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Inaugural Grand Chess Tour Unveiled In Saint Louis

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SAINT LOUIS (April 24, 2015) – After two editions, the Sinquefield Cup had already proved itself as the gold standard of global chess tournaments. For 2015, the Saint Louis, MO super-tournament will find itself in good company.

This year, the Sinquefield Cup will combine efforts with two more of the world’s most prestigious international chess events, creating an annual competitive circuit for ten of the world’s top grandmasters called the Grand Chess Tour. The announcement was made today at a press conference held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.

The inaugural 2015 Grand Chess Tour will kick off in June as a three-event cycle, beginning with Norway Chess 2015, followed by the Sinquefield Cup in August/September, and finishing with the London Chess Classic in December. The Tour marks an affiliation between the CCSCSL (Sinquefield Cup), Tower AS (Norway Chess) and Chess Promotions Ltd. (London Chess Classic), combining the organizational efforts of three elite events into one unified competitive structure.

2015 Grand Chess Tour Location Date
Norway Chess 2015 Stavanger, Norway June 15 - 26, 2015
Sinquefield Cup Saint Louis, USA August 21 - September 3, 2015
London Chess Classic London, England December 3 - 14, 2015

Based on FIDE's January 2015 rating list, the Grand Chess Tour invited the world’s top-ten international grandmasters, eight of whom agreed to appear in all three international events. A ninth grandmaster, who will also play the entire tour, will be added at a later date. The tenth and final grandmaster will be selected as a wildcard by each organizing host.

The participating players are:

  • World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen, Norway
  • Fabiano Caruana, Italy
  • Alexander Grischuk, Russia
  • Veselin Topalov, Bulgaria
  • Viswanathan Anand, India
  • Levon Aronian, Armenia
  • Anish Giri, Netherlands
  • Hikaru Nakamura, USA

The total prize fund for the Grand Chess Tour is $1,050,000, with each of the three events awarding individual prize funds of $300,000. Based on their results, the competitors will also tally points toward a tour prize fund of $150,000, with the Grand Chess Tour champion receiving an additional $75,000.

“The Grand Chess Tour was created with just one goal in mind: Demonstrating the highest level of organization for the world’s best players,” said Tony Rich, Executive Director of the CCSCSL. “Featuring the world’s strongest chess professionals fighting for massive prize funds, along with a full spectator experience led by world-class commentary, this circuit sets forth an internationally coordinated effort that casts a shining spotlight on global chess competition.”

Participating tournaments are identified as the gold standard for international event organization, setting the model for player conditions, prize funds and spectator experience. Each of the events will cater to live audiences, as well as offer streaming broadcasts complete with grandmaster commentary.

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