TWO FORMER world champions, Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik, head the field in the London Classic which begins today.
A special Pro-Celebrity Challenge was held at the Olympia Auditorium on Tuesday with TV, music and sports stars teaming up with the grandmasters and facing off against another pro-celebrity team.
Games were played over 10 minutes with a 10-second increment and were broadcast live. Lawrence Trent and Malcolm Pein were commentating and Malcolm Pein was the Master of Ceremonies. Each winning team would receive £5 000 (R85 000) for their favourite charity.
The seedings for the London Chess Classic Super Sixteen rapid were also made. The players were divided into four groups consisting of one from each pool in a draw done by the chess team of Raven- scroft Primary School in Newham, London – the first school to take part in the Chess in Schools and Communities scheme in 2010. The school has excelled in local competition and will receive an award for outstanding achievement from the British Chess Educational Trust at the London Chess Classic next week.
The London Super Sixteen is the crown jewel of the London Chess Classic. This rapid tournament brings the top rapid players of the world and the best British players together in an exciting event.
● In Moscow, at the “Digital October” centre of technologies, the friendly “Battle of Generations” match between Alexei Shirov and Daniil Dubov ended in a 5-1 victory for Shirov. The match between Shirov, 41, and Dubov, 17, was the brainchild of Russian busi- nessman Oleg Skvortsov, who also sponsored it. A true chess lover, Skvortsov also sponsored the Aronian-Kramnik match in 2011, the Zurich Chess Challenge and a match between Dmitry Andreikin and Ian Nepomniachtchi.
● A tournament known as the Snowdrops versus Old Hands, between over-70s and young female players ended with the girls winning handsomely. The “Old Hands” were GM Iossif Dorfman, 61 (France, 2580) GM Boris Gulko, 66 (US, 2543), GM Borislav Ivkov, 80 (Serbia, 2408) and GM Wolfgang Uhlmann, 78 (Germany, 2334).
The Snowdrops were represented by GM Viktorij Cmilyte, 30 (from Lithuania, rated 2506), IM Maria Muzychuk, 21 (Ukraine, 2491) WGM Alina Kashlinskaya (20, Russia, 2422) and WGM Nastassia Ziaziulkina, 18 (Belarus, 2350).
In the old days of the Soviet Union, you could not become a Soviet master unless you beat an established master. In the 1950s and ’60s, there was a series of tournaments in Cape Town to bring on youngsters. Simmy Lewis ran the tournaments named after his Oranjezicht home, Charnwood.
● The Closed Championship takes place at the Fountains Hotel, in St George’s Mall, from January 3 to 12.
● Our juniors are heading for the annual junior championship at Durban’s International Convention Centre. This is also the venue elect for the 2014 World Youth.
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