Guide to the 2019 Grand Prix Series

What’s Coming in 2019? 

The new and exciting quest for the World Chess Championship crown begins with the FIDE World Chess Grand Prix, a 4-leg Series where the world’s strongest chess players will fight for two spots to the Candidates Tournament, as well as the €800,000 combined prize fund. Each knockout tournament will feature 4 rounds, and each round will consist of 2 classical games and the rapid and blitz tie breaks. 

The FIDE World Chess Grand Prix Series first started back in 2008. The winners of the 2017  Series were Alexander  Grischuk and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. 

Who Is Going to Play? 

M. Vachier-Lagrave

Elo: 2780

Anish Giri

Elo: 2797

Wesley So

Elo: 2765

Levon Aronian

Elo: 2767

Alexander Grischuk

Elo: 2771

Hikaru Nakamura

Elo: 2749

Sergey Karjakin

Elo: 2753

Yu Yangyi

Elo: 2764

Ian Nepomniachtchi

Elo: 2771

Peter Svidler

Elo: 2737

Teimour Radjabov

Elo: 2756

Veselin Topalov

Elo: 2740

Dmitry Jakovenko

Elo: 2719

David Navara

Elo: 2738

Radoslaw Wojtaszek

Elo: 2720

Wei Yi

Elo: 2733

Jan-Krzysztof Duda

Elo: 2731

Pentala Harikrishna

Elo: 2726

Nikita Vitiugov

Elo: 2722

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Elo: 2790

Daniil Dubov

Elo: 2703

Tel-Aviv GP Player

To be determined with ICF

When will the Series take place? 

1st Leg

May 16 – 30, 2019

Moscow, Russia

2nd Leg

July 11 – 25, 2019

Riga, Latvia

3rd Leg

November 4 – 18, 2019

Hamburg, Germany

4th Leg

December 10 – 24, 2019

Tel-Aviv, Israel

What are the rules?  

Starting this year, each Grand Prix will be a knockout (or single-elimination) event. It’s a format where the loser of the match-up is immediately eliminated from the tournament, and the winner will play another winner in the next round, until the final match-up, whose hero becomes the Grand Prix Champion.

There will be four rounds in the Grand Prix. Each consists of two  games with the classic time control There will be four rounds in the Grand Prix. Time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one.

The tiebreaks consist of two games at 25 minutes + 10 seconds increment; in case of a tie two more games at 10 minutes + 10 seconds increment; in case of another tie two more games at five minutes + three seconds increment; and if the score is still level, one sudden death game is played where White gets five minutes vs. four minutes for Black (with a two-second increment for both after move 60) with Black having draw odds.

RoundNumber of Players
Round 116 players
Round 28 players
Round 34 players
Round 42 players

Armageddon: The player who wins the drawing of lots may choose the color. The player with the white pieces receives 5 minutes; the player with the black pieces receives 4 minutes whereupon; after move 60, both players receive an increment of 2 seconds per move starting from move 61. In case of a draw the player with the black pieces is declared the winner. There is a winner of every round in the Grand Prix Series, and the format is very exciting for spectators, both onsite and online!

How Much will Players Earn? 

Each Tournament has a prize fund of €130,000. Also, prizes for overall standings in the Series are  €280,000, making the total prize fund of the Series €800,000.

Total Prize Fund: €800,000

How Can I Watch It? 

You can follow the Series exclusively on Worldchess.com and our partner-sites!

What Will It Look Like? 

The ruler of Sharjah, one of the UAE Emirates, arrives by chopper to the opening of the 2017 Grand Prix. Four Grand Prix events were held in Sharjah, Geneva, Moscow, and Palma-de-Majorca. 
Ding Liren of China, by that time not a very well-known chess player, was invited into the Series and went on to take part in the Candidates Tournament. Now he is the top-three player in the world.
Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia took part in the 2017 Series for the first time. Now it’s his second attempt to capture the ticket into the Candidates. Ian believes that he can overtake Magnus, the current World Champion.
Alexander Grischuk, one of the winners of the previous edition of the Grand Prix Series, had a very good chance for the Championship Match if not for his constant issue with time trouble. His unique playing style and amazing charisma make him an all-star member of the 2019 edition. 
On this photo from 2017, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France, one of the  top seeds, is on the way to the playing hall in Sharjah, UAE. Despite being in the top-5 for a very long-time, Maxime has never had a chance to play in the Championship Match. We will be looking out for him. 
Hikaru Nakamura is famous for his fast chess skills. 2019 is going to be the first time when Hikaru has a chance to play fast chess in the Grand Prix Series: This year the rules have changed and now the Series is a knockout event with rapid and blitz tie breaks. 
Boris Gelfand of Israel in Moscow during the 2017 Grand Prix Series. Gelfand almost became a World Champion in 2012 when he lost the Match to Vishy Anand on tie break.
Pentala Harikrishna and Alexander Grischuk sit in the lounge area in Moscow and wait for the game to start. Players usually arrive 5 to 10 minutes before the game to go through security check and have a quick coffee.
Anish Giri, world’s number 4, is a likely challenger to Magnus Carlsen is the next Match. 

When and Where My Favorite Players Will Appear? 

Moscow, Russia

1Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
2Anish Giri
3Wesley So
4Levon Aronian
5Alexander Grischuk
6Hikaru Nakamura
7Sergey Karjakin
8Ian Nepomniachtchi
9Peter Svidler
10Teimour Radjabov
11Dmitry Jakovenko
12Radoslaw Wojtaszek
13Wei Yi
14Jan-Krzysztof Duda
15Nikita Vitiugov
16Daniil Dubov

Riga, Latvia

1Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
2Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
3Anish Giri
4Wesley So
5Levon Aronian
6Alexander Grischuk
7Hikaru Nakamura
8Sergey Karjakin
9Yu Yangyi
10Peter Svidler
11Veselin Topalov
12David Navara
13Jan-Krzysztof Duda
14Pentala Harikrishna
15Nikita Vitiugov
16Daniil Dubov

Hamburg, Germany

1Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
2Alexander Grischuk
3Hikaru Nakamura
4Yu Yangyi
5Ian Nepomniachtchi
6Peter Svidler
7Teimour Radjabov
8Veselin Topalov
9Dmitry Jakovenko
10David Navara
11Radoslaw Wojtaszek
12Wei Yi
13Jan-Krzysztof Duda
14Pentala Harikrishna
15Nikita Vitiugov
16Daniil Dubov

Tel-Aviv, Israel

1Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
2Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
3Anish Giri
4Wesley So
5Levon Aronian
6Sergey Karjakin
7Yu Yangyi
8Ian Nepomniachtchi
9Teimour Radjabov
10Veselin Topalov
11Dmitry Jakovenko
12David Navara
13Radoslaw Wojtaszek
14Wei Yi
15Pentala Harikrishna
16Israeli Nomination

The Series is organized by World Chess, FIDE’s commercial partner. If you have any questions about the Series, please email the organizers at office@worldchess.com. 

Leave a Reply