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3rd London Chess Classic

December 3-12 at the Olympia Conference centre in Kensington

The 2011 London Chess Classic is the strongest yet with World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand and World Number One Magnus Carlsen returning. World Number three Levon Aronian is a new invitee as the field is extended by one. The full field will be announced shortly. Read the new press release of 4th July 2011 with the dates of the rounds and side events.

London Chess Classic Press Release 4th July 2011

Chess in Schools and Communities is delighted to announce that the 3rd London Chess Classic will be staged at the Olympia Conference Centre in Kensington from Saturday 3rd December to Monday 12th December. The 3rd edition of what has already become one of the world’s most prestigious tournaments will be bigger and better than its predecessors, with more children’s events and an even stronger field, the composition of which will be announced shortly.

There will be two extra rounds, as the addition of one more top flight player to this year’s main event will make it a nine player all play all. One player will sit out each day and keep the spectators at Olympia and online, doubly entertained by joining the commentary team.

The field is almost complete and is absolutely stellar with the world champion Vishy Anand aiming to unseat Magnus Carlsen, the winner of the first two London Chess Classic tournaments. A glance at the Live Rating List shows that the Classic will have five of the world’s top six as we are honoured to welcome for the first time, Levon Aronian from Armenia ranked fourth in the world.

London Chess Classic 2011

When players are invited to the Classic they always want to return and former world champion Vladimir Kramnik had no hesitation in accepting his invitation. He commented: “I am very glad and honoured to be invited again to London Chess Classic 2011. It is a great tournament in a great city where I have some very pleasant memories. I can sincerely say that it has quickly become my favourite tournament and I will try my best to win it one day.”

Kramnik is ranked fifth in the world and will be looking to avenge his defeat last year by US number one Hikaru Nakamura who has shot up the rankings since London 2010 and is now ranked number six.

The English players will again be led by the UK number one Michael Adams and former world title challenger Nigel Short. David Howell, who surprised everyone including perhaps himself with his stunning debut in 2009 when he came third, will be aiming to repeat this success.

In 2010, 500 children came for free chess lessons from GMs IMs and top chess coaches. This year we will be doubling the number of invitations to schools and free lessons will be available on five days.

The 2009 London Chess Classic led to the creation of a new charity in 2010. Chess in Schools and Communities aims to put a chess club in every school in England and Wales and already operates in eight towns and cities around the UK and in 64 schools. Schools receive free equipment and visits from a chess coach. See www.chessinschools.co.uk

From September the number of schools in the CSC scheme will rise to 100 with another 150 receiving some form of assistance. CSC has also been running training courses for teachers to learn how to teach the game. The charity was recently featured on BBC Breakfast television www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-13343943

London final-round

Another innovation this year will be a day of chess cultural events with lectures and film screenings including the recently released documentary Bobby Fischer against the World.

The traditional Open tournament and Blitz will be supplemented by two weekend congresses and this also means that players in the Open will only have to take 5 days off work to play all nine rounds. The gala dinner will take place after the last round on December 12th at Simpson’s in the Strand, the home of chess in London since the 19th century.

There is even more including a FIDE Arbiters seminar and two CSC training courses. The traditional simultaneous displays will take place again and there will be blitz every evening! For a complete schedule please see: www.londonchessclassic.com/schedules.htm

London Chess Classic 2010

8-15 December 2010 at the Olympia Conference Centre in London

Expectation is building for the strongest chess tournament ever to be held in Britain, when eight of the world’s best players meet for the second London Chess Classic, running from 8-15 December 2010 at the Olympia Conference Centre. Tickets are now on sale both to watch the super-grandmasters and to play in the wide range of subsidiary events.

Heading the line-up is the world chess champion, Viswanathan Anand from India; the teenage sensation who currently outranks him on the world chess rating list, Magnus Carlsen from Norway; and Anand’s immediate predecessor as champion, Vladimir Kramnik from Russia.

Vishy Anand is the one addition to the field that contested the first London Chess Classic in December 2009. Though undisputed world champion, Anand is currently not the highest rated player in the world, but he recently wrested back third place from Kramnik, so is considered the man most likely to stop Carlsen making it two London triumphs in a row. Anand has recently stated that his ambition is to regain his number one status, so it sounds like he already has plans for his clash with the prodigiously talented Norwegian in London.

London final-round

The inaugural London Chess Classic in 2009

More good news for spectators is that most of the super-GMs have shown an upswing in form in the past few months. Carlsen now stands at an astonishing 2826, making him the second highest rated chessplayer in history behind his mentor Garry Kasparov. Kasparov’s all-time high-water mark is 2851 and most pundits are expecting Carlsen to pass that mark very soon – perhaps even during the London Classic. It is hard to believe that Carlsen doesn’t turn 20 until December. He comes to London as the winner of the inaugural London Chess Classic in 2009 and he has gone on piling up tournament successes in 2010.

Anand, 41, has also recently enjoyed an upsurge in form, with Kramnik moving slightly in the opposite direction. US star Hikaru Nakamura turns 23 during the 2010 event and he has recently advanced to 15th in the world. The big rating gain has been by England’s Mickey Adams who has had a superb year so far. He started 2010 with victory at the prestigious Gibraltar Masters tournament in February and has recently won his third British Championship title in Canterbury with almost absurd ease. Adams spent some years at fourth place in the world rankings a number of years ago and it seems that he has had a second wind recently, advancing back into the world’s top twenty and looking back to his best.

Adams’ major British rival Nigel Short will always be remembered as one of the most famous chess prodigies, as well as the first non-Russian since Bobby Fischer to break the Russian monopoly contesting world championship matches back in the 1990s, so it comes as something of a shock to find that he is now, at only 45, the oldest player amongst the world’s top 100 rated players. This is testament to Short’s appetite for the game and his attacking flair which shows no sign of diminishing despite the growing numbers of gifted, computer-fuelled youngsters scaling the chess summit.

Completing the field are Britain’s two most promising grandmasters, Luke McShane, 26, and David Howell, who will be 20 by the time of the tournament. McShane has now had a year of intense professional chess following his return from his city banking career, and has re-entered the world’s top 100. David Howell, the 2009 British Champion, is also a very gifted and determined player who is widely tipped to advance into the world’s elite very soon. The London Classic provides them with an excellent opportunity to cross swords with some legends of the game.

The average rating of the 2010 London Chess Classic is 2729 – an unprecedented figure for a tournament held in Britain and also making it one of the strongest tournaments held anywhere in the world this year.

London carlsen-short

Magnus Carlsen and Nigel Short

WATCHING CHESS IS A FUN EXPERIENCE!

The 400-seater auditorium at the Olympia Conference Centre provides a comfortable way to watch play live, but many chess followers prefer to have the moves explained to them by experts as the game progresses. Both preferences are fully catered for at the London Classic, with leading grandmasters commentating on the moves and fielding spectator questions in an adjoining hall. As games end, spectators have the chance to hear the players’ immediate post-game comments as they are interviewed live in the commentary room.

One of the joys of the 2009 tournament was the chance to hear, for example, Nigel Short’s sparkling, provocative post-game banter with his British grandmaster colleagues, and sometimes with fellow competitors. That’s just one example – the other players are all great speakers too! Last year, after completion of games, lucky spectators got the chance to sample the dry humour of Kramnik and the uncanny self-assurance of Magnus Carlsen, and this year everyone will be looking forward to the effortless charm of world champion Vishy Anand as he joins spectators in the commentary room after games. These close encounters with the world chess elite are worth the price of admission in their own right.

PLAY CHESS!

If all this talk of chess rivalries is only making you thirst for some chess action yourself… you can play chess at the London Chess Classic, under the same roof as the super-stars! There are all sorts of events and prizes for all chess standards and tastes, from the humblest beginner, and tournaments which last days at a time, or over the weekend – or for just part of a day (e.g. evening blitz events lasting no longer than 2½ hours). Entry forms are available for download NOW from the tournament website at www.londonchessclassic.com.

Apart from the eight-player elite tournament, there is a nine-round world-rated open which attracts professional grandmasters from around the world, chasing the £2,500 first prize. As in 2009, one of the legendary figures of the game, Viktor Korchnoi, will be playing simultaneous displays, where amateur players can experience what it is like to face the player who contested world championship matches with Anatoly Karpov in the 1970s and 1980s.

Tournament Line-Up

Name / Title / Country / Rating (1/9/2010) / World Ranking (1/5/2010) / D.O.B. (dd/mm/yy)

Carlsen Magnus - grandmaster NOR 2826 1 30.11.1990

Anand Viswanathan - world champion IND 2800 3 11.12.1969

Kramnik Vladimir – ex-world champion RUS 2780 5 25.06.1975

Nakamura Hikaru - grandmaster USA 2733 15 09.12.1987

Adams Michael - grandmaster ENG 2728 18 17.11.1971

Short Nigel - grandmaster ENG 2690 48 01.06.1965

McShane Luke - grandmaster ENG 2657 85 07.01.1984

Howell David - grandmaster ENG 2616 167 14.11.1990

Last Year’s Tournament (n.b. win = 3pts, draw = 1pt)

Final Placings: 1 Magnus Carlsen (NOR) 13/21, 2 Vladimir Kramnik (RUS) 12, 3 David Howell (ENG) 9, 4 Michael Adams (ENG) 9, 5 Luke McShane (ENG) 7, 6 Ni Hua (CHN) 6, 7 Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 6, 8 Nigel Short (ENG) 5.

For more information and to buy tickets to The London Chess Classic, please go to www.londonchessclassic.com Tickets are on sale NOW from the website or from the London Chess Centre, 44 Baker Street, W1U 7RT (tel. 020 7486 8222).

For further information please call:

Malcolm Pein

Tournament Director, London Chess Classic

T: 020 7388 2404

E: info@chess.co.uk

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