Fans eager for more fabulous top-class chess after the World Championship in London need look no further than the London Chess Classic, where the valiant challenger, Fabiano Caruana, will be back in town for a showdown with three of the world’s most exciting players from December 11-17, thanks to support from our new sponsor, The Lohia Foundation.
With an exciting Semi-finals and Final format, complete with Classical, Rapid & Blitz, plus a nail-biting Armageddon decider, the London Chess Classic will pit Fabi against fellow American Hikaru Nakamura, Armenia’s Levon Aronian and France’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (MVL) in the finale of the 2018 Grand Chess Tour.
The fantastic four will be dueling for a total of $300,000 (£230,000) in GCT prize money.
Just how Fabi will come back after his narrow loss (tied 6-6 in Classical, 3-0 in the Rapid playoffs) in the World Championship match against Magnus Carlsen will be the question on everyone’s lips – as his opponents are likely to face more of the superb opening preparation that Fabi displayed there.
In his Semi-Final matchup, Fabi faces Rapid & Blitz specialist Hikaru, while in the other Semi-Final, Levon plays MVL.
PLAYER STATS (World rankings, November 2018)
– Fabiano Caruana (Classical #2, 2832; Rapid #10, 2789; Blitz #16, 2767)
– Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Classical #6, 2778; Rapid #11, 2786; Blitz #2, 2937)
– Levon Aronian (Classical #11, 2765; Rapid #7, 2802; Blitz #3, 2889)
– Hikaru Nakamura (Classical #17, 2746; Rapid #2, 2844; Blitz #4, 2858)
After two Classical games on December 11-12, play switches to Rapid & Blitz on Dec. 13. The winners then go through to the 3-day Final, held at the traditional Olympia London venue on December 15-16 (Classical) & 17 (Rapid & Blitz). There will also be a Third Place Playoff.
The 2018 GCT champion will take home a 1st prize of $120,000 (there’s $80,000 for 2nd, $60,000 for 3rd and $40,000 for 4th).
To watch the action live, you can book your tickets now (daily £25, season £60) for entrance to the London Chess Classic Final (December 15-17) at London Olympia.
These tickets will also give you access to the accompanying London Chess Festival events (total prizes over £24,000) at Olympia, including the FIDE-rated Open, 5-Day Classic events & Weekend Classic events, GM simultaneous displays, chess teacher training courses, & live commentary by leading Grandmasters