2020 Grand Chess Tour in Bucharest, Paris, Zagreb and Saint Louis

by ChessBase
1/17/2020 – Details of the upcoming season of the Grand Chess Tour are out. Ten full tour members and wild cards (TBD). Other than Viswanathan Anand, most of the usual suspects are returning to GCT action — except, that is, the London Chess Classic, which is going it alone this year, no longer a part of the tour that consists of two classical and three rapid/blitz events. Instead of a "Final", the tour culminates with the Sinquefield Cup, held in September. | Image: grandchesstour.org

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Press release

2020 GCT to Feature Ten Full Tour Participants and Five Events 

The sixth edition of the Grand Chess Tour (GCT) will feature five tournaments with the participation of ten full tour players and ten wildcards. Tour participants will compete for a total prize fund of $1.275 million over the course of the season. The prize money on offer for two classical tournaments will be $325,000 per event while the prize fund for the rapid and blitz events will be $150,000 each. In addition, bonus prize fund totalling $175,000 will be awarded to the top three overall tour finishers.

Following the success of the inaugural tournament in Bucharest last year, the Romanian capital will host, in May, the first classical event of the 2020 tour season. The 2020 Sinquefield Cup in September will be the final leg of the tour. The 2020 Grand Chess Tour major sponsors are Vivendi SA, Colliers International, Saint Louis Chess Club, Croatia National Tourist Board and Superbet Foundation.

The 2020 Superbet Chess Classic Romania and the 2020 Sinquefield Cup will be the two classical tournaments and the tour will also feature three rapid and blitz events which will be held in Zagreb, Paris and Saint Louis. Due to the busy 2020 chess calendar which includes the Candidates tournament, the World Chess Olympiad and the World Championship match, there will be no “GCT Finals” tournament in 2020. The final tour standings will hence be decided based on the GCT points accumulated by all full tour players over the course of the five tournaments.


Ding Liren was the 2019 GCT winner

The ten full tour participants will all play in both classical events as well as in two of the three rapid and blitz tournaments. The full schedule for the 2020 season (including arrival and departure days) is as follows:

  1. Superbet Chess Classic Romania: May 3 - 16, 2020, Bucharest, Romania
  2. Paris Grand Chess Tour: June 22 - 29, 2020, Paris, France
  3. Croatia Grand Chess Tour: July 2 - 9, 2020, Zagreb, Croatia
  4. Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz: August 22 - 31, 2020, Saint Louis, Missouri USA
  5. Sinquefield Cup: August 29 - September 11, 2020, Saint Louis, Missouri USA

Full Tour Participants

The ten invited full tour players for the 2020 season were selected in the following order:

#’s Selection Notes Players
1 - 3 2019 GCT 2019 GCT top three Ding, Vachier-Lagrave, Carlsen
4 – 6 FIDE Elo Top 3 (not yet selected) based on Jan FIDE classical ratings Caruana, Grischuk, Nepomniachtchi,
7 - 9 URS Top 3 (not yet selected) based on Jan Universal Rating List Nakamura, So, Aronian
10 Nominee Selected by the GCT Advisory Board Giri

The following 10 players will be offered full tour contracts for the 2020 season. All ratings listed are from the respective ratings lists as at January 1, 2020.

# Name FED URS (Rank) FIDE (Rank)
1 Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2857 (1) 2872 (1)
2 Ding, Liren CHN 2803 (2) 2805 (3)
3 Nakamura, Hikaru USA 2801 (3) 2736 (21)
4 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime FRA 2793 (4) 2770 (7)
5 Caruana, Fabiano USA 2787 (5) 2822 (2)
6 So, Wesley USA 2786 (6) 2765 (10)
7 Grischuk, Alexander RUS 2778 (7) 2777 (4)
8 Aronian, Levon ARM 2774 (8) 2773 (6)
9 Nepomniachtchi, Ian RUS 2769 (9) 2774 (5)
10 Giri, Anish NED 2755 (18) 2768 (9)

Mr Michael Khodarkovsky, the Executive Director of the Grand Chess Tour made the following comment while announcing the names of the selected players.

After successfully hosting five full tour seasons, the Grand Chess Tour is proud of its record of attracting the very best players available each year. Our 2020 selections continue this tradition as every player selected as a full tour participant is currently ranked inside the top 10 either by FIDE or by the URS™. The ten players that will compete as full tour participants in 2020 have fully justified their selection by consistently performing at the highest standards for many years.

About the Grand Chess Tour
The Grand Chess Tour is a circuit of international events, each demonstrating the highest level of organization for the world's best players. The legendary Garry Kasparov, one of the world's greatest ambassadors for chess, inspired the Grand Chess Tour and helped solidify the partnership between the organizers.
About the URS™
The Universal Rating System (URS™), is a new sport’s rating system designed to assess the relative strength of participants across a wide variety of competitor vs competitor sports. The URS™ was developed as the result of a collaborative research project funded by the Grand Chess Tour, the Kasparov Chess Foundation and the Saint Louis Chess Club. The system is the product of detailed research conducted over more than two years by leading experts in methods of rating chess players.


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