Olympia Conference Centre, Kensington, London


Classic Round Up - Day 5

8.12.15 - Not for the first time this week, there was a lone decisive game in a round of the final leg of the Grand Chess Tour. With only four decisive results (out of 25) so far, chess fans from all over the world will hope for the players to come back well-rested after tomorrow’s free day



The first game to finish today was the encounter between Vachier-Lagrave and Giri, which ended in a 31-move draw in a topical Berlin Defence.


Next to finish were the games Aronian-Carlsen and Adams-Nakamura, which both ended in draws after the balance was never really disturbed. For the third consecutive day, Caruana missed a big opportunity to get on the scoreboard, as he threw away a huge advantage against Grischuk.


More from Day 5 by Fiona Steil-Antoni


Play through the games from Round 5 here


Anand inflicting a third loss on Topalov


Classic Round 4 Report

8.12.15 - As some wit commented on Twitter, the Berlin Chess Classic is over and the London Chess Classic has started.



Well, very nearly. In fact, one of the fourth round games did feature this unpopular but highly effective Ruy Lopez variation but it was a long and interesting struggle.


There was plenty of absorbing chess but still only one decisive result, with Hikaru Nakamura beating Vishy Anand to move into a triple tie for first place with MVL and Anish Giri.


The current scores: 1-3 Giri, Nakamura, Vachier-Lagrave 2˝/4, 4-8 Adams, Aronian, Carlsen, Caruana, Grischuk 2, 9 Anand 1˝, 10 Topalov 1.


Round 4 report in full by John Saunders


Annotated games from Round 4 | Download PGN


Photo gallery from Day 4


Anish Giri first move


Classic Round Up - Day 4

8.12.15 - Despite today’s four draws, chess lovers from all over the world were treated to some thrilling chess and it was almost 11pm when the last two players called it a day. But before we get to the actual chess action, here’s a reminder that on Wednesday 9th December the CNN will be asking Magnus Carlsen your questions.



You can read all about this unique opportunity in the following press release.


The first game to finish was a rather balanced draw between Giri and Aronian, but the remaining four games were all looking extremely promising - and they didn’t disappoint!


The draw between Grischuk and Vachier-Lagrave also came from an even game, but here it was the Russian’s infamous time trouble issues that had the spectators on the edge of their seats.


More from Day 4 by Fiona Steil-Antoni


Play through the games from Round 4 here

Classic Round 3 Report

7.12.15 - At the start of every round at the London Classic we always have at least one special guest on stage to make the first move for one or more of the super-GMs. Sometimes it’s a sponsor or a celebrity but more often than not it is one of the many children learning to play the game courtesy of the Chess in Schools and Communities charity.



Children make great ‘honorary movers’ because you can never be quite sure what they are going to do!


Today was a delightful example as Anum Sheikh, the self-confident little girl deputed to make Vishy Anand’s first move against Magnus Carlsen, not only plonked down the right move, 1.e4, but also helpfully pressed the 15th world champion’s clock for him. Never seen that done before: the CSC clearly teach them well.


Round 3 report in full by John Saunders


Annotated games from Round 3 | Download PGN


Photo gallery from Day 3

Carlsen vs Anand - and the little girl presses the clock too!


Classic Round Up - Day 3

7.12.15 - After yesterday’s five draws, it looked like there could be up to four decisive results in today’s 3rd round, but many missed opportunities meant Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was the only player to bring home the full point, thus joining Anish Giri in the lead with 2/3.



In the most highly anticipated clash of the day, Carlsen chose to meet Anand’s Ruy Lopez with the Berlin Defence, an opening that famously played a huge part in both their World Championship matches.


Anand came out of the opening with a favourable position, but a few inaccuracies before the time control left Carlsen in the driving seat. However, the World Champion failed to convert his clear advantage and the players eventually agreed a draw on move 57.


More from Day 3 by Fiona Steil-Antoni


Play through the games from Round 3 here

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave the only player win in round 3


20-board Simultaneous Displays

Two English Grandmasters gave simultaneous displays in the foyer during the London Chess Classic.



John Nunn (left) played 20 opponents, at 6:00pm on Thursday 10th December. John is highly acclaimed as an author, three-time World Problem-Solving Champion and former top-ten player.


Luke McShane also played 20 opponents, at 6:00pm on Friday 11th December. Luke, a financial trader by profession, is the world’s strongest amateur grandmaster and is ranked in the world top 60.


All proceeds went to Chess in Schools and Communities.

Classic Round 2 Report

6.12.15 - ALL DRAWS ... in today’s second round. That makes the scores Giri 1˝/2; Grischuk, Vachier-Lagrave, Caruana, Anand, Adams, Aronian, Carlsen, Nakamura 1; Topalov ˝. Most of the games were well contested, but elite, classical chess gravitates towards a drawn result and there’s no point getting hung up about it.



One of the dangers of a stellar field is that the players can play excessively well. It happens in other sports, too. I’m sure we can think of major football finals which have ended 0-0 and gone to penalties, because the two sides have defended too well, or big cricket matches where neither side can bowl the other out.


Round 2 report in full by John Saunders


Annotated games from Round 2 | Download PGN


Photo gallery from Day 2

Round 2: Audience and Stage at Olympia Conference Centre


Classic Round Up - Day 2

5.12.15 - It was a very peaceful day as all five Classic games ended in draws. In the most anticipated clash of the day, Carlsen thought he had a minimal edge on the white side of a Berlin, but Caruana defended perfectly to hold a rather comfortable draw.



Carlsen was still in a cheerful mood at the press conference, as his advice to kids watching was to ‘keep more pieces on the board than I did today’.


Carlsen and Caruana were not the only ones to call it a day before even making time control, as the encounters Aronian-Anand, Giri-Adams and Topalov-Grischuk were all drawn before move 40, despite the Sofia rules (meaning players cannot agree a draw unless there is a repetition) being in effect here.


More from Day 2 by Fiona Steil-Antoni


Play through the games from Round 2 here

Ken Clark of Newham Council making the ceremonial first move for Magnus Carlsen.


Classic Round 1 Report

5.12.15 - The seventh London Chess Classic – bigger and even stronger than its six predecessors – got under way on Friday 4 December 2015 with some tense chess, and just the one decisive result, as Anish Giri of the Netherlands recovered from a dubious position to defeat Veselin Topalov and snatch an early lead.



It is hard to believe that the Classic has only been around for six years as it is now established as the finale of the year’s elite chess tournament circuit. And it’s as much about beginnings as ends: in its first incarnation in 2009, Magnus Carlsen exploited the opportunity to move to the top of the rating list for the first time.


He clearly likes playing in London as he has won three of the four London Classics in which he has competed ...


Round 1 report in full by John Saunders


Annotated games from Round 1 | Download PGN


Photo gallery from Day 1

World Champion Magnus Carlsen with Commentator Danny King


Classic Round Up - Day 1

5.12.15 - The 7th London Chess Classic, which constitutes the last leg of the inaugural Grand Chess Tour, kicked off at Olympia Conference Centre this afternoon.



The tournament got off to a perfect start as it was publicised on primetime TV, when Magnus Carlsen was a guest on BBC’s ‘One Show’. In case you missed it, you can replay it on the show’s Facebook page.


As for the actual chess action, Anish Giri was the only winner of today’s first round, as he mated Veselin Topalov, after the Bulgarian lost control of his advantageous position.


More from Day 1 by Fiona Steil-Antoni


Play through the games from Round 1 here

Adams, Caruana, Giri, Anand, Carlsen, Topalov, Nakamura,  Vachier-Lagrave, Aronian and Grischuk



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