Record $2m prize pot for revamped 2023 Champions Chess Tour

Airthings Masters starts February 3

A record $2 million prize pot will be on offer for the newly revamped 2023 season of the Champions Chess Tour now played on Chess.com – making it the richest and most prestigious annual circuit in chess history.

The new season kicks off on February 3rd with an open Play-in for the Airthings Masters; the first of six star-studded tournaments with playoffs before an eight-player finals event in December.

Hundreds of professional players worldwide will take part in the flagship Champions Chess Tour before an overall winner is crowned Tour Champion for 2023.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hse6Js3-8rY

Norway’s Magnus Carlsen, two-time Tour winner, the World number 1 and arguably the greatest player in chess history, will defend his title.

Carlsen heads a glittering roster of top stars which includes his great rival Hikaru Nakamura and the 2022 Chess.com Global Championship winner Wesley So. Fans can expect all the world’s best players to be involved.

The launch of the 2023 Champions Chess Tour follows Chess.com’s acquisition of Play Magnus Group and draws the best format elements from prior seasons of the Champions Chess Tour and top events from Chess.com including the Chess.com Global Championship.

Airthings Masters, the first event of the 2023 Champions Chess Tour, will kick off on February 3.

Some of these improvements to the competition include open qualifiers and a division system to include more players into the Tour, as well as many innovative format changes designed to maximize excitement and make every match count. 

The new format spans a full season of online chess and comprises six events starting with the Airthings Masters followed by Playoffs and a thrilling knock-out Final. Each event has a prize fund of $235,000. 

A further $100,000 will be awarded to the top ten in the overall standings. The winners of each tournament will get a golden ticket to the $500,000 end-of-year finals in December, with placings on the leaderboard taking the remaining spots.

The format for the 2023 Champions Chess Tour's Airthings Masters event.

Airthings, the Norwegian technology company that has become known among Tour fans for the air quality data relayed from players’ homes, returns as the title partner of the Airthings Masters, which will be held for the third time. 

“It’s great to partner with the Champions Chess Tour for a third consecutive year, kicking off the season again with the Airthings Masters,” said Oyvind Birkenes, CEO of Airthings.

“Chess represents a truly global community and remains one of the few universal pastimes. Similarly, air quality is such a constant in our lives that often we forget to think about it, but factors such as CO2, particulate matter, radon, temperature, and humidity have been well-documented to impact our health, well-being, and performance. We look forward to once again helping the best chess players in the world breathe better and play better.”

Airthings Masters, the first event of the 2023 Champions Chess Tour, will feature a host of top commentators.

The Play-In phase of the Airthings Masters starts on February 3rd and is open to all grandmasters. Starting from February 13, weekly open qualifiers will be held on Chess.com open to all titled players.

The tournament’s 56-player Knockout phase will follow on February 6 to 10. The winners of the Play-In phase will be split into three divisions with $30,000 going to the winner of Division 1.

Chess.com CEO Erik said: “As a fan, I can’t wait for this event! I feel like it’s the best of the Tour combined with the best of Chess.com’s Global Championship and the RCC – all in one place! Hundreds of players from around the world will compete and one will be left standing: the undisputed best online chess player in the world.

“We expect the highest level of play from the top players and Chess.com will deliver the highest level of coverage we can for the fans, taking in all that was brilliant about both the Global Championship and the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. We cannot wait to share this with the chess community.”

All Champions Chess Tour games are played on Chess.com. The live broadcast can be viewed on Chess.com and chess24 YouTube and Twitch channels starting at 8:00 PT / 11:00 ET / 17:00 CET on February 3rd.

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