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Announcing The Chess.com Rapid Chess Championship With $650,000 In Prizes

Announcing The Chess.com Rapid Chess Championship With $650,000 In Prizes

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118 | Chess.com News

Chess.com is thrilled to announce the Chess.com Rapid Chess Championship, our most elite event ever. The first "RCC" debuts with a prize fund of $650,000. This 25-week extravaganza begins on February 12 and culminates in a dramatic finale on August 28. Only the best of the best will be playing: the top 100 in the world, the top 10 women, and the top 10 juniors will have a seat at the table.

With only the strongest players comprising the field and the slower time control, fans can expect nothing but high-quality chess. Many top GMs like Fabiano Caruana, Anish Giri, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Levon Aronian, and more are expected to participate in this event regularly.

2022 Chess.com Rapid Chess Championship
Caruana, seen here at the 2021 World Rapid and Blitz Championships, is one of many stars expected to play. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Participants will also be allowed to stream this event, under controlled (chat disabled, along with other stringent Fair Play requirements) circumstances. This will provide a unique opportunity to offer viewers rare insights into high-level play, especially thanks to the rapid time format. 10+0 is the most popular time control on Chess.com but is rarely used in top-level events. In this format, players will have more time to strategize their way to victory.

Who doesn’t want to hear Nakamura discuss his thought process in a 10-minute game against the world’s best players? Speaking of Nakamura, here is what he had to say about the Chess.com Rapid Chess Championship: "I’m hyped to play in this event constructed by Chess.com in a way that seems to meet many of the top 100 chess players’ needs. It’s got a flexible schedule, zero commitment, and yet seems to be a surefire hit with both the top players and the fans. With no additional demands being made by Chess.com on the participant’s time, it really is an ideal fit for so many schedules."

I’m hyped to play in this event ... a surefire hit with both the top players and the fans.

- Hikaru Nakamura

2022 Chesscom Rapid Chess Championship
Hikaru Nakamura at the 2021 World Rapid and Blitz Championships. Photo: Michal Walusza/FIDE.

Junior players made big waves in 2021, and we are happy to provide a special opportunity for them to play against the best players in the world. Recently-crowned World Rapid Champion, GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov, and other top junior players will have a chance to shine against the world's elite on a more frequent basis. We look forward to more juniors entering the top 100 in 2022 and qualifying for the event.

The mixture of top-100 players, the best juniors, and the top female players in the world will create some truly exciting match-ups and provide incredible opportunities for the next generation to continue to hone their skills.

2022 Chesscom Rapid Chess Championship
Nodirbek Abdusattorov recently won the 2021 World Rapid Championship. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

The $650,000 prize fund is the biggest that Chess.com has ever offered, and it will be distributed throughout the entirety of the event. The first 25 weeks of the event have $500,000 allocated, which equates to $20,000 on the line per week. The finals have a $150,000 prize fund as well as the title of 2022 Chess.com Rapid Champion.

Chess.com's CEO Erik is thrilled for Chess.com to be able to offer this event:

"As a fan, I cannot wait to see who becomes the first Chess.com Rapid Champion! As a Chess.com team member, I feel proud to be able to offer an opportunity to compete in online chess in a format they enjoy and with conditions they appreciate."

Who are you excited to see in the 2022 Chess.com Rapid Chess Championship? Let us know in the comments below.

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