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



  1. Hikaru —

    It’s a strange thing to hear you get into “time trouble” in classical games, because you’re so good at blitz and bullet, but I guess it’s a matter of your high-end opponents presenting you with serious consecutive problems to solve. Anyway, enjoy the time off, and best of luck at Wijk aan Zee. I can’t wait for that tournament!

  2. Thesaint8x

    I am sure that even though you say you are enjoying yourself away from chess you must be doing some sort of training. Kramnik quote- “Chess is like body-building. If you train every day, you stay in top shape. It is the same with your brain – chess is a matter of daily training.”How can you stay sharp in tight situations without “daily training”?
    I am curious to know particularly as I happen to write professionally on chess improvement.

  3. Thesaint8x,

    Everyone needs a break! I’m in grad school and very much enjoying my couple of weeks vacation. I don’t want anything to do with science at least until I start again soon. When someone is so busy doing the same thing, at some point you peter out. You need a break, enjoy life a bit and get back in it. Sure he might think about chess for a little bit. So much that he wrote this very blog for us fans. It must hurt somewhat to not win games against McShane or Grishuck when the win was staring him in the face. I’m sure Kramnik is really annoyed at being swindled into a draw by Carlsen when he had the win right there had he been just a little bit patient.

    I can’t wait to see Hikaru back in competition and soon to be in top 5 in the world!


  4. Happy New Year Hikaru! Enjoy the R&R, have a safe flight for Tata Steel and dress warmly! We’ll be rooting for you in Channel 165!

  5. This will be your breakout performance, a bobacious Tata!

  6. Hikaru,

    Please tell us what you have been doing to prepare for wijk-aan-zee

  7. Lou Thurston

    Great effort. I’m counting the days to Amber.

  8. Hikaru,

    Great wins over Grischuk and today over Shirov! Hope you kick some butt & win this thing!!!

  9. Hikari,

    You are playing awesome!
    I wish you the best for the
    Rest of the tournament.

  10. Hello Hikaru,
    Congratulations for your play in the Corus beginning!
    I think you soon will be one of the three world top players,
    or even THE world first player.


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