Grand Chess Tour final in St Louis

by André Schulz
11/10/2023 – The first round of the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz will take place on 14 November. This will be followed by three days of rapid chess and two days of blitz. After a short break, the Sinquefield Cup, a ten-player round-robin with classical time control, begins on 21 November. Last year's match between Magnus Carlsen and Hans Niemann caused quite a stir. Neither will be taking part this time. | Photo: Grand Chess Tour

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The Grand Chess Tour 2023 will end on 14 November at the Saint Louis Chess Centre with two traditional tournaments, the "Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz" and the "Rex Sinquefield Cup".

The tournaments will take place at the same time as the European Team Championships, which means that some players such as Alireza Firouzja, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Richard Rapport will be absent from the team event, preferring to play in the more financially lucrative tournaments in Saint Louis.

The official start date for the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz is 12 November. This is the day of arrival. After a day of acclimatisation, the event will begin on 14 November with a three-day rapid chess tournament. Three rounds will be played each day.

This will be followed by a two-day, double-round Blitz tournament on the 17th and 18th of November. Points earned in both tournaments will be added together at the end to determine the overall winner, who will receive 40,000 USD. The runner-up will receive 7,000 USD.

The participants of the Rapid & Blitz are Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Alireza Firouzja, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Anish Giri, Sam Sevian, Ray Robson, Jeffery Xiong and Le Quang Liem.

World Champion Ding Liren was originally scheduled to play in both tournaments but pulled out at the last minute. Since then, he has explained why he made himself so scarce after winning the World Championship match against Ian Nepomniachtchi. He blamed illness, but also wanted to spend some time with his parents.

Participants Rapid & Blitz

Schedule Rapid & Blitz

*All times are local time, Central Time*




November 12

Player Arrival

November 14

1:00 PM

Rapid Round 1

2:30 PM

Rapid Round 2

4:00 PM

Rapid Round 3

November 15

1:00 PM

Rapid Round 4

2:30 PM

Rapid Round 5

4:00 PM

Rapid Round 6

November 16

1:00 PM

Rapid Round 7

2:30 PM

Rapid Round 8

4:00 PM

Rapid Round 9

November 17

1:00 PM

Blitz Day 1
(Every 30 minutes)

November 18

1:00 PM

Blitz Day 2
(Every 30 minutes)

5:30 PM

Playoffs (If necessary)

November 19

Player Departure

The Sinquefield Cup

A year ago Magnus Carlsen made headlines around the world when he withdrew from the tournament in protest at what he felt was an unfair defeat by the young US grandmaster Hans Niemann. The withdrawal and the unspoken accusation led to intense discussions and resulted in a legal dispute. The parties involved have since calmed down and come to an agreement. However, neither of them will take part in the 2023 edition. Magnus Carlsen prefers to play for Norway in the European Championship.

The Sinquefield Cup will be played from 21 to 30 November, with a day off on 26 November. Rounds start at 13:00 local time, i.e. 19:00 CET.

The Sinquefield Cup field is not the same as the Rapid & Blitz field. Levon Aronian, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Richard Rapport and Leinier Dominguez will play instead of Sam Sevian, Ray Robson, Jeffery Xiong and Le Quang Liem.

Participants Sinquefield Cup


Both tournaments will be broadcast live with commentary by the Saint Louis Chess Centre and the trusted team of presenter Yasser Seirawan.


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.