Grand Chess Tour Returning in Summer 2021

Grand Chess Tour

American GMs Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So have confirmed their participation in the 2021 Grand Chess Tour, which returns after its cancellation last year due to the global pandemic.  

The U.S. stars join eight other world elite as full-tour participants in the 2021 GCT schedule, which follows the same five-tournament format originally planned for last season. The international tour features two classical tournaments with prize funds of $325,000 each, including the kickoff event in Romania in June and the tour finale Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis in August, bookending three rapid and blitz events with prize funds of $150,000.  

“We are excited to return to over the board events this year,” said Michael Khodarkovsky, executive director for the GCT. “All five event locations will comply with local COVID-19 guidelines and fans can expect the same excitement and action that they have come to love and enjoy from the Grand Chess Tour.” 

The full schedule for the 2021 GCT season is as follows: 

  1. Superbet Chess Classic Romania: June 3-15, 2021 in Bucharest, Romania 

  1. Paris Rapid & Blitz: June 16-23, 2021 in Paris, France 

  1. Croatia Rapid & Blitz: July 5-12, 2021 in Zagreb, Croatia 

  1. St. Louis Rapid & Blitz: August 9-16, 2021 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA 

  1. Sinquefield Cup: August 16-28, 2021 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA 

There will be no GCT finals tournament like there was in 2019, which took place within the London Chess Classic. Instead, the final tour standings will be decided based on tour points accumulated over the five 2021 events. A bonus prize fund of $175,000 will be awarded to the top three overall GCT finishers. 

Invitations for the 2021 tour were extended to those who had qualified for 2020, including China GM Ding Liren who won the 2019 tour. Missing this year is World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen and American GM Hikaru Nakamura, who both elected not to participate as full tour participants. They were replaced by Azerbaijani GMs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov, who makes his GCT debut. 

The ten full-tour participants for the 2021 GCT is as follows: 


2021 Grand Chess Tour Participants


These ten participants will play in both classical events and two of the three rapid and blitz tournaments. An additional ten wildcards will be extended to selected players to participate in those Paris, Zagreb and St. Louis events. For more information, visit the Grand Chess Tour website.

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