Magnus Carlsen faces World Championship Challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi as the FTX Crypto Cup, the 6th event on the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, begins Sunday, May 23rd at 17:00 CEST. One of the strongest line-ups ever assembled features the full Top 10, meaning a Tour debut for the last challenger and world no. 2 Fabiano Caruana. The last Major on the Tour offers a direct spot to September’s Tour Finals in San Francisco as well as a record online chess prize fund of $320k, with sponsors FTX providing a $100k Bitcoin bonus.
The FTX Crypto Cup, to be played on chess24 from May 23-31, may be the strongest chess tournament of all time, with the 16-player field including the complete Top 10 on the May 2021 FIDE classical rating list.
Average rating: 2763
Average age: 30.4
That means that world no. 2 and 2018 World Championship Challenger Fabiano Caruana is making his Meltwater Champions Chess Tour debut, while the players outside the Top 10 include Candidates runner-up Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, the world’s hottest junior Alireza Firouzja, and blitz world no. 1 and New in Chess Classic runner-up Hikaru Nakamura.
The prize fund is being boosted by $100,000 from the new Official Cryptocurrency Exchange Partner of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, FTX. The dollar value will be converted into Bitcoin at 14:00 CEST today (Monday, May 17), so that the value of the prize will fluctuate before and during the event. It will be split among the players in proportion to the standard prizes, with the winner currently picking up around a $27k bonus.
The action kicks off at 17:00 CEST (11:00 EDT, 20:30 IST) on Sunday 23rd May and will once again be broadcast on Eurosport, Norway’s TV2 and right here live on chess24, with multiple streams for chess fans of all levels and nationalities.
- Meltwater Champions Chess Tour website
- FTX Crypto Cup games with computer analysis and commentary: Prelims, Knockout
- Magnus Carlsen wins New in Chess Classic for 1st Tour Title