Wesley So wins the London Chess Classic and Grand Chess Tour
The 2016 edition of the London Chess Classic ended with both a
bang and a whimper as Veselin Topalov scored his first win of the
tournament in the 6th hour of play and Wesley So effortlessly steered
his final game towards a draw.
Earlier in the afternoon the man of the moment had won both the LCC and
the GCT, to scoop the $100,000 tour bonus.
The second prize
of $50,000 went to his compatriot Hikaru Nakamura as Caruana completed
an all-American podium.
The Super Rapidplay meanwhile saw the triumph of Valentina Gunina, who
left 44 fellow GMs behind her as she stormed to a stellar 9/10 score.
Grand Chess Tour Introduces Innovative Universal Rating System
- Press Release
December 18 2016
The first URS™ list will be
officially published on 1 January 2017 and will be accompanied by the
launch of the official website explaining the
Day 8 Round up
The penultimate round of the London Chess Classic saw Wesley So
officially win the Grand Chess Tour with a round to go by drawing his
game against Caruana. Anand cashed in on Veselin Topalov’s decline with
an opening novelty that seized an initiative he never relinquished.
Meanwhile in the East Hall the biggest Super Rapidplay yet, held
in memory of Michael Uriely, got under
way, with 471 players (45 of them GMs!) taking part.
The first game of the day to finish was Nakamura-Aronian, which fizzled out to a
draw relatively quickly. After the game, Aronian summed up what happened: ‘I
just play this line and if White plays solidly it’s difficult to win with Black.
Today there was not much of a game.’ Nakamura meanwhile expected his
opponent to play something more aggressive: 'Levon was very solid and I didn’t
really have any great ideas for today and I didn’t want to take any big risks',
but also lamenting it would have been nice to get a real game.
There might only have been one decisive game in the main event today,
but what a game that was! Nakamura played brilliantly to defeat
Vachier-Lagrave in his pet Najdorf.
Elsewhere Nigel Short became the new British Knockout Champion, while Frenchmen
Bacrot and Mazé shared first place in the FIDE Open.
In what was clearly the game of the day, it became two consecutive setbacks for
the Najdorf as Hikaru Nakamura repeated the opening from his horrible defeat
yesterday, but from the other side of the board.
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave deviated with 13...Bb7. A short while later the same
thematic sacrifice played yesterday appeared on the board as Hikaru unleashed
been having a
event in London
Super Rapidplay to be held in
memory of Michael Uriely
- Press Release
This year’s Super
Rapidplay, which took place at Olympia on the 17th & 18th
December, was the biggest and strongest yet, with over 400
participants competing. See the
entries list here. This tournament was held in memory of Michael
Michael was a very talented chess player who enjoyed great success in his short
career and made many friends along the way. He passed away in August 2015 aged
nine in the middle of the Mindsports Olympiad after a severe asthma attack.
Earlier this year, his parents Roy and Ayelet supported a tournament in
celebration of his life which was held at Westminster Under School which he
Funds were raised in support of the family’s chosen charity, Asthma UK, you can
Nigel Short wins the British
GM Nigel Short winner of the British Knockout Championship, in a thrilling
final against David Howell.
Their first game took place on Sunday and was drawn in 84
moves, game 2 on Monday was also drawn in
Game 3 saw another
long, tough draw in 63 moves, but game 4 was a breakthrough win for Nigel in 67 moves. David Howell
then won game 5 and the match was all square going into the final (standardplay)
game on Friday which Nigel won.
takes the £20k first prize,
David takes £10k as runner-up.
A fascinating event comes to an end and
Nigel Short, David Howell and all the competitors can be very proud of
Nigel Short, a
happy man after
Day 6 Round up
After the rest day it seems like the players came back to the board all
guns blazing as we witnessed the shortest yet most exciting round of the
event so far! The thrilling action stretched beyond the Auditorium too,
as David Howell struck right back in the British KO Championship Final
and there is a new leader in the FIDE Open. To top it all off Jon
Speelman took on 16 opponents in a simultaneous.
To highlight just what a bloodthirsty event it has been, one might point to the
fact that two thirds through the tournament, we’ve already had more decisive
games than we did in the entire tournament last year.
In the words of GM Yasser Seirawan, this round was a ‘chess lovers’ delight’ and
there were sacrifices in all five games, which could very well be a first in an
event of this calibre.
In the first game to finish we saw an unrecognisable Veselin Topalov
self-destruct against tournament and GCT leader Wesley So, who retains the
tournament lead with an impressive score of 4½/6.
Grandmaster Jon Speelman, gave a 16-board
simultaneous display at the London
Chess Classic on Thursday 15th December. Jon is a famed chessboard maverick,
and a former
World Number 4 and World Championship semi-finalist.
All proceeds will go to Chess in Schools and
A simultaneous can take several hours to
complete so thank you to John for his great stamina and contribution to
Photo by Lennart Ootes
Rest Day Round up
The rest day in the main event provided the participants with a unique
opportunity: to attend an event at the House of Lords, the second
chamber of UK Parliament. Meanwhile the chess action continued back at
Olympia, where Nigel Short drew first blood in the British Knockout
Championship Final and Aravindh continues dominating the FIDE Open.
The London Chess Classic action resumes at 4pm GMT on Thursday and with only
four rounds to go, promises to get more and more exciting.
Earlier this afternoon some of the players of the GCT as well as a few selected
guests arrived at the prestigious River Room at the House of Lords.
It was a truly astounding venue for the re-establishment of an old tradition: a
House of Lords versus House of Commons chess match, the last edition of which
took place in 1999.
posing for a
Day 5 Round up
Going into Wednesday’s rest day, Mickey Adams gave the home fans plenty
to celebrate as he scored the only win of the day. Elsewhere we saw
excellent preparation and tenacious defence, which left us on the edge
of our seats until 10pm.
Game 3 of the British KO Championship Final was a topsy-turvy affair, the FIDE
Open standings remained largely unchanged and John Nunn took on 22 opponents in
On Wednesday there will be a prestigious event at the House of Lords, as in a
revival of an old tradition they take on the House of Commons in a chess match.
The game of the day was undoubtedly Adams-Topalov, which started out as a
Berlin, but as his fans will know, the Bulgarian is not a man to play any
opening in search of a solid draw, or to stop the bleeding when things aren’t
going his way.
Topalov in the
game of the
Day 4 Round up
The end results of four draws and a Nakamura win may have had a familiar
feel today, but there can be no mistaking the fighting spirit on
display, with Vachier-Lagrave’s great escape against Kramnik surely the
pick of an entertaining batch.
Game 2 of the British KO Championship Final was a draw in only 11 moves after
yesterday’s gruelling ending. In the FIDE Open we now have a sole leader, while
two Weekday events got under way, drawing over 100 additional players to the
After his initial blackout loss to Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura is back on track
with two consecutive victories, against two former World Champions no less.
Today’s victim was Veselin Topalov, who is having a tournament to forget as he
stands on ½/4.
Nakamura is back
on track with
Day 3 Round up
After two dramatic rounds in the Classic we only got one decisive result
today, but that doesn’t mean other players didn’t come close – quite the
opposite in fact! Meanwhile the first game of the British Knockout Final
was a draw, the leading pack of the FIDE Open was reduced to only three
players and we had our first winners as the various Weekenders were
concluded in the evening.
After being beaten on his own birthday, Hikaru Nakamura inflicted the same fate
on Vishy Anand, after the latter played the incomprehensible 26...Rxe4?.
The most plausible explanation is that both players were distracted by the
realisation that Vishy could simply have won a pawn with 22…Bxc5 a few moments
earlier because if 23.dxc5 Qxc5 24.e4 dxe4 the queen defends g5 and Black is
If you thought yesterday’s fireworks were a one-off, you couldn’t have
been more wrong. We got another action-packed day at Olympia, with three
more decisive results in the Classic – and one of them turned out to be
a historical benchmark.
In other news the two finalists of the British Knockout Championship were
determined, 12 players are still on a perfect score in the FIDE Open and this
year’s London Chess Conference, ‘The Didactics of Chess’ got under way at Hilton
Once again, the Classic had it all today: mistakes, twists and drama! But let’s
start with what is undoubtedly THE story of the day: on top of being both the
sole LCC and GCT leader, Wesley So became the 12th player in history to cross
the 2800 mark thanks to his victory over Michael Adams.