Olympia Conference Centre, Kensington, London


Carlsen wins the 4th London Classic

Magnus Carlsen of Norway has won the 4th London Classic in style. Magnus' Live rating, currently 2861.4 is an all time record and has surpassed Garry Kasparov's record of 2851 which stood for 13 years. The new rating list will be published on January 1st 2013.


Magnus became world number one at the London Chess Classic and he has made history again here. We look forward to seeing him in London again in 2013 when he begins his world title attempt in the Candidates Matches. He truly is at the top of the chess world.


Final Crosstable                            
Nr. Title Name Fed. Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9  


1 GM Magnus Carlsen NOR 2848   1 1 3 1 3 3 3 3  


2 GM Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2795 1   3 1 1 1 3 3 3  


3 GM Hikaru Nakamura USA 2760 1 0   1 1 3 3 3 1  


4 GM Michael Adams ENG 2710 0 1 1   3 1 3 1 3  


5 GM Viswanathan Anand IND 2775 1 1 1 0   1 1 1 3  


6 GM Levon Aronian ARM 2815 0 1 0 1 1   1 3 1  


7 GM Judit Polgar HUN 2705 0 0 0 0 1 1   3 1  


8 GM Luke McShane ENG 2713 0 0 0 1 1 0 0   3  


9 GM Gawain Jones ENG 2644 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0    



Exclusive screening of the award winning Brooklyn Castle documentary


All players and participants welcome on Friday 7th in the Auditorium 11.30am.


WHAT: Critically acclaimed documentary film Brooklyn Castle will be shown for the first time in the UK at an exclusive screening at the London Chess Classic 2012, Britain’s leading chess tournament. The film takes an intimate look at the challenges and triumphs faced by members of junior high school Brooklyn Castle's champion chess team, amidst financial crises and unprecedented public school budget cuts. Having won audience awards at the South by Southwest, Newport Beach and Hot Docs film festivals, Brooklyn Castle is hotly tipped for a spot on the shortlist for the Best Documentary Oscar.


The London Chess Classic 2012 is running at the Olympia Conference Centre until 10th December, featuring the strongest ever line-up at a British chess tournament. The tournament is the flagship event of UK charity ‘Chess in Schools and Communities’ (CSC), whose mission is to give primary school children around the country the chance to learn how to play chess.






Friday 7th December 2012, 11:30am




Olympia Conference Centre, Hammersmith Rd, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, W14 8UX




Elizabeth Vicary, Brooklyn Castle chess coach, will be available for comment via Skype after the screening



Praise for Brooklyn Castle:




“Irresistible” – New York Times


“A stand-out documentary” – Huffington Post


“A break-out hit” – Time Out Chicago


“A truly wonderful, uplifting film” – Hitfix


London Classic vs. Twittersphere.


On 30 November at 1400 GMT 0900 EST there will be a press conference at the venue, followed by a London Classic Stars versus the Twittersphere exhibition match played via Twitter, allowing the world’s chessplayers to test their mettle against Carlsen, Anand and co.


The press conference will be streamed LIVE via the net: questions are welcome and may be sent in advance to  or in real-time via the official Twitter feed, which is @LondonClassic. (Please use the hashtag #londonchess in your tweets.)


The opening ceremony for the Classic will take place at 1345 GMT on 1 December, with play beginning at 1400 GMT 0900 EST. Play will be streamed LIVE.

London Classic 2012



This year’s line-up is stronger than ever, with an average rating higher than any previous chess tournament held in the UK. Heading the list are world champion Vishy Anand, former world champion Vladimir Kramnik, and the top two players on the world rating list, Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian.


Playing for the first time is the world’s best ever woman player Judit Polgar. Completing the line-up are US champion Hikaru Nakamura and three leading players from Britain, Luke McShane, Michael Adams and Gawain Jones.


On 30 November at 1400 GMT 0900 EST there will be a press conference at the venue, followed by a London Classic Stars versus the Twittersphere exhibition match played via Twitter, allowing the world’s chessplayers to test their mettle against Carlsen, Anand and co.


The press conference will be streamed live via the net: questions are welcome and may be sent in advance to [email protected] or in real-time via the official Twitter feed, which is @LondonClassic. (Please use the hashtag #londonchess in your tweets.)


The opening ceremony for the Classic will take place at 1345 GMT on 1 December, with play beginning at 1400 GMT 0900 EST. Play will be streamed live via the official website.


Live play, timetable, course details and tickets are available here: www.londonchessclassic.com



The London Chess Classic is a festival of the world’s most enduring game, which is staged by Chess in Schools and Communities, a UK registered charity whose mission is to deliver chess to primary schools in UK inner cities. (Links to recent UK national press coverage:


Chess makes a dramatic comeback in primary schools


Richard Garner | 10 Nov 2012

Chess is making a dramatic comeback in primary schools – thirty years after it all but disappeared completely from the state school scene.


In the past two years, a total of 175 schools – including those serving some of the most deprived areas of the country – have reintroduced the game to the curriculum.


Now the charity behind its revival, Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC), is optimistic the take-up will spread to 1,000 state schools within the next three years.


Academics are agreed the game is a major stimulant for improving pupils’ concentration and believe it can also be used in other subject areas – such as maths – to improve skills. [Read more].

Chess returns to the timetable


By Laura Clark | 12 Nov 2012


Schools are reintroducing chess lessons in an attempt to boost children’s brainpower. Three decades after it was virtually wiped out in state schools, the game is making a dramatic comeback.


In just two years, 175 primary schools across England and Wales have introduced formal teaching in chess. It follows research suggesting the ‘game of kings’ brings a range of educational benefits including improved concentration and memory. The charity spearheading the revival, Chess in Schools and Communities CSC, said its aim was to expose as many children as possible to the benefits of the game. [Read more].


Malcolm Pein

Director, London Chess Classic

Concert of music

This year’s London Chess Classic opening ceremony, at 13.45 GMT on Saturday 1 December, features a mini-concert of music played by two professional musicians who also happen to be chess enthusiasts.


Jason Kouchak is a widely-acclaimed concert pianist who plays popular music and jazz as well as classical music. Jason was born in France and studied piano at the Royal College of Music in London, and at Edinburgh University. He has performed in major concert halls in London, Paris, St Petersburg and other venues in Europe and Asia. He has recorded five albums, including his own compositions, and appeared on BBC TV and the Japanese NHK channel. He has made regular guest appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and recorded and performed with Julian Lloyd-Webber.


Jason’s tastes and talents underline the long-established link between chess and music. He is a committed and enthusiastic competition chess player, and played in the 2011 London Classic Open and 2009 Gibraltar tournaments as well as in other domestic chess competitions. He is an active supporter of the Chess in Schools and Communities charity. Those lucky enough to attend the Gibraltar Chess Festival will already have had the chance to hear Jason’s delightful playing. Jason’s website is www.jasonkouchak.com.



Alf Wilhelm Lundberg has been a prominent name on the jazz scene in Norway since 2008 when he got his breakthrough with Norchestra’s debut record “Norchestra”. He has toured extensively in Europe and Scandinavia, and has performed at some of the biggest jazz festivals in Europe. Though he is mostly known as a guitarist, pianist and composer via Norchestra, since he took delivery of his Brahms guitar (eight strings and played like a cello) from luthier Martin Woodhouse in Cambridge in 2009, Alf Wilhelm has devoted himself completely to mastering this new instrument and to discovering its many possibilities. He has had great reviews for his many solo performances on the Brahms guitar in Europe. Sample Alf Wilhelm’s playing on websites www.alfwilhelmlundberg.no, www.acousticlandscapes.com and www.norchestra.com


Alf Wilhelm came to the 2011 London Chess Classic last year but sadly arrived a bit too late to see his fellow countryman Magnus Carlsen in action. To console himself, he sat down in the foyer, took out his guitar and started playing just as the congress ended. His extraordinarily accomplished playing attracted the attention of tournament reporter John Saunders and participant Nigel Short, who happened to be passing. (If you go to the official website and navigate to last year’s final round report, you can read something about this.) Nigel’s review consisted of just one word: “fantastic!” This year the Classic audience can hear for themselves.

Children of Sacred Heart Primary School pair up for London Chess Classic 2012


08.11.12 - The pairings for the 2012 London Chess Classic are now available. This year, instead of involving the players themselves in the draw at the opening ceremony, the honour of conducting the draw was bestowed upon Liverpool’s Sacred Heart Primary School as a reward for the boom in chess which the school has experienced since chess tutor John Gorman working for the Chess in Schools and Communities charity introduced the game there a year ago.


This innovation highlights the status of the London Classic as the flagship of the charity, and helps to emphasise the link between the two. With it come two significant fringe benefits: spectators can now buy tickets with specific pairings in mind, well ahead of the tournament; and, of course, the players themselves will know for certain which colour they will have against each opponent and when, so that they have an extra three weeks to plan their preparation more specifically. And perhaps plan their evening entertainment! Last year Magnus Carlsen managed to fit in a Premiership football match during the tournament – let’s hope the draw will allow the elite players to book tickets for whatever takes their fancy.


World champion Vishy Anand drew number one, which meant he gets to sit out the first round. The pairing which catches the eye is McShane-Carlsen: the same round and same colours as 2010, when Luke won, and same colours as last year, when they met in round two and drew. After that, Luke has to look forward to Black against a well-rested world champ on the following day. But Luke knows all about tough starts as last year his diary for consecutive days in December read something like “Office: clear in-tray and set answering machine message... Olympia: play world number two... Olympia: play world number one”.



Gawain Jones makes his Classic debut with White against Mickey Adams, while Judit Polgar starts with Black against Vlad Kramnik. Aronian meets Nakamura, and he will be keen to avenge his loss to the American last year – this time the Liverpool schoolchildren have given him the advantage of the white pieces! Nakamura, for his part, will be glad to see he has White against Carlsen in round seven – after three straight Blacks against him in London.


Last rounds are always eagerly awaited, too. The Liverpool children have done a marvellous job here, serving up a humdinger of a last-round pairing between world number one Magnus Carlsen, playing White, and world champion Vishy Anand on 10 December.


Malcolm Pein, Chief Executive of CSC and London Classic director, who was on hand in Liverpool to conduct the draw, added: “We’re well on track to introduce chess into 1,000 schools around the UK in the next five years and the success of Sacred Heart serves to remind us of the scheme’s impact on primary school children in the inner cities. The London Chess Classic 2012 is free to enter for children and we look forward to welcoming over 1000 to Olympia to discover all that chess has to offer.”


Classic Pairings  • Player Profiles

Children Go Free at the 2012 London Chess Classic

3 October, 2012


The 4th London Chess Classic will again be offering free admission to children for the duration of the event that will run from December 1st to 10th 2012. And by popular demand, we are again offering a comprehensive program of schools activities for children.


Please click here for information ...


Adult and junior ticket holders will receive admission to the tournament, being staged at London's prestigious Olympia Conference Centre, plus a guaranteed seat in the auditorium and access to the Commentary Room, where some of the UK's leading Grandmasters will be giving their insights on each day’s play and also answering spectator questions on the game.


There’s less than 60 days now till the first move is played at the 4th London Chess Classic. The field is complete, and what a stellar line up we have, headed by the world No 1, Magnus Carlsen, the winner of the first two London Chess Classics, who will be looking for revenge by regaining the title from last year’s winner Vladimir Kramnik, the 13th world champion. Also in the hunt for their first Classic title will be the reigning World Champion Vishy Anand, who this year successfully defended his title, and world No 2 Levon Aronian, the double gold medal winner at this year’s Istanbul Olympiad.


Completing the nine-player line up is: Hikaru Nakamura, the US champion; Michael Adams, the UK No 1; Luke McShane, the UK No 2; Judit Polgar, the women’s all-time No 1; and Gawain Jones, the 2012 British champion.


In Pictures & Videos


The playing room at Simpson's-in-the-Strand.

01.10.12 - The London Grand Prix and the London Chess Classic will be two of the strongest tournaments not just in the UK but also in Europe this year - but they have a couple of things in common, apart from being held in the capital city, and that's that they both have retained the unique visual services of photographer extraordinaire Ray Morris-Hill and video guru Macauley Peterson!


You can check out Ray’s photos and Macauley’s videos from the London Grand Prix.








From New York to LA


World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand (l)

during his simultaneous exhibition play in Los Angeles.


06.09.12 - Magnus Carlsen is not just the only London Chess Classic top seed "missing in action" at the Olympiad by promoting the educational benefits of the game for kids in the U.S. - Vishy Anand was in Los Angeles doing likewise!


The World Champion was making his first visit to the U.S. in 17-years - when he lost to Garry Kasparov in the 1995 world title match at the World Trade Centre in New York - as one of the leading tutors at the recent Metropolitan Chess camp to instruct the kids there, and how chess can benefit their analytical skills.


Read more about Anand’s visit to LA ...








Photo | Courtesy INDIAWEST

An Evening with Magnus Carlsen


05.09.12 - The world No1 and top seed for the London Chess Classic, Magnus Carlsen, has been missing in action at the Istanbul Olympiad - so, where is he? He’s been busy in the U.S. promoting - amongst other things - the academic benefits of the game, and was in New York for a week in August to run a chess camp and to hold several events with 1000 Passions, a startup that lets people sign up for exclusive experiences.


And Business Insider, the U.S. business/entertainment news website, was on hand with a report and exclusive video coverage of one of Carlsen's NYC exhibitions that includes an interview with the young Norwegian superstar.


Read more here ...



Video presented by Business Insider

4th London Chess Classic confirmed

London 5th April 2012


I am delighted to announce that the 4th London Chess Classic will be held from December 1st - 10th, 2012. The tournament will again be a nine player all play all. I will announce the players, venue and prize fund in due course.


The tournament should be at least as strong as the 3rd London Chess Classic and will run along broadly similar lines to the previous edition. There will be play on two weekends and I anticipate organising weekend and FIDE rated side events.



Chess in Schools and Communities will organise free classes and tournaments for schools as well as courses for potential chess teachers. The opening ceremony will take place on November 30th and the fund raising dinner for CSC will be on December 10th.


Malcolm Pein

Chief Executive



© SC


© 2012 London Chess Classic

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