The London Chess Classic has long established itself as one of the preeminent events on the chess calendar. This year’s edition will surpass its predecessors, as the presence of ten of the world’s top-ranked players will ensure the 7th Classic is the strongest tournament ever held on British soil.
The catalyst for this is the creation of the Grand Chess Tour.
The London Chess Classic has joined forces with Norway Chess and the Sinquefield Cup to create a whole new chess cycle. Each tournament has a prize fund of $300,000 and there is a bonus pool of $150,000 for the top three finishers in the overall standings of the Grand Chess Tour, making for a total prize fund of over 1 million dollars. The London Chess Classic will be the climax of the Grand Chess Tour with potentially over $100,000 at stake in the last round.
As in previous years, the LCC will take place at the Olympia Conference Centre in Kensington, London. The action will start on the 4th December and the last round (as well as the playoffs, if needed) will be played on the 13th December, with one rest day on the 9th December.
You can find the schedule on http://www.londonchessclassic.com/gct_schedule.htm.
Here is the impressive line-up. The 9 players who compete in all three tournaments will be joined by a player nominated by the LCC whose name will be announced shortly.
No. / Name / Country / Age / Rating / Ranking
1 Magnus Carlsen Norway 24 2853 1
2 Viswanathan Anand India 45 2816 2
3 Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 40 2816 3
4 Hikaru Nakamura USA 27 2814 4
5 Fabiano Caruana USA 22 2797 5
6 Anish Giri Netherlands 21 2791 6
7 Alexander Grischuk Russia 31 2771 9
8 Levon Aronian Armenia 32 2765 10
9 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave France 24 2731 26
10 Organiser’s wildcard
The one player everybody is of course looking forward to welcoming back to London is World Champion Magnus Carlsen, who will be eager to add a 4th title to his tally, after winning the event in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
The American number one, Hikaru Nakamura, is another former champion, having won the title in 2013, while Vishy Anand, the former World Champion, will be returning to London to defend the title he acquired here last year.
Besides these familiar faces, three players will be making their London Chess Classic debut: Veselin Topalov (the winner of Norway Chess, the first stage of the Grand Chess Tour), Alexander Grischuk and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.
However, with over 4 months to go before the tournament starts, these ratings and rankings are likely to change and we will keep an eye on every player’s performances leading up to the event. We will be bringing you regular updates during the Sinquefield Cup, which takes place from the 22nd August to the 3rd September in Saint Louis, and which will set the stage for the final overall standings of the Grand Chess Tour, before the players reunite for a final time in London in December 2015.
As is usual at the London Chess Classic, spectators will not only be able to follow the action from the comfort of their homes on the official website, but also in the Olympia Auditorium and its surroundings, where live commentary will be provided. Tickets for what is going to be the strongest tournament ever to be held in the UK will go on sale in September.
A chess festival, including the traditional international open, will be held alongside the Classic, and details for that, as well as for all other side events, will be announced on the official website shortly.