeding trolls like me is his biggest contribution!
Dec-24-16  not not: Giri doesnt draw, he skillfully keeps his options open!
Dec-24-16  chessalem: well, if he was a female I would sleep with him...who wouldn't when such copulation would undoubtedly sire a hybrid (i.e. half man half God ). Please remember Wesley is the son of Chess God, Caissa . Such an offspring would have the potential to become the most powerful being (just like his parent) to have ever pushed wood equivalent to mutant jean gray - the Pheonix.
Dec-24-16  chessalem: <It's time to draw the line.>

the time of reckoning is January the 14th at the Tata Steel Tourney when Wesley will prove to all and sundry that he belongs in another plane of existence. He will once again emerge on top leaving the field behind and looking at him with awe murmuring:

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <not not: Giri doesnt draw, he skillfully keeps his options open!>

He doesn't draw, he lives to split the point another day.

Dec-24-16  chessalem: Grandmaster at 14. Check.
National champion at 15. Check.
Breaks the 2600 Elo rating at 16. Check.
Surpasses 2700 at 20. Check.
Crashes the world’s top 10 at 22. Check.
Breaches 2800 at 23. Check.



Premium Chessgames Member
  LucB: <Sally>: interesting fact about Kasparov. I would never have guessed, but when you consider whom he was playing, perhaps it's not so surprising.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: Anyway, it's not relevant: Giri never will able to make 12 draws with Magnus if he's going on like this. NB Next WCC cycle he will be about as old as Karjakin already was in a match vs Magnus recently. Same goes for Caruana and So. Because for every 3 top candidates of today there will be 30 possible candidates 3 years ahead. If one considers chess peak age becomes younger and younger: 23-28, more specialized due to the use of software; it's no coincedence. Because the 90s were the decade of the PC. And the downfall of the GM.

Carlsen and Karjakin are both born in 1990. It's unheard of that the two best match players are born in the same year.

"In 1989, Levy was defeated by Deep Thought in an exhibition match. Deep Thought, however, was still considerably below World Championship Level, as the then reigning world champion Garry Kasparov demonstrated in two strong wins in 1989.

It was not until a 1996 match with IBM's Deep Blue that Kasparov lost his first game to a computer at tournament time controls in Deep Blue - Kasparov, 1996, Game 1. This game was, in fact, the first time a reigning world champion had lost to a computer using regular time controls. However, Kasparov regrouped to win three and draw two of the remaining five games of the match, for a convincing victory.

In May 1997, an updated version of Deep Blue defeated Kasparov 3½–2½ in a return match."

Dec-25-16  not not: Giri enters the bar;

half of Giri orders a shot;

the other half gets a taxi home;

what a split night out!

Dec-25-16  chessalem: <If one considers chess peak age becomes younger and younger>

Wesley has not peaked yet...Kasparov would comment this is bad news for his opponents- Wesley is still improving.

If his level of performance continues, Wesley will be 2900 before the end of 2017...3000 by 2018 and approximate top engine strength in the succeeding years to battle Stockfish, Houdini and Komodo for the unified and undisputed human and engine world championship.

Dec-25-16  activechess55:

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Dec-25-16  Clemens Scheitz: What a great opportunity for <chessalem> to lose a ton of money by gambling on Wesley to reach 3OOO ( or even 2900). It's just as juicy as gambling on <Overgod> to win the Noble prize...too bad I'm not a gambling man. With all due respect to Wesley, of course, an extremely talented player, and I guess a little respect to <Overgod> as well. Happy Holidays everyone, and Merry whatever...
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Clemens Scheitz: What a great opportunity for <chessalem> to lose a ton of money by gambling on Wesley to reach 3OOO ( or even 2900). It's just as juicy as gambling on <Overgod> to win the Noble prize...>

<chessalem> may win the 3000 bet twenty years on, when rating inflation has done its number, despite the deniers' claims to the contrary.

<overwad> is cold to win a Nobel in maths--in his mind, anyway.

We just do not know which decade will feature that formidable genius' run for the big one.

Dec-25-16  Clemens Scheitz: <perfidious>, yes, but the incurable and annoying optimism of <chessalem> has Wesley at 3000 in 2018, and that's where the money would be made.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Incurable and annoying idiocy from <tolengoof>'s latest incarnation is more what I had in mind.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <not not> Your jokes about Giri drawing are not funny, never were funny and never will be funny

Obnoxious yes, funny no


Dec-25-16  Nina Myers: So drawing jokes aren't funny? Think again!
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <morfishine: <not not> Your jokes about Giri drawing are not funny, never were funny and never will be funny Obnoxious yes, funny no>

The jury is till out.

It may be a split decission .

Merry Christmas to all.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tuttifrutty: <perfidious: Incurable and annoying idiocy from <tolengoof>'s latest incarnation is more what I had in mind.>

Your mind???? Hmmmmm, the world would be a better place without it.

Dec-25-16  activechess55:

Agreed. These draw-jokes aren't funny. Because they're HALF-funny!

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