Checkmate Coronavirus: 1,500 Tournaments In 17 Days So Far, Anyone Can Win Prizes

Checkmate Coronavirus: 1,500 Tournaments In 17 Days So Far, Anyone Can Win Prizes

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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26 | Chess Event Coverage

The FIDE Checkmate Coronavirus project has resulted in over 1,500 tournaments played in the last 17 days on multiple chess platforms. The project runs until June 16, and many more prizes are up for grabs for players of all levels.

The International Chess Federation launched the Checkmate Coronavirus project on May 18. In light of the ongoing global crisis caused by COVID-19, FIDE wants to bring together the chess community with a month-long, non-stop online chess festival played on several chess platforms.

After 17 days into the project, the success has been overwhelming.

No fewer than 1,500 tournaments of different time controls have been played in the last 17 days. On Chess.com, over 500,000 games have been played by over 60,000 members, including 1,000 titled players (including over 210 GMs) from over 100 countries.

Part of the success is explained by the fact that everyone, meaning players from all rating categories, can win prizes unrelated to their scores.

The prizes are awarded via raffle in two phases. First, five percent of the players in each tournament receive a coupon, which is distributed based on a random number generator. Players need to play a minimum of five games in blitz or bullet tournaments or three in rapid tournaments to be eligible. 

Then, every Sunday there is a main raffle among the players who obtained coupons that week. The following prizes are given each week:

  • Six guest invitations to the 2021 Moscow Chess Olympiad, including air travel and full board and hotel accommodation for six nights, side events, and closing ceremony attendance
  • Five online mini-matches against a top GM
  • 60 two-hour online GM master classes
  • 80 Checkmate Coronavirus souvenirs

The first raffle, on May 24, was held during IM Elisabeth Paehtz's stream.

On June 17, a day after the series of tournaments end, one more big raffle will be held with 40 trips to the Moscow Olympiad (to make 64 in total, the number of squares on the chessboard), 30 matches against a GM, 346 master classes, and 480 souvenirs.

Chess.com players have been quite successful in the raffles so far. Six members already won a trip to the Moscow Olympiad: @2puddings (UK, 946), @ChaosRamda (Canada, 1141, Diamond member), @DizzyGum (India, 754), @HisEloquency (Serbia, 1153), @Khomisani (South Africa, 2159), and @oprofdexadrez (Brazil, 1543).

Ilya Gorodetsky, FIDE's project coordinator, emphasizes that the raffles don't take into account the score in a tournament: "Your results do not matter. I came across one ticket that was awarded to a player who had zero points. I thought: this is wrong; did he play enough games? It turned out he had played 17 games and lost them all. But he still had a chance to win a major prize."

You can still participate in Checkmate Coronavirus and try to win prizes until June 16. Tournaments can be found on Chess.com in the Live Chess tournament lobby by clicking on the "Upcoming" tab and finding your time control of choice. If a Checkmate Coronavirus arena is already underway, you can join it by clicking on the "In Progress" tab and join at any time!

Checkmate coronavirus FIDE

A total of 700 prizes (and 800 souvenirs) will be awarded, one for each hour of the tournament series, with all participants eligible, regardless of their scores in the tournaments. 

The tournaments feature rapid, blitz and bullet time controls ranging from 1+0 to 10+2. Rapid arenas last four hours; blitz tournaments, two; bullet tournaments, one. Some national federations, such as Denmark and Sri Lanka, have organized events that have been part of the project as well.

The full list of tournaments available on Chess.com can be found by clicking here. More information about the FIDE Checkmate Coronavirus project can be found on the official website.

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