Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So and Fabiano Caruana have already qualified for Division I of the Chessable Masters, the 2nd event on the $2 million 2023 Champions Chess Tour. Today we’ll find out the four players who’ll join them, as well as the 16 playing in Division II and 32 in Division III. The Play-In qualifier is open to all grandmasters.
The Chessable Masters runs April 3-7, but we’ll find out today, March 13th from 16:00 CET (11am ET, 20:30 IST), which 56 players will feature in the event. The format is the same as for the Airthings Masters, with a 9-round 10+2 Swiss tournament on Chess.com open to all grandmasters (and some other titled players from the weekly qualifiers).
Registration opens one hour before the event begins, and you can follow it below.
The top 72 players in the Swiss will them play a mini-match — two 10+2 games followed, if needed, by Armageddon, to decide where they play in the Chessable Masters.
This time there are just four places up for grabs in Division I, since Magnus Carlsen (1st in Division I), Hikaru Nakamura (2nd), Wesley So (3rd) and Fabiano Caruana (1st in Division II) are already qualified.
The way places are allocated is as follows:
The Top 8 in the Swiss will play for one of the remaining four places in Division I, with the players finishing 1-4 getting to pick, in order, who they want to face from the players who finished 5-8. That memorably saw 16-year-old 1st place Gukesh choose 14th World Champion Vladimir Kramnik for the match-play of the Airthings Masters — a choice he justified by beating Vlad three times on the same day!
The four losers of those matches for Division I qualify for Division II, which means there are 12 more places up for grabs. Those are decided by 12 matches between the players who finished 9-20 and 21-32.
The 12 losers of those matches qualify for Division III, so that 20 more places are up for grabs in Division III. That means 20 matches where the players finishing 33-52 and 53-72 will face each other. The winners of those matches qualify for Division III, the losers miss out.
One complicating factor for the Play-In is that the final round of the European Championship, featuring 126 grandmasters, starts just one hour earlier. That may leave a dilemma for the likes of Alexey Sarana, who qualified for Division I of the Airthings Masters after beating Fabiano Caruana in a match, and then went on to knock out Alireza Firouzja.
He’s currently leading the European Championship on 8/10 alongside Kirill Shevchenko.
A quick draw would guarantee at least a share of 1st place (€20,000 Euro, €15,000 for 2nd) and give time to play the Chessable Masters Play-In. Sarana, however, has scored 5/5 so far with the white pieces, and might fancy his chances of taking clear 1st place. Another complicating factor is that the regulations say that players who miss the Closing Ceremony will be docked 20% of their winnings.
Tune into all the Chessable Masters Play-In games from 16:00 CET (11am ET, 20:30 IST)!