London Chess Classic 2010

In December 2010 Pat and I went to London to spectate at the London Chess Classic which was one of the strongest tournaments ever to take place in England. It featured the reigning World Champion, one former World Champion, the current World No.1 rated player, the No. 1 rated American player and the top 3 rated English players. Here are the photos I took of the competitors:
Viswanathan Anand Viswanathan Anand (India) was the reigning World Chess Champion at the time of the tournament. At 18 he became India's first ever chess grandmaster. Eight years later, in 1995, he earned the right to challenge Gary Kasparov for the World Chess Championship. He lost but twelve years later he defeated the then Champion, Veselin Topalov, to become World Champion (having already won a World Championship tournament the previous year. He has since successfully defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik, one of his opponents at the London Chess Classic.
Magnus Carlsen Magnus Carlsen (Norway) was a child prodigy. At age 13 he became the second-youngest chess grandmaster in history. His rise to the top has been steady and unfaltering. He has won many major international tournaments and many consider it inevitable that he will become World Champion. However, a few weeks before the London Tournament he shocked the chess world by announcing that he would not be taking part in the final elimination matches for the World Championship even though he had qualified to play. This stance seemingly prevents him from becoming the youngest ever World Chess Champion.

He won the London Classic Tournament in 2009 and repeated the success in 2010 despite the loss of two games (to McShane and Anand).
Vladimir Kramnik Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) won the World Under 18 championship in 1991 and had a string of international successes before becoming World Champion in 2000 by defeating Gary Kasparov who was widely regarded to be the greatest chess player of all time. In 2004 he defended his title by defeating the Hungarian challenger, Peter Leko. Following another successful defence (this time against Veselin Topalov) in 2006, he lost his tite to Viswanathan Anand in 2007 when the latter won the World Championship tournament of that year. Despite the loss of his crown, Kramnik has remained one of the top 5 players in the world.
Hikaru Nakamura Hikaru Nakamura was born in 1987 in Japan but moved with his parents to the United States when he was 2 years old. In 2003 he became America's youngest ever grandmaster at the age of 15 years 2 months and 19 days. At age 16 he got to the last 16 of the World Chess Championship tournament before being defeated in that round by Michael Adams of England, one of his opponents at the London Chess Classic. As at December 2010 he was the top-rated player in Amercia and number 15 in the world.
Luke McShane Luke McShane was World under-10 Champion in 1993 and became England's youngest-ever grandmaster when he was 16. His chess took a back seat whilst he studied at Oxford University but he has again started to take the game more seriously and this is evidenced by his good results and his improving chess rating. He played exceptionally well throughout the London Tournament and only narrowly missed out on victory, coming equal second to Magnus Carlsen despite having defeated him in their individual game.
Michael Adams Michael Adams has won the British Championship 3 times, the first occasion being in 1989 at the age of 17 and the most recent being the 2010 Championship. He has got through to the finals of World Championship tournaments twice but lost on both occasions (the first time was to Viswanathan Anand). He has been the top-rated player in Britain for much of the last 20 years and as at December 2010 was ranked 17 in the World.
David Howell David Howell has been playing chess since the age of 5 and has been the British under-8, under-9 and under-10 Champion. In August 1999 he became internationally famous when he became the youngest ever person to defeat a grandmaster in an official game and in 2002 he became the youngest person ever to gain a draw against a reigning World Champion (Vladimir Kramnik).
Nigel Short Nigel Short was a true chess prodigy. He defeated Viktor Korchnoi (a World Championship finalist twice) when he was only 10 years old and won the British Championship at only 14. In 1993 he earned the right to challenge Gary Kasparov for the World Championship but was defeated by a score of 7.5 to 12.5. He now lives in Greece.