The 2018 GCT Field

GM Lenier Dominguez



4-time Cuban Chess Champion


2018 Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz Wildcard


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


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. 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



2018 World Chess Championships Challenger



The No. 3 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 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 Alexander Grischuk

Alexander Grischuk


Three time World Blitz Champion



Grishchuk is a Russian Grandmaster and was the Russian Champion in 2009. Grischuk has played in the Candidates tournament three times and is also a three time winning World Blitz Champion. In November 2014, Grishchuk crossed the elite 2800 ELO rating mark when he took clear first place with 5/7 points in the Tashir Chess Tournament in Memory of Tigran Petrosian. Most recently, Grischuk shared first place with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the first event of the FIDE Grand Prix 2017 in February.


GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov


2013 World Rapid Chess Champion



Mamedyarov won the World Junior Championship in 2003 and 2005, becoming the only two-time champion of the event. Mamedyarov has also won both the Tal Memorial and Shamkir Chess tournaments twice, as well as qualifying for the FIDE Candidates Tournament twice (2011 and 2014). This year, Mamedyarov won for the second time Vugar Gashimov Memorial.


GM Anish Giri

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 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 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 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 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 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 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).