Pairings Set for London Chess Classic
By Jennifer Shahade   
December 7, 2009
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London Chess Classic Opening Ceremony, on the bottom of each pawn was a pairing number, Photo J. Saunders for chessdom. See more here. 

The London Chess Classic begins tomorrow at 9 AM EST. Check out the pairings for the entire event here. US Champion Hikaru Nakamura will face Ni Hua in round one. Other anticipated match-ups: Carlsen-Nakamura in round 4 and Nakamura-Kramnik in round 7.  Nakamura recently defeated Carlsen in a blitz match, but will he take him in classical too or will Carlsen exact revenge? See Nakamura's own take on the BN Bank Blitz on his official site.

The Classic has some interesting rules to promote fighting chess which you can read about here. In addition to the main 64,000 Euro prize pool, there is 16,000 Euros in best game prizes and a 20,000 Euro prize pool for decisive games. So if there are only four decisive games in the tournament, the winner of each of these games would get 5,000 Euros on top of their prize. This means that someone could get fewer points than another player, but still win more money. I definitely like the best game prize idea, but I'm not entirely convinced about the decisive result bonuses. It doesn't seem like a quick win should necessarily be rewarded over two 70-move slugfests.

Anyway, I appreciate that they are trying something different and can't wait to see how it turns out. Let me know what you think by posting a comment or sending an email to jshahade@uschess.org. Maybe you'll hear your comment when I'm on the air with GM Joel Benjamin of Ask GM Joel, who will be hosting chess.fm with me on Wednesday at 9 AM EST.

You can follow the action on the official website where live games and commentary will be available. Look for more news on chessdom.com. CLO editor Jennifer Shahade will be commenting on games two, four and five for the Internet Chess Club. Also keep your eyes on CLO for on-the-scene updates by GM Ian Rogers.