Harikrishna will star in the Champions Chess Tour Airthings Masters
Pentala Harikrishna played a pivotal role in Team India's historic Gold medal victory in FIDE Online Olympiad 2020 few months ago. He had a fantastic performance in Biel Masters and he also beat the World Champion in Saint Louis Blitz. The first Major of the 2020-21 Champions Chess Tour is the Airthings Masters with a prize fund of US$ 200,000. Former World Rapid Champion Dubov and Harikrishna are the wild card entrants of the tournament. Skilling Open winner Wesley So will be back in action along with Carlsen, Nakamura, Aronian, Nepomniachtchi, Grischuk, Giri, Radjabov and Anton. Grischuk and Anton won the public vote to join this event. We have a great reason to rejoice as we are the official broadcast partners where Sagar Shah will do live commentary along with Amruta Mokal and IM Soumya Swaminathan. Photo: Niklesh Jain
Wild Card entrants - Dubov and Harikrishna
India no.2 and currently World no. 22 GM Pentala Harikrishna will be seen in action starting tomorrow in the first in the first Major of the Champions Chess Tour - Airthings Masters which will take place online from 26th December to 3rd January 2021. The tournament will have a total Prize fund of US$ 200,000 which is the double of the first event Skilling Open. The winner of Airthings Masters will earn $60,000.
Pairings and Schedule
The Airthings Masters starts on Boxing Day, Saturday December 26th and will conclude on Sunday January 3rd. Once again there’s a 3-day preliminary round-robin stage of rapid chess (15+10), before the top 8 players advance to the knockout stage. The knockout stage is exactly like the Skilling Open where each match is played over two days, with four rapid games each day. If the match score is tied 1-1 after the second day, the players will then play two 5+3 blitz games followed by, if needed - Armageddon.
All games will start from 7:30 p.m. IST between 26th December 2020 and 3rd January 2021.
Airthings Masters Participants
The lineup includes the eight players who qualified as the top eight from the first event of Champions Chess Tour, Skilling Open. Wesley So won that event after beating the World Champion Magnus Carlsen in the Finals. Those eight players are joined by Spanish Champion David Anton Guijarro. He was voted back into the Airthings Masters despite finishing outside of the top eight qualifying places. Along with him the 3-time World Blitz Champion Alexander Grischuk, who won the second public vote among the chess24 premium members. They are also joined by two wild cards, former World Rapid champion Daniil Dubov, who was the only player other than Carlsen to win an event - Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge on the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour and India’s Pentala Harikrishna, who was instrumental in Team India's historic FIDE Online Olympiad Gold and also beat Carlsen in just over three months ago.
Tour standings and Prizes
The prize fund for the first Major on the Champions Chess Tour is $200,000, double that for Regular events like the Skilling Open, with the top prize rising to $60,000. One difference this time is that there will also be a match for 3rd place, to run in parallel with the final.
The winner is guaranteed a place in the Champions Chess Tour Finals next September, while the top 8 players in the overall tour standings after the Airthings Masters will automatically be invited back to the next 16-player Regular event on the tour in February 2021.
• Rapid - 15 minutes per game + 10-second increment.
• Blitz - 5 minutes per game + 3-second increment.
• Armageddon - White has 5 minutes to Black’s 4, with no increments. If the game is drawn Black wins the match.
Official broadcast partners
ChessBase India is the official broadcast partners as Sagar Shah along with Amruta Mokal will be the hosts of the show each day. The LIVE Commentary will take place each day on ChessBase India's YouTube Channel. They will be joined by Chess24 India's IM Soumya Swaminathan.
What are the participants up to lately?
Let's take a look at what the participants have tweeted about their excitement for the event.
Follow Harikrishna on twitter
Champions Chess Tour official site