After a banner season of strong event including the FIDE Grand Prix, FIDE World Cup and open events such as Millionaire Chess and Qatar Masters, the last leg of the Grand Chess Tour will reach its climax with the London Chess Classic in an expanded format. Unlike last year’s six-player format, this year will be ten players. Nine players have competed in the previous two Grand Prix events (Norway and Sinquefield) and Michael Adams will be the wildcard nominee.
Viswanathan Anand (right) won this encounter
and edged the field in last year’s event.
Photo by Ray Morris-Hill.
Viswanathan Anand silenced many critics by winning last year’s contest. Since losing his world championship title to Magnus Carlsen, Anand has shown more zeal in his play. While many will say Carlsen’s poor performances is due to boredom, the same assessment was not made for Anand.
Many assumed it was loss of strength due to age. He has caused people to reassess ageism as both Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik remain elite players. In fact, fellow middle-ager Michael Adams is no easy out in this tournament. Nevertheless, the young players will be looking for blood. This tournament is a must-win for Carlsen to gain some momentum after several results below his standard.
Carlsen will be facing players on the prowl.
Photo by Mike Klein (chess.com).
The “Sofia Rules” will be enforced such that no draws will occur in the first 40 moves. The tournament will adopt the football scoring of three points for a win and one point for a draw.
Along with the 7th London Chess Classic, Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) has announced additional events. The London Knockout will feature eight of Britain’s top players in a format that is certain to bring excitement at the Conference Centre in Kensington, London. There is the Pro-Biz Cup designed to involved the business community with chess promotion and charity.
There is also a FIDE Open event, a 9-round Swiss format with a £15,500 prize fund. The Super Rapidplay Open will return on 12th-13th December and will be a 10-round FIDE rated open with all players playing in the same section and competing for section prizes.
December 4-13, 2015 (London, England)
Official Site: http://www.grandchesstour.com (live games)
Video Archive: http://livestream.com/accounts/3913412/events/4518826
Drum Coverage: http://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2015/11/29/2015-london-chess-classic-london-england/