Hopefully LCC is becoming a regular top level event. It is great to play in London once again.
Before the round today chief organiser Malcolm Pein introduced the 3rd edition of LCC and former tennis star and now chess enthusiast Boris Becker performed the opening move. I told him I wanted to play 1.e4. He endorsed my choice and left the pawn at the front of the e4 square ready for further advances!
I was playing same aged D.Howell (2633) and got a small edge from the Ruy Lopez opening. Motivated by the incident on move one I played 14.f4 and 16.e5! sacrificing a pawn for the initiative. David grabbed another pawn at b2 with his queen. White is still somewhat better in my opinion due to the monstrous knight on e4 and bishop on c4. Black is very much tied up with difficulties finding meaningful moves. I gradually improved my position and continued to put pressure on him. In ensuing timetrouble he stated to drift with 28....Re7. I got a bit low on time myself and an otherwise good game was a bit marred by the lack of control just before move 40. I was completely winning when both of us missed his only resource 40....Qxf5! after which white would be better but with a long job left to try to win the game. With 2 seconds left on the clock he resigned instead! 1-0.
Aronian seemed to have a highly promising position against Luke McShane, but the latter managed to defend excellently despite his time trouble and found a perpetual and drew around move 40.
Anand had a small edge at one point but not enough to win against Adams while Kramnik-Nakamura was a fairly balanced and well-played draw.
Tomorrow I'm black against Luke McShane who did very well in last year's edition following a year as chess pro. He is now back in a full time job outside chess but was off to a good start today.
Magnus Carlsen, London December 3rd 2011