The 2017 GCT Field

GM Veselin Topalov

Veselin Topalov

2005 World Champion

Paris GCT Wildcard

The Bulgarian No. 1 became the FIDE World Chess Champion by winning the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2005. He lost his title in the 2006 World Chess Championship match against Vladimir Kramnik and was also narrowly defeated by Vishy Anand in their match for the World Chess Championship title in 2010. Topalov has competed at nine Chess Olympiads (1994-2000, 2008-2016), winning in Linares, Corus, Dortmund, Stavanger and Pearl Spring tournaments. At his 1994 appearance, Topalov won best overall performance.

GM Etienne Bacrot

Etienne Bacrot

7 Time French Champion

Paris GCT Wildcard

Bacrot was the French champion from 1999-2003, winning the title first at age 16 making him the youngest French champion ever. In 2005, Bacrot became the first French Grandmaster to enter the top 10 chess players in the world. Bacrot qualified for the Candidates tournament in 2005 after finishing third in the FIDE World Cup. In 2011, he won the 2011 Poikovsky Karpov tournament ahead of Sergey Karjakin, Fabiano Caruana, Dimitry Jakovenko.

GM Vassily Ivanchuk

Vassily Ivanchuk

World Rapid Champion (Current)

YNM GCT Wildcard

Ivanchuk is a Ukrainian Grandmaster who has been ranked No. 2 in the world on three different occasions. Throughout the years, Ivanchuk has won Linares, Wijk aan Zee, Tal Memorial, Gibraltar Masters and M-Tel Masters titles, 2007 World Blitz Chess Championship, Melody Amber rapid in 1992 and shared the combined event in 2010. Last year, Ivanchuk won the World Rapid Chess Championship in Doha, Qatar by defeating the current World Champion Magnus Carlsen.

GM Baadur Jobava


2016 Olympiad Gold Medalist

YNM GCT Wildcard

Jobava is a Grandmaster from Georgia and won the Georgia Chess Championship on three different occasions (2003, 2007, 2012).  Jobava has won several tournaments including the Dubai Open in 2003, gold medal at the 2004 36th Chess Olympiad, Jobava won the Railyaway Hotel Cup and the prestigious Aeroflot Open (2006), Lake Sevan tournament (2011), 32nd Edoardo Crespi Trophy (2011), European Rapid Chess Championship (2011), 19th HZ Chess Tournament (2015).  He has also taken part in the Chess Olympiads of 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014 and 2016.

GM Peter Svidler

Seven-time Russian Champion

Svidler is a 7 time Russian Chess Champion (1994, 1995, 1997, 2003, 2008, 2011, 2013.)  He also has represented the Russian Olympiad team 10 times helping his team win the gold medal in his first five appearances.  By winning the 2011 Chess World Cup, he qualified for Candidates stage of the 2013 World Championship cycle.  In that event, Peter soundly defeated the eventual World Champion, Magnus Carlsen. Svidler is also world-renowned chess commentator.  

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 career. 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.

GM David Navara

7-time Czech Chess Champion

David Navara is currently the highest rated Czech Grandmaster and has been the national champion 7-times. Navara also won the European Blitz Championship in 2014 and then achieved his highest Elo rating in May 2015.

GM Le Quang Liem

2013 World Blitz Champion

Le Quang Liem is a Vietnamese Grandmaster and competed for his nation in six Chess Olympiads. Quang Liem was the U14 World Youth Champion in 2005. He was also the 2013 World Blitz Champion. Quang Liem is currently the No. 1 ranked player in Vietnam.

GM Garry Kasparov

World Champion (1985-2000)

Garry Kasparov is a Russian Grandmaster who is coming out of retirement for the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz tournament. Kasparov became the youngest ever undisputed World Chess Champion in 1985 at age 22 by defeating then-champion Anatoly Karpov. As world champion, he was known for his aggressive attacking style. In 1996 and 1997, Kasparov played the IBM supercomputer, Deep Blue, in a series of highly publicized matches. From 1986 until his retirement in 2005, Kasparov was ranked World No. 1 and is considered by many to be the greatest chess player in history.

GM Vladimir Kramnik

Fᴏʀᴍᴇʀ Wᴏʀʟᴅ Cʜᴀᴍᴘɪᴏɴ

Paris GCT Wildcard

The Russian Grandmaster was the Classical World Chess Champion from 2000 to 2006, and the undisputed World Chess Champion from 2006 to 2007. He has won three team gold medals and three individual medals at Chess Olympiads.

GM Anish Giri

4 Time Dutch Chess Champion

YNM GCT Wildcard

The Russian-born Dutch Grandmaster achieved the grandmaster title at the age of 14 years and 7 months. Giri is a four-time Dutch Chess Champion (2009, 2011, 2012, and 2015) and won the Corus Chess B Group in 2010. He has also represented the Netherlands at four Chess Olympiads, winning two individual bronze medals. In 2016, Giri participated in the Candidates tournament, drawing all of his games.

GM Alexander Grischuk

Three time World Blitz Champion

Grischuk has competed in four Candidate's Tournaments: in 2007, 2011 (when he reached the final), 2013, and 2018. He also reached the semifinals of the 2000 FIDE World Championship. Grischuk has won two team gold medals, three team silvers, a team bronze, and an individual bronze medal at Chess Olympiads.  He also holds three team gold medals, one team silver and one individual gold, two silver and one bronze from the World Team Chess Championship. Grischuk is also an expert blitz player, winning the World Blitz Championship in 2006, 2012, and 2015.

GM Magnus Carlsen

World Champion (2013 – Current)

2018 Sinquefield Cup Wildcard

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, making him the third-youngest grandmaster in history. In November 2013,  Carlsen became World Champion by defeating Viswanathan Anand. He defended his title in November 2016 when he defeated Sergey Karjakin. On the May 2014 FIDE rating list, Carlsen reached his peak rating of 2882, which is the highest in history.

GM Wesley So

2016 GCT Cʜᴀᴍᴘɪᴏɴ

So is 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, 2015 Bilbao Chess Masters Final champion, 2016 Sinquefield Cup, and 2016 overall Grand Chess Tour winner.

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 six Chess Olympiads, winning two team bronze medals and the first team gold in 40 years at the 2016 Olympiad. 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 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 Grand Chess Tour field became India's first grandmaster in 1988. He held the FIDE World Chess Championship title 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 Fabiano Caruana

2018 World Chess Championships Challenger

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 his record was beaten in 2009 by Ray Robson. In October 2014, he achieved a FIDE rating of 2844, becoming the third highest-rated player in history. In 2018, Caruana won the Candidates tournament giving him the chance to play for the World Chess Championship in November against Magnus Carlsen. 

GM Levon Aronian

2009 World Rapid Champion

Aronian was the winner of the Chess World Cup in 2005. He has also led the Armenian national team to three gold medals in Chess Olympiads (Turin 2006, Dresden 2008, Istanbul 2012) 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 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

2013 World Rapid Chess Champion

He is a two-time World Junior Champion and a three-time European Chess Champion (2009, 2013, 2017). Mamedyarov was World Rapid Chess Champion in 2013. He represented his country at the 2012 Chess Olympiad and received a gold medal on the third board. GM Mamedyarov is also a two-time winner of the Tal Memorial (2010 and 2014) and Shamkir Chess (2016 and 2017) tournaments.

GM Leinier Dominguez

4-time Cuban Chess Champion

2018 Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz Wildcard

Leinier Dominguez is a Cuban grandmaster and was Cuban Chess Champion (2002, 2003, 2006, 2012). His best tournament result was Barcelona 2006, where he scored 8/9 and finished with a performance rating of 2932. In November 2008, he won the World Blitz Championship, held in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Then, in June 2013 he won the FIDE Grand Prix in Thessaloniki, Greece as a clear first in a field of twelve elite players.