Chess calendar: December 2019

by ChessBase
12/2/2019 – It will be a jam-packed December in the world of elite chess. The Grand Chess Tour and the Grand Prix series will come to an end with events in London and Jerusalem respectively. European rapid and blitz tournaments will be the prelude to the World Rapid and Blitz Championships that will take place in Moscow. The second leg of the Women's Grand Prix will be played in the luxurious Yacht Club in Monaco. And a couple of strong opens will be organized in Spain and the United Kingdom. Don't miss any of the action! | You'll find all of these events and more covered in our live games broadcast area and we'll also be providing News coverage.

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Plenty of chess to end the year

These are the major events on the chess calendar for December 2019, with links to their official sites. When live games are available, we'll also add these along with any links to our News page coverage of each tournament.

November 29th - December 1st: European Women's Rapid & Blitz (Monaco)

European Chess UnionThe Novotel Hotel in Monaco is hosting the European Rapid and Blitz Championships for women. 

The Rapid Championship was an 11-round Swiss tournament taking place over two days from November 30th to December 1st. The time control is 15 minutes for the entire game plus 10-seconds per move starting from move one.

Final standings (top 10)
Rk. Name Pts.
1 Kosteniuk Alexandra 9,0
2 Girya Olga 9,0
3 Stefanova Antoaneta 8,0
4 Batsiashvili Nino 8,0
5 Gunina Valentina 8,0
6 Kashlinskaya Alina 8,0
7 Cramling Pia 8,0
8 Paehtz Elisabeth 8,0
9 Zhukova Natalia 7,5
10 Gaponenko Inna 7,5

The Blitz Championship was a 13-round Swiss tournament played on November 29th. The time control was 3 minutes for the entire game plus 2-seconds per move starting from move one.

Final standings (top 10)
Rk. Name Pts.
1 Kosteniuk Alexandra 10,0
2 Stefanova Antoaneta 9,5
3 Gunina Valentina 9,5
4 Sebag Marie 9,5
5 Zhukova Natalia 9,5
6 Kashlinskaya Alina 9,5
7 Muzychuk Anna 9,0
8 Bulmaga Irina 9,0
9 Mkrtchian Lilit 9,0
10 Michna Marta 8,5

December 2nd - 9th: Grand Chess Tour Finals (London, UK)

London Chess Classic 2019The finale of the 2019 Grand Chess Tour will once again be fought out as part of the London Chess Classic. The semi-finals will feature the 4 top players from the seven regular season tour events with each match consisting of classical, rapid and blitz games. The players will be competing for an enhanced prize fund totalling USD 350,000 this year with the winner taking home an impressive purse of USD 150,000.

Semi-final matches:

  • Magnus Carlsen vs. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
  • Ding Liren vs. Levon Aronian

December 3rd - 14th: Women's Grand Prix 2nd leg (Monaco)

FIDEThe second leg of the 2019/2020 FIDE Women's Grand Prix will take place at the Yacht Club de Monaco. It will be the second of four twelve-player single round-robin events which will give out two tickets to play in the 2021 Women's Candidates Tournament.

The winner of the first event of the series, Humpy Koneru, will be participating. World championship challenger Aleksandra Goryachkina will also be playing, but world champion Ju Wenjun will be skipping this tournament.


December 5th - 7th: European Rapid & Blitz (Tallinn, Estonia)

World Senior Chess Championship 2019The Sokos Hotel Viru in Tallinn will host the European Rapid and Blitz Championships.

The Rapid Championship is an 11-round Swiss tournament taking place over two days December 5th-6th. The time control is 15 minutes for the entire game plus 10-seconds per move starting from move one.

The Blitz Championship is a 13-round Swiss tournament played on December 7th. The time control is 3 minutes for the entire game plus 2-seconds per move starting from move one.


December 11th - 23rd: Grand Prix 4th leg (Jerusalem, Israel)

Spanish Chess FederationThe fourth and final leg of the FIDE Grand Prix will be played in Jerusalem, Israel. The 16-player knockout has a €130,000 prize fund, with the series as a whole having an additional prize fund of €280,000 plus two qualifying spots for the 2020 Candidates Tournament.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Ian Nepomniachtchi will be fighting to get a spot in the Candidates. It is theoretically possible for two of them to get the tickets, but it is very unlikely, as Alexander Grischuk almost secured his spot after winning the third leg of the series in Hamburg.

Teimour Radjabov and Levon Aronian withdrew from the Grand Prix in Israel for medical reasons and will be replaced according to the reserve list of Grand Prix participants. 


December 13th - 22nd: Sunway Festival (Sitges, Spain)

Tata Steel India Rapid & Blitz 2019The Hotel Sunway Playa Golf & Spa in Sitges will organize the sixth edition of the International Chess Festival Sunway Sitges, with more than €25,000 in prizes.

The main tournaments — Group A (for players with a 1700+ rating) and Group B (for players with a rating below 2000) — will be 10-round Swiss opens with a time control of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with increment of 30 seconds from the first move.

The list of registered players has Parham Maghsoodloo, Vassily Ivanchuk, Anton Korobov, Hrant Melkumyan and Krishnan Sasikiran as the top five seeds. 

Last year's edition was won by Spanish GM Alvar Alonso Rosell.


December 26th - 30th: World Rapid & Blitz (Moscow, Russia)

World Rapid & Blitz Chess Championships 2019Officially called the "King Salman World Rapid & Blitz Championships", the tournament will be held in Moscow. The prize fund is once again huge at USD $1 million. Players with an Elo rating above 2750 (in any of the lists in 2019) will receive free full board accommodation. 

If the regulations remain unchanged from the previous edition, the rapid tournament will be a 15-round Swiss system with a time control of 15 minutes plus 10 seconds increment per move starting from the first move. The blitz tournament will consist of 21 rounds, also using Swiss pairings and a time control of 3 minutes plus 2 seconds increment per move starting from the first move.

  • News stories
  • Official website

December 28th - January 5th: Caplin Hastings International Congress (Hastings, UK)

Caplin Hastings International Chess Congress 2019The 95th edition of the traditional tournament will take place at the Horntye Park Sports Complex in Hastings. The Congress has attracted a new sponsor: Caplin Systems from London.

The Masters will be a 9-round Swiss open with a rate of play of 40 moves in 100 minutes, followed by all remaining moves in 50 minutes, with the addition of 30 seconds for each move from the start.

The additional sponsorship means that it was possible to attract a greater number of grandmasters. Top seeds so far are David Howell, Romain Edouard, Erik van den Doel and Deep Sengupta.



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