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FIDE Grand Prix Begins in Berlin on February 3, 2022

FIDE Grand Prix Series, the final qualifier for the Candidates Tournament, will start on February 3, 2022, in Berlin, Germany.

Photo: World Chess

The series consists of three legs that span over 3 months and two cities:

First leg: February 3 — 17, Berlin, Germany
Second leg: February 28 — March 14, 2022, Belgrade, Serbia
Third leg: March 21 — April 4, 2022, Berlin, Germany

Ilya Merenzon, CEO of World Chess says: “We are pleased to bring the Grand Prix to a purpose-designed venue in Berlin. Our friends in Berlin and all over the world will finally have a stunning chess club that is in line with chess’ rising profile. The world probably needs a chess hotspot as the Café de la Régence in Paris and the Café Central in Vienna once were, but with more people and a remarkable menu!”.

Arkady Dvorkovich, FIDE President, says: “We are looking forward to the exciting chess in 2022. All chess fans are following the Championship Match taking place in Dubai and already envisioning the next cycle!”.

Ullrich Krause, President of German Chess Federation: “With our young prodigy Vincent Keymer participating in the Grand Prix and the new chess arena in the heart of Berlin, there are truly fantastic times ahead for chess in Germany. We are looking forward to welcoming the elite of our sport as our guests!”

Lazic Dragan, President of the Chess Federation of Serbia: “We are happy that Serbia and Belgrade will host the world’s best chess players after many decades.We are grateful to FIDE for the trust they have given us in organizing such a large and important competition. We are certain that we will be good hosts and that the playing conditions will be at the highest level.”

The Series will feature 24 players. Each player will compete in two out of three events. At this point, a diversified group of players has qualified for the FIDE Grand Prix:

  1. Ding Liren (China)
  2. Levon Aronian (USA)
  3. Anish Giri (The Netherlands),
  4. Wesley So (USA),
  5. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan),
  6. Alexander Grischuk (Russia),
  7. Richard Rapport (Hungary),
  8. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France),
  9. Leinier Dominguez (USA),
  10. Nikita Vitiugov (Russia),
  11. Wei Yi (China),
  12. Vidit Gujrathi (India),
  13. Dmitry Andreikin (Russia)*,
  14. Yu Yangyi (China),
  15. Sam Shankland (USA),
  16. Alexei Shirov (Spain),
  17. Vladimir Fedoseev (Russia),
  18. Alexandr Predke (Russia),
  19. Grigoriy Oparin (Russia),
  20. Amin Tabatabaei (Iran),
  21. Etienne Bacrot (France)and
  22. Vincent Keymer, the first German player to qualify for the Grand Prix Series.

*Andreikin qualifies in the likely event of the FIDE Championship runner-up accepting his automatic ticket in the Candidates Tournament and opting out of the Grand Prix Series.

GM Vincent Keymer: “I’ve never qualified for the Grand Prix Series before and I’m really happy that I managed it at a time when two of the tournaments are taking place in Germany. It’s a great honor for me to participate in this series of tournaments with top players and I’m looking forward to some interesting games!”.

Each event will consist of a group stage followed by a knockout semi-final and final. The change in format, which now is similar to the Super League, has been put in place by FIDE and Word Chess in an effort to ensure that the number of draws is minimal. Players are likely to go all out in order to reach the semi-finals. Two winners of the Series will qualify for the Candidates Tournament that will take place later in 2022.

The prize fund for each event is EUR 150,000, which is a EUR 20,000 increase from 2019.

Two out of three events will take place in World Chess Club Berlin — a new custom-designed multifunctional chess space located in the central part of Berlin, on Unter den Linden. World Chess, the pioneer of the format, will make the space a permanent fixture in German and European chess. World Chess Club Berlin (WCCB) will have a dedicated chess space and shop, restaurant, and bar with signature cocktails.

The Series is supported by leading global companies.

Kaspersky has been the official cybersecurity partner for the Grand Prix series since 2017. Like in chess, Kaspersky combines technological achievements with the unrivaled knowledge of its experts in its products and technologies. Kaspersky supports the further advancement of chess in the digital space and its expansion to online tournaments, which brings together human excellence and the power of technology.

Algorand, the Official Blockchain Partner, is an active player of the chess sport, by bringing reliability and transparency to the rating system of digital chess.

Prytek is the Technology Transfer Partner of the Series.

FIDE Online Arena, the chess gaming platform, which provides the opportunity to play for official online ratings and titles recognized by FIDE, has become the official Partner of the Series.

Due to COVID restrictions currently in place, only a limited number of tickets will be available, but organizers will follow the guidelines and might increase the number of tickets if the situation allows.

FIDE and the organizers are carefully monitoring the situation with COVID and planning the events to ensure the Championship cycle runs smoothly but will take into consideration developments that may impact the organization of sports events.

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