Airthings Masters with Carlsen, So and MVL to kick off Saturday

by ChessBase
12/22/2020 – The second event of the Champions Chess Tour — an online series of tournaments organized by the Play Magnus Group — will kick off on December 26. Unlike the Skilling Open, which was a ‘Regular’ event and included 16 players, the Airthings Masters will have 12 players in its lineup, as it is the first ‘Major’ in the schedule. The tournament will run until January 3.

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The first Major of the Champions Chess Tour

The Champions Chess Tour is the successor to the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour. It consists of 10 events taking place over 10 months, with the prize fund rising from $1 million to $1.5 million. Six Regular tournaments, three Majors and the Finals will be played from November 2020 until September 2021.

Wesley So won the first event of the series by defeating Magnus Carlsen in a thrilling final match played on the world champion’s 30th birthday. Since the eight players who qualified to the knockout stage of the previous tournament automatically get a ticket in the next event, both Carlsen and So will meet again in the first Major of the series.

Airthings will be the title partner of the Airthings Masters and the Official Air Quality Partner for the full first season of the Tour. Airthings will monitor and stream the air quality levels in the players’ homes to raise awareness about the importance of good indoor air and how it impacts our cognitive abilities, decision making, and health.  

Airthings Masters 2021

The prize fund for the first Major on the Champions Chess Tour is $200,000, double that for Regular events like the Skilling Open, with the top prize rising to $60,000. One difference this time is that there will also be a match for 3rd place, to run in parallel with the final.

The winner is guaranteed a place in the Champions Chess Tour Finals next September, while the top 8 players in the overall tour standings after the Airthings Masters will automatically be invited back to the next 16-player Regular event on the tour in February 2021.

Airthings Masters 2021

First, the 16 players will face off in a single round robin, to be played between Saturday and Monday, with five rounds being played per day. The top eight will advance to a 6-day knockout, with two days each for the quarterfinals, semifinals and final. 

In the knockout stage, each encounter will be decided over two days. On day, 1 there will be four rapid games, and if the match ends 2:2 it will simply be a draw (there doesn’t have to be a winner). On day 2, another 4-game match will be held. If both matches are drawn, or the players have traded wins, then shortly after the second match there will be a playoff: two blitz games followed, if needed, by Armageddon.

Airthings Masters 2021

The action each day begins at 14:00 GMT (15:00 CET, 9:00 ET).


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