London Chess Classic 2012: Participants, pairings, simuls

11/8/2012 – In just over three week this wonderful annual event starts in the Olympia Conference Centre in Hammersmith, London. The nine top GMs, including the first three of the world rankings and the World Champion, with a rating average of 2751, have been paired already, allowing for more specific preparation and better planning for spectators. There are also interesting subsidiary event. Full event info.

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London Chess Classic 2012

The 2012 London Chess Classic will take place in the Olympia Conference Centre from Saturday, December 1st until Monday, December 10th. Games start each day in general at 14:00h London time, except for round four (16:00h) and the final round (12:00h). Time controls are classical forty moves in two hours, then twenty moves in one hour and thirty minutes for the rest of the game. A win is counted as three points, a draw as one, and a loss zero. Tiebreaks: 1) number of wins, 2) number of wins with black, 3) result of the individual game between the tied players. In the unlikely event that there is still a tie then: 4) 2 x 15'+2" games, and if necessary 5) Armageddon game: 6'+2" vs 5'+2" with draw odds for black. If there is a tie involving more than two players then the Rapid games will be conducted as a double round all play all.

There are nine players, including the three top-ranked in the world, make for a rating average of 2751. The player rested during each round will provide commentary on the games in progress.

Name Title
Country
Rating
W-rank
Born
Carlsen, Magnus Super-Grandmaster
NOR
2848
1
30.11.1990
Aronian, Levon Super-Grandmaster
ARM
2815
2
06.10.1982
Kramnik, Vladimir Ex-World Champion
RUS
2795
3
25.06.1975
Anand, Viswanathan World Champion
IND
2775
6
11.12.1969
Nakamura, Hikaru Super-Grandmaster, US Nr. two
USA
2755
13
09.12.1987
McShane, Luke Super-Grandmaster
ENG
2710
29
07.01.1984
Adams, Michael Super-Grandmaster
ENG
2710
32
17.11.1971
Polgar, Judit Super-GM, strongest female ever
HUN
2705
43
23.07.1976
Jones,Gawain Grandmaster
ENG
2644
112
11.12.1987

Pairings announced

The pairings for the 2012 London Chess Classic are now available. This year, instead of involving the players themselves in the draw at the opening ceremony, the honour of conducting the draw was bestowed upon Liverpool’s Sacred Heart Primary School as a reward for the boom in chess which the school has experienced since chess tutor John Gorman working for the Chess in Schools and Communities charity introduced the game there a year ago.

This innovation highlights the status of the London Classic as the flagship of the charity, and helps to emphasise the link between the two. With it come two significant fringe benefits: spectators can now buy tickets with specific pairings in mind, well ahead of the tournament; and, of course, the players themselves will know for certain which colour they will have against each opponent and when, so that they have an extra three weeks to plan their preparation more specifically. And perhaps plan their evening entertainment! Last year Magnus Carlsen managed to fit in a Premiership football match during the tournament – let’s hope the draw will allow the elite players to book tickets for whatever takes their fancy.

World champion Vishy Anand drew number one, which meant he gets to sit out the first round. The pairing which catches the eye is McShane-Carlsen: the same round and same colours as 2010, when Luke won, and same colours as last year, when they met in round two and drew. After that, Luke has to look forward to Black against a well-rested world champ on the following day. But Luke knows all about tough starts as last year his diary for consecutive days in December read something like “Office: clear in-tray and set answering machine message... Olympia: play world number two... Olympia: play world number one”.

Gawain Jones makes his Classic debut with White against Mickey Adams, while Judit Polgar starts with black against Vlad Kramnik. Aronian meets Nakamura, and he will be keen to avenge his loss to the American last year – this time the Liverpool schoolchildren have given him the advantage of the white pieces! Nakamura, for his part, will be glad to see he has white against Carlsen in round seven – after three straight blacks against him in London.

Last rounds are always eagerly awaited, too. The Liverpool children have done a marvellous job here, serving up a humdinger of a last-round pairing between world number one Magnus Carlsen, playing white, and world champion Vishy Anand on 10 December.

Malcolm Pein, Chief Executive of CSC and London Classic director, who was on hand in Liverpool to conduct the draw, added: “We’re well on track to introduce chess into 1,000 schools around the UK in the next five years and the success of Sacred Heart serves to remind us of the scheme’s impact on primary school children in the inner cities. The London Chess Classic 2012 is free to enter for children and we look forward to welcoming over 1000 to Olympia to discover all that chess has to offer.”

Pairings

Round 1: Saturday, Dec. 1st, 2012, 14:00h
Luke McShane
  Magnus Carlsen
Levon Aronian
  Hikaru Nakamura
Vladimir Kramnik
  Judit Polgar
Gawain Jones
  Michael Adams
Vishy Anand (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 2: Sunday, Dec. 2nd, 2012, 14:00h
Judit Polgar
  Gawain Jones 
Hikaru Nakamura
  Vladimir Kramnik
Magnus Carlsen
  Levon Aronian
Vishy Anand
  Luke McShane 
Michael Adams (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 3: Monday, Dec. 3rd, 2012, 14:00h
Levon Aronian
  Vishy Anand
Vladimir Kramnik
  Magnus Carlsen
Gawain Jones
  Hikaru Nakamura
Michael Adams
  Judit Polgar
Luke McShane (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 4: Tuesday, Dec. 4th, 2012, 16:00h
Hikaru Nakamura
  Michael Adams
Magnus Carlsen
  Gawain Jones
Vishy Anand
  Vladimir Kramnik
Luke McShane
  Levon Aronian
Judit Polgar (bye) – assisting commentary
Wednesday, Dec. 5th, 2012 Rest day
Round 5: Thursday, Dec. 6th, 2012, 14:00h
Vladimir Kramnik
  Luke McShane
Gawain Jones
  Vishy Anand
Michael Adams
  Magnus Carlsen
Judit Polgar
  Hikaru Nakamura
Levon Aronian (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 6: Friday, Dec. 7th, 2012, 14:00h
Magnus Carlsen
  Judit Polgar
Vishy Anand
  Michael Adams
Luke McShane
  Gawain Jones 
Levon Aronian
  Vladimir Kramnik
Hikaru Nakamura (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 7: Saturday, Dec. 8th, 2012, 14:00h
Gawain Jones 
  Levon Aronian
Michael Adams 
  Luke McShane
Judit Polgar
  Vishy Anand
Hikaru Nakamura
  Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 8: Sunday, Dec. 9th, 2012, 14:00h
Vishy Anand
  Hikaru Nakamura
Luke McShane
  Judit Polgar
Levon Aronian
  Michael Adams
Vladimir Kramnik
  Gawain Jones 
Magnus Carlsen (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 9: Monday, Dec. 10th, 2012, 12:00h
Michael Adams
  Vladimir Kramnik
Judit Polgar
  Levon Aronian 
Hikaru Nakamura
  Luke McShane
Magnus Carlsen
  Vishy Anand
Gawain Jones (bye) – assisting commentary

The games – except for rounds four and nine – start at 2 p.m. or 14:00h British time = 15:00h CET, 17:00h Moscow, 7:30 p.m. Chennai, 22:00h Beijing, 01:00 a.m. Melbourne, 03:00 a.m. Auckland, 6 a.m. San José, 9 a.m. New York. You can check your location here. Naturally the games will be covered live on the official web site (below) and on Playchess. The games of round four begin two hours later, those of the final round two hours earlier.

Blitz Challenges at the London Classic

English grandmaster John Emms will be taking on all-comers at blitz chess in the foyer at Olympia on Saturday 1 December and Saturday 8 December between 1 pm and 7 pm. All proceeds will go to Chess in Schools and Communities.

John Emms has twice captained the English team at Olympiads. As well as a top player, John is an experienced coach and second who has worked with top players such as world championship finalist Michael Adams. John is also a highly respected chess writer, with many outstanding works to his name. As commissioning editor for Everyman Chess, he developed the extremely successful Move by Move series of books and has penned two of them himself, The Sicilian Taimanov: Move by Move and The Nimzo-Indian: Move by Move, both of which have received rave reviews. He also wrote Starting Out: The Sicilian, which has become the standard reference book for those learning this opening.


Nigel Short Simultaneous Displays

London Classic 4 Dec. and 7 Dec.

1992 World Chess Championship challenger Nigel Short will be giving two simultaneous displays during the 4th London Classic (Monday 3rd and Friday 7th December 2012, starting at 6pm). A maximum of 30 can play on each evening and anyone rated below 2300 can take part. Entry Fee £50. Due to the limited capacity of this event entries must be made either by phone or online.

A grandmaster from the age of 19, Nigel Short is Britain’s most recognisable name in the chess world. He has had a distinguished career of which the highpoint was a match with Garry Kasparov for the world championship title in 1993 at London’s Savoy Theatre.

All proceeds of the Nigel Short simuls will go to the charity Chess in Schools and Communities which delivers chess to inner city schools in England and Wales.

Nigel Short was a child prodigy and he took the decision to play professionally. In 1992 he sensationally defeated the legendary Anatoly Karpov in the World Championship Candidates’ Semi-Final. Karpov is generally deemed to be one of the three top chessplayers of all time (the others being Kasparov and Fischer) and Nigel’s achievement in defeating one of the ‘holy trinity’ in a match has barely a handful of equivalents in chess history, and none by a Western European player. He then defeated long-time top Western European grandmaster Jan Timman in the Candidates’ final to claim the right to challenge for the world crown. Facing Garry Kasparov, arguably the greatest player in the history of the game, Short demonstrated some moments of brilliance but was well beaten.

Since then Short has an enviable list of international tournament victories and has been a regular fixture for the England team for nearly three decades. His wanderlust and desire to play chess show no sign of abating. In 2011 he was only a tie-break away from winning both the Commonwealth and British titles, and he shared the 2011 English Championship title with Mickey Adams. He made a hugely impressive score, 8½/10, in the 2011 Gibraltar Masters, ahead of a phenomenally strong field of grandmasters... but for one: the genial Vasily Ivanchuk made the almost superhuman score of 9/10! But, showing remarkable resilience, Nigel returned to Gibraltar in 2012 to win the Masters title, defeating Women’s World Champion Hou Yifan in a thrilling play-off.

Married with two children, Short was awarded the MBE for services to chess in 1999. He has written columns and book reviews for a number of Britain’s leading newspapers. Currently ranked in the world’s top 60, Short is still very active as a player, still scoring regular international tournament victories all around the world.


Links

The games will be 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 and get immediate access. Or you can get our latest Fritz 13 program, which includes six months free premium membership to Playchess.


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