Carlsen Tops Grenke Chess Classic Field
Magnus Carlsen will be back at the chessboard on March 31. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Carlsen Tops Grenke Chess Classic Field

| 43 | Chess Event Coverage

Magnus Carlsen's next big tournament will be the Grenke Chess Classic, held from March 31 to  April 9 in the German cities of Karlsruhe and Baden-Baden. Yesterday the field of participants was announced by the organizers.

Half of the field consists of top-10 players. Besides Carlsen, there's also Levon Aronian, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Fabiano Caruana and Viswanathan Anand.

2018 Grenke Chess Classic | Participants

# Fed Name Rtg Rnk Born
1 Magnus Carlsen 2843 1 Nov 30 1990
2 Levon Aronian 2797 5 Oct 6 1982
3 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2793 6 Oct 21 1990
4 Fabiano Caruana 2784 7 Jul 30 1992
5 Viswanathan Anand 2779 9 Dec 11 1969
6 Nikita Vitiugov 2732 26 Feb 4 1987
7 Arkadij Naiditsch 2705 41 Oct 25 1985
8 Hou Yifan 2654 96 Feb 27 1994
9 Georg Meier 2647 109 Aug 27 1987
10 Matthias Bluebaum 2635 138 April 18 1997

The same eight players return from last year, with the addition of Anand and Nikita Vitiugov. The Russian player won the Grenke Chess Open tournament, which will again be held alongside the main event. At the moment, the top seeds for the open are Richard Rapport, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Loek van Wely, Eduardo Iturrizaga and Alexei Shirov.

Last year's main tournament, with only eight players, was a big success for Aronian. The Armenian GM won with a round to spare thanks to a winning streak of four games in the second half. 

The first three rounds (March 31-April 2) will be held in the Schwarzwaldhalle in Karlsruhe. After a rest day, the tournament moves to the Kulturhaus LA8 museum in Baden-Baden for rounds four to nine (April 4-9).

The time control is 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves followed by 15 minutes to finish the game, with a 30-second increment from move one. Draw offers before move 40 are not allowed.

Highlights video of 2017.

Before the Grenke Chess Classic, chess fans will have plenty of chess to enjoy. The three biggest events in the coming weeks are:

  • The Aeroflot Open runs Feb. 20-March 1, with top seeds Vladimir Fedoseev, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi and Dmitry Andreikin
  • The Tal Memorial (rapid & blitz) runs 1-5 March, with Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Grischuk, Peter Svidler, Sergey Karjakin, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Daniil Dubov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Hikaru Nakamura, Viswanathan Anand, and Boris Gelfand.
  • The Reykjavik Open runs March 5-14  with top seeds Pavel Eljanov, Richard Rapport and Gata Kamsky. As always, will be producing the live broadcast.
  • The Candidates' Tournament in Berlin runs March 10-29 with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Vladimir Kramnik, Wesley So, Levon Aronian, Fabiano Caruana, Ding Liren, Alexander Grischuk, and Sergey Karjakin. will be on site for daily reports.
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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