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Which are the professional chess tournaments that matters?

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xOuiOuix

Recently, I have seen this Bilbao tournament.  I was wondering how important that tournament is and if it matters to watch it.  Then, i was wondering what tournaments are worth watching. There is so many of them, (looking at the Fide list) its ridiculous. 

 

I feel that chess tournament are like tennis tournament.  Some matters, others dont.   So which one matters really?

0110001101101000

FIDE grand prix tournaments are important because the top 2 performers get seeded into the candidates tournament (winner of the candidates tournament gets to challenge the world champion). Not sure these have been announced / player list finalized yet.

The World Cup is a huge elimination tournament, so winning that is a pretty big deal, even very strong players sometimes falter in early rounds and get knocked out. By the way the winner and runner up of this get seeded into the candidates tournament as well.

There are other strong annual tournaments that don't have to do with the world championship, but are very prestigious to win because only* players in the top 10 or so are invited (*and sometimes 1 local GM). These are so called "super-tournaments." The ones that come to mind here are Wijik ann zee (also called Tata Steel now that it's sponsored by them), the Tal Memorial, the Dortmund tournament. Bilabo, and Zurich.

Ones that are super strong, but more recent are the Sinquefield Cup and the London Chess Classic.

I said they're unrelated to the world championship match... but the top two average ratings through the year are invited to the candidates tournament. So if a player is running around winning lots of super-tournaments, they're all but guaranteed a spot in the candidates tournament... and if a player is doing very poorly in these tournaments, he will likely not qualify through his rating. (Top 10 players rarely play outside of these elite invite-only tournaments.)

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Anyway, this is not meant to be a complete list, and I'm no expert. Here's a way to find them yourself.

There are probably many sites, but I like this one:
http://www.2700chess.com/

If you scroll past the ratings you'll see which major tournaments are being held (and past that, which are scheduled for the future) and which players are participating. If you see a relatively short list of names, all in the top 10, that's a super-tournament. Bilabo and Dortmund are going on right now.

The next super-tournament looks to be the Sinquefield cup starting first week of Aug.

GalaxKing

Thanks for the fantastic link to that 2700 chess site! Also, to the op, you can usually find you tube videos of selected games from these tournaments. My favorite presenters are; Jan Gustaffson, Daniel King, but there are others. They give clear explanations for the moves that even average players can understand. For starters, check out the Carlsen-Nakamura game from the first round at Bilbao. Nakamura finally won his first classical time control game against Carlsen.

AngeloPardi

By order of importance/prestige, I would say :
1) World chess championship match and Candidates Tournament.
Generally not the most exciting chess because of the price at stake, but these are the most dramatic and important events.

2) The top events in the regular chess year over the last few years have been :
January : Wijk aan Zee is my favorite tournament. The most ancient tournament currently playing. Past winners include every World Champion since Karpov, Botvinnik, Tal, Korchnoï, and Bronstein. Basically winning there is enough to enter chess history.
Although now it is not the strongest tournament available, it is probably the most interesting, because the field is a mix of different styles and ratings : some young players (almost any player of note today has made his first steps at the highest level there), some top 10, some local players...
Plus it's a big field (14 players, 13 rounds), so any day has something interesting happening.

May/June : Norway chess
August/September : Sinquefield cup
December : London Classic
Those tournaments are the strongest currently, genereally featuring more than half of the top 10, and stratospheric elo average.

Gashimov memorial (April/May or June), Dortmund festival(July), and Bilbao Grand Slam (generally October, but has been moved to July this year) are also very strong tournaments, always highly interesting.

The Grand Prix Serie (4 to 6 tournaments over two years) his a string of tournaments organized by the FIDE. The best players overall can compete in the Candidates to challenge the world champion.

All those tournaments are closed round-robin, (or double round robin), meaning that the number of player is small, and everybody plays everybody.

Closed tournaments are generally strongest, but open tournaments offers more diversity, and potentially many explosive games because of the huge rating differences.
Currently the best ones are Gibraltar in january (generally featuring Nakamura and Ivantchuk), Reykjavic, and the Qatar open. Reykjavic has generally fewer stars.

National championships :
Each nation has a national team championship. Currently the strongest ones are Russian superfinal (actually the Russian championship is a qualification event for this tournament, which feature the best Russian players), Ukraine, USA, China and French championships.

Team tournaments :
There are three very strong national club tournaments (Germany and Russia are the best, with France a little weaker). You will probably be more interested by your national league obviously.

International team competitions are battled in team of four players. European and Asian championship are yearly and very interesting.
The most important team tournament is the Olympiades, which happens every two years, and is scheduled for next September.
Every single country takes part, with Russia being a huge rating favorite each time, but never actually winning the first prize since 2002.
The strongest teams are currently Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, China, USA, France and Azerbidjan.

Useful sites :
chessdom shows live games with (bad) computer analysis for almost evey tournament.

https://en.chessbase.com/, chess.com and, for french-speaking players, europe-echecs all gives results and analysis for every top tournament.



macer75
0110001101101000 wrote:

There are other strong annual tournaments that don't have to do with the world championship, but are very prestigious to win because only* players in the top 10 or so are invited (*and sometimes 1 local GM). These are so called "super-tournaments." The ones that come to mind here are Wijik ann zee (also called Tata Steel now that it's sponsored by them), the Tal Memorial, the Dortmund tournament. Bilabo, and Zurich.

I didn't know that Wei Yi was from Spain. Laughing

0110001101101000

Haha, well, most of the time they do a local guy... at least when I consult my memory... which is not at all perfect!

wdha

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wdha

Hi my name is explain

xOuiOuix

Thanks for the great replies guys!

sohum3894

Can unrated players participate in those big tournaments?

sohum3894

Can unrated players participate in those big tournaments?

0110001101101000
sohum3894 wrote:

Can unrated players participate in those big tournaments?

You have to be invited to play at a super tournament. However many (most?) of these run parallel open tournaments (anyone can participate). Sometimes part of the prize for winning the open is you're automatically invited to play in the closed section next year. This is not easy though, because even these open tournaments are full of strong grandmasters.

Senior-Lazarus_Long

They all matter. Pro chess players could starve to death on what they make.But #2 covered the majors. Dortmund,and Dubai are big deals too.And that German club league supports a lot of major players too,I think.