London Chess Classic – ChessBase, Fischer and astronomy on the free day

11/29/2011 – The free day (December 7th) at this event is filled with special activities: at 2.30 p.m. the ChessBase "Geek in Chief" Nick Murphy gives a workshop; at 4 p.m. there's a screening of the award winning documentary Bobby Fischer against the World; and then at 7 p.m. John Nunn, aided by Vishy Anand will look into the night sky using a telescope in Australia. Details and full pairings.

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London Chess Classic 2011

The 2011 London Chess Classic is now just days away. To jog your memory – and for those of you who have spent a few months in a remote cave – the event starts in the Olympia Conference Centre next Saturday, and lasts until Monday, December 12th. Here's the full schedule. There are many side events – click on "Festival events" on the left of the home page – for GMs to little bunny rabbits who are interested in learning the game. But the main attraction is of course the Classic, which has the following players:

Name Title
Country
Rating
W-rank
Born
Carlsen, Magnus Super-Grandmaster
NOR
2826
1
30.11.1990
Anand, Viswanathan World Champion
IND
2811
2
11.12.1969
Aronian, Levon Super-Grandmaster
ARM
2802
3
06.10.1982
Kramnik, Vladimir Ex-World Champion
RUS
2800
4
25.06.1975
Nakamura, Hikaru Super-Grandmaster
USA
2758
10
09.12.1987
Adams, Michael Super-Grandmaster
ENG
2734
17
17.11.1971
Short, Nigel Ex-World Champion challenger
ENG
2698
48
01.06.1965
McShane, Luke Grandmaster
ENG
2671
74
07.01.1984
Howell, David Grandmaster
ENG
2633
139
14.11.1990

The timetable of the 2011 London Chess Classic

Friday December 2nd
Press Day

Saturday December 3rd
Classic round 1
1st Weekender
Open round 1

Sunday December 4th
Classic round 2
1st Weekender
Open round 2

 
Monday December 5th

Classic round 3
CSC Schools 1
Open round 3

Tuesday December 6th
Classic round 4
CSC Schools 2
Open round 4

Wednesday December 7th
Classic free day
Chess Cultural Festival
Open round 5

Thursday December 8th
Classic round 5
CSC Schools 3
Open round 6

 
Friday December 9th

Classic round 6
CSC Schools 4
Open round 7

Saturday December 10th
Classic round 7
2nd Weekender
Open round 8

Sunday December 11th
Classic round 8
2nd Weekender
Open round 9

Monday December 12th
Classic round 9
CSC Schools 5
Charity Fundraising Dinner

ChessBase, Fischer and astronomy on the free day

The London Chess Classic will have its first program of events on the free day, December 7th. At 2.30 p.m. the ChessBase Geek in Chief Nick Murphy will give a Workshop, and at 4 p.m. there will be a screening of the award winning documentary Bobby Fischer against the World. And then, at 6:30 p.m., the highlight as John Nunn, aided by Vishy Anand will look into the night sky via a telescope in Australia for what promises to be an amazing astronomy lecture. Here are the details:

ChessBase Workshop

Wednesday 7th December, 2.30 p.m. – Commentary Room

Ever wondered how to get the most out of your Fritz or ChessBase software, now here's your chance. Resident ChessBase expert Nick Murphy will demonstrate and many useful functions and tools available in the world's most popular Chess software. Nick, sometimes also known as "Nick the Geek" will also be on hand to answer any questions from the audience.


Documentary: "Bobby Fischer Against the World"

Wednesday 7th December, 4 p.m. – Auditorium

Special screening of 'Bobby Fischer Against the World' in the very same auditorium that the world's best players will be playing in. If you're a chess fan and haven't had a chance to see this film in the cinema yet, here's your chance. Bobby Fischer Against the World traces the grandmaster from child prodigy to Cold War hero to controversial recluse.

Cutting interviews with Bobby and the people who knew him, with footage and news reports, Bobby Fischer Against the World is a mesmerising portrait of the rise and bizarre fall of one of the great American icons.

From veteran filmmaker Liz Garbus, and the final project of late editor Karen Schmeer, Bobby Fischer Against the World exposes the disturbingly high price Fischer paid to achieve his legendary success and the resulting toll it took on his psyche. Rare archival footage and insightful interviews with those closest to him expand this captivating story of a mastermind’s tumultuous rise – and fall. Official website.


Astronomy Lecture by Vishy Anand, John Nunn and Dr Christian Sasse

Wednesday 7th December, 6:30 p.m. – Commentary Room

At 6.30 join us for a fabulous trip to the edge of the galaxy and beyond with a group of chess-playing amateur astronomers. First Grandmaster Dr John Nunn will show and talk about some of his award-winning astronomical images, taking you through star clusters, stellar nurseries, supernova remnants and on across millions of light-years to distant galaxies.


John Nunn showing a picture of the Crescent Nebula in the constellation Cygnus.
Since retirement from active chess John has developed an keen interest in astronomy.


Visitors at last year's Classic were fascinated by John's informal astronomical lecture

Then Dr Christian Sasse from Vancouver will explain the technology behind these remarkable images and show how, thanks to the Internet, it is possible to control telescopes on the other side of the world in real-time.


GRAS founder Dr Christian Sasse roaming the skies with Vishy Anand

Finally (provided he has finished his preparation), World Champion Vishy Anand will give a hands-on demonstration, operating a telescope in Australia and, weather permitting, taking an image of one of the astronomical highlights of the Southern skies.

Here are two of the images Dr Nunn will be talking about. They were taken with the Global Rent a Scope (GRAS) telescopes that he and Vishy Anand will be operating on the free day.

The Rho Ophiuchus cloud complex (click image to enlarge) is a dark nebula of gas and dust located in the constellation Ophiuchus. At an estimated distance of 430 light years it is one of the closest star-forming regions to the Solar System. The cloud has about 3,000 times the mass of the Sun in material, and it contains many young stellar objects, including protostars and stars with dense circumstellar disks that have estimated ages ranging from 100,000 to a million years.

The Lagoon Nebula (click to enlarge) is a giant interstellar cloud in the constellation Sagittarius. It was discovered in 1747 and is one of only two star-forming nebulae faintly visible to the naked eye from mid-northern latitudes. Seen with binoculars, it appears as a distinct oval cloudlike patch with a definite core. The Lagoon is between 4,000 and 6,000 light years from the Earth and is one of Vishy Anand's favourite star-forming nebulae.


Special event: Garry Kasparov Book Signing!

Sunday 11th December, 2.30 p.m. – Foyer

The great man himself will be signing copies of his newest book: "Garry Kasparov on Garry Kasparov Part 1: 1973-1985". The book will be on sale at the tournament bookstall or you can order a copy in advance by clicking here.


Victor Korchnoi Simultaneous Displays

Monday 5th and Friday 9th December, 5 p.m.

Victor will be giving two simultaneous displays during the London Chess Classic on Monday 5th and Friday 9th December. Limited places – 25 board max per simul! Who can play? Anyone can take part provided your Elo is below 2300. Entry fee: £50. Time: Play starts at 5 p.m. Please note that entries can be made by phone, online or post. Call the ticket hotline 0207-388-2404, apply by post to Chess & Bridge Ltd., 44 Baker Street, London, W1U 7RT or click here to proceed with an online purchase. Full information on the simuls is here.


Pairings of the London Chess Classic 2011

Round 1: Saturday, December 3, 2011
Vladimir Kramnik
  Hikaru Nakamura
Levon Aronian
  Luke McShane 
Magnus Carlsen
  David Howell 
Michael Adams
  Vishy Anand 
Nigel Short (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 2: Sunday, December 4, 2011
David Howell
  Michael Adams 
Luke McShane
  Magnus Carlsen
Hikaru Nakamura
  Levon Aronian
Nigel Short
  Vladimir Kramnik 
Vishy Anand (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 3: Monsay, December 5, 2011
Levon Aronian
  Nigel Short 
Magnus Carlsen
  Hikaru Nakamura
Michael Adams
  Luke McShane 
Vishy Anand
  David Howell 
Vladimir Kramnik (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 4: Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Magnus Carlsen
  Vladimir Kramnik 
Michael Adams
  Nigel Short 
Vishy Anand
  Hikaru Nakamura
David Howell
  Luke McShane 
Levon Aronian (bye) – assisting commentary
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 Rest day
Round 5: Thursday, December 8, 2011
Hikaru Nakamura
  David Howell 
Nigel Short
  Vishy Anand 
Vladimir Kramnik
  Michael Adams 
Levon Aronian
  Magnus Carlsen
Luke McShane (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 6: Friday, December 9, 2011
Michael Adams
  Levon Aronian
Vishy Anand
  Vladimir Kramnik 
David Howell
  Nigel Short 
Luke McShane
  Hikaru Nakamura
Magnus Carlsen (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 7: Saturday, December 10, 2011
Nigel Short 
  Luke McShane 
Vladimir Kramnik 
  David Howell 
Levon Aronian
  Vishy Anand 
Magnus Carlsen
  Michael Adams 
Hikaru Nakamura (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 8: Sunday, December 11, 2011
Vishy Anand
  Magnus Carlsen
David Howell
  Levon Aronian
Luke McShane
  Vladimir Kramnik 
Hikaru Nakamura
  Nigel Short 
Michael Adams (bye) – assisting commentary
Round 9: Monday, December 12, 2011
Luke McShane
  Vishy Anand 
Hikaru Nakamura
  Michael Adams 
Nigel Short
  Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik
  Levon Aronian
David Howell (bye) – assisting commentary

For clarification: As the lowest rated player has pairing number 7, according to the tournament regulations, the round this player has the “bye” has been moved to be played as round 9.

All games 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. Melborne, 03:00 a.m. Auckland (sorry Murray!), 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. Stand by for further details on Saturday. The games of the final round start two hours earlier.


Malcolm Pein (IM)
Tournament Director
Chess Promotions Ltd
44 Baker Street, London, W1U 7RT
Email: chesspromotions@gmail.com

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