Airthings Masters unfolds

LET’S PLAY CHESS - Edgar De Castro (The Philippine Star) - December 27, 2020 - 12:00am

The Airthings Masters, the second leg of the $1.5 million Online Champions Chess Tour, is underway with 12 of the world’s elite players competing.

Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen, the top seed, will be seeking to win the top prize and will be determined to bounce back after a shocking loss to US champion Wesley So last month at the Skilling Open finals, the tour’s first leg.

So, American speed chess champion Hikaru Nakamura and Frenchman world No. 5 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave will provide stiff competition.

Other big names poised to be in the hunt for top honors are Russian champion Ian Nepomniachtchi, world No. 6 Levon Aronian of Armenia and Russian world No. 7 Alexander Grischuk.

Rounding out the top 12 are Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan, Dutchman Anish Giri, Russian Daniil Dubov, Pentala Harikrishna of India and Spanish champion David Anton Guijarro.

Format calls for a single-round robin preliminary to be followed by an eight-player knockout match play. Time control is 15 minutes plus 10 seconds increment.

The $200,000 online event will run up to Jan. 3, 2021 and can be followed live with commentaries at the various websites.

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