Olympia Conference Centre, Kensington, London

 

6th London Chess Classic (6-14 December 2014)

 

Play a Superstar! Super Rapidplay Open (6-7 December 2014)

 

This year’s London Chess Classic offers a unique opportunity for a few amateur players to experience what it’s like to face a legend of the game in a genuine one-to-one tournament game.

 

Before the superstars cross swords with each other (10-14 December), the ‘Super Six’ are going to take part in the ten-round Super Rapidplay Open, over the weekend of 6-7 December, which is open to all to enter. The time limit is 25 minutes for all the moves, with ten-second increments. The first prize is £8,000.

 

Let’s have a look at the sort of opposition a competitor could face if the Swiss pairings fell kindly...

 

No.

Name

Country

Age

Classical Rating

Classical Ranking

Rapid Rating

Rapid Ranking

1

Fabiano Caruana

Italy

22

2829

2

2858

1

2

Viswanathan Anand

India

44

2793

6

2809

6

3

Hikaru Nakamura

USA

26

2775

7

2800

9

4

Vladimir Kramnik

Russia

39

2769

9

2773

13

5

Anish Giri

Netherlands

20

2768

10

2674

70

6

Michael Adams

England

43

2745

14

2764

17

 

The Super Six will compete against junior players in the first round. A draw will be made on Thursday. Thereafter, tournament pairings will be made in the usual way, so, as the UK national lottery adverts used to say... it could be you!

 

Seriously, this could be an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a keen competitor. Playing a superstar in a simul is a special experience, but a one-to-one game against an elite player is in a different dimension altogether.

 

         

Fabiano Caruana

  Vishy Anand   Hikaru Nakamura   Vladimir Kramnik   Anish Giri   Michael Adams

(ITA) 2829

 

(IND) 2793

  (USA) 2775   (RUS) 2769  

(NED) 2768

 

(ENG) 2745

 

It is practically unprecedented in the modern ratings-conscious era for the world’s top players to step down from their lofty pedestal and mix with all-comers, so it will be very interesting to see how they fare. All six star players have been active recently, and it is clear that one or two of them have done so with an eye to some practice for the London Classic Super Rapidplay.

 

 
   

Fabiano Caruana has been in the thick of FIDE Grand Prix contention a month or so back, and he has been taking a well-earned rest since then after a particularly exhausting schedule. He arrives in London as the world’s top-rated rapidplay player – one of the few distinctions not currently enjoyed by Magnus Carlsen – so he will be motivated to do well and keep his rating ahead of Magnus’s.

 

Vishy Anand will come to London fresh from losing his second world title match to Magnus Carlsen in Sochi, but he gave a very good account of himself in a very close match and can by no means be considered in poor form.

 

Hikaru Nakamura contested a tough match in Saint Louis with world number five Levon Aronian. They tied the classical match but Hikaru won their blitz play-off, so he will have a spring in his step when he arrives in London.

 

Vladimir Kramnik, even as I write this, in the thick of the Qatar International, which must rank as one of the strongest opens ever held. Vlad usually confines himself to elite round-robin chess, so perhaps he is getting in some practice at the more rough-and-tumble chess to be found in Swiss system events before getting competing in the London event. He’s doing well in Qatar and will be hoping to carry some positive form into his London appearance.

 

Anish Giri is also in the thick of the action on Qatar. In fact, he was burning up the field with 6/6 until paired with... Vlad Kramnik! The former world champion, playing White, gave him his standard Catalan treatment to peg him back to 6/7. So both of them are co-leaders with only two rounds to go – and then one free day for travel before battle commences again in London.

 

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As if the above six weren’t strong enough... here’s a sprinkling of the other top players who have entered the London Classic Super Rapidplay (with their FIDE rapidplay ratings): Eduardo Iturrizaga Bonelli (2700, VEN), Loek van Wely (2692, NED), Matthew Sadler (2667, ENG), Luke McShane (2665, ENG), David Howell (2641, ENG), Gawain Jones (2629, ENG), Simen Agdestein (2595, NOR), Eric Hansen (2592, CAN), Alex Lenderman (2590, USA), plus 16 other grandmasters.

 

Current list of entries to the Super Rapidplay Open: http://www.londonchessclassic.com/festival_entries.htm

 

Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) are very pleased to announce that all women and under 25s (as of 5 December 2014) will receive free* entry to all tournaments that they are eligible to participate in. In addition, under 25s will be entitled to one free ticket per day to see the super-grandmasters participate in the Super Six event. (* open to UK residents only)

 

The table above shows the elite players ratings as of 1 December 2014.

 

Entry form for all events: http://www.londonchessclassic.com/downloads/LCC_2014_Entry_Form.pdf 

 

To enter online, please go to: http://londonchessclassic.com/tickets/tournaments.html 

 

As is standard at the London Classic, spectators will of course be able to enjoy the action on the official website.

 

For information on the event, please e-mail us at  

 

@LondonClassic2014 | Press Officer: John Saunders, email .

 

  Download Press Release 4

 


6th London Chess Classic (6-14 December 2014)

 

Pro-Biz Cup - 9 December 2014, Olympia Conference Centre

 

A unique chance to play chess alongside world champions!

 

The 2014 London Chess Classic features a doubles chess rapidplay knock-out tournament in which eight super-GMs – the Super Six, Fabiano Caruana, Vishy Anand, Vlad Kramnik, Anish Giri, Hikaru Nakamura and Mickey Adams, plus leading English grandmasters Nigel Short and Gawain Jones – partner top business leaders in competition for the prestigious Pro-Biz Cup currently held by Barclays Bank.

 

 
   
 

   

Hikaru Nakamura will be partnering Jeremy Hodgson (right). If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Jeremy is the younger brother of English grandmaster and London Classic commentator Julian Hodgson.

 

 

Jeremy is a keen player in his own right, with a rating in the 1800s. Jeremy has a more positional style than his four-times British champion brother, not to mention the hard-hitting American super-GM whom he will be partnering.

 

Jeremy himself commented: “Although famous for his tactical brilliance, Hikaru might have to calm his explosive style for my sedate positional play.” As brother to the ‘Grandmaster of Disaster’, Jeremy should have no trouble bonding with the ‘H-Bomb’. Those two GMs have the most macho nicknames in the business, don’t they?

 

Jeremy is being sponsored to play in the Pro-Biz Cup by his company, Interactive Data, a global provider of financial information. Jeremy comments: “I am a supporter of the Chess in Schools and Communities initiative because it provides children with an opportunity to learn a lifelong skill – the ability to play the most fascinating game on earth – chess!”

 

 

Link to support Jeremy and Hikaru - https://www.justgiving.com/Jeremy-Hodgson-Chess-Challenge/

 

Doubles Chess Competition format: knock-out rapidplay with 25 minutes for each two-player team. In doubles chess, the four players each make a move in turn on the same board, hence the two players of a team play alternate moves without conferring. A new rule this year allows teams to take two one-minute time-outs in order to confer during a game. Play takes place in the auditorium. The three rounds are webcast at 10.45, 12.00 and 14.00.

 

Pro-Biz Cup page | Register a bid for the Pro-Biz Cup | Video of the 2013 London Chess Classic Pro-Biz Cup |

 

Elite Event Schedule (Times given in UTC/GMT)

 

Date

Event

Time

Notes

9 December

Pro-Biz Cup

10.45

Eight super-GMs each partner a top business leader in a doubles chess rapidplay knock-out tournament in the Auditorium.

 

Photos © Ray Morris-Hill | John Saunders

 

Malcolm Pein, Chief Executive | Press release: 13 November 2014

 

For further information, press accreditation, etc: .

 

@LondonClassic2014 | Press Officer: John Saunders, email .

 

  Download Press Release 3

 


 

6th London Chess Classic (6-14 December 2014)

 

Pro-Biz Cup - 9 December 2014, Olympia Conference Centre

 

A unique chance to play chess alongside world champions!

 

The 2014 London Chess Classic features a doubles chess rapidplay knock-out tournament in which eight super-GMs – the Super Six, Fabiano Caruana, Vishy Anand, Vlad Kramnik, Anish Giri, Hikaru Nakamura and Mickey Adams, plus leading English grandmasters Nigel Short and Gawain Jones – partner top business leaders in competition for the prestigious Pro-Biz Cup currently held by Barclays Bank. Now what we are looking for are their doubles partners!

 

 
   
 
   

The first partnership which will compete in the 2014 Pro-Biz Cup has already been settled: Rugby World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward (left of picture) will play alongside English grandmaster Gawain Jones (right of picture) and the two are currently preparing themselves for the fray. The race is now on to match the other seven top chess players with partners from the world of business. For anyone interested in taking part, they can apply via a form on the website. There is field in the form which allows you to state your preferred partner – so bid quickly and generously to secure the super-grandmaster of your choice! All proceeds from this fun mini-tournament go to the Chess in School and Communities charity.

 

Doubles Chess Competition format: knock-out rapidplay with 25 minutes for each two-player team. In doubles chess, the four players each make a move in turn on the same board, hence the two players of a team play alternate moves without conferring. A new rule this year allows teams to take two one-minute time-outs in order to confer during a game. Play takes place in the auditorium. The three rounds are webcast at 10.45, 12.00 and 14.00.

 

All proceeds from this fun mini-tournament go to the Chess in School and Communities charity. Interested business people should register their interest and bid for a player via the form on the website.

 

Sir Clive Woodward is a rugby union international. After coaching club teams from 1990, he became England rugby coach in 1997 at a time when the game was transforming from amateur to professional status. Under Sir Clive’s management, England went on to win the Six Nation’s Grand Slam in in 2003 and the Rugby World Cup later the same year, beating the hosts and holders Australia in the final. To date, this is the only time that a European rugby team has won the sport’s most prestigious competition. Sir Clive has an interest in chess and how it can improve performance in sport, business and life.

 

Pro-Biz Cup page | Register a bid for the Pro-Biz Cup | Video of the 2013 London Chess Classic Pro-Biz Cup |

 

Elite Event Schedule (Times given in UTC/GMT)

 

Date

Event

Time

Notes

6-7 December

Super Rapidplay Open

12.00

10 rounds, featuring the Super Six and many other GMs. The Super Six will compete against Chess in Schools and Communities schoolchildren in the first round.

9 December

Pro-Biz Cup

10.45

Eight super-GMs each partner a top business leader in a doubles chess rapidplay knock-out tournament in the Auditorium.

8 December

Super Six Blitz Tournament

19.00

The elite group of six players will take part in a blitz tournament. Start time 19.00.

10-14 December

Super Six Classical Tournament

16.00*

* For rounds 1-3; rounds 4-5 start at 14.00.

 

Photos © Ray Morris-Hill

 

Malcolm Pein, Chief Executive | Press release: 13 October 2014

 

For further information, press accreditation, etc: .

 

@LondonClassic2014 | Press Officer: John Saunders, email .

 

  Download Press Release 2

 


 

6th London Chess Classic (6-14 December 2014): The Super Six

4 October 2014

 

The ‘Super Six’ players who will compete in both the ten-round Super Rapidplay Open (6-7 December) and the five-round ‘Super Six’ classical chess tournament (10-14 December; rounds 1-3 start at 16.00 GMT, rounds 4-5 at 14.00 GMT) are as follows.

 

No.

Name

Country

Age

Classical Rating

Classical Ranking

Rapid Rating

Rapid Ranking

1

Fabiano Caruana

Italy

22

2829

2

2858

1

2

Viswanathan Anand

India

44

2793

6

2809

6

3

Hikaru Nakamura

USA

26

2775

7

2800

9

4

Vladimir Kramnik

Russia

39

2769

9

2773

13

5

Anish Giri

Netherlands

20

2768

10

2674

70

6

Michael Adams

England

43

2745

14

2764

17

 

Fabiano Caruana recently set the chess world alight with an extraordinary result at the 2014 Sinquefield Cup, recording a tournament performance of 3097. He now trails world no.1 Magnus Carlsen by fewer than 20 rating points. Chess fans will be keen to see how he fares in classical chess at the tournament which served as Magnus’s springboard to the top of the rating list in 2009. ‘Fabi’ rarely takes a long break from playing and he may even have taken over the top spot before he arrives in London.

 

 

Whisper it softly, but it is also possible that Magnus will no longer be world champion in a few weeks time and the London Chess Classic might be welcoming Viswanathan Anand back as world champion. Despite his loss of the title to Magnus Carlsen last year, Vishy has regained much of his zest for the game, winning the 2014 Candidates’ Tournament in tremendous style. Indian chess fans will be hoping Vishy emulates the 1940-60s Soviet world champion Mikhail Botvinnik who regained his title twice. Right now the force seems to be with Vishy...

 

Ranked third in the line-up and making his London Classic debut is Anish Giri. At 20, Anish already has an impressive string of tournament successes to his name, with recent strong performances at the Tromsø Olympiad and 2014 European Club Cup carrying him to his highest place yet in world rankings.

 

 

 

 
Fabiano Caruana Vishy Anand Anish Giri

 

 

 

 
Hikaru Nakamura Vladimir Kramnik Mickey Adams

 

Defending the London Chess Classic title he won in 2013 is top US player Hikaru Nakamura. Like a number of other super-GMs, he was eclipsed by Fabiano Caruana and his dazzling run in Saint Louis, but nothing dampens Hikaru’s ebullient spirit for long and he will entertain the crowd in London as he always does.

 

Former world champion Vladimir Kramnik, like Hikaru Nakamura, is an ever-present in the London Classic line-up and he will be keen to set right a few disappointments suffered in the past year or two. He will want to end the year on an upswing and re-establish himself in the top ten, so expect him to come out of his corner fighting.

 

Mickey Adams has been the top Brit for most of the century and he has regained the rating he had when he was world ranked number four player in the early 2000s. Recently he won the Silver Medal on board one for England at the Tromsø Olympiad and achieved a 2836 TPR at the 2014 European Club Cup, so he’s in top form.

 

Elite Event Schedule (Times given in UTC/GMT)

 

Date

Event

Time

Notes

6-7 December

Super Rapidplay Open

12.00

10 rounds, featuring the Super Six and many other GMs. The Super Six will compete against Chess in Schools and Communities schoolchildren in the first round.

9 December

Pro-Biz Cup

10.45

Eight super-GMs each partner a top business leader in a doubles chess rapidplay knock-out tournament in the Auditorium.

8 December

Super Six Blitz Tournament

19.00

The elite group of six players will take part in a blitz tournament. Start time 19.00.

10-14 December

Super Six Classical Tournament

16.00*

* For rounds 1-3; rounds 4-5 start at 14.00.

 

Photos © Ray Morris-Hill

 

Malcolm Pein, Chief Executive | Press release: 4 October 2014

 

For further information, press accreditation, etc: .

 

@LondonClassic2014 | Press Officer: John Saunders, email .

 

  Download Press Release 1

 

 

© SC

 

© 2014 London Chess Classic

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