Tuesday, 21 December 2010

London Chess Classic Tournaments

It's nearly Christmas time, so Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it! Even after years of living in England I'm still not that excited about Christmas, I don't even like all the fuss in the shops and on TV in the run-up to Christmas. However I like to have a few days off work and nice food and drink on the day! I'm also not against receiving nice presents :)

Back to chess then. London Chess Classic finished last week and, amazingly, Magnus Carlsen won the main tournament outright despite losing two games and gaining the same number of points (4.5) as Vishy Anand and Luke McShane under the usual points scoring system! Unfortunately for Vishy and Luke, London Classic used the football scoring system of 1 point for a draw and 3 points for a win. I think it's quite disappointing especially for Luke who had the best result of his chess career as in reality he shared the first place with Vishy - the World Champion and Magnus - the second rated guy in the world (whom he beat)! Nevertheless, I congratulate Luke on this fantastic achievement and wish him more of the same kind of success to come. I was lucky enough to see some of the post-game analysis presented by the players and, as usual, Nigel Short provided the most entertainment despite having a disappointing tournament. Anyway, I hope that the London Chess Classic organisers would change the scoring system back to traditional next year as it's hard to see any advantages of the football scoring system in a short tournament of 7 rounds like this.

Same as last year, Ray Morris-Hill took many nice photos of the participants in all tournaments of the London Classic. Here is the favourite one of me :) You can see more photos on his website.

The London Classic FIDE Open was won by two English grandmasters Simon Williams and Gawain Jones (7.5 points out of 9) while Women's IM norm round-robin tournament was won by WIM Arlette Van Weersel (8 points out of 9) and I congratulate all of them on their great success. English WFM Sarah Hegarty narrowly missed achieving WIM norm as she needed to win in the last round, but it was still a great result and experience for her.

I did quite well in the FIDE Open, gaining 4.5 points out of 9 and gaining about 12 rating points. I got to play against GM Aaron Summerscale and IM Gary Quillan and drew against Gary on a white side of a complicated Benoni game. I haven't analysed my games in detail yet, but will do a bit more next week to see if there is anything interesting worth publishing. It's nice to end the year on the high note, as by the end of this year I managed to gain 139 rating points from my lowest rating point of 1953 in March this year! I plan to continue working on improving my chess and now aim to get to 2150 rating as soon as I can.

Finally, there are two interesting chess tournaments currently in progress. Women's World Championship final is against two Chinese players Hou Yifan and Ruan Lufei. Hou Yifan is leading 1.5:0.5 after two games with two games to go. While I expected Hou Yifan to do well, Ruan Lufei was a surprise finalist even to herself as it seems from her interviews. The other interesting tournament is the Russian Men's Superfinal where Sergey Karjakin is leading with one round to go. I'm hoping that Hou Yifan and Sergey Karjakin win their respective tournaments and I will enjoy watching the last few games.


Alberto Santini said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! :)

Maria Yurenok said...

Thanks Alberto, same to you!

Beverly Hills Chess Club said...

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying the new year. If you would like, please be our first follower on our new blog. Have a great week!

Maria Yurenok said...

Thanks Beverly Hills Chess Club! I had a nice Christmas and I'm currently playing chess in Italy. More about it in my next post... Have a great year yourself!