Grand Chess Tour 2016 with two new events

2/11/2016 – Last year it was three events, in Norway, Saint Louis and London. This year Norway drops out and is replaced by two rapid+blitz events, in Paris and Brussels. The three top finishers from 2015 are invited, as well as the five highest average rated players of 2015. The participants are still to be announced, the total prize fund is US $1,050,0000 across the four events. Press release and dates.

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Grand Chess Tour announced two new tournaments for 2016

World’s top players to compete in Paris and Brussels-Leuven in expanded

SAINT LOUIS (February 10, 2016) – The Grand Chess Tour announces two new tournaments for its second season in 2016 with the world’s top players competing for one million dollars in a mixture of traditional, rapid and blitz events in four countries.

The 2016 Grand Chess Tour season will include rapid and blitz tournaments in Paris and Brussels-Leuven in addition to the Sinquefield Cup and London Chess Classic. The Grand Chess Tour is further establishing itself as the premier chess circuit in the world.

The field for 2016 will be announced in the near future. The three top finishers in the 2015 Grand Chess Tour will be invited as well as the five highest average rated players in 2015. Each tournament will award one wild card invite and the Grand Chess Tour will add another wild card invite rounding out the field to ten.

The Grand Chess Tour welcomes new sponsors Colliers International France, a commercial real estate services organization, and Your Next Move, a Belgian non-profit, will sponsor the Paris tournamentand the Brussels-Leuven tournaments.

2016 Grand Chess Tour Location Date Prize Fund
GCT Rapid and Blitz Paris, France June 8th - 14th $150,000
GCT Rapid and Blitz Brussels-Leuven June 15th – 21st $150,000
Sinquefield Cup Saint Louis, USA August 19th – Sept. 2nd $300,000
London Chess Classic London, England December 7th – 19th $300,000
Grand Chess Tour   2016 $150,000

The overall 2016 GCT winner will receive a bonus prize of $100,000 and the second placed player $50,000 prize to make the prize fund $1,050,0000 across the four events.

The Grand Chess Tour combines the organizational efforts of the four elite events into a unified competitive structure. The partnership aims to raise worldwide awareness for each prestigious tournament, as well as for the tour.

Participating tournaments are identified as the gold standard for international event organization, setting the model for player conditions, prize funds and spectator experience. Each of the events will cater to live audiences, as well as offer streaming broadcasts complete with grandmaster commentary.

For more information, visit

Watching professional international chess competitions is your hobby; creating these historic events is our passion. Sponsoring, organizing and executing events like the London Chess Classic and the Sinquefield Cup represents our commitment to bring you the very best that chess has to offer. Watch World Champions clash with other titans of chess over the board. But hosting international chess serves the chess community in other ways, too.

”To truly be successful you must have a clear vision of what success means to you and then share that knowledge with others to grow a team.” - Bluenscottish

The organizers in Saint Louis and London share the common goals of improving educational outcomes and social development in school-aged children. Hosting major chess events raises the profile of the game, increases awareness of its educational and social benefits and serves as a catalyst to make chess a part of mainstream culture across the globe. The game of chess is so much more than 32 pieces on 64 squares; it is an educational tool, improving spacial awareness, complex problem solving and analytical thinking. Chess is a metaphor for intellect, hard work and achievement.

The Grand Chess Tour was created with one goal in mind: a circuit of international events, each demonstrating the highest level of organization for the world's best players. The 2016 Tour was created in partnership between the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (Sinquefield Cup) and Chess Promotions, Ltd. (London Chess Classic). 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. His tireless efforts to popularize the game around the world mirror the goals and ambitions of the Grand Chess Tour.

Spectators will be happy to know that the same great commentators you enjoy will be on the set at each event. What you may not know is that the Saint Louis team of GM Yasser Seirawan, GM Maurice Ashley and WGM Jennifer Shahade will join the mix, giving online spectators even more opportunity to experience the tournaments. Whether you enjoy in-person or virtually, we promise to deliver.

An example of what you can expect from our expert team of analysts and commentators


The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the server If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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perl2ruby perl2ruby 6/19/2016 05:26
I notice that there is excessive focus by commentators on Magnus games to the point of neglecting other players. Its almost as if he is the only player playing.
ChessHulk ChessHulk 2/12/2016 02:22
No good deed goes left unpunished? :) Although the Chess purists have a point, this is a commendable effort to make Chess more attractive to sponsors, and hence all Chess players will benefit. The elite are well paid for this qualitative concession, and we get to see them battle it out in classic time controls as well. Perhaps if blitz offends you so much, don't watch it! But I will, it's juicy fun! lol
arizona49 arizona49 2/12/2016 02:05
Rapid and blitz have no place in world championship competition. Why not just have the participants parade around in bathing suits?
vinniethepooh vinniethepooh 2/12/2016 11:35
Rapid and blitz.....A bit of sigh.Magnus is not as good in blitz and this is going to be more fun.
ubernomics ubernomics 2/12/2016 11:29
lol, i doubt Ding Liren makes it (they use *average* listed rating, which surely leaves Ding outside the top eight). Probably MVL neither (who is #3 in Blitz and #7 in Rapid). Nor Karjakin (#9 in Blitz and in #5 in Rapid).

basically, the same players as last year.
ex0 ex0 2/12/2016 07:27
I don't know about it being rapid/blitz instead of classical, but i'm glad that Ding Liren will be playing, or at least i think so, since i read that he had the third highest TPR average of 2015, with like 2790+. I don' t knoe how strong Ding is at faster time controls, so if anyone knows, please let me know. However, if we are to believe live ratings, then he is like 2686~ for both rapid and blitz. At this level where everyone is 2750 and the top 3 are like 2850+, i don't think that a 'measly' 2686~ will cut it..
guest1227491 guest1227491 2/12/2016 02:32
When was the last time Anand was ranked outside the top 10? Early 90's?

I'm really sad to see his rapid decline. I believe at some point last year he was even 2nd/3rd.

Well, flesh is grass and all that...
Phillidor Phillidor 2/12/2016 12:43
As a spectator I prefer classical time control. The games can still get blitz or bullet from 30-40th and I love to watch how players take time to (re)evaluate the position after the time scramble. Still, there are not too many top category blitz tournaments nowadays, so i see it as a nice try to spice things up.
ubernomics ubernomics 2/12/2016 12:37
P.S. - Not sure why they pretend the blitz and rapid constitute two separate events (rather than two legs of one event), other than to make for political grand theater, but whatever. They're pumping in real money.

Just noticed a few days ago that Candidates 2016 will be held in Russia.
ubernomics ubernomics 2/12/2016 12:28
slow chess makes for the best spectator chess, IMO. Not a narrow focus upon one game, but by commentators choosing the most interesting games to analyze. And by background information.

anyway, i don't think people will ever watch chess onsite (physically), in large numbers. that's the reality of chess as a game.

a second reality is that nobody watches chess for "physical" action. so ppl should stop trying to make it like soccer.

a third reality is that only a few percent of the population (maybe the top two percent) have the brains to play chess with any competency. that is the core base. the lower 98% might have passing interest, but there's no way to magically make chess appealing to them.

anyway, it's nice to have an elite blitz event. unfortunately, it's a somewhat dry, superficial depth of 10 players.
MonsterofRook MonsterofRook 2/11/2016 11:44
Wow! What a Grand Tour that really is... two classical events and a couple of hastily arranged back to back rapid and blitz events in a futile attempt to make the cupboard look anything other than bare.
In my opinion last year's GTC ended in a farce with that ludicrous and unfair play off in London that seemed to take the organisers by surprise. Now this. Brilliant. It just goes to show how much you can achieve with a huge amount of money provided by a single rich patron. No doubt the hyperbole will begin soon. Can't wait
tom fox tom fox 2/11/2016 11:05
Big problem with rapid is the comparatively poor quality of the games. Blitz still worse. All the big audience drawing events are still classical time control The World Championship, Tata, Sinqufield Cup, etc. and the appeal of that format should not be underestimated.
Karpablanca Karpablanca 2/11/2016 10:33
This is great news... I think rapid chess (especially with a time control in the 25 minute range) is the ideal format for spectator chess, and that the future of the game's popularity will depend on whether the big chess institutions and organizers are willing to take rapid more seriously.