Mamedyarov Joins Strong Returning Speed Chess Championship Field
The 2018 Speed Chess Championship

Mamedyarov Joins Strong Returning Speed Chess Championship Field

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Mamedyarov Joins Strong Returning Speed Chess Championship Field

Palo Alto, Calif., May 11, 2018—
The 2018 Speed Chess Championship will feature new addition Shakhriyar Mamedyarov to complement a strong returning field, the site announced today.

Mamedyarov will join Speed Chess Championship veterans including the world championship challenger Fabiano Caruana, the 2017 Speed Chess runner-up Hikaru Nakamura, and nine more of the world's top grandmasters in's flagship event.

The 2018 championship includes a guaranteed $50,000 prize pool, two qualifier events, and a 12-player knockout bracket for the title. The championship will run from June to October later this year.

speed chess championship

All Speed Chess Championship events will be broadcast live on, featuring chess master commentary. IM Daniel Rensch will serve as lead commentator and chief organizer for the tournament.

The Speed Chess players will be seeded from 1-12 based on their blitz ratings on July 11. The top four players will receive byes to the second round of the bracket.

At press time, the following players have confirmed their participation in the 2018 Speed Chess Championship main bracket:

  • Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
  • Fabiano Caruana
  • Hikaru Nakamura
  • Wesley So
  • Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
  • Levon Aronian
  • Alexander Grischuk
  • Ian Nepomniachtchi
  • Wei Yi
  • Anish Giri

Fabiano Caruana

One more player has been invited for the final guaranteed spot, and his participation is pending, according to the chief organizer Rensch. World Champion Magnus Carlsen has declined the invitation to defend his Speed Chess title.

As a new feature this year, the Speed Chess Championship kicks off with a four-player invitational knockout tournament on June 26. One winner will emerge from that mini-bracket to be seeded into the main Speed Chess bracket. selected four popular chess grandmasters to compete in the invitational qualifier:

  • Georg Meier
  • Eric Hansen
  • Leinier Dominguez
  • Jon Ludvig Hammer

speed chess championship knockout qualifier

"The players were chosen both for their big, solid reputations in the online chess community as well as for being active competitors in our regular prize events and tournaments, like Titled Tuesdays and Arena Kings," said Chief Chess Officer IM Danny Rensch.

See the official 2018 Speed Chess Championship page for more details on the invitational knockout qualifier format.

Another qualifier, open to all titled players rated 2500 and over in blitz, will be held on July 10 as a standard Swiss-style tournament. One chess master will qualify from that event to join the main field of 12.

Each Speed Chess Championship main bracket match will feature 90 minutes of 5/1 blitz, 60 minutes of 3/1 blitz, and 30 minutes of 1/1 bullet in a marathon clash that will test the players' wits, speed, and stamina.

Click here for the player photos and usernames of those competing in the event.

Hikaru Nakamura

All games will take place on the live server as the grandmasters play from around the world in this esports event. 

Full details on the qualifiers, the main bracket format, all tentative event dates and full prize breakdowns are available on the Speed Chess Championship main page.

wei yi

Check back on for updates on the players, qualifiers, and more Speed Chess news.

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