Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour runner-up Hikaru Nakamura and the world’s most exciting junior Alireza Firouzja are the final players to be confirmed for the Skilling Open, the first event on the $1.5 million Champions Chess Tour. The action kicks off at 18:00 CET on Sunday, with the 16 players battling over the first three days for a place in the 8-player knockout on the final six days. The top 8 will also automatically be invited back for the next $200,000 event to be held in December.
The 16-player field for the Skilling Open has an average classical rating of 2758 and includes 7 of the world’s top 10. The average age of the players is the same as that of Magnus Carlsen, 29, though the World Champion turns 30 on the final day of the event.
The full pairings for the 15-round all-play-all tournament on the first three days can be found below. There are five rounds of 15-minute + 10-second increment per move rapid chess each day, with top seed Magnus Carlsen on Day 1 facing world no.4 Nepomniachtchi, no. 5 MVL and no. 10 Radjabov before playing outsider Anton and then, in one of the most awaited clashes, 17-year-old Alireza Firouzja.
The top eight players after three days then go forward to a knockout, with each knockout round consisting of two 4-game rapid matches. If the score ends 1-1 then an extra two blitz games and, if needed, Armageddon will be played. For more details on what's different in the new tour check out the article What's new in the Champions Chess Tour?
At stake are both Tour points and a $100,000 prize fund, with $30,000 for first place.
The action each day begins at 18:00 CET (12:00 ET) and we’re going to have better and more varied commentary than ever before – more details to follow shortly!
Before Sunday, however, there’s still plenty going on here on chess24, including Magnus Carlsen playing Banter Blitz against chess24 premium members at 16:00 CET on Friday November 20th.
Here's the full schedule of events for Friday.
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