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New world-wide chess tour announced in St. Louis

Rex Sinquefield, Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio
Rex Sinquefield, Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short

A new multi-national chess competition aims to draw attention to the sport.

“Hopefully we are witnessing now the creation of the network that will greatly donate to the promotion of the game of chess,” said chess legend Garry Kasparov at the announcement.

The Grand Chess Tour will unify the Sinquefield Cup, Norway Chess and the London Chess Classic in one circuit. The three tournaments will include players at the highest level of play. Kasparov inspired the tour and hopes it will increase chess’s profile worldwide. 

“The game of chess has been suffering for a long time with the lack of such a circuit to bring together top class tournaments and to create a sort of ongoing show for a whole year with all the best players participating.”

The announcement was made before a series of games Kasparov will play against British Grandmaster Nigel Short in St. Louis over the weekend. The games take place at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. Short said The Grand Chess Tour will address issues in the leadership of the World Chess Federation, FIDE.

“It’s been incompetently run for decades, and I think this is one of the fundamental problems with the promotion of chess,” said Short.

Short says the sport’s lower profile is not the fault of the game but the responsibility of the leadership.

“It’s really a global game but I think there has been a problem with the structure at the top of world chess, and this Grand Tour will go some way to addressing this,” he said.

Kasparov and Short face off this weekend over a series of high-speed games in St. Louis.