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2012 London Chess Classic Line-Up

  • SonofPearl
  • on 8/28/12, 2:16 AM.

London Chess Classic 2012 logo.jpgHikaru Nakamura has accepted his invitation to the 2012 London Chess Classic, thereby completing the confirmed line-up of players for this prestigious event.

Nakamura joins the select group of players who will compete in the 4th edition of the London Chess Classic from 1-10 December 2012.

They are: world #1 Magnus Carlsen, world #2 Lev Aronian, world #3 and former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, current World Champion Vishy Anand, the UK #1 Mickey Adams, the strongest ever female player Judit Polgar, the 2012 British Champion Gawain Jones and the world's strongest amateur player Luke McShane.

The venue is once again the Olympia Conference Centre. More information and tickets from the official website.

The line-up:

Name Federation World Rank Elo Rating
Magnus Carlsen NOR 1 2837
Lev Aronian ARM 2 2816
Vladimir Kramnik RUS 3 2797
Vishy Anand IND 6 2780
Hikaru Nakamura USA 7 2778
Mickey Adams ENG 26 2722
Luke McShane ENG 32 2713
Judit Polgar HUN 44 2698
Gawain Jones ENG 96 2653


carlsen,magnus,londonclassic.jpg Magnus Carlsen is one of the true superstars of the game, and this will be his fourth consecutive appearance at the London Chess Classic. Next year, he will be bidding to win the Candidates tournament in London, to set-up a world title match-up with Anand.
An advertising campaign with G-Star Raw has seen Carlsen stake a claim to being the first Grandmaster supermodel. Carlsen has also appeared on CBS’s current affairs show, “60 minutes”, and Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report”.
aronian,levon,londonclassic.jpg At 29 Lev Aronian is in his lifetime best form and won Tata Steel title in January ahead of Carlsen.

In Armenia, chess rules above all other sports, and Aronian is a national hero with Beckham-like status with young girls and aspiring chess players.  Aronian is also a previous winner of the Armenian sportsman of the year title.
Aronian is easygoing with a wickedly wry sense of humour, but when the battle starts over the board, he is fiercely competitive and creative.
kramnik,vladimir,londonclassic.jpg The former World champion, Vladimir Kramnik is back to defend his title, having won the 2011 edition of the London Chess Classic.
London is becoming something of a happy hunting ground for Kramnik. Not only did he win the London Chess Classic last year, but back in 2000 he shocked everyone by beating Garry Kasparov in a title match at the Riverside Theatre in London that saw him being crowned the 14th World Champion in a heritage line that stretches back to Wilhelm Steinitz in 1886.

anand,vishy,londonclassic.jpg Fresh from yet another successful title defence, World Champion Viswanathan Anand will be making his third successive appearance in the London Chess Classic. Anand played in his first World Championship match back in 1995 in New York, losing to Garry Kasparov. In May 2012, he beat challenger Boris Gelfand in Moscow to clinch his fifth world championship title.

Anand is also something of a national hero in India, and has become a great ambassador for the game and his country.


nakamura,hikaru,londonclassic.jpg Three-time US champion Hikaru Nakamura is nicknamed the ‘H Bomb’ for his explosive style of play.  Now firmly established in the World Top-10 (currently No. 7), he sensationally won the 73rd Tata Steel tournament in Wijk aan Zee in 2011, ahead of Anand, Aronian, Carlsen and Kramnik!

Comparisons with the late Bobby Fischer have inevitably been made, and in late September Nakamura will be top seed in the London Grand Prix, which kicks off the next World Chess Championship Cycle.
adams,mickey,londonclassic.jpg Michael ‘Mickey’ Adams is the UK's #1 rated player. At 17, Adams became one of the youngest players to win the British Championship title and has previously been a beaten finalist in two FIDE World Championship KO events, in 1997 (to Anand) and 2004 (to Kasimdzhanov).

For many years, Adams has had an intense rivalry with Nigel Short for the top spot in the UK game, but nowadays he also has to worry about challenges coming from the likes of Luke McShane. 
mcshane,luke,londonclassic.jpg Luke McShane recently supplanted Nigel Short as the new British #2 ranked player. McShane won the World Under-10 title at the age of eight and at 16 he became the youngest-ever British Grandmaster.

Luke now holds the unofficial title of world’s best amateur player, as he juggles chess with his career as an investment banker. Despite holding down a full-time job, his outstanding performances at the last two London Chess Classics wowed chess fans across the world.
polgar,judith,londonclassic.jpg Judit Polgar is the strongest female chess player in history. In 1991, she became a Grandmaster aged 15 years and 5 months, the youngest ever to do so at the time, beating Bobby Fischer's record.

Over the years, Judit has been a frequent visitor to the world’s top ten and was the first woman in history to play in a Candidates Tournament.

Judit Polgar, with her aggressive brand of chess, is capable of being deadlier at the board than the rest of the male field at the London Chess Classic!
jones,gawain,londonclassic.jpg Gawain Jones has risen rapidly through the junior ranks and celebrated his first British Chess Championship title in 2012.
Yorkshire-born Jones is now established in the world's top 100 ranked players.
While the London Chess Classic will see him on the elite stage for the first time, he will certainly be no pushover: He top-scored with 75 percent for the England team in the 2010 Olympiad, and then took shared first at the London Chess Classic Open.


Photos by Ray Morris-Hill. Player descriptions edited from John Henderson's at the official website.

6597 reads 36 comments
3 votes


  • 2 years ago


    well its over but what fantastic online coverage!  it was  really great to see the players close up at the board. what an awesome performance by Carlson. but what impressed me most was the aftermatch analysis  especially kramnik.he could rattle of 15 move deep variations no problem and then he decided against it because he didnt like the resulting position !  i find it hard to analyse the position on the board in front of me never mind one 15 moves hence lol

  • 3 years ago


    Some people play the U1800 here ??

  • 3 years ago


    This is slightly off topic, but did you know that Google Street View now includes some interiors?  (Where have I been?)  So you can actually cruise around inside the Olympia Conference Centre, the venue for the London Classic.  What a great Victorian building.  Just sayin' Smile

  • 3 years ago


    I love all chess players, of course.  But I just have to root for the local British boys.  I worship Aronian tho, and I am always hoping that Nakamura improves his ranking.  Lol.  Anyway, very much looking forward to this awesome event.  I love London !

  • 3 years ago


    Bagpiper, Kramnik hasn't been anything remotely close to "Drawnik" for a while. Hell, Carlsen seems to draw more these days, and nobody whines about him. Really, Kramnik has returned to being a very exciting player; Drawnik was only a result of WCC-syndrome (which often makes great players turn boring and safe).

    Anyways,  I REALLY hope Aronian ups his consistency a little bit and manages to win. He definately should become WCC and #1 at some point in his amazing career, but has previously lacked the ruthlessness of someone like Kasparov or Carlsen to do it. Apart from Lev, I am rooting for Big Vlad to win once more, and I also wish the best for Anand. Mcshane is a very interesting player and brings a lot of excitement to tournaments, but I doubt he can really place first. Everyone else has significantly lowered chances of victory, although perhaps Nakamura can do well (second place or so) again.

  • 3 years ago


    TheYear9876: haha, me too. No doubt he'll be in the commentary with his customary glass of wine or eight.

  • 3 years ago


    nakumara will draw with magnus

  • 3 years ago


    Anand will finish fifth place and fall to #7 or #8 in the world rankings. 

    Also Sergey Karjakin is missing in the line up.

  • 3 years ago


    If McShane gave up his day job, he could probably be a top 10 player. To be 2700+ as an amatuer is a terrific achievement.

  • 3 years ago


    big match...

  • 3 years ago



    2. Carlsen

    3. Anand

    4. Aronian

    5. Nakamura

    6. Polgar

    7. Mcshane

    8. Adams

    9. Jones


  • 3 years ago


    I think players with aggressive styles will win this event.  Carlsen, Kramnik and Nakamura will finish on the top 3... Go MAGNUS! Cool

  • 3 years ago


    Nobody beats Magnus!

  • 3 years ago


    how about inviting wesley so next year

  • 3 years ago


    Anand: "Tiger of Madras" will be back with a bang! He clinched his 5th title and now needs rating points because it's not right for WCC to be ranked #6th in the world...

    I'm also rooting for Polgar as well and know Mcshane will do well like he always does! He's the only "amateur" who can take Mag-town to Ouch-town.

    Here's my prediction for the rankings:

    1. Anand

    2. Carlsen

    3. Polgar

    4. Aronian

    5. Mcshane

    6. Kramnik

    7. Nakamura

    8. Adams

    9. Jones

  • 3 years ago


    will miss short and his 'unusual ' style.

  • 3 years ago


    I am rooting for Polgar and McShane.

  • 3 years ago

    NM Petrosianic

    jones is playing sweet, his chess has been on the up-and-up, entertaining chess, especially with black

  • 3 years ago



    "I always love watching McShane play"

    Me too, I will probably not become a Chess Professional so his ability of being one of the best in the world while holding a full time job is inspiring. Yes I realize he played a ton in his youth, but it seems like if he can become one of the top players in the world being a nonprofessional, my chances might be ok to become a master being a non professional too. We'll see! Look forward to this tournament.

  • 3 years ago


    Obviously Adams as higest rated and Jones as British champion had to be there as well as marvelous McShane. 1/3 of the players, but it is in London after all. Glad that Judith Polgar is here. Wish for 10 players. Would like to see Ivanchuk.

    who will win?
    1-3 Carlson, Aronian, McShane, 4-6 Anand, Polgar, Kramnik. Anyone from 2nd group migh jump into first as well as Nakamura if in best form. Will see how wrong is my prediction.

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