The 2018 GCT Field

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 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. Sergey showed in all eight 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, but lost the match on playoffs.


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.