Though a number of prominent tournaments are ongoing or winding up, including the finals of the US Chess League, the Women’s World Championship, and the Grand Prix tournament in Uzbekistan, there is special interest in the London Classic 2012, which started Dec.1, because the contestants and the rivalry are so familiar to us. FIDE moved the Candidates’ tournament for the world championship to March 2013 to accommodate this favorite event. First, in the Classic there will be Magnus Carlsen of Norway, the No. 1 player in the world, and Judith Polgar of Hungary, a sort of Goddess to the women players. She is very active again, after a substantial detour raising a family. She lost a mini-match to Carlsen in Mexico in November. She actually defeated him in the first blitz game, but then lost the blindfold game. This forced the match into blitz tie-breaker games, which Carlsen won.
Another aspect of the London Classic is that Hikaru Nakamura will be there, once again trying to defeat his nemesis Carlsen. American fans will be eager to see whether the intense Nakamura can make headway against the supremely calm Norwegian. Other players include world champion Viswanathan Anand, seeking to halt a declining image; Luke McShane, the only nonprofessional in the field; Levon Aronian, and Vladimir Kramnik. New to the field is the current British champion, Gawain Jones.