Chess in Schools and Communities is delighted to announce today another four big international stars, Fabiano Caruana, Boris Gelfand, Peter Svidler and Judit Polgar have accepted their invitation to play in the 5th London Chess Classic to be staged at the Olympia Conference Centre in Kensington, running from Saturday 7th December to Sunday 15th December.
Fabiano Caruana, 21, is the Miami-born, Brooklyn-raised former chess prodigy who beat Bobby Fischer’s record of becoming the youngest American grandmaster. He holds both Italian and American citizenship, and plays under the Italian tricolour. In the last year or so, Caruana has burst onto the elite stage with some superb results. Currently, he is ranked World number five on the September 2013 Fide rating list.
Boris Gelfand, 45, is the Belarus-born Israeli grandmaster who, nearly a quarter-century ago, became a World Top 10 player and qualified for a number of World Championship Candidates events. But just when everyone thought his best days were behind him, he made a dramatic comeback to win the Candidates and then challenge Vishy Anand unsuccessfully in last year’s World Championship match. His Indian summer continues: This year, he tied for first in the Alekhine Memorial in Paris and St. Petersburg and followed this with clear first at the Tal Memorial in Moscow.
Peter Svidler, 36, is the erudite and popular St. Petersburg grandmaster, former World Cup winner, and multi-time Candidates qualifier with a record-breaking six Russian championship titles to his name. But he’s not your stereotypical Russian grandmaster, because Svidler is a big cricketing fan who owns a complete set of the cricketer’s almanack Wisden, and once had a letter read out by Henry Blofeld on the BBC’s Test Match Special.
Judit Polgar, 37, from Budapest, Hungary is a phenomenon in the game. At the age of 15, she broke Bobby Fischer’s near 30-year record for becoming the youngest Grandmaster. Polgar is the best woman player of all time and the only woman currently in the world’s top 100; and at her peak, before she had two children, she was in the Top 10 and would regularly do battle in SuperGM tournaments with the likes of Kasparov, Karpov and Anand.
Caruana, Gelfand, Svidler and Polgar now join World Champion Vishy Anand, recent World Cup winner Vladimir Kramnik and the US No.1, Hikaru Nakamura to have confirmed they will play in the 5th London Chess Classic. The rest of the 16-player Rapid field will be announced early next week.