The 2017 GCT Field

2017 Grand Chess Tour

GM Magnus Carlsen

World Champion (2013 – Current)

Carlsen is a Norwegian chess grandmaster, and the current World Chess Champion. Carlsen was a child chess prodigy who became a chess grandmaster in 2004, at the age of 13 years and 148 days. This made him the third-youngest grandmaster in history. In November 2013 Carlsen became World Champion by defeating Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Championship 2013. On the May 2014 FIDE rating list, Carlsen reached his peak rating of 2882, which is the highest in history. In November 2016 he defended his world title against Sergey Karjakin.

GM Fabiano Caruana

2016 U.S. Cʜᴀᴍᴘɪᴏɴ

The No. 2 ranked player in the world Caruana became a Grandmaster at the age of 14 years, 11 months, 20 days. He was the youngest grandmaster in the history of the United States until this record was beaten in 2009 by Ray Robson. In October 2014 he achieved an Elo rating of 2844 becoming the third highest rated player in history.

GM Wesley So

2016 GCT Cʜᴀᴍᴘɪᴏɴ

A former chess prodigy who became the youngest player to pass the 2600 threshold in October 2008, breaking the record previously held by Magnus Carlsen. In February 2015 he entered the World top 10 after tying for second place at the 2015 Tata Steel Chess Tournament. He is a three-time Philippines Chess Champion and also won the Bilbao Chess Masters Final in 2015.

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

2015 World Blitz Silver Medalist

Often referred to as MVL, he came to prominence in 2009 after winning the title of World Junior Chess Champion. He is currently the No. 1 ranked player in France as well as a three-time French champion (2007, 2011, Shared in 2012). He is also a four-time winner of the Biel Grandmaster Tournament (2009, 2013, 2014, 2015).

GM Viswanathan Anand

World Champion (2007 – 2013)

The former World Chess Champion and oldest player in the Tour field became India's first grandmaster in 1988. He held the FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000 to 2002 and became the undisputed World Chess Champion in 2007. He defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008, Veselin Topalov in 2010 and Boris Gelfand in 2012 before finally losing the title to Magnus Carlsen in their World Chess Championship match in 2013.

GM Sergey Karjakin

2016 World Champion Challenger

Sergey Karjakin was born in Simferopol on the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine. He represented Ukraine until 2009, when he changed federations and now represents Russia. Karjakin was a childhood chess prodigy; he still holds the honor of being the youngest player to earn the Grandmaster title at 12 years old. Karjakin represented both the Ukraine and Russia in international competition. Sergey showed in all seven of the Chess Olympiads in which he competed, earning three gold, two silver and two bronze medals. 

In 2016, Karjakin won the Candidates Tournament and with it, the honor to challenge World Champion Magnus Carlsen for the title. After a hotly contested November match in New York, Karjakin had a tied score against the world champion. Unfortunately he lost the match after the rapid tie breaks. 

GM Levon Aronian

2009 World Rapid Champion

Winner of the Chess World Cup in 2005. He has also led the Armenian national team to the Gold medals in three Chess Olympics (Turin, Dresden, Istanbul) as well as to Gold at the World Team Chess Championship in 2011. He won the FIDE Grand Prix 2008–2010. He was also World Rapid Chess Champion in 2009, and World Blitz Chess Champion in 2010. Aronian has been the leading Armenian chess player since the early 2000’s.

GM Hikaru Nakamura

2016 Olympiad Gold Medalist

Nakamura is a four-time United States Chess Champion who also won the 2011 edition of the Tata Steel Group A. He has represented the United States at five Chess Olympiads, winning two team bronze medals. In May 2014, when FIDE began publishing its official rapid and blitz chess ratings, Nakamura was ranked number one in the world on both lists.

GM Ian Nepomniachtchi

2015 World Rapid Silver Medalist

Ian Nepomniachtchi is a Russian Grandmaster. At just 26 years old, Nepo is in the prime of his carreer. In 2016 he won the Tal Memorial and has earned numerous medals representing Russia in international competition. Most recently Ian helped the Russian team earn the Bronze Medal at the 2016 Chess Olympiad, earning an individual Silver Medal for his performance on board four. 

At the young age of just four, Nepomniachtchi learned to play chess by watching his grandfather and uncle. Soon thereafter he entered his first tournament; by 2000, at nine years old, he was the European Under-10 Champion.