Four ‘regular’ events and a grand finale in this year’s Champions Chess Tour

by ChessBase
1/13/2024 – The new Champions Chess Tour (CCT) season kicks off this month with the return of the Chessable Masters and a faster format. Chess.com’s premier year-long event now consists of four main online tournaments, increasing the intensity leading up to the live season-ending Tour Finals.

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Faster and fitter

Press release by chess.com

The new Champions Chess Tour (CCT) season kicks off this month with the return of the Chessable Masters and a faster format designed to deliver even more exciting action. Chess.com’s premier year-long event now consists of four main online tournaments, increasing the intensity leading up to the live season-ending Tour Finals.

The overall winner will be crowned Tour Champion, the highest annual honor conferred by the world’s largest chess platform.

New for 2024, each regular season event has had its prize pool increased to $300,000 — the largest ever offered for CCT events outside the Tour Finals. The pool for the Tour Finals remains $500,000 making the total available on the Tour a cool $1.7 million. Also new for 2024, the time control for every stage will be 10+2.

Champions Chess Tour 2024

The first event, the fifth edition of the Chessable Masters, starts on January 31 and runs through February 7. All GMs are invited to enter, and you can expect all the top stars to be competing.

The CCT’s second event will be held on May 8 to 15, the third from July 17 to 24 and the fourth from September 25 to October 2. The end-of-season Tour Finals are set for December 14 to 21. Book them in your calendars!

Champions Chess Tour 2024

The CCT is now starting its fifth season since it started life as the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour in 2020 and its second since it joined the Chess.com community.

GM Magnus Carlsen, the world number-one, has dominated so far, winning the inaugural event bearing his name and all three series since it was renamed the CCT. In December, Carlsen defeated GM Wesley So 2½-1½ in Toronto to claim yet another CCT title. Will 2024 be the year he is stopped?

The Four $300,000 Events

The structure for the regular season events remains largely the same, retaining the exciting three-division format using double-elimination brackets that fans enjoyed in 2023.

All GMs are eligible to compete in the Play-In and there is a qualifying route for holders of other eligible titles, which are NM, CM, FM, IM, WCM, WFM, WIM, and WGM. Chess.com believes this CCT format creates an open, merit-based competition where every game matters.

Champions Chess Tour 2024

Each regular event will last eight days, with the winner of Division I taking home $30,000 and a spot in the Tour Finals.

Day 1 of the tournament is the Play-In, open to all GMs and winners of qualifying events. The Play-In consists of a nine-round Swiss with the top 69 moving on to Day 2 where the players plus four qualifiers from the previous event compete again to be placed in the tournament’s three divisions.

Days 3 to 8 see 56 players fight it out in the Knockout. Divisions I (eight players), II (16 players) and III (32 players) feature two or four-game matches using the 10+2 time control with bidding Armageddon tiebreaks if needed.

Qualification For The $500,000 Tour Finals

The four events of the main season lead towards Chess.com’s premier event: the live eight-player end-of-season Tour Finals.

Like last year, players will earn prize money and Tour points in the Knockout stages of events which contribute to an overall Tour leaderboard. The winners of each event automatically qualify for the Tour Finals, with the remaining spots taken from the leaderboard updated after the end of each stage.

Champions Chess Tour 2024

Three players have already pre-qualified for Division I from their performances in last year’s AI Cup: Division I winner GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, the runner-up Magnus Carlsen, and Division II winner GM Vladimir Fedoseev.

GM Hikaru Nakamura is the Chessable Masters defending champion, while the previous winners are GM Ding Liren (2022), So (2021) and Carlsen (2020).

The new season of the CCT promises to write the chess headlines in 2024. Make sure you’re watching when it begins on January 31.


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