The third round again saw Carlsen taking the ascendance in his game, although he will be disappointed not to have taken the full point.
|David Howell||ENG||2597||0.5-0.5||Magnus Carlsen||NOR||2801||Sicilian Alapin (B22)|
|Luke McShane||ENG||2615||0-1||Vladimir Kramnik||RUS||2772||Bishop's opening (C24)|
|Hikaru Nakamura||USA||2715||0.5-0.5||Nigel Short||ENG||2707||Nimzoindian (E44)|
|Ni Hua||CHN||2665||0.5-0.5||Michael Adams||ENG||2698||Spanish Marshall (C89)|
In the games:
David Howell steered play into an assymetric structure where he had a preponderence on the queenside. Later he won Black's weak c-pawn but Carlsen's pieces were always the more active. Eventually the Norwegian broke through and his activity led to him winning the exchange. David deserves great credit for the way he kept on fighting and eventually scraped a draw, despite this result looking distinctly unlikely at one point!
Luke McShane tried to play a solid opening, but was outplayed by Kramnik who found a way to activate his position, while at the same time McShane found it difficult to harmonize his pieces. Even worse for the Englishman, White's king got in the way of his rooks and while McShane sought a solution Kramnik seized control on both flanks.
The Marshall Gambit is a theoretical line where Black sacrifices a pawn for continuing compensation (dynamic bishops, kingside pressure). Ni Hua was even able to capture an important central pawn but Adams obtained dangerous play along the long light-squared diagonal. So there was nothing better for Ni Hua than giving back his pawn to obtain simplification into a drawish ending.
Nakamura against Short was quite calm. Short played some dynamic little ideas with the black pieces in the Nimzoindian defence while Nakamura tried to maintain his space advantage. Black chipped away and exchanges followed leading to balanced equality and no winning chances for each side.
The tournament standings going into the rest day:
|Name||Country||Rating||Age||World ranking||Sofia points||Standard points||Elo points change|
Carlsen won the 'best game' prizes on both of the first two days, whereas in the third round presumably Kramnik will obtain this award.
The fourth round will be played on Saturday (as Friday is a rest day).
|Magnus Carlsen||NOR||2801||Hikaru Nakamura||USA||2715|
|Vladimir Kramnik||RUS||2772||Michael Adams||ENG||2698|
|Luke McShane||ENG||2615||David Howell||ENG||2597|
|Nigel Short||ENG||2707||Ni Hua||CHN||2665|
You may be interested to see the Norwegain's recent results. One can certainly conclude that he is still improving!
Carlsen's most recent tournaments in Classical chess:
His previous loss in a classical game was in Dortmund against Vladimir Kramnik, he also lost his last round game in Sofia two months earlier against Alexei Shirov.
Carlsen's career milestones:
|2400||IM Strength||October 2003|
|2500||GM Strength||April 2004|
|2600||Strong GM||January 2006|
|2700||Super GM||July 2007|
|2800||Top ten of all time?||September 2009|
|2805.7||Virtual World No.1||November 2009|
The amazing Norwegian was Born in 1990 and is only 19-years-old. He was awarded the GM title in 2004.
Finally a couple of close ups of the players involved in the match for second place going into the rest day.
For more information go to the official site: Official site for the London Chess Classic.