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Thursday, August 29, 2013

100-Day Countdown to 5th London Chess Classic Begins; Anand, Nakamura to play Rapid

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 

Chess in Schools and Communities is delighted to announce the 100 day countdown is underway for the 5th London Chess Classic to be staged at the Olympia Conference Centre in Kensington, running from Saturday 7th December to Sunday 15th December.

Due to a demanding elite-player schedule through 2013 -- that will culminate with the World Championship match in Chennai, India between Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen set to end on November 26th, and the World Team Championship in Antalya, Turkey on 6th December -- this year the Classic will be headlined by a world-class Rapid tournament (25 minutes + 10 seconds per move) that will start on Wednesday 11th December and finish on Sunday 15th December.

This will feature a 16-player field split into four groups, with the top two from each group qualifying for the quarter final knockout stages. Scoring will be 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss (Sofia Rules will apply regarding draw offers). 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.

And the first two players to sign up for the 5th Classic are both big crowd-pleasers: World Champion Anand and the US No.1 Hikaru Nakamura.

Anand (with or without the world crown) will be heading to London immediately after his title match with Carlsen, and Nakamura not long after playing in the Sinquefield Cup -- along with Carlsen, Aronian and Kamsky -- in St Louis, one of the strongest tournaments ever to be held in America. Over the next two weeks, the rest of the field will be announced as player contracts have been signed and approved.

The schools events will be expanded and the festival, with weekenders, FIDE Open, simultaneous displays and lectures will all take place as usual -- but look out for what could be a novelty twist to the FIDE Open! The smorgasbord of chess at the London Classic will also include Pro-Celebrity Chess, Blindfold Chess and Chess 960. Tickets will go on sale in September after the field has been finalised. Tickets will again be free for children.

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