Just days after the end of his World Championship match in London against Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana will be pitting his wits against Hikaru Nakamura, Levon Aronian and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the Grand Chess Tour Finals at the 10-th London Chess Classic, which this year will be a four-player knockout from December 9 to 16, 2018 with $300,000 at stake.
Then the action is held in the London Chess Classic’s traditional venue, Olympia London
The 2018 London Chess Classic tournament is composed of a several events British Knockout (December 8 – 17); FIDE Open (December 9 – 16); 6th Pro-Biz Cup (December 10); GCT Finals (December 11 – 17).
The structure of the tournaments are identical
1. British Knockout
Details of the tournament can be found at
- Press release: https://www.
- Rules and Regulations: https://www.
2. FIDE Open
The FIDE Open is a 9 round open tournament featuring over 240 players including 18 Grandmasters. The top seed is GM Hrant Melkumyan (ARM) with an ELO of 2670. The players list for the FIDE Open can be accessed at https://tickets.
The playing schedule can be accessed at https://www.
Time Control is 90 minutes for 40 moves + 30 minutes for all remaining moves, with a 30 second increment starting at move 1.
3. 6th Pro-Biz Cup
Further details on the 10 teams that will be participating can be found in the press release available at https://www.
Schedule of Play - Monday 10th December
11:30 – 12:30 Round 1
13.00 – 14.00 Round 2
14:30 – 15:30 Round 3
In the event of a tie after three rounds a blitz game will be played to determine the winners of the competition.
The tournament will be played as a 10 team swiss tournament over three rounds. Scoring 2-1-0.
Rate of play will be 20 minutes for all moves + 5 seconds increment per move.
The pro will make the first move for each team and players will then alternate each move. No conferring is allowed other than per the time-out rules below.
Two one-minute time outs will be permitted for each team per game. The teams will need to signal to the arbiter if they wish to confer and time outs can only be called on a team’s move. Either player in the team can call for a time-out. The clocks will be stopped during the time out and after two time outs no further consultation is permitted. The team that calls for the time out remains at the board while the other team leaves.
4. GCT Finals
The exciting finale of the Grand Chess Tour is being fought out at the London Chess Classic, in a knockout format, for the first time. A total prize fund of $300,000 is at stake.
The semi-final battles will feature the 4 top players from the Grand Chess Tour after the qualifying events in Paris, Leuven and St. Louis.
The semi-finals will be hosted by DeepMind at Google’s London headquarters and the action will then move to the London Chess Classic’s traditional venue, Kensington Olympia, for the finals.
The playing schedule for the GCT Finals is as follows:
Semi Finals (11th – 13th December)
Day 1 Classical Tuesday 11th December at 1400
Day 2 Classical Wednesday 12th December at 1400
Day 3 Rapid & Blitz Thursday 13th December at 1400
Friday 14th December
Finals (15th – 17th December)
Day 1 Classical Saturday 15th December at 1400
Day 2 Classical Sunday 16th December at 1400
Day 3 Rapid & Blitz Monday 17th December at 1400
3. Playing Schedule
The classical games on days 1,2,4 and 5 will all commence at 14.00.
The playing schedule for the Rapid & Blitz days (days 3 and 6) will be as follows:
14.00 Rapid Game 1
15.30 Rapid Game 2
17.00 Blitz Game 1
17.30 Blitz Game 2
18.00 Blitz Game 3
18.30 Blitz Game 4
19.15 Rapid Playoff Game 1 (If required)
20.00 Rapid Playoff Game 2 (If required)
20.45 Armageddon Playoff Game (If required)
- Match 1: Hikaru Nakamura vs Fabiano Caruana
- Match 2: Levon Aronian vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Drawing of lots for initial colours will take place during the players meeting on the 9th December. The player who has White in Classic Game 1 shall have in Rapid Game 1 and in Blitz Games 1 and 3.
Rate of Play
The rate of play for each format of the GCT Finals is as follows:
- Classic Games: One Hundred (100) Minutes for 40 moves, followed by sixty (60) minutes
- Rapid Games: Game in 25 minutes, with a 10-second delay from move 1.
- Blitz Games: Game in 5 minutes, with a 3-second delay from move 1.
Points are allocated to each game within the respective matches as follows:
- 6 points for a win, 3 points for a draw and 0 points for a loss in the 2 Classic games.
- 4 points for a win, 2 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss in the 2 Rapid games; and
- 2 point for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss in the 4 Blitz games.
Each match is therefore be scored out of a total of (6 pts * 2 Classic games) + (4 pts * 2 rapid games) + (2 pts * 4 blitz games) = 28 possible points. A total of 15 points will be required to win each match.
In the event of a tie for any of the matches there shall be a playoff.
In any playoff, a Rapid mini-match consisting of two games shall first be played at a time limit of game in 10 minutes with a 5 second delay per move from move 1.
If this fails to break the tie, a single “Armageddon” game shall be played to split the tie:
- White shall have 5 minutes and shall have 4 minutes, without any increment or delay.
- In the event of a draw shall be declared the winner