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 will be 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]

Winners[edit]

# Year Winner
1 2015  Magnus Carlsen (Norway)
2 2016  Wesley So (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 January 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 point breakdown and prize money for each tournament is as follows:

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.

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 Total Earnings
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 according to the 2016 January FIDE Rating List. 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 will 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 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 $68,500
 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 consists 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, the next highest rated player on the January Universal Rating System list. [17][18]

Player Qualification method URS rating
January 2017
FIDE rating
January 2017
 Wesley So (United States) GCT 2016 Winner 2789 2807
 Hikaru Nakamura (United States) GCT 2016 Runner-Up 2796 2784
 Fabiano Caruana (United States) GCT 2016 3rd place 2791 2827
 Magnus Carlsen (Norway) 1st 2016 FIDE Average rating 2864 2840
 Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) 2nd 2016 FIDE Average rating 2796 2811
 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) 3rd 2016 FIDE Average rating 2784 2796
 Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) WC (1st URS 1 January 2017 not picked) 2786 2767
 Sergey Karjakin (Russia) WC (2nd URS 1 January 2017 not picked) 2786 2785
 Viswanathan Anand (India) WC 2780 2786
 Levon Aronian (Armenia) WC (Alternate) 2780 2780
 Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) WC (Leuven) 2779 2767
 Alexander Grischuk (Russia) WC (Paris) 2778 2742
 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) WC (Paris) 2775 2766
 Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) WC (Paris) 2721 2739
 Etienne Bacrot (France) WC (Paris) 2689 2695
 Baadur Jobava (Georgia) WC (Leuven) 2702 2701
 Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) WC (Leuven) 2768 2752
 Anish Giri (Netherlands) WC (Leuven) 2768 2773
Player Paris GCT
June 21 – June 25
Leuven GCT
June 28 – July 2
Sinquefield Cup
July 31 – August 12
Saint Louis Rapid
August 13 – August 20
London Chess Classic
November 30 – December 11
Total Prize Money
 Magnus Carlsen (Norway) 12
 Hikaru Nakamura (United States) 8
 Fabiano Caruana (United States) 3
 Sergey Karjakin (Russia) 5
 Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia)
 Wesley So (United States) 4
 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) 10
 Viswanathan Anand (India)
 Levon Aronian (Armenia)
 Alexander Grischuk (Russia) 7
 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) 6
 Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) 2
 Etienne Bacrot (France) 1
 Baadur Jobava (Georgia)
 Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine)
 Anish Giri (Netherlands)
 Vladimir Kramnik (Russia)

References[edit]

External links[edit]