The World Chess Federation has accepted a bid by the Isle of Man to host the 114-player FIDE Grand Swiss on the Isle of Man from October 25 to November 8, 2021. The event will now select two Candidates, one more than in 2019, though if it goes ahead as scheduled it’s likely to finish before the previous cycle is complete, with Magnus Carlsen’s next World Championship match also pencilled in for late 2021. The Grand Swiss will now be joined by an inaugural 50-player FIDE Women’s Grand Swiss, with a combined prize fund of $550,000.

When the bidding procedure for the FIDE Grand Swiss and Women’s Grand Swiss events was announced on October 22nd, eyebrows were raised that only two weeks were being given to submit bids for such expensive events. From today’s FIDE announcement it’s unclear if anyone else bid, but the Grand Swiss is returning to the Isle of Man, where it was held in 2019. Back then it was a 154-player open tournament that selected a single player for the 2020 Candidates Tournament.

As you can see, Wang Hao was the surprise winner, while in fact Kirill Alekseenko also made it to the Candidates since his result on the Isle of Man made it possible for the Russian Chess Federation to select him as a wild card.

In 2021 the 11-round open will be limited to 114 participants, with the world’s Top 100 invited by rating, followed by 9 FIDE nominees and 5 organiser wildcards. It’s not confirmed in the FIDE press release whether the organisers will again be Chess.com and the Scheinberg family, as in 2019, though billionaire Poker Stars founder Isai Scheinberg is a free man again after being given only a token $30k fine and “time served” (house arrest after surrendering to US authorities in January) when the Black Friday case dating from 2011 finally ended in September.

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Mar 01, 2021

13-year-old Marc from Barcelona scores GM norm

It’s been a tough year for chess prodigies, but 13-year-old Corsican Marc’Andria Maurizzi is one good result away from the grandmaster title after finishing unbeaten on 6.5/9 in the Barcelona GM Tournament held from 16-24 February. That saw him take 2nd place behind 2016 French Champion Matthieu Cornette, who was also unbeaten on 7/9. French FM Joachim Iglesias reports on the event, highlighting some of the best combinations involving French players. Test yourself if you can find them!

Matthieu Cornette and Marc’Andria Maurizzi dominated the field in Barcelona, finishing as the only unbeaten players, a full 1.5 points clear of the tie for 3rd place. You can click on any result in the table below to go to the game, or hover over a player’s name to see all their results.

Marc’An has therefore scored his 2nd grandmaster norm at the age of just 13 and looks well on course to become the youngest French grandmaster of all time, despite the time lost to the pandemic.

The youngest French GMs ever are currently:

1. Etienne Bacrot, 14 years, 2 months (in 1997)
2. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, 14 years, 4 months (in 2004)
3. Joël Lautier, 16 years, 10 months (in 1990)

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Sep 29, 2020

Magnus Carlsen vs. Wesley So, the grand final of the chess24 Banter Series

“Oh boy, this is gonna be a rough day!” said Magnus Carlsen after blundering into mate to fall 0:2 behind against Levon Aronian in their chess24 Banter Series semi-final, but a brilliant 3rd game set the stage for a comeback. Magnus went on to score 5.5 from the last 6 games to set up a final against Wesley So, who had earlier cruised to a powerful victory over Liem Quang Le. Wesley won three games before Le hit back, but although the Vietnamese star lost 6:3 he’s already earned a place in the next Chess Tour as the best performing qualifier.

The final of the chess24 Banter Series, between Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So, will take place at 20:00 CEST on Tuesday 29th September, with a $12,000 top prize at stake.

Magnus Carlsen vs. Wesley So, the grand final of the chess24 Banter Series, has now been scheduled for Tuesday at 20:00 CEST. There’s pride and a $12,000 top prize ($6,000 for the runner-up) at stake, and you don’t want to miss this. Tune in live here on chess24 for commentary by both the players and other commentators, in multiples languages!

See also:

  • chess24 Banter Series hompage
  • All the chess24 Banter Series games with computer analysis
  • Carlsen and co. in Banter Series Finals action
  • Carlsen vs. Giri in the Banter Series Quarterfinals
  • Carlsen-Aronian and So-Le in the semi-finals
Oct 08, 2020

Magnus Carlsen won Banter Series after starting 1.f3, 2.Kf2

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen won after starting 1.f3, 2.Kf2 – the notoriously bad “Bongcloud” opening – on his way to beating Wesley So 5.5:3.5 to claim the $12,000 top prize in the chess24 Banter Series. Wesley struggled to get over losing that game and was still lamenting “that’s just so humiliating” two games later. He struck some blows of his own, though, and pushed Magnus all the way until a relieved World Champion summed up, “what a battle!” at the end.
And of course don’t miss the final from the point of view of both of the players. Here’s Magnus:

Magnus faces Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Alireza Firouzja and Aryan Tari in a double round-robin, with Vladimir Kramnik and Judit Polgar commentating on the official chess24 stream!

See also:

  • chess24 Banter Series hompage
  • All the chess24 Banter Series games with computer analysis
  • Carlsen and co. in Banter Series Finals action
  • Carlsen vs. Giri in the Banter Series Quarterfinals
  • Carlsen-Aronian and So-Le in the semi-finals
  • It’s Carlsen-So in the Banter Series Final