New format for Grand Chess Tour 2018

12/10/2017 – The organisers of the Grand Chess Tour announced changes to the format for 2018, including a new format for next year's London Chess Classic. The traditional classical tournament will be replaced by a semi-final and final held in mid-December that will combine classical, rapid and blitz chess over six days. The change is being made to make the tour final more dynamic, accentuate the purpose of the GCT's "Universal Rating" system (combining all three disciplines) and avoid conflict with the World Championship which will be also held in London from November 9th to 28th. | Pictured: Malcolm Pein, Michael Khodarkovsky, and Tony Rich | Photo: Pascal Simon

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London to host Grand Chess Tour Finals

Press Release

The 2018 Grand Chess Tour will conclude with an exciting new format at the London Chess Classic. The four top‑scoring players will contest a semi-final and final that will determine the overall winner and top four places in the 2018 GCT. The format change has been determined by the GCT Advisory Board and was announced earlier today during the 8th and penultimate round of the London Chess Classic.
 
The revised 2018 GCT schedule will see the GCT players participating in three rapid and blitz events as well as the traditional Sinquefield Cup which will maintain its classical format. Four players will proceed to the 2018 GCT Finals in London where they will battle for an enhanced GCT Bonus Prize Pool. Each match in London will consist of classical, rapid and blitz games. A play-off for 3rd and 4th will also be played.
 
The GCT has also confirmed that the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, Chess Promotions Ltd, Colliers International France, Vivendi S.A. and Your Next Move™ have all agreed to renew their financial commitments to the tour for 2018. GCT tournaments are therefore confirmed for the cities of Paris, Leuven, St Louis and London in 2018.
 
The top three players from the 2017 GCT tour will automatically qualify for the 2018 GCT Tour players’ roster. The rest of the tour roster will be selected on the basis of URS ratings at January 1, 2018 and average classical FIDE ratings in 2017.

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 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.
 
About the URS
 
The Universal Rating System (URS™), is a revolutionary new sport’s rating system designed to assess the relative strength of participants across a wide variety of competitor vs competitor sports or games. The URS™ was developed as the result of a collaborative research project funded by the Grand Chess Tour, the Kasparov Chess Foundation and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The system is the product of detailed research conducted over more than two years by some of the world’s leading experts in methods of rating chess players.

Video of announcement

Malcolm Pein, Michael Khodarkovsky, and Tony Rich made the announcement and took questions beginning shortly after 16:00 London-time in the live commentary room at the London Chess Classic.