Publishing this important announcement as a blog because 1) There is just too much *actually important* chess news happening in the world right now (between Anand-Carlsen, European and World Team Championships, US Chess League, etc) and we only have so much room on the Chess.com Home Page -- AND 2) Because I personally tend to enjoy writing blogs more than *official news*. I can make jokes , write like I talk , insert crazy pictures , use an unnecessary amount of emoticons in my work , and not even care if you think it's unprofessional ! Take that world!
[*crickets as Danny continues to argue with himself*]
BUT make no mistake, this is VERY important stuff AND the official announcements for each one of the events I am announcing in the schedule below will always appear on our home page as official news (just as December's Qualifier is there now). Onto it...
Starting with our next Blitz Death Match Qualifier in December 2013, Chess.com will be moving towards an "every other month" qualifying system for its Blitz Death Matches. This means more players will now have regular opportunities to earn seats to the biggest show on earth!
Formally the biggest show on earth, "Big Top Pee Wee"! (and they said a "Big Top Pee Wee reference to chess" could not be done...)
Or at least, the coolest thing I get to do at my job . Seriously though, our Death Matches have not only grown in massive popularity since the participation of players such as Fabiano Caruana, Judit Polgar, Loek Van Wely and Nigel Short (just to name a few) -- BUT they are also the only regular rapid chess matches to consistently feature top grandmasters. In fact, we've begun to receive so many requests from strong International and Grandmasters alike that keeping everyone happy has become, well, impossible .
The compromise? We came up with a regular system of qualifiers, giving ALL titled players from CM to GM (or even non titled players as long as they can confirmed their identities):
No "masked men" will be allowed to compete for obvious reasons...
Wait, it gets better...
To make it even more enticing for GMs to compete in our qualifiers, and not just "wait to be seated", in December 2014 we will host our first ever Knockout Tournament of Champions! This first knockout event (of hopefully many) will likely take place over two days (either the first or second weekend of December - exact dates and details TBA).
All previous Death Match Winners (click for complete list) will be offered a change to compete in the knockout event. If they decline their seat (for scheduling conflicts, or because of some other random silly, obviously stupid reason ) Chess.com will reserve the right to "seat" anyone we please to reach a total of 30-32 players! Likely, the "runner up" from their Death Match will be given first right of refusal.
OK, time to get serious again...
Below is the projected schedule of qualyfing and seated events for 2014. December's qualfier will seat the players for February 2014's match. January 2014 will see the matchup of Grandmaster Yuri Shulman vs Grandmaster Daniel Fridman (look for the official announcement separately). During the month of February another qualifier will be in place, determining the players for April 2014's matchup, while March will again feature a "seated match-up".
This "rotation" will continue throughout the year, with continued break months in August and December.
2014 Death Match Schedule:
- December Qualifier 2013 - Qualifying for February 2014;
- January 2014 Seated Matchup;
- February 2014 Match (December's Winners); Also Qualifyfing Month for April 2014;
- March 2014 Seated Matchup;
- April 2014 Match (February's Winners); Also Qualifyfing Month for June 2014;
- May 2014 Seated Matchup;
- June 2014 Match (April's Winners);
- July 2014 Seated Matchup;
- August Break;
- September 2014 Seated Matchup; Also Qualifyfing Month for November 2014;
- October 2014 Seated Matchup;
- November 2014 Match (September's Winners); No Qualifier set yet;
- December 2014 Knockout Tournament of Champions - tentatively set for Saturday and Sunday December 6th;
*Every Death Match, seated and qualified, will continue to offer a $1k prize fund, with $750 to the winner and $250 to the loser. Though the prize fund for the Knockout Tournament will be higher - we cannot *officially confirm* the total prize fund for that just yet .
Again, the announcement regarding the official rules for the December Qualifier are here, and they pretty much going to be the same every qualifying month, unless something special gets announced!
Death Match Rules are here.
Archive of players who've played Death Matches is here.
And that's it. That's all I came hear to say!
[*took you long enough! Shutup! Stop arguing with yourself or these people will think you're crazy! Too late!*]
Anyway, good talk guys. We are VERY excited to get the ball rolling on our regular schedule of qualifiers and we hope you will be too! Look for special match-ups during the seated months too! And of course, we will have all the action live for you on Chess.com/TV because I have nothing better to do with my weekends...