London Chess Classic Part II
December 29, 2010 • General
Hello everyone! After completely forgetting about chess over the past two weeks, I realized that I had forgotten to complete my recap of the London Chess Classic! Alas, I cannot leave the fans hanging; they deserve better than that!
Picking up where I left off after the 5th round win against GM Nigel Short, I faced GM Luke McShane who had by far and away, the most remarkable tournament of anyone. In our game, the opening was a standard English, but I got the upper hand quite early, and was extremely close to winning when I blundered horribly in time pressure and let him off the hook and the game ended peacefully in a draw. This left me in a very tough position as I would need a last round win coupled with a lot of luck in order to win the tournament.
In the 7th and final round, I had White against GM Michael Adams. After a standard Marshall Gambit, I came up with an interesting idea over the board which was working out quite well. However, for reasons unbeknownst to me, I rushed it too much in the middlegame and wound up in a slightly worse endgame even though I was up a pawn. Nevertheless, I defended precisely and the game petered out into another draw. Oh well!
Overall, a tie for 4th was satisfactory, but, much like Moscow, I felt I missed one very critical opportunity by not beating McShane. However, if I can keep playing at this level, it is just a matter of time before I start converting these chances.
I would once again, like to express my gratitude to the sponsors as well as the organizer, Malcolm Pein for putting together a splendid event of the highest order. Hopefully this event will continue for many more years and raise the profile of chess both in the United Kingdom as well as the rest of the world.
That is all for now as it is time to go explore this lovely city of Santa Monica! Time to relax, enjoy some great cuisine and wine, as well as celebrate the upcoming new year! I will be back to the grind in preparation for Wijk aan Zee soon enough!
Santa Monica, CA