Grand Chess Tour 2018

March 10, 2018


Final 2018 GCT participants

The players for the next Grand Chess Tour circuit have been announced, settling the question of whether or not Magnus Carlsen would return to defend his 2017 win - he won't. The demanding schedule of the GCT was too much to commit to fully during a World Championship match year.

In addition to Carlsen, Ian Nepomniachtchi is also not in the tour, replaced by Alexander Grischuk, but the remaining seven players from last year are back. There will be single-event wildcards, so we know that Vladimir Kramnik and Anish Giri will play at least one event as well. Other wild cards for events in the second half of the year will be announced later, so Carlsen may yet have a chance to make an entrance as the 2018 tour progresses.

The Grand Chess Tour (GCT) is pleased to release the names of the nine players that have signed full GCT Tour contracts for the 2018 GCT Tour.

GM Viswanathan Anand (IND)
GM Levon Aronian (ARM)
GM Fabiano Caruana (USA)
GM Alexander Grischuk (RUS)
GM Sergey Karjakin (RUS)
GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE)
GM Hikaru Nakamura (USA)
GM Wesley So (USA)
GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA)

World Champion Magnus Carlsen and Ex-World Champion Vladimir Kramnik declined their full tour invitations and the GCT Advisory Board decided to extend a full tour invitation to GM Sergey Karjakin who was next in line based on the URS rating list.

The last place in each tournament will be filled by event level wildcards and two wildcard invitations have been extended and accepted to date:

GM Vladimir Kramnik accepted a wildcard invitation for the 2018 Paris GCT Rapid & Blitz; and
GM Anish Giri accepted a wildcard invitation for the 2018 YNM Leuven Rapid & Blitz

The playing dates for the 2018 Grand Chess Tour events in Paris and Leuven have also been finalised and will be as follows:

Activity - - - Leuven - - - Paris

Rapid Games 1-3 Tue Jun 12 - - Wed Jun 20
Rapid Games 4-6 Wed Jun 13 - - Thu Jun 21
Rapid Games 7-9 Thu Jun 14 - - Fri Jun 22
Blitz Games 1-9 Fri Jun 15 - - Sat Jun 23
Blitz Games 10-18 Sat Jun 16 - - Sun Jun 24