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World champion Magnus Carlsen, fresh from an impressive victory in India, will be at London Olympia from December 2-8 for the semi-finals and final of the Grand Tour world circuit backed by FT reader Rex Sinquefield.

The tour has expanded considerably this year, with new events at Kolkata and the Ivory Coast, but with the exception of a disastrous speed event in St Louis, Carlsen has been the outstanding player.

Last weekend at Kolkata featured nine rounds of rapid one-hour chess, which the Norwegian, who turns 29 on Saturday, dominated with six wins and three draws. The London games will be at classical time rates lasting 4-5 hours, with speed tie-breaks if needed.

The double target for Carsen is to win and to continue his current unbeaten classical run, which now stands at 101, to a new world record of 111. It would be 103 not out now but for Carlsen’s decision to exclude his Norwegian League games.

Spectator tickets for Olympia are still available, and Carlsen can also be watched free and live online in the Kolkata five-minute blitz on Monday and Tuesday morning (7.30am GMT start).

The Grand Tour website gives full details of these events plus the annual British Knock-out championship where England’s world and European team medallists will be competing.

2343

The international master playing Black here recaptured a knight by 1 . . . Qxf6 when he could have taken with the g7 pawn. Did Black set a trap or was he himself trapped?

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