The Grand Prix was first played in 2008. The first two Grand Prix consisted of six tournaments, but the 2014-2015 edition had only four. Often there were problems finding sponsors and many announced host cities were changed eventually.
The winner of the men's Grand Prix gets entry to the Candidates Tournament. The winner of the women's cycle is directly qualified to a championship match. The women's edition has been dominated by Chinese GM Hou Yifan, who won all editions so far.