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FIDE Grand Prix 2008-10

The FIDE Grand Prix 2008-10 was a series of six chess tournaments that formed part of the qualification for the World Chess Championship 2012. The top two finishers here formed two of the eight players who played in a Candidates Tournament to determine the challenger for the world champion. It was administered by FIDE, the World Chess Federation. The event was won by Levon Aronian. The runner-up was Teimour Radjabov.

The winner of the Grand Prix was originally scheduled to play a match in 2010 against the winner of the Chess World Cup 2009, with the winner of that match becoming the challenger for the World Chess Championship 2012.

On November 25, 2008, FIDE announced major changes, with the winner and runner-up qualifying instead for an eight-player Candidates Tournament. This caused a number of protests, with Magnus Carlsen and Michael Adams withdrawing, and two other players being replaced. (For details, see World Chess Championship 2012.)

A number of host cities withdrew, causing all the tournaments except the first two to be rescheduled.

Aronian scored enough points to win the Grand Prix before the last event took place. Hence he decided not to play the last tournament of the Grand Prix.

Format

There were six tournaments spread over 2008, 2009 and 2010. Each of the 21 participating players played in exactly four of the six tournaments.

Each tournament is a 14 player, single round-robin tournament. In each round players scored 1 point for a win, ½ point for a draw and 0 for a loss. Grand prix points were then allocated according to each player's standing in the tournament: 180 grand prix points for first place, 150 for second place, 130 for third place, and then 110 down to 10 points for places four to fourteen (decreasing by 10 points for each place). (Grand Prix points were split between players on equal tournament points).

Players only counted their best three tournament results. The player with the most grand prix points was the winner.

If a tie-break was needed for the overall grand prix winner, the system was:

  1. The fourth result not already in the top three performances
  2. The number of actual game points scored in the four tournaments
  3. The number of first place finishes
  4. The number of second place finishes
  5. The number of won games
  6. Drawing of lots

Tournament dates

The tournament dates and locations were as follows:

Draw rules

A variation from normal chess rules was that the players were not allowed to talk to each other during the game and a draw by agreement was not allowed. A draw has to be claimed with the arbiter, who was assisted by an active grandmaster who had the title for at least ten years. The only draws allowed (except for stalemate) were:

Participants

Qualification

Prominent non-participants

Of the original 14 players who qualified, Anand, Kramnik and Topalov (2008/2010 contenders), Shirov (World Cup 2007) and Morozevich (ratings list) were all not taking part. One of the first four nominated reserves, Judit Polgár was also not participating. The lineup for the Grand Prix included 13 of the 20 top-rated Grandmasters at the time it was announced, though none of the top four.

The only one to publicly give a reason was Alexander Morozevich, who announced that he was boycotting the Grand Prix, saying the process was too long, unwieldy and disorganised. He claimed that Anand, Kramnik and Topalov were also boycotting. The Week in Chess reported that Kramnik and Topalov were not participating because the event had insufficient prize money.

Original participants

On March 5, 2008, FIDE released the list of participants, along with their world rankings according to the January 2008 ratings list (shown here in brackets).

Changes after the second and third tournaments

After Doha and Montreux refused to host tournaments, their nominees Al-Modiahki and Pelletier were removed from the series. Carlsen and Adams withdrew from the Grand Prix. These players were replaced by Evgeny Alekseev, Pavel Eljanov, Rustam Kasimdzhanov (from the rating list) and Vladimir Akopian (Jermuk nominee) from the third tournament onwards.

After Karlovy Vary withdrew in January 2009 (after the third tournament), the Karlovy Vary nominee David Navara was also excluded from the Grand Prix, and was not replaced.

Prize Money

The Regulations indicate the following disbursement of prize monies.

Place Single Grand Prix event Overall standings Grand Prix points
1 €30,000 €75,000 180
2 €22,500 €50,000 150
3 €20,000 €40,000 130
4 €15,000 €30,000 110
5 €12,500 €25,000 100
6 €11,000 €20,000 90
7 €10,000 €18,000 80
8 €8,500 €16,000 70
9 €7,500 €14,000 60
10 €6,000 €12,000 50
11 €5,500 - 40
12 €5,000 - 30
13 €4,500 - 20
14 €4,000 - 10

For each event there was 162000 euros available (for 14 players), and 300000 euros in the overall standings (top 10).

Events crosstables

Baku, April-May 2008

The first Grand Prix event began on April 20, 2008 and concluded on May 5, 2008 (Elo average 2717, Cat. XIX).

The final crosstable was as follows:

Rating Gas Wan Car Mam Gri Ada Svi Rad Kam Kar Che Nav Bac Ina Total GP Points
1-3 Gashimov, Vugar 2679 * ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 8 153⅓
1-3 Wang Yue 2689 ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 8 153⅓
1-3 Carlsen, Magnus 2765 ½ ½ * 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 8 153⅓
4-5 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2752 ½ ½ 1 * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 1 1 0 105
4-5 Grischuk, Alexander 2716 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 105
6-7 Adams, Michael 2729 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ * 1 ½ 0 0 1 1 ½ ½ 85
6-7 Svidler, Peter 2746 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 * ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 85
8-10 Radjabov, Teimour 2751 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * 1 ½ 0 0 1 ½ 6 60
8-10 Kamsky, Gata 2726 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 0 * ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 6 60
8-10 Karjakin, Sergey 2732 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 6 60
11-12 Cheparinov, Ivan 2696 ½ 0 ½ 1 0 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ * 0 0 1 35
11-12 Navara, David 2672 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 * ½ 0 35
13-14 Bacrot, Etienne 2705 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ * 0 5 15
13-14 Inarkiev, Ernesto 2684 ½ ½ 0 1 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 1 * 5 15

Sochi, July-August 2008

The second Grand Prix event began on July 31, 2008 and concluded on August 14, 2008 (Elo average 2708, Cat. XIX).

The final crosstable was as follows:

Rating Aro Rad Wan Kam Svi Jak Kar Iva Gas Gri Che Gel Nav AlM Total GP Points
1 Aronian, Levon 2737 * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 180
2 Radjabov, Teimour 2744 ½ * 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 8 150
3-4 Wang Yue 2704 ½ 1 * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 120
3-4 Kamsky, Gata 2723 ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 120
5-7 Svidler, Peter 2738 ½ 1 ½ ½ * 1 0 0 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 7 90
5-7 Jakovenko, Dmitry 2709 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 * ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 7 90
5-7 Karjakin, Sergey 2727 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ * ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 7 90
8-9 Ivanchuk, Vassily 2781 1 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 65
8-9 Gashimov, Vugar 2717 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 1 65
10-11 Grischuk, Alexander 2728 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ * 0 ½ ½ ½ 6 45
10-11 Cheparinov, Ivan 2687 0 0 ½ 1 1 0 0 ½ ½ 1 * ½ ½ ½ 6 45
12 Gelfand, Boris 2720 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ 30
13-14 Navara, David 2646 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ * 0 4 15
13-14 Al-Modiahki, Mohamad 2556 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 * 4 15

Elista, December 2008

The third tournament was held in Elista between 14 and 28 December 2008 (Elo average 2713, Cat. XIX).

Rating Rad Jak Gri Gas Lek Bac Mam Wan Kas Che Ale Elj Ako Ina Total GP Points
1-3 Radjabov, Teimour 2751 * ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 0 8 153⅓
1-3 Jakovenko, Dmitry 2737 ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 8 153⅓
1-3 Grischuk, Alexander 2719 ½ ½ * 0 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 8 153⅓
4 Gashimov, Vugar 2703 ½ ½ 1 * 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 110
5-9 Lékó, Peter 2747 ½ ½ 0 1 * 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 80
5-9 Bacrot, Etienne 2705 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 80
5-9 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2731 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 80
5-9 Wang Yue 2736 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 80
5-9 Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2672 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * 1 0 ½ 1 1 80
10 Cheparinov, Ivan 2696 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 0 * 1 0 1 1 6 50
11-12 Alekseev, Evgeny 2715 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 * 0 1 ½ 35
11-12 Eljanov, Pavel 2720 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 1 1 * ½ 1 35
13-14 Akopian, Vladimir 2679 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ * ½ 5 15
13-14 Inarkiev, Ernesto 2669 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ * 5 15

Nalchik, April 2009

The fourth tournament was held in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria between 14 and 29 April 2009 (Elo average 2725, Cat. XX).

Rating Aro Lek Ako Gri Bac Ale Gel Kam Kar Svi Mam Iva Kas Elj Total GP points
1 Aronian, Levon 2754 * 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 180
2-3 Leko, Peter 2751 0 * 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 140
2-3 Akopian, Vladimir 2696 0 0 * ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 140
4-5 Grischuk, Alexander 2748 ½ ½ ½ * 1 1 1 0 ½ ½ 0 0 1 ½ 7 105
4-5 Bacrot, Etienne 2728 ½ ½ 0 0 * 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 7 105
6-7 Alekseev, Evgeny 2716 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 * ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 85
6-7 Gelfand, Boris 2733 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 0 85
8-11 Kamsky, Gata 2720 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ * 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 6 55
8-11 Karjakin, Sergey 2721 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 * 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 6 55
8-11 Svidler, Peter 2726 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 * 0 1 ½ 1 6 55
8-11 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2725 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 * ½ ½ ½ 6 55
12-14 Ivanchuk, Vassily 2746 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ * 0 ½ 20
12-14 Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2695 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 * ½ 20
12-14 Eljanov, Pavel 2693 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 1 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ * 20

Jermuk, August 2009

The fifth tournament took place in Jermuk, Armenia between 8 and 24 August 2009 (Elo average 2719, Cat. XIX).

The tournament was won by Ivanchuk. Aronian took equal second, sufficient for him to win the Grand Prix.

Rating Iva Gel Aro Ale Kas Lek Kar Elj Kam Bac Jak Ako Ina Che Total GP points
1 Ivanchuk, Vassily 2703 * 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 180
2-3 Gelfand, Boris 2755 0 * 0 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 8 140
2-3 Aronian, Levon 2768 ½ 1 * 1 0 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 8 140
4-6 Alekseev, Evgeny 2714 0 ½ 0 * ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 100
4-6 Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2672 ½ 0 1 ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 100
4-6 Leko, Peter 2756 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ * 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 100
7 Karjakin, Sergey 2717 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 * ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 7 80
8 Eljanov, Pavel 2716 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ ½ * 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 70
9-10 Kamsky, Gata 2717 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 * ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 6 55
9-10 Bacrot, Etienne 2721 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ * 1 ½ 0 ½ 6 55
11-12 Jakovenko, Dimitry 2760 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 * ½ 0 0 5 35
11-12 Akopian, Vladimir 2712 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ 5 35
13 Inarkiev, Ernesto 2675 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 1 1 ½ * ½ 20
14 Cheparinov, Ivan 2678 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ * 4 10

Astrakhan, May 2010

The sixth tournament took place in Astrakhan, Russia between 9 and 25 May 2010 (Elo average 2730, Cat. XX).

Rating Elj Gas Jak Mam Ale Gel Pon Lek Rad Wan Svi Iva Ina Ako Total GP points
1 Eljanov, Pavel 2751 * ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 1 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 8 180
2-6 Ponomariov, Ruslan 2733 1 1 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 7 116
2-6 Jakovenko, Dimitry 2725 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 7 116
2-6 Radjabov, Teimour 2740 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 7 116
2-6 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2763 ½ ½ ½ * 1 0 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 7 116
2-6 Alekseev, Evgeny 2700 1 ½ ½ 0 * ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 7 116
7-9 Gashimov, Vugar 2734 ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 70
7-9 Leko, Peter 2735 0 1 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 70
7-9 Wang Yue 2752 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 70
10-11 Svidler, Peter 2735 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ 0 ½ 6 45
10-11 Gelfand, Boris 2741 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 6 45
12-14 Ivanchuk, Vassily 2741 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * 0 0 20
12-14 Akopian, Vladimir 2694 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 1 1 * 20
12-14 Inarkiev, Ernesto 2669 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 * 0 20

Grand Prix standings

Grand Prix points in bold indicate a tournament win. A number in brackets is a player's worst result of four and doesn't add to the total.

Player Qual. Baku Sochi Elista Nalchik Jermuk Astrakhan Played Best 3
1 Levon Aronian (ARM) RL - 180 - 180 140 - 3 500
2 Teimour Radjabov (AZE) RL (60) 150 153⅓ - - 116 4 419⅓
3 Alexander Grischuk (RUS) RR 105 (45) 153⅓ 105 - - 4 363⅓
4 Dmitry Jakovenko (RUS) HC - 90 153⅓ - (35) 116 4 359⅓
5 Wang Yue (CHN) PR 153⅓ 120 80 - - (70) 4 353⅓
6 Vugar Gashimov (AZE) HC 153⅓ (65) 110 - - 70 4 333⅓
7 Peter Leko (HUN) RL - - 80 140 100 (70) 4 320
8 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE) RL 105 - 80 (55) - 116 4 301
9 Evgeny Alekseev (RUS) RR - - (35) 85 100 116 4 301
10 Pavel Eljanov (UKR) RR not qualified 35 (20) 70 180 4 285
11 Boris Gelfand (ISR) RL - (30) - 85 140 45 4 270
12 Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR) RL - 65 - 20 180 (20) 4 265
13 Étienne Bacrot (FRA) PR (15) - 80 105 55 - 4 240
14 Gata Kamsky (USA) CH 60 120 - 55 (55) - 4 235
15 Sergey Karjakin (UKR) CP 60 90 - (55) 80 - 4 230
16 Peter Svidler (RUS) PR 85 90 - 55 - (45) 4 230
17 Rustam Kasimdjanov (UZB) RR not qualified 80 20 100 - 3 200
18 Vladimir Akopian (ARM) HC not qualified (15) 140 35 20 4 195
19 Ivan Cheparinov (BUL) PR 35 45 50 - (10) - 4 130
20 Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR) RR not qualified 116 1 116
21 Ernesto Inarkiev (RUS) HC 15 - (15) - 20 20 4 55
- Magnus Carlsen (NOR) CP 153⅓ - withdrew 1
- Michael Adams (ENG) RR 85 - withdrew 1
- David Navara (CZE) HC 35 15 - - excluded 2
- Mohamad Al-Modiahki (QAT) HC - 15 excluded 1
- Yannick Pelletier (SUI) HC - - excluded 0

Qual. = Qualification: CH = World Championship, CP = World Cup, RL = rating list, RR = reserve rating list, PR = presidential nominee, HC = host city nominee

Notes: Gata Kamsky was later granted a place in the 2011 Candidates Tournament as runner-up of the 2009 Challenger Match. Boris Gelfand qualified for the Candidates Tournament by winning the Chess World Cup 2009. Magnus Carlsen qualified for the Candidates Tournament by rating (average of July 2009 and January 2010 FIDE rating lists). Later Magnus Carlsen withdrew from the Candidates Tournament, and he was replaced by Alexander Grischuk, who took third place in the Grand Prix. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was later granted a place in the Candidates Tournament as organisers' wild card.

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