European Grand Prix is an annual series of tournaments in Europe. Players who take the top places in these tournaments collect so-called ‘bonus points’ during the calendar year. After the year is finished, a tournament named ‘Grand Prix Finale’ is organised by the EGF. According to the bonus points standings, 16 players are selected to participate.
Beyond getting selected for the Grand Prix Finale, players with bonus points get a few other benefits:
- Two players qualify for the Grand Slam, the most prestigious tournament in Europe with €10,000 prize money for the first place
- Top four players according to bonus points standings in the end of the year get so-called ‘nomination points’. These points are also collected for taking top places in several major tournaments of Europe, and can be used to nominate for the competitions for which the EGF gets invitations from Asia: MLily Cup, IMSA events, and so on.
Attracted by the above benefits, top European players are interested in participating in the tournaments that are part of the Grand Prix. When top players come, naturally weaker players are attracted as well. This is the idea of how the whole system should work: the tournaments should get more popular.
This system was launched in year 2014, and at that time there were only five competitions in the European Grand Prix. This year a new record was reached: 15 tournaments. It seems that the competition between the top players this year was even more tough than usually.
On 16–17 November there was a bonus points tournament in Budapest, Hungary. This competition doesn’t usually attract too many strong players from abroad, due to the limited prize fund. But this year there were six professional players participating, which is a huge number for such a small tournament. This can be explained: the top four players with bonus points were really close, so all of them came to the tournament. Most probably, their participation attracted other strong players too.
After the tournament in Budapest, the top four places in the bonus points standings are still very close, except for the obvious first place:
- Mateusz Surma: 58
- Ilya Shikshin: 48
- Artem Kachanovskyi: 44
- Pavol Lisy: 43
There is just one more tournament left in this year’s Grand Prix: the one in London on 28–31 December.
The Grand Prix Finale will take place 16–19 January in Leksand, Sweden. 14 players are already qualified. One more will be selected in London as a winner of the tournament, and one more will be selected as a player with the highest bonus points that is not yet qualified.
In the meantime, ten tournaments have already applied to be part of the 2020 European Grand Prix.
Report by Artem