Olympia Conference Centre, Kensington, London


Pro-Biz Cup ~ Day 4 Round-up

Day four of the London Chess Classic featured various events, involving the super-GMs in a novelty event, schoolchildren playing a transatlantic match with schools in Florida, USA, and the second round of the festival events, including the FIDE Open.


The Pro-Biz with four, fiercely fought first-round matches, in progress


Eight super-GMs, including all six of the London Classic players, plus Nigel Short and Gawain Jones, were partnered by top business leaders, including the celebrated manager of the 2003 England team which won the Rugby World Cup. Eventually it came down to a light-hearted (but extremely well-played) final between Vladimir Kramnik and Russell Picot (of HSBC) on one side, and Anish Giri and Rajko Vujatovic (of Bank of America Merrill Lynch) on the other.





Annotations by John Saunders



The format was knock-out, with just one game at 25 minutes plus 10 second increments to decide. Kramnik and Picot won a piece for two pawns but it came down to the notoriously drawn endgame of rook and knight versus rook, which Giri and Vujatovic managed to defend.



Malcolm Pein presents the Pro-Biz Cup to the winning partnership Rajko Vujatovic and Anish Giri.


The format for the tie-break was itself a novelty: the doubles teams divided into singles blitz matches, with pro playing pro and amateur playing amateur, but with the amateur players' score counting in the event of a further tie. The two singles matches were also drawn! So a second tie-break ensued at the same rate: Giri v Kramnik was again a draw, but this time Rajko Vujatovic won his blitz decider against Russell Picot to take the trophy.









Russell Picot and Vladimir Kramnik - Anish Giri and Rajko Vujatovic

Anish Giri and Rajko Vujatovic win 1- on tiebreak


Semi Final:

Vishy Anand and Mihail Harasic Borgialli - Anish Giri and Rajko Vujatovic
Hikaru Nakamura and Jeremy Hodgson 0-1 Russell Picot and Vladimir Kramnik


First round:

Sir Clive Woodward and Gawain Jones 0-1 Russell Picot and Vladimir Kramnik
Fabiano Caruana and Lee Green - Hikaru Nakamura and Jeremy Hodgson
Vishy Anand and Mihail Harasic Borgialli 1-0 Mickey Adams and Ali Mortazavi
Anish Giri and Rajko Vujatovic - Nigel Short and Justin Baptie






Photos from the Pro-Biz Cup by John Saunders

Photos from the Pro-Biz Cup by Ray Morris-Hill


Pro-Biz Cup Page | PGN of games showing clock times (n.b. please note that this is complete apart from two blitz play-off games from the first round, which were not recorded by the automatic boards, hence are unavailable).



Transatlantic Matches


Elsewhere in the congress, some London schoolchildren were able to enjoy a taste of international chess, engaging in a transatlantic chess battle with the children of Sawgrass Elementary School in Sunrise, Florida, USA, via the medium of Skype. The children were able to chat with each other via a video link. I confess I have no idea who won! (Press office fail) But it all seemed very enjoyable. More photos available here.




Sunrise v London Children's Match   Chris Ward, Daniel King session



In the main hall the week-long festival events are in full swing. The FIDE Open has attracted a strong field, with 16 GMs headed by Vladislav Tkachiev of Russia (2629).


There were few surprises but Simon Roe (2240) defeated GM Mark Hebden.


Results and pairings of the FIDE Open may be found here




The London Classic (i.e. the elite six-player all-player-all itself) starts at 4.00pm UK time on Wednesday 10 December. The first round pairings are


Kramnik - Anand

Nakamura - Giri

Adams - Caruana


The full schedule with all the pairings is here.


Live webcast with GM commentary will also begin at 4pm.



John Saunders | Press Officer





2014 London Chess Classic

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