At the end of the 8.5 hour chess day, two champions were crowned. In a dramatic finale, Fabiano Caruana defeated Ian Nepomniachtchi in the second blitz game of the playoffs to win the 2017 London Chess Classic.
2017 London Chess Classic Recap
Round eight of the London Chess Classic started slowly with three early draws but then took a dramatic turn of events that changed the nature of the tournament. Tournament co-leader Fabiano Caruana felt comfortable with his draw believing that a plus two score is needed to at least tie for first.
Round seven of the London Chess Classic was the most eventful one with three decisive results, which affected both the standings for this event and the entire tour. Ian Nepomniachtchi won his second consecutive game and is now tied with Caruana who only drew today.
As it was expected, the day off allowed the players to recharge and return to the tournament full of energy. Several of the games were double-edged and could have gone in either direction out of the openings. Tournament leader Fabiano Caruana played solidly and drew Vachier-Lagrave, who is still in contention for winning the entire tour.
The day before the rest day saw a lot of action in London. Once again, only Fabiano Caruana emerged victorious and extended his lead to a full point. Magnus Carlsen’s five-and-a-half-hour struggle against Wesley So did not yield the result he was looking for, giving Caruana a full point lead over the rest of the field.
After four rounds, there is finally a clear leader! Fabiano Caruana spilled first blood by defeating Sergey Karjakin in a complicated Sicilian. At the beginning of the tournament, Caruana said he would be happy to come out unscathed after four games as he had three games with the black pieces.
Round three of the London Chess Classic did not bring any decisive results, but it was not for the lack of effort. Levon Aronian gave everyone hope by predicting that in an effort to win, at one point, someone will play something complicated, blunder and lose their game
No blood was spilled during round two of the London Chess Classic, however, many of the games were combative. Early in the round there were several enterprising middlegame positions which looked promising; yet, bringing the full point home is an extremely daunting task as all the players are extremely good defenders.