News release
Tuesday 8th November 2011

The ‘2800 Club’ Converge on London!

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…

Name Title Country World Rating (Nov 2011) World Ranking (Nov 2011) D.O.B. (dd/mm/yy)

Magnus Carlsen grandmaster NOR 2826 1 30.11.1990
Viswanathan Anand world champion IND 2811 2 11.12.1969
Levon Aronian grandmaster ARM 2802 3 06.10.1982
Vladimir Kramnik ex-world champion RUS 2800 4 25.06.1975
Hikaru Nakamura grandmaster USA 2758 10 09.12.1987
Michael Adams grandmaster ENG 2734 17 17.11.1971
Nigel Short grandmaster ENG 2698 48 01.06.1965
Luke McShane grandmaster ENG 2671 74 07.01.1984
David Howell grandmaster ENG 2633 129 14.11.1990

… 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.

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 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.

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

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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