Reports | March 26, 2009 19:10

4th FIDE Grand Prix (Nalchik) announced

FIDE Grand Prix NalchikIn a press release the organizers of the 4th FIDE Grand Prix announce their tournament, to be held 14th-29th April 2009 in Nalchik, Russia. Akopian (Armenia), Alekseev (Russia), Aronian (Armenia), Bacrot (France), Eljanov (Ukraine), Gelfand (Israel), Grischuk (Russia), Ivanchuk (Ukraine), Kamsky (USA), Karjakin (Ukraine), Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan), Leko (Hungary), Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) and Svidler (Russia) will play.


The fourth FIDE Grand Prix Series Tournament will be held in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia, during 14th -29th April 2009 at the Intour Hotel "Sindica".

The fourteen participants are: Vladimir Akopian (Armenia), Evgeny Alekseev (Russia), Levon Aronian (Armenia), Etienne Bacrot (France), Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine), Boris Gelfand (Israel), Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), Gata Kamsky (USA), Sergey Karjakin (Ukraine), Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan), Peter Leko (Hungary), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), Peter Svidler (Russia).

The fourth FIDE Grand Prix will be the strongest in the series, and one of the strongest tournaments of the world this year. New functions on the FIDE website allow us to see the current rating changes of top-grandmasters. The average rating of the tournament in Nalchik will be around 2725 points based on the April 2009 list to be published soon. Previously the highest average rated tournament was held in the third stage of the series, Elista (2715 points).

The top-rated player of the competition is the World Cup 2005 and Olympiad winner Levon Aronian. Two players have also shown excellent results this year: Alexander Grischuk – the winner of the Linares and Elista super tournaments, and Sergey Karjakin, who won the Corus tournament in January in Wijk aan Zee. The World Cup 2007 winner Gata Kamsky this year has shown also a good performance during the Challenge match against Veselin Topalov. The tournament is so evenly balanced that every one of the 14 participants who comes to Nalchik is in a good position to win the tournament.

Time control: 120 minutes for the first forty moves, 60 minutes for the next twenty moves and then each player will be allotted 15 minutes after the second time control and an increment of 30 seconds per move will be allowed from move 61 onwards.

Games will be played from April, 15 till April, 29 every day. April 20 and 25 are rest days. The total prize fund is 162,000 Euros.

* Official website:
* For more information please contact:

Eldar Mukhanetov, Press officer
FIDE Grand Prix Nalchik 2009
Nalchik – Kabardino-Balkaria

The GP in Nalchik will be extensively covered by ChessVibes including on-the-spot coverage with videos!

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Jx's picture

Chessvibes, can you ask Radjabov why he is not participating?

Johny's picture

Wow, Bacrot and Kamsky are the only players from the West... What happened to the rest of them?

Thomas's picture

Whom are you missing, Johny? Carlsen and Adams dropped out of the Grand Prix, Shirov didn't participate in the first place, anyone else?

ebutaljib's picture

Yes, I would like to know what happened with Radjabov too.

This is purely my speculation, but it looks like Radjabov was rescheduled for the last GP in December (it wouldn't make much sence for him to withdraw since he is curently leading in the GP standings). I think the reason for rescheduling is that after Karlovy Vary withdrew, David Navara was automatically removed from GP. But unlike other withdrawals, he won't be replaced by anybody, because FIDE now wants to give all replacements a chance to compete in 4 GP tournaments (like all other players). And it works like a charm, they only needed to reschedule one of the players (Radjabov) to the last GP. If there are no more upheavals, all players except one will compete in exactly 4 tournaments. One of the replacements (I suspect either Eljanov or Kasimdzhanov - depending if last GP is in Ukraine or Uzbekistan) will compete in only 3 of them.

Purely my speculation.

Peter Doggers's picture

Radjabov asked FIDE to change because of his busy schedule, that's all. He's playing 11 games in the Russian Team Ch right before Nalchik. And FIDE didn't have a problem with swapping him for the 6th tournament.

ChessGirl's picture

Eljanov just got his butt kicked today in a minimatch against Ponomariov.
Let´s hope he prepared better for Nalchik, at least now he has more time to prepare than he did for Elista. Same goes for Akopian. I seem to remember that Kasimdzhanov, though he also joined in short notice, managed to survive in the end.

Johny's picture

Maybe you're right thomas. This particular Grand Prix just looks extremely 'eastern european'. Where are Wang, Dominguez, Sasikiran, Vallejo in this series? And what happened to Pelletier, Navara and Al Modiakhi who played in the GP before?

ChessGirl's picture

Al-Modiahki and Pelletier were kicked out of the cycle when their countries ceased to be hosts. That´s why 4 players were brought as substitutes for them + Adams and Carlsen: Alekseev, Kasimdzhanov, Eljanov and Akopian.

ebutaljib's picture

Thanks Peter.

I still think that FIDE is trying that all replacements will play in 4 GP tournaments. Which means that FIDE breaks their own regulations once more. Because according to regulations, the replacements play in only one tournament and their results don't count towards GP standings.

By the way, what is the status of these replacements?

Akopian is a "host nominee" by Yerevan - that we know, but what about others?
They were billed as reserves from the rating list, but in my opinion Alekseev has now been "promoted" to a host nominee from Nalchik. These leaves Eljanov and Kasimdzhanov. There were rumors about a GP in Ukraine and FIDE even recomended that in that case their nominee is Eljanov. So if there really will be a GP in Ukraine then Eljanov will be "promoted" to a host nominee and will play in the last GP, meaning that Kasimdzhanov will be that player who will only participate in 3 tournaments. Of course if the last tournament is in Uzbekistan then Kasimdzhanov will be a host nominne and will play in the last GP tournament in December (and Eljanov will be the one with only 3 tournaments).

But what will FIDE do if the last GP won't be neither in Ukraine or Uzbekistan, but somewhere else?

ChessGirl's picture

But guys, that´s what there is. At least we´re getting more Chinese now, and there´s some other people gradually breaking in, like Vallejo or Dominguez... there´s just a lot of chess tradition in the ex-Soviet countries, and besides, we´re talking about countries with a lot of discipline in studies, just like China, so that´s certainly another important reason in my opinion. Anyway I´m really looking forward to Khanty-Mansiysk this year... it´s so varied and crazy! :)

Johny's picture

Yes, ebutaljib, top chess is a pretty exclusive ex-Soviet/East block party. Wouldn't it be nice if FIDE tried to add some more flavour to their Grand Prix though?

ebutaljib's picture

"I hope I’m not the only one who lost track of the rules and regulations a long time ago"

I posted a link where you can review the original Grand Prix structure and how it evolved into what it is today. It will show up just above your post when the moderator aproves it.

"Just seems to me to be a rather exclusive ex-Soviet party by now…"

Well, just look at the top of the FIDE rating list.

1 Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2796 8 1975 ex-Eastern block
2 Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2791 11 1969
3 Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2779 19 1969 - ex-Soviet
4 Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2776 17 1990
5 Morozevich, Alexander g RUS 2771 20 1977 - ex-Soviet
6 Radjabov, Teimour g AZE 2761 27 1987 - ex-Soviet
7 Jakovenko, Dmitry g RUS 2760 40 1983 - ex-Soviet
8 Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2759 20 1975 -ex-Soviet
9 Leko, Peter g HUN 2751 23 1979 - ex-Eastern block
10 Movsesian, Sergei g SVK 2751 16 1978 -ex-Soviet
11 Aronian, Levon g ARM 2750 16 1982 - ex-Soviet
12 Shirov, Alexei g ESP 2745 19 1972 -ex-Soviet
13 Wang, Yue g CHN 2739 28 1987
14 Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2733 28 1983 -ex-Soviet
15 Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2733 17 1968 -ex-Soviet
16 Ponomariov, Ruslan g UKR 2726 9 1983 ex-Soviet
17 Kamsky, Gata g USA 2725 16 1974 - ex-Soviet
18 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar g AZE 2724 29 1985 - ex-Soviet
19 Gashimov, Vugar g AZE 2723 28 1986 - ex-Soviet
20 Svidler, Peter g RUS 2723 27 1976 -ex-Soviet

It aint getting better if you go down the list
Still wondering?

ChessGirl's picture

Oh you can rest assured they will come up with something. They have lots of experience in fixing messes.

Johny's picture

I see, ChessGirl. I hope I'm not the only one who lost track of the rules and regulations a long time ago. Just seems to me to be a rather exclusive ex-Soviet party by now...

ebutaljib's picture


Read here if you want to know how the participants were chosen and how the Grand Prix was in it's original form.

Latest articles