Paris GCT joined the Grand Chess Tour in 2016 thanks to the generous sponsorship of Colliers International, Vivendi and DailyMotion and will once again be the first stop on the 2017 Grand Chess Tour. Paris is a city known for its rich chess history, and the players will wow audiences around the world in one of the strongest rapid and blitz events in the world. Held a stones throw from the river Seine at the beautiful Maison de la Chimie, Paris GCT features a $150,000 prize fund and sets the tone for the season. Will American Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura repeat his dominant performance last year?
Spectators may not be familiar with the Brussels suburb of Leuven, but you should be. A college town now, Leuven is a rich piece of European history waiting to be discovered. Your Next Move is a charity focused on chess in education, and by hosting the second leg of the Grand Chess Tour, further spotlights the world's best players. Thanks to Belgian businessman and chess enthusiast Jan Callewaert, Leuven will host the second leg of the GCT. World Champion Magnus Carlsen won last year in fine style, but with $150,000 on the line, you can be sure that all the players will try to top the field.
The Sinquefield Cup is made possible by Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield and is organized by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The first classical event in the Grand Chess Tour, players will be competing for a $300,000 purse and the coveted Cup. The CCSCSL has hosted the Sinquefield Cup since 2014, and past winners include World Champion Magnus Carlsen, world #2 and Saint Louis resident GM Fabiano Caruana and American GM Wesley So, currently ranked fourth in the world.
The Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz is new to the Grand Chess Tour in 2017. This $150,000 event will feature six of the 2017 Grand Chess Tour players and four wildcard picks, each of whom will try to prove they can push pawns with the very best. Held just after the Sinquefield Cup, the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz promises to be an exciting affair that fans can enjoy live - right here at grandchesstour.org.
The London Chess Classic is the final leg of the Grand Chess Tour. Apart from the Sinquefield Cup, the London Classic is the only other classical event in the GCT and also carries a $300,000 prize fund. Wesley So's admirable performance in the 2016 edition earned him top honors and a $300,000 year from the GCT. He will certainly be looking to repeat his performance again this year.
Since 2009, the London Chess Classic has been dominated by World Champion Magnus Carlsen, winning four of the eight editions. Former World Champions Vishy Anand and Vladimir Kramnik and American super-GMs Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So each won once.