General Jun 15, 2016 | 1:51 PMby Colin McGourty

2016 Chess Calendar

When are the top players in action again? Find out in our 2016 Chess Calendar, that aims to include almost all the big events of a year that will see a World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin as well as the World Chess Olympiad in Baku. The rest of the year is packed with supertournaments, including the Grand Chess Tour rapid and blitz events in June.

Will 2016 bring a new World Chess Champion? Can China hold on to their Olympiad title? Those are just some of the questions in another jam-packed year for chess

We’ve provided the essential details for most major tournaments we currently know about, though we will of course be updating this calendar as the year goes on.

Current and upcoming tournaments:

December 2016

December 9-18 | London Chess Classic | London, UK

The 8th edition of the tournament and the final stage of the 2016 Grand Chess Tour. The 9-round event will feature the nine tour regulars Anand, Aronian, Caruana, Giri, Kramnik, Nakamura, So, Topalov, Vachier-Lagrave and English wild card Mickey Adams.

Links: official website, Grand Chess Tour, chess24

December 14-18 | European Rapid and Blitz Championships | Tallinn, Estonia

11 rounds of rapid chess and 11 double rounds of blitz to determine the best fast chess players in Europe.

Links: official website

December 26-30 | World Rapid and Blitz Championships | Doha, Qatar

Alexander Grischuk ended Carlsen's reign over every World Championship that matters in chess | photo: Nailya Bikmurzina,

The planned 2016 Qatar Masters Open has been cancelled, but the World Rapid and Blitz Championships will take place in Qatar, with Magnus Carlsen aiming to defend his title in rapid chess (over 15 rounds) while Alexander Grischuk looks to do the same in 21 rounds of blitz.

Links: official website

Completed events:

May 2016

May 12-23 | European Individual Championship | Gjakova, Kosovo

David Navara and Radek Wojtaszek head over 250 players competing in an 11-round Swiss for a €20,000 1st prize and 23 places in the 2017 FIDE World Cup.

Links: official site | chess24 | reports: 12, 3, 4

May 26-June 4 | Gashimov Memorial | Shamkir, Azerbaijan

The 4th edition of the tournament in memory of Vugar Gashimov (1986-2014) is a 10-player single round-robin featuring Caruana, Giri, Karjakin, Eljanov, Harikrishna, Mamedyarov, Radjabov, Safarli, Hou Yifan and Mamedov.

Links: official sitechess24, reports: 123456789

May 26-June 3 | Asian Individual Championships | Tashkent, Uzbekistan

9-round Swiss tournaments for men and women, with Le Quang Liem, Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Wei Yi (who turns 17 during the event) heading a very strong field in the open section.

Links: official site, chess24 - Open | Women

May 27-June 7 | European Women’s Championship | Mamaia, Romania

The Black Sea resort near Constanta welcomes ex-World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova and over 100 more players to fight for the title of the best European female player.

Links: official sitechess24

May 28-June 7 | Top 12 French Team Championship | Drancy, France

One of the world’s biggest team events, featuring 12 teams playing each other over 11 rounds on 8 boards - star names are guaranteed to be involved.

Links: official sitechess24report

May 28-June 5 | American Continental Championship | San Salvador, El Salvador

Four World Cup places and a $5,000 1st prize are up for grabs in this 11-round Swiss tournament, with Bruzon, Mareco, Iturrizaga and Lenderman heading the field.

Links: infochess24

June 2016

June 5-8 | Navara vs. Rapport, ČEZ Chess Trophy | Prague, Czech Republic

Czech no. 1 David Navara's opponent in this year's 4-game classical match is the world's top-rated junior, Richard Rapport. The chess festival also features a 15-game blindfold simul by Timur Gareyev.

Links: official websitechess24

 June 9-12 | Paris Grand Chess Tour | Paris, France

Wild cards Carlsen and Fressinet join Grand Chess Tour regulars Aronian, Caruana, Giri, Kramnik, Nakamura, So, Topalov and Vachier-Lagrave for two days of rapid chess (9 rounds) and then two days of blitz (18 rounds).

Magnus Carlsen returns for the rapid and blitz sections of the Grand Chess Tour | source: Paris GCT

Links: official siteGrand Chess Tourchess24, reports: 12345

June 10-12 | City of León Masters | León, Spain

A four-player knockout featuring ex-World Champion Vishy Anand and three young stars – China’s Wei Yi and Spain’s David Anton and Jaime Santos. Four rapid games are played in each semi-final match and the final, with blitz and Armageddon to follow if required.

Links: official site

June 10-16 | Russia-China match | Moscow, Russia

The latest in a long series of matches between two fierce chess rivals.

Links: official sitechess24, report

June 9-19 | Capablanca Memorial | Varadero, Cuba

Leinier Dominguez, Lazaro Bruzon, Vassily Ivanchuk, Yuriy Kryvoruchko, Ivan Cheparinov and Zoltan Almasi compete in a 6-player double round-robin - the 51st edition of a tournament remembering Cuba's great World Champion Jose Raul Capablanca.

Links: official site, chess24: Elite | Premierreport

June 17-20 | YourNextMove Grand Chess Tour | Leuven, Belgium

Vishy Anand is back for the 2nd stage of the Grand Chess Tour. The rapid and blitz format is the same as in Paris, with Aronian, Caruana, Giri, Kramnik, Nakamura, So, Topalov, Vachier-Lagrave and Carlsen competing for $150,000 in prizes.

Links: official sitechess24, reports: 1234

June 18-19 | Eurasian Blitz Cup of the President of Kazakhstan | Almaty, Kazakhstan

Mamedyarov, Gelfand, Wang Hao, Grischuk, Svidler and Vallejo are among the players signed up for 11 double rounds of 3+2 blitz, with a top prize of $30,000.

Links: official sitechess24, report

June 22-July 1 | Russian Higher League | Kolomna, Russia

9-round Swiss tournaments for men (open) and women, with the Top 5 players in each section qualifying for the Russian Championship Superfinals later in the year.

Links: official site, chess24: Open | Womens

June 23-25 (and other times) | Chinese Chess League

Almost all the top Chinese players and some foreigners, including Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, are competing in a 12-team, 22-round event that takes place over six sessions from April-December 2016.

Links: official site | chess24

July 2016

July 2-14 | Chengdu FIDE Women's Grand Prix | Chengdu, China

The 4th of five stages of the 2015-6 FIDE Grand Prix sees 12 of the world's top female players compete for a €10,000 first prize as well as the ultimate Grand Prix prize of qualifying for a Women's World Championship match. 

Links: official website | chess24

July 8-17 | 7th Danzhou GM Tournament | Danzhou, China

The tournament that featured Wei Yi's Game of the Century in 2015 is stronger and more international this year with Ding Liren, Harikrishna, Ivanchuk, Leko, Nepomniachtchi, Yu Yangyi, Wang Hao, Wang Yue, Bu Xiangzhi and Hou Yifan.

The "People's Daily Online Cup" is proud to be in its 7th edition! | photo:

Links: official site | chess24

July 10-17 | Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting | Dortmund, Germany

Vladimir Kramnik, aiming for an 11th Dortmund title on his 22nd attempt, is joined by Caruana, Vachier-Lagrave, Dominguez, Ponomariov, Nisipeanu, Najer (the Aeroflot winner) and Buhmann. The tournament is an 8-player single round-robin.

Links: official site | chess24 | reports: 1234567

July 13-23 | 9th Bilbao Masters | Bilbao, Spain

World Champion Magnus Carlsen will play his challenger Sergey Karjakin in two games during this six-player double round-robin. The remaining players are Top 10 stars Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri and Wesley So, with Chinese prodigy Wei Yi completing a stellar line-up.

Wesley So is the reigning champion after beating Anish Giri in last year's playoff | photo: Bilbao Masters

Links: official website | chess24 | reports: 12345678910

July 18-26 | Lake Sevan | Martuni, Armenia

The 10-player tournament once again pits young stars like Duda, Artemiev, Anton, Vidit and Sevian against strong Armenian grandmasters.

Links: official website | chess24

July 22-August 3 | 17th Karpov Tournament | Poikovsky, Russia

The small Siberian town has been hosting a strong, usually 10-player single round-robin for almost two decades now. This year's line-up features: Andreikin, Wojtaszek, Jakovenko, Matlakov, Smirin, Kovalenko, Motylev, Korobov, Bologan and Sutovsky.

Links: official website | chess24

July 23-August 3 | 49th Biel Chess Festival | Biel, Switzerland

This year there's no round-robin tournament in Bilbao, but Peter Svidler will play a match against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, while there's also the traditional strong open tournament.

Links: official website | chess24: matchesblitz exhibition

July 25-August 5 | British Championship | Bournemouth, UK

The 103rd British Chess Championships is an 11-round Swiss Open to determine the British and English Champion, with English no. 1 Michael Adams the top seed.

Links: official website | chess24

July 25-August 5 | Turkish Super League | Izmir, Turkey

The Turkish Super League is one of the premier team tournaments and this year features players such as Vassily Ivanchuk, Shakriyar Mamedyarov and Ernesto Inarkiev. Teams compete over 8-board and 13 rounds.

Links: official website | chess24

August 2016

August 5-14 | Sinquefield Cup | St. Louis, USA

Ding Liren is the wild card for the 3rd stage of the 2016 Grand Chess Tour, with the three US star players all returning for the 10-player single round-robin.

Links: Grand Chess Tour | Chess Club & Scholastic Center of Saint Louis | chess24 games: main tournamentUltimate Moves | reports: 12345678910

August 8-21 | World Junior Championship | Bhubaneswar, India

Two gruelling 13-round tournaments to decide the prestigious titles of the Boys (Open) and Girls World U20 Champions.  

Links: official website | chess24: OpenGirls | report

September 2016

September 1-14 | World Chess Olympiad | Baku, Azerbaijan

The chess world’s most prestigious team event, bringing together thousands of players from 175 chess federations. Teams of four compete in Open and Women’s competitions over 11 rounds, with China (men) and Russia (women) the reigning champions of the biennial event.  

The Baku Crystal Hall is the venue for the year's biggest chess event | photo: Baku Chess Olympiad

Links: official website, chess24: Open | Women | reports: opening1234567891011

September 22-October 3 | World Youth Championship | Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia

Players compete in 11-round Swiss tournaments to determine the U14, U16 and U18 World Youth Champions. The U8, U10 and U12 categories are now called the World Cadets and will take place in Batumi, Georgia in October.

Links: official websitechess24 

September 26-October 5 | Tal Memorial | Moscow, Russia

The Tal Memorial is back for a tenth edition, and returns to its old 10-player classical round-robin format. Kramnik, Aronian, Anand, Mamedyarov, Giri, Li Chao, Svidler, Gelfand, Nepomniachtchi and Tomashevsky compete for a $200,000 prize fund in the new Moscow Impressionist Museum as part of the Chess in Museums programme.

Links: official websitechess24 | reports: 0123456789 

October 2016

October 1-9 | Isle of Man International | Douglas, Isle of Man

A 9-round open, which this year has tempted the US stars of Caruana, Nakamura and So away from the Millionaire Chess tournaemnt.

Links: official websitechess24 | reports: 1-2345678-9 

October 6-10 | Millionaire Chess | Atlantic City, USA

The third edition of Millionaire Chess moves to Atlantic City on the East Coast, and will have a prize fund of just over half a million dollars, with $50,000 for first place in the top section. Registration fees have also been halved to make the tournament accessible to a larger pool of players.

Links: official website, chess24: OpenPlayoffMillionaire Monday | reports: 1

October 15 - May 1, 2016  | Schachbundesliga | Germany

The 2016/17 season of the German Chess League starts on October 15-16. The 16-team league is the world's strongest team event held across a season, with the favourites Baden-Baden this year boasting Caruana, MVL, Aronian and Anand among their 18 registered players as they try to regain the title they lost in the previous season.

Links: official websitechess24

October 15-22 | 20th Hoogeveen Chess Festival | Hoogeveen, Netherlands

The highlight of this year's Hoogeveen Chess Festival will be two six-game matches, one between Women's World Champion Hou Yifan and Nigel Short, and the other between 17-year-old Dutch Champion Jorden van Foreest and his countryman Ivan Sokolov. The 9-round open features five strong Indian grandmasters among the top 8 seeds.

Loek van Wely is again organises the event - he can interview too, here with Jorden van Foreest | photo: official website

Links: official website, chess24: MatchesOpenreport

October 16-27 | Russian Championship Superfinals | Novosibirsk, Russia

The 10-player open and women's superfinals will determine the 2016 Russian Champions. The open tournament will feature Grischuk, Svidler, Tomashevsky, Vitiugov and Jakovenko. 

Links: official website, chess24: Men's | Women's, reports: 12345-67-89-1011

October 19-30 | FIDE World Cadets Championship | Batumi, Georgia

This year's "Cadets", for the World Youth U8-U12 categories, is significantly more interesting than the tournament for older age groups that was held earlier in the year. The world's most exciting prodigies, like India's Praggnanandhaa or Russia's Makoveev, are competing in the 11-round events.

Links: official website, chess24: U8U10U12Girls U8Girls U10Girls U12

November 2016

November 5-13 | European Chess Club Cup | Novi Sad, Serbia

A 7-round team tournament to determine the best European club, with the likes of reigning champions Siberia, Azerbaijan’s SOCAR and Russian Team Champions Bronze Horseman likely to be among those vying for 1st place

Links: official website, chess24: Open | Women, reports: 1-23-45-7

November 10-14 | Champions Showdown | St. Louis, USA

Vishy Anand, Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura and Veselin Topalov battle it out for $60,000 over five days and three different time controls. The players first play each other twice at a fast classical time control (60+5) on Thursday-Saturday, then play each other twice at rapid on Sunday (15+5), then four times at blitz (3+2) on the final Monday.

Links: official websitechess24

November 11-30 | World Championship | New York, USA

Norway’s Magnus Carlsen will seek to defend his World Championship title against Russian challenger Sergey Karjakin in a 12-game match to be held in the Fulton Market building in the Seaport District of Lower Manhattan.

Can Sergey Karjakin seize the chance of a lifetime?

Links: official websitechess24, reports: 12345678910111213

November 19-30 | World Senior Championship | Marianske Lazne, Czech Republic

The 26th World Senior Chess Championship features two 11-round Open tournaments for players aged 50+ and 65+, with one or two women's tournaments also held, depending on the number of entrants.

Links: official website, chess24: Open 50+Open 65+Women's (combined), reports: 12

Of course this is only a preliminary guide to upcoming tournaments, and we’ll keep adding and updating tournaments as the year goes on. If there are big events that are already finalised, and ideally have websites, let us know in the comments!

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