Grand Chess Tour Cancels 2020 Season Due To COVID-19

Grand Chess Tour Cancels 2020 Season Due To COVID-19

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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66 | Chess Event Coverage

The 2020 Grand Chess Tour has been canceled. The Saint Louis Chess Club stated that events planned for August-September in St. Louis might still happen if the situation has improved enough by that time.

After a meeting on Friday, the Grand Chess Tour organizers distributed a press release in which they regretfully announced the cancellation of its 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The Grand Chess Tour’s priority is the health and well-being of our participants, spectators, staff and partners," said GCT Executive Director Michael Khodarkovsky. "The GCT board of directors reached this decision in collaboration with partners and sponsors based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO)."

The direct consequence seems to be that the first three events are canceled altogether. It's unlikely they will be held outside the tour in the coming months:

  • Superbet Chess Classic Romania: May 3-16, Bucharest, Romania
  • Paris Grand Chess Tour: June 22-29, Paris
  • Croatia Grand Chess Tour: July 2-9, Zagreb, Croatia
Abidjan Grand Chess Tour playing hall
The Grand Chess Tour in Abidjan, Ivory Coast last year. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Depending on the situation regarding the coronavirus crisis later in the summer, the last two events, in August and September in St. Louis, might still happen:

  • Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz: August 22-31, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Sinquefield Cup: August 29-September 11, St. Louis, Missouri

The Saint Louis Chess Club will await further developments and recommendations from medical and civic authorities before determining the fate of the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz, Sinquefield Cup, and Champions Showdown: Chess9LX, currently scheduled for August 24-September 14 collectively.

"The Saint Louis Chess Club hopes for the best global outcome possible," said Rex Sinquefield, founder of the Saint Louis Chess Club. "Our goal is to host these events as scheduled."

13th world champion and Grand Chess Tour President Garry Kasparov was quoted saying the next tour is now planned for next year and suggested it might be bigger than the five events that were planned for this year:

"We would like to reassure players and the world chess community that all our sponsors and partners: Superbet Group and Superbet Foundation, Vivendi SA, Colliers International, and the Saint Louis Chess Club have confirmed their commitment for the 2021 season. The sixth season is now to be held in 2021, and fans around the world can expect an expanded tour."

Meanwhile, yesterday the last super tournament that hadn't been canceled yet was taken off the calendar as well: the Grenke Chess Classic.

For an overview of all upcoming events that were canceled or postponed and events that will take place on the Chess.com server, visit Chess.com/calendar.

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