London Chess Classic this December

Due to the practical difficulties of organising an OTB London Chess Classic this December amid the Covid-19 crisis, we have taken the unavoidable decision to cancel this year’s event. However, we’re planning an outdoor London Chess Festival in Summer 2021!


We are organising the Pro-Biz Cup online. Please see information about the event on the CSC website.


The traditional Pro-Biz Cup that brings business minds and England’s leading players together, will be played in an online tournament and staged on 9th December 2020 at 18.00 UK 13.00 EST to raise money for the UK charity Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC). For more information please see here.

GCT Finals Day 6: Ding Liren wins 2019 Grand Chess Tour

Press Release 6, 8 December 2019


  • China’s Ding Liren secures the 2019 Grand Chess Tour title with an impressive win and a trouble-free draw in the Rapid games on Day 6, winning with an emphatic 15-5 scoreline

  • A confident Ding talks of his prospects in the upcoming Candidates tournament, saying, ‘When I am in my best shape, I can compete with anyone else’

  • Magnus wraps up third-place playoff match against Lev Aronian, despite blundering into a surprise checkmate in the first Rapid game



Ding Liren became the Grand Chess Tour Champion for the first time, triumphing over Maxime Vachier-Lagrave at the London Chess Classic to clinch the title 15-5 and take the winner’s prize of $150,000.


The Chinese star was never in trouble in the Final, crossing the finish line after just two Rapid games on Sunday.


Read more ...

GCT Final, Game 2: Brilliant rook swing puts Ding ahead

Final Game 2, 7 December 2019


  • Ding Liren opens up a clear 9-3 lead in the Grand Chess Tour Final after a majestic rook swing and kingside attack sweeps aside Maxime Vachier-Lagrave’s defences

  • Magnus Carlsen pulls off a “harrowing escape” after being dead lost against Lev Aronian, extending to 107 his unbeaten run in classical games



Ding Liren produced a brilliant attacking game to pull ahead of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave on Day 2 of the Grand Chess Tour Final, defeating the Frenchman in 50 moves after a slow build-up exploded into life with a sudden switch to a kingside onslaught.


The critical moment came when the Chinese star once again played a courageous g-pawn advance in front of his own king (33 g4!).


Read more ...

Grand Chess Tour Final: Dance of the Four Queens Saves MVL

Final Game 1, 6 December 2019


  • Ding Liren and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave draw first Classical game of Grand Chess Tour Final after spectacular tussle involving 4 queens on the board

  • Magnus Carlsen overcomes sterling resistance by Lev Aronian in third-place playoff match



Maxime Vachier-Lagrave performed another act of escapology to draw the first game of the 2019 Grand Chess Tour Final against Ding Liren, surviving a death-defying four-queen ending after appearing to be dead lost.


Ding came tantalisingly close to winning after deploying a brilliant attacking concept – but the Frenchman survived after Ding missed a couple of clear wins in the queen and pawn endgame.


Read more ...

London Chess Classic Hosts Historic 'No Castling' Match

6 December 2019


Imagine there’s no castling, and no reams of opening theory. Would that change how you play chess – and could it prevent a boring drawfest in top-class Grandmaster games?



That’s the theory being promoted by former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik and tested by Google DeepMind’s AlphaZero in scores of self-play games. Instead of picking up your king, and then your rook, and niftily playing hopscotch with them, there’s a new game in town.


All the other rules of normal chess apply, but there’s no more playing it safe: Now the king will be engaged in hand-to-hand combat in the middle of the board, and full-scale battle will take place not after 25 moves of Ruy Lopez theory, but right from move one.


Read more ...

Photo © Chessbase

Stage set for epic MVL v Ding Final

6 December 2019


Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Ding Liren go into Grand Chess Tour Final as strong winners after defeating Magnus Carlsen and Lev Aronian, respectively.



MVL’s dramatic Semi-Final win over the World Champion widely seen as epic battle, with The Frenchman showing coolness under fire in decisive Sicilian Najdorf slugfest.


Magnus Carlsen disappointed but gracious in defeat, now faces Lev Aronian in third-place playoff match.


The stage is set for a thrilling Grand Chess Tour Final between Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Ding Liren starting Friday after the Frenchman sensationally knocked out World Champion Magnus Carlsen in an epic climax to their Semi-Final full of exciting rapid, blitz and playoff games.


Read more ...


Luke McShane & Russell Picot win Pro-Biz Cup

6 December 2019


Luke McShane and Russell Picot took first place in the 2019 Pro-Biz Cup, finishing ahead of the formidable duo of World Champion Magnus Carlsen and Demis Hassabis, the CEO of artificial intelligence company Google DeepMind. After scores were tied in three rounds of pairs chess, Picot won a dramatic playoff game in single combat against Hassabis.



The result underlines the strong relationship between the UK’s top players and London’s financial sector, which has existed since the days of the English Chess Explosion of the 1970s and 80s.


Picot is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the HSBC Pension Fund, while McShane formerly worked as a trader in the City and has been described as the “world’s strongest amateur player”.


Read more ...


More photos here.



Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Ding Liren will meet in the final

Re-Cap Day 3, 4 December 2019


Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Ding Liren will meet in the finals after defeating Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian respectively. While Ding was dominant in his match, Vachier-Lagrave had to go all the way to tiebreaks to secure his spot.



Ding and Vachier-Lagrave will be competing for the $150,000 first place prize and the title of Grand Chess Tour Champion, while Carlsen and Aronian will battle it out for the third place qualifying spot to the 2020 GCT in addition to a $60,000 prize.


Read more ...


Replay Day 3 Video Broadcast


Replay GCT Games


Play resumes in the GCT finals on Friday 6 Dec at 16.00. Today is set aside for corporate activities including the Pro-Biz Cup. Watch the live action here.

GCT Day 2: Magnus surprises MVL again, mutual stumbles in Ding-Aronian

Round-up Day 2, 3 December 2019



An exciting day of Rapid & Blitz in prospect after honours even in both Grand Chess Tour Semi-Finals.


Magnus Carlsen uncorks 2nd opening surprise on MVL in 2 days, getting slightly better of a draw with Black in a fashionable Open Ruy Lopez variation.


First Ding Liren and then Lev Aronian falter, with both players looking slightly under par.


Read more ...

GCT Day 1: Sparks fly in Magnus v MVL

Round-up Day 1, 2 December 2019


Magnus Carlsen & Maxime Vachier-Lagrave duke it out to a fighting draw in unconventional Najdorf in their opening Grand Chess Tour Semi-Finals game.



The other GCT Semi-Final sees Lev Aronian & Ding Liren halve the point with perpetual check in 28 moves.



David Howell draws first blood in British Knockout Semi-Finals, turning around a lost position against Gawain Jones.


The first day of the Grand Chess Tour Semi-Finals saw a sharp battle in the Sicilian Najdorf between Magnus Carlsen and Maxime-Vachier Lagrave after the World Champion essayed an unusual opening plan (6 Bg5 and 7 f3) – a hybrid between an English Attack (6 Be3 and 7 f3) and a Main Line Najdorf (6 Bg5).


Read more ...

London line-up: It’s Carlsen v MVL & Ding v Aronian

Press Release 3, 26 November 2019


  • Magnus Carlsen hot favourite for Grand Chess Tour Finals at next week’s London Chess Classic after imperious 27/36 performance at Tata Steel India Rapid & Blitz;

  • Ding Liren emerges as potentially strongest challenger to Magnus after beating the World Champion twice in blitz games in Kolkata;

  • Vishy Anand sensationally crashes out after missing brilliancy against Magnus, giving Maxime Vachier-Lagrave fourth qualifying place for London;

  • Monday’s Semi-Final matchup pits MVL against Magnus, just days before Frenchman faces another tough test to qualify for World Championship Candidates at Jerusalem FIDE Grand Prix;

  • Book your spectator tickets online now for London Olympia on December 2-4 (Semi-Finals) & December 6-8 (Final) to avoid disappointment.



The line-up for the $350,000 Grand Chess Tour Finals at the London Chess Classic, starting next Monday, 2nd December at Olympia, has been revealed as Maxime Vachier-Lagrave squeezed into the fourth qualifying place after the dramatic elimination of Vishy Anand.


Read more ...

British Knockout: Top GMs & young masters battle it out for £42,000

Press Release, 28 November 2019


The five members of the multiple medal-winning England Open team – Mickey Adams, David Howell, Luke McShane, Gawain Jones and Nicholas Pert – are the top seeds in this year’s British Knockout Championship, which runs from November 30 to December 8 at London Olympia, alongside the Grand Chess Tour Finals featuring World Champion Magnus Carlsen.



The five top seeds will be joined in an eight-player Knockout tournament by three qualifiers.


Read more ...


All results and games are here.


Magnus Carlsen is coming, and you’re invited

Press Release 2, 21 October 2019


Tickets are now available for the biggest-money chess showdown of 2019 – The $350,000 London Chess Classic: Grand Chess Tour Finals – and spectators will be flocking to see World Champion Magnus Carlsen back in action at London’s Olympia Conference Centre on December 2-8.



Magnus is – sensationally – already mathematically qualified for the four-way Knockout after setting a blistering pace in the 2019 Grand Chess Tour. With two qualifying events to go – Superbet in Bucharest (Nov. 6-10) & Tata Steel in Kolkata (Nov. 22-26) – he is way out in front with 54.5 points, well ahead of his nearest rivals Ding Liren (37.8) and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (36.8).


Who will join the World No. 1 in London for the thrilling combined contest of Standard Play, Rapid and Blitz is still up for grabs – also in the hunt are Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian and Sergey Karjakin (all on 25.5).


Read more ...

Come for the Classic – and stay for the special events!

Press Release, 20 November 2019



There’s something special for everyone this year at the London Chess Classic.


Simultaneous exhibitions by legendary GMs John Nunn and Jonathan Speelman, a ‘Game Changer’ lecture by Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan – and discounted tickets to a new play on the epic 1972 Spassky vs. Fischer match.


Ravens: Spassky vs. Fischer


Get your discount tickets to Hampstead Theatre’s new play

Press Release, 14 November 2019


  • CSC has partnered with Hampstead Theatre ahead of new play opening – Ravens: Spassky vs. Fischer.
  • Partnership offers London Chess Classic attendees and chess fans a third off ticket prices in opening weeks.
  • Gripping play explores the 1972 World Chess Championship, played against the backdrop of the Cold War.
  • Discount can be accessed by entering the code LCC2019 at checkout on the Hampstead Theatre website.



Chess in Schools and Communities has partnered with Hampstead Theatre to offer attendees of this year’s London Chess Classic discounted tickets to the exciting chess play coming to NW London.


The play runs at the same time as the London Chess Classic.


Ravens: Spassky vs. Fischer depicts the celebrated ‘Match of The Century’.


Read more ...

Page 1 | 2


© SC

Copyright © 2019 LCC