Firouzja Among 'Full' Grand Chess Tour Participants But Not Carlsen Or Nakamura
The nine full-tour participants. Photos: Maria Emelianova/

Firouzja Among 'Full' Grand Chess Tour Participants But Not Carlsen Or Nakamura

| 20 | Chess Event Coverage

GMs Wesley So, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Alireza Firouzja, Fabiano Caruana, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Levon Aronian, Richard Rapport, and Leinier Dominguez are the "full-tour" participants of the 2022 Grand Chess Tour. World champion Magnus Carlsen and speed chess specialist GM Hikaru Nakamura are not on the list but can still appear as a wildcard.

The participants of the 2022 Grand Chess Tour were announced in a press release on Wednesday. The tour consists of five events this year:

  1. Superbet Chess Classic Romania: May 3-15, Bucharest, Romania
  2. Superbet Rapid & Blitz Poland: May 17-24, Warsaw, Poland
  3. SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz Croatia: July 18-25, Zagreb, Croatia
  4. Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz: August 24-31, St. Louis, U.S.
  5. Sinquefield Cup: August 31-September 13, St. Louis, U.S.

The full-tour participants will play in both classical events—the first and last events of the tour—as well as in two of the three rapid and blitz tournaments. The Superbet Chess Classic is likely the first over-the-board event for Firouzja since he broke 2800 and became the world's number-two player.

Three players qualified by finishing first through third in the 2021 Grand Chess Tour: So, MVL, and Mamedyarov, respectively. The remaining six were invited based on a number of factors, including the Universal Rating System used by the tour organizers, but also "FIDE rating, fighting spirit, and sportsmanship," as the press release notes.

For the 2022 edition, the Grand Chess Tour has an increased prize fund of $1.4 million in total. Each classical tournament prize fund increased from $325,000 to $350,000, and each rapid and blitz event prize fund increased from $150,000 to $175,000.

The tour's two major sponsors are the Superbet Foundation and the Saint Louis Chess Club. Superbet is a Romanian bookmaker founded in 2019 by Vlad Ardeleanu that sponsored a 2019 rapid and blitz tournament in Bucharest and became a tour sponsor in 2021. The Saint Louis Chess Club is financially backed by the Missouri-based businessman, investor, and philanthropist Rex Sinquefield.

Carlsen and Nakamura's absence this year is likely explained by their busy schedules. The world champion is heavily involved in the upcoming Meltwater Champions Chess Tour while the American grandmaster is more a chess streamer than a professional player these days, although that didn't prevent him from reaching the final of the first leg of the FIDE Grand Prix.

These two players, who scored major successes in earlier GCT years, could still make an appearance in this year's tour as wildcard participants in one or more rapid and blitz events.

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

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