FIDE Grand Swiss Starts Thursday
This will be the strongest Swiss tournament ever played.

FIDE Grand Swiss Starts Thursday

| 84 | Chess Event Coverage

The $433,000 FIDE Grand Swiss tournament is less than three days away. With Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So and Viswanathan Anand as the top seeds, the event is the strongest Swiss tournament in history.

The tournament will run for 11 rounds and produce one participant for the 2020 Candidates' Tournament.

You can follow the games here as part of our live portal There's daily coverage by GM Daniel King and IM Anna Rudolf, joined by WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni for interviews, on

The show starts daily at 14:50 local time, which is 15:50 (noon) CEST, 9:50 a.m. Eastern and 6:50 a.m. Pacific.

2019 FIDE Grand Swiss commentary

The inaugural FIDE Grand Swiss will be played October 10-22 in Isle of Man. The total prize fund is $433,000 (394,695 euros).

Formerly known as the Isle of Man International, the tournament is now part of the 2019-2020 FIDE world championship cycle. The winner will directly qualify to next year's candidates' tournament.


A total of 120 players have been invited by FIDE based on the following criteria:

  • 100 players qualified by their average rating over the 12 monthly FIDE standard rating lists starting from July 1, 2018 to June 1, 2019.
  • Women’s world champion as of June 1, 2019: GM Ju Wenjun.
  • Junior U20 world champion as of June 1, 2019: GM Parham Maghsoodloo.
  • World senior 50+ champion as of June 1, 2019: GM Karen Movsziszian.
  • World senior 65+ champion as of June 1, 2019: GM Vlastimil Jansa.
  • 12 places were allocated to the qualifiers from the respective continental championships held in 2019: Europe (5), Asia (3), Americas (3), Africa (1).
  • One qualifier from the ACP Tour based on standings as of June 1.
  • Three players nominated by the FIDE president.

The tournament organizers invited 40 more players as wildcards, focusing on female players, juniors and local players. At the time of this report, there are 118 FIDE qualifiers and 36 wildcards listed.

Magnus Carlsen receives the trophy and cheque from sponsor Isai Scheinberg at the 2017 Isle of Man Masters (photo: Maria Emelianova/
Magnus Carlsen receives the trophy and check from sponsor Isai Scheinberg at the 2017 Isle of Man Masters. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Carlsen, Caruana, So and Anand are the top four seeds. Strong performers at the recent World Cup such as Yu Yangyi and Levon Aronian are also playing. In total, 21 players above 2700 are in the field.

Among the wildcards you can find talents like IM Vincent Keymer, GM Gukesh D and GM Lance Henderson and former women's world champions GM Anna Ushenina and GM Antoaneta Stefanova.

Two participants qualified from's Titled Tuesday tournaments: GM Marie Sebag and WGM Vera Nebolsina. GM Jorden van Foreest qualified from the Junior Speed Chess Championship. From the Women's Speed Chess Championship, GM Elina Danielian qualified.

2019 FIDE Isle of Man | Top 20 seeds

# Fed Title Name Rtg Qual.
1 GM Carlsen, Magnus 2876 Rating Qualifier 1
2 GM Caruana, Fabiano 2812 Rating Qualifier 2
3 GM So, Wesley 2767 Rating Qualifier 11
4 GM Anand, Viswanathan 2765 Rating Qualifier 7
5 GM Yu Yangyi 2763 Rating Qualifier 13
6 GM Karjakin, Sergey 2760 Rating Qualifier 15
7 GM Grischuk, Alexander 2759 Rating Qualifier 8
8 GM Aronian, Levon 2758 Rating Qualifier 12
9 GM Wojtaszek, Radek 2748 Rating Qualifier 24
10 GM Artemiev, Vladislav 2746 Rating Qualifier 30
11 GM Harikrishna, Pentala 2746 Rating Qualifier 22
12 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 2745 Rating Qualifier 14
13 GM Vitiugov, Nikita 2732 Rating Qualifier 27
14 GM Svidler, Peter 2729 Rating Qualifier 17
15 GM Wang Hao 2726 Rating Qualifier 29
16 GM Bu Xiangzhi 2721 Rating Qualifier 28
17 GM Vidit Gujrathi 2718 Rating Qualifier 34
18 GM Matlakov, Maxim 2716 Rating Qualifier 44
19 GM Xiong, Jeffery 2708 Rating Qualifier 77
20 GM Le Quang Liem 2708 Rating Qualifier 32

(Find the full list of FIDE qualifiers here.)

The tournament will be officially opened on the evening of October 9. FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich will be attending. The first round starts October 10 at 15:00 local time, which is 16:00 CEST, 10 a.m. Eastern and 7 a.m. Pacific. The last round will start 1.5 hours earlier.


Date Time* Event
October 9 18:00
Players' Meeting
Opening ceremony
October 10 15:00 Round 1
October 11 15:00 Round 2
October 12 15:00 Round 3
October 13 15:00 Round 4
October 14 15:00 Round 5
October 15 15:00 Round 6
October 16 Rest day
October 17 15:00 Round 7
October 18 15:00 Round 8
October 19 15:00 Round 9
October 20 15:00 Round 10
October 21 13:30
Round 11
Closing ceremony

*Times in UTC


The Isle of Man organizers are hosting the event in a new venue: the luxurious Comis Hotel & Golf Resort, located just seven kilometers southwest of Douglas, where the tournament used to be held in the Villa Marina.

Details of Play

The time control for each game is 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes the next 20 moves, followed by 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one.

The players cannot draw a game by agreement before Black’s 30th move. A claim for a draw before Black’s 30th move is permitted only through an arbiter in case of threefold repetition.

If the top two or more players score the same points, the tie is to be decided by the following criteria, in order of priority:

a) Average Rating of Opponents Cut 1 (AROC 1)*
b) Buchholz Cut 1;
c) Buchholz;
d) Direct encounter between the players in tie;
e) Drawing of lots.


Place Prize Place Prize
1 $70,000 8 $16,000
2 $50,000 9 $13,000
3 $40,000 10 $11,000
4 $35,000 11-15 $8,000 each
5 $30,000 16-20 $5,000 each
6 $25,000 21-25 $3,000 each
7 $20,000 26-30 $2,000 each

On top of the $400,000 prize fund as stipulated by FIDE, the organizers will add $33,000 special prizes for female participants.


The winner of the FIDE Grand Swiss qualifies for the FIDE Candidates' Tournament in March 2020. If the winner in Isle of Man qualifies via a different qualification path or does not need to qualify, the qualification spot goes to the highest-placed player in the tournament who did not or will not qualify by other means.

The winner of the 2020 Candidates' Tournament will earn the right to challenge reigning champion Magnus Carlsen in a match for the world championship in November 2020.

For more info, don't miss the big preview by John Saunders on the tournament website.

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