Grand Chess Tour 2017 + US Championships

by ChessBase
3/14/2017 – In June we will see Carlsen, So, Caruana, Kramnik, Vachier-Lagrave, Nakamura, Anand, Karjakin, Aronan, Mamedyarov and Giri – the numbers 1-11, all of them, in the World Rankings, meeting for the Grand Tour Rapid events in Paris and Leuven (Belgium). Before that, in March/April, the US Championships will be held in Saint Louis, with So, Caruana and Nakamura clashing. Here are all the details of these exciting events.

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2017 GCT – Event Wildcards Announced for GCT Rapid Events in Paris and Leuven

Press release: The Grand Chess Tour is pleased to announce the event level wildcards for the 2017 Grand Chess Tour events in Paris and Leuven.

The GCT Advisory Board considered both the players URS™ [Universal Rating System] standings as well as recent exceptional performances to finalise the selection of these eight wildcards. The board also considered local sponsor preferences while seeking to invite players who will bring a dynamic and exciting element to the respective tournaments in which they will be participating.

The four event level wildcards in each tournament will join the six full tour participants to complete the ten player fields that will fight for the US$150,000 prize fund in each event. The wildcards and full tournament fields for the two tournaments are as follows:

# Paris GCT Rapid (Paris, France)
21 - 25 June, 2017
YourNextMove Rapid (Leuven, Belgium)
28 June - 2 July, 2017
TP Magnus Carlsen (NOR) Magnus Carlsen (NOR)
TP Hikaru Nakamura (USA) Wesley So (USA)
TP Wesley So (USA) Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA)
TP Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) Viswanathan Anand (IND)
TP Sergey Karjakin (RUS) Ian Nepomniachti (RUS)
TP Fabiano Caruana (USA) Levon ian (ARM)
WC Alexander Grischuk (RUS) Vladimir Kramnik (RUS)
WC Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE) Anish Giri (NED)
WC Veselin Topalov (BUL) Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR)
WC Etienne Bacrot (FRA) Baadur Jobava (GEO)

TP = Tour Participant; WC = Wildcard. The event level wildcards for the remaining three events will be announced in due course.

The Grand Chess Tour is a circuit of international events, each demonstrating the highest level of organization for the world's best players. The 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.

The Paris GCT joined the Grand Chess Tour in 2016 thanks to the generous sponsorship of Colliers International, Vivendi and DailyMotion and will once again be the first stop on the 2017 Grand Chess Tour. Paris is a city known for its rich chess history, and the players will wow audiences around the world in one of the strongest rapid and blitz events in the world. Held a stones throw from the river Seine at the beautiful Maison de la Chimie, Paris GCT features a $150,000 prize fund and sets the tone for the season. Will American Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura repeat his dominant performance last year?

Spectators may not be familiar with the Brussels suburb of Leuven, but you should be. A college town now, Leuven is a rich piece of European history waiting to be discovered. Your Next Move is a charity focused on chess in education, and by hosting the second leg of the Grand Chess Tour, further spotlights the world's best players. Thanks to Belgian businessman and chess enthusiast Jan Callewaert, Leuven will host the second leg of the GCT. World Champion Magnus Carlsen won last year in fine style, but with $150,000 on the line, you can be sure that all the players will try to top the field.

U.S. & U.S. Women’s Championship Fields Set for Battle in Saint Louis

SAINT LOUIS (March 13, 2017) – For the ninth consecutive year, the nation’s top 24 chess players will gather in Saint Louis to compete for the titles of U.S. Champion and U.S. Women’s Champion, which will be held simultaneously at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) from March 28 through April 10.

The U.S. Chess Championship field features a headline clash between the nation’s top-three players: Grandmasters Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So. These three players have been battling it out on their way to the top of not only American – but world – chess for the past few years. Last year’s reigning champion, GM Caruana, is ranked #3 in the world, while GM Nakamura has won the U.S. Championships four times and recently won the prestigious Tradewise Gibraltar Open for the third time. GM So has seen a recent rapid rise, breaking into the elite “2800 Club” and remaining unbeaten in his last 56 FIDE rated games. Another exciting contender is young talent GM Jeffery Xiong who, in 2016, became the first U.S. player to win the World Junior Championship in almost two decades.

No Name Invitational Rating Qualification
1 GM Fabiano Caruana 2866 U.S. Champion
2 GM Wesley So 2841 Rating
3 GM Hikaru Nakamura 2821 Rating
4 GM Ray Robson 2719 Rating
5 GM Sam Shankland 2717 Rating
6 GM Jeffery Xiong 2715 U.S. Junior Champion
7 GM Gata Kamsky 2709 Rating
8 GM Alex Onischuk 2694 Rating
9 GM Daniel Naroditsky 2690 Rating
10 GM Var Akobian 2680 Rating
11 GM Alex Shabalov 2618 U.S. Open Champion
12 GM Yaroslav Zherebukh 2657 Wildcard
  Average Rating 2727  

* Invitational rating

The 2017 U.S. Women's Championship field will feature U.S. Women’s reigning champion WIM Nazi Paikidze and seven-time U.S. Women’s Champion WGM Irina Krush, who will seek to win back the title. WIM Paikidze has recently gained world attention with her boycott of the World Championships and will surely bring that same fire to Saint Louis. The Women’s Championship will once again see young talents like 15-year-old WIM Jennifer Yu and 13-year-old Carissa Yip.

No Name Invitational Rating Qualification
1 GM Irina Krush 2489 Rating
2 IM Anna Zatonskih 2487 Rating
3 IM Nazi Paikidze 2408 U.S. Women’s Champion
4 WGM Tatev Abrahamyan 2402 Rating
5 WGM Katerina Nemcova 2397 Rating
6 WGM Sabina Foisor 2324 Rating
7 WGM Anna Sharevich 2297 Rating
8 WFM Jennifer Yu 2283 Rating
9 WFM Apurva Virkud 2268 Rating
10 WIM Emily Nguyen 2250 U.S. Girls’ Junior Champion
11 WFM Carissa Yip 2234 Wildcard
12 NM Maggie Feng 2258 Wildcard
  Average Rating 2341  

“We are thrilled to once again be the epicenter of this country’s chess talent with the 2017 U.S. and U.S. Women’s Championships,” said Tony Rich, CCSCSL Executive Director. “It’s a true honor to host our nation’s very best and brightest competitors, and we look forward to a fantastic tournament.”

The 2017 U.S. Championships will be streamed live daily on, featuring play-by-play and analysis from the world-renowned commentary team of GM Yasser Seirawan, GM Maurice Ashley and WGM Jennifer Shahade. Live spectators may view the action in the tournament hall and enjoy additional grandmaster-led commentary on-site by Saint Louis University chess team coach GM Alejandro Ramirez and YouTube sensation, GM Ben Finegold. Additional event, ticketing and hotel information may be found at

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.

Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit the Saint Louis Chess Club.

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