The World Champion Chess Grandmaster, Magnus Carlsen, is looking to tap into the rapidly growing Indian digital chess market by setting up the Indian Open Chess Tournament which probably will be held in the mid-2021. The prize money for the tournament is expected to be around $200,000.
According to a report in ESPN, the event is yet to sign an official sponsor. Carlsen though, is looking to turn the Indian Open into an annual event. It is anticipated to be hosted in Chess24 – the online platform acquired by Carlsen’s company, Play Magnus AS. Chess24 is expected to collaborate with Chessbase India for further penetration into the Indian market. The tournament will be streamed live in Chessbase India’s YouTube channel in both, Hindi and English, apart from EuroSport and Discovery Plus OTT platform.
The Indian Open is reported to be a ‘major’ in the Champions Chess Tour 2021 hosted by the Play Magnus AS group. The Champions Chess Tour is a ten tournament event with six regular tournaments, three major tournaments and the final. The winner of regular tournament will qualify for the major and the winner of the major will play in the final of Champions Chess Tour in September 2021.
The Skilling Open which started on 22nd November, Sunday is the first event of the Champions Chess. It features some top starts including the likes of Magnus himself, the Dutch GM Anish Giri, the prodigy GM Alireza Firouzja, the Chinese GM Ding Liren and the American GM Hikaru Nakamura. World number 24, GM Vidit Gujarati is the only Indian to feature in first event.
The first day of the Skilling Open ended with Anish Giri as a sole leader with 4 points out of 5, thanks to a mouse slip from Magnus Carlsen. Vidit though, had a tough day in the office ending the first day at 15thposition out of 16 with three draws and two defeats in five games.