Archive for the ‘Chess’ Category

TCEC Season 13 – the 13th Top Chess Engine Championship

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

Written by Guy Haworth and Nelson Hernandez
Reading, UK and Maryland, USA

This is the first in a new series of analytical articles on TCEC events. The full text can be read below on this webpage, and at the bottom you will find a link to the full layouted article in pdf format, including the important tables, graphs and images.

TCEC is very grateful to the authors for their kind permission to publish these substantial and scholarly analyses of its events!


After the successes of TCEC Season 12 (Haworth and Hernandez, 2018a), the Top Chess Engine Championship moved straight on to Season 13, starting August 3rd 2018  with the same divisional structure as for Seasons 11 and 12.

Five divisions, each of eight engines, played two or more ‘DRR’ double-round-robin phases each, with promotions and relegations following. Classic tempi gradually  lengthened and the Premier division’s top two engines played a 100-game match to determine the Grand Champion.

The formidable 44-core server of TCEC11-12 (Intel, 2017) was joined by a second server sporting two Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GPUs (Nvidia, 2018) to provide better support for two engines, LC0 and DEUS X which both exploited LC0’s ‘NN’ neural network architecture. CHESS 2K and IVANHOE were also new to TCEC while FRUIT chose to step away from the action this time. The tie-break sequence was changed to ‘number of disconnects’, ‘head-to-head results’, wins, 0-1 wins, Sonneborn-Berger
score. Given CHIRON’s and others’ technical failure in Season 12, and the added risk factors associated with the more complex common platform, the rules for modifying engines were redefined to include mandatory scaling-down and one repair of engines between the games of a division.

Division 4

Division 4: 2 DRR phases, 28 rounds, 112 games, tempo 30′+10″/m

As for TCEC12, each engine played both White and Black from 14 defined four-ply openings. The results are as in Fig.3: ‘P%’ is the %-score and ‘ELO?’ is the change to the engine’s nominal ELO based on its performance. ‘nSB’ is the Sonnerborn-Berger score, normalised as for one double round-robin.

Online interest naturally focused on the new ‘NN approach’ engines LC0 and DEUS X (Silver, 2018), DEUS X being powered and trained by LC0 software. It is however trained from human games rather than from zero which is the convention for training ALPHAZERO and LC0. As seen in the results of Fig. 3, and surprising to those not actually involved, LC0 justified its ‘wild card’ invitation with a comfortable win and DEUS X was the runner-up on debut and in its very first version.

Division 3

Division 3: two DRR phases, 14 rounds, 112 games, tempo 30′+10″/m

Again, the eight engines involved played both sides of 14 prescribed four-ply openings. LC0 upgraded to a new version. 13 games were won ‘below the diagonal’ including NEMORINO-LC0 g11.1/45.

ETHEREAL (Grant, 2018) was way out on its own. LC0 and ARASAN were 6.5 points behind, ARASAN progressing courtesy of the one win between them, g19.1/73. The key error was 29. … Bg4?? which missed 30. c6+ Ka7 31. Rd3 Rxd5 32. Nxd5 Qxb2 33. Ne3 Qc1+ 34. Nd1 Qc2 35. Nf2. LC0 and DEUS X, the latter some 2.5 points behind LC0, were in fact frustrated by overheating in the GPU hardware which therefore had to be throttled back. First impressions are that LC0 and DEUS X play in a more human way, being relatively strong on strategy like ALPHAZERO but weaker on tactics. NEMORINO rather than HANNIBAL was demoted as it crashed twice, one being against ARASAN.

Division 2

Division 2: two DRR phases, 14 rounds, 112 games, tempo 30′+10″/m

Nine of the 40 wins are below the diagonal in the cross-table of Fig. 5. ETHEREAL and CHESSBRAINVB quickly distanced the rest of the field and finished three points clear of XIPHOS, an engine that doublepromoted from Division 4 in TCEC12. ETHEREAL won, adding another 28 games without defeat. In game 19.2/74, ETHEREAL reached an adjudicated KRKRPP mate in 42 moves against XIPHOS. There is always a question of what contribution the sub-7-man EGTs make. Here, XIPHOS was not using the Syzygy 6-man EGTs (de Man, 2018) while ETHEREAL was in the end consulting them more than 10 million times per move.

VAJOLET cut back on threads and power after two disconnects. ARASAN had one less win than NIRVANA and so was this time on the wrong end of the third tie-break.

Division 1

Division 1: two DRR phases, 28 rounds, 112 games, tempo 60′+10″/m

Eight wins went to engines relatively lower in the final table, most notably g7.2/26 LASER’s defeat of CHIRON (a wild finale of 30 moves and two Q-sacrifices) and CHESSBRAINVB’s two wins over FRITZ, g6.2/22 and g20.2/78.

Other notable games included g1.3/3 CHIRON-FRITZ, EGT-adjudicated as a 61m mate after 83 moves: in fact, it had been a 7-man 46m mate after 72 moves but the shortest route to goal is not usually the one most easily traversed. BOOOT sadly got off on the wrong foot with disconnects in games 2.2 and 4.3. ETHEREAL playing Black swiftly demolished FRITZ in g7.3/27 and JONNY in g8.2/30. In g9.4/36, ETHEREAL demonstrated the value of the EGTs in beating CHESSBRAINVB after reaching a KRPKNP endgame with mate in 37 moves: ETHEREAL consulted the EGT over 100m times on move 50w.

ETHEREAL and CHIRON had established their claims to the top spots on the podium with the first round-robin. They extended away with FIZBO a distant third. ETHEREAL has just one loss, to CHIRON, in its last 84 games and has uniquely promoted three times this season. It won both sides of an opening on CHESSBRAINVB, JONNY and FRITZ here. CHESSBRAINVB mysteriously worsened with each round-robin and returned to Division 2 after being third at the mid-point. The two early crashes by BOOOT led to its downfall and saved LASER from the same fate. Given that crashes are so disappointing for the online audience, TCEC could usefully pull together the known intelligence on how to avoid them.

Premier Division

Division P, four DRR phases, 56 rounds, 224 games, tempo 90′+10″/m

ANDSCACS, ETHEREAL, GINKGO, KOMODO and STOCKFISH updated for this season whereas CHIRON, FIRE and HOUDINI did not. A key question was whether CHIRON and ETHEREAL would stay in the top division after their promotions. The mandated openings from the second author here specified the first eight moves.
After the first round-robin, STOCKFISH led KOMODO with ANDSCACS, ETHEREAL and HOUDINI contesting third place. After colour-switching the engines in the second round-robin to level the playing field, a clearer potential podium suggested itself: STOCKFISH, HOUDINI, KOMODO, FIRE in equidistant line astern with ETHEREAL just fifth. However, a presumably updated ETHEREAL might fare better in the TCEC 2018 Cup (Haworth and Hernandez, 2018c), an interlude following this division. After the first quarter, where one might claim to be half-informed statistically, GINKGO and CHIRON were occupying the relegation zone. The matches STOCKFISH–ANDSCACS and KOMODO–GINKGO were 2-0 wins for the first-named engine.

At the half-way point, STOCKFISH had pulled 3? points clear of HOUDINI, courtesy of two relatively successful results, 4-0 v ANDSCACS and 3?-? v ETHEREAL. Both leaders remained unbeaten and had scored 3-1 against KOMODO which was clear 3rd. FIRE was a lonely 4th: the top half of Division P seems to be unchallenged and perhaps sequenced. ETHEREAL just edged 5th on number of wins but was only 1? points clear of tail-ender GINKGO.

The third DRR saw KOMODO wake up, breathing fire. It inflicted a first loss on STOCKFISH and its third on FIRE and ETHEREAL: it sustained no losses itself. It finally overhauled the still unbeaten but win-shy HOUDINI with scores of 4?/7 in RR5 and 5?/7 in RR6. Would KOMODO continue in this vein: would HOUDINI’s +2 against Komodo save it in a tiebreak? Who would ultimately join STOCKFISH in the Superfinal? In RR8, g50.4/200, KOMODO beat STOCKFISH and two games later, STOCKFISH beat HOUDINI: the first game had plenty of play left after 73 moves but the second was a clearer and quicker win from an advantageous opening.

The division was marked by relatively few wins for Black, the long g14/4.2 FIRE-KOMODO battle being of particular interest. Perhaps the only two notable ‘underdog wins’ below the cross-table diagonal were by the demoted engines against ETHEREAL (games 25.4/100 and 52.1/209) which was only three points above demotion itself.


This season, TCEC introduced a change of mode between Division P and the Superfinal. This was the ‘TCEC Cup’, a knockout tournament involving all the TCEC 13 engines. It was an excellent innovation which will no doubt be repeated. The authors here report on its thirty-one matches separately (Haworth and Hernandez, 2018c).

Jeroen Noomen (2018) had adjusted his approach to choosing superfinal openings. His comments reveal how much thought goes into this aspect of TCEC. The 50 openings split across the ECO A/B/C/D/E range 13/12/12/6/7, the D/E lines being considered “too easy for top engines”. The openings aimed to leave a position with an advantage in the range [0.2, 0.55] and, despite the excellence of the engines, a win-rate of 20% was expected with 25% as target.

Once again, Jeroen made target. The win-rate was 22%, STOCKFISH winning 16 to KOMODO’s 6. STOCKFISH had two wins with Black to KOMODO’s one and there was only one game-pair, games 85-86, where both sides won. Thus, the final score was 55-45, see Fig. 8, a performance that would suggest an ELO difference of only 36. In fact, although KOMODO lost the match, it did marginally better than might have been expected.

Wool (2018) provides an admirably generous and informative commentary on the games, covering the wins of course but also showing the struggle inherent in the many draws.


The two innovative engines exploiting neural-network architecture progressed to Division 3 with LC0 nearly promoting again to Division 2. Shall we see one of them passing through Division 2 next season?!

TCEC are to be congratulated for taking on the cost, risk and controversy of including GPUs to facilitate these exciting NN developments. They are now being rewarded by positive momentum and results from these new engines. No doubt the overheating and reliability problems will be addressed and solved. Another highlight was ETHEREAL’s progression from Division 3 to Division P where it still gained ELO points despite shipping several losses.

The TCEC exploration of chess openings by the second author here and by Jeroen Noomen has been treated above. Terminations by the 50-move rule and ‘EGT wins’ are very rare as the engines anticipate these endings and evaluate accordingly.

Assaf Wool (2018), as mentioned above, continues to provide his usual statistics and perspective on the TCEC tournaments, picking out his own favourite games for each round robin. This is very much to be applauded. ‘GM TheChesspuzzler’ (2018) set up further playlists on YouTube. Kingscrusher (2018) is also commenting on TCEC and particularly LC0 in his comprehensive YouTube presence, 5000 videos and counting.

The pgn and logfiles for TCEC13, together with some chess and statistical analysis as in Fig. 10, are available (Haworth and Hernandez, 2018b) for further study. Some of the decisive games have had an exemplar playout added as a variation. Whether you are looking for opening novelties or subtle endgames, the longest, most balanced or the shortest, most dramatic battles, see Fig. 9, there is plenty of interest here, plenty of occasion for reflection. Feedback to the authors is most welcome.

Full article

To read the full article in pdf, click HERE


London Grand Chess Tour Semis To Be Decided Tomorrow

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

With again two draws on the second day of the London Chess Classic, both semifinals Levon Aronian vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Hikaru Nakamura vs Fabiano Caruana will be decided in the rapid and blitz segment on Thursday.
Last month's worl…

Source: – Play. Learn. Share.

Caruana narrowly misses #1 spot

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

• World Championship challenger Fabiano Caruana is held to a draw by Hikaru Nakamura in the first semi-final game of the London Chess Classic, the final leg of the Grand Chess Tour, despite coming close to a decisive kingside attack on multiple occasions.

• The result leaves Caruana still just short of World Champion Magnus Carlsen’s No. 1 spot on the live ratings.

• Levon Aronian presses Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in an endgame but is also held to a draw in 74 moves.

• In the accompanying British Knockout Semi-Finals, Luke McShane forces a perpetual after mounting a strong counter-attack on Mickey Adams’ king.

London Chess Classic 2018

The big question on everyone’s lips at the start of play at the London Chess Classic Semi-Finals was whether Fabiano Caruana could win to overtake Magnus Carlsen – just 3 points ahead of him in the live ratings – to grab the coveted World No. 1 spot that the Norwegian has held for seven years.

Caruana came very close to securing the win, playing aggressively against Hikaru Nakamura’s Queen’s Gambit Declined, and sacrificing the front of two g-pawns to mount a kingside attack against Nakamura’s king. Yet perhaps in an echo of Caruana’s World Championship match last month with Carlsen, the win proved elusive as even computer analysis showed no clear way through, despite giving Caruana a sizeable advantage.

The other game in the Semi-Finals, with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave playing a Ruy Lopez against double king-pawn specialist Levon Aronian, was eventually drawn despite the Armenian having a slight advantage in the endgame.

Both games in the British Knockout Championship, which were played in the same auditorium at Google Deep Mind’s London offices, were also drawn. While David Howell versus Gawain Jones was a fairly sedate affair, Luke McShane’s game with Mickey Adams was an end-to-end running battle, with first Adams and then McShane taking the initiative on the kingside. An exchange sacrifice by McShane led to a forced draw, leaving all still to play for in Game 2 tomorrow.

Both the London Classic and British Knockout follow the same Grand Chess Tour knockout format. After the second Classical game on Wednesday, play switches on Thursday to two rapid and four blitz games. If the players are still level, rapid playoff matches and if required an Armageddon blitz game will decide who goes through to the finals.

DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis plays the first move in Fabiano Caruana’s game with Hikaru Nakamura on Tuesday at the London Chess Classic.

The London Chess Classic is the final leg of the 2018 Grand Chess Tour. It is the flagship event of Chess in Schools and Communities and includes a range of amateur and age-grade competitions for 1,000s of children from the charity initiative nationwide.

By Tim Wall


London Grand Chess Tour Takes Off With Fighting Draws

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

Both the games Caruana-Nakamura and MVL-Aronian were drawn on the first day of the London Chess Classic, the final leg of the 2018 Grand Chess Tour. Meanwhile, the British Knockout Championship is underway as well.
The Grand Chess Tour ends in L…

Source: – Play. Learn. Share.

On Chess : Caruana among 4 battling it out for Grand Chess Tour title in London

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

The 2018 Grand Chess Tour will conclude in London with a new and exciting format. The four qualified players, who were the top four point leaders after the first three tour stops, will take center stage. The field will be led by none other than World Chess Championship challenger Fabiano Caruana of St. Louis. The contenders will battle it out over six days, starting Tuesday. The knock-out format comes with a total prize fund of $300,000 and the much-coveted title of Grand Chess Tour Champion. The first half of the event will take place at the Google UK head office in London Dec. 11 — 13. Then, the tournament will move to its usual location at Olympia London for the grand finale, from Dec. 14 — 16. After his grueling World Chess Championship Match against Magnus Carlsen, Caruana will return to London for the final elite tournament of the year. He will …

Source: GameKnot online chess news

British Knockout Championship semi-finals

Monday, December 10th, 2018

• England top 4 Mickey Adams, David Howell, Gawain Jones and Luke McShane all negotiate their way through a tough quarter-final stage to qualify for the British Knockout Championship semi-finals.

• David Howell triumphs eventually over IM Ravi Haria in a rapid playoff, despite almost coming to grief in the first Classical game.

• Semi-Finals pit Adams vs McShane and Howell vs Jones.

• Live coverage of the Semi-Final matches, starting Tuesday at 11:00 UTC, is available on the London Chess Classic website.

British Knockout ch

Despite valiant efforts from the underdogs in the British Knockout, England Olympiad team members Mickey Adams, David Howell, Gawain Jones and Luke McShane all managed to win their Quarter-Final matches – although not without a struggle.

Qtr Fina1 1 1 2 3 4 A
Simon Williams 2466 ? 0 - - - ?
Mickey Adams 2706 ? 1 - - - 1?

Qtr Fina1 2 1 2 3 4 A
David Howell 2697 ? ? 1 1 - 3
Ravi Haria 2436 ? ? 0 0 - 1

Qtr Fina1 3 1 2 3 4 A
Gawain Jones 2683 1 ? - - - 1?
Alan Merry 2429 0 ? - - - ?

Qtr Fina1 4 1 2 3 4 A
Jonathan Hawkins 2579 ? 0 - - - ?
Luke McShane 2667 ? 1 - - - 1?

David Howell had the closest shave of all the top seeds, only managing to qualify for the Semi-Finals after winning a nail-biting playoff match 2-0 against IM Ravi Haria.

Elsewhere, Mickey Adams enjoyed a convincing victory in Game 2 of his match, after putting GM Simon Williams’s central king position under pressure in a double-edged Sicilian Richter-Rauzer. As his position started to crumble, Williams launched a desperate knight sacrifice against Adams’ king, but to no avail.

Gawain Jones, after his Game 1 win against IM Alan Merry, opted for a pawn sacrifice and active play with an ‘octopus’ knight to keep the balance, drawing comfortably in a rook endgame to ensure qualification.

Luke McShane played a nicely controlled endgame to knock out GM Jonathan Hawkins, using a strong rook on the seventh rank and an active king to bring home the point.

After a break on Monday, for the Pro-Biz Cup at Google HQ in London, the Semi-Finals resume on Tuesday.


The London Chess Classic is the UK’s largest chess tournament and the concluding leg of the Grand Chess Tour, an international circuit of world-class chess events inspired by legendary World Champion Garry Kasparov. It is the flagship event of Chess in Schools and Communities and includes a range of amateur and age-grade competitions for 1,000s of children from the charity initiative nationwide.

By Tim Wall


GM Judit Polgar appointed as Honorary FIDE Vice-President

Monday, December 10th, 2018

official logo

World Chess Federation announces the appointment of Grandmaster Judit Polgar as the Honorary FIDE Vice-President.

Mrs. Polgar will focus her efforts on chess development all over the world, including promoting chess in schools, popularization of the game and improving the level of tournament organization. GM Judit Polgar is the strongest female chess player of all time. At a classical rating of 2735, Judit was ranked № 8 chess player in the world in 2005.

Since her retirement from competitive chess in 2014, GM Polgar has been focusing on chess education and chess promotion. By 2018, the Budapest-based annual Global Chess Festival brought together more than 300 participating events and locations across 46 countries. Mrs. Polgar has also created the Chess Palace educational program, which is already being introduced in primary school curricula in Hungary and China. Furthermore, Grandmaster Polgar authored “Chess Playground”, a series of popular children’s books translated into several languages.

In August 2015 Polgar received the Order of Saint Stephen – the highest state distinction in Hungary.

“I am very glad to welcome Judit to our team,” – said FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich. “She has great experience both as a top player and as an organizer of international events. Her enthusiasm in promotion of chess is enormous. Judit is greatly respected by the global chess community, and I am sure that she will play an important role in the future work of FIDE.” added Mr. Dvorkovich. Arkady Dvorkovich was elected as the new FIDE president in October 2018; new FIDE management team includes renowned chess grandmasters & organizers Nigel Short, Viorel Bologan & Emil Sutovsky.

“I am very much looking forward to working together with Arkady and his excellent team in extending the reach and appeal of chess worldwide.” – said GM Polgar in her statement. – “I am confident that FIDE will become a more agile organization, supporting our professional athletes and organizers – as well as the millions and millions of chess lovers. My primary personal goals are to increase chess’ impact in non-formal education; finding and fostering talent; and do more for equality of opportunity across gender, social or economic and age differences. Last but not least, chess needs to reaffirm its very special place in the 21st century, conquering new platforms and capturing new audiences. It will be a most exciting challenge for me to assist on this unique mission.” – Judit Polgar concluded.

Judit polgar2018

Source: World Chess Federation – FIDE

British Knockout Chess Championship

Monday, December 10th, 2018

• Gawain Jones becomes the first player in the British KO Quarter-Finals to pull ahead with a smooth victory in Game 1 over IM Alan Merry.

• England No. 1 Mickey Adams is held to a draw by Simon Williams in a sharp Queen’s Gambit.

• David Howell barely escapes defeat at the hands of IM Ravi Haria after disastrously weakening his kingside defences and being forced to give up the exchange.

• Live coverage on the London Chess Classic website continues today in Game 2 of each of the Quarter-Final classical play matches, followed by rapid playoffs and an Armageddon game if necessary.

British Knockout ch

After a first round in which GMs John Nunn and Matthew Turner were knocked out, more surprises were in store for the top seeds in the British Knockout on Sunday as Mickey Adams was held to a draw by Simon Williams, while David Howell was lucky to survive a lost position against Ravi Haria.

Simon Williams (aka the ‘Ginger GM’) lived up to his reputation as a fearless aggressive player, trying a bold thrust 8. g4 in a Queen’s Gambit Declined. Despite Adams striking back immediately in the centre, Williams was able to steer play into a slightly favourable endgame in which Adams was forced to defend accurately a pawn down to hold the draw.

David Howell looked to be cruising to victory two pawns up in a theoretical Catalan, but then blundered, opening up his king in a position where opposite-coloured bishops were a factor. He was forced to give up the exchange, and then ran his king to the queenside in a desperate bid to save the game. After a queen exchange, both sides promoted pawns, and with time running short, Haria checked Howell’s king all the way up the board but was unable to find a way to finish the game. Howell managed to escape into a drawn endgame, thanks to his active king.

Gawain Jones became the first player to go ahead in the Quarter-Finals, outplaying Alan Merry in a Modern Benoni and forcing the win of queen for rook and knight, while Jonathan Hawkins held a solid draw against Luke McShane in a Scotch Four Knights.

Quarter Finals, Classical Game 2 (Sunday Dec. 9):

1 Mickey Adams (0.5) v Simon Williams (0.5)
2 Ravi Haria (0.5) v David Howell (0.5)
3 Alan Merry (0) v Gawain Jones (1)
4 Luke McShane (0.5) v Jonathan Hawkins (0.5)

Quarter-Final Schedule:

Game 1: 11:00 – 15:00; Game 2: 16:00 – 20:00; Playoffs: 2030 – 2200.
Time limits: Classical games: 90 mins plus 30 secs per move increment throughout.

Playoffs (2 games): 10 mins plus 5 secs per move increment throughout. If still undecided, Armageddon game 5 mins v 4 mins, with 2 secs increment per move from move 61.


The London Chess Classic is the UK’s largest chess tournament and the concluding leg of the Grand Chess Tour, an international circuit of world-class chess events inspired by legendary World Champion Garry Kasparov. It is the flagship event of Chess in Schools and Communities and includes a range of amateur and age-grade competitions for 1,000s of children from the charity initiative nationwide.

By Tim Wall


North American Open 2018

Monday, December 10th, 2018

The 28th Annual North American Open will be held from 26-30 December, 2018, at Bally’s Casino Resort, 3645 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, Nevada.

The event has 7 sections: Open, Under 2300, Under 2100, Under 1900, Under 1700, Under 1500 and Under 1250.

The Open Section is a 5-day tournament (December 26-30) with FIDE norms possible. The Under 2300 to Under 1250 Sections have either a 4-day schedule (December 26-29) or 3-day schedule (December 27-29) to participate in.

GM and IM norms are possible in the Open Section which will be played over 9 rounds of Swiss system with the time control 40/2, SD/30, d10. The other sections will be completed over 7 rounds of Swiss system.

Top rated players are Grandmasters Jinshi Bai 2568, Julio J Becerra 2520, Adrien Demuth 2517, Andrey Gorovets 2509, Zbigniew Pakleza 2506, Artur Jakubiec 2497 etc

Bally’s Casino Resort

Bally’s Casino Resort

The event has a $120,000 prize fund unconditionally guaranteed.

Open Section: $10000-5000-2500-1200-1000-800-600-500-400-400, clear winner or 1st on tiebreak bonus $200, top FIDE Under 2400/Unr $2400-1200. FIDE rated, GM & IM norms possible.
Under 2300 Section: $7000-4000-2000-1200-800-600-500-500-400-400.
Under 2100 Section: $7000-4000-2000-1200-800-600-500-500-400-400, no unrated may win over $2000.
Under 1900 Section: $7000-4000-2000-1200-800-600-500-500-400-400, no unrated may win over $1600.
Under 1700 Section: $6000-3000-1500-1000-800-600-500-500-400-400, no unrated may win over $1300.
Under 1500 Section: $5000-2500-1300-1000-700-600-500-400-300-300, no unrated may win over $1000.
Under 1250 Section: $3000-1500-1000-800-600-500-400-400-300-300, top Under 1000 (no unr) $1000-500, no unrated may win over $500. No separate U1000 section; players under 1000 in U1250 play for both U1250 and U1000 prizes; receive larger if winning both.


Pro-Biz Cup: Caruana & Kasparov head star-studded line-up

Monday, December 10th, 2018

Hosted by DeepMind in Google’s UK headquarters in King’s Cross

As part of the 10th London Chess Classic, the Pro-Biz Cup brings leading business minds and the world’s leading Grandmasters together in a fun tournament to raise money for the UK charity Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC). This takes place on Mon 10 December.

This prestigious event will feature World Championship Challenger Fabiano Caruana, back in action in London just days after his gripping match with Magnus Carlsen.

Alongside will be his fellow competitors in the London Chess Classic (the final leg of the Grand Chess Tour 2018) Hikaru Nakamura, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Levon Aronian. Pairs of leading Grandmasters and amateurs will play alternate moves in an innovative rapidplay format, with the winning team being awarded the Pro-Biz Cup 2018.

Pro-Biz Cup 2018

Prominent among the teams of top-class Grandmasters and businesspeople are two of the world’s brightest minds:

- Demis Hassabis, the Co-Founder of Google’s leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) company DeepMind and creator of Alpha Zero and Alpha Go, which have pioneered breakthroughs in Chess and Go; and
- Garry Kasparov, the legendary World Chess Champion, who has become an enthusiastic advocate of AI since his epic Man vs Machine chess match with the Deep Thought supercomputer in 1997.

The impressive array of talent also includes England Olympiad team members Mickey Adams, David Howell, Gawain Jones and David Howell, as well as nine-year-old Shreyas Royal, England’s top Under 12 and the world’s second-highest rated player for his age.

The Teams:

Pair 1

- Fabiano Caruana, World Championship Challenger
- Chris Flowers, Chairman and CEO of J.C. Flowers & Co. LLC, an investment firm specialising in financial services

Pair 2

- Matthew Sadler, two-time British Champion
- Demis Hassabis, CEO and Co-Founder of DeepMind

Pair 3

- Garry Kasparov, former World Champion
- Terry Chapman, entrepreneur and former Chairman and CEO of Terence Chapman Group PLC

Pair 4

- David Howell, England No. 2
- Rajko Vujatovic, model risk consultant and three-time gold medallist in the World Diving Chess Championships

Pair 5

- Levon Aronian, Grand Chess Tour semi-finalist 2018.
- Justin Baptie, Managing Director of Insight Strategic Associates, a firm of accountants dealing with the SME and HNW market.

Pair 6

- Mickey Adams, England No. 1 and reigning British Champion.
- Natasha Regan, a Director at RPC Consulting and Women’s International Master.

Pair 7

- Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Grand Chess Tour semi-finalist 2018.
- Gilles Betthaeuser, President of global real estate company Colliers International for France, Belgium, Spain, Morocco and Switzerland.

Pair 8

- Gawain Jones, two-time British Champion.
- Nigel Povah, an advisor to US firm PSI and an International Master.

Pair 9

- Hikaru Nakamura, Grand Chess Tour semi-finalist 2018.
- Karina Vazirova, Head of Product and Implementations at ClauseMatch, a London-based RegTech firm, and a Women’s International Master

Pair 10

- Ali Mortazavi, former CEO of Silence Therapeutics and an International Master.
- Shreyas Royal, 9, currently the top English Under 12 and ranked second in the world for his age.

The Pro-Biz Cup is part of the London Chess Classic and supports Chess in Schools and Communities