Final 2018 GCT Participants and Playing Schedules (for Paris and Leuven)
Posted: 09 March 2018 03:50 PM  
Total Posts:  395
Joined  2011-11-18

The Grand Chess Tour (GCT) is pleased to release the names of the nine (9) players that have signed full GCT Tour contracts for the 2018 GCT Tour.
1. GM Viswanathan Anand (IND)
2. GM Levon Aronian (ARM)
3. GM Fabiano Caruana (USA)
4. GM Alexander Grischuk (RUS)
5. GM Sergey Karjakin (RUS)
6. GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE)
7. GM Hikaru Nakamura (USA)
8. GM Wesley So (USA)
9. GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA)

World Champion Magnus Carlsen and Ex-World Champion Vladimir Kramnik declined their full tour invitations and the GCT Advisory Board decided to extend a full tour invitation to GM Sergey Karjakin who was next in line based on the URS™ rating list.

The last place in each tournament will be filled by event level wildcards and two wildcard invitations have been extended and accepted to date:
1. GM Vladimir Kramnik accepted a wildcard invitation for the 2018 Paris GCT Rapid & Blitz; and
2. GM Anish Giri accepted a wildcard invitation for the 2018 YNM Leuven Rapid & Blitz.
The playing dates for the 2018 Grand Chess Tour events in Paris and Leuven have also been finalised and will be as follows:
Activities                 YNM Leuven                   Paris GCT
Rapid Games 1 - 3 Tuesday June 12       Wednesday June 20
Rapid Games 4 - 6 Wednesday June 13   Thursday June 21
Rapid Games 7 - 9 Thursday June 14     Friday June 22
Blitz Games 1 - 9     Friday June 15           Saturday June 23
Blitz Games 10 - 18 Saturday June 16     Sunday June 24

An expanded children’s chess day will be held as part of the YNM Leuven tournament on Monday June 11 while the traditional corporate day in Paris will take place on Monday June 25.

The YNM Leuven tournament will be held at the traditional City Hall of Leuven which has hosted the event from its inception. The players and tournament officials will be accommodated at The Fourth Hotel which is an ultimate luxury hotel located within the historic Grote Markt square. The official tournament hotel also provides the players with access to the Tafelrond restaurant which is ranked amongst the very best restaurants in Belgium.

The Paris GCT tournament will also utilise the same venue and all tournament games will be played at the same CANAL+ Espace Lumière studio which provided the spectacular setting for the 2017 edition. The Paris tournament will again be broadcast on CANAL+ television with daily highlights aired for their French language audience.

The wild-cards for the 2018 St Louis Rapid & Blitz tournament and for the 2018 Sinquefield Cup have yet to be selected and will be announced later in the year.