"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Ivanchuk vs Caruana, Reggio Emilia 2012

GM Vassily Ivanchuk
Nicholas Mahoney, my clubmate from Worksop and Facebook friend, has published quite interesting video on Facebook, where Andrew Martin comments on the game of Vassily Ivanchuk. Ivanchuk playing White decided to play The London System which has, as you can read in the following text, sort of dubious reputation. However, Ivanchuk is player 2700+! Let's first have a look at Nicholas's commentary:

"This game is a particular joy for me as the London System gets unceremoniously & absolutely wasted. There is one slight down-side in that the victim in this game is one of my very favourite players, Vassily Ivanchuk. On balance, if someone plays the London System they deserve to lose because it is a very negative opening - in most circumstances White is either saying: "I am the weaker player, please give me a draw." (Not until you've really earned it -& that's probably going to take some doing) or "I am the stronger player and I can't be bothered to learn any real openings" (Utterly contemptible really). One of Ivanchuk's most famous games was a win over Kasparov with the rather less infamous Moscow Variation when he was feeling a bit fragile after a long trip but here I have no sympathy for him."

And here is the video with 
IM Andrew Martin's beautiful commentary  


Well, perhaps Vassily Ivanchuk is the only GM 2700+ who employs The London System as a surprise weapon and perhaps in presented game he did not play his best. But if you go through commentaries which I attached, you can see that there are some avid GM 's 2600+ (like Gata Kamsky for instance - perhaps not the best example of the second category of players mentioned by Nicholas) who have employed this opening with certain success, so no matter how boring it can appear, it is very much playable. Certainly, Black can easily equalize, but then the best man may win.

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