Legends of Chess with star-studded lineup

by André Schulz
7/21/2020 – The fourth tournament of the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour kicks off on July 21. As the name indicates, the “Legends of Chess” online event will include six illustrious players from the previous generation — Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, Vassily Ivanchuk, Boris Gelfand, Peter Leko and Peter Svidler. The legends will be joined by Magnus Carlsen, Ding Liren, Anish Giri and Ian Nepomniachtchi. Not to be missed!

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


Six legends enter the online arena

Ten players will compete in the “Legends of Chess” tournament. Four of them qualified by reaching the semifinals of the Chessable Masters — Magnus Carlsen, Ding Liren, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Anish Giri — and the remaining six were invited to participate — Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, Boris Gelfand, Peter Leko, Peter Svidler and Vassily Ivanchuk, all world champions, runners-up for the title or absolute top players at some point in time.

Five of these six players are still active, while Kramnik has retired from classical chess.

Vladimir Kramnik, Peter LekoAt 40, Peter Leko is the youngest of the legends, while Boris Gelfand is the oldest at 52. Both players have fought for the World Championship title before, but were defeated by Vladimir Kramnik (Leko, 2004) and Viswanthan Anand (Gelfand, 2012) respectively. Currently, both of them are passing on their knowledge as trainers for the German team, directly or indirectly. Leko is Vincent Keymer’s coach while Gelfand gives training lessons to the German squad

[Pictured: Kramnik and Leko at the 2004 World Championship match.]

The “chess24 Legends of Chess” online tournament kicks off with a preliminary round, a single round-robin of rapid chess played over nine days. Each matchup consists of four games with a time control of 15 minutes plus increments of 10 seconds. If the final score is 2:2, the winner is decided in Armageddon (White has an extra minute but is obliged to win).  A victory, without Armageddon, grants three points, while winning in Armageddon grants two points to the winner and one point to the loser.

The four top scorers of the preliminaries qualify for the knockout round. In the semifinals and final, the same format will be in place, except that instead of going immediately to Armageddon in case of a tie, a pair of blitz games will be the first tiebreaker.


  • Preliminary rounds: 10-player single round robin
    • Four-game matches of rapid chess (15'+10")
    • In case of a tie, Armageddon (White gets 5 minutes, Black gets 4 minutes and draw odds)
    • A win without Armageddon gives 3 points
    • In case of reaching Armageddon, winner gets 2 points and loser gets 1 point
  • Final 4: Knockout format with four top scorers from the prelims
    • Played to the best of 3 sets
    • Each set: Four-game matches of rapid chess (15'+10")
    • In case of a tie, 2 blitz games follow (5'+3") and then Armageddon


The action starts at 16:00 CEST both in the prelims and the knockout.

Date Round
July 21 Prelims Round 1
July 22 Prelims Round 2
July 23 Prelims Round 3
July 24 Prelims Round 4
July 25 Prelims Round 5
July 26 Prelims Round 6
July 27 Prelims Round 7
July 28 Prelims Round 8
July 29 Prelims Round 9
July 30 Rest day
July 31 Semifinals Set 1
August 1 Semifinals Set 2
August 2 Semifinals Set 3
August 3 Final Set 1
August 4 Final Set 2
August 5 Final Set 3


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register