Grand Chess Tour gets smaller

1/6/2016 – Last year the three supertournaments Norway Chess, Sinquefield Cup and the London Chess Classic merged to become the "Grand Chess Tour" series. Now the organisers of Norway Chess decided to go their own ways again and in a press release announced their intention to leave the series: Norway Chess will not be part of the Grand Chess Tour 2016. Press Release

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Press release from Grand Chess Tour/Altibox Norway Chess

Published 6th January 2016

Changes in Grand Chess Tour for 2016 and Altibox Norway Chess

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. Following the successful inaugural year, the Grand Chess Tour will proceed in 2016, but without the participation of Altibox Norway Chess which will continue as a stand-alone tournament.

“After long and careful consideration, Altibox Norway Chess decided to leave the Grand Chess Tour. A sad, but for us necessary decision, since our views differ from the GCT’s on the future of top class tournaments. We wish all the best for the GCT and hope that our partnership may be renewed in the years to come. Altibox Norway Chess will take place in April this year with the same high standards as the previous events” states Kjell Madland, Chairman of the board at Altibox Norway Chess.

“We are disappointed to see Altibox Norway Chess leave the GCT, but we wish them all the best for the future, hope that they will be around for many years and that we may cooperate again in future years” said Malcolm Pein, on behalf of the Grand Chess Tour.

Please direct any questions to:

Malcolm Pein – Grand Chess Tour
Phone +44 207 935 3445

Jøran Aulin-Jansson – Altibox Norway Chess
Phone +47 91 33 22 42

Press release at Norway Chess...

Grand Chess Tour...


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ubernomics ubernomics 1/8/2016 01:06
They're obviously smarting over Russia-hosted events such as 2010 Chess Olympiad, and in "Sochi-this, Sochi-that", such as the World Championship, where Kirsan and Putin appear to make colorful photo ops.

It'd make sense to fund an alternative run of tournaments. Max prestige with top ten, nevermind sterile or revenueless. Chump change, as far as government budgets go.

To be frank, I'm actually very surprised at how weak and belated the U.S. side has gone about this. Usually, they are far ahead of the Russians and everyone else in this sort of thing.
idratherplay960 idratherplay960 1/7/2016 09:27
I clearly should have added Russia to that short list
idratherplay960 idratherplay960 1/7/2016 09:25
All three tournaments were excellent before the GCT and I'm sure they will continue to be so. In reality the players are the only ones hurt because there were more prize incentives with the package deal. Regardless, the GCT was planning to add tournaments which they may still achieve. I think it would be great if either China or India could find a wealthy sponsor who would be willing to build an event and join the GCT. Nothing against Norway but identity-wise one of these larger nations fits better with the US and Britain, not to mention both have a wealth of top players themselves and great interest in chess.
Vam Vam 1/7/2016 08:53

One less tournament in this circus that Kasparov and sinquefueld try to run. And one more tournament where a variety of players can bring excitement.
ubernomics ubernomics 1/7/2016 02:29
I've always presumed the tour acts as a mechanism to somehow promote Kasparov's political ambitions (from which the chess world incidentally benefits, at least in the short run.) Nobody's making money for an arguably boring format, yet someone's putting up huge cash prizes. It has every sign of being U.S. government and quasi-governmental money.

Not saying it's unusual for chess to receive governmental money (Russia obviously sponsors Chess Olympiads, etc.) With the U.S., however, it is always done covertly through non-governmental fronts and trusted agent.
fabelhaft fabelhaft 1/7/2016 12:38
"sad times...two tournaments are not really a "tour", im curious what was behind the decision"

As the Tour people have stated after Norway's decision "the tour will comprise a minimum of three tournaments" also this year, so there isn't much foundation behind the headline about the tour getting smaller.
fightingchess fightingchess 1/7/2016 10:45
how are they going to organize this whole thing when there is a world championship match this year? it is unlikely champion and challenger play in london anyway.
fons fons 1/7/2016 09:29
Well, that lasted long...

Never saw the point of the whole thing anyway.
ubernomics ubernomics 1/7/2016 08:07
To me, it's obvious that the Kasparov/U.S. crowd would insist on calling all the shots, which means the Norwegian party were to be no more than local hired help.
Magic_Knight Magic_Knight 1/7/2016 03:23
So much political drama in just a three tournament "tour". And after just one year the GCT appears to be dissolving already!
ff2017 ff2017 1/7/2016 02:53
ff2017 Just now
Looks like it's just money, but the reverse, in that Norway was looking to make money (ie sustained commercial viability independent of individual benefactors), while the other two had rich sponsors who didn't care about money.
dysanfel dysanfel 1/7/2016 02:05
Was time controls a factor, or just money? I hope it's not money.
ubernomics ubernomics 1/7/2016 02:05
two tournaments with only top ten players are enough, frankly. because the world already has 3 or 4 similar tournaments, anyhow. how many times must we see Nakamura lose to Carlsen?? (j/k, I'm actually hoping for a Nakamura-Carlsen match to see if he can pull a Nigel Short, and win a single game out of 20. am offering one-to-one odds on that.)
PFH PFH 1/7/2016 01:15
The GCT is a great idea but the downside of it is you always see the same 9 players in three of the most important chess events of the year. The direct comparison to the old World Cup shows that in those events back in the 90s you saw the roster change a bit in every event, and IMHO, that made them a bit more interesting simply because there was more varierty.
ChiliBean ChiliBean 1/6/2016 11:52
So are we going to find out what views differ? Just curious.
fixpont fixpont 1/6/2016 11:25
sad times...two tournaments are not really a "tour", im curious what was behind the decision