Freestyle G.O.A.T. Challenge: An innovative, luxurious approach

by ChessBase
2/8/2024 – A new super-tournament is about to start at the Weissenhaus Luxury Resort in Germany. The Freestyle Chess G.O.A.T. Challenge is an 8-player, innovative event featuring, among others, world number one Magnus Carlsen and world champion Ding Liren. A single round-robin with a rapid time control will be followed by a knockout tournament with a classical time control. The event will take place on February 9-16. | More info here!

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Appealing and intellectually stimulating

Tournament information published on the official website

Magnus Carlsen, the World Chess Champion from 2013 to 2023, introduced a unique competition format specifically for the WEISSENHAUS Freestyle Chess G.O.A.T. Challenge.

In this context, “G.O.A.T.” in chess refers to a player who achieved the historically highest peak ELO rating, exemplified by Magnus Carlsen’s rating of 2882.

The objective is to elevate chess into an appealing, intellectually stimulating, and captivating sport for a broader audience, targeting a new demographic of spectators and consumers. The event is hosted at the prestigious WEISSENHAUS Private Nature Luxury Resort, known for hosting the G7 Foreign Minister summit in 2022.

The primary focus is on showcasing the personalities and extraordinary skills of Super Grandmasters, with Magnus Carlsen himself handpicking seven world-class challengers. This innovative approach aims to attract a younger audience of high-potential individuals who have a general interest in sports, catering to enthusiasts from around the globe.

Spectator friendly rules

A single round-robin with a rapid time control will be followed by a knockout with classical time control. The rapid event determines the pairings for the knockout.

Time controls

  • Round-robin: 25 min for the game + 10 seconds per move
  • Tiebreaks: direct encounter, number of wins, Sonneborn-Berger
  • Quarter-, semi- and finals: 2 games with a standard time control of 90 min/40 moves + 30 minutes for the rest of the game additional + 30 seconds per move

In case of a tie in the knockout (to take place in the evening after game 2)

  • Two rapid games: 15 min for the game + 10 sec per move
  • Two blitz games: 5 min for the game + 2 sec per move
  • Single blitz games until a winner is found


  • February 9-10: single round-robin with a rapid time control
  • February 11-12: quarter-finals
  • February 13-14: semi-finals
  • February 15-16: finals


Name Country B-Year Elo Rating
Magnus Carlsen Norway 1990 2830
Fabiano Caruana United States 1992 2804
Ding Liren China 1992 2762
Alireza Firouzja France 2003 2760
Nodirbek Abdusattorov Uzbekistan 2004 2744
Dommaraju Gukesh India 2006 2743
Vincent Keymer Germany 2004 2738
Levon Aronian United States 1982 2725

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