12 July 2019

Second Leg of FIDE Grand Prix Series Starts in Riga

First round pairings were determined.

Photo: World Chess
Photo: World Chess

The Opening Ceremony of the second leg of the FIDE Grand Prix Series 2019 organized by World Chess took place in the House of Blackheads in the evening of July 11. 

The tournament is a knock-out event with 16 players. There will be four rounds.  

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, CEO of World Chess Ilya Merenzon, as well as General Manager at Kaspersky in Baltics Andis Šteinmanis gave speeches during the official part of the ceremony. Chief Arbiter Takis Nikolopoulos then proceeded to the drawing of lots. Players with the highest ratings — Anish Giri (NED), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA), Alexander Grischuk (RUS) and Shakhryiar Mamedyarov (AZE) — were assigned starting numbers 1, 16, 9 and 8 respectively. The draw of the remaining numbers and of the colours was made in front of the audience.

Round 1 pairings:

Sergey Karjakin (2748, Russia) — Anish Giri (2779, Netherlands)
Wesley So (2763, USA) — Pentala Harikrishna (2734, India)
Peter Svidler (2737, Russia) — Jan-Krzysztof Duda (2729, Poland)
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2765, Azerbaijan) — Daniil Dubov (2700, Russia)
Nikita Vitiugov (2727, Russia) — Alexander Grischuk (2766, Russia)
Levon Aronian (2756, Armenia) — Yu Yangyi (2736, China)
Hikaru Nakamura (2754, USA) — Veselin Topalov (2740, Bulgaria)
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2775, France) — David Navara (2734, Czech Republic).

The rivals will play two games with a classical time control. In case of a tie, after a drawing of lots, the tie-break will be played. 

The 2019 FIDE Grand Prix Series consists of four events featuring 21 players (plus one nominee from Israel). Two finalists will qualify for the Candidates Tournament.

It is to be reminded that the first leg took place in Moscow in May. It was won by Ian Nepomniachtchi who defeated Alexander Grischuk (both from Russia) in the final match. Nepomniachtchi is heading the Series' standings with 9 points. He is followed by Grischuk (7 points), Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland, 5 points), Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 3 points), Peter Svidler (Russia, 2 points), Wei Yi (China, 2 points), Daniil Dubov (Russia, 2 points), and Wesley So (USA, 1 point). 

The players are also competing for a total of €800,000 in prizes, with €130,000 in each Grand Prix and additional €280,000 for performance in the whole Series.

Official website