Wesley So wins the London Chess Classic and Grand Chess Tour

19.12.16 - The 2016 edition of the London Chess Classic ended with both a bang and a whimper as Veselin Topalov scored his first win of the tournament in the 6th hour of play and Wesley So effortlessly steered his final game towards a draw.


Earlier in the afternoon the man of the moment had won both the LCC and the GCT, to scoop the $100,000 tour bonus.


The second prize of $50,000 went to his compatriot Hikaru Nakamura as Caruana completed an all-American podium.


The Super Rapidplay meanwhile saw the triumph of Valentina Gunina, who left 44 fellow GMs behind her as she stormed to a stellar 9/10 score.


More from Round 9 | Photos | Games




Crosstable and Final Standings


Grand Chess Tour Introduces Innovative Universal Rating System - Press Release

December 18 2016



The first URS™ list will be officially published on 1 January 2017 and will be accompanied by the launch of the official website explaining the methodology ...

Day 8 Round up

17.12.16 - The penultimate round of the London Chess Classic saw Wesley So officially win the Grand Chess Tour with a round to go by drawing his game against Caruana. Anand cashed in on Veselin Topalov’s decline with an opening novelty that seized an initiative he never relinquished. Meanwhile in the East Hall the biggest Super Rapidplay yet, held in memory of Michael Uriely, got under way, with 471 players (45 of them GMs!) taking part.




The first game of the day to finish was Nakamura-Aronian, which fizzled out to a draw relatively quickly. After the game, Aronian summed up what happened: ‘I just play this line and if White plays solidly it’s difficult to win with Black.


Today there was not much of a game.’ Nakamura meanwhile expected his opponent to play something more aggressive: 'Levon was very solid and I didn’t really have any great ideas for today and I didn’t want to take any big risks', but also lamenting it would have been nice to get a real game.


More from Round 8 | Photo gallery | Replay Games

Michael Uriely’s sister Noga got the round under way for Caruana


Plaudits & Letters

Please see our plaudits and letters page we are compiling now that another fabulous London Chess Classic festival has finished. We welcome your comments about any aspect of the events.

Day 7 Round up

17.12.16 - There might only have been one decisive game in the main event today, but what a game that was! Nakamura played brilliantly to defeat Vachier-Lagrave in his pet Najdorf.



Elsewhere Nigel Short became the new British Knockout Champion, while Frenchmen Bacrot and Mazé shared first place in the FIDE Open.


In what was clearly the game of the day, it became two consecutive setbacks for the Najdorf as Hikaru Nakamura repeated the opening from his horrible defeat yesterday, but from the other side of the board.


Maxime Vachier-Lagrave deviated with 13...Bb7. A short while later the same thematic sacrifice played yesterday appeared on the board as Hikaru unleashed 18.Nf5!


More from Round 7 | Photo gallery | Replay Games

Nakamura has been having a topsy-turvy event in London


Super Rapidplay to be held in memory of Michael Uriely - Press Release

15.12.16 - This year’s Super Rapidplay, which took place at Olympia on the 17th & 18th December, was the biggest and strongest yet, with over 400 participants competing. See the entries list here. This tournament was held in memory of Michael Uriely.



Michael was a very talented chess player who enjoyed great success in his short career and made many friends along the way. He passed away in August 2015 aged nine in the middle of the Mindsports Olympiad after a severe asthma attack.


Earlier this year, his parents Roy and Ayelet supported a tournament in celebration of his life which was held at Westminster Under School which he attended.



Funds were raised in support of the family’s chosen charity, Asthma UK, you can donate here.


Full Press Release | Page dedicated to Michael


Nigel Short wins the British Knockout Championship

16.12.16 - Congratulations to GM Nigel Short winner of the British Knockout Championship, in a thrilling final against David Howell. Their first game took place on Sunday and was drawn in 84 moves, game 2 on Monday was also drawn in 11 moves.



Game 3 saw another long, tough draw in 63 moves, but game 4 was a breakthrough win for Nigel in 67 moves. David Howell then won game 5 and the match was all square going into the final (standardplay) game on Friday which Nigel won.


Nigel takes the £20k first prize, David takes £10k as runner-up.


A fascinating event comes to an end and Nigel Short, David Howell and all the competitors can be very proud of their play.



1 2 3 4 5 6

David Howell

2644 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 0 2½  

Nigel Short

2679 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 1  


All British KO Championship results and replays

Nigel Short, a happy man after winning another tough event


Day 6 Round up

16.12.16 - After the rest day it seems like the players came back to the board all guns blazing as we witnessed the shortest yet most exciting round of the event so far! The thrilling action stretched beyond the Auditorium too, as David Howell struck right back in the British KO Championship Final and there is a new leader in the FIDE Open. To top it all off Jon Speelman took on 16 opponents in a simultaneous.



To highlight just what a bloodthirsty event it has been, one might point to the fact that two thirds through the tournament, we’ve already had more decisive games than we did in the entire tournament last year.


In the words of GM Yasser Seirawan, this round was a ‘chess lovers’ delight’ and there were sacrifices in all five games, which could very well be a first in an event of this calibre.


In the first game to finish we saw an unrecognisable Veselin Topalov self-destruct against tournament and GCT leader Wesley So, who retains the tournament lead with an impressive score of 4½/6.


More from Round 6 | Photo gallery | Replay Games

Wesley So is still the man of the hour in London


Grandmaster Simultaneous Display


Grandmaster Jon Speelman, gave a  16-board simultaneous display at the London Chess Classic on Thursday 15th December. Jon is a famed chessboard maverick, and a former World Number 4 and World Championship semi-finalist.


All proceeds will go to Chess in Schools and Communities.


A simultaneous can take several hours to complete so thank you to John for his great stamina and contribution to CSC!



Photo by Lennart Ootes

Rest Day Round up

15.12.16 - The rest day in the main event provided the participants with a unique opportunity: to attend an event at the House of Lords, the second chamber of UK Parliament. Meanwhile the chess action continued back at Olympia, where Nigel Short drew first blood in the British Knockout Championship Final and Aravindh continues dominating the FIDE Open.




The London Chess Classic action resumes at 4pm GMT on Thursday and with only four rounds to go, promises to get more and more exciting.


Earlier this afternoon some of the players of the GCT as well as a few selected guests arrived at the prestigious River Room at the House of Lords.


It was a truly astounding venue for the re-establishment of an old tradition: a House of Lords versus House of Commons chess match, the last edition of which took place in 1999.


Rest Day Round Up | Lord v Commons Photo Gallery

The players, politicians and CSC officials posing for a souvenir shot


Day 5 Round up

14.12.16 - Going into Wednesday’s rest day, Mickey Adams gave the home fans plenty to celebrate as he scored the only win of the day. Elsewhere we saw excellent preparation and tenacious defence, which left us on the edge of our seats until 10pm.




Game 3 of the British KO Championship Final was a topsy-turvy affair, the FIDE Open standings remained largely unchanged and John Nunn took on 22 opponents in a simultaneous display.


On Wednesday there will be a prestigious event at the House of Lords, as in a revival of an old tradition they take on the House of Commons in a chess match.


The game of the day was undoubtedly Adams-Topalov, which started out as a Berlin, but as his fans will know, the Bulgarian is not a man to play any opening in search of a solid draw, or to stop the bleeding when things aren’t going his way.


More from Round 5 | Photo gallery | Replay Games

Adams beat Topalov in the only decisive game of the round


Day 4 Round up

13.12.16 - The end results of four draws and a Nakamura win may have had a familiar feel today, but there can be no mistaking the fighting spirit on display, with Vachier-Lagrave’s great escape against Kramnik surely the pick of an entertaining batch.



Game 2 of the British KO Championship Final was a draw in only 11 moves after yesterday’s gruelling ending. In the FIDE Open we now have a sole leader, while two Weekday events got under way, drawing over 100 additional players to the Olympia venue.


After his initial blackout loss to Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura is back on track with two consecutive victories, against two former World Champions no less. Today’s victim was Veselin Topalov, who is having a tournament to forget as he stands on ½/4.


More from Round 4 | Photo gallery | Replay Games

Nakamura is back on track with two consecutive victories


Day 3 Round up

12.12.16 - After two dramatic rounds in the Classic we only got one decisive result today, but that doesn’t mean other players didn’t come close – quite the opposite in fact! Meanwhile the first game of the British Knockout Final was a draw, the leading pack of the FIDE Open was reduced to only three players and we had our first winners as the various Weekenders were concluded in the evening.



After being beaten on his own birthday, Hikaru Nakamura inflicted the same fate on Vishy Anand, after the latter played the incomprehensible 26...Rxe4?.


The most plausible explanation is that both players were distracted by the realisation that Vishy could simply have won a pawn with 22…Bxc5 a few moments earlier because if 23.dxc5 Qxc5 24.e4 dxe4 the queen defends g5 and Black is fine ...


More from Round 3 | Photo gallery | Replay Games

Nakamura (left) on his way to inflicting a defeat on Vishy Anand


Grandmaster Simultaneous Display


Grandmaster John Nunn took on 20 players in a simultaneous display at the London Chess Classic, on Tuesday 13th December.


John is a famed author, problem-solving World Champion and former top-ten player.


All proceeds will go to Chess in Schools & Communities.


John's simul was sold out last year, and sold out again this year! Thank you to John for his impressive stamina and contribution to CSC!


More photos here by Lennart Ootes

Day 2 Round up

11.12.16 - If you thought yesterday’s fireworks were a one-off, you couldn’t have been more wrong. We got another action-packed day at Olympia, with three more decisive results in the Classic – and one of them turned out to be a historical benchmark.



In other news the two finalists of the British Knockout Championship were determined, 12 players are still on a perfect score in the FIDE Open and this year’s London Chess Conference, ‘The Didactics of Chess’ got under way at Hilton Olympia.


Once again, the Classic had it all today: mistakes, twists and drama! But let’s start with what is undoubtedly THE story of the day: on top of being both the sole LCC and GCT leader, Wesley So became the 12th player in history to cross the 2800 mark thanks to his victory over Michael Adams.


More from Round 2 | Photo gallery | Replay Games

Wesley So, the 12th player in history to cross the 2800 mark


London Chess Conference


This year's London Chess Conference took place at the Hilton Olympia Hotel from 10th-12th December.


The subject was "The Didactics of Chess", covering different ways of teaching chess, particularly in a classroom setting.


The Conference is now firmly established as the world's foremost gathering of chess education experts.


You can download the programme HERE and visit the Conference Website for details of the individual events.




Photo by Lennart Ootes

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