GM Vladimir Kramnik vs. GM Judit Polgar
Opening: A16: English opening
Player(s): Kramnik, PolgarJ
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In the London Chess Classic, three struggling players - Polgar, McShane, and Jones - produced opportunities for the other players to run up their scores. Anand and Aronian continued their struggles and finished in the middle of the pack. Nakamura finished strong for a respectable +2 finish, a nice stabilizing result to send his rating back in the right direction.
Adams finished on the same score of three wins, one loss and four draws. For him, this was an excellent comeback result, and it could have been even more impressive if he had taken advantage of some nearly winning positions and not lost unnecessarily to Carlsen. Carlsen, of course, made the headlines by blitzing off five early wins and raising his rating above Garry Kasparov's career high. This historical achievement naturally overshadowed Kramnik's fine result, only one win behind the tournament winner. Kramnik has been a top pro for twenty years now, with a lot of mileage on his 37-year-old body. Still, he has managed to avoid the prolonged funk that Vishy Anand is trying to fight through now. In contrast, Judit Polgar is nearing the end of her magical career. Though a year younger than Kramnik, Judit took time out of her career to bear two children, a career obstacle her male colleagues do not have to come back from. Their first round battle showed these two stars moving in different directions. Creativity is only rewarded when united with discipline and accuracy, long hallmarks of Kramnik's play.