Complete field super-tournament in London announced

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
LondonThe complete field of the London super-tournament, to be held in December this year, was announced today. It turned out to be an interesting mixture with some of the world's best players and some young British talents: Michael Adams, Magnus Carlsen, David Howell, Vladimir Kramnik, Luke McShane, Hikaru Nakamura, Ni Hua and Nigel Short.

We first reported on this brand new tournament on March 10th, when initiator IM Malcolm Pein announced his tournament. The tournament boasts a minimum prize fund of € 100,000 and has applied for membership of the Grand Slam.

It will be the most prestigious tournament in London since former world champion Anatoly Karpov won the Phillips and Drew Masters in 1984. Included in the prize fund will be a €10,000 Brilliant Game award along with prizes for each victory with the White and Black pieces.

Besides, the tournament will apply the Sofia Rule and the "football scoring system": players will receive three points for a win and one for a draw.

Today, in a second press release, Pein announced the complete field of participants:


The London Chess Centre is pleased to announce that the line up for the London Chess Classic 2009 is complete after GM David Howell of England accepted his invitation. This creates a balance to the event, an eight player all play all, with four world class players pitched against England’s four highest rated Grandmasters. Using the latest available ratings and information supplied by the players on their recent successes, the tournament rating average is currently well above 2690 and may reach 2700 by December.

The players are:

Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) Magnus Carlsen (Norway) Hikaru Nakamura (USA) Ni Hua (China) Michael Adams (England) Nigel Short (England) Luke McShane (England) David Howell (England)

Nigel Short and Hikaru Nakamura are both in great shape. Nigel recently dominated the Sigeman tournament at Malmo and Hikaru won the US Championship held at St Louis. Vladimir Kramnik was top scorer at the Azerbaijan v Rest of the World match with 6.5/8.

Play begins Tuesday December 8th and runs until Tuesday December 15th.

The venue for what will be the most prestigious chess tournament in the capital for 25 years will be announced shortly.

Malcolm Pein

London Chess Centre

ChessVibes is already looking forward to this tournament! In case you missed it, here's the interview we did with Malcolm Pein early March:

Firstly, why a single round-robin? "For promotional and business reasons a one week event is better. It's hard to keep media focused on an event for much longer than a week in my opinion."

It's a big difference with other Grand Slam tournaments, especially Corus, which has 13 rounds. Wouldn't it be much easier to qualify for Bilbao in your tournament? "We're going for a 2700 average, so I don't think it will be easy to win it. One could say that the physical effort is less, but it certainly won't be easy. And I'm sure the Grand Slam people would love to have a big city included in their Series. It might be a relatively small affair, but it is in the right place."

Can you say something about the sponsors? "At the moment all I can say is that there's a private individual who wants to bring chess back into the UK. The commercial options are still open but the money is there."

I understand that you cannot speak about players yet, but is it your ambition to have both Adams and Short, or will you prefer to give young talents a chance? "We're trying for both."

Your tournament is already special because there will be a brilliant game prize and extra prizes for wins – is this your way of avoiding short draws? Is the Sofia rule not enough? "Yes, that's correct. People can still make a draw if they want to. In my opinion, every game has to matter. By the way, I can add that there will be a bonus for a win with Black."

You're also going for the "football system" with three points for a win, and one for a draw, as was applied at the first Bilbao Grand Slam Final. However, it has become clear that it makes very little difference to the standings of such a tournament. Why did you decide on this? "It's more interesting for the public – we're going to focus on the public, PR and the media."

What kind of venue are you having in mind? A glass cube? "We would certainly like to because it's a fantastic innovation of Silvio [Danailov - CV]. Actually all of his innovations have been great. But we're not sure if it's possible; it depends on the venue.

And what about the future? Will it be an annual event? "If it is a success then yes, but the plan is to lead to more widespread series of events at both local and international level. We might even bid for the WCC final - not Anand-Topalov but perhaps for 2012."
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