Monday 13 December 2021

New Adventures at the London Chess Classic

'December Will be Magic Again' opined Kate Bush, in her 1980 single of the same name. The world has been more on the tragic than magic side in recent times, but nevertheless we were delighted to return as part of the new London Chess Classic.


The London Chess Classic has been one of the most important fixtures on the worldwide chess calendar since the inaugural event of 2009. It was with particularly heavy hearts that we had to concede a 2020 Classic was out of the question. ChessFest 2021 helped to bridge the gap in magnificent fashion, filling Trafalgar Square with enough chess players to sink a battleship. Yet two consecutive years without a London Chess Classic would have been very bad news indeed.

An enforced change of venue (Olympia is no longer available) could not have come at a better time. This year's Classic had to be reduced in size for all of the obvious reasons and the Cavendish Conference Centre proved to be perfect for our needs.


Activities this time included live commentary on the World Chess Championship by a plethora of titled players, the English Women's Rapidplay Championship, a match featuring England vs. Rest of the World, a CSC Training Day, a series of lectures and signings, my Chessmas Quiz and, of course, four days for the juniors.

Indeed, the junior days are really what the London Chess Classic is all about. We had approximately 100 children booked in for each day, which involved not just local London schools also from much further afield. Nobody travelled further than Mill Lane of CSC Teesside, of course. They had a very long day! 

I had the great pleasure of working with Woman FIDE Master Sarah Longson and Grandmaster Chris Ward to deliver four days of shows for the juniors.

December certainly brought some of the magic back to our lives and we hope the London Chess Classic will return in 2022.

Here is a selection of photographs from the busy week.

More galleries will follow over the next two days.

The organisation was exemplary, but we did have to have a word about the punctuation.

Quiz time!

The Piper Team receiving their prize from Grandmaster Nigel Short.

It was good to catch up with friends after so long away. 
Raphaƫle was one of the special guest stars at our
Teesside International tournament in 2019.

Vladimir was a big hit with the Teesside ladies when they last visited the Classic in 2019.

The Chris and Sean Show begins.

The Sarah and Sean Show in action.

Back in London!

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