21 top world players will be selected to compete in these tournaments. Each player agrees and will contract to participate in exactly 4 of these tournaments. Players must rank their preference of tournaments once the final list of host cities is announced and the dates are allocated to each host city.
The Grand Prix will be a series of six tournaments held over two years (2008-2009) in leading world cities.
In the interest of chess development, all continents should be represented, as far as possible, and depending on the interest generated in the series, FIDE will aim at organizing at least one event in each continent.
The timing of evaluating and contracting host city offers will be very important particularly at the start of the series. Offers to host and contract three tournaments over the next six years (i.e. three cycles - for 2008/9, 2010/1 and 2012/3) will be given preference.
FIDE reserves the right to assign players to tournaments according to the organizational needs and the players for each tournament will be announced before the cycle begins.
Each tournament will have 14 players playing over a schedule of seventeen days. The months allocated for the organisation of the Grand Prix tournaments are April, August and December of each respective year. These months have been selected to ensure there is no conflict with any other major event.
In view of an objective of harmonisation of the FIDE chess calendar, the months for the Grand Prix for 2009 are fixed as above, and the World Cup will be scheduled to meet the timing of the World Championship match in 2009 and the Grand Prix series.
The winner of the Grand Prix series at the end of 2009 will play the winner of the World Cup held in 2009 in an eight game match to become the challenger to the World Champion in a match to be held in the third quarter of 2010. Should the overall winner of the Grand Prix also be the World Champion at the end of the Grand Prix series in 2009, then the Challenger rights will go to the second placed overall in the Grand Prix. Should the second placed player in the Grand Prix also be the winner of the World Cup 2009, then the Challenger rights emanating from the Grand Prix will go to the third placed overall in the Grand Prix series.
More general information on the Grand Prix Series can be found at the offical FIDE Grand Prix website.