Giri, Kramnik, Ivanchuk Among Grand Chess Tour Wild Cards
GMs Anish Giri, Vladimir Kramnik, Vassily Ivanchuk, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Alexander Grischuk, Baadur Jobava, Veselin Topalov, and Etienne Bacrot are the wild cards for this year's Grand Chess Tour events in Paris and Leuven.
These eight names have been added to the list of nine Grand Chess Tour participants that were already known:
- Wesley So (USA) – Winner, 2016 GCT
- Hikaru Nakamura (USA) – Runner-Up, 2016 GCT
- Fabiano Caruana (USA) – 3rd place, 2016 GCT
- Magnus Carlsen (NOR) – 1st slot, 2016 Average Rating
- Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) – 3rd slot, 2016 Average Rating
- Levon Aronian (ARM) – 1st alternate (as Kramnik declined)
- Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS) – wildcard
- Sergey Karjakin (RUS) – wildcard
- Viswanathan Anand (IND) – wildcard
The distribution of the players among the first two GCT events is as follows (TP = Tour Participant; WC = Wildcard):
The organizers of the Grand Chess Tour stated that wildcards have been selected using two criteria: the players URS™ standings (the GCT's own "Universal Rating System"), "as well as recent exceptional performances."
Both Paris and Leuven will have a prize fund of $150,000. In addition to these two events, the Grand Chess Tour will have not one but two events in St. Louis this year and one in London. Here's the full schedule.