LCC Kickoff with Pro-Biz and Carlsen 0-1 Kasparov

by Macauley Peterson
12/1/2017 – Magnus Carlsen played against his great predecessor, the 13th World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov yesterday at the Pro-Biz Cup kick-off to the London Chess Classic 2017. Guess who won? Games, photos and info... | Photo: John Saunders

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Kasparov beats Carlsen (sort of)

The London Chess Classic 2017 starts today as the last stop of the Grand Chess Tour. On the eve of the main event, we saw the traditional Pro-Biz Cup, featuring a grandmaster paired with a chess aficianado from the business world, playing tandem chess. This year the setting was particularly notable: London’s Google Headquarters. Google Deep Mind co-founder Demis Hassabis, himself an accomplished player, was teamed up with British number one, Michael Adams.

These were not consultation games — advice is not allowed during most moves, save for two one-minute timeouts when a brief team discussion could ensue.

Players received 20 minutes plus 5 seconds per move for the game. The tournament was only three rounds, with tiebreaks if necessary.

The Pro-Biz Cup | Photo: Lennart Ootes

The Teams

  1. Demis Hassabis & Mickey Adams
  2. Chris Flowers & Magnus Carlsen
  3. Justin Baptie & Levon Aronian
  4. Terry Chapman & Garry Kasparov
  5. Lee Green & Hikaru Nakamura
  6. Rajko Vujatovic & Ian Nepomniachtchi
  7. Ali Mortazavi & Dave Norwood
  8. Gilles Betthauser & Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

The winning team, scoring 2½ points, was Ian Nepomniachtchi and Rajko Vujatovic, who sports an Elo rating of 2222. Indeed, several of the amateurs had significant chess experience. David Norwood is a GM and Ali Mortazavi an IM (who's to say which one to consider the "amateur").

Ian Nepomniachtchi Rajko Vujatovic Nigel Short

The winning team of Ian Nepomniachtchi and Rajko Vujatovic with Nigel Short | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Kasparov teamed up with Terry Chapman, a FIDE Master who has played in team competitions for England and even once played an odds-match against Kasparov himself.

Albert Vasse, Garry Kasparov, Terry Chapman

 Kasparov shows who's turn it is | Photo: John Saunders

John Saunders also reports witnessing "the full range of Kasparovian facial expressions that we older chess fans still remember and cherish, but Garry has since added a few indulgent smiles and grins to his repertoire..."

The show-stopper was the game between the teams including the 13th and 16th World Champions. Carlsen was celebrating his 27th birthday, but his team was the one giving out a present. In a careless moment Carlsen and Flowers blundered a piece against Kasparov and Chapman, although the latter team was already better.

Garry Kasparov Terry Chapman Magnus Carlsen Chris Flowers

Garry Kasparov, Terry Chapman, Magnus Carlsen and Chris Flowers | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Chris Flowers & Magnus Carlsen 0-1 Terry Chapman & Garry Kasparov

Master Class Vol.7: Garry Kasparov

On this DVD a team of experts gets to the bottom of Kasparov's play. In over 8 hours of video running time the authors Rogozenko, Marin, Reeh and Müller cast light on four important aspects of Kasparov's play: opening, strategy, tactics and endgame.

Final crosstable


All games


Master Class Vol.8: Magnus Carlsen

Scarcely any world champion has managed to captivate chess lovers to the extent Carlsen has. The enormously talented Norwegian hasn't been systematically trained within the structures of a major chess-playing nation such as Russia, the Ukraine or China.

The remaining players in the Classic who were not participating (Caruana, Anand, So, and Karjakin) gave a "masterclass" to scholastic players nearby. The entire day is aimed at supporting London organizer Malcolm Pein's Chess in Schools and Communities charity, as both a fundraiser, and an activity for the lucky students invited to attend in person.

Wesley So

Wesley So was recently our guest at the ChessBase HQ in Hamburg | Photo: Lennart Ootes

The Classic proper starts at 15:00 CET on Friday, but there are also several other festival events, which can be followed on or the official web site of the London Chess Classic, notably the British Knockout Championship, with Nigel Short the defending champion, a FIDE Open, a strong Swiss offering GM and IM norm opportunities, and a "Super Blitz" open, consisting of 16-player round-robin groups and a knockout stage, on December 10th.

Additional text: Andre Schulz
Translation from German: Macauley Peterson


Macauley served as the Editor in Chief of ChessBase News from July 2017 to March 2020. He is the producer of The Full English Breakfast chess podcast, and was an Associate Producer of the 2016 feature documentary, Magnus.


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