Carlsen Draws Kramnik in the QGD, Chigorin

Today there were four draws in London, which keeps the pressure on the top contenders to produce a win tomorrow or face tie breaks. The most noteworthy game of the day in my opinion was the Kramnik-Carlsen showdown, in which Carlsen played the QGD, Chigorin, which is an extremely uncommon opening in high level chess, Moro being the only well known exception, although even he has given it up recently in favor of the Albin counter-gambit.

In the Kramnik-Carlsen game, Kramnik managed to establish an extraordinarily menacing pawn center and at one point had a clearly winning position. Perhaps it was too hasty to advance the pawns and win the piece? I haven’t had a chance to go over the game with an engine yet but my gut tells me that white should likely have kept the pressure up rather than pushing e6. In the arising ending, Carlsen demonstrates an incredible example of “infinite resistance,” fighting on despite being down a piece and ultimately establishing a fortress and iron clad draw.

Going into the final round tomorrow, there is a three way tie for first between Carlsen, Mcshane, and the World Champion Anand. The complete standings are available here.