FIDE announces Grand Prix 2014-2015

8/21/2014 – FIDE has announced the 2014-2015 Grand Prix series with the players invited to participate and the four tournaments that comprise it, reduced from the previous cycle's six. Two players will also qualify for the following 2014-2016 World Championship Candidates. At the top of the list of invitees are Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand, though the players are not confirmed yet.

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The list of the tournaments and locations released are: 

From Until Venue
01 October 15 October Baku, Azerbaijan 
20 October 03 November Tashkent, Uzbekistan 
14 February 28 February Tehran, Iran 
13 May 27 May Moscow, Russia 

The series has also been reduced from six to four tournaments, possibly due to the constricted scheduling, making it harder to secure sponsorship as many budgets are already accounted for. With the locations all taking place in Eastern Europe or Asia, it seems a pity that greater efforts were not make to try to diversify a bit more, to promote chess in places where it is not already the national sport. The exception being Iran, an unusual choice, especially considering Israeli player Boris Gelfand.

Of note also are the dates of the events, with two taking place in succession in October, right before the World Championship match. This may end up excluding both Carlsen and Anand, as they finalize their preparations for an epic encounter in November. These caveats aside, the list of participants is of the highest order and promises some breathtaking chess.

In all, a total of sixteen players will take part, with eleven qualifiers as per regulations (listed below) plus four nominees from the organisers (to be announced) and one nominee by the FIDE President (to be announced).  The eleven original qualifiers who have to confirm their participation by 27 August 2014 are: 

Magnus Carlsen
World Champion

Viswanathan Anand
World Championship match 2013

Vladimir Kramnik,
World Cup winner 2013

Dmitry Andreikin
World Cup runner-up 2013

Evgeny Tomashevsky
World Cup semi-finalist 2013

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
World Cup semi-finalist 2013

Levon Aronian
Average rating 5/2013 to 4/2014

Fabiano Caruana
Average rating 5/2013 to 4/2014

Alexander Grischuk
Average rating 5/2013 to 4/2014

Hikaru Nakamura
Average rating 5/2013 to 4/2014

Veselin Topalov
Average rating 5/2013 to 4/2014

Sergey Karjakin (reserve)
Average rating 5/2013 to 4/2014

Boris Gelfand (reserve)
Average rating 5/2013 to 4/2014

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (reserve)
Average rating 5/2013 to 4/2014

Each player will play in three tournaments and all his results will be taken into account for the overall final standings of the Grand-Prix. The full regulations of the Grand-Prix 2014-2015 can be downloaded from the FIDE website here.

Topics: fide, grand prix
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the_chess_fan the_chess_fan 10/14/2014 05:33
Iran's representative GM Ghaem Maghami cannot play with GM Gelfand because of political reasons (in fact, the Iranian state does not permit its citizens to compete with Israeli athletes, and if they do so, they will be persecuted and annoyed- even if imprisoned- by the state). I just want to ask whether Mr. Ilyumzhinov is aware of this reality or not and what is his idea about GM Ghaem Maghami's losing by forfeit? If Gelfand win by forfeit, is it not a privilege for him while the other players have to play with Ghaem Maghami for hours?
oleppedersen oleppedersen 8/25/2014 12:44
I think Tehran is a great choice, but the process of how all this is decided is ludicrous. Only now do the players know they have to play two major tournaments in two months time? And is it really the qualifying phase for the next championship match BEFORE the Anand vs Carlsen is even played? You would think people who come up with these ideas were abducted by aliens or something. Oh, hang on, they were!
KlangenFarben KlangenFarben 8/24/2014 09:17
<dysanfel> makes a great point; while Tehran, like Russia, is under sanctions by a number of disparate parts of the globe, no such thing can be said about the melting-pot that is Toronto.

The problem is that the Canadian federal government nor the City but, most importantly, no serious bid from a Canadian company would justify a bid during their four-decade bout with the US currency; they are basically on par with the US dollar for the first time since the mid 1970s. I can't see a private Canadian company willing to take that dive into waters somewhat unknown, and there's no-one (save the Polgar sister who immigrated to Vancouver) with the wonderful combination of opportunistic nationalism and corporate dashing in that country to even be in the same room with Rex Sinquefield.

Not that I hope the latter & I share the same breathing space.

(Another notion that just hit me: when will Sinquefield raise his sights beyond Missouri and outide the USA and into the global arena? It's just a matter of time, he's here to stay for at least a decade.)
KlangenFarben KlangenFarben 8/24/2014 08:54
During Kirsan's sadly-continued leadership the number of elite games, particularly in matches when serious opening theoretical "discussions" were put on the world stage.

The method of getting the right Candidate to be Challenger is good--for the moment, if tensions between Russia and other countries, either Western or Chinese do not worsen--we now have the problem of fewer tournaments for the elite to be narrowed down to the deserving. There will always be a wildcard as the sponsor deserves a say in not only presentation but roster, and no more than the one wildcard currently in effect is a fine compromise.

It's depressing to see the purse get cut--no one has come near to the purse of Fischer-Spassky 1992, though they had no problem adopting Fischer's clock to finally eliminate adjournments as part of the elite's playing conditions--and further depressing to see that the Grand Prix is now two-thirds of the "regular season" as it once was.

A lot of economists say there's been a years-long recover from the c.2008 autumn downturn in the financial markets--earlier for real estate, a bit late but then no recovery whatsoever for the small food-purchasing community known as the citizens of the nation--and it appears the domain of OTB chess professionals continue to take a hard knocks to the chin.

Out of this chaos comes, in St Louis Missouri USA, purportedly the strongest tournament ever (at least it's a double round-robin, but 10 contestants is a bit low) comes in a few days. I hope the there's at least a decent global chat room for me and my virtual friends who met during the high drama of the 2013 Candidates in London.

Amici Sumus.
dysanfel dysanfel 8/22/2014 02:18
I don't think anyone is belittling Tehran when we say that New York, Paris, Berlin, Beijing, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Melbourne, or even Toronto should have been at least one of the locations.
Steven E DuCharm Steven E DuCharm 8/22/2014 01:56
The overall prize money is down 960K euros from the last cycle
vandal vandal 8/21/2014 09:10
all top players shoult boycott fide
NJD NJD 8/21/2014 07:57
They also seem to be missing a Chinese player and a site in China...
Romualdo Costa Romualdo Costa 8/21/2014 07:13
In general always same places, former Soviet republics mostly. How about Brazil ? We are about to have a Olympiad and we could have a Chess Olympiad here or even the Grand Prix.
Wastrel Wastrel 8/21/2014 06:09
Ilyumzhinov might as well schedule the whole shebang in his backyard.
vincero vincero 8/21/2014 05:06
people like to criticize but the "white English" speaking countries which they really only care about don't sponsor support or care a rats butt about chess.
Iran a most forward impressive country still remains a victim of intense bigotry as observed here, for a simple example of what i said.
Steven E DuCharm Steven E DuCharm 8/21/2014 04:09
I look forward to Garry and Kirsan painting the town red in Baku :)
superluisito superluisito 8/21/2014 03:33
When the grand Prix is take place in Sudamérica?
hpaul hpaul 8/21/2014 03:05
"qualify for the following 2014-2016 World Championship Candidates"

Does this mean we're back on a 2-year W.Ch. cycle? I hope so. But if so, this compressed schedule seems unnecessary and clumsy. It seems like it will make it difficult for these top players to participate in other worthy tournaments.
gertrautenbach gertrautenbach 8/21/2014 02:23
I hope they include some Chinese players, otherwise it will feel like something is missing.
VGerber VGerber 8/21/2014 11:49
What's about Damascus, Pyongyang, Tripoli, and, not to forget, Khanty-Mansiysk in the wintry Siberia at minus 20 degrees Celsius. The royal game has become the game of the despots of the rogue states of this planet. And Mr. Bastian is extremely proud to be a part of it. Maybe it's really time to turn away from organized chess.
Krokx Krokx 8/21/2014 11:10
The article tells there are 11 participants that need to confirm. But there are 12? (and 2 reserves)

Yes the dark age of Ilyumzhinov's reign will continue. I think Kasparov should retry to win the election after the 4 years.
lhl lhl 8/21/2014 11:09
What about the women's grand prix??
juanviches juanviches 8/21/2014 09:46
This schedule is non sense. Two of them before the World Championship!! Therefore consecutive! I don't like the venues, all around Russia. But Tehran is a good surprise, all the other places smell bad.
billbrock billbrock 8/21/2014 07:57
All four sites are fine in themselves. But FIDE can only find Central Asia oil economies as sponsors. Not very representative of the world.
daftarche daftarche 8/21/2014 07:36
what 's wrong with Tehran? countries like Iran should have this chance to have a prestigious tournament.
notyetagm notyetagm 8/21/2014 05:34
KodiakChess KodiakChess 8/21/2014 05:33
I very much agree with dysanfel's statement.
dysanfel dysanfel 8/21/2014 05:21
The locations are obviously are a snub of deeper pockets of western sponsorship, and of countries that need more chess promotion. The selections show Kasparov's criticisms of the FIDE were founded.