Chess World Cup

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The Chess World Cup is a 128-player single-elimination chess tournament organized by the World Chess Federation.


In 1988–89, the Grandmasters Association organised a series of six high-ranking World Cup tournaments in the form of a 'Grand Prix'.

In 2000 and 2002 FIDE, the World Chess Federation, staged their "First Chess World Cup" and "Second Chess World Cup" respectively. These were major tournaments, but not directly linked to the World Chess Championship. Both the 2000[1] and 2002[2] events were won by Viswanathan Anand of India.

Since 2005, a different event of the same name has been part of the World Chess Championship cycle. This event is being held every two years. It is a 128-player knockout tournament, in the same style as the Tilburg tournament from 1992-94, or the 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2004 FIDE World Championships.

The event was held in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011 in Khanty-Mansiysk, and subsequently FIDE has given preference to bids for the Olympiad that also contain a bid for the preceding World Cup.[3][4] During the 2015 finals of the World Cup, the main organizer commented "We received the right to host the Olympiad and then we were given an additional event – the World Cup."[5]

The Chess World Cup 2005 qualified ten players for the Candidates Tournament for the World Chess Championship 2007. This event was won by Armenian GM Levon Aronian. The Chess World Cup 2007 qualified one player for the next stage of the World Chess Championship 2010. This event was won by American GM Gata Kamsky.

The Chess World Cup 2009 qualified one player for the World Chess Championship 2012 cycle, Israeli GM Boris Gelfand won this event.[6][7] The Chess World Cup 2011 qualified three players for the World Chess Championship 2013 cycle, Russian GM Peter Svidler won this event.[8] The Chess World Cup 2013 qualified two players for the World Chess Championship 2014 cycle, Russian GM Vladimir Kramnik won this event. The Chess World Cup 2015 qualified two players for the World Chess Championship 2016 cycle, Russian GM Sergey Karjakin won this event.


The format has typically been 128 players with 7 single-elimination rounds of "mini-matches", which are 2 games each followed by a series of rapid then blitz tiebreaks if necessary. The final usually has 4 games before the tiebreaks start. An extra rest day has recently been added before the semi-finals, in addition to before the final.[9] Some criticism has been leveled at the scheduling effects, with the event being rather long (26 days), particularly with almost all of the players having left long before the end.[10] Fatigue thus plays a critical role, and while some players seek to conserve energy by avoiding tiebreaks, others "agree" (either explicitly or implicitly) to make short draws in the 2 long games and decide the winner in tiebreaks. There are often comments that system is mostly a lottery of who survives, though of course better players have more chances on the whole.[11] The anticlimax of the 4-round final, with both players now already qualified for the Candidates, has also been criticized.[12] Similarly, many journalists only come for the first week or two, when the intrigue is more with early round upsets and the surprises of the field, rather than the finals.[13]


Year Dates Host Players Qual. Winner Runner-up Third place Fourth place
2000 1–13 Sep China Shenyang, China 24 India Viswanathan Anand Russia Evgeny Bareev Israel Boris Gelfand and Brazil Gilberto Milos
2002 9–22 Oct India Hyderabad, India 24 India Viswanathan Anand Uzbekistan Rustam Kasimdzhanov Slovenia Alexander Beliavsky and Russia Alexey Dreev
2005 27 Nov – 17 Dec Russia Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia 128 10 Armenia Levon Aronian Ukraine Ruslan Ponomariov France Étienne Bacrot Russia Alexander Grischuk
2007 24 Nov – 16 Dec Russia Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia 128 1 United States Gata Kamsky Spain Alexei Shirov Norway Magnus Carlsen and Ukraine Sergey Karjakin
2009 20 Nov – 14 Dec Russia Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia 128 1 Israel Boris Gelfand Ukraine Ruslan Ponomariov Ukraine Sergey Karjakin and Russia Vladimir Malakhov
2011 26 Aug – 21 Sep Russia Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia 128 3 Russia Peter Svidler Russia Alexander Grischuk Ukraine Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine Ruslan Ponomariov
2013 10 Aug – 4 Sep Norway Tromsø, Norway 128 2 Russia Vladimir Kramnik Russia Dmitry Andreikin Russia Evgeny Tomashevsky and France Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
2015 10 Sep – 5 Oct Azerbaijan Baku, Azerbaijan 128 2 Russia Sergey Karjakin Russia Peter Svidler Netherlands Anish Giri and Ukraine Pavel Eljanov
2017 1–25 Sep Georgia (country) Batumi/Tbilisi, Georgia 128 2 TBD TBD TBD
2019 TBD Russia Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia[14] 128 2 TBD TBD TBD

See also[edit]