Final Grand Prix Takes Off Today; 2 Candidates Spots At Stake

Final Grand Prix Takes Off Today; 2 Candidates Spots At Stake

| 7 | Chess Event Coverage

The final stage of the 2014-2015 FIDE Grand Prix series takes off today in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. At stake are two spots in the 2016 Candidates Tournament.

You can watch this tournament every day on with commentary by GMs Evgeny Miroshnichenko & Viorel Iordachescu.

The moment of truth has come for GMs Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura and Evgeny Tomashesvky. Among the participants of the Khanty-Mansiysk Grand Prix, these three are the main contenders for reaching the top two spots in the overall Grand Prix standings, thereby qualifying for the 2016 Candidates Tournament. 

After three of the four legs (Baku 2014, Tashkent 2014 and Tbilisi 2015), Tomashevsky leads the GP with 252 points. He won the previous one, in February in Tbilisi. Caruana, who started the process of switching federations to the USA, is in third place with 230 points, and Nakamura is fifth with 207 points.

In between we find two Azerbaijani players, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov, but they have played three tournaments already and will be caught by other players. 

2014-2015 FIDE Grand Prix | Current Standings

Rank Name Rtg Baku Tashkent Tbilisi Khanty-Mansiysk Total
1 Evgeny Tomashevsky  2716 82   170 x 252
2 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2759 35 125 75   235
3 Fabiano Caruana 2811 155 75   x 230
4 Teimour Radjabov 2731 50 50 110   210
5 Hikaru Nakamura 2776 82 125   x 207
6 Dmitry Andreikin 2737 20 170 10   200
7 Boris Gelfand 2747 155 15   x 170
8 Dmitry Jakovenko 2733   30 140 x 170
9 Sergey Karjakin 2760 82 75   x 157
10 Rustam Kasimdzhanov 2706 35 15 75   125
11 Alexander Grischuk 2810 82   40 x 122
12 Anish Giri 2797   40 75 x 115
13 Baadur Jobava 2696   75 40 x 115
14 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2775   75 40 x 115
15 Peter Svidler 2739 82   20 x 102
16 Leinier Dominguez 2726 10   75 x 85


Especially Tomashevsky and Nakamura need to play a good final tournament and try to finish on the top two spots. For Caruana it is less crucial as he has a good chance to qualify for the 2016 Candidates Tournament by rating.

Besides the loser of the last title match (Vishy Anand), two players from the GP, two by rating, two players from the Baku World Cup, and one wild card will qualify.

The rating qualification will be based on the average of the 12 monthly FIDE rating lists starting from January 1, 2015 to December `, 2015. At the moment, the rating qualifiers are Caruana and Veselin Topalov. A handy document to keep track of the qualifiers is Martin Bennedik's Google Doc.


The fourth and final GP tournament was opened on Wednesday at the Ugra Chess Academy in Khanty-Mansiysk, the Siberian oil boom town that has hosted so many chess events in the past decade. It is situated in Western Siberia on the river Irtysh, 2759 km northeast and two time zones away from Moscow.

The participants are Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Alexander Grischuk, Anish Giri, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Sergey Karjakin, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Boris Gelfand, Dmitry Jakovenko, Peter Svidler, Leinier Dominguez and Baadur Jobava.

Players and others during the opening ceremony. | Photo courtesy of FIDE.

They will play 11 rounds, from May 14 to 26, with rest days on May 18 and 22. The time control is 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes to finish the game, with an increment of 30 seconds from move 61 onwards.

This will be the last tournament part of the world championship cycle where most of the game is played without increment. Last week FIDE published the new time controls for its official events, and it is increment everywhere. 

The drawing of lots at the opening ceremony resulted in the following pairings for today's first round (full pairings here):

1 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime (FRA)   Gelfand, Boris (ISR) 12
2 Jobava, Baadur (GEO)   Tomashevsky, Evgeny (RUS) 11
3 Grischuk, Alexander (RUS)   Svidler, Peter (RUS) 10
4 Caruana, Fabiano (ITA)   Dominguez,Leinier (CUB) 9
5 Jakovenko, Dmitry (RUS)   Giri, Anish (NED) 8
6 Karjakin, Sergey (RUS)   Nakamura, Hikaru (USA) 7


The three main contenders: Hikaru Nakamura, drawing lot number seven... | Photo courtesy of FIDE.

...Fabiano Caruana, number four... | Photo courtesy of FIDE.

...and Evgeny Tomashevsky, drawing lot number 11. | Photo courtesy of FIDE.

You can watch this tournament every day on with commentary by GMs Evgeny Miroshnichenko & Viorel Iordachescu.

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