The 5th London Chess Classic festival starts on Saturday, December 7th in the Olympia Conference Centre in Kensington, London. Besides several chess tournaments, there will be a chess in schools conference this year. In this 5th edition the top GMs will be playing a rapid tournament from Wednesday, December 11th-Sunday, December 15th.
The 5th London Chess Classic will take place at Olympia from Saturday December 7th to Sunday December 15th. The 5th Classic will not feature top level classical chess, but it will be headlined by a world class rapid tournament. The participants are Vladimir Kramnik, Fabiano Caruana, Vishy Anand, Hikaru Nakamura, Boris Gelfand, Mickey Adams, Peter Svidler, Luke McShane, Judit Polgar, Nigel Short, Matthew Sadler, David Howell, Gawain Jones, Jonathan Rowson and two qualifiers from the FIDE Open.
Earlier this year, tournament director Malcolm Pein wrote:
The switch to rapid was made because Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen will doubtless be very tired so soon after the conclusion of their world title match at Chennai (...).
Later on it became clear that Anand accepted the invitation, but Carlsen did not.
The rapid tournament will feature a 16-player field split into four groups, with the top two from each group qualifying for quarter final knockout stages. Scoring will be 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss. The total prize fund on offer will be €150,000 - the full breakdown being: 1st €50,000; 2nd €25,000; 3rd-4th €12,500; 5th-8th €6,250; 9th-16th €3,125.
As mentioned above, two places come from the London Chess Classic FIDE Open tournament. This year the open will have a bumper prize-fund of over £10,000, as well as the guaranteed participation of a minimum of 12 grandmasters.
Apart from the headlining Super Sixteen and the FIDE Open, there will be many side events catering for players of all ages and all ratings: a FIDE Weekday Tournament, 2 weekend tournaments, 4 rapidplay tournaments, 4 blitz tournaments and 3 grandmaster simultaneous displays from past British Champions: Julian Hodgson, John Nunn and Jon Speelman.
Chess in Schools
Last but not least, this year's festival includes the Chess and Education London Conference on the weekend of 7th and 8th December 2013. Titled “Successes and Challenges: Improving School Chess Practice, Research and Strategy,” the conference will bring together like-minded promoters of scholastic chess from Armenia, Sweden and Denmark, who will highlight the latest success stories of their work in the classroom, as well as recent research and commentary from eminent scientists, academics and authors.
Over the two days of the conference, there will a mixture of workshops and lectures. The keynote speakers will be: Michelle Ellefson (University of Cambridge), Leontxo García (author and journalist), Aram Hajian (American University of Armenia) and Mads Jacobsen (Skoleskak Denmark).
As always, the venue for all events will be the Olympia Conference Centre in Kensington, London. More info can be found on the official website. The tournament can be followed on Twitter via @londonclassic.