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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.

Contents

HistoryEdit

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]

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.

WinnersEdit

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

Grand Chess Tour 2015Edit

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 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 2016Edit

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 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 2017Edit

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]

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

PlayersEdit

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
  Vladimir Kramnik (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
  Peter Svidler (Russia) WC (St. Louis) 2744 2748
  Garry Kasparov (Russia) WC (St. Louis Rapid & Blitz) N/A [a] 2812
  Leinier Domínguez (Cuba) WC (St. Louis Rapid & Blitz) 2756 2739
  David Navara (Czech Republic) WC (St. Louis Rapid & Blitz) 2726 2735
  Le Quang Liem (Vietnam) WC (St. Louis Rapid & Blitz) 2731 2718
  Michael Adams (England) WC (London) 2739 2751

ResultsEdit

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 are not eligible for the overall prize funds.

Grand Chess Tour 2018Edit

Grand Chess Tour 2018 sees a format change. While the first four events retain the same rule, the last event, London Chess Classic, is replaced with a semifinal and final match consisting of classical, rapid and blitz. Top 4 players from the first four events will be invited for the final event. [19]

Results [20]

Player 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
London Chess Classic Total points Prize money
  Hikaru Nakamura (United States) 7 13 13 1.5 Q 34.5 $105,000
  Levon Aronian (Armenia) 6 7 6 15 Q 34 $95,000
  Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) 9 6 10 6 Q 31 $80,000
  Fabiano Caruana (United States) 2 2 7 15 Q[b] 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

2018 Grand Chess Tour Finals: 11–17 December at the London Chess ClassicEdit

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

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Kasparov did not have a URS rating due to inactivity from the years 2005 to 2017.
  2. ^ Fabiano Caruana qualified to London after beating Wesley So in a playoff 1.5–0.5.

ReferencesEdit

  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.

External linksEdit