Grand Chess Tour

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The Grand Chess Tour (GCT) is a circuit of chess tournaments where players compete for multiple prize pools. Major tournaments that have been featured in the Grand Chess Tour include Norway Chess, the Sinquefield Cup, and the London Chess Classic.

History[edit]

The Grand Chess Tour was announced on April 24, 2015 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis in St. Louis, Missouri prior to the Battle of the Legends: Garry Kasparov vs Nigel Short match. The tour was designed to promote competitive chess by including all of the top players and the World Champion Magnus Carlsen in a single circuit. With the combination of several established tournaments, the Grand Chess Tour aimed to create a large prize pool which would be attractive to the players and media alike.[1]

The first Grand Chess Tour took place across three tournaments, Norway Chess, the Sinquefield Cup, and the London Chess Classic with each tournament in the Grand Chess Tour having the same prize fund, structure, and time controls. The overall prize pool for the first Grand Chess Tour was $1,050,000, with $300,000 for each tournament and a $150,000 prize for the top three players across the entire circuit.[1][2]

In 2015, nine "standard" players competed in each tournament in the Grand Chess Tour, with a tenth wildcard player is selected by the organizing committee of each individual event. In 2016, there were eight standard players, and two wildcards per event. Players earn tour points based on their performance at each event. The top three players who accumulate the most tour points across all events receive extra prize money, taken from the Grand Chess Tour prize fund, and automatic invitations to the following year's Grand Chess Tour. Wildcard players receive tour points for any tournaments in which they participate.[2]

The point breakdown and prize money for each classical tournament is as follow:

Place Points Event standings Overall standings
1st 13/12* $75,000 $75,000
2nd 10 $50,000 $50,000
3rd 8 $40,000 $25,000
4th 7 $30,000
5th 6 $25,000
6th 5 $20,000
7th 4 $15,000
8th 3 $15,000
9th 2 $15,000
10th 1 $15,000
  • If a player shares 1st place and wins the tiebreak (*), they earn 12 points rather than the 13 points awarded to an outright winner.
  • Rapid and blitz events have the prize money halved.

Winners[edit]

# Year Winner
1 2015  Magnus Carlsen (Norway)
2 2016  Wesley So (United States)
3 2017  Magnus Carlsen (Norway)
4 2018  Hikaru Nakamura (United States)

Grand Chess Tour 2015[edit]

In 2015, the Grand Chess Tour invited the top-10 players in the world ranked by the January 2015 FIDE rating list. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, the 11th ranked player in February 2015, was invited as the ninth player to compete after 8th ranked Vladimir Kramnik and 10th ranked Wesley So declined to participate.[2][3] Jon Ludvig Hammer was selected to participate in the 2015 Norway Chess Tournament after qualifying through a wildcard tournament.[4] Wesley So and Michael Adams were selected to participate in the Sinquefield Cup and the London Chess Classic, respectively.[5][6]

The results of the 2015 Grand Chess Tour. Tour points in bold indicate a tournament win.

Player FIDE Rating
December 2015
Norway Chess [7] Sinquefield Cup London Chess Classic Total points Prize money
1  Magnus Carlsen (Norway) 2834 4 10 12 26 $215,000
2  Anish Giri (Netherlands) 2784 7 6 10 23 $155,000
3  Levon Aronian (Armenia) 2788 2 13 7 22 $145,000
4  Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) 2773 5 7 8 20 $90,000
5  Hikaru Nakamura (United States) 2793 8 8 3 19 $95,000
6  Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) 2803 13 4 1 18 $105,000
7  Alexander Grischuk (Russia) 2747 3 5 6 14 $60,000
8  Viswanathan Anand (India) 2796 10 2 2 14 $80,000
9  Fabiano Caruana (United States) 2787 6 3 4.5 13.5 $55,000
10  Michael Adams (United Kingdom) 2737 4.5 4.5 $20,000
11  Jon Ludvig Hammer (Norway) 2695 1 1 $15,000
12  Wesley So (United States) 2775 1 1 $15,000

Grand Chess Tour 2016[edit]

On January 6, 2016, the Altibox Norway Chess event announced it would not be part of the Grand Chess Tour in 2016.[8][9]

On February 11, 2016, the GCT announced it was adding two rapid/blitz tournaments for 2016,[10] sponsored by Colliers International France (Paris), and Your Next Move (Leuven).[11]

For 2016, an initial roster of eight players was created based upon the rules published on the GCT website. The Initial Roster consisted of the three top finishers in the 2015 GCT and the next five highest players by rating will be the average of each monthly FIDE supplement from February through December inclusive, as well as the live ratings after the 2015 London Chess Classic. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was subsequently added to the roster as the GCT Wild Card Player for all 4 events.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen declined participation in the two classic events but competed as a wild card in the rapid/blitz tournaments held in both Paris and Leuven.[12] All other players accepted the invitations for all four tournaments with the exception of Viswanathan Anand who declined the invitation to the Paris tournament. Since GCT Tour Points are based on the best three tournament results Anand remains eligible for the overall tour prizes in 2016. For the Sinquefield Cup, Vladimir Kramnik had to withdraw due to health issues and was replaced by Peter Svidler.

The wildcards were as follows:

Player Event
 Magnus Carlsen (Norway) Paris & Leuven
 Laurent Fressinet (France) Paris
 Ding Liren (China) St Louis
 Peter Svidler (Russia) St Louis
 Michael Adams (England) London

The results of the 2016 Grand Chess Tour. Tour points in bold indicate a tournament win.[13]

Player FIDE rating
June 2016
Paris GCT Leuven GCT Sinquefield Cup London Chess Classic Total points Prize money
 Wesley So (United States) 2770 7 10 13 13 36 $295,000
 Hikaru Nakamura (United States) 2787 13 4 4.5 7 24.5 $144,166
 Fabiano Caruana (United States) 2804 3 6 7.75 10 23.75 $108,750
 Magnus Carlsen (Norway) 2855 10 13 23 $67,500
 Levon Aronian (Armenia) 2792 6 8 7.75 3 21.75 $81,250
 Viswanathan Anand (India) 2782 7 7.75 7 21.75 $82,916
 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) 2787 8 5 4.5 3 17.5 $55,000
 Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) 2770 4 2.5 7 13.5 $46,666
 Anish Giri (Netherlands) 2812 5 2.5 1 5 12.5 $50,000
 Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) 2761 2 1 7.75 1 10.75 $66,250
 Ding Liren (China) 2783 3 3 $15,000
 Michael Adams (England) 2727 3 3 $15,000
 Peter Svidler (Russia) 2751 2 2 $15,000
 Laurent Fressinet (France) 2687 1 1 $7,500

Grand Chess Tour 2017[edit]

The 2017 Grand Chess Tour consisted of five events: three rapid and blitz chess, and two classical chess.[14] By January 2017, six players had qualified for the 2017 Grand Chess Tour;[15] on January 3, three wildcard selections for the tour were announced, bringing the total number of participants to nine.[16] Vladimir Kramnik declined to participate in the 2017 GCT, citing a busy summer schedule. He was replaced by Levon Aronian.[17][18]

On July 5, Garry Kasparov agreed to join the St. Louis Rapid & Blitz tournament as a wildcard.

Players[edit]

Player Qualification method URS rating
January 2017
FIDE rating
January 2017
 Wesley So (United States) GCT 2016 Winner 2777 2808
 Hikaru Nakamura (United States) GCT 2016 Runner-Up 2787 2785
 Fabiano Caruana (United States) GCT 2016 3rd place 2779 2827
 Magnus Carlsen (Norway) 1st 2016 FIDE Average rating 2852 2840
 Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) 2nd 2016 FIDE Average rating 2787 2811
 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) 3rd 2016 FIDE Average rating 2774 2796
 Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) WC (1st URS 1 January 2017 not picked) 2779 2767
 Sergey Karjakin (Russia) WC (2nd URS 1 January 2017 not picked) 2778 2785
 Viswanathan Anand (India) WC 2771 2786
 Levon Aronian (Armenia) WC (Alternate) 2771 2780
 Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) WC (Leuven) 2787 2811
 Alexander Grischuk (Russia) WC (Paris) 2771 2742
 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) WC (Paris) 2768 2766
 Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) WC (Paris) ? 2739
 Etienne Bacrot (France) WC (Paris) ? 2695
 Baadur Jobava (Georgia) WC (Leuven) ? 2701
 Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) WC (Leuven) 2760 2752
 Anish Giri (Netherlands) WC (Leuven) 2757 2773
 Peter Svidler (Russia) WC (St. Louis) ? 2748
 Garry Kasparov (Russia) WC (St. Louis Rapid & Blitz) N/A [a] N/A [b]
 Leinier Domínguez (Cuba) WC (St. Louis Rapid & Blitz) ? 2739
 David Navara (Czech Republic) WC (St. Louis Rapid & Blitz) ? 2735
 Le Quang Liem (Vietnam) WC (St. Louis Rapid & Blitz) ? 2718
 Michael Adams (England) WC (London) ? 2751

Results[edit]

Player Paris GCT
June 21 – June 25
Leuven GCT
June 28 – July 2
Sinquefield Cup
July 31 – August 12
Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz
August 13 – August 20
London Chess Classic
November 30 – December 11
Total points Prize money
 Magnus Carlsen (Norway) 12 13 9 7 41 $245,417
 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) 10 8 13 7 38 $207,917
 Levon Aronian (Armenia) 5.5 6.5 13 4 29 $91,250
 Hikaru Nakamura (United States) 8 3 9 5 25 $77,500
 Fabiano Caruana (United States) 3 4 5 12 24 $95,000
 Sergey Karjakin (Russia) 5 6.5 9 3 23.5 $75,000
 Wesley So (United States) 4 10 1.5 7 22.5 $79,167
 Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) 4 1.5 7 10 22.5 $100,000
 Viswanathan Anand (India) 3 9 2 1.5 15.5 $75,000
 Anish Giri (Netherlands) 7 7 $15,000
 Alexander Grischuk (Russia) 7 7 $15,000
 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) 6 6 $12,500
 Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) 5.5 5.5 $11,250
 Peter Svidler (Russia) 5 5 $20,000
 Leinier Domínguez (Cuba) 5 5 $10,000
 Le Quang Liem (Vietnam) 5 5 $10,000
 Garry Kasparov (Russia) 3 3 $7,500
 Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) 2 2 $7,500
 Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) 2 2 $7,500
 Michael Adams (England) 1.5 1.5 $15,000
 Etienne Bacrot (France) 1 1 $7,500
 Baadur Jobava (Georgia) 1 1 $7,500
 David Navara (Czech Republic) 1 1 $7,500

Note that wildcard players were not eligible for the overall prize funds.

Grand Chess Tour 2018[edit]

The Grand Chess Tour 2018 saw a format change. While the first four events retained the same rules, the last event – the London Chess Classic – served as the semifinals and finals for the top four players from the first four events and consisted of a classical, rapid and blitz section. After tying for fourth place, Fabiano Caruana qualified for the final event by beating Wesley So in a playoff 1.5–0.5. Hikaru Nakamura emerged victorious at the London Chess Classic and clinched the Grand Chess Tour's top prize by beating Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the blitz section.[19]

Results[edit]

Player[20] Leuven GCT
June 12 – June 16
Paris GCT
June 20 – June 24
Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz
August 10 – August 16
Sinquefield Cup
August 17 – August 28
Total points Prize money
 Hikaru Nakamura (United States) 7 13 13 1.5 34.5 $105,000
 Levon Aronian (Armenia) 6 7 6 15 34 $95,000
 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) 9 6 10 6 31 $80,000
 Fabiano Caruana (United States) 2 2 7 15 26 $85,000
 Wesley So (United States) 13 8 2 3 26 $80,000
 Sergey Karjakin (Russia) 9 10 5 1.5 25.5 $72,500
 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) 4 3 8 10 25 $65,000
 Alexander Grischuk (Russia) 5 4 3 6 18 $45,000
 Viswanathan Anand (India) 3 5 1 6 15 $45,000
 Magnus Carlsen (Norway) 15 15 $55,000
 Leinier Domínguez (Cuba) 4 4 $7,500
 Anish Giri (Netherlands) 1 1 $7,500
 Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) 1 1 $7,500

Semifinals and finals at the London Chess Classic[edit]

In 2018, the London Chess Classic served as the semifinals and finals for the top four players from the 2018 Grand Chess Tour.

The players played 2 classical games, 2 rapid games, and 4 blitz games. 6 points were awarded for a win, 3 points for a draw and 0 points for a loss in classical play. In the rapid games, 4 points were awarded for a win, 2 points for a draw, and 0 points for a loss. In the blitz games, 2 points were awarded for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 point for a loss.

After seven consecutive draws that opened his final match with Vachier-Lagrave, Nakamura clinched an event victory by defeating Vachier-Lagrave in the fourth and final blitz game.[21][22]

Semifinals Final
      
1  Hikaru Nakamura (United States) 18
4  Fabiano Caruana (United States) 10
 Hikaru Nakamura (United States) 15
 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) 13
2  Levon Aronian (Armenia) 10
3  Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) 18

Grand Chess Tour 2019[edit]

The 2019 Grand Chess Tour features 8 tournaments, with 12 full participants and 14 wild card participants. Of the first 7 tournaments, 5 are rapid/blitz tournaments and 2 are classical tournaments. The 12 full participants will play in the classical events and in 3 of the 5 rapid/blitz tournaments. As in 2018, the top 4 players after the 7 events will qualify for the GCT Finals at the London Chess Classic.[23]

The wildcards are as follows:

Player Event
 Wei Yi (China) Côte d'Ivoire
 Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) Côte d'Ivoire
 Bassem Amin (Egypt) Côte d'Ivoire
 Alexander Grischuk (Russia) Paris
 Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland) Paris
 Daniil Dubov (Russia) Paris
 Leinier Domínguez (United States) St. Louis
 Yu Yangyi (China) St. Louis
 Richárd Rapport (Hungary) St. Louis
 Vladislav Artemiev (Russia) Superbet
 Lê Quang Liêm (Vietnam) Superbet
 Anton Korobov (Ukraine) Superbet
 Vidit Gujrathi (India) Tata Steel
 Pentala Harikrishna (India) Tata Steel

The tour points were awarded as follows:[24]

Place Points (classical) Points (rapid/blitz)
1st 18/20* 12/13*
2nd 15 10
3rd 12 8
4th 10 7
5th 8 6
6th 7 5
7th 6 4
8th 5 3
9th 4 2
10th 3 1
11th 2 N/A
12th 1 N/A
  • If a player wins 1st place outright, they are awarded 20 points instead of 18 (classical), and 13 instead of 12 (rapid/blitz).
  • Tour points are shared equally between tied players.

Results[edit]

Player Côte d'Ivoire Rapid & Blitz
May 6 – 13
Croatia GCT
June 24 – July 9
Paris GCT Rapid & Blitz
July 26 – August 1
Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz
August 8 – 15
Sinquefield Cup
August 15 – 30
Superbet Rapid & Blitz
November 4 – 11
Tata Steel Rapid & Blitz
November 20 – 27
Total points Prize money
 Magnus Carlsen (Norway) 13 20 5 16.5 54.5 $205,000
 Ding Liren (China) 6 7 8.3 16.5 37.8 $132,333
 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) 9 3 13 8.3 3.5 36.8 $100,000
 Levon Aronian (Armenia) 11 13 1.5 11 36.5 $113,750
 Sergey Karjakin (Russia) 3.5 5 6 11 11 36.5 $99,250
 Viswanathan Anand (India) 3 10 11 8 32 $90,000
 Fabiano Caruana (United States) 11 5 3 6.5 1 26.5 $76,250
 Wesley So (United States) 7 15 1.5 2.5 26 $92,500
 Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) 3.5 7 7.5 6.5 24.5 $58,583
 Anish Giri (Netherlands) 7 1 6.5 4.5 19 $49,833
 Hikaru Nakamura (United States) 9 1 4 3.5 17.5 $50,000
 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) 3 3 1 6.5 2.5 16 $48,750
 Yu Yangyi (China) 8.3 8.3 $20,000
 Alexander Grischuk (Russia) 7.5 7.5 $17,500
 Lê Quang Liêm (Vietnam) 7 7 $15,000
 Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland) 6 6 $12,500
 Anton Korobov (Ukraine) 6 6 $12,500
 Wei Yi (China) 5 5 $10,000
 Vladislav Artemiev (Russia) 4.5 4.5 $8,750
 Richárd Rapport (Hungary) 4 4 $7,500
 Daniil Dubov (Russia) 2 2 $7,500
 Leinier Domínguez (United States) 2 2 $7,500
 Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) 2 2 $7,500
 Bassem Amin (Egypt) 1 1 $7,500
 Vidit Gujrathi (India)
 Pentala Harikrishna (India)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Kasparov did not have a URS rating due to inactivity from the years 2005 to 2017.
  2. ^ Kasparov did not have a FIDE rating due to inactivity from the years 2005 to 2017.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (April 24, 2015). Grand Chess Tour Press Conference - 04.24.15.
  2. ^ a b c http://grandchesstour.com/content/rules-regulations Grand Chess Tour: Rules & Regulations
  3. ^ https://ratings.fide.com/toparc.phtml?cod=337 Fide Ratings List: January 2015
  4. ^ http://www.chessdom.com/gm-hammer-wins-entercard-scandinavian-masters-to-qualify-for-norway-chess-2015/ GM Hammer Wins Entercard Scandinavia Masters to Qualify for Norway Chess 2015
  5. ^ http://grandchesstour.com/2015-sinquefield-cup/field 2015 Sinquefield Cup: The Field
  6. ^ http://www.londonchessclassic.com/gct_players.htm London Chess Classic: Players 2015
  7. ^ http://grandchesstour.com/content/norway-chess-2015 Results of Norway Chess 2015
  8. ^ Press Release from GCT and Altibox Norway Chess
  9. ^ Norway Chess leaves GCT
  10. ^ Grand Tour adds two events
  11. ^ 2016 GCT schedule announced
  12. ^ Grand Chess Tour Announces Field For 2016 Season
  13. ^ "Final Tour Standings - 2016 | Grand Chess Tour". grandchesstour.org. Retrieved 2016-12-28.
  14. ^ "2017 Events". Grand Chess Tour.
  15. ^ "The 2017 GCT field". Grand Chess Tour.
  16. ^ "TGCT Announces Launch of URS™ and 2017 Wildcard Selections". Grand Chess Tour.
  17. ^ "Carlsen, So In Grand Chess Tour; Kramnik Declines". Chess.com.
  18. ^ "2017 GCT – Final Tour Participants And Event Allocations". Grand Chess Tour.
  19. ^ https://en.chessbase.com/post/new-format-for-grand-chess-tour-2018
  20. ^ "2018 Tour Standings | Grand Chess Tour". grandchesstour.org. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  21. ^ Fischer, Johannes (2018-12-14). "London Classic: Nakamura and Vachier-Lagrave advance to Final". Chessbase.com. Retrieved 2018-12-18. Vachier-Lagrave qualified to the finals and the remaining two games served to entertain the spectators. The players traded points, leaving the final tally in the match at 18:10 the same as the score between Nakamura and Caruana.
  22. ^ Pereira, Antonio (2018-12-17). "Nakamura deservedly wins the 2018 Grand Chess Tour". Chessbase.com. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  23. ^ https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour
  24. ^ "2019 GCT Tour Regulations" (PDF).

External links[edit]