Play Alongside Nakamura, Vachier-Lagrave, Grischuk In Puzzle Battle World Championship
Hikaru Nakamura has confirmed his participation in the Puzzle Battle World Championship. Photo: Maria Emelianova / Chess.com.

Play Alongside Nakamura, Vachier-Lagrave, Grischuk In Puzzle Battle World Championship

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As part of the expanded, improved and updated Puzzle Rush, Chess.com will launch a new Puzzle Battle World Championship to determine the best chess-puzzle solver on the planet.

The tournament will feature a field of 16, headed by 14 invited players—including some of the world's strongest grandmasters, Puzzle Rush specialists and popular chess streamers.

Puzzle Battle World Championship.

At press time, confirmed participants include the world's fourth-highest-rated player, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave; FIDE blitz world number 15 Le Quang Liem; the tremendously talented chess prodigy, Alireza Firouzja; the highest-scoring GM on the old Puzzle Rush leaderboard, Ray Robson and the top blitz and bullet player on Chess.com, Hikaru Nakamura. In addition, world number five Alexander Grischuk has recently confirmed his participation.

The tournament will also include two open qualifier spots so that any Puzzle Rush enthusiast in the world has a chance to play with the best—and maybe even win.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Photo: Maria Emelianova / Chess.com.
World number-four Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is confirmed to play in the Puzzle Battle Championship. Photo: Maria Emelianova / Chess.com.

The total prize pool for the world championship is $10,000.

Want to play in the Puzzle Battle World Championship? You can—if you're quick and talented enough. Starting Friday, Nov. 22, a qualification process will be open where any Chess.com member can advance into the 16-player field. After the field is narrowed by two tournaments, two qualifying spots will be available for anyone who meets the eligibility qualifications.

To begin the qualification process, you must do all of the following:

  1. Stream or record a three-minute Puzzle Rush with a score of 35 or more. The streamed (or recorded) clip must include a full-screen capture and a webcam where the user is fully visible for the duration of the clip. The cursor must be visible on screen for the duration of the clip.
  2. Share your video on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #PuzzleBattle. The Chess.com social team must then certify your post. If you're sharing on Facebook, you must also tag Chess.com in the post.
  3. Have a clean fair-play record. By submitting an entry, you agree to have your games analyzed by the Chess.com fair play team.

For more information on qualification requirements, see the official rules here.

The video qualification process will begin on Friday, Nov. 22 and end on Sunday, Dec. 15. 

Puzzle Rush players who meet the above requirements will be given an entry into one of two special qualifying tournaments, which will be scheduled for the convenience of players in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres.

The two winners of the qualifying tournaments will join the 14 invited players in the Puzzle Battle World Championship, which kicks off in January 2020 with a 16-player, track-and-field-style series of heats. The players advancing from those heats will join an eight-player knockout bracket with a traditional head-to-head format to determine the ultimate Puzzle Battle World Champion.

Ray Robson is confirmed to play in the Puzzle Battle Championship. Photo: Maria Emelianova / Chess.com.
Ray Robson, a Puzzle Rush specialist, is confirmed to play in the Puzzle Battle Championship. Photo: Maria Emelianova / Chess.com.


Alireza Firouzja is confirmed to play in the Puzzle Battle Championship. Photo: Maria Emelianova / Chess.com.
The chess prodigy Alireza Firouzja is confirmed to play in the Puzzle Battle Championship. Photo: Maria Emelianova / Chess.com.

For more information on the format, see the Puzzle Battle World Championship official rules here.

Want to try your hand at the new Puzzle Rush and see if you have what it takes to solve with the best?

More on Puzzle Rush and Puzzle Battle:

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