THE Fide Grand Prix 2014–15 is a series of four tournaments that form part of the qualification cycle for the 2016 world championship. The top two finishers will qualify to the 2016 candidates tournament, which consists of 16 players.

Fide announced the 11 qualifiers as per regulations, with four more nominees from the organizers and one from the Fide president. The players will be required to play three legs—comprising 12 players per leg.

The players were Dmitry Andreikin (Russia), Evgeny Tomashevsky (Russia), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Fabiano Caruana (formerly Italy but now USA), Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Sergey Karjakin (Russia), Leinier Domínguez (Cuba), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), Boris Gelfand (Israel), Peter Svidler (Russia)

The organizers’ nominees were Dmitry Jakovenko (Russia), Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan), Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan) and Baadur Jobava (Georgia).

Anish Giri (Netherlands) was nominated by the Fide president. When the list was announced last year, Wesley So would have been included. However, he was not released (or ignored) by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines when he transferred to the USA.

However, Wesley will still have a chance to challenge for the world championship as he will be playing in the World Cup. The 2015 World Cup is an important part of the 2014-16 world championship Cycle as the top two qualify to the 2016 Candidates. The WC15 will take place in Baku, Ajerbaijan from Sept. 10 to Oct. 4, 2015.

The total prize money is 120,000 Euros in every Grand Prix. The champion got 20,000 Euro and 170 points, while the second placer got 15,000 Euros and 140 points.

The third placer earned 13,000 Euros and 110 points. Every leg had 12 players so everybody won some money.

In the first leg played in Baku, Azerbaijan, last 0ct. 1 to 15, 2014, the winners were Caruana and Gelfand who were tied. The second leg in Tashkent, Uzbekistan was won by Dmitry Andreikin. The third leg in Tbilisi, Georgia last Feb. 14 to 28 was won by Evgeny Tomashevsky. The fourth and final leg saw a tie for first among Caruana, Nakamura and Jakovenko. It was played in Khanty-Mansiyk, Russia last May 12 to 26.

After all the points were counted, Caruana and Nakamura were declared the Grand Prix qualifiers.

At the beginning of the 2014-15 Fide Grand Prix cycle there was just one American attempting to qualify for the candidates tournament but by the end of the series, two American qualified. As previously reported, American-born Fabiano Caruana changed federations mid-cycle to once again represent the U.S.

Wesley So is continually improving and will be a dangerous opponent for anyone. He will also join the U.S. Team for the 2016 Chess Olympiad in Azerbaijan, forming the strongest American team of all time.

Cepca. We had our monthly tournament last Sunday and the winners in the A group were Jimmy Ty Jr and NM Arnold Cadiz respectively. In the B section, Jojo Paredes prevailed followed by a tie for second and third between Edwin Cablao and new member Michael Ventulan.

Michael is just 26 years old and is a BS Computer Science graduate of AMA Computer Learning Center in Tacloban City. He is connected as technical support engineer of Convergys (Comcast account) in IT Park, Lahug.

He Loves to solve chess puzzles online and was a former member of Leyte-Samar Chess Club in Tacloban City and Naval Chess Club as well. He was also a three-time champion of his school.

VP of Cepca Marvynne Guardiana will sponsor the cash prizes for the month of June. Many thanks Vin!

(boypestano@gmail.com, www.chessmoso.blogspot.com)