The series will consist of four tournaments as before, but the field will be expanded to 24 participants. Another novelty is that the each stage will be played as 9-round Swiss event. The series will be organized by AGON.
The winner and second placed player overall of the Grand Prix Series will qualify for the Candidates Tournament to be held in the first half of 2018.
The players will be invited according to the following criteria:
– World Championship Match – 2 participants
– World Chess Cup – 4 participants
– Rating (June 2015 to May 2016, minimum 30 rated games) – 8 participants
– ACP Tour – 1 participant
– Organizer nominees – 9 participants
Any replacement for the initial selection of qualified players will be made according to the average rating and greater number of games.
Each event will have 18 participants. Each player will play in three of the four tournaments and all three results will be counted for the final ranking.
Time control: 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, 50 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move 1.
The total Prize Fund of the Grand Prix for the four tournaments in aggregate is 520,000 euros.
The Prize Fund will be split equally to each tournament. The prize money which will be paid by AGON for each event is 130,000 euros, net and free of any local taxes.
For the first time FIDE officially claims the right to restrict games transmission, presumably under pressure from AGON: “For the avoidance of doubt, FIDE or its appointed commercial agency shall have the exclusive rights for live games on the Internet.”
If the review is positive, the first Grand Prix is expected to take place from 12-23 October 2016.