Grand Chess Tour 2021

by ChessBase
1/14/2021 – The Grand Chess Tour 2021, a series of five top tournaments (two with classical time-controls, three in rapid and blitz mode) announced the ten players that will compete as full 2021 tour participants: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Ding Liren, Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Alexander Grischuk, Levon Aronian, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Teimour Radjabov, and Anish Giri. Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura decided not to take part as full tour participants in 2021. The first Grand Chess Tour 2021 event will be the Superbet Chess Classic, in Bucharest, Romania, from June 3 - 15, 2021.

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Full Tour Participants confirmed for the 2021 Grand Chess Tour

Press Release, Saint Louis, MO, January 13, 2021

The 2021 tour schedule consists of five tournaments as follows:

  1. Superbet Chess Classic: June 3 - 15, 2021, Bucharest, Romania

  2. Paris Rapid & Blitz: June 16 - 23, 2021, Paris, France

  3. Croatia Rapid & Blitz: July 5 - 12, 2021, Zagreb, Croatia

  4. St Louis Rapid & Blitz: August 9 - 16, 2021, St. Louis, Missouri USA

  5. Sinquefield Cup: August 16 – 28, 2021, St. Louis, Missouri USA

The full tour participants will play in both classical events as well as in two of the three rapid and blitz tournaments. 
Following the cancellation of the 2020 Grand Chess Tour due to the Covid-19 pandemic, invitations for the 2021 edition of the GCT were extended to the ten players who had qualified for the 2020 season. World Champion Magnus Carlsen and Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura have elected not to take part as full tour participants in 2021 and have been replaced by Grandmasters Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov. Grandmaster Radjabov will be making his GCT debut this year.

“We are excited to return to over the board events this year,” said Executive Director Michael Khodarkovsky. “All five event locations will comply with local COVID-19 guidelines and fans can expect the same excitement and action that they have come to love and enjoy from the Grand Chess Tour.”

Please find the complete list of the full tour participants for the 2021 season.




URS (Rank)

FIDE (Rank)


Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime


2803 (3)

2784 (5)


Ding, Liren


2800 (4)

2791 (3)


Caruana, Fabiano


2796 (5)

2823 (2)


So, Wesley


2788 (6)

2770 (9)


Nepomniachtchi, Ian


2785 (7)

2789 (4)


Grischuk, Alexander


2780 (8)

2777 (7)


Aronian, Levon


2779 (9)

2781 (6)


Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar


2769 (11)

2770 (8)


Radjabov, Teimour


2769 (12)

2765 (10)


Giri, Anish


2755 (18)

2764 (11)

The wildcard participants for the three rapid and blitz events scheduled to take place in Paris, Zagreb, and Saint Louis will be announced as they become available.

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. All Grand Chess Tour 2021 events will comply with local and regional COVID-19 restrictions. For more information about the tour, please visit

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