FIDE Grand Prix 2008–10
The FIDE Grand Prix 2008–10 was a series of six chess tournaments that formed part of the qualification for the World Chess Championship 2012. It was administered by FIDE, the World Chess Federation. The event was won by Levon Aronian, with Teimour Radjabov second and Alexander Grischuk third.
The top two finishers here formed two of the eight players who played in the 2011 Candidates Tournament to determine the challenger for the world champion. After Magnus Carlsen withdrew from the Candidates, Grischuk took his place, due to his third place in the Grand Prix.
The winner of the Grand Prix was originally scheduled to play a match in 2010 against the winner of the Chess World Cup 2009, with the winner of that match becoming the challenger for the World Chess Championship 2012. On November 25, 2008, FIDE announced major changes, with the winner and runner-up qualifying instead for an eight-player Candidates Tournament. This caused a number of protests, with Magnus Carlsen and Michael Adams withdrawing, and two other players being replaced. (For details, see World Chess Championship 2012.)
A number of host cities withdrew, causing all the tournaments except the first two to be rescheduled.
There were six tournaments spread over 2008, 2009 and 2010. Each of the 21 participating players was originally scheduled to play in exactly four of the six tournaments; though this was complicated when some players withdrew partway through.
Each tournament is a 14 player, single round-robin tournament. In each round players scored 1 point for a win, ½ point for a draw and 0 for a loss. Grand prix points were then allocated according to each player's standing in the tournament: 180 grand prix points for first place, 150 for second place, 130 for third place, and then 110 down to 10 points for places four to fourteen (decreasing by 10 points for each place). (Grand Prix points were split between players on equal tournament points).
Players only counted their best three tournament results. The player with the most grand prix points was the winner.
If a tie-break was needed for the overall grand prix winner, the system was:
- The fourth result not already in the top three performances
- The number of actual game points scored in the four tournaments
- The number of first place finishes
- The number of second place finishes
- The number of won games
- Drawing of lots
The tournament dates and locations were as follows:
- April 19 – May 6, 2008, Baku, Azerbaijan
- July 30 – August 15, 2008, Sochi, Russia
- December 13–29, 2008, Elista, Russia (rescheduled from Doha, Qatar, in November 2008)
- April 14–30, 2009, Nalchik, Russia (rescheduled from Montreux, Switzerland)
- August 9–24, 2009, Jermuk, Armenia (rescheduled from Elista, Russia)
- May 9–25, 2010, Astrakhan, Russia (rescheduled from Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, in October 2009)
A variation from normal chess rules was that the players were not allowed to talk to each other during the game and a draw by agreement was not allowed. A draw has to be claimed with the arbiter, who was assisted by an active grandmaster who had the title for at least ten years. The only draws allowed (except for stalemate) were:
- The four players who (at the start of 2008) were still in contention for the 2008 and 2010 championships qualified: Viswanathan Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, Veselin Topalov and Gata Kamsky.
- Apart from the winner Kamsky, the next top three finishers at the Chess World Cup 2007 qualified: Alexei Shirov, Sergey Karjakin and Magnus Carlsen.
- Seven players were selected on rating. The rating used was the average of the January and October 2007 ratings. FIDE released a list of the top 25 players according to this formula. The first seven players on the list (apart from those who had otherwise qualified) had automatic qualification: Vassily Ivanchuk, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Peter Leko, Alexander Morozevich, Levon Aronian, Teimour Radjabov and Boris Gelfand. FIDE also announced that the first four reserves, in order, were Michael Adams, Peter Svidler, Judit Polgár and Alexander Grischuk.
- The FIDE president may nominate one player from the top 40 in the world. If there were withdrawals, he may nominate more than one.
- The six host cities may each nominate one player rated above 2500. The host cities nominated the following players:
Of the original 14 players who qualified, Anand, Kramnik and Topalov (2008/2010 contenders), Shirov (World Cup 2007) and Morozevich (ratings list) were all not taking part. One of the first four nominated reserves, Judit Polgár was also not participating. The lineup for the Grand Prix included 13 of the 20 top-rated Grandmasters at the time it was announced, though none of the top four.
The only one to publicly give a reason was Alexander Morozevich, who announced that he was boycotting the Grand Prix, saying the process was too long, unwieldy and disorganised. He claimed that Anand, Kramnik and Topalov were also boycotting. The Week in Chess reported that Kramnik and Topalov were not participating because the event had insufficient prize money.
Josef Resch of Universal Event Promotion (organizer of 2008 World Championship) also spoke about the difficulties in organizational details with FIDE in the totality of the World Chess Championship cycle.
- 1 from the 2008/2010 cycle: Gata Kamsky (15).
- 2 from the Chess World Cup 2007: Magnus Carlsen (13), Sergey Karjakin (14).
- 6 from the rating list: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (6), Peter Leko (8), Vassily Ivanchuk (9), Levon Aronian (10), Boris Gelfand (11), Teimour Radjabov (12)
- 2 from the reserve ratings list: Michael Adams (16), Alexander Grischuk (21)
- 4 FIDE president nominees: Peter Svidler (5), Ivan Cheparinov (19), Étienne Bacrot (22), Wang Yue (25).
- 6 Host city nominees: Dmitry Jakovenko (17), Ernesto Inarkiev (34), David Navara (37), Vugar Gashimov (48), Yannick Pelletier (165), Mohamad Al-Modiahki (274).
Changes after the second and third tournamentsEdit
After Doha and Montreux refused to host tournaments, their nominees Al-Modiahki and Pelletier were removed from the series. Carlsen and Adams withdrew from the Grand Prix. These players were replaced by Evgeny Alekseev, Pavel Eljanov, Rustam Kasimdzhanov (from the rating list) and Vladimir Akopian (Jermuk nominee) from the third tournament onwards.
After Karlovy Vary withdrew in January 2009 (after the third tournament), the Karlovy Vary nominee David Navara was also excluded from the Grand Prix, and was not replaced.
The Regulations indicate the following disbursement of prize monies.
|Place||Single Grand Prix event||Overall standings||Grand Prix points|
For each event there was 162000 euros available (for 14 players), and 300000 euros in the overall standings (top 10).
Baku, April–May 2008Edit
The first Grand Prix event began on April 20, 2008 and concluded on May 5, 2008 (Elo average 2717, Cat. XIX).
The final crosstable was as follows:
Sochi, July–August 2008Edit
The second Grand Prix event began on July 31, 2008 and concluded on August 14, 2008 (Elo average 2708, Cat. XIX).
The final crosstable was as follows:
Elista, December 2008Edit
The third tournament was held in Elista between 14 and 28 December 2008 (Elo average 2713, Cat. XIX).
Nalchik, April 2009Edit
Jermuk, August 2009Edit
The tournament was won by Ivanchuk. Aronian took equal second, sufficient for him to win the Grand Prix.
Astrakhan, May 2010Edit
The sixth tournament took place in Astrakhan, Russia between 9 and 25 May 2010 (Elo average 2730, Cat. XX).
Grand Prix standingsEdit
Grand Prix points in bold indicate a tournament win. A number in brackets is a player's worst result of four and doesn't add to the total.
|1||Levon Aronian (ARM)||RL||–||180||–||180||140||–||3||500|
|2||Teimour Radjabov (AZE)||RL||(60)||150||153⅓||–||–||116||4||419⅓|
|3||Alexander Grischuk (RUS)||RR||105||(45)||153⅓||105||–||–||4||363⅓|
|4||Dmitry Jakovenko (RUS)||HC||–||90||153⅓||–||(35)||116||4||359⅓|
|5||Wang Yue (CHN)||PR||153⅓||120||80||–||–||(70)||4||353⅓|
|6||Vugar Gashimov (AZE)||HC||153⅓||(65)||110||–||–||70||4||333⅓|
|7||Peter Leko (HUN)||RL||–||–||80||140||100||(70)||4||320|
|8||Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE)||RL||105||–||80||(55)||–||116||4||301|
|9||Evgeny Alekseev (RUS)||RR||–||–||(35)||85||100||116||4||301|
|10||Pavel Eljanov (UKR)||RR||not qualified||35||(20)||70||180||4||285|
|11||Boris Gelfand (ISR)||RL||–||(30)||–||85||140||45||4||270|
|12||Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR)||RL||–||65||–||20||180||(20)||4||265|
|13||Étienne Bacrot (FRA)||PR||(15)||–||80||105||55||–||4||240|
|14||Gata Kamsky (USA)||CH||60||120||–||55||(55)||–||4||235|
|15||Sergey Karjakin (UKR)||CP||60||90||–||(55)||80||–||4||230|
|16||Peter Svidler (RUS)||PR||85||90||–||55||–||(45)||4||230|
|17||Rustam Kasimdjanov (UZB)||RR||not qualified||80||20||100||–||3||200|
|18||Vladimir Akopian (ARM)||HC||not qualified||(15)||140||35||20||4||195|
|19||Ivan Cheparinov (BUL)||PR||35||45||50||–||(10)||–||4||130|
|20||Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR)||RR||not qualified||116||1||116|
|21||Ernesto Inarkiev (RUS)||HC||15||–||(15)||–||20||20||4||55|
|–||Magnus Carlsen (NOR)||CP||153⅓||–||withdrew||1|
|–||Michael Adams (ENG)||RR||85||–||withdrew||1|
|–||David Navara (CZE)||HC||35||15||–||–||excluded||2|
|–||Mohamad Al-Modiahki (QAT)||HC||–||15||excluded||1|
|–||Yannick Pelletier (SUI)||HC||–||–||excluded||0|
Qual. = Qualification: CH = World Championship, CP = World Cup, RL = rating list, RR = reserve rating list, PR = presidential nominee, HC = host city nominee
Notes: Gata Kamsky was later granted a place in the 2011 Candidates Tournament as runner-up of the 2009 Challenger Match. Boris Gelfand qualified for the Candidates Tournament by winning the Chess World Cup 2009. Magnus Carlsen qualified for the Candidates Tournament by rating (average of July 2009 and January 2010 FIDE rating lists). Later Magnus Carlsen withdrew from the Candidates Tournament, and he was replaced by Alexander Grischuk, who took third place in the Grand Prix. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was later granted a place in the Candidates Tournament as organisers' wild card.
- First FIDE Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan, Chessbase, April 19, 2008
- Grand Prix Regulations, section 7.2, FIDE web site, accessed May 5, 2008
- Chess Grand Prix 2008–2009 (updated), Chessdom.com, accessed April 30, 2008
- Next Grand Prix Event in Elista – Press Release, FIDE web site, 23 November 2008
- "FIDE Grand Prix in Yerevan". FIDE. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 18 January 2009.
- "FIDE Grand Prix in Jermuk". FIDE.
- Grand Prix Karlovy Vary Cancelled, The Week in Chess, 19 January 2009
- В следующем году в Астрахани разыграют Гран-при ФИДЕ (in Russian). Website of Alexander Zhilkin. 13 October 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
- Grand Prix Regulations, section 4.4, FIDE web site, accessed May 2, 2008
- Top 25 Players, (Excel spreadsheet) FIDE web site, accessed April 30, 2008
- FIDE announces its Grand Prix Circuit 2008/09, Chessbase, February 6, 2008
- FIDE Grand Prix. Participants, host cities, schedule. FIDE press release,, March 5, 2008, with a link to List of participants PDF file
- Alexander Morozevich: “I am not giving up the fight!”, Chessbase, February 27, 2008
- The Week in Chess 697 March 17, 2008
- I am ready to resume negotiations with FIDE (ChessBase, Josef Resch interview]
- Participants – Grand Prix, FIDE web site, accessed April 30, 2008
- "Grand Prix: Adams also out; Akopian, Alekseev, Eljanov & Kasimdzhanov in". Chessvibes. 11 December 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- FIDE 2008-09 Grand Prix Regulations (archived)
- The Week in Chess 704, May 5, 2008
- Round 13 Report, Jermuk Grand Prix
- "FIDE Calendar 2010". FIDE. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
- "FIDE Grand Prix to take place in Astrakhan". Chessdom. Retrieved 15 December 2009.