To adapt Gary Lineker’s famous football quote (and not for the first time): chess is a simple game. The players play longplay, rapidplay and blitz and in the end Magnus Carlsen wins. The final day of the London Classic had the lot – a mind-numbing, eight-hour extravaganza of chess in three different formats, brilliant moves, crazy strategies,
Round eight and we were back to the standard 1:4 ratio of decisive games to draws. But very good quality draws, let it be said. The one winner was Anish Giri, who inflicted a second successive defeat on the unlucky Hikaru Nakamura. Scores with one round to go are: 1-2 Anish Giri (NED), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) 5/8, 3-5 Levon Aronian (ARM), Magnus Carlsen (NOR), Alexander Grischuk (RUS) 4½, 6-7 Mickey Adams (ENG), Fabiano Caruana (USA) 4, 8 Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 3½, 9 Vishy Anand (IND) 3, 10 Veselin Topalov (BUL) 2. As regards the Grand Chess Tour standings: the estimates going into the final round are Giri 24, Vachier-Lagrave 23, Aronian 22, Carlsen 21, etc. These can of course change quite drastically depending on results.
Well, that round was a bit more like it! The London Classic came to life in round seven at Olympia, with three decisive results, some pulsating play on all the boards and a tense, cliff-hanging endgame which went on long into