6TH LONDON CHESS CLASSIC (6-14 DECEMBER 2014): THE SUPER SIX
The ‘Super Six’ players who will compete in both the ten-round Super Rapidplay Open (6-7 December) and the five-round ‘Super Six’ classical chess tournament (10-14 December; rounds 1-3 start at 16.00 GMT, rounds 4-5 at 14.00 GMT) are as follows.
Fabiano Caruana recently set the chess world alight with an extraordinary result at the 2014 Sinquefield Cup, recording a tournament performance of 3097. He now trails world no.1 Magnus Carlsen by fewer than 20 rating points. Chess fans will be keen to see how he fares in classical chess at the tournament which served as Magnus’s springboard to the top of the rating list in 2009. ‘Fabi’ rarely takes a long break from playing and he may even have taken over the top spot before he arrives in London.
Whisper it softly, but it is also possible that Magnus will no longer be world champion in a few weeks time and the London Chess Classic might be welcoming Viswanathan Anand back as world champion. Despite his loss of the title to Magnus Carlsen last year, Vishy has regained much of his zest for the game, winning the 2014 Candidates’ Tournament in tremendous style. Indian chess fans will be hoping Vishy emulates the 1940-60s Soviet world champion Mikhail Botvinnik who regained his title twice. Right now the force seems to be with Vishy…
Ranked third in the line-up and making his London Classic debut is Anish Giri. At 20, Anish already has an impressive string of tournament successes to his name, with recent strong performances at the Tromsø Olympiad and 2014 European Club Cup carrying him to his highest place yet in world rankings.
Defending the London Chess Classic title he won in 2013 is top US player Hikaru Nakamura. Like a number of other super-GMs, he was eclipsed by Fabiano Caruana and his dazzling run in Saint Louis, but nothing dampens Hikaru’s ebullient spirit for long and he will entertain the crowd in London as he always does.
Former world champion Vladimir Kramnik, like Hikaru Nakamura, is an ever-present in the London Classic line-up and he will be keen to set right a few disappointments suffered in the past year or two. He will want to end the year on an upswing and re-establish himself in the top ten, so expect him to come out of his corner fighting.
Mickey Adams has been the top Brit for most of the century and he has regained the rating he had when he was world ranked number four player in the early 2000s. Recently he won the Silver Medal on board one for England at the Tromsø Olympiad and achieved a 2836 TPR at the 2014 European Club Cup, so he’s in top form.
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