Grand Chess Tour 2018

February 1, 2018


2018 Grand Chess Tour Invitees, Dates Announced

Peter Doggers

Magnus Carlsen, the winner of the 2017 Grand Chess Tour, headlines the list of invitees for the 2018 tour. The organizers have announced the 10 invited players and the dates in a press release.

The tour organizers explained their criteria for inviting the players. Interestingly, FIDE ratings were giving higher value than the tour's own Universal Rating System (URS):

First, the top three finishers of last year's tour were selected.

Then, the three players (not yet selected) with the highest average FIDE rating of the 12 rating lists between February 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Then, the three players (not yet selected) with the highest URS rating.

One player selected by the GCT Advisory Board.

2018 Grand Chess Tour - Invited Players # Fed Name Rtg Criteria

1 GM Magnus Carlsen 2834 1st place, 2017 Grand Chess Tour
2 GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2793 2nd place, 2017 Grand Chess Tour
3 GM Levon Aronian 2797 3rd place, 2017 Grand Chess Tour
4 GM Fabiano Caruana 2811 1st Average FIDE Classic Rating
5 GM Wesley So 2792 2nd Average FIDE Classic Rating
6 GM Vladimir Kramnik 2787 3rd Average FIDE Classic Rating
7 GM Hikaru Nakamura 2781 1st Universal Rating System
8 GM Alexander Grischuk 2767 2nd Universal Rating System
9 GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2804 3rd Universal Rating System
10 GM Viswanathan Anand 2767 GCT Advisory Board Nominee

As the organizers mention in their press release, Anand was selected "after taking account of his status as a former world champion and as the reigning World Rapid Chess Champion."

They also noted that was ranked ninth per the average FIDE ratings, and 11th according to the URS rating list per January 1.

Compared to last year, two invited players are missing: Sergey Karjakin and Ian Nepomniachtchi. Alexander Grischuk, Vladimir Kramnik and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov were not in the initial participants list last year.

The dates for 2018:

Your Next Move GCT (Rapid & Blitz) June 10-17, 2018 | Brussels-Leuven, Belgium

Paris GCT (Rapid & Blitz) June 17-26, 2018 | Paris, France

Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz (Rapid & Blitz) August 9-16, 2018 | St. Louis, Missouri

Sinquefield Cup (Classical) August 16-29, 2018 | St. Louis, Missouri

At this point the exact dates for the 2018 London Chess Classic & GCT Tour Finals have not been confirmed yet, but these events will be held between December 10 and 21.