Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Carlsen on top of chess Olympus
NORWEGIAN Magnus Carlsen, who turned 19 on 30th November, won the London Chess Classic held at the Olympia Conference Centre from 8-16 December. The Category 18 event with an average rating of 2696 is a single-round robin contest using the Bilbao scoring system of 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 for a loss.
During the seventh and final round, all three of the winless Englishmen attempted to score their first win but only two succeeded. Michael Adams prevailed over compatriot Luke McShane while David Howell defeated China’s Ni Hua to share 3-4 places with Adams. Current number one English player Nigel Short tried all his might to score a win against Carlsen but the latter also has the same determination. The two finally halved the point when Short was about to pluck Carlsen's remaining pawn in the queen yet pawnless ending.
Earlier former world champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia halved the point with Hikaru Nakamura of the USA to wind up with 12 points, one point behind the winner Carlsen. Nakamura and Short were unable to win a game, with the former losing one game while the latter suffered two losses.
In addition to the tournament victory, Carlsen is now absolutely certain to top the next FIDE Rating list which will come out on 1st January 2009. He is now the youngest player ever to achieve that feat and also the first player from a western nation to reach the top since Bobby Fischer in the 1970s.
He aims to become the world chess champion and shows his determination by engaging the services of Gary Kasparov, the former world champion (1985-2000) and number one player for twenty years (1985-2005).
That he would become the world chess champion is never doubted. The only question that remains to be answered is when?