Airthings Masters starts on 19 February

by ChessBase
2/14/2022 – The Meltwater Champions Chess Tour will continue as a regular online event in the coming years. The Play Magnus Group has signed a five-year contract with the Norwegian broadcaster TV-2, which believes in the Tour and broadcasts the tournaments live on television. All in all, viewers followed the first season in 2020/21 for more than 30 million hours. The Airthings Masters, the first tournament of the new season, starts on 19 February with an exciting and young field of players.

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The Meltwater Champions Chess Tour will continue to be part of the tournament calendar as a regular online event in the coming years. The tour organisers of the Play Magnus Group have signed a long-term contract with the Norwegian TV channel TV 2, which will continue to accompany the tour tournaments with live broadcasts for the next five years.

TV 2 sports editor Vegard Jansen Hagen explained the channel's motivation for renewing the contract: chess has developed into a television sport with a growing audience in recent years. The format of the Meltwater Champions Tour tournaments, with its rapid chess games, is exciting and viewer-friendly. The duration of the series also makes it a year-round event.

The Meltwater Chess Series 2022 will comprise nine tournaments. The first tournament starts on 19 February 2022 and the last regular tournament of the series, the Aimchess US Rapid, starts on 28 August. The series will end with the finals from 11 to 20 November.

The dates of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour are coordinated with the dates of FIDE events to allow the top Grandmasters to play in the online tournaments and over-the-board events.

Schedule of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour 2022

Tournament 1: 19 Feb - So 27 Feb
Tournament 2: 19 Mar - So 27 Mar

Major 1: 20 Apr - 28 Apr

Tournament 3: 18 May - 26 May
Tournament 4: 28 Jun - 06 Jul

Major 2: 01 Aug - 09 Aug

Tournament 5: 17 Sep - 25 Sep
Tournament 6: 14 Oct - 22 Oct

Final: 11 Nov - 20 Nov

In the first season of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, which ran from November 2020 to October 2021, the ten tournaments and their games were watched by viewers all over the world, and all in all these viewers spent around 30 million hours following the games.

All tournaments were played with a preliminary round-robin, followed by an eight-player knock-out stage. Points were awarded for the placings. The best players took part in the final tournament.

Magnus Carlsen won three of the regular tournaments and the final tournament. The other tournament winners were Wesley So (3), Teimour Radjabov, Anish Giri and Levon Aronian. All in all, 41 players took part in the 2020/2021 Meltwater Champions Chess Tour tournaments.

Line-up of the Airthings Masters

The Airthings Masters kicks off this year’s Meltwater Champions Chess Tour with an exciting line-up 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 Airthings Masters before eight go forward to the knockout stage.

Participants of the Airthings Masters

  • Magnus Carlsen
  • Ding Liren
  • Ian Nepomniachtchi
  • Levon Aronian
  • Anish Giri
  • Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
  • Jan-Krzysztof Duda
  • Le Quang Liem
  • Vladislav Artemiev
  • Andrey Esipenko
  • Alexandra Kosteniuk
  • Nodirbek Abdusattorov
  • Praggnanandhaa R
  • Vincent Keymer
  • Hans Niemann
  • Eric Hansen

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."

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