Today the main event of the 5th London Chess Classic starts: the Super Sixteen Rapid. The participants are Vladimir Kramnik, Fabiano Caruana, Vishy Anand, Hikaru Nakamura, Boris Gelfand, Mickey Adams, Peter Svidler, Luke McShane, Judit Polgar, Nigel Short, Matthew Sadler, David Howell, Gawain Jones, Jonathan Rowson and two qualifiers from the FIDE Open: Emil Sutovsky and Andrei Istratescu.
The rapid tournament will feature a 16-player field split into four groups, with the top two from each group qualifying for quarter final knockout stages. Scoring will be 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss. 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. The groups are divided as follows:
Emil Sutovsky and Andrei Istratescu were the highest rated players who were on 4/4 in the FIDE Open. Sutovsky was the first two qualify by winning his game in the 4th round:
The FIDE Open in action
Andrei Istratescu followed later, with the following win:
The rapid event starts today, but the GMs warmed up on Tuesday in the Pro-Celebrity Challenge, held at the Olympia Auditorium. Stars of TV, music and sports teamed up with the GMs and played ten-minute games which were broadcast live online with commentary by Lawrence Trent and Malcolm Pein. Each winning team received £5000 for their favourite charity.
The celebrities: singer & bassist Shingai Shoniwa, TV personality Alex Zane, hip-hop artist Lethal Bizzle & football legend Edgar Davids
Garry Kasparov, attending a Chess in Schools conference in London, posing with Davids
Alex Zane and Vishy Anand
Peter Svidler consults with Joshua Altman and Shingai Shoniwa
The Pro-Celebrity Challenge featuring Lethal Bizzle
There was also a Pro-Business Cup, with business leaders teaming up with GMs
The video of the Pro Celebrity Challenge
All photos © Ray Morris-Hill courtesy of the London Chess Classic