5 Reasons To Watch The 2022 Fischer Random World Chess Championship

5 Reasons To Watch The 2022 Fischer Random World Chess Championship

| 28 | Other

The wait is finally over! After a three-year hiatus, we're finally approaching the Fischer Random World Championship's (FRWC) final tournament. GMs Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Nodirbek Abdusattorov, and other chess stars will make their first move on October 25

Fischer Random reigning champion Wesley So will fight to defend his title in one of the only four world championship events officially recognized by FIDE. The other seven chess giants will be battling to try to snatch the crown from the American in what promises to be one of the most exciting events of the year.

As tension builds and chess fans patiently wait to see who emerges as the Fischer Random World Champion, we highlight the top five reasons to watch this exciting event live on

No Preparation And Pure Chess

What if chess players had to rely purely on their wits and instincts? No home preparation, no theory, and a fresh and unfamiliar position at the start of every game. This is what Fischer Random delivers and one of the reasons why this variant is one of the most popular in the world.

The Fischer Random chess variant, also known as Chess960, follows every single chess rule except for one—the starting position! Every game starts in one of 960 semi-random positions. Fischer's variant levels the playing field, rewarding not the player who's the best at memorizing opening lines but rather the most creative and resourceful one. 

2019 Fischer Random World Championship trophy and starting position.
2019 FRWC trophy and one of the 960 possible starting positions. Photo: Lennart Ootes/

The 2022 Fischer Random World Championship brings together some of the strongest players to see who, among them, has what it takes to become the world champion. With the world's top talents playing a new starting position in every game, we're sure to see some genuinely creative chess.

World Champion vs. Fischer Random World Champion Rematch

It's safe to say that every chess player considers Carlsen to be the strongest player on the planet. Some might even say that Carlsen is the best who ever lived—a topic that always incites some heated debate. 

Carlsen has been the number-one player in the world for over a decade and the world champion for nine years. Today, he boasts an impressive 2856 rating, 50 points higher than world number-two Ding Liren. Carlsen certainly proved his dominance when he beat two-time Candidates winner Nepomniachtchi by a large margin in their 2021 World Championship match.

With such an impressive resume, anyone in their right mind would put Carlsen as the favorite to win any chess-related event he plays in. But then, there's So.

Wesley So playing Magnus Carlsen at the 2019 Fischer Random World Championship.
So playing Carlsen at the 2019 Fischer Random World Championship. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

As "far" from the top as he is, So is always a tough nut for Carlsen (or any other player) to crack—something he proved the last time they contested the Fischer Random title. The American underdog was "only" the 12th strongest player in the world when he faced the Norwegian in 2019. The rating gap between them was more than 100 points. Carlsen was on a roll—earlier that year, he won the Tata Steel tournament, Grenke Chess, Norway Chess, and broke Ding's record after going more than 100 classical games undefeated. 

And yet, So prevailed. Not only did he beat Carlsen, but he did it as no one else could. After drawing their first game, So defeated Carlsen three times in a row, took a draw in a superior position, then tied the last game to end the match in his favor. 

Wesley So defeated Magnus Carlsen in the last Fischer Random World Championship
So and Carlsen at the 2019 Fischer Random World Championship award ceremony. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Now, they both return to play for the title once more, and we might even see a clash between the two world champions. Carlsen will be eager to take revenge, while So will be fighting with all he's got to keep his title.

An Official World Championship Returning To Iceland

In 1972, the entire world had its eyes on one place: Reykjavik, Iceland. The world's northernmost capital was hosting what is perhaps the most famous world chess championship match in history. GMs Boris Spassky and Fischer played for the title in what is known as the "Match of the Century." 

Now, 50 years later, a world chess championship match returns to Reykjavik. Fittingly, this massive event will happen in the same city where Fischer, creator of Fischer Random chess, became the world champion. 

Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavic, Iceland.
Reykjavik is no stranger to world chess championship events.

One Of The Highest-Stake Events Of The Year

The stakes are high for the Fischer Random World Championship. As the name implies, this event determines who the world champion is. But that's not all:

A lot of expectations surround this event as this is the first edition after the inaugural world championship of 2019. Will So keep his title, or will someone else be crowned the second Fischer Random champion in history?

Aside from the title, players have another reason to give their best during the event—it has one of the largest prize funds of the year. With a $400,000 prize pool, the winner alone takes home $150,000!

Only World Champion Title Magnus Never Held

Carlsen has done it all. By now, the world's number one has won so many trophies that he probably has some sort of storage issue at home. And there's no shortage of world titles to his name: he has won five classical, three rapid, and four blitz championships.

Magnus Carlsen lifting his world championship trophy.
Carlsen celebrating his 2021 world championship victory. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

However, there is one world championship title Carlsen has not won: Fischer Random! Of course, there's only been one championship so far, which might give Carlsen fans reason enough to believe that it's only a matter of time before their champion takes the crown.

However, So's incredible Fischer Random prowess has proved too much for Carlsen before, and it might prove it again this year. Will Carlsen finally add this last title to his collection? Don't forget to tune in to our live broadcast to find out!

Who do you think will win the 2022 Fischer Random World Championship? Let us know in the comment section below! And don't forget to participate in our Guess The Starting Position contest for your chance at a free one-year diamond membership.

More from CHESScom
Chess Played Quick - Spell Chess Edition: All The Information

Chess Played Quick - Spell Chess Edition: All The Information

Medieval Battles, Magical Events, And Speed Chess Mayhem

Medieval Battles, Magical Events, And Speed Chess Mayhem