1st London Chess Classic 2009


Olympia Conference Centre, Kensington, London



Mozilla 3.5.5 and

Chrome compatible





Plaudits and Letters

Click to read our plaudits and letters page following the conclusion of this highly successful and enjoyable event.

London Chess Classic - Winners

At the gala prizegiving, held at Simpsons in the Strand on the evening of 15 December, the trophy and winner’s cheque for 25,000 euros was presented to the tournament winner, Magnus Carlsen. The trophy and 10,000 euros prize for the tournament’s brilliancy prize was awarded to Luke McShane for his round five win against Hikaru Nakamura.


FIDE treasurer Nigel Freeman presents the trophy

and winners cheque for €25,000 to World No. 1

and London Classic winner 2009, Magnus Carlsen.


FIDE treasurer Nigel Freeman presents the

trophy and a cheque for €10,000 to

brilliancy prize winner, Luke McShane.


photos © Mark Huba

London Chess Classic - Round 7


Winner: Magnus Carlsen


Magnus Carlsen won the London Chess Classic after a nail-biting finish against Nigel Short. The game ended in a draw and the single point gained was enough to put him one point clear of Vladimir Kramnik, who drew with Hikaru Nakamura. The other two games ended decisively. David Howell played a superb game with Black to defeat China’s Ni Hua, while Michael Adams outplayed Luke McShane in another close struggle.


The first game to finish was Nakamura-Kramnik where both players made strenuous efforts to win. Ex-world champion Vladimir Kramnik gave up a rook for a bishop and pawns, and some threats against White’s king but the American stood firm and the players repeated the position for a draw.



Magnus Carlsen and Nigel Short during round 7

Three-time Chinese champion Ni Hua played the Ruy Lopez against England’s top-rated teenager David Howell, but the young man from Sussex played an excellent game. First, Howell made an energetic pawn sacrifice to pen Ni Hua’s bishop into the corner of the board and then attacked in the centre. Ni Hua used too much time at the critical juncture and made some mistakes as his time ebbed away. David Howell made no mistake and launched a winning counter-attack. As the lowest-rated player in the field as well as the least experienced, Howell’s final score of one win, six draws and no losses was a superb achievement.


England’s Michael Adams too had an excellent last round, making the same final score as David Howell. It was a classic Adams game: a slow build-up of pressure to tie his opponent in knots. Luke McShane made some ingenious attempts to wriggle out of trouble but Adams successfully defused all his counterplay and won.  More in John Saunder's round 7 report.


Standings and Crosstable

All games in PGN

Replay: Round 1  Round 2  Round 3  Round 4  Round 5  Round 6  Round 7

The 10,000 brilliancy prize was awarded to Luke McShane for his round 5 win over Nakamura.


London Festival FIDE Open


GM Jon Ludvig Hammer


The London Chess Classic was not just about super-grandmasters. The congress was remarkably inclusive and catered for chessplayers of all abilities, from children who had just mastered how the ‘horsey one’ moved, right up to the world rated number one.


Ranked immediately below the Classic itself was the London Festival FIDE-Rated Open, a nine-round Swiss tournament which ran from December 8-15 (with rounds four and five both played on Friday 11 December). With a first prize of £2,500, and overall prize fund of £8,250, it attracted a strong field of 125 players, including nine grandmasters and 17 IMs.


The highest rated competitor was Jon Ludvig Hammer of Norway, and he was expected to be pursued by a posse of 2500+ rated England grandmasters, namely Stuart Conquest, Simon Williams, Mark Hebden of England and a few others of a slightly lesser rating. One of the aforementioned posse was sensationally unhorsed in the first round by an English amateur: Stuart Conquest lost to the 61-year-old, 2119-rated Alan Barton of Hastings Chess Club. See John Saunders illustrated report.


The posse never quite caught up with the Norwegian thoroughbred. Jon Ludvig is just a few months older than his superstar compatriot who was busy winning the Classic in the next room. He won his first four games, drew with Hebden, and then won games against three titled players. Read John Saunders illustrated report about this event.

Videos by Macauley Peterson of ICC




London Chess Classic LIVE




Korchnoi simul - a great success


London Chess Classic guest of honour Viktor Korchnoi's first of two simuls was a great success last night as 'Viktor the Terrible' scored 21 wins, four draws and one loss. Jamie Morgan was the winner with a 21 move victory in a Benko Gambit.


The simul went on until 22:30 and the last few games had to be speeded up and eventually adjudicated. A full report, with games, will appear in a CHESS magazine soon.


Korchnoi, still plays high level chess at the age of 78 and recently played on board one for Switzerland at the EU team Championship. He fought two world title matches against Anatoly Karpov in 1978 and 1981 which captured the imagination of the world.


Even in defeat Korchnoi has shaped the future of chess. It should not be forgotten that he sportingly agreed to play Garry Kasparov in a Candidates semi final after the Soviets had refused to allow Kasparov to take part in the match after it had been scheduled to take place at Pasadena in 1984. Although he had already won by default,  Korchnoi agreed to play in London and Kasparov eventually won and went on to challenge Anatoly Karpov.

photo © Mark Huba


© SC


© 2009 London Chess Classic

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