London Chess Classic Hosts
Historic 'No Castling' Match
Imagine there’s no castling, and no reams of opening theory. Would
that change how you play chess – and could it prevent a boring drawfest
in top-class Grandmaster games?
That’s the theory being
promoted by former World
Champion Vladimir Kramnik and
tested by Google DeepMind’s
AlphaZero in scores of self-play
games. Instead of picking up
your king, and then your rook,
and niftily playing hopscotch
with them, there’s a new game in
All the other rules of normal chess apply, but there’s no more
playing it safe: Now the king will be engaged in hand-to-hand combat in
the middle of the board, and full-scale battle will take place not after
25 moves of Ruy Lopez theory, but right from move one.
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Ding Liren go into Grand Chess Tour Final as
strong winners after defeating Magnus Carlsen and Lev Aronian,
MVL’s dramatic Semi-Final win
over the World Champion widely
seen as epic battle, with The
Frenchman showing coolness under
fire in decisive Sicilian
Magnus Carlsen disappointed but gracious in defeat, now faces Lev
Aronian in third-place playoff match.
The stage is set for a thrilling Grand Chess Tour Final between Maxime
Vachier-Lagrave and Ding Liren starting Friday after the Frenchman
sensationally knocked out World Champion Magnus Carlsen in an epic
climax to their Semi-Final full of exciting rapid, blitz and playoff
Russell Picot took
first place in the
2019 Pro-Biz Cup,
finishing ahead of the formidable duo of
the CEO of artificial intelligence company
Google DeepMind. After scores were tied in
three rounds of pairs chess, Picot won a
dramatic playoff game in single combat
The result underlines the strong relationship between the UK’s top
players and London’s financial sector, which has existed since the days
of the English Chess Explosion of the 1970s and 80s.
Picot is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the HSBC Pension Fund,
while McShane formerly worked as a trader in the City and has been
described as the “world’s strongest amateur player”.
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and
Ding Liren will meet in the final
Re-Cap Day 3, 4 December 2019
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and
Ding Liren will meet in the finals after
defeating Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian
respectively. While Ding was dominant in his
match, Vachier-Lagrave had to go all the way
to tiebreaks to secure his spot.
Ding and Vachier-Lagrave will be competing for the
$150,000 first place prize and the title of Grand Chess Tour Champion,
while Carlsen and Aronian will battle it out for the third place
qualifying spot to the 2020 GCT in addition to a $60,000 prize.
Magnus Carlsen & Maxime Vachier-Lagrave duke it out to a fighting
draw in unconventional Najdorf in their opening Grand Chess Tour
The other GCT Semi-Final
sees Lev Aronian & Ding
Liren halve the point with
perpetual check in 28 moves.
David Howell draws first blood in British Knockout Semi-Finals,
turning around a lost position against Gawain Jones.
The first day of the Grand Chess Tour Semi-Finals saw a sharp battle
in the Sicilian Najdorf between Magnus Carlsen and Maxime-Vachier
Lagrave after the World Champion essayed an unusual opening plan (6 Bg5
and 7 f3) – a hybrid between an English Attack (6 Be3 and 7 f3) and a
Main Line Najdorf (6 Bg5).
The line-up for the
Grand Chess Tour Finals
at the London Chess Classic,
starting next Monday, 2nd
December at Olympia, has
been revealed as
squeezed into the fourth
qualifying place after the
dramatic elimination of
British Knockout: Top GMs & young masters battle it out for £42,000
Press Release, 28 November
The five members of the multiple medal-winning England Open team –
Mickey Adams, David Howell,
Luke McShane, Gawain Jones and Nicholas Pert
– are the top seeds in this
which runs from
November 30 to December 8 at
alongside the Grand Chess
Tour Finals featuring World Champion Magnus Carlsen.
The five top seeds will
be joined in an eight-player
Knockout tournament by three
– sensationally – already
mathematically qualified for
the four-way Knockout after
setting a blistering pace in
Grand Chess Tour. With
two qualifying events to go
– Superbet in Bucharest
(Nov. 6-10) & Tata Steel in
Kolkata (Nov. 22-26) – he is
way out in front with 54.5
points, well ahead of his
nearest rivals Ding Liren
(37.8) and Maxime
Who will join the World No. 1 in London for the
thrilling combined contest of Standard Play, Rapid and Blitz is still up
for grabs – also in the hunt are Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian and
Sergey Karjakin (all on 25.5).
Come for the Classic – and
stay for the special events!
There’s something special for everyone this year at the London
Simultaneous exhibitions by legendary GMs John Nunn and Jonathan Speelman, a ‘Game Changer’ lecture by Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan – and
discounted tickets to a new play on the epic 1972 Spassky vs. Fischer match.
Grandmaster Jon Speelman, gave a simultaneous display over
20 boards at the London Chess Classic, on Wednesday 4th December.
Jon is a famed chessboard maverick - as well as a former
World Number 4 and World Championship semi-finalist.
All proceeds went to Chess in Schools and
John Nunn Simultaneous
Grandmaster John Nunn
took on several players in a
simultaneous display at the London Chess Classic, on
Saturday 30th November at 11:00.
The simul took place in the foyer at Olympia.
John is a famed author, problem-solving World Champion and former
All proceeds went to Chess in Schools & Communities.
Judit Polgar inspires
‘Chess and Female Empowerment’
14 November 2019
The strongest female
chess player of all time,
Judit Polgar, will be
the inspirational headline
speaker at the 7th London
Chess and Education
30-December 1, at the Irish
conference, a regular
feature of the festival of
events during the London
Chess Classic, will
feature a stellar line-up of
expert speakers from around
the world and focus on the
‘Chess and Female
Conference participants from up to 40 countries, including female and male
chess players, educators and organisers, are expected to offer insights on how
to improve the gender balance in chess and examine initiatives to make the game
more welcoming and accessible to women and girls at all levels.