19-year-old Alireza Firouzja sweeps last two rounds and 2022 Grand Chess Tour
ST. LOUIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–This month, 13 of the world’s top chess grandmasters competed in the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz and Sinquefield Cup at the Saint Louis Chess Club. Tournaments and overall tour winnings totaled $675,000 in prize money, which was the highlight of the 2022 Grand Chess Tour.
Kicking off on August 25, the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz featured three days of rapid competition followed by two days of blitzing. From September 1-12, the Sinquefield Cup featured eight players from the full circuit and two wildcards, world champion Magnus Carlsen and US junior general manager Hans Niemann. This year’s Sinquefield Cup received media coverage when reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup after being defeated in round 3 by GM Hans Niemann.
19-year-old Iranian grandmaster Alireza Firouzja, representing France, won the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz, Sinquefield Cup 2022 and was also crowned Grand Chess Tour 2022 champion.
St. Louis Rapid & Blitz
This event featured seven full-tour players and three wildcards, including 2021 Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz winner Hikaru Nakamura and American Jeffery Xiong who was a last-minute replacement for full-tour player Richard Rapport who didn’t. was unable to participate due to US travel restrictions. .
Day five of Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz went off without a hitch for Alireza Firouzja, who moved to the top of the leaderboard and won the St Louis Grand Chess Tour 2022 with four rounds to spare. Alireza scored a combined 26/36 points and won the top prize of $40,000 for his efforts. 2021 Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz winner Hikaru Nakamura finished the tournament in second place with one lap remaining, while Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is tied for third place with Fabiano Caruana.
“It was a dream come true for me to play here in Saint Louis,” Firouzja said. “I promised myself to win a tournament while I was here and that dream came true. It means a lot to be able to win this tournament because that Rapide and Blitz were the strongest in this year’s Grand Chess Tour.
The Sinquefield Cup
After the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz, eight of the tournament’s full circuit players returned for the Sinquefield Cup, including world champion Magnus Carlsen and 2021 Sinquefield Cup winner Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The tournament featured a total prize pool of $350,000, the largest in the world for similar events.
Firouzja’s last game ended in a draw against fellow Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave to secure the top spot in the GCT overall standings, with the Sinquefield Cup still very much up in the air. Eventually, Alireza Firouzja took on Ian Nepomniachtchi in a quick knockout. The first game ended in a draw and then Firouzja won the last game and took the 2022 Sinquefield Cup title.
“It’s great to win the Sinquefield Cup against such a tough competitor like Ian,” Firouzja said in his post-qualifying interview. “I’m really pleased with my Grand Chess Tour results for my first visit to St. Louis.”
“In general, the Grand Chess Tour is the most difficult circuit in the history of chess, I think, so winning it is an incredible feeling and I couldn’t be happier,” Firouzja said after claiming victory over the circuit with a draw against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the last round yesterday.
“We are delighted to have another successful and exciting season for the 2022 Grand Chess Tour,” said Executive Director Michael Khodarkovsky. “While the Sinquefield Cup added drama this year, our fans were able to enjoy some amazing chess play, especially by our Triple Crown winner, Alireza Firouzja. We look forward to bringing back the best players from world chess next year for the 2023 Grand Chess Tour.”
Chess fans won’t have to wait long as the next speedboat event at the Saint Louis Chess Club will be the Showdown of Champions 2022: Chess 9LX. The tournament will take place September 13-16 and will feature ten of the world’s best players, including legendary world champion Garry Kasparov competing in Fischer Random chess.
About the Grand Chess Tour
The Grand Chess Tour is a circuit of international events, each demonstrating the highest level of organization for the best players in the world. The legendary Garry Kasparov, one of the world’s greatest chess ambassadors, inspired the Grand Chess Tour and helped solidify the partnership between organizers. All Grand Chess Tour 2022 events will comply with local and regional COVID-19 restrictions. For more information about the tour, please visit grandchesstour.org.
About the Saint Louis Chess Club
The Saint Louis Chess Club is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers advanced chess classes, beginners classes, and special lectures.
Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Saint Louis Chess Club is committed to supporting chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. . For more information, visit saintlouischessclub.org.
About the Superbet Foundation
Founded in 2019, the Superbet Foundation is a non-profit organization. Its role is to coordinate the CSR actions of the Superbet Group and to ensure the link with civil society organizations and the general public. Through its activity, the Foundation aspires to a better world, with healthy and educated people and by supporting various projects, it wants to inspire people to adopt unshakable moral values. It supports projects in fields such as education, health, culture, performance in sport and, more particularly, in chess. Since 2019, chess has become one of the backbones of the Superbet Foundation by organizing its first Grand Chess Tour tournament in Bucharest. The Foundation is committed to making GCT tournaments a tradition for the Romanian and Polish chess communities. For more information, visit superchess.ro.