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Chess.com Global Championship and Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Coming Together In 2023

Chess.com Global Championship and Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Coming Together In 2023

CHESScom
| 98 | Chess.com News

Chess.com is excited to announce that the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour and the Chess.com Global Championship are coming together in 2023 to form one unified chess series. This huge event kicks off on February 6 and spans the entire year. With six tournaments culminating in one final championship and a combined prize pool of $2,000,000, this is Chess.com's largest event in history.

Fans can expect the participation of the reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen, arguably the greatest player of all time and winner of the last Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. 

Magnus Carlsen
Carlsen won the 2022 Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. Image: Champions Chess Tour/Chess24.

Fans will also enjoy watching other talented players from the chess elite playing in the event. But aside from them, this exciting new series will also give every player a chance to participate. The six events leading to the championship finals will feature qualifiers open to titled players and top players on Chess.com's leaderboards. This system will ensure that every chess professional can earn money and grab the spotlight doing what they love—playing chess.

The event series is a result of Chess.com's recent acquisition of the Play Magnus Group. In 2022, Chess.com and the Play Magnus Group ran two wildly popular events, the Chess.com Global Championship and the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. 

The Chess.com Global Championship successfully brought an event in which any player could participate. The event's knockout bracket format, paired with a bidding armageddon tiebreak system, created the perfect environment for quite a dramatic competition. The event's live finals in Toronto elevated the championship to a whole new level.

Wesley So
Wesley So won the 2022 Chess.com Global Championship. Photo: Eric Rosen/Chess.com.

Likewise, the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour became a staple in chess events with its year-long cycle and state-of-the-art studio production, spearheaded by the presence of Carlsen himself.

Now, the two companies are working together to combine the best features of both competitions. This new event will be massive, with a cohesive year-long schedule and the biggest prize fund in online chess history.

"We are extremely proud of everything that the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour has accomplished over the last years for our fans, players, and partners around the world," said Arne Horvei, Tour Director for the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. "We look forward to combining our efforts with Chess.com’s in order to create the most compelling and innovative chess events yet.” 

We look forward to combining our efforts with Chess.com's in order to create the most compelling and innovative chess events yet.
— Arne Horvei, Tour Director

"I'm very excited about this new series and what it means for the future of professional chess competition," said Michael Brancato, Chess.com's Vice President of Esports. "With a modernized format, clearer scheduling, and the opportunity for anyone to qualify and play in the championship, this event will be a massive step forward for competitive chess."

How Will The Event Series Work?

The event is the evolution of the Chess.com Global Championship and Chess24's Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, combining the best features of both competitions:

6 Events

Similar to the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, this will feature a series of six events culminating in the final. A double-elimination bracket replaces the previous round-robin format, with players competing in rapid games.

The six tournaments will take place across the entire year:

  • Event 1: February 6-10
  • Event 2: April 3-7
  • Event 3: May 22-26
  • Event 4: July 10-14
  • Event 5: August 28-September 1
  • Event 6: September 25-29

Open Qualification System

Each of the six events will feature a qualification system, giving professional players more chances to participate in elite tournaments. Any grandmaster can play in the qualifiers. There will be more details to come.

A Stacked Championship

The exciting new event series ends with a high-stakes tournament featuring eight players. An eight-player playoff will determine which four players move on to the finals. The four finalists will compete in a knockout tournament, the final step before the champion emerges. 

Whether you want to watch or play in this thrilling new event series, stay tuned for a future announcement in January where more details and information will be revealed!

Who do you hope to see playing in this new event? Let us know in the comment section below!

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