Magazine article The Spectator

Triple Whammy

Magazine article The Spectator

Triple Whammy

Article excerpt

The early rounds of the London Classic produced some truly sensational games. Particularly notable was Luke McShane's first round annihilation of the pre-tournament favourite Magnus Carlsen.

I n a seemingly harmless situation, McShane lashed out with a series of elegant and forceful knight pirouettes which left the black position a smoking ruin.

McShane-Carlsen, London Chess Classic, London 2010 18 Nc6 Re8 I f 18 . . . bxc6 19 bxc6 is very strong.

19 Nb4 f5 20 Nc3 Qc5 21 Nxa4 Qa7 22 Na6 bxa6 This is forced as White threatened Nc7. 23 b6 Nxb6 24 Rxb6 Rb8 25 c5 Be6 26 Rdb1 dxc5 27 Rb7 Rxb7 28 Rxb7 Qa8 29 Nxc5 Qc8 30 Qxa6 Bf7 31 Bc6 Rd8 32 Nd7 Black is completely tied up and White plans Qb6 and Rb8. 32 . . . Rxd7 33 Bxd7 Qc1+ 34 Qf1 Qxf1+ 35 Kxf1 Bc4+ 36 Kg1 Bxa2 37 Ba4 e5 38 f3 Bh6 39 Bb3+ Black resigns Meanwhile, former world champion Vladimir Kramnik crushed Nigel Short with his favourite tactic of powering forwards in the centre with a pawn majority. This ploy was a patent strategem of the patriarch of Soviet chess Mikhail Botvinnik, and it is clear that Kramnik has taken his words of wisdom to heart. …

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