London Classic: Pro-Biz cup, Kasparov, schools

by John Saunders
12/10/2014 – Day four of the London Chess Classic featured various various events, involving the super-GMs and personalities from the business community in a novelty event, a Kasparov simul in Westminster, schoolchildren playing a transatlantic match with schools in Florida, USA, and the second round of the festival events, includings the FIDE Open. Big pictorial report.

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6th LCC Pro-Biz Cup 2014

Report from London by John Saunders

Eight super-GMs, including all six of the London Classic players, plus Nigel Short and Gawain Jones, were partnered by top business leaders, including the celebrated manager of the 2003 England team which won the Rugby World Cup.

Justin Baptie and Nigel Short playing Anish Giri and Radko Vujatovic in round one (draw in 38)

Fabiano Caruana and Lee Green

Semi-finals: Vishy Anand and Mihail Harasic vs Anish Giri and Radjo Vujatovic (draw in 53 moves)

Eventually it came down to a light-hearted (but extremely well-played) final between Vladimir Kramnik and Russell Picot (of HSBC) on one side, and Rajko Vujatovic (of Bank of America Merrill Lynch) Anish Giri on the other.

The format was knock-out, with just one game at 25 minutes plus 10 second increments to decide. Kramnik and Picot won a piece for two pawns but it came down to the notoriously drawn endgame of rook and knight versus rook, which Giri and Vujatovic managed to defend.

The format for the tie-break was itself a novelty: the doubles teams divided into singles blitz matches, with pro playing pro and amateur playing amateur, but with the amateur players' score counting in the event of a further tie. The two singles matches were also drawn! So a second tie-break ensued at the same rate: Giri v Kramnik was again a draw, but this time Rajko Vujatovic won his blitz decider against Russell Picot to take the trophy.

Replay all the games from the Pro-Biz Cup

Select games from the dropdown menu above the board. Please note that the collection is complete apart from two blitz play-off games from the first round, which were not recorded by the automatic boards, hence are unavailable.

Kasparov simul in Westminster

The Palace of Westminster, venue for a simultaneous display...

... pitting Garry Kasparov against London Juniors and MPs and a Lord

Garry Kasparov accepts the resignation of Oscar, Rachel Reeves MP looks on

Lord Harrison is a tough opponent for Kasparov

All photos above by Ray Morris-Hill

Elsewhere in the congress, some London schoolchildren were able to enjoy a taste of international chess, engaging in a transatlantic chess battle with the children of Sawgrass Elementary School in Sunrise, Florida, USA, via the medium of Skype. The children were able to chat with each other via a video link.

I confess I have no idea who won! (Press office fail) But it all seemed very enjoyable.
These photos were provided by John Saunders.

In the main hall the week-long festival events are in full swing. The FIDE Open has attracted a strong field, with 16 GMs headed by Vladislav Tkachiev of Russia (2629). There were few surprises but Simon Roe (2240) defeated GM Mark Hebden. Results and pairings of the FIDE Open.

The London Classic (i.e. the elite six-player all-player-all itself) starts at 4.00 p.m. UK time on Wednesday 10 December. The first round pairings are Kramnik-Anand, Nakamura-Giri and Adams-Caruana. Here is the full schedule with all the pairings.

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 there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



In 1999 John Saunders gave up his job as an IT professional to become full-time editor/webmaster of 'British Chess Magazine'. During the 2000s he was also webmaster and magazine editor for the English Chess Federation, and regular webmaster and photo-reporter at Isle of Man and Gibraltar tournaments. In 2010 he became editor of the leading UK monthly 'CHESS' Magazine, retiring in 2012 but remaining its associate editor and regular contributor.
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Rama Rama 12/10/2014 09:48
Kasparov almost always gets a perfect score in his simuls but I heard he only allows players who have never been rated over 1800. If that is true it is probably because he doesn't want to work too hard now that he's retired. He once did a simul against grandmasters.
footloose4 footloose4 12/10/2014 07:09
What was the result of the Kasparov simul?
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