London Chess Classic Pairings Published, Grand Chess Tour Resumes Friday

London Chess Classic Pairings Published, Grand Chess Tour Resumes Friday

| 18 | Chess Event Coverage

The full pairings of the London Chess Classic have been published. The tournament, the last in this year's Grand Chess Tour, starts this Friday.

The seventh London Chess Classic starts this Friday in, as always, Olympia. The event and conference center in Kensington, London will host the third and final leg between December 4 and 13. 

Like the Sinquefield Cup, the Classic has grown into a 10-player round robin as required by the Grand Chess Tour format. 

Nine participants are always the same: Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand, Veselin Topalov, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Anish Giri, Alexander Grischuk, Levon Aronian and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The wildcard in London is Michael Adams.

2015 London Chess Classic | Participants

# Name Country Rating B-Year
1 Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2834 1990
2 Topalov, Veselin BUL 2803 1975
3 Anand, Viswanathan IND 2796 1969
4 Nakamura, Hikaru USA 2793 1987
5 Aronian, Levon ARM 2788 1982
6 Caruana, Fabiano USA 2787 1992
7 Giri, Anish NED 2784 1994
8 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime FRA 2773 1990
9 Grischuk, Alexander RUS 2747 1983
10 Adams, Michael ENG 2737 1971

The tournament has seven of the top 10 of the December FIDE rating list, and the world numbers11, 17 and 20. The first leg of the Grand Chess Tour, Norway Chess, was won by Veselin Topalov. The second tournament in the series, the Sinquefield Cup, was won by Levon Aronian.

The drawing of lots won't be done during the opening ceremony of the London Chess Classic. In fact it has been performed already, a week ago, by Tournament Director Malcolm Pein and Deputy Arbiter David Sedgwick with the pupils of Marion Richardson Primary School.

As announced in St. Louis (where the second leg of the Grand Chess Tour took place this summer), the colors were reversed from the Sinquefield Cup, with Michael Adams playing the opposite colors to Sinquefield Cup wildcard Wesley So.

The London Chess Classic website describes the rest of the procedure:

The players were placed in two groups of five. Viswanathan Anand, Fabiano Caruana, Alexander Grischuk, Veselin Topalov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave will play five games with the white pieces and were randomly allocated numbers 1-5. Michael Adams, Levon Aronian, Magnus Carlsen, Anish Giri and Hikaru Nakamura will play five games with the black pieces and were randomly allocated numbers 6-10.

The drawing resulted in the following pairing numbers: 1. Veselin Topalov, 2. Alexander Grischuk, 3. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, 4. Fabiano Caruana, 5. Viswanathan Anand, 6. Michael Adams, 7. Levon Aronian, 8. Magnus Carlsen, 9. Hikaru Nakamura and 10. Anish Giri.

Children from the Chess Class with David Sedgwick,
Malcolm Pein and CSC Tutor Adam Bukojemski. | Photo LCC.

 The pairings for first round are Topalov-Giri, Grischuk-Nakamura, Vachier-Lagrave-Carlsen, Caruana-Aronian and Anand-Adams. You can find the full pairings below.

2015 London Chess Classic | Schedule

Round 1 04.12.15 16:00 GMT   Round 2 05.12.15 14:00 GMT
Topalov - Giri   Giri - Adams
Grischuk - Nakamura   Aronian - Anand
Vachier-Lagrave - Carlsen   Carlsen - Caruana
Caruana - Aronian   Nakamura - Vachier-Lagrave
Anand - Adams   Topalov - Grischuk
Round 3 06.12.15 14:00 GMT   Round 4 07.12.15 16:00 GMT
Grischuk - Giri   Giri - Aronian
Vachier-Lagrave - Topalov   Carlsen - Adams
Caruana - Nakamura   Nakamura - Anand
Anand - Carlsen   Topalov - Caruana
Adams - Aronian   Grischuk - Vachier-Lagrave
Round 5 08.12.15 16:00 GMT   Round 6 10.12.15 16:00 GMT
Vachier-Lagrave - Giri   Giri - Carlsen
Caruana - Grischuk   Nakamura - Aronian
Anand - Topalov   Topalov - Adams
Adams - Nakamura   Grischuk - Anand
Aronian Carlsen   Vachier-Lagrave - Caruana
Round 7 11.12.15 16:00 GMT   Round 8 12.12.15 14:00 GMT
Caruana - Giri   Giri - Nakamura
Anand - Vachier-Lagrave   Topalov - Carlsen
Adams - Grischuk   Grischuk - Aronian
Aronian - Topalov   Vachier-Lagrave - Adams
Carlsen - Nakamura   Caruana - Anand
Round 9 13.12.15 14:00 GMT        
Anand - Giri        
Adams - Caruana        
Aronian - Vachier-Lagrave        
Carlsen - Grischuk        
Nakamura - Topalov        

With the tournament moving to ten elite players, the seventh edition will be the strongest ever held in the UK.

Below are the live standings with combined prize money earned at Norway Chess and the Sinquefield Cup. Besides the prize money in London, the top three of the whole tour will earn an additional $75,000, $50,000 and $25,000.

2015 Grand Chess Tour | Standings

# Title Name Rating Fed Points Earned
1 GM Veselin Topalov 2798 BUL 17 $90,000
2 GM Hikaru Nakamura 2802 USA 16 $80,000
3 GM Levon Aronian 2780 ARM 15 $90,000
4 GM Magnus Carlsen 2876 NOR 14 $55,000
5 GM Anish Giri 2773 NED 13 $55,000
6 GM Viswanathan Anand 2804 IND 12 $65,000
7 GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2723 FRA 12 $50,000
8 GM Fabiano Caruana 2805 ITA 9 $40,000
9 GM Alexander Grischuk 2781 RUS 8 $35,000
10 GM Jon Ludvig Hammer 2677 NOR 1 $15,000
11 GM Wesley So 2779 USA 1 $15,000

A clear first place yields 13 points (a win after a playoff 12), so theoretically anyone from the nine regular players can still win the Grand Chess Tour. 

The time control for each tournament in the Tour is 40 moves in 2 hours, followed by the rest of the game in 1 hour with a 30-second increment from move 41.

British Knockout Championship
The festival also includes a new high-level event: the inaugural British Knockout Championship. Eight of Britain’s best chess players (except Adams of course) will play for some decent prizes: £20,000 for the winner, £10,000 for the runner-up, £5,000 for 3rd-4th, and £2,500 each for 5th-8th.

The quarterfinals will take place on the December 1 and the semifinals on December 2 at the Kensington Olympia Hilton Hotel London. The six-game final, which will run from  December 4-9 — with a possible playoff on the December 10 — will be held at Olympia, alongside the other London Chess Classic events.

David Howell (2693), Luke McShane (2687), Nigel Short (2686), Gawain Jones (2615), Jonathan Rowson (2569), Jonathan Hawkins (2563), Daniel Fernandez (2476) and Yang-Fan Zhou (2455) will play.

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

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