4 Players To Qualify For Speed Chess Champs In April
Want to qualify for a match against Magnus Carlsen (or another super grandmaster)? You can, this month!
April will see not one, but four Titled Tuesday tournaments. These blitz tournaments will serve as qualifiers for the 2017 Chess.com Speed Chess Championship.
In its second year and with a new name (previously known as the GM Blitz Battle Championships), the competition will have 16 players instead of eight. These are the 12 seeded grandmasters: Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Anish Giri, Sergey Karjakin, Levon Aronian, Alexander Grischuk, Richard Rapport, Ian Nepomniachtchi, and Hou Yifan.
The last four players will be the qualifiers from each Titled Tuesday tournament in April, to be held on April 4, 11, 18, and 25.
If there's a tie for first in a Titled Tuesday, then there will be an Armageddon game immediately after the event or a similar blitz tiebreak if more than two are tied. If an odd number of players are tied, the highest-rated player will receive a bye into the next round of tiebreaks. The tiebreaks will be played in a mini-knockout format until the Armageddon game is reached.
You can only qualify (or be seeded) once, so if a player already in the SCC wins a Titled Tuesday, then the second-place person qualifies, and if there are multiple players in second, the same blitz game tiebreakers will apply.
Players who believe they may have tied for a qualifying spot must wait online for directions from Chess.com Vice President Danny Rensch and other staff members to contact them and start games automatically. Players who may have tied for spots but do not stay online or are otherwise unavailable will see their spots automatically given away.
After the month ends, Chess.com will seed these four qualifiers per their blitz rating on May 1. The highest rated player as of May 1st at midnight (12am Pacific time) will get to choose his/her opponent from the top 4 seeds. The 2nd highest rated will get 2nd choice, and so on.
Magnus Carlsen, the winner of the 2016 Blitz Battle Championship, is going for yet another title in the 2017 Speed Chess Championship.
When the main event begins, here are the prizes:
- Round 1 (16 players, 8 matches): $16,000. $1,000 to the winner of each match. $1,000 split between match winner and loser by total win percentage.
- Round 2 (8 players, 4 matches): $12,000. $1,500 to the winner of each match. $1,500 split between match winner and loser by total win percentage.
- Semifinals, Round 3 (4 players, 2 matches): $12,000. $3,000 to winner of each match. $3,000 split between match winner and loser by total win percentage.
- Finals, Round 4 (2 players, 1 match): $10,000. $5,000 to the winner, the title of Speed Chess Champion and a trophy with name engraved. $5,000 split between match winner and loser by total win percentage.
Just like last year, the matches will be three hours of nearly non-stop chess. The first segment will again be 90 minutes of 5+2. There will follow 60 minutes of 3+2, followed by 30 minutes of 1+1. Players will be given only a three-minute break between sections and will be on a live webcam at all times. Chess960 remains but this time will occur as the final game in each section, not the beginning game.
May 3: Hikaru Nakamura vs. Qualifier at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Central Europe
May 24: Sergey Karjakin vs. Qualifier at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Central Europe
May 25: Wesley So vs. Anish Giri at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Central Europe
July 20: Alexander Grischuk vs Richard Rapport at 10 a.m.noon Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Central Europe
Aug. 23: Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Levon Aronian at 10 a.m.noon Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Central Europe
Aug. 24: Fabiano Caruana vs Hou Yifan at 3 p.m. Pacific, 6 p.m. Eastern, midnight Central Europe, 6 a.m. Beijing
Aug. 31: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs Qualifier at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. 7 p.m. Central Europe
Oct. 5: Magnus Carlsen vs. Qualifier at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Central Europe