FIDE Grand Swiss Announced; Titled Players Can Qualify

FIDE Grand Swiss Announced; Titled Players Can Qualify

| 53 | Chess Event Coverage

FIDE Grand Swiss is the official name for the strong Swiss tournament in Isle of Man in October, where the winner will qualify for the 2020 FIDE Candidates' Tournament. You can still qualify to play and get your expenses paid.

Mid-February it was announced that IOM International Chess Limited had won the bid to organize the Grand Swiss, a new tournament added to the World Championship cycle by FIDE. The winner will qualify for the next Candidates', which will produce a challenger to Magnus Carlsen in the next FIDE World Championship Match. 

The tournament will be held in the Isle of Man from October 10 (the day of the first round) to 21, and is expected to be the strongest Swiss-system tournament in the history of chess. The prize fund will be U.S. $432,500, with a first prize of $70,000.

Now that the contract between FIDE and the organizers has been signed, the cooperation has become even more official. Today a press release was issued, which provides more details.

For starters, there's the official name of the tournament: 'FIDE Grand Swiss', emphasizing the efforts from the two biggest parties behind the event.

The starting field of 160 players will feature 120 FIDE qualifiers, with the world’s top-100 players invited based on their average rating over a 12-month period. The other 40 participants will be chosen as wildcards allocated by the tournament director, Alan Ormsby, including four spots allocated to online qualifiers.

How can you qualify for the FIDE Grand Swiss?

There will be four qualifier spots in the tournament, for whom travel and accommodation will be covered. These are:

  • The winner of the Junior Speed Chess Championship
  • The winner of the Women's Speed Chess Championship
  • One male player who wins the Isle of Man Qualifier on July 10
  • One female player who wins the Isle of Man Qualifier on July 10

On July 10, is organizing a round robin tournament between four male participants and four female participants, who are picked from the last four Titled Tuesday tournaments. The April and May Titled Tuesday already provided two participants each, but you can still play in the June 4 and the July 2 Titled Tuesdays to try and qualify for the July 10 event. The round-robin will be broadcast on and with commentary by GM Robert Hess & IM Danny Rensch.

June 4 Titled Tuesday

"After five years of hosting the Isle of Man International, we are delighted to be working with FIDE to incorporate our 2019 event into the World Championship cycle, made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Scheinberg family," said Alan Ormsby.

"l am using the 40 wildcards wisely, ensuring that we have the diversity that the Isle of Man International is associated with, including places for a number of world-class female players and juniors. I’m also pleased to give some local players the opportunity to play in such a prestigious event, ensuring that the Isle of Man is represented."

On the official website you can already find a number of confirmed wildcards, including world number 11 Leinier Dominguez (who had dropped out of the world's top 100 due to inactivity while moving from Cuba to the USA) and e.g. Alireza Firouzja and Alexei Shirov.

"Swiss tournaments are one of the most attractive formats to compete in our sport: they produce very interesting clashes, allowing rising stars or not-so-strong players to cross swords with members of the chess elite," said FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich.

"This democratic approach has many supporters, and it was a pending matter for FIDE to have a massive Swiss Open among our official competitions. The association with the Isle of Man organizers was a natural move, given their experience and the calibre that their tournament has reached. And making it part of the race for the World Championship title will add even more interest to an already fascinating event."

The FIDE Grand Swiss will be held over 11 rounds between 10 and 21 October, with a rest day on the 16th. It will be held at the Comis Hotel and Golf Resort, one of the island’s leading hotels, based 7km outside Douglas. It is expected that around 35 countries will be represented.


Date Round Event
October 8 Arrival
October 9 Opening ceremony
October 10 Round 1
October 11 Round 2
October 12 Round 3
October 13 Round 4
October 14 Round 5
October 15 Round 6
October 16 Rest day
October 17 Round 7
October 18 Round 8
October 19 Round 9
October 20 Round 10
October 21 Round 11 Closing ceremony

"We're ecstatic that our titled users will have the opportunity to qualify for an event as prestigious as the FIDE Grand Swiss,"said Daniel Rensch, chief chess officer of "We believe in the power of online chess in producing strong players who have built their chess foundation through technology and we're excited to see's qualifying players participate against a field featuring many of the top players in the world."

The official opening ceremony on 9 October will welcome a number of dignitaries, including Howard Quayle MHK, Chief Minister of the Isle of Man. "I am honoured to have been invited to attend the opening and closing ceremonies of this prestigious Chess Tournament,” said Mr Quayle. “It is a real honour that the world of chess will be celebrated here on the Isle of Man, and I am delighted to welcome all the passionate chess players to the Island in October."

Find more information on the official website,

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