The Champions Chess Tour Returns for a Second Season
The Magnus Carlsen Invitational laid the foundation for elite online chess competitions in 2020, amidst the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the Champions Chess Tour followed suit, hosting more events and offering increased prize money. Now, the tour is set to launch its second season, with modifications aimed at enhancing dynamism and competitiveness in the gameplay.
Addressing Concerns and Introducing New Features
The Play Magnus Group recently unveiled the upcoming schedule for the Champions Chess Tour in 2022. It includes revised rules and formats, specifically designed to address complaints raised during the previous season.
Nine Exciting Tournaments
The tour will feature a total of nine events, commencing with a regular tournament on February 19. Among these events, the third, sixth, and final tournaments will be classified as majors. Notably, this year will not feature a traditional final. Instead, the player who accumulates the highest amount of prize money throughout the Champions Chess Tour will be crowned the champion.
New Prize Money Structure
The players will have various avenues to earn money this season. The regular events will maintain a 16-player field and commence with a round-robin structure. A victory in a match will be rewarded with three points, while draws will be worth one point. Notably, each point obtained will translate to $250 in prize money. This alteration brings forth the slogan for this year’s tour: “Every move matters.”
Streamlined Playoff Process
In an effort to streamline the playoffs and provide more efficient events, the Champions Chess Tour has made some changes. The quarterfinals and semifinals will now consist of a single four-game match. In the event of a 2-2 tie, tiebreakers will be utilized to determine the winner. The finals will remain a two-day event, but the overall changes will free up more time for another significant modification. Each round-robin portion will span four days, reducing the number of games played per day, benefiting both fatigued players and spectators.
Exciting Major Tournaments
Each major tournament will showcase eight players, engaging in a full round-robin format of four-game matches over a seven-day period. A player who secures an outright victory will be awarded three points, while a win in a tiebreaker will be worth two points. Losing in the tiebreakers will still grant one point. At each major, every point collected will be worth $2,500, intensifying the stakes, even for participants who fail to qualify for the playoffs.
Impressive Prize Money
As a testament to its commitment to the players, each regular event now guarantees a minimum prize fund of $120,000. Additionally, each major tournament offers a minimum of $210,000 up for grabs. Furthermore, these totals can potentially increase throughout the season, thanks to potential sponsors joining the tour.
In a statement, the Champions Chess Tour director, Arne Horvei, expressed the excitement surrounding the changes implemented for the upcoming season. Horvei promised not only new rules and a new look but also the introduction of fresh faces to the tour.
Return of a Champion
Undoubtedly, one of the most eagerly anticipated participants in the Champions Chess Tour is Magnus Carlsen. The defending champion will be making his return, aiming to secure back-to-back titles. The remaining 15 players for the first event will be selected by the tour organizers. Subsequently, the top eight finishers in each tournament will automatically qualify for the subsequent regular event. Additionally, the finalists from each regular event and the top two players in the overall tour standings will secure a spot in the next major. The remaining positions will be filled by Wildcard entries, ensuring a competitive field for every tournament.
The Champions Chess Tour is set to captivate chess enthusiasts once again with its second season. With increased prize money, streamlined rules, and a diverse lineup of events, the tour promises an exhilarating and competitive experience for players and spectators alike. As Magnus Carlsen aims to defend his title, new challengers will emerge, showcasing their skills and ambition to claim the ultimate championship. Brace yourselves for an unforgettable journey filled with strategic brilliance and intense battles on the digital chessboard.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many tournaments will be held in the Champions Chess Tour this season?
This season, the Champions Chess Tour will feature a total of nine tournaments.
2. What is the new prize money structure for regular events?
In regular events, each point earned by a player will be worth $250 in prize money.
3. How has the playoff process been streamlined in the Champions Chess Tour?
The quarterfinals and semifinals now consist of a single four-game match, with tiebreakers being used to determine a winner in case of a draw.
4. Who automatically qualifies for the subsequent regular event?
The top eight finishers in each tournament will automatically qualify for the next regular event in the Champions Chess Tour.
5. Can players earn prize money even if they don’t make it to the playoffs?
Yes, players can still earn prize money based on the points they accumulate throughout the tour, even if they do not make it to the playoffs.