‘I am always looking forward to learn new things in my life.’
How simple yet subtle these words from one of the Indian cricket champions sound to be! Despite the hopelessness and despondency that might be prevailing in one’s life, always striving to look and then move forward is truly an art which not everyone is able to master. Chess players on the other hand, own the quality of visualizing two steps ahead and plan their moves accordingly. Keeping in mind this mindset of the chess champions, we have brought for you some major chess events of the year 2021. The sole aim is to get the chess fans acquainted with them so that they can plan out their engagements accordingly and do not have to miss out on what keeps them glued.
The flamboyant OTB tournament of the 83rd edition of Tata Steel Chess marked the beginning of the year 2021 with full enthusiasm. This event took place in the month of January. The next month, i.e. February witnessed the Champions Chess Tour: Opera Euro Rapid. This particular event was held from 6th-14th February, 2021 on the popular platform ‘Chess24.’ This was the third event that took place in continuation with its two prequels that were held earlier in the year 2020. Commenced from 6th February, Opera Euro Rapid was the next stride by the Champions Chess Tour. The initial two tournaments attained the rating of being the maximum watched events in the history of chess. The third tournament in the series amounted to a prize pot of $100,000.
Apart from this, the tournament had sixteen of the top-ranking chess players with the world’s reigning champion, Magnus Carlsen at the lead. Opera was the Official Browser Partner and the title partner for the tour. The top eight players who qualified in the event qualified to participate in the 2nd major which was held later in March, 2021.
The aforementioned event was closely followed by the World Corporate Chess Championship which was held from 19th-21st February, 2021 on the prominent chess playing website, ‘chess.com.’ In this event, leading global corporations took part with their representatives and some of them included from even Fortune 500 companies.
The month of March brought with it the second Major of the 4th event of the Champions Chess Tour. It lasted from 13th-21st March, 2021, involved twelve players and a fund of $100,000. Who knew that March would have something more in the store for the admirers! The second half, i.e. rounds 8-14 of the FIDE Candidates Tournament was organized in the latter half of March in Yekaterinburg, Russia/Tbilisi, and Georgia. This event has a separate fan base altogether because the next World Chess Champion was going to be chosen on its basis.
Much to the elations of the fans of chess, some of the major and impressive events have been scheduled to take place in the current year. In the month of April, Women’s World Cup will take place in Minsk, Belarus. By participating in this tournament, sixty four female contestants will compete so as to get an entry into the FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament. This will occur in the first half of the year 2021. On top of this, the third regular of the Champions Chess Tour will also happen from 24th April to 2nd May, 2021. This sixth leg of the online chess tour would be having sixteen players.
The Reykjavik Open under the European Individual Championship was unfortunately cancelled in the year 2020 due to the pandemic. Even this year too, it is yet uncertain to happen but it is a qualifier for the world cup and if it gets cancelled this year, it will be serving as a qualifier for the 2023 world cup. The third major of the Champions Chess Tour will occur from 23rd-31st May, 2021 on the ‘Chess24’ platform. This will be the final major of the tournament. Further, from 31st May to 13th June, the European Women’s Chess Championship will be organized in Mamaia, Romania. This 11-round championship is going to serve as the qualifier for the Women’s World Cup.
The month of June will kick-start with Superbet Chess Classic from 3rd to 15th June in Bucharest, Romania. In this big shot event, some of the top Grand Masters will participate. With the several variants of chess being a widely popular choice, the Grand Chess Tour is going to extend itself to rapid and blitz tournament. It will be held in Paris, France around mid of June from the dates 16th to 23rd. The month of June is anticipates to end with 4th Regular of the Champions Chess Tour.
Another part of the Grand Chess Tour 2021 includes one more series of rapid and blitz tournaments that will be held in Croatia for a week from 5th to 12th July, 2021. Then, the most awaited event, the FIDE World Cup is scheduled from 10th July, 2021. It will be a 206-player knockout tournament. Parallel to this, a women’s world cup is also planned.
The month of August will begin with the ninth leg of the Champions Chess Tour’s fifth regular and will conclude with the sixth regular under the same tournament. The month will hold two other parts of the Grand Chess Tour namely Saint Louis rapid and blitz and Sinquefield cup.
The Champions chess Tour is expected to attain its final conclusion in the month of September with its final being scheduled from 25th September to 3rd October, 2021. The prize fund for this final event is $300,000. Owing to the craze for this particular event, there are no other chess events scheduled to be held in this month.
FIDE Grand Swiss is one of the qualifying cycles for the World Championship 2021 and will be taking place in October from 25th onwards. It was inaugurated in the year 2019 and this is going to be the second time that it is going to be organized. The alluring fact about this event is that it will be the most expensive event in the history of Switzerland.
One month and two grand events! Yes! November will witness the closure of the FIDE Grand Swiss as well as the FIDE World Chess Championship the latter of which will be taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The World Champion Magnus Carlsen will be competing with the winner of the 2020-21 held Candidates Tournament for a prize fun of $2 Million.
All in all, the year 2021 seems very promising for the players as well as the admirers of chess. We wish you happy engagement celebrating the game of wits!