FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss Returns To Isle Of Man; Women's Tournament Added

FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss Returns To Isle Of Man; Women's Tournament Added

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26 | Chess Event Coverage

If the pandemic situation permits, the Isle of Man will be the center of the chess world again in the autumn of 2021. There will be another FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss, now also with a women's tournament, between Oct. 25 and Nov. 8, 2021.

The two tournaments together will include a total of 164 top players from approximately 35 countries. The total prize fund is $550,000, made possible by the generosity of the Scheinberg family.

FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss

The main event will have 114 players mainly from the world’s top-100. It is expected to be one of the strongest Swiss events ever held in the history of chess. The prize fund will be $425,000, including the first prize of $70,000.

This time, not just the winner (like in the 2019 edition), but also the runner-up will advance to the eight-player Candidates Tournament. This tournament will produce a challenger to the world champion in 2022, a title currently held by GM Magnus Carlsen.

The qualification for the FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss is as follows:

  1. 100 players qualify by rating, or TPR, or other criteria devised by the FIDE Global Strategy Commission and approved by the FIDE Council. The system is to be determined and announced by March 1, 2021.
  2. One player from the ACP Tour 2021 standings as of July 1, 2021.
  3. Women’s World Champion GM Ju Wenjun.
  4. Four continent spots. Each spot is decided by the respective continental president.
  5. Three players nominated by the FIDE President.
  6. Five participants as "wildcards" allocated by the tournament director, including two places for Isle of Man players and a place for a Chess.com online qualifier that is yet to be announced.

If any player qualifies by both paths 1 and 2, his/her place goes to the next qualifier.

The tournament will be a Swiss over 11 rounds. The time control is 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for the next 20 moves, followed by 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one.

Villa Marina chess playing hall
For its 2021 edition, the Grand Swiss will return to the Villa Marina in Douglas, Isle of Man. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

FIDE Chess.com Women's Grand Swiss

The FIDE Chess.com Women’s Grand Swiss will feature 50 of the strongest female players, with invitations to the world’s top-40, competing for a prize fund of $125,000. The winner will progress to the Women’s Candidates Tournament, which will produce a challenger to the women’s world champion, a title currently held by GM Ju Wenjun of China.

The qualification for the FIDE Chess.com Women's Grand Swiss is as follows:

  1. 40 players qualify by rating, or TPR, or other criteria devised by the FIDE Global Strategy Commission and approved by the FIDE Council. The system is to be determined and announced by March 1, 2021.
  2. One qualifier from the ACP Women Series standings as of 1 July 2021.
  3. Four continent spots. Each spot is decided by the respective continental president.
  4. Two players nominated by the FIDE President.
  5. Three "wildcards," including one place for a Chess.com online qualifier that is yet to be announced. 

If any player qualifies by both paths 1 and 2, her place goes to the next non-qualifying player of path 2.

The tournament will be a Swiss over 11 rounds. The time control for each game is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one.

Diversity

“We are thrilled to be hosting the FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss for the second time after successfully organizing the inaugural event in 2019," said tournament director Alan Ormsby. "Hosting the women’s version at the same time will make the event even more special, ensuring that we have the diversity that the Isle of Man International has been associated with since our first tournament in 2014."

Daniel Rensch, chief chess officer of Chess.com, said: "It’s incredible that in such a short amount of time, the FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss has become one of the strongest and most important events in chess. Not only is the event a critical step in determining the outcome of the world chess championship cycle, it also serves as a leading example for how a chess event can function as a beacon for competitive diversity and inclusion. We couldn’t be prouder to be working alongside FIDE and the organizers in making this special event possible for a second time."

2019 Isle of Man winner Wang Hao
2019 winner GM Wang Hao (right) with Isle of Man chief minister Howard Quayle MHK. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Isle of Man, member of FIDE

The announcement of the two events comes a week after the Isle of Man Chess Association was approved by the FIDE General Assembly as a new FIDE affiliated organization.

"FIDE’s motto is ‘we are one family,’ and like any other family would, we are extremely happy to welcome a new member," said FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich. "The island is home to a tournament, the Chess.com Isle of Man International, that has already earned its place in chess history. Very few events have left such a strong mark after only six editions, but Isle of Man has done, so thanks to a combination of professionalism, determination, and a profound respect to chess and chess players."

Dvorkovich added: "We incorporated this event as a part of the world championship cycle in 2019, and it was a resounding success. Now, women players will also get the opportunity to play in an event that didn’t exist for them before."

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