7th London Chess Classic begins tomorrow

12/3/2015 – Friday, December 4th, 2015: the first round of the London Chess Classic starts at 16:00h local time, which translates to 17:00h CET, 11 a.m. New York, 9:30 p.m. New Delhi and 19:00h Moscow. On weekends the games start two hours earlier. We will bring live coverage on Playchess.com, with audio commentary by strong analysts and running evaluations by the world strongest computers.

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The 7th London Chess Classic, England's premier tournament, takes place at its traditional venue of Kensington Olympia from Friday December 4th to Sunday December 13th. The main event, the strongest ever held in the UK, is a nine-round ten-player super tournament played at a rate of 40 moves in 2 hours, followed by the rest of the game in one hour with a 30-second increment from move 41. The overall prize fund is $300,000, with the winner getting $75,000.

The event climaxes the 2015 "Grand Chess Tour", founded as a partnership between the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis which stages the Sinquefield Cup, Tower AS who organise Norway Chess 2015 and Chess Promotions Ltd, the rights owners of the London Chess Classic. Each tournament in the Grand Chess Tour has a prize fund of $300,000 and there is a bonus pool of $150,000 for the top three finishers in the Grand Tour based on their overall performance to make a total prize fund of over one million dollars.

Invitations: The organizers of the Grand Chess Tour started with the January 2015 FIDE Rating List and sought players that demonstrate the highest levels of sportsmanship and professionalism. We invited the top-10 players in the world, eight of whom have confirmed their participation.

Player Event Commitment: The nine players have agreed to participate in all three 2015 Grand Chess Tour Events. A tenth player will be selected as a wildcard to each individual event by the organizing committee.

Tour Points: Players will earn Tour Points based on their final standing in each event. Players with the most Tour Points at the end of the Grand Chess Tour earn extra prize money for their overall performance across all three events (Table 1).

Prize Fund: At the conclusion of the Grand Chess Tour, the top-three players (by Tour Points) will take home an additional $150,000 (Table 2).

Drawing of Lots: Drawing of lots will be determined by a blitz tournament at Norway Chess 2015. Pairing numbers will be reversed at the Sinquefield Cup, and the London Chess Classic will draw lots randomly.

Arbitration: Should any GCT regulations require interpretation or clarification, arbitration shall be performed by the Arbitration Committee, comprised of one representative from each event.

2016 Qualification: The top-three players from the 2015 Grand Chess Tour, as well as the reigning World Champion, qualify automatically for the 2016 Grand Chess Tour.

Draw and pairings

The draw for the highly anticipated London Chess Classic was performed by Tournament Director Malcolm Pein and Deputy Arbiter David Sedgwick with the pupils of Marion Richardson Primary School on Monday 23rd November.

In accordance with the arrangements notified in St Louis, the colours were reversed from the Sinquefield Cup, with Michael Adams playing the opposite colours to Sinquefield Cup wild card Wesley So.

The players were placed in two groups of five. Viswanathan Anand, Fabiano Caruana, Alexander Grischuk, Veselin Topalov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave will play five games with the white pieces and were randomly allocated numbers 1-5. Michael Adams, Levon Aronian, Magnus Carlsen, Anish Giri and Hikaru Nakamura will play five games with the black pieces and were randomly allocated numbers 6-10.

The results of the draw were as follows:

  1. Veselin Topalov
  2. Alexander Grischuk
  3. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
  4. Fabiano Caruana
  5. Viswanathan Anand
  6. Michael Adams
  7. Levon Aronian
  8. Magnus Carlsen
  9. Hikaru Nakamura
  10. Anish Giri

This resulted in the folloing pairings and schedule:

Round 1 Friday 4 Dec, 16.00-23.00
Veselin Topalov
-
Anish Giri
Alexander Grischuk
-
Hikaru Nakamura
M Vachier-Lagrave
-
Magnus Carlsen
Fabiano Caruana
-
Levon Aronian
Viswanathan Anand
-
Michael Adams
 
Round 2 Sat. 5 Dec, 14.00-21.00
Anish Giri
-
Michael Adams
Levon Aronian
-
Viswanathan Anand
Magnus Carlsen
-
Fabiano Caruana
Hikaru Nakamura
-
M Vachier-Lagrave
Veselin Topalov
-
Alexander Grischuk
Round 3 Sunday 6 Dec, 14.00-21.00
Alexander Grischuk
-
Anish Giri
M Vachier-Lagrave 
-
Veselin Topalov
Fabiano Caruana
-
Hikaru Nakamura
Viswanathan Anand
-
Magnus Carlsen
Michael Adams
-
Levon Aronian
 
Round 4 Monday 7 Dec, 16.00-23.00
Anish Giri
-
Levon Aronian
Magnus Carlsen
-
Michael Adams
Hikaru Nakamura
-
Viswanathan Anand
Veselin Topalov
-
Fabiano Caruana
Alexander Grischuk
-
M Vachier-Lagrave
Round 5 Tuesday 8 Dec, 16.00-23.00
M Vachier-Lagrave 
-
Anish Giri
Fabiano Caruana
-
Alexander Grischuk
Viswanathan Anand
-
Veselin Topalov
Michael Adams
-
Hikaru Nakamura
Levon Aronian
-
Magnus Carlsen
 
Wednesday 11 Dec – Free day
Round 6 Thursday 10 Dec, 16.00-23.00
Anish Giri
-
Magnus Carlsen
Hikaru Nakamura
-
Levon Aronian
Veselin Topalov
-
Michael Adams
Alexander Grischuk
-
Viswanathan Anand
M Vachier-Lagrave
-
Fabiano Caruana
 
Round 7 Friday 11 Dec, 16.00-23.00
Fabiano Caruana
-
Anish Giri
Viswanathan Anand
-
M Vachier-Lagrave
Michael Adams
-
Alexander Grischuk
Levon Aronian
-
Veselin Topalov
Magnus Carlsen
-
Hikaru Nakamura
Round 8 Saturday 12 Dec, 14.00-21.00
Anish Giri
-
Hikaru Nakamura
Veselin Topalov
-
Magnus Carlsen
Alexander Grischuk
-
Levon Aronian
M Vachier-Lagrave
-
Michael Adams
Fabiano Caruana
-
Viswanathan Anand
 
Round 9 Sunday 13 Dec, 14.00-21.00
Viswanathan Anand
-
Anish Giri
Michael Adams
-
Fabiano Caruana
Levon Aronian
-
M Vachier-Lagrave
Magnus Carlsen
-
Alexander Grischuk
Hikaru Nakamura
-
Veselin Topalov

Note that the games generally start at 16:00h (4 p.m.) local time, which translates to 17:00h CET, 11 a.m. New York, 9:30 p.m. New Delhi and 19:00h Moscow. Here is the starting time at your location. On the weekends, however, the games start two hours earlier.

Watch it live on Playchess!

When the games are running, clicking on the above link will take you to our live broadcast. If the games have not yet started you will see the earlier games. It is free and open to all – as a Premium Account member you have access to the Live Book, Chat, chess engine analysis – all in your browser, on a notebook, tablet or even your smartphone. And the Let's Check function will show you what the most powerful computers in the world think of the current position, as each move is being played.

Live commentary on Playchess

Day and round English German
04.12 Friday Round 1 Merijn van Delft Sebastian Siebrecht
05.12 Saturday Round 2 Oliver Reeh/Karsten Müller Sebastian Siebrecht
06.12 Sunday Round 3 Merijn van Delft Oliver Reeh/Karsten Müller
07.12 Monday Round 4 Merijn van Delft Georgios Souleidis/Dorian Rogozenco
08.12 Tuesday Round 5 Merijn van Delft Oliver Reeh/Dorian Rogozenco
10.12 Thursday Round 6 Merijn van Delft Sebastian Siebrecht
11.12 Friday Round 7 Mihail Marin Sebastian Siebrecht
12.12 Saturday Round 8 Georgios Souleidis/Oliver Reeh Sebastian Siebrecht
13.12 Sunday Round 9 Yannick Pelletier Oliver Reeh/Martin Breutigam

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.
 

Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


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johnmk johnmk 12/4/2015 01:43
If I were to be a world-famous player with a choice of names, I would choose Maxime Vachier-LaGrave since it is an outrageous name. I would also use a middle name, so that commentators would have to spend so much time saying my name that they would not have any time left for analysis.
Anyway seriously, let's enjoy the tournament!
ChiliBean ChiliBean 12/3/2015 04:45
Hikaru has been having a great year in chess. Hopefully he'll finish it by finally winning a game against Magnus along with the Grand Chess Tour!
Harri Rudanko Harri Rudanko 12/3/2015 04:15
Sorry, don't mean to double comment:

I left the date purposefully vague, but I guess I thought something like exactly one year before the games, so no one's tournament schedules would be compromised. These things are usually done way in advance, but make it two years and who knows what might happen. I'm not sure of the logistics of these things, but with that in mind I think one year before the start of the games.

In case of a cancellation later it seems to me, that the cancellee's federation would still have the spot, they would have to nominate the next best of that country. As rigid as possible and we have a true competition when the Olympics come!
Harri Rudanko Harri Rudanko 12/3/2015 03:19
Exciting tournament!

Waiting, two for it today, two thoughts occured to me. First, the stalemate rule is logical, since one is forced to move. Some people have expressed that it be weird that it is a draw when a king would be forced to move into a square where it could be taken, but if it could, the king would not move at all. It is a tit for tat, one must move, but to balance that a stalemate is a draw.

The second: If chess became a winter olympics sport, it should be a round robin tournament with classical time controls. Rapid would not do, because of the prestige of the Olympic games. Only a single round robin, since there must be more players than seven with the games lasting two weeks. But this tournament is manageable, if at some date by rating the top players are chosen, but only one per country! This would fulfill the prestige of the Olympic games, and be interesting to spectators!
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