2019 Grand Chess Tour (Zagreb, Croatia)

After the history Rapid and Blitz tournament in Abidjan, the Grand Chess Tour moves to another new city in Zagreb, Croatia. Chess historians may remember the town being host to a number of important tournaments including the 1959 Candidates. Sixty years later, the elite assemble again for the second event of the GCT.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen has had a historic year winning several tournaments in a row including the recently-ended tournament in Norway. His resurgence has left his competition flat-footed as they jockey for position as the next challenger. Viswanathan Anand, Sergey Karjakin and Fabiano Caruana have all lost championships matches, but will get a shot at him in Zagreb.

GCT Calendar

Cote d’Ivoire Rapid & Blitz, May 6-13, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
Croatia GCT (Classical), June 24-July 9, Zagreb, Croatia
Paris Rapid & Blitz , July 26-August 2, Paris
St. Louis Rapid & Blitz, August 8-15, St. Louis, Missouri
Sinquefield Cup (Classical), August, 15-30, St. Louis, Missouri
Superbet Rapid & Blitz, November 4-11, Bucharest, Romania
Tata Steel India Rapid & Blitz, November 20-27, Kolkata, India

The 2019 Croatia Grand Chess Tour tournament will be the first of two classical events and the second stop on the 2019 Grand Chess Tour. The tournament is hosted in partnership between the Grand Chess Tour and Chess Club e4 from Zagreb and will see all 12 full tour participants compete over 11 rounds of classical chess for a prize fund of $325,000. The event will take place at both Mimara Museum (Opening Ceremony) & Novinarski Dom. The participants are…

2019 Grand Chess Tour
June 26th to July 8th (Zagreb, Croatia)
Participants
#
Name
Title
Federation
Flag
Rapid/Blitz
1 Carlsen, Magnus GM Norway
2875
2 Caruana, Fabiano GM USA
2819
4 Ding Liren GM China
2805
3 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime GM France
2779
9 Giri, Anish GM Netherlands
2779
6 Nepomniachtchi, Ian GM Russia
2775
10 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar GM Azergaijan
2774
2 Nakamura, Hikaru GM USA
2754
5 So, Wesley GM USA
2754
8 Aronian, Levon GM Armenia
2752
7 Karjakin, Sergey GM Russia
2748
Official Site

Commentary Links

The Playlist for both the English and Russian language broadcasts can be accessed on the YouTube Channel. The English Commentary team consists of GM Yasser Seirawan, IM Jovanka Houska, GM Alejandro Ramirez & GM Maurice Ashley. The Russian Commentary team will consist of GM Evgenij Miroshenko and GM Melikset Khachiyan.

Promotional Video

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

16 Comments

  1. Round 1

    So Wesley 1 – 0 Ding Liren
    Vachier-Lagrave Maxime ½ – ½ Aronian Levon
    Giri Anish 0 – 1 Carlsen Magnus
    Anand Viswanathan 0 – 1 Nepomniachtchi Ian
    Caruana Fabiano 1 – 0 Nakamura Hikaru
    Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey

    Garry Kasparov makes opening move in Giri-Carlsen prior to the beginning of the second Grand Chess Tour event in Zagreb, Croatia.

    Garry Kasparov makes opening move in Giri-Carlsen prior to the beginning of the second Grand Chess Tour event in Zagreb, Croatia.
    Photo: Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour™

    Round 1 Recap

    The 2019 Croatia Grand Chess Tour kicked off with a bloody first round. The first decisive result came from the World Champion himself, who has been completely dominant lately. Magnus Carlsen defeated Anish Giri in twenty three moves with the black pieces. Fabiano Caruana, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Wesley So followed suit by defeating Hikaru Nakamura, Viswanathan Anand and Ding Liren respectively. There are now six players tied for first place. To kick off the event, legendary World Champion Garry Kasparov made the ceremonial first move in Giri – Carlsen and joined the commentary to talk about the games. Tomorrow promises to be another exciting round.

    ~Tatev Abrahamayan/Grand Chess Tour/

    Full Report: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour/recap/round-1

    Video by CCSCSL

    Round 1

    Official Site: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour

  2. Round 2

    Ding Liren ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey
    Nakamura Hikaru ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
    Nepomniachtchi Ian 1 – 0 Caruana Fabiano
    Carlsen Magnus ½ – ½ Anand Viswanathan
    Aronian Levon ½ – ½ Giri Anish
    So Wesley ½ – ½ Vachier-Lagrave Maxime

    Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia)

    Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia)
    Photo: Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour™

    Round 2 Recap

    Today was the calm after the storm; only one game had a decisive result but it was not for a lack of fighting spirit among the players. Ian Nepomniachtchi emerged as an early leader after defeating Fabiano Caruana from a losing position. The Russian Grandmaster was satisfied with his result but felt that the quality of his games needs improvement. For a long time it seemed as though Magnus Carlsen would be joining the leader but was eventually unable to seal the deal. The World Champion received extra support from the Norwegian Ambassador to Croatia, Astrid Vestro, who made the ceremonial first move. Tomorrow, there is a big match up between Caruana and Carlsen. The two have faced off twice in classical chess since their 2018 match, with both games ending in a draw.

    ~Tatev Abrahamayan/Grand Chess Tour/

    Full Report: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour/recap/round-2

    Video by CCSCSL

    Round 2

    Official Site: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour

  3. Round 3

    Vachier-Lagrave Maxime ½ – ½ Ding Liren
    Giri Anish ½ – ½ So Wesley
    Anand Viswanathan ½ – ½ Aronian Levon
    Caruana Fabiano ½ – ½ Carlsen Magnus
    Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 0 – 1 Nepomniachtchi Ian
    Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Nakamura Hikaru

    Fabiano Caruana greets Magnus Carlsen before round three

    Fabiano Caruana greets Magnus Carlsen before round three
    Photo: Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour™

    Round 3 Recap

    Ian Nepomniachtchi extended his lead to a full point after defeating Shakhriyar Mamedyarov with the black pieces. With this result, Nepomniachtchi now has a perfect score of 3/3 and is at his personal peak rating of 2790. Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So are tied for second place after drawing Fabiano Caruana and Anish Giri respectively. Tomorrow, all three will have the white pieces and will thus try to score a full point.

    ~Tatev Abrahamayan/Grand Chess Tour/

    Full Report: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour/recap/round-3

    Video by CCSCSL

    Round 3

    Official Site: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour

  4. Round 4

    Ding Liren ½ – ½ Nakamura Hikaru
    Nepomniachtchi Ian ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey
    Carlsen Magnus ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
    Aronian Levon ½ – ½ Caruana Fabiano
    So Wesley ½ – ½ Anand Viswanathan
    Vachier-Lagrave Maxime ½ – ½ Giri Anish

    Viswanathan Anand

    Viswanathan Anand still going at 49
    Photo: Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour™

    Round 4 Recap

    Ian Nepomniachtchi maintained his full point lead over the field as a result of six draws across the board. After about thirty minutes of play, it seemed as though there would be a big shake up in the standings; Magnus Carlsen was completely winning, while Nepomniachtchi was in big trouble against Sergey Karjakin. Alas, neither player was able to convert and the status quo was maintained.

    ~Tatev Abrahamayan/Grand Chess Tour/

    Full Report: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour/recap/round-4

    Video by CCSCSL

    Round 4

    Official Site: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour

  5. Round 5

    Giri Anish 0 – 1 Ding Liren
    Anand Viswanathan ½ – ½ Vachier-Lagrave Maxime
    Caruana Fabiano ½ – ½ So Wesley
    Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Aronian Levon
    Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Carlsen Magnus
    Nakamura Hikaru ½ – ½ Nepomniachtchi Ian

    Ding Liren

    Ding Liren is all smiles after beating Anish Giri
    Photo: Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour™

    Round 5 Recap

    Ian Nepomniachtchi maintained his full point lead over the field as a result of six draws across the board. After about thirty minutes of play, it seemed as though there would be a big shake up in the standings; Magnus Carlsen was completely winning, while Nepomniachtchi was in big trouble against Sergey Karjakin. Alas, neither player was able to convert and the status quo was maintained.

    ~Tatev Abrahamayan/Grand Chess Tour/

    Full Report: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour/recap/round-5

    Video by CCSCSL

    Round 5

    Official Site: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour

  6. Round 6

    Ding Liren 1 – 0 Nepomniachtchi Ian
    Carlsen Magnus 1 – 0 Nakamura Hikaru
    Aronian Levon 1 – 0 Karjakin Sergey
    So Wesley 1 – 0 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
    Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 0 – 1 Caruana Fabiano
    Giri Anish ½ – ½ Anand Viswanathan

    Wesley So scores!

    Wesley So topples an erratic Shakriyar Mamedyarov
    Photo: Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour™

    Round 6 Recap

    Today’s combative round created a shake up in tournament standings. The players gave their all before heading into the day off, resulting in five decisive games. At the halfway point, there are now three co-leaders. Ian Nepomniachtchi suffered his first loss against Ding Liren, who wins his second game in a row. With wins over Hikaru Nakamura and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov respectively, Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So joined Nepomniachtchi in the lead. A crucial matchup is in store after the players return from the rest day; Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi will be facing off on Wednesday in round 7. Carlsen will have the black pieces and has never defeated Nepomniachtchi in classical chess. The second half of the tournament promises to be thrilling.

    ~Tatev Abrahamayan/Grand Chess Tour/

    Full Report: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour/recap/round-6

    Video by CCSCSL

    Round 6

    Official Site: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour

  7. Round 7

    Anand Viswanathan ½ – ½ Ding Liren
    Caruana Fabiano ½ – ½ Giri Anish
    Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Vachier-Lagrave Maxime
    Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ So Wesley
    Nakamura Hikaru ½ – ½ Aronian Levon
    Nepomniachtchi Ian 0 – 1 Carlsen Magnus

    Nepomniactchi-Carlsen, 0-1

    Ian Nepomniachtchi and Magnus Carlsen shake hands before their encounter. The Russian collapsed in 31 moves. Photo: Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour™

    Round 7 Recap

    Round 7 after the rest day was much calmer than the previous one, resulting in only one decisive game which was enough to change the course of the tournament. Magnus Carlsen is now the sole leader after defeating Ian Nepomniachtchi with the black pieces. He is half a point ahead Wesley So, who escaped from the claws of defeat. Tomorrow, Carlsen will be facing Ding Liren with the black pieces, whom he considers one of his toughest opponents. The Chinese star is a full point behind the leader and will need to make the most of his chances.

    ~Tatev Abrahamayan/Grand Chess Tour/

    Full Report: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour/recap/round-7

    Video by CCSCSL

    Round 7

    Official Site: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour

  8. Round 8

    Ding Liren 0 – 1 Carlsen Magnus
    Aronian Levon ½ – ½ Nepomniachtchi Ian
    So Wesley 1 – 0 Nakamura Hikaru
    Vachier-Lagrave Maxime ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey
    Giri Anish 1 – 0 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
    Anand Viswanathan ½ – ½ Caruana Fabiano

    Magnus wins again!

    Magnus Carlsen in dominant form.
    Photo: Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour™

    Round 8 Recap

    Today’s contentious round produced three decisive results. Magnus Carlsen continues his phenomenal display, winning once again with the black pieces against Ding Liren. Wesley So kept pace with a victory over his countryman Hikaru Nakamura, remaining in second place only half a point behind the leader

    ~Tatev Abrahamayan/Grand Chess Tour/

    Full Report: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour/recap/round-8

    Video by CCSCSL

    Round 8

    Official Site: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour

  9. Round 9

    GM Caruana, Fabiano 4.5 USA 2819 ½-½ GM Ding, Liren 4.0 CHN 2812
    GM Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2.5 AZE 2765 1-0 GM Anand, Viswanathan 3.5 IND 2764
    GM Karjakin, Sergey 3.5 RUS 2748 ½-½ GM Giri, Anish 3.5 NED 2779
    GM Nakamura, Hikaru 2.5 USA 2754 ½-½ GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 3.5 FRA 2775
    GM Nepomniachtchi, Ian 4.5 RUS 2775 ½-½ GM So, Wesley 5.5 USA 2763
    GM Carlsen, Magnus 6.0 NOR 2872 ½-½ GM Aronian, Levon 4.5 ARM 2756

    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
    Photo: Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour™

    Round 9 Recap

    The only decisive result of the day was not indicative of the fighting spirit across the board. Magnus Carlsen remained in the lead after splitting the point with his long time rival, former world number two, Levon Aronian. Wesley So remains half a point behind in clear second place after surviving the storm against former leader of the tournament, Ian Nepomniachtchi.

    ~Tatev Abrahamayan/Grand Chess Tour/

    Full Report: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour/recap/round-9

    Video by CCSCSL

    Round 9

    Official Site: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour

  10. Round 10

    GM Ding, Liren 4.5 CHN 2812 ½-½ GM Aronian, Levon 5.0 ARM 2756
    GM So, Wesley 6.0 USA 2763 ½-½ GM Carlsen, Magnus 6.5 NOR 2872
    GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 4.0 FRA 2775 ½-½ GM Nepomniachtchi, Ian 5.0 RUS 2775
    GM Giri, Anish 4.0 NED 2779 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 3.0 USA 2754
    GM Anand, Viswanathan 3.5 IND 2764 ½-½ GM Karjakin, Sergey 4.0 RUS 2748
    GM Caruana, Fabiano 5.0 USA 2819 ½-½ GM Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 3.5 AZE 2765

    Sergey Karjakin and Anish Giri walking with Giri's trainer Vladimir Chuchelov

    Sergey Karjakin and Anish Giri walking with Giri’s trainer Vladimir Chuchelov
    Photo: Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour™

    Round 10 Recap

    The penultimate round was the round of opposite colored bishops endgames as three of the games were drawn in this manner. The winner of the Croatia Grand Chess Tour will be decided tomorrow as the clash between Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So was a peaceful affair. The World Champion remains half a point ahead of the field and will have the white pieces against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, while Wesley So will have the black pieces against Levon Aronian.

    ~Tatev Abrahamayan/Grand Chess Tour/

    Full Report: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour/recap/round-10

    Video by CCSCSL

    Round 10

    Official Site: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour

  11. Round 11

    GM Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 4.0 AZE 2765 ½-½ GM Ding, Liren 5.0 CHN 2812
    GM Karjakin, Sergey 4.5 RUS 2748 ½-½ GM Caruana, Fabiano 5.5 USA 2819
    GM Nakamura, Hikaru 3.5 USA 2754 ½-½ GM Anand, Viswanathan 4.0 IND 2764
    GM Nepomniachtchi, Ian 5.5 RUS 2775 0-1 GM Giri, Anish 4.5 NED 2779
    GM Carlsen, Magnus 7.0 NOR 2872 1-0 GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 4.5 FRA 2775
    GM Aronian, Levon 5.5 ARM 2756 ½-½ GM So, Wesley 6.5 USA 2763

    Magnus Carlsen, winner of Grand Chess Tour - Croatia

    MAGNUS CARLSEN
    Winner of Grand Chess Tour – Croatia
    Photo: Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour™

    Round 11 Recap

    Magnus Carlsen won the Croatia Grand Chess Tour with a score 8/11 after a final round victory over Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. This marks the World Champion’s seventh consecutive tournament win this year, bringing his rating to 2882 – the peak rating he achieved in 2014.

    ~Tatev Abrahamayan/Grand Chess Tour/

    Full Report: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour/recap/round-11

    Video by CCSCSL

    FINAL STANDINGS: Carlsen, 8; So, 7; Caruana, Aronian, 6; Giri, Nepomniachtchi, Ding, 5.5; Karjakin, 5; Vachier-Lagrave, Anand, Mamedyarov, 4.5; Nakamura, 4

    Final GCT Points

    Official Site: https://grandchesstour.org/2019-grand-chess-tour/2019-croatia-grand-chess-tour

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