World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen will take on seven rivals in the Oslo Esports Cup, the first time the $1.6 million Meltwater Champions Chess Tour has featured all players competing from the same venue. The $210,000 event, which starts on Friday the 22nd of April, includes World Cup winner Jan-Krzysztof Duda, who pushed Magnus to tiebreaks in the Charity Cup, and 16-year-old Indian prodigy Praggnanandhaa, who gets one of four wildcards to the first of three Majors on the $1.6 million Tour.
The event will run from Friday the 22nd of April to Thursday the 28th of April, with no rest days.
Magnus Carlsen tops the line-up in Oslo. The World Champion got off to a flying start on the 2022 Meltwater Champions Chess Tour and, after winning both the Airthings Masters and the Charity Cup, leads with $63,500 in prize money over 2nd placed Jan-Krzysztof Duda on $25,000. Duda got an automatic place in the Oslo Esports Cup after finishing runner-up in the Charity Cup, where he hit back to take Magnus to tiebreaks on the final day.
Vietnam’s Liem Quang Le (a quarter-finalist in the Airthings Masters and semi-finalist in the Charity Cup) and Canada’s Eric Hansen (a quarter-finalist in the Airthings Masters) both made the cut for their performance on the tour so far, and are joined by four wild cards:
- Dutch no. 1 and World no. 8 Anish Giri, the winner of last year’s Magnus Carlsen Invitational,
- Azerbaijan no. 1, World no. 10 and Berlin Grand Prix semi-finalist Shakhriyar Mamedyarov,
- 2021 Tata Steel Masters winner and Dutch no. 2 Jorden van Foreest,
- And last but not least, 16-year-old Indian prodigy Praggnanandhaa. Pragg beat Magnus Carlsen in the Airthings Masters and will play in Oslo fresh from a memorable triumph in the Reykjavik Open.
The Oslo Esports Cup will be similar to last year’s Tour final, where Magnus Carlsen, Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Anish Giri all played from the Oslo studio, except this time all eight players will be in the same venue while still competing in the chess24 Playzone.
The tournament is the first of three Majors on the 2022 Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, with the two Regular events in each cycle serving as qualifiers to the Majors.
The Oslo Esports Cup is an 8-player tournament where the players face off against each of their rivals over seven rounds. Each match features four rapid games at a 15 minute + 10-second increment per move time control. If tied 2:2, the players play two 5+3 blitz games. If still tied they play a single Armageddon game, where White has 5 minutes to Black’s 4, but Black only needs a draw to clinch the match.
The tournament will be streamed on chess24 from 18:00 CEST (12:00 ET, 21:30 IST) on Friday the 22nd of April.