Anand and Carlsen to star in London Chess Classic 2010

John Saunders – Saturday 5th June 2010

Viswanathan Anand will become the first reigning world chess champion to play in a major tournament in London since Anatoly Karpov in 1984 when he joins the eight-player field for the second London Chess Classic, which runs from 8-15 December 2010 at the Olympia Conference Centre.

Alongside him will be World Number one Magnus Carlsen, former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, US number one Hikaru Nakamura and the top four English players Michael Adams, Nigels Short, Luke McShane and David Howell.

IM Malcolm Pein is back as tournament director.

Read the full details here including profiles of all the players.

Vishy Anand is the one change from the stellar field which brought spectators flocking to London to watch elite chess in December 2009. The great Indian player, who will turn 41 during the tournament, recently retained his title as the undisputed champion of the world by defeating Veselin Topalov in the latter’s home city of Sofia, Bulgaria. In London he will meet his immediate predecessor as champion, Vladimir Kramnik, 36, of Russia, and also the young man who is currently riding high as the world’s highest rated player and widely tipped to be Anand’s next challenger – Magnus Carlsen of Norway, who will be 20 by the time the tournament starts.

London is thus privileged to witness a clash of the past, present and likely future chess champions. At the time of writing Carlsen is world number one on the FIDE (World Chess Federation) Rating List, Kramnik is number three and Anand number four. Looking forward, London is also bidding to host the 2012 World Championship title match, so Anand’s clashes with Carlsen and Kramnik could well be a preview of what happens in London’s Olympic year.

Five more players make up the field of eight, all of whom played in the exciting 2009 event. Each one earned his place for his fighting play last year. The fourth non-British player is Hikaru Nakamura, USA, who will turn 23 during the London event. The American is known as the ‘H-Bomb’ for his explosive and totally uncompromising style of play. He has won the US Championship twice and also won major events in San Sebastián and Gibraltar in the past couple of years. He is improving all the time and can be expected to press hard for wins against the leading trio of players.

England has an established quartet of elite players and all four will be playing in London. Michael Adams, 39, from Cornwall, has recently wrested back his position as England number one and he spent a number of years as the world number four. He is fresh from winning the prestigious Gibraltar International. Nigel Short, 45, became a chess legend when he broke the Kasparov-Karpov strangehold on world title matches, beating Anatoly Karpov on the way to a title match with Garry Kasparov in 1993. He is still one of the most entertaining players on the circuit – and not to be missed in the commentary room after the game! Luke McShane, 26, started a financial career after university but couldn’t resist the lure of the international chess scene. He is now re-establishing his status as one of the most talented of the world’s young grandmasters. David Howell, 20 in November, had a sensational elite tournament debut in this event last year when he finished third behind Carlsen and Kramnik. He had recently won the British Championship by a handsome margin and has subsequently shared first at Hastings and won the British Rapidplay Championship for the second year in succession.

Tournament Line-Up:

Carlsen, Magnus grandmaster NOR 2813 1
Kramnik, Vladimir ex-world champion RUS 2790 3
Anand, Viswanathan world champion IND 2789 4
Nakamura, Hikaru grandmaster USA 2733 19
Adams, Michael grandmaster ENG 2697 41
Short, Nigel grandmaster ENG 2685 48
McShane, Luke grandmaster ENG 2623 138
Howell, David grandmaster ENG 2620 144
For more information and to buy tickets to The London Chess Classic, please go to www.londonchessclassic.com.
Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
Tags: ,
Share: 0