Airthings Masters kicks off 2022 Champions Chess Tour

by ChessBase
2/18/2022 – The Airthings Masters tournament kicks off this year’s Meltwater Champions Chess Tour with a glittering lineup featuring Magnus Carlsen and the new male and female world rapid champions. Sixteen players in total will battle it out in the round-robin stage of the online event before eight go forward to the knockout stage. The tournament will take place on February 19-26, with the action kicking off daily at 18.00 CET.

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The youngest-ever lineup

Press release by the Play Magnus Group

Meltwater Champions Chess TourThe Airthings Masters online super-tournament kicks off this year’s Meltwater Champions Chess Tour with a glittering lineup featuring Magnus Carlsen and the new male and female world rapid champions.

The first leg of the Tour starts on February 19 with a total prize pot worth up to $150,000, made up of $120,000 for placings and in-game prizes and up to $30,000 available to roll-over into the Tour bonus pot.

Overall, the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour — the richest and most prestigious event in online chess — carries a record prize pot of $1.6 million.

Fans watching the Airthings Masters will be treated to a fascinating matchup between world number 1 Carlsen and the teen sensation who beat him to the rapid crown, Nodirbek Abdusattorov.

Carlsen, an Airthings Ambassador, will no doubt want to settle his score with the 17-year-old Uzbek. Abdusattorov is one of five prodigiously talented teenagers taking their places in the Tour’s youngest ever line-up.

Also making her Tour debut is Russian chess queen Alexandra Kosteniuk, who reigns supreme as the new women’s world rapid champion. Both Abdusattorov and Kosteniuk won their titles in December and are bang in form.


  • February 19-22: Round-robin (4 rounds per day)
  • February 23: Quarterfinals
  • February 24: Semifinals
  • February 25-26: Finals

Sixteen players in total will battle it out in the round-robin stage of the Airthings Masters before eight go forward to the knockout stage.

The Tour welcomes new invitees 19-year-old Andrey Esipenko and 18-year-old American Hans Niemann plus two qualifiers from the Junior Challengers Chess Tour Praggnanandhaa R (16) from India and German prodigy Vincent Keymer (17).

Zubair Timol, Vice President EMEA Meltwater, said:

Meltwater is excited to see the next generation of chess players participating in the Tour. Similar to Meltwater’s approach to developing talent, the Tour gives new players a platform to participate and thrive on, ensuring continued progress and innovation.

Airthings Masters Chess 2022

Returning to the line-up are Carlsen’s world title challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi, China’s number one Ding Liren and the runner-up from the last Airthings Masters Levon Aronian, plus: Dutch number one Anish Giri; Shakhriyar Mamedyarov; Jan-Krzysztof Duda; Liem Quang Le; Canada’s chess streaming sensation Eric Hansen and the exciting talent Vladislav Artemiev.

It is the second time the Airthings Masters, sponsored by the leading global air quality tech company Airthings, has featured on the Tour.

Airthings Masters Chess 2022

During play, Airthings will provide live air quality data for the top players to highlight the importance of good air quality for health and cognitive abilities.

“Poor air quality can dramatically diminish our cognitive ability, health, and energy – all vital assets to be successful in both chess and esports,” said Oyvind Birkenes, CEO of Airthings.

New rules

A series of changes to the newly-revamped Tour’s rulebook will come into force during the eight-day event to ensure every game at every stage is critical.

The round-robin will feature a football-style 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw, scoring-system at the round-robin stages and players will bank cash bonuses for every rapid game played.

The Meltwater Champions Chess Tour launched in 2020 as an innovative new chess circuit organised by Play Magnus Group now entering into its second full season.

The record-breaking event offers the richest prize pot in online chess history. During its last season, the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour amassed more than 115 million live broadcast views and nearly 30 million hours watched. 

Partners supporting the Tour include Meltwater, Mastercard, FTX, Julius Baer, Aker BioMarine, Airthings, Concordium and more.

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