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3rd London Chess Classic 2011 (Field)

The 2800 Club Converge on London!

Vladimir Kramnik increase in rating makes it four players over 2800 for London. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill.

Vladimir Kramnik increase in rating makes it four players over 2800 for London. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill. |

John Saunders looks forward to the London Chess Classic which starts in less than a month. The final ratings for the event have been established with the publication of the FIDE November Rating list. London boasts a field of four 2800 players after Kramnik's gradual improvement in rating over the course of 2011.

The "2800 Club" Converge on London!

News release: Tuesday 8th November 2011 by John Saunders.


The 2011 London Chess Classic is now just a month away - and it's just got a little bit stronger. The latest ratings published by FIDE, the World Chess Federation, are the ones which will apply to the event. At the top of the list, for the first time in the history of chess competition, there are four players rated 2800 or more. And it just so happens that these four gentlemen are playing in London next month! Have a look at the table below...

Viswanathan Anand

World Champion Viswanathan Anand. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill.

3rd London Chess Classic Sat 3rd Dec - Mon 12th Dec 2011
Magnus CarlsenGMNOR2826130/11/90
Viswanathan Anandworld championIND2811211/12/69
Levon AronianGMARM2802306/10/82
Vladimir Kramnikex-world championRUS2800425/06/75
Hikaru NakamuraGMUSA27581009/12/87
Michael AdamsGMENG27341717/11/71
Nigel ShortGMENG26984801/06/65
Luke McShaneGMENG26717407/01/84
David HowellGMENG263313914/11/90
Vladimir Kramnik

Vladimir Kramnik. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill.

... and you can see that Vladimir Kramnik has enjoyed a great run of form recently and hauled himself back up to 2800 for the first time since he ceased to be world champion.

It also means the London Chess Classic will have an average rating over 2730, making it comfortably the strongest event ever held on these shores.

3rd London Chess Classic Logo

3rd London Chess Classic Logo. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill.

In a strange way, London will actually have 4½ members of the "2800 Club". Don't believe me? Well, we have it on very good authority that Hikaru Nakamura is now being coached and assisted by Garry Kasparov, one of only two former members of the "2800 Club" (Topalov being the other) not in the London line-up. Garry retired from chess several years but his gaze is still firmly fixed on events in London, as it was last year, when he paid us a two-day visit and enjoyed the play as a VIP guest.


Hikaru Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill.

Hikaru will be hoping that Garry brings him what he brought Magnus Carlsen in 2009, when Kasparov was coaching the Norwegian from afar. It seems he brought him not just chess expertise but a large slice of luck! It was Garry who advised Magnus to prepare the English Opening (1 c4) against his major rival Vladimir Kramnik in 2009. At the drawing of lots, the players were invited to pick up a white pawn from a giant chess set. Magnus went first - and chose the pawn he intended to play against Vlad. It had the number "one" underneath! Vlad Kramnik was seen to shake his head - he stepped up, chose a pawn and found the number "eight" underneath it. That meant the first round pairing was Carlsen (White) versus Kramnik. The next day Magnus duly pushed 1 c4 and won - something his coach didn't manage to achieve when defending his world title against Kramnik in 2000. Is Garry trying to gain revenge for 2000 via his protégés? If Hikaru is "channelling" Kasparov and manages to beat Vlad, then Garry will have achieved a measure of revenge for the two losses he suffered against Kramnik eleven years ago.

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill.

Of course, the London Classic is not just about the guys mentioned above. Ask any elite chessplayer what they want Santa to bring them for Christmas and it would be the London Chess Classic trophy. The tournament rounds off the chess year and all the players will be motivated to end on a high note as they head off for their winter break.

Timetable, course details and tickets are available here:

For further information please contact: Malcolm Pein Tournament Director, London Chess Classic E:

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