Reports | December 11, 2012 11:39

London Chess Classic: the closing dinner

Carlsen at the closing

Traditionally, after the London Chess Class finishes all the players are brought to central London, where a closing dinner is held with sponsors and friends, at the famous Simpson's-in-the-Strand. Some grandmasters play a simul against the sponsors, other grandmasters can be asked for advice and so it's never a 100% clear which side has the better chances!

Magnus Carlsen received his trophy at the closing dinner | Photos © Ray Morris-Hill

During the closing the prizes were awarded as well. Carlsen won the € 50,000 first prize, Kramnik won € 25,000, Nakamura and Adams both took home € 17,500 while Anand and Aronian both won € 10,000.

The players who won games in London got some extra money as there was an additional winners' pool of € 21,000 for each game won. As there were 19 wins, each victory was worth € 1,105. There was also a Daily Best Game prize of € 1,000.

The glamorous setting for the prize giving dinner at Simpson's-in-the-Strand

Judit Polgar

Aruna and Vishy Anand

Levon Aronian, Luke McShane and Gawain Jones

Katharine Walsh, Head Of Communications for Delancey, drew the raffle

Gawain Jones enjoying the simultaneous display versus the guests

Michael Adams

Vladimir Kramnik

Levon Aronian

Vishy Anand

Luke McShane

Magnus Carlsen

Hikaru Nakamura

The winner of the tournament with his trophy

We thank Ray Morris-Hill for providing us all the great photos during the event.

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Anonymous's picture

nice but who edited the pictures ??? way too much colorization

achtie's picture

So there you are. Sitting next to Daniel King at this glamorous occassion.What do you do?
You whip out your "smart-phone" and start staring at its screen.
What a douche.

Mindhunter's picture

A couple of them at it... probably updating their facebook status! :P

n1uknow's picture

They were probably cheating in the simul.

spirit 74's picture

Not exactly matching the price money, that trophy :)

spirit 74's picture

Not exactly matching the price money, that trophy :)

FP's picture

So this is how my donation was spent! Hope the wine tasted good.

only karpov's picture


Andreas's picture

really amazing: a fantastic event just finished, everyone (ok, almost) is celebrating and having a good time ... and now look at the comments above: 5 out of 6 have to criticize something, be it the colours of the - in my opinion very nice - photos or something else. Well, for my part, I'm very glad I could witness this historical chess tournament and looking forward to Wijk and the Candidates 2013!

Frits Fritschy's picture

The colors in the photos really aren't good; that was constructive criticism. That guy right of Michael Adams, if he were really so, the one to the left would need sunglasses.

Anonymous's picture

Hats off to Peter for his extraordinary coverage of a fantastic tournament!


bronkenstein's picture

+1 excellent job, Peter! As always, discrete & highly efficient =)

adam's picture

+1 (forgot to mention in the previous thread)--excellent work as always!

Joe's picture

Carlsens opening seems a little suspect ;)

Ch_P's picture

Good point Joe! I think Carlson was hiding his preparation for Wijk aan Zee

Anonymous's picture

Either all the lady boys got a fair well kiss from Judit or Karl Lagerfeld, on the sly, handed out some lipstick samples.

Eiae's picture

Not such a great event when compared to what comes out of Russia these days.
Next year I hope we'll see more top players, so there is less of a cap in strength between top and bottom.
Stronger commentators would be great, though we all like Daniel King, of course.

Production is way behind and has a destinct amateur feel to it.
Video quality is simply too bad and not set up properly, so let's have some HD and a producer that knows what he is doing next year, please.
If you really have to have those silly breaks in the transmission, then at least show the boards while you have them.

So, enough work to do in preparation for next years event for Mr. IgotGoogleAnalyticsExecutiveChairmanbutcannotgetarealSponsor Pein

Andreas's picture

well, there are so many frustrated people around, no wonder to read comments like yours. Each of the topics might be well arguable, but ... what a pity you are not responsible for tournaments like that - it simply would be chess heaven, for sure.

brock's picture

couldnt disagree more. in russia they have long forced art history lessons or commercials and they didnt think of using an odd man out system to recruit each player as a commentator which is brilliant. also we just saw the WC worlds numbers 1-3 plus characters such as naka judit and mcshane all in the same tourney...this was the best event of the year easily

Eiae's picture

The commercials and lectures on art were sponsorship things, you have to expect something like that in free transmissions.
In transmission and chess quality this event do not come anyway near the Russian events.

fen's picture

I agree with you that the transmission quality was lacking. For four years running now the live feed has repeatedly gone down. It was so bad this year that I just felt embarrassed for them. There were times that I got so frustrated I followed the games on ChessBomb instead and I know I wasn't the only one - not a very good advertisement for the LCC website.

Thankfully, the show was up and running when Danny King announced, "...and Luke just promoted to a Knight!!" and then the in-house commentary audience went mad with applause. That may not have been the most perfectly played game ever, but admit it, that was fun!

Guillaume's picture

Perhaps your internet provider is the issue? I watched the live video commentary extensively and it was perfect: it never stopped nor lagged in any way, and it could always be accessed in the blink of an eye. Chessbomb was always lagging behind actually.

fen's picture

My internet provider is not the problem - I've never had a problem with live feeds from Tal and I'm not the only person who had this problem. I know ChessBomb was lagging but it didn't go down for me like the LCC website. I am curious to know where you were watching. I hope you don't mind me asking - I'm in the US.

Guillaume's picture

I'm watching from Norway, with a rather minimal broadband internet subscription. There was perhaps a few hiccups last year, if I remember correctly, but not this year.

fen's picture

Oh, Norway. Well that explains it. I'm sure it's just a conspiracy involving Magnus and stuff. ; )

Thomas's picture

If the reliability of the video transmission depends on the number of people watching in any given country (which is just speculation, at least I don't have the technical background to tell if it could be true), Carlsen or chess in general isn't that popular in Norway?! :) I was watching from the Netherlands and also had frequent problems. As to commercials interrupting the "main program", aren't we or shouldn't we be used to that watching normal TV? The London equivalent was Malcolm Pein's repetitive "please support Chess in Schools".
Finally, Chessbomb (like anyone else retransmitting the moves, e.g. ICC) can never be faster than the official website.

Lee's picture

"Stronger commentators would be great, though we all like Daniel King, of course."

I tend to agree. Some of the commentary was lacking this year.

Chris Ward in particular frustrated me - didn't offer any ideas, just asked his guests "What's going on here". Not to mention his constant need to interupt others while they are speaking.

Lee's picture

Sorry, have to point out that even saying the above, it was still the best coverage of the year.

Daniel King and Nigel Short were excellent and the special player commentators each day were largely great.

Magnus inparticular was a delight. He let some of his personality come out and turned me into a bit of a fan.

Eiae's picture

I think we can all agree with that, but those guys weren't on all the time, were they?

Lee's picture

Correct. What's your point?

Greco's picture

All the pics were great!! best facial expression...Naka

Leo's picture

Lol, true. I had to look again now, and his expression and posture, and those glasses, make bad boy Naka look like a sweet little twinkly-eyed professor :)
(I mean that in the most complimentary way possible, of course!)

Septimus's picture

Way too many dudes, need some babes in the pics. Camera-man needs to be fired a.s.a.p !

tony's picture

I just realized something,... what a Class act Anand is for not demanding more attention as the world champion! Granted Carlsen is exciting for other reasons,..that said shouldnt interviewers also talk Anand too at least out of respect?

redivivo's picture

The most impressive thing with Carlsen is his consistency. He has won 9 of his last 13 tournaments, and in his ten latest starts the only tournaments he didn't win were:

London 2011, +3 with 2875 performance
Wijk 2012, +3 with 2830 performance
Biel 2012, +4 with 2878 performance

So even when he has "bad" tournaments they are on the level that would make any other player consider them a big success.

Anonymous's picture

Keep your secret weapons for when RC wales up from his trauma :)

The Golden Knight's picture

Like :)

G.M.Visser's picture

Yes, the difference between nr.1 and nr. last was considerable. Next year plse Ivantschuk, Morozevich and one Nigel Short (!).

Ari's picture

"Stronger commentators"?? Daniel King and Nigel Short are pretty strong!

Ari's picture

"Stronger commentators"?? Daniel King and Nigel Short are pretty strong!

Pablo's picture

Agree. Nigel rocks the board. And Mr. King is not bad either.

columbo's picture

Fantastic coverage, historical tournament, thanks !

Centovic's picture

Eiae talks total rubbish. The London Chess Classic is a great tournament and far better than any Russian tournament I've seen on the internet. The commentary was great from start to finish by all. Apart from a few technical problems via the live video, Mac (the Producer) did a great job once again (although a second camera unit would be a very good idea next year) The chess was exciting and a pleasure to watch. Malcolm Pein and his team behind the scenes continues to run a fine world class tournament. Malcolm is a credit to British chess and to the game in general. He will be remembered long after he is gone as a great man for the game of chess. Of course improvements can always be made in any tournament structure (I'd like to see Maurice Ashley invited as a commentator to the London Chess Classic because his style of commentating is great to listen to but that's down to Malcolm to invite Maurice well in advance) but in general I think all those who organised this great tournament did a great job! I hope more great tournaments like the London Chess Classic can be organised in the UK. Maybe Nigel Short could create a similar one in the North of England. He certainly has the ability and the pulling power in terms of his chess fame to do that, whether he wants to is down to him, but I think he'd do a great job. Does Richard Branson like chess? I know Sting does. And Lennox Lewis. Perhaps they'd be interested in creating a world class chess tournament in the North of England to complement the one down South. It only takes a few phone calls to some very wealthy famous people to get the ball rolling and before you know it, good things start to happen. Give it a go Nigel, you have nothing to lose. Congrats once again to Malcolm Pein and all concerned, I think you're all a credit to the game. The London Chess Classic was great! Very well done one and all.

justin's picture

Happy birthday to Vishy Anand! He turns 43 today.

Jambow's picture

I agree with all those who feel this was the best tournament of the year for a multitude of reasons. Great atmosphere, geat commentary and great fighting chess so what else matters. I don't mind the back markers and McShane certainly added to this event by providing complex and exciting games.

This is now my favorite chess event to look forward too hope we can have something like it in the USA. I would love to see FIDE and USCF get on the same page and use the same system which is where it appears to be going on some levels with more FIDE rated events in the US. If that happened and FIDE could do a much better selection process for the WC match I think chess will grow by leaps and bounds.

Anonymous's picture

i like mcshane and in the past he has shown his greatness but i gotta say i don't really think his games in this event were exciting, basically he was just getting mauled. against kramnik and aronian for example the commentators raved about his resistance but i didnt see it that way. most super gms wouldve resigned, and rightfully so, long before luke finally did (basically waiting for mate on the board).

jmason's picture

One of the best tournaments i ever watched, the games were hard fought and many complex endgames arose, more than half of the games were decided (!), 19 out of 36 , i mean, were you will find such an unusual feature in today top tournaments ?

Thomas's picture

Maybe (just) more than 50% is unusual, but this year's edition of Dortmund also had 19 decisive games (out of 45). The key is to invite a few weaker players: in London, Polgar, McShane and Jones were responsible for (or involved in) 14 decisive games out of 19. Hence, if London had been a typical 6-player pure elite event, the drawing percentage would most probably have been higher, even with football scoring.

This year, London and Dortmund were similar - but London gets lots of praise while Dortmund was criticized along the lines of "this isn't really a supertournament". For the bottom of the field, London had primarily English players, Dortmund had German ones. For the top, London had Carlsen, Kramnik, Anand, Aronian and Nakamura; Dortmund had Kramnik, Karjakin, Caruana, Ponomariov and Leko (not such a big difference?).

Zeddy's picture

Diaz, I need my dose! Where are you?

jimknopf's picture

As a German, I remember great Dortmund events, but I doubt Dortmund 2012 was one of the very best. And I don't think (apart from Kramnik in both events), that Karjakin, Caruana, Ponomariov and Leko, despite their undisputable strength, are really about an equal match to a field with Carlsen, Aronian, Anand and Nakamura.

I enjoyed LCC 2012 a lot, and don't see any reason for the small minded nitpicking about photo quality, commentators (only Chris Ward was a pain to watch) or so called better quality of Russian events (I like those as well, but fail to see what's so much better about them, while they often don't even offer English comments all along).

Magnus Carlsen did not only show incredible constant playing strength and fighting spirit, but also a very mature and relaxed personality. He has a dry sense of humor, a realistic perception of the other top players (playing on his level, just not as constant as him - which clearly is a big additional strength), great skill and memory concerning chess history, and a very sympathetic will to go his own way (pragmatic human struggle of ideas over the board, instead of high claims of chess revolutions, which are just unrealistic dreams of commentators from outside, misjudging where chess is today, in the engine age).

He named the strong and weaker points of his own play just as unbiased as the best commentators could. This guy is a great represantative of modern chess from my view, just as Kramnik, Aronian, Anand and the others are in their own way. Al in all: much to enjoy with this kind of chess events these days. Big thanks to organisators and players!


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