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by Peter Doggers from Chess.com, 09/12/14

The new and clear world #2 in the live ratings, Fabiano Caruana, is the highest-rated player to participate in the 2014-2015 FIDE Grand Prix Series.

The other top 10 players who said yes to FIDE's invitation are Alexander Grischuk, Hikaru Nakamura, Sergey Karjakin and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The four GP tournaments will be held in Baku, Tashkent, Tehran and Khanty-Mansiysk.

Last Tuesday, the full participants list of the 2014-2015 FIDE Grand Prix Series was published on the FIDE website.

From that list it can be concluded that a number of top players have declined their invitation: Magnus Carlsen, Viswanathan Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, Levon Aronian and Veselin Topalov. Anish Giri is a logical choice to be nominated by the FIDE President, as the Dutch GM has moved up to the 11th place in the rating list.

AGON, the company that holds commercial rights for these events but remains under the radar, has nominated four “local” players related to the host cities: Teimour Radjabov for Baku, Rustam Kasimdzhanov for Tashkent, Ehsab Ghaem Maghami for Tehran and Dmitry Jakovenko, born in Omsk, for Khanty-Mansiysk.

The winner and second-place player overall of the Grand Prix Series will qualify for the Candidates Tournament to be held in the last quarter of 2015 or the first half of 2016.

Each player will play in three of the four tournaments. In each tournament, 12 of the 16 players play.

The previous two Grand Prix series consisted of six instead of four tournaments. The prize fund has been lowered as well, from €170,000 to €120,000 for each event.