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McShane, Short Headline London Lions Lineup

McShane, Short Headline London Lions Lineup

Dec 21, 2016, 7:02 AM 0

London has a huge chess tradition. It's no surprise that from the city where the first super-tournament was held way back in 1851, not one, but two teams are playing in the PRO Chess League.

The London Lions is one of them, alongside the London Towers. Team manager WIM Sabrina Chevannes has done a great job lining up some of the top talents in the London area to play for the team.

1. GM Luke McShane: It's no doubt that the star player for the Lions will be Luke, often referred to as "the world's best amateur player." Luke has a regular job in finance, but he still keeps his rating close to the 2700 FIDE mark. McShane won the Super Rapidplay tournament in 2015 with 9.5/10 and almost won it again in 2016.

2. GM David Smerdon: Also on the team will be "free agent" David Smerdon. Known among his friends as "Smurfo," he has been the number-one ranked Australian player for many years. The author of "Smerdon's Scandinavian' recently held World Champion Magnus Carlsen to a draw at the Chess Olympiad.

3. GM Nigel Short: Nigel is another player who doesn't really need an introduction. The world championship contender, who played Garry Kasparov in the 1993 PCA match, is still an active grandmaster. At 51, he's the oldest player in the current world top 100. He never minces words in either his column for New in Chess magazine or on his Twitter account. 

The Lions have also added two strong women to the team. For starters, the number-one ranked British woman, IM/WGM Jovanka Houska, is on the team. "Jovi" recently became Chess.com's special reporter for top female chess events. So far, she has written about the European Club Cup, and the Women's Grand Prix. Another free agent on the team is WGM Dina Belenkaya.

With some of the strongest grandmasters in the Commonwealth combined with two strong ladies, this team should be a fan-favorite in Europe's West division.

The PRO Chess League welcomes the London Lions!

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