General Nov 12, 2020 | 4:06 PMby Colin McGourty

Anish Giri plays the Skilling Open... & Banter Blitz

Dutch no. 1 Anish Giri is one of 16 stars to play the Skilling Open, the opening event of the $1.5 million Champions Chess Tour that starts on November 22nd. Anish was born in St. Petersburg and even won the Russian Under 12 Championship, but by the time he became a grandmaster his family was living in the Netherlands. He beat Magnus Carlsen as a 16-year-old in their first encounter in Wijk aan Zee and has been competing at the very top ever since. Now's your chance to take on Anish as he plays chess24 Premium members in a Banter Blitz session starting on Friday November 13th at 22:00 CET.


Anish Giri has a Nepali father and a Russian mother and spent time living in Japan as well as Russia in his childhood, but it's the Netherlands where he settled down. He's already become a Dutch chess legend, winning the Dutch title as a 15-year-old and twice more since, but his ambitions are higher.

In 2016 he pulled off the unlikely feat of drawing all 14 of his Moscow Candidates Tournament games, but that was more a freak result than a testimony to how he'd played. Anish got his 2nd chance this year, and when the Candidates resumes (in Spring 2021?) he'll find himself on 50%, one point behind Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Ian Nepomniachtchi. The winner will play a World Championship match against Magnus Carlsen.    


It seemed at first that Anish, arguably the best-prepared player in world chess, would spend the pandemic honing his opening prep even more, but instead he threw himself into the online chess revolution. He won the prestigious MrDodgy Invitational after defeating David Navara 7:2 in the final and provided one of highlights of the Magnus Carlsen Invitational and the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour as a whole when he won their mini-match in the preliminary stage.

Anish made it to the final of the Chessable Masters, but Magnus got his revenge.

Apart from playing, Anish set up a YouTube channel and became a Chessable author, producing a series on the French Defence which, we can safely say, was given the most cinematic trailer of any chess opening course in history. 

Is there nothing Anish won't do for money and fame? 

It turns out it's true! 


We're thrilled to have Anish Giri back for the Champions Chess Tour. The players so far confirmed for the 16-player Skilling Open, starting November 22nd, are as follows:

  1. Ding Liren
  2. Levon Aronian
  3. Teimour Radjabov
  4. David Anton
  5. Sergey Karjakin         
  6. Liem Quang Le
  7. Wesley So
  8. Anish Giri

Where will Anish Giri be playing the Tour from - let's find out! 

Banter Blitz with Anish Giri

Before that, however, it’s your chance to take on the Dutch no. 1 as he plays blitz against chess24 Premium members while talking about his moves. The session starts at 22:00 CET on Friday and you can challenge by clicking the link below, hovering over Anish’s chess24 username AnishGiri under the video and selecting “Challenge me!” (that button will be active when he’s online):

If you’re not yet Premium you can save 40% now if you Go Premium using the voucher code GIRI40. Alternatively, check out the Early Bird offers for our Tour Pass.

We’ll be announcing a new participant for the Skilling Open each day and you can follow all the announcements on the Champions Chess Tour website or chess24’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

See also:


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