Chess News

Grand Chess Tour 2023 with a dream lineup

The Grand Chess Tour (GCT), a circuit of international events, each demonstrating the highest level of organization for the world’s best players, will return again in 2023. Tour participants will compete for a total prize fund of $1.4 million over the course of the 2023 season. The prize money for each of the two classical tournaments will be $350,000 and $175,000 per event for rapid and blitz. In addition, a bonus prize fund totaling $175,000 will be awarded to the top three overall tour finishers. 

The 2023 tour will include eight full tour players and additional wildcards will be selected for each tournament.  The Chess Classic will kick off the 2023 tour in Bucharest, Romania and the Sinquefield Cup will close out the tour from November – December in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA. 

More about the Grand Chess Tour 2023: The Grand Chess Tour returns in 2023 / Grand Chess Tour 2023 is part World Championship Cycle

New: Yifan Hou returns to competitive chess in a strong rapid

Grand Chess Tour, a leading global circuit of international chess tournaments featuring the world’s best players, announced the wildcard players for Chess Classic Romania, Rapid & Blitz Poland and SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz Croatia. 

The Chess Classic Romania will kick off the first leg of the Grand Chess Tour, with all nine full tour players and one wildcard player, Grandmaster Bogdan-Daniel Deac from Romania. This 10-player round-robin tournament will feature a total of $350,000 in prizes for the top performers.

Rapid & Blitz Poland is the first rapid and blitz leg of the tour and will include a 10 player round-robin battle for a $175,000 prize fund. The event will feature six full-tour players and four wildcard players including:

  • World Chess Champion Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen from Norway
  • Grandmaster Radoslaw Wojtaszek from Poland
  • Grandmaster Kirill Shevchenko from Romania
  • Grandmaster Bogdan-Daniel Deac from Romania

SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz Croatia will include nine rounds of rapid and 18 rounds of blitz chess for a total prize fund of $175,000. This event will feature five full-tour players and five wildcard players including:

  • World Champion Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen from Norway
  • Former World Champion Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand from India
  • Grandmaster Ivan Saric from Croatia 
  • Grandmaster Dommaraju Gukesh from India
  • Grandmaster Constantin Lupulescu from Romania

“Romanian chess has a rich history of notable performances and talented players. One such example is Corina Peptan, who at just 10 years old, amazed the world of chess by becoming the world chess champion for Romania in her age category back in 1988. Today, we are confident that we can reach similar heights and even surpass them,” said Augusta Dragic, President of the SB Foundation. 

Dragic continued: “We are fully committed to supporting the Romanian Chess Federation and bringing the world’s best chess players to Bucharest every year. This year’s Chess Classic promises to be spectacular, with two chess players battling it out in April for the world title. We look forward to welcoming the new world champion to Bucharest for the first leg of the Grand Chess Tour starting on May 5, alongside the world’s chess elite. Among them, our very own Bogdan Deac, who serves as an inspirational role model for young chess players who have the unique chance to see their idols every year.”

The complete field for all three international events are as follows:

Chess Classic Romania: May 4-16, 2023 – Bucharest, Romania

#Player NamePlayer TypeCountryFIDE AverageURS Rating
1GM Alireza FirouzjaFull Tour PlayerFRA28112795
1GM Ding LirenFull Tour PlayerCHN28012798
2GM Ian NepomniachtchiFull Tour PlayerFIDE27782789
3GM Fabiano CaruanaFull Tour PlayerUSA27812780
4GM Anish GiriFull Tour PlayerNED27672762
6GM Wesley SoFull Tour PlayerUSA27622769
7GM Maxime Vachier-LagraveFull Tour PlayerFRA27462766
8GM Jan-Krzysztof DudaFull Tour PlayerPOL27672767
9GM Richard Rapport Full Tour PlayerROU27362746
10GM Bogdan-Daniel DeacWildcardROU26562691

Rapid & Blitz Poland: May 19-26, 2023 – Warsaw, Poland

#Player NamePlayer TypeCountryFIDE RatingURS Rating
1GM Ding LirenFull TourCHN28012798
2GM Wesley SoFull TourUSA27622769
3GM Maxime Vachier-LagraveFull TourFRA27462766
4GM Jan-Krzysztof DudaFull TourPOL27672767
5GM Richard Rapport Full TourROU27362746
6GM Anish GiriFull TourNED27672762
7GM Magnus CarlsenWildcardNOR28482849
8GM Radoslaw WojtaszekWildcardPOL26422685
9GM Bogdan-Daniel DeacWildcardROU26562691
10GM Kirill ShevchenkoWildcardROU26072664

SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz Croatia: July 3-10, 2023 – Zagreb, Croatia

#Player NamePlayer TypeCountryFIDE RatingURS Rating
1GM Ian NepomniachtchiFull TourFIDE27782789
2GM Alireza FirouzjaFull TourFRA28112795
3GM Fabiano CaruanaFull TourUSA27812780
4GM Jan-Krzysztof DudaFull TourPOL27672767
5GM Richard RapportFull TourROU27362746
6GM Magnus CarlsenWildcardNOR28482849
7GM Viswanathan AnandWildcardIND27392750
8GM Ivan SaricWildcardCRO26242656
9GM Dommaraju GukeshWildcardIND26552690
10GM Constantin LupulescuWildcardROU25842602

The confirmed fields for Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz, and the Sinquefield Cup will be announced at a later date.

“We are happy to welcome back to the Grand Chess Tour  World Champions Magnus Carlsen and Wiswanathan Anand”, said Michael Khodarkovsky, Executive Director of the Grand Chess Tour. “They will be challenged by young and rising stars like Gukesh and Shevchenko, which promises us thrilling and exciting competitions this year.”

Tour participants will compete for $1.4 million in cash over the course of the 2023 season, events include:

  • Chess Classic Romania: May 4-16, 2023, Bucharest, Romania
  • Rapid & Blitz Poland: May 19-26, 2023, Warsaw, Poland
  • SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz Croatia: July 3-10, 2023, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz: November 12 – 19, 2023, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
  • Sinquefield Cup: November 19 – December 3, 2023, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA                

Chief Tour Arbiter IA Chris Bird (USA) and Deputy Chief Tour Arbiter IA Ignatius Leong (Singapore) have also been appointed arbiters for the Grand Chess Tour. The Grand Chess Tour expresses our warmest gratitude to IA David Sedgwick (England) for his talent and efforts as Chief Tour Arbiter from 2015 to 2022. Arbiters for each event will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit

Grand Chess Tour 2023 is part World Championship Cycle

The FIDE Council has approved a cooperation agreement with the Grand Chess Tour. By virtue of this agreement, the two top finishers of the 2023 and 2025 Series will qualify for the Candidates Chess 2024 and 2026 respectively. Now: Grand Chess Tour 2022

As the Grand Chess Tour is an invitational event many questions remain unanswered. Jacob Aagard lists some of them, “Will the World Champion be allowed to participate? Will the Wild Card continue? Will a significant sponsorship package follows? Will rapid events count for the qualification?” FIDE Director General Emil Sutovsky answered that more details will follow in May after the formal contract is signed and that these points will be reviewed seriously.

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