World’s Best Compete in Final Two Grand Chess Tour Tournaments Hosted by Saint Louis Chess Club

World Champion Magnus Carlsen and Challenger Fabiano Caruana Face Off in America’s Chess Capital One Final Time Before High-Stakes World Chess Championship  


SAINT LOUIS (August 8, 2018) –  The final two stops of the Grand Chess Tour, a series of five chess tournaments held across the globe, will be played at the Saint Louis Chess Club from August 10-28. Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz, held August 10-16, will kick off the festivities with 10 of the best international chess players competing for $150,000 in prize money. The Sinquefield Cup will follow the conclusion of Rapid & Blitz, running August 17-28, and will draw global attention as World Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway will face off against World Championship challenger, American Fabiano Caruana in the only preview before their World Chess Championship showdown in London this November.

Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz Penultimate Stop on Grand Chess Tour
The Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz will feature 10 of the top players from around the world, along with wildcard Leinier Dominguez of Cuba, all competing for a $150,000 prize fund. The tournament is the third stop on the 2018 Grand Chess Tour (GCT), a circuit of international chess events featuring the world’s elite chess talent, created in partnership between the Saint Louis Chess Club, Chess Promotions, Ltd. (London Chess Classic) and the Kasparov Chess Foundation.

The Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz headliners are U.S. players Wesley So and Hikaru Nakamura who are just one point apart in the overall Grand Chess Tour standings. Russian Grandmaster Sergey Karjakin is close on Nakamura’s heels, behind by just one point, making this last fight in the faster time controls monumental for the tour standings. Joining the battle will also be former World Blitz Champion Dominguez as the tournament wildcard. 

Between the two tournaments, the Saint Louis Chess Club will host an Ultimate Moves Exhibition match with all players on August 16 at 1 p.m. The event will include Saint Louis Chess Club founder Rex Sinquefield and special guests in a team vs. team matchup. All tournament players will compete in this fun-spirited event where players swap out after every move and are allowed to talk amongst each other and their opponents throughout the match.  

Sinquefield Cup To Boast Strong Field and World Champion Magnus Carlsen
The Sinquefield Cup will be the last official stop of the Grand Chess Tour. French Grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave will return to defend his title against the strongest players in the world, including wildcard and current World Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway. Carlsen will face off with World No. 2 Fabiano Caruana, marking the last time the two will meet until the ultimate showdown at the World Chess Championship in November.

The Sinquefield Cup has a larger prize fund than the other Grand Chess Tour events at $300,000 and offers more tour points to the winner. After the results of the Sinquefield Cup, the top four players will move on to the Grand Chess Tour finals in London. Entering the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz and the Sinquefield Cup, two Americans - Wesley So and Hikaru Nakamura - sit atop the leaderboard.

“The Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz and Sinquefield Cup are the strongest tournaments held on American soil,” said Tony Rich, Executive Director, Saint Louis Chess Club. “Hosting these tournaments is exciting for American chess and American chess fans, as the competition here will bring international attention to the sport of chess and showcase top talent here in Saint Louis, America’s Chess Capital.”

In addition to the elite Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz and Sinquefield Cup tournaments, the U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship, and the U.S. Junior and U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, make up the most prestigious chess tournaments held in the United States each year – all held at the Saint Louis Chess Club.  

2018 Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz Field
TitleName*URS Rating**FIDE Rapid Rating**FIDE Blitz RatingAgeResidence
GMHikaru Nakamura28122824291330U.S.
GMMaxime Vachier-Lagrave27962798287827France
GMFabiano Caruana27852738270926U.S.
GMLevon Aronian27942806287135Armenia
GMAlexander Grischuk27822751283134Russia
GMShakrihyar Mamedyarov27822754279533Azerbaijan
GMSergey Karjakin27912793289828Russia
GMWesley So27942852280024U.S.
GMViswanathan Anand27712758281248India
GMLeinier Dominguez27542826268734Cuba
*URS Rating, August 2018
*FIDE Rapid & Blitz Ratings, August 2018

2018 Sinquefield Cup Field
TitleName*URS Rating**FIDE RatingAgeResidence
GMMagnus Carlsen2866284227Norway
GMHikaru Nakamura2812277730U.S.
GMMaxime Vachier-Lagrave2796277927France
GMFabiano Caruana2785282226U.S.
GMLevon Aronian2794276735Armenia
GMAlexander Grischuk2782276634Russia
GMShakrihyar Mamedyarov2782280133Azerbaijan
GMSergey Karjakin2791277328Russia
GMWesley So2794278024U.S.
GMViswanathan Anand2771276848India
*URS Rating, August 2018
**FIDE Classical Rating, August 2018

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 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 www.saintlouischessclub.org.

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 was created in partnership between the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (Sinquefield Cup) and Chess Promotions, Ltd. (London Chess Classic). 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.


Saint Louis Chess Club | Building Champions

4657 Maryland Avenue, Saint Louis, MO 63108 | (314) 361-CHESS (2437)

The Saint Louis Chess Club acknowledges Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield, whose generous support makes our tournaments possible.

The STLCC and WCHOF admit students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational & admissions policies, scholarship & loan programs, and athletic & other school-administered programs.