General Apr 14, 2022 | 9:24 AMby Colin McGourty

Magnus Carlsen to take on 7 stars in Oslo Esports Cup

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen will take on seven rivals in the Oslo Esports Cup, the first time the $1.6 million Meltwater Champions Chess Tour has featured all players competing from the same venue. The $210,000 event, which starts Friday April 22nd, includes World Cup winner Jan-Krzysztof Duda, who pushed Magnus to tiebreaks in the Charity Cup, and 16-year-old Indian prodigy Praggnanandhaa, who gets one of four wildcards to the first of three Majors on the $1.6 million Tour.

Who’s playing the Oslo Esports Cup?

Magnus Carlsen tops the line-up in Oslo. The World Champion got off to a flying start on the 2022 Meltwater Champions Chess Tour and, after winning both the Airthings Masters and the Charity Cup, leads with $63,500 in prize money over 2nd placed Jan-Krzysztof Duda on $25,000. Duda got an automatic place in the Oslo Esports Cup after finishing runner-up in the Charity Cup, where he hit back to take Magnus to tiebreaks on the final day.

Vietnam’s Liem Quang Le (a quarter-finalist in the Airthings Masters and semi-finalist in the Charity Cup) and Canada’s Eric Hansen (a quarter-finalist in the Airthings Masters) both made the cut for their performance on the tour so far, and are joined by four wild cards.

Dutch no. 1 and World no. 8 Anish Giri, the winner of last year’s Magnus Carlsen Invitational.

Azerbaijan no. 1, World no. 10 and Berlin Grand Prix semi-finalist Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

2021 Tata Steel Masters winner and Dutch no. 2 Jorden van Foreest

And last but not least, 16-year-old Indian prodigy Praggnanandhaa. Pragg beat Magnus Carlsen in the Airthings Masters and will play in Oslo fresh from a memorable triumph in the Reykjavik Open

When and where is the Oslo Esports Cup?

The Oslo Esports Cup will be similar to last year’s Tour final, where Magnus Carlsen, Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Anish Giri all played from the Oslo studio, except this time all eight players will be in the same venue while still competing in the chess24 Playzone. 

The event will run from Friday April 22nd to Thursday April 28th, with no rest days.

The tournament is the first of three Majors on the 2022 Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, with the two Regular events in each cycle serving as qualifiers to the Majors.

What’s the format for the Oslo Esports Cup?

The Oslo Esports Cup is an 8-player tournament where the players face off against each of their rivals over seven rounds. Each match features four rapid games at a 15 minute + 10-second increment per move time control. If tied 2:2, the players play two 5+3 blitz games. If still tied they play a single Armageddon game, where White has 5 minutes to Black’s 4, but Black only needs a draw to clinch the match. 

What’s at stake in the Oslo Esports Cup?

The total prize fund is $210,000, with $7,500 up for grabs in each match. If a player wins in rapid chess they take the full $7,500 (or 3 points, where 1 point = $2,500). If the match goes to tiebreaks the prize money is split $5,000/$2,500 (2 points to 1) between the winner and loser.

The winner of the tournament is the highest earning player, while money earned also goes towards the overall Tour standings. The winner of the Tour will win an additional $50,000.

Zubair Timol, Vice President EMEA at Tour sponsors Meltwater, commented on how chess has grown since the tour was launched.

Based on our in-depth analysis of social data, chess continues to experience rapid growth across multiple demographic parameters including geography, gender and social backgrounds.

These findings combined with the first event being hosted in Oslo, the city where Meltwater was founded, provide us with great excitement and anticipation, as we build up to the event.

Where can I watch the Oslo Esports Cup?

The Oslo Esports Cup will be streamed live here on chess24 from 18:00 CEST (12:00 ET, 21:30 IST) on Friday April 22nd, with David, Jovanka, Kaja and Askild on site in Oslo.

Tania Sachdev is back to accompany Peter Leko for our alternative broadcast.

The tournament will be launched with an Opening Ceremony on Thursday April 21st.

See also:

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