2020 Grand Chess Tour: 5 Tournaments, No London Playoffs
The 10 full Grand Chess Tour participants this year. Photos: Maria Emelianova/

2020 Grand Chess Tour: 5 Tournaments, No London Playoffs

| 43 | Chess Event Coverage

The sixth edition of the Grand Chess Tour will consist of just five tournaments, and will not finish with playoffs in London. Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana and Ding Liren head the field.

Some top players may have been relieved when they saw this year's schedule for the Grand Chess Tour. After a busy 2019, with so many tournaments packed in the last seven months, 2020 will be more quiet as the tour was reduced to five events (from eight last year):

1. Superbet Chess Classic Romania: May 3-16, Bucharest, Romania
2. Paris Grand Chess Tour: June 22-29, Paris
3. Croatia Grand Chess Tour: July 2-9, Zagreb, Croatia
4. Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz: August 22-31, St. Louis, Missouri
5. Sinquefield Cup: August 29-September 11, St. Louis, Missouri

The biggest news here is the absence of the London Chess Classic—it won't be a host for the playoffs, or a standalone event. The tournament director Malcolm Pein was contacted by, but he didn't comment on the status of his tournament.

The absence of London makes it possible for Carlsen to participate the year he is playing for the world title, although the press release phrases it differently:

Due to the busy 2020 chess calendar which includes the Candidates tournament, the World Chess Olympiad and the World Championship match, there will be no “GCT Finals” tournament in 2020. The final tour standings will hence be decided based on the GCT points accumulated by all full tour players over the course of the five tournaments.

The list of full tour participants was also reduced compared to last year, from 12 to 10:

2020 Grand Chess Tour participants

# Fed Name Rating Born
1 Carlsen, Magnus 2872 1990
2 Caruana, Fabiano 2822 1992
3 Ding, Liren 2805 1992
4 Grischuk, Alexander 2777 1983
5 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2774 1990
6 Aronian, Levon 2773 1982
7 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2770 1990
8 Giri, Anish 2768 1994
9 So, Wesley 2765 1993
10 Nakamura, Hikaru 2736 1987

Besides these full tour players there will also be 10 wildcards. The 10 full tour participants will all play in both classical events (the Superbet Chess Classic Romania and the Sinquefield Cup) as well as in two of the three rapid and blitz tournaments. 

The full tour participants were selected as follows:

# Selection
1-3 2019 GCT Standings The top three winners from the 2019 Grand Chess Tour
4–6 FIDE Classical Rating Top three (not already selected) of FIDE classical ratings on January 1, 2020
7-9 Universal Rating System Top three (not already selected) of Universal Rating List on January 1, 2020
10 GCT Nominee Selected by the GCT Advisory Board

Tour participants will compete for a total prize fund of $1.275 million over the course of the season. The prize money for two classical tournaments will be $325,000 per event, while the prize fund for the rapid and blitz events will be $150,000 each. In addition, a bonus prize fund totaling $175,000 will be awarded to the top three overall tour finishers.

The 2020 Grand Chess Tour's major sponsors are Vivendi SA, Colliers International, the Saint Louis Chess Club, the Croatia National Tourist Board and the Superbet Foundation.

You can find these and other upcoming top events in our calendar at

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