2018 Chess Calendar

2018 Chess Calendar

We’re going to be spoiled for chess in 2018, with the
Candidates Tournament in March deciding Magnus Carlsen’s challenger for a match
in November, while in September we have the 43rd World Chess Olympiad. The year
will of course be packed with other supertournaments and strong opens, with the
overlapping Tata Steel Masters (Carlsen, Caruana, Mamedyarov, Kramnik, Anand…)
and Tradewise Gibraltar Masters (Aronian, MVL, Nakamura…) ensuring the year
starts with a bang!


The calendar below features most of the big events in 2018,
but note that at the time of writing it’s unclear if some events will take
place (e.g. the Zurich Chess Challenge) or when others will happen (e.g. the US
and Russian Championships). We’ve added a list of such tournaments at the end.

Current and upcoming tournaments:

January 2018

January 13 – 28 | Tata
Steel Chess
| Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands

The 80th edition of the Dutch supertournament has pulled out
all the stops to invite 9 of the world’s top 15 players, including the top
three of Carlsen, Caruana and Mamedyarov and former World Champions Kramnik and
Anand. Once again there are 14-player Masters and Challengers events, with two
“on tour” rounds in Hilversum and Groningen.

Links: official

January 23 – February 1 | Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival | Gibraltar

Top 10 stars Levon Aronian, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and
Hikaru Nakamura (the winner for the last three years) head the race for a top
prize of £25,000 in the 10-round Masters. The women’s top prize of £15,000 has
again attracted an all-star line-up, with defending champion Ju Wenjun facing
competition from Alexandra Kosteniuk and the Muzychuk sisters. Hou Yifan plays in Wijk aan Zee.


Links: official website

January 27 – February 4 | Moscow Open | Moscow, Russia

The event in the Russian State Social University in Moscow
is one of the world’s largest chess festivals, with multiple tournaments
usually attracting in the region of 1,500 players.

Links: official

February 2018

February 9 – 14 | Carlsen
vs. Nakamura chess960 match
| Bærum, Norway

This “unofficial chess960 World Championship” will see World
Champion Magnus Carlsen take on Hikaru Nakamura over 16 FischerRandom games – 8
at a one-hour per player time control over four days, and then 8 blitz games on
the final day.

February 20 – March 1 | Aeroflot
| Moscow, Russia

The top section of the Aeroflot Open in the Cosmos Hotel in
Moscow is known as the world’s toughest open tournament, with only players
rated 2550 and above automatically allowed entry. Vitiugov, Andreikin, Najer,
Artemiev, Sasikiran and Kamsky are among the players already registered.

Links: official website

March 2018

March 6 – 14 | Reykjavik
| Reykjavik, Iceland


The 2018 edition of the Reykjavik Open has been named the
Bobby Fischer Memorial to mark the year in which Fischer would have turned 75.
A Fischer Random Championship will be held on his birthday on March 9th, with
the main open reduced from 10 to 9 rounds to accommodate that.

Links: official website

March 10 – 28 | Candidates
| Berlin, Germany

Eight players compete in a gruelling 14-round double-round robin for
the right to play a World Championship match against Magnus Carlsen in

Links: official

March 10 – 15 | 8th HDBank
| Hanoi, Vietnam

A strong open tournament taking place in Vietnam each year,
with Le Quang Liem the defending champion.

March 16 – 29 | European
Individual Championship
| Batumi, Georgia

The Georgian Black Sea resort of Batumi hosts the Olympiad
in 2018, but also events such as this European Championship, which will
determine 23 players for the 2019 World Cup.

Links: official website

March 29 – April 2 | European
Women’s Rapid & Blitz
 | Batumi, Georgia

Anna Muzychuk (rapid) and Alexandra Kosteniuk (blitz) are
the defending champions.

March 29 – April 2 | GRENKE
Chess Open
| Karlsruhe, Germany

The Easter GRENKE Chess Open describes itself as “the
biggest open in the world” and is again likely to begin in the same playing
hall as the GRENKE Chess Classic supertournament (of which no details are
currently known).

Links: official

April 2018

April 2 – 10 | 20th
Dubai Open
| Dubai, UAE

A strong 9-round open with a $13,000 first prize. Gawain
Jones finished top after a 7-way tie for first in 2017.

Links: official

April 7 - 20 | European
Women’s Championship
| Vysoké Tatry, Slovakia

The 11-round open is taking place in the Slovakian mountains
and will determine 14 players for the next Women’s World Chess Championship

Links: regulations

April 13 – 21 | 18th
Bangkok Chess Club Open
| Petchburi, Thailand

This year’s Bangkok Chess Club Open is again taking place at
a beach resort. In 2017 the winner was Nigel Short, half a point clear of a
group that included Jan Gustafsson.

Links: official

April 13 – 23 | European
Senior Team Chess Championship
| Wałbrzych, Poland

A team event in 50+ and 65+ age categories for four-player
teams who must represent one of the European chess federations.

Links: official website

April 29 – May 1 | Chess
Bundesliga Final
| Berlin, Germany

The final three rounds of the 2017-2018 Chess Bundesliga are
again taking place at a central venue in Berlin, with 16 teams fighting for the
title and the all-star Baden-Baden (Caruana, Aronian, MVL, Anand…) again the

Links: official
, chess24

May 2018

May 1 – 10 | Russian
Team Championship
| Sochi, Russia

One of the strongest national team events, with team
line-ups usually featuring top Russian players and some foreign stars.

Links: official website

May 12 – 20 | Polish
| Warsaw, Poland

The 2018 Polish Championships are again taking place in
Warsaw, with Kacper Piorun and Monika Soćko the defending champions.

May 26 – June 5 | French
Top 12
| Brest, France

The strong French Team Championship features the best 12
teams playing each other over 11 rounds.

May 27 – June 8 | Altibox
Norway Chess
| Stavanger, Norway

The 6th edition of Norway Chess will struggle to compete
with the 5th edition, which featured the full world Top 10 at the moment the
line-up was announced, but with Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand and Levon Aronian
already confirmed it’s unlikely to disappoint!

Links: official website

June 2018

To Be Arranged | Paris Grand
Chess Tour
| Paris, France

This rapid and blitz tournament is the first event of the
2018 Grand Chess Tour and is sponsored by Colliers International, Vivendi and

Links: official

TBA | Your Next Move
Grand Chess Tour
| Leuven, Belgium

The Your Next Move rapid and blitz tournament is the second
event in the 2018 Grand Chess Tour.

Links: official

July 2018

July 15 – 23 | 45th Sparkassen
Chess Meeting
| Dortmund, Germany

The 2017 edition of this supertournament was won by Poland’s
Radek Wojtaszek ahead of the likes of Vladimir Fedoseev, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
and 10-time winner Vladimir Kramnik.

Links: official

July 21 – August 1 | 51st
Biel International Chess Festival
| Biel, Switzerland

Hou Yifan won the 2017 edition of this traditional
supertournament, which is also accompanied by a strong open.


Links: official website

July 21 – 29 | Xtracon
Chess Open
| Elsinore, Denmark

A big traditional 10-round open held as part of the
Copenhagen Chess Festival.

Links: official

July 27 – August 5 | British
| Hull, England

This 9-round open will determine the 2018 British Champion,
with Gawain Jones the defending champion.

Links: official

August 2018

TBA | Sinquefield Cup
| St. Louis, USA

The 6th edition of the Sinquefield Cup is the 3rd event on
the 2018 Grand Chess Tour and the only one to feature only classical chess.

Links: official

August 18-26 | French
| Nîmes, France

The defending champions from 2017 are 8-time champion
Etienne Bacrot and 6-time champion Sophie Milliet.

TBA | St. Louis Rapid
and Blitz
| St. Louis, USA

This is the 4th event on the 2018 Grand Chess Tour and the
last to determine the top four finishers in the series.

Links: official

September 2018

September 4 – 16 | World
Junior Championship
| Gebze, Kocaeli, Turkey

The world’s most prestigious event for juniors (20 or
younger). In 2017 it was won by Aryan Tari and Zhansaya Abdumalik.

September 23 – October 6 | 43rd World Chess Olympiad | Batumi, Georgia


The biennial team tournament is the chess world’s biggest celebration, featuring hundreds of 4-player teams and most of the world’s chess
federations. In Baku in 2016 the 11-round opens were won by the USA in the open
section and China in the women’s section.

For the first time in over a decade Vishy Anand looks set to play:

October 2018

October 4 – 11 | Russian
Rapid and Blitz Championships
| Sochi, Russia

Sochi again hosts Russian rapid and blitz championships both
for individuals and teams, with categories split into open and women’s.

Links: official website

October 11 – 19 | European
Chess Club Cup
| Rhodes, Greece

7-round team events are held in open and women’s sections and
always attract strong participants from the various national team championships
around Europe.

October 19 – November 1 | World Youth Championship | Halkidiki, Greece

This tournament is split into U14, U16 and U18 categories in
both an open and a girls section.

October 20 – 28 | Chess.com
Isle of Man International
| Douglas, Isle of Man

One of the world’s strongest open tournaments. In 2017 it
was won by World Champion Magnus Carlsen.

Links: official

October 26 – November 5 | Chigorin Memorial | St. Petersburg, Russia

A strong annual open commemorating Russia’s first great
chess player Mikhail Chigorin.

Links: official

November 2018

November 3 – 16 | World
Cadets U8-U12
| Santiago de Compostela, Spain

The U8, U10 and U12 categories in the open section and for
girls are split off from the other youth categories as the “World Cadets”.

November 9 – 28 | World
Chess Championship
| London, England

The good news for Magnus and his opponent is that the kama sutra 6*6 design seems just to be an "alternative" logo aimed at generating some controversy in the run-up to the match | image: World Chess

The World Chess Championship is a 12-game match taking place
in London between reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen and the player
determined by the Candidates Tournament in Berlin in March.

Links: official

November 17 – 30 | World
Senior Championship
| Bled, Slovenia

The World Senior Championship has categories for 50+ and 65+

November 24 – December 3 | World Youth Olympiad | Manavgat-Antalya, Turkey

The World Youth Olympiad has the same format as the adult
Olympiad but is for players 16 or younger at the start of the year.

December 2018

December 1 – 4 | Russian
Rapid Grand Prix Final
| Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia

The culmination of a year-long series of strong rapid
tournaments held across Russia.

TBA | London Chess
| London, England

The 2018 London Chess Classic is a knockout classical and
rapid tournament featuring the top four performers over the preceding four
events of the Grand Chess Tour. It will determine the overall winner of the

Links: official

December 4 – 13 | Russian
Cup Final
| Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia

A knockout final for players qualified through a series of
classical events held around Russia over the course of the year.

December 5 – 9 | European
Rapid and Blitz Championship
| Skopje, FYROM

A big event which differs from the World Rapid and Blitz
Championship by allowing anyone to take part.

December 14 – 23 | Sunway
Sitges International Chess Festival
| Sitges, Spain

This strong open in a coastal town south of Barcelona will
be holding its 5th edition in 2018.

Links: official

Please let us know in the comments below if you think we’ve missed some big events
or you've got some more details. At the moment the following are some tournaments we haven’t
added above since we’re unsure either whether they’ll take place or when they’ll
take place:

  • US Championships, St. Louis, USA
  • Russian Higher League
  • Russian Championship Superfinal
  • World Rapid and Blitz Championship, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Women’s World Chess Championship(s) - potentially both a Tan
    Zhongyi – Ju Wenjun match and a 64-player knockout
  • GRENKE Chess Classic
  • Shenzhen Masters
  • Danzhou
  • Sharjah Masters
  • Abu Dhabi Masters
  • Zurich Chess Challenge
  • Poikovsky
  • Shamkir Chess
  • TePe Sigeman & Co.
  • Capablanca Memorial
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