London Chess Classic – dates announced for the 2011 event

3/28/2011 – Recent bad news was that London would not host the 2011 World Championship after all. The good news now is: there will be a third Chess Classic in the Olympia Conference Centre, from December 3-12, 2011. The event has an extra player and round, plus an increased prize fund. We are delighted to hear this, as the Classic has become our favourite tournament. Press release and memories.

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London Chess Classic 2011 dates confirmed

The dates for the London Chess Classic 2011 have been confirmed and the tournament will be held from December 3-12 at the Olympia Conference centre in Kensington. The tournament will change format slightly with the addition of one more player, making the UK’s most prestigious tournament even stronger.


A view in the playing hall of last year's Chess Classic

Each day, one player will have a day off and will assist the LCC commentary team both at Olympia and in the internet broadcast, making the Classic even more exciting to watch.

There will also be five days of junior coaching, a Grandmaster Open, and weekend tournaments for players of all levels. An innovation this year will be a chess festival with lectures, teaching and film screenings. The prize fund has been increased again and will be in excess of €150,000. The lineup will be announced in May.

Malcolm Pein (IM)
Tournament Director

Chess Promotions Ltd
44 Baker Street, London, W1U 7RT
Tel: +44-20-7935 3445
Email: chessinschools@gmail.com


Memories of last year's Chess Classic

After the games of the London Chess Classic the players always congregate to the commentary room to discuss what has just transpired for the audience in London and worldwide on Playchess.com.


Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen analysing their game immediately after the round, with
GMs Daniel King and Chris Ward, who did live commentary while the games were being played

The live commentary during the games and the post mortems with the players are archived and can be watched "on demand" by Playchess members. Here are some samples from last year's event on YouTube.


Anand-McShane part one


Anand-McShane part two


Analysis of Nakamura-Short part one


Analysis of Nakamura-Short part two


Magnus Carlsen's family, with Henrik, Sigrun, Ingrid and Signe

Dominic Lawson writes for the Independent and the Sunday Times. He is the son of a former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Nigel Lawson. As a frequent guest in the VIP room he can always be counted on for an interesting and controversial discussion on a wide variety of subjects.

Ken Thompson turned up for the second half of the tournament, having travelled from balmy San José (where he works for Google) to icy cold London. He is a good friend of Fred Friedel and Vishy Anand, and was often spotted with the two at breakfast and dinner – the latter inevitably in the wonderful Japanese Noodle and Sushi Bar opposite the hotel: Hare & Tortoise.

Viktor Korchnoi was the guest of honour at the London Chess Classic. He played two simuls during the course of the event, scoring +20, =4, -1 (to Allan Beardsworth, a former England Olympiad team manager) on 9 December and +23, =3, -3 (to Tony Stewart, Gordon Scott and David Fowler) on 14 December. The rest of the time he was following the games avidly, keeping up an entertaining banter with commentator Julian Hodgson in the V.I.P. room.

GM Genna Sosonko joined us in London for the second half of the event. Like Viktor Korchnoi, he was a notable defector from the Soviet Union in the 1970s and he too carved out an impressive chess career in the West. These days he writes for New In Chess, specialising in poignant pen pictures of the chess characters he remembers from his youth in the Soviet Union.

A conjunction of pure brain power: world class economist and chess grandmaster Ken Rogoff,
GM and author John Nunn, computer and computer chess pioneer Ken Thompson

Frederic Friedel with Marie Laure Germon, a French journalist who writes lead stories for Le Figaro and who married Vladimir Kramnik four years ago. The two have a daughter, Daria, who will be two in a few days. At the time Vladimir Kramnik gave Fred a surprise telephone call and interview. Marie Laure cannot attend many tournaments in which her husband plays, but she never misses the London Chess Classic.


Garry Kasparov chatting with GMs Jon Speelman, Genna Sosonko and John Nunn...


... and with an old rival, Nigel Short, whose daughter Kyveli Aliki came visiting


A camera crew of CNN arrive at the Olympia Centre to interview Kasparov and Anand


Gala closing dinner in Simpsons-in-the-Strand after the London Chess Classic 2010


Each table has a chessboard, and during dinner the participants of the Classic move around, one at a time, to play against the guests at the table. World Champion Viswanathan Anand opens with 1.d4 on one of the tables


Here David Howell makes his move at the sponsor's table, which includes GMs Garry Kasparov and David Norwood. Kasparov restricted his advice to an occasional smile or nod of the head. In the background on the right Malcolm Pein comments on the games.

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