World chess champion Magnus Carlsen will take revenge against the leader of Chess Tour Champions Wesley So when the first major of the tour kicks off on December 26th. The 12-player tournament runs until January 3 and has a prize fund of $ 200,000, with the winner collecting $ 60,000 and a guaranteed place in the grand final next September. Airthings, which produces world-leading radon and indoor air quality monitors, is collaborating with the Tour and will measure the air quality in the players ’homes while they play.
All-star lineup for the Airthings Masters
We are thrilled to announce the field for the second event in the $ 1.5 million Championship Chess Tournament, the Airthings Masters, which features 8 of the world’s top 11 players according to the classic ranking. The average rating is 2761 and the average age is 30.6.
The lineup includes the eight players who qualified as the top 8 in the Champions Chess Tournament after the first event, the Skilling Open, which was won by Wesley So after an exciting final victory over Magnus Carlsen.
These players are joined by Spanish champion David Anton, who was voted back in the Airthings Masters despite finishing outside the qualifying places, and Russian 3-time world champion Alexander Grischuk, who won the second public vote among chess24 top members.
They are also joined by two wild cards, the Russian Daniil Dubov, who was the only player besides Magnus to win an event during the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour, and the Indian Pentala Harikrishna, who was ranked as high as the world number one. 10.
Double the prize fund
The prize fund for the first major in the Chess Tour Champions is $ 200,000, double that for Regular events like the Skilling Open, with the grand prize rising to $ 60,000. One difference this time is that there will also be a match for third place, to run in parallel with the final.
The winner is guaranteed a place in the Champions Chess Tournament Finals next September, while the top 8 players in the overall tour position after the Airthings Masters will automatically be invited back to the next 16-player Regular event during the tour in February 2021 .
Bridging Christmas and the New Year
The Airthings Masters will be a Christmas and New Year treat for chess fans, as it runs without a Boxing Day holiday, from December 26th to January 3rd. Again there is a 3-day pre-stage where the players play each other once, before the top 8 players advance to the knockout.
The chess must end before midnight on New Year’s Eve wherever the players are based because the start time for this event will be 15:00 CET (09:00 ET), three hours earlier than for the Skilling Open.
Breathe better, play better?
Airthings will be the title partner of the Airthings Masters and the Official Air Quality Partner for the full first season of the Tour. Airthings will monitor and broadcast the air quality levels in players ’homes to raise awareness of the importance of good indoor air and how it affects our cognitive abilities, decision making and health.
World chess champion Magnus Carlsen commented:
Chess players expect perfect conditions during tournaments. Normally the air quality is taken care of by those who organize the tournaments, and the conditions are the same for everyone. But, because we play separately, we have to take responsibility for it ourselves.
By monitoring the air quality in the room, we can make sure that the air we breathe is good. I think it will be important to maintain a high level throughout the tournament.
Andreas Thome, CEO of Play Magnus, said:
For players, the Champions of Chess Tour requires decisive decisions, often under time pressure. It will be fascinating to see how the world performs best in the Airthings Masters, while being able to see in real time how the conditions differ in each of their homes using Airthings technology.
Oyvind Birkenes, CEO of Airthings, highlighted the importance of air quality:
For chess, sports, and players, concentration is key, and with players sitting for hours in a room, the air they breathe plays a key role in how well they act, make decisions, and reason. By monitoring the air quality in the room, chess players can make sure that the air they breathe is as healthy as possible and that they stay above their game during a tournament.
The Airthings Masters logo
All emblems for the Champion Chess Tour are graphic representations of separate chess games. The Skilling Open logo was produced by Bobby Fischer’s 13-year-old Game of the Century, while the Airthings Masters logo was chosen by vote.
The winner was the brilliant attacking game that gave Wesley So victory over Hikaru Nakamura in the semifinals of the Ready Open.
The best live chess coverage around
The Airthings Masters will be broadcast in languages that include English, Spanish, German, French, Russian, Turkish, Italian and Portuguese, with TV channel NRK showing the performance in Norway while Eurosport streams live in more than 60 markets around the world. Here at chess24 we will once again have several fluencies in English, for everyone, from beginners to experienced chess fans. You don’t want to miss it!