Grand Chess Tour Confirms Event Allocations for 2020 Tour

The Grand Chess Tour (GCT) is pleased to announce that all ten qualified players have confirmed their participation in the 2020 Tour and the event allocations have been finalized. The ten full tour participants will play in both the Superbet Chess Classic Romania in Bucharest in May and in the Sinquefield Cup in Saint Louis in September. In addition, they will each participate in two of the three rapid and blitz events as indicated below.

Event Paris GCT R&B Croatia R&B Saint Louis R&B
Playing Dates June 24 – 28 July 4 – 8 August 25 – 29
City Paris, France Zagreb, Croatia Saint Louis, USA
1 Carlsen, Magnus Carlsen, Magnus Ding, Liren
2 Nakamura, Hikaru Ding, Liren Nakamura, Hikaru
3 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime Caruana, Fabiano Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
4 Caruana, Fabiano So, Wesley Grischuk, Alexander
5 So, Wesley Grischuk, Alexander Aronian, Levon
6 Nepomniachtchi, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Ian Giri, Anish
7 Aronian, Levon Giri, Anish Wildcard (TBC)
8 Wildcard (TBC) Wildcard (TBC) Wildcard (TBC)
9 Wildcard (TBC) Wildcard (TBC) Wildcard (TBC)
10 Wildcard (TBC) Wildcard (TBC) Wildcard (TBC)

The full tour players will be joined by three wildcard invitees at the events in Paris and Zagreb and by four wildcard invitees in Saint Louis. Details of the wildcards for each of the events will be released later.

 

About the Grand Chess Tour™ http:/grandchesstour.org 

The Grand Chess Tour is a circuit of international events, each demonstrating the highest level of organization for the world’s best players. The legendary Garry Kasparov, one of the world’s greatest ambassadors for chess, inspired the Grand Chess Tour and helped solidify the partnership between the organizers.

Indian Grandmaster Humpy Koneru Wins Second Annual Cairns Cup

Highest-Rated Women’s Tournament on American Soil Concludes with Hard-Fought Victory & $45,000 First Place Prize

Indian Chess Grandmaster (GM) Humpy Koneru was named champion on Sunday, February 16, of the second annual Cairns Cup, an elite tournament for the top female chess players worldwide. Koneru claimed the tournament victory in the ninth and final round with a draw against fellow Indian GM Harika Dronavalli, concluding play with 6/9 points and taking home the $45,000 first place prize. The momentous victory is the latest achievement in a string of successes for Koneru, who won the Women’s World Rapid Championship in December.

“After my second round loss, I did not expect to make it all the way to the top,” said GM Humpy Koneru following her Cairns Cup victory. “This was quite a strong tournament and very similar to the Women’s Grand Prix. There were rounds in the Cairns Cup that did not have a single win, which shows the strength of this year’s field.”

Rounding out the remaining Cairns Cup leaders, current Women’s World Champion – GM Wenjun Ju – edged former Women’s World Champion – GM Alexandra Kosteniuk – to take the second-place $35,000 prize. With the setback, Kosteniuk tied for third with GM Mariya Muzychuk to earn $22,500 respectively.

The two Americans battling for the Cairns Cup, GM Irina Krush and WGM Carissa Yip, tied for seventh with Georgian GM Nana Dzagnidze, each taking home $8,000 in prize money. Yip, the 16-year old wildcard and youngest competitor in the field, staged an incredible comeback at the end of the tournament. In Round 8, Yip defeated Women’s World Champion Wenjun Ju to rank among the top 50 female players in the world, as well as the first American to defeat Ju in classical chess. Both Yip and Krush will return to the Saint Louis Chess Club to compete for the U.S. Women’s Championship from April 9-23.

The Cairns Cup, now a staple of the Saint Louis Chess Club’s annual tournament schedule, is one of the world’s premier women’s chess tournaments, established with the goals of elevating the sport and inspiring future events for women in chess worldwide. The 2020 Cairns Cup prize fund increased to $180,000 this year, the largest sum for any women’s chess tournament outside of the Women’s World Championship, and Saint Louis Chess Club co-founders Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield announced the renewal of a $125,000 grant to US Chess to continue the promotion, retention and encouragement of girls and women in chess.

“I thought it would be hard to top the inaugural Cairns Cup we hosted last year, but the 2020 Cairns Cup was among the most exciting, interesting and historic tournaments I’ve seen,” said Dr. Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield, namesake of the tournament. “We brought the top female players from around the world to America’s Chess Capital here in Saint Louis, Missouri. The games included astonishing upsets, twists and turns throughout all nine rounds. Congratulations to GM Humpy Koneru and all the players that participated in this year’s Cairns Cup.”

2020 Cairns Cup – Final Standings

Place

Title/Country

Name

Prize Money

Score (out of 9)

1

GM/India

Humpy Koneru

$45,000

6

2

GM/China

Wenjun Ju

$35,000

5 ½

T-3

GM/Russia

Alexandra Kosteniuk

$22,500

5

T-3

GM/Ukraine

Mariya Muzychuk

$22,500

5

T-5

GM/India

Harika Dronavalli

$12,500

4 ½

T-5

GM/Russia

Kateryna Lagno

$12,500

4 ½

T-7

GM/Georgia

Nana Dzagnidze

$8,000

4

T-7

WGM/United States

Carissa Yip

$8,000

4

T-7

GM/United States

Irina Krush

$8,000

4

10

GM/Russia

Valentina Gunina

$6,000

2 ½

 

About The Saint Louis Chess Club
The Saint Louis Chess Club is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community 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 saintlouischessclub.org.

Second Annual Cairns Cup Women’s Tournament Opens with Saint Louis Chess Club’s $125,000 Gift to US Chess

At the opening ceremony for the Second Annual Cairns Cup, Jennifer Shahade, Women’s Program Director for US Chess, topped her announcement from the event’s inaugural edition: “I am thrilled that the partnership between the Saint Louis Chess Club and US Chess Women, which includes a commitment from the club to help us continue our drive to promote, retain, and encourage girls and women in chess, has been renewed for 2020 and increased to $125,000.”

Last year’s $100,000 gift funded 11 projects that were awarded after grant proposals were submitted to US Chess from around the country. Executive Director Carol Meyer of US Chess said, “I express my gratitude to the team in Saint Louis. It is a real honor to be partners with them, and none of this would be possible without the vision of Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield.”

“We are pleased to support a variety of initiatives that will provide opportunities to women and girls playing the game of chess in local clubs, tournaments, coaching, education and more,” said Rex and Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield.

2020 Cairns Cup Field

The 2020 Cairns Cup field with Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield, Photo Lennart Ootes, Courtesy of the Saint Louis Chess Campus

The Cairns Cup is an elite tournament for the top female players from around the world. The nine-round classical chess tournament is taking place in St. Louis from February 6th through 17th and brings an elite-level tournament for the ten best female players from around the world competing for a $180,000 prize fund. The Saint Louis Chess Club aptly chose the name Cairns Cup in honor of co-founder Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield’s maiden name.

Philadelphia Chess Society

Philadelphia Chess Society, one of the 2019 Women’s Program Grant recipients

For more information and photos, please see Jennifer Shahade’s CLO (Chess Life Online) report here: https://new.uschess.org/news/2020-cairns-cup-opens-thrilling-field-grant-renewal-announcement/.

For more on the Cairns Cup, please see https://uschesschamps.com/