The 2019 Grand Chess Tour gets underway today at the Pullman Abidjan Hotel in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire with the Côte d’Ivoire Rapid and Blitz, running from May 8th through 13th. It is the first Grand Chess Tour event to be held on the African continent. Americans Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So are among the competitors, along with World Champion Magnus Carlsen.
The Rapid and Blitz is the first in a series of seven tournaments on the 2019 Grand Chess Tour. This year’s list includes both classical and rapid / blitz time control events, and spans four continents:
- Côte d’Ivoire Rapid & Blitz, May 6 – 13, 2019, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
- Croatia GCT (Classical), June 24 – July 9, 2019, Zagreb, Croatia
- Paris Rapid & Blitz, July 26 – August 2, 2019, Paris, France
- St Louis Rapid & Blitz, August 8 – 15, 2019, St. Louis, Missouri USA
- Sinquefield Cup (Classical), August 15 – 30, 2019, St. Louis, Missouri USA
- Superbet Rapid & Blitz, November 4 – 11, 2019, Bucharest, Romania
- Tata Steel India Rapid & Blitz, November 20 – 27, 2019, Kolkata, India
The top four scoring players in these seven tournaments qualify for the GCT Finals, which will be part of the 2019 London Chess Classic.
The players in Côte d’Ivoire are, in URS rating order: Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Ding Liren, Wesley So, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Sergey Karkakin, Wei Yi, Veselin Topalov, and Bassem Amin.
The field will play three days of rapid chess from May 8th-10th, with three rounds scheduled each day. Rounds start at 1pm / 2:30pm / 4pm EDT.
Players will then contest a blitz double-round robin on the 11th and 12th, splitting the eighteen games between the two days of blitz. These games begin at 10am EDT.
You can follow the games live on the Grand Chess Tour website:
The Saint Louis Chess Club will be providing live streaming coverage as well, with hosts Yannick Pelletier, IM Tania Sachdev, and GM Alejandro Ramirez. GM Maurice Ashley is on-site in Abidjan and will offer live commentary and interviews with the participants. You can follow the stream directly at the Saint Louis Chess Club YouTube channel: