On Chess: Old veteran Kramnikstill showing spunk
Saturday December 24, 2011 8:20 AM
Shelby Lyman

At 36, Vladimir Kramnik is at a turning point that is problematic for many grandmasters.

Faced with an onslaught of energetic younger players, the veteran competitors’ results often decline.

And so it has been for Kramnik.

Dissatisfied with his uninspiring performances of late, however, the former world champion seems to have ramped up his aggressiveness.

Most recently, he finished first — ahead of several of the best players — in the world’s jewel of annual tournaments: the London Chess Classic in Britain.

He did it professionally but conservatively by drawing with each of the top players — Viswanathan Anand, Levon Aronian, Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura — while piling up wins against tail-enders.

Suffering a minor comeuppance in third place was Carlsen, always confident that he will win it all.

U.S. fans can cheer the venturesome elan of Nakamura, the swashbuckler from St. Louis who took second in hair-raising style — including a couple of extremely risky King’s Gambits and a murky King’s Indian Defense, which led to a victory against Anand, the world champion.

Nakamura’s derring-do — which could have gone badly at several junctures — continues to pay off even at the highest level.

Source: http://www.dispatch.com

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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