The inaugural Grand Chess Tour was held in 2015 as a circuit of three classical events in which the format and conditions of each tournament were identical. In 2016, the tour was enhanced by adding rapid and blitz events and the tour has expanded every year since. To date, GCT tournaments have been held in Norway, France, Belgium, USA and the UK. The 2019 Grand Chess Tour will see the tour expand considerably and will feature events in Cote d’Ivoire, India, Romania and Croatia for the first time.

The rapid and blitz tournaments each carry a prize fund of $150,000 while the prize fund of the classical tournaments in 2019 is $325,000 per event. The GCT Finals in London offer an additional prize fund of $300,000 for the top 4 qualifiers. The total prize pool on offer over the course of the 2019 Grand Chess Tour is $1,750,000.