Grand Chess Tour | St. Louis Public Radio

Grand Chess Tour

The 2019 Grand Chess Tour (GCT) kicked off in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The best chess players from all over the world assembled in the coastal city to fight for a $150,000 prize fund and GCT points. The most brilliant minds in the game battled it out in nine rapid and 18 blitz games to determine the winner of the prestigious event.

On Chess: Grand Chess Tour Kicks Off In Africa

May 2, 2019
Hikaru Nakamura celebrating his victory with the trophy in the 2018 Grand Chess Tour.
Lennart Ootes | Grand Chess Tour

The fifth edition of the Grand Chess Tour (GCT) promises to be bigger, better and more international than ever. The tour has been expanded to eight tournaments spread over four continents. The number of tour participants has been increased to 12 players now fighting for a record prize fund of $1.75 million. The 2019 GCT will employ a combination of formats that have been used previously, combining classical chess with rapid and blitz, as well as an exciting finale in London at the end of the year.

Hikaru Nakamura smiles after winning the Grand Chess Tour in London on December 17, 2018.
Lennart Ootes | Grand Chess Tour

Hikaru Nakamura won the 2018 Grand Chess Tour after defeating Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in a nail-biting finale on Dec. 17.

The American collected $120,000 for his efforts, bringing his overall winnings for the tour to $225,000. With the last-round victory, his live blitz rating crossed the 2,900 mark.

The new tournament format offered a mixture of classical, rapid and blitz chess, assigning a higher value to wins in longer time controls. 

On Chess: Three co-champions take home the Sinquefield Cup

Aug 31, 2018
Fabiano Caruana, world champion Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian share the crown as winners of the Sinquefield Cup in August 2018.
Tatev Abrahamyan | Grand Chess Tour

Three players were crowned as winners of the sixth annual Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis. Normally, a playoff takes place to determine the sole winner of a tournament, but in an unprecedented turn of events, the players decided to share the title. 

World Champion Magnus Carlsen, his challenger Fabiano Caruana and the Armenian superstar Levon Aronian disliked the rule of eliminating one player by drawing lots and came to the unanimous decision, approved by the chief arbiter, to share the title. Thus, the “no-repeat-winner” tradition of the Sinquefield Cup was broken, as all three have won the previous editions.

Hikaru Nakamura (left) won the Paris GCT in late June and Wesley So, who won Your Next Move in Leuven, Belgium in 2018.
Lennart Ootes | Grand Chess tour

The first two events of the 2018 Grand Chess Tour (GCT) took place in Leuven from June 12-16 and Paris from June 20-24. After 10 grueling days full of brilliance, blunders and inspiring chess, two Americans are leading the tour, putting themselves in an excellent position to qualify for the finals in London at the end of the year.

A scene from the 2017 Your Next Move event in Leuven, Belgium, the location of the first stop of the 2018 Grand Chess Tour.
Lennart Ootes | Grand Chess Tour

The fourth annual Grand Chess Tour is right around the corner — this time with a new format. Instead of the London Chess Classic being just a stop of the tour, it will be the final stage for the Grand Chess Tour. At the end of the Sinquefield Cup, the top four players with the most points accumulated across the four events will proceed to the finals in London, where they will compete in a series of matches for additional prizes and the title of the 2018 Grand Chess Tour Champion.

Magnus Carlsen (right) and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, the two grand masters battling for the Grand Chess Tour 2017 crown
Lennart Ootes | Grand Chess Tour

The nine annual London Chess Classic will take place in the Olympia Exhibition Center in London from Dec. 1-11. Once again, it will be the final stop of the 2017 Grand Chess Tour and will produce this year’s winner. It has all come down to this event as the players will battle it out one last time for tour points, a $300,000 prize fund and a $150,000 bonus for the top two finishers of the tour. Of course, the much coveted titles of tournament winner and GCT champion will be on the line as well.

On Chess: St. Louis to host chess legends in 2 tournaments

Jul 27, 2017
Former world champion Garry Kasparov and grandmaster Wesley So compete in 2016.
Lennart Ootes, Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

The biggest chess event in the United States will fittingly be hosted in the chess capital of the nation. The Sinquefield Cup, which is the third leg of the Grand Chess Tour, will take place Aug. 2-12 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The top players in the world will compete for $300,000 in prize money, tour points and the coveted title of the 2017 Sinquefield Cup Champion.