News, Press Release

World’s Best Return to Saint Louis for Pivotal 2019 Grand Chess Tour Tournaments

 World’s Best Return to Saint Louis for Pivotal Grand Chess Tour Tournaments

World Champion Magnus Carlsen Attempting to Set World Record 2900 Rating 

SAINT LOUIS, August 1, 2019 – The fifth edition of the Grand Chess Tour (GCT), a series of eight elite chess tournaments held across the globe, will return to America’s Chess Capital at the Saint Louis Chess Club from August 9-29, 2019. Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz, held August 9-15, will kick off the festivities with 10 of the world’s best chess players competing for $150,000 in prize money. The Sinquefield Cup will follow the conclusion of Rapid & Blitz, running August 15-29. This classical chess tournament will feature 12 top-ranked international players competing for a total prize fund of $325,000.

“Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz and the Sinquefield Cup are the premier international chess tournaments held in the United States each year,” said Tony Rich, Executive Director, Saint Louis Chess Club. “We’re thrilled to welcome back the world’s best to Saint Louis for these back-to-back events and are excited to be offering an improved prize fund for these outstanding players in 2019.

Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz Marks Midway Point of 2019 GCT Tour

The Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz will host 10 of the top players from around the world including World Champion Magnus Carlsen. The tournament will be played in a round robin format and conclude with a possible playoff armageddon. This is the fourth stop on the 2019 Grand Chess Tour

Sinquefield Cup Offers Final Classical Chess Tournament on GCT

The Sinquefield Cup will be the last classical chess tournament played on the Grand Chess Tour this season. Last year’s event was one of the most dramatic on the Grand Chess Tour, ending in a three-way tie between World Champion Magnus Carlsen, 2018 World Champion Challenger Fabiano Caruana, and GM Levon Aronian, 2015 Sinquefield Cup Winner and leading Armenian chess player since the early 2000’s.  

The previous classical tournament in Croatia and the upcoming Sinquefield Cup both hold a larger prize fund than any of the other Grand Chess Tour events with a sum total of $650,000 and will offer more tour points to the winners, putting the Sinquefield Cup winner in solid contention to qualify for the 2019 Grand Chess Tour finals in London. Entering the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz and the Sinquefield Cup, World No. 1 and current World Champion Magnus Carlsen is firmly atop the leaderboard, with American Wesley So in second, followed by Chinese Ding Liren in third place. 

Following the conclusion of the Sinquefield Cup, the Saint Louis Chess Club will host an Ultimate Moves Exhibition with all players on August 29 at 2pm. The event will include Saint Louis Chess Club founder Rex Sinquefield, his son Randy Sinquefield, President of Spectrum Studios, legendary World Champion Garry Kasparov and the Sinquefield Cup players in a team vs. team matchup. All tournament players will compete in this fun-spirited event where players swap out after every fifth move and are encouraged to talk amongst each other and their opponents throughout the match.  


2019 Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz Field

Title Name URS Rating FIDE Rapid Rating FIDE Blitz Rating Age Residence
GM Magnus Carlsen 2869 2895 2920 28 Norway 
GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2799 2812 2948 28 France
GM Fabiano Caruana 2793 2817 2772 27 USA
GM Liren Ding 2792 2786 2779 26 China
GM Levon Aronian 2776 2695 2848 36 Armenia
GM Shakrihyar Mamedyarov 2770 2810 2778 34 Azerbaijan
GM Sergey Karjakin 2768 2750 2814 29 Russia
GM Yangi Yu 2756 2775 2710 25 China
GM Leinier Dominguez 2751 2769 2703 35 USA
GM Richard Rapport 2724 2719 2736 23 Hungary

Ratings as of July 2019

2019 Sinquefield Cup Field

Title Name URS Rating FIDE Rating Age Residence
GM Magnus Carlsen 2869 2872  29 Norway
GM Hikaru Nakamura 2806 2754  32 USA
GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2799 2775  29 France
GM Fabiano Caruana 2793 2819 27 USA
GM Liren Ding 2792 2812 27 China
GM Wesley So 2777 2763 26 USA
GM Levon Aronian 2776 2756 37 Armenia
GM Ian Nepomniachtchi 2774 2775 29 Russia
GM Shakrihyar Mamedyarov 2770 2765 34 Azerbaijan
GM Sergey Karjakin 2768 2748 29 Russia
GM Anish Giri 2763 2779 25 Netherlands
GM Viswanathan Anand 2757 2764 50 India

Ratings as of July 2019




About The Saint Louis Chess Club

The Saint Louis Chess Club is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for everyone to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.

Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Saint Louis Chess Club is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit

About The Grand Chess Tour

The Grand Chess Tour is a circuit of international events, each demonstrating the highest level of organization for the world’s best players. The Tour is organized by the Saint Louis Chess Club and the Kasparov Chess Foundation. The legendary Garry Kasparov, one of the world’s greatest ambassadors for chess, inspired the Grand Chess Tour and helped solidify the partnerships among sponsors and organizers.


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