With the 2022 Tour just around the corner, we’ve taken a look at why the event is breaking new ground in chess.

We’ve enjoyed many hours of fun and frolics on the show with Kaja, David and Jovanka and there’ll be plenty more to come. David Howell has been skiing, ice-dipping and taken the chilli challenge. What will come next?

The Tour is breaking new ground with every event it holds. Elite online chess didn’t exist in this way before the Tour. This is the first truly competitive series of top level online chess events and, at $1.6 million, the 2021 season had the richest prize pot ever offered for an event outside the World Championship. The Tour also offered the first bitcoin prize in chess at the FTX Crypto Cup and the first NFT chess trophy at the end-of-season Finals. IF that’s not enough, the Tour is giving fresh new talent a chance to shine, with debuts on the world stage for exciting young players like Praggnanandhaa and Abhimanyu Mishra. What we are witnessing is cutting-edge: history being made with every event.

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Who can forget the Double Bongcloud, Nepo getting attacked by mosquitoes or David Howell losing a bet and having to dress up as one of the Teletubbies? Chess can be dry and serious to watch – but not on the Tour.

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We’ve had rivalries galore in the first season of the Tour with Carlsen being involved in most of them! He’s got on-going beef with Nakamura and Giri, and then there’s the very amicable but very, very competitive rivalry with Wesley So. The American, of course, ruined his 30th birthday!

The rapid format, devised by Magnus Carlsen himself, produces fast and furious games but there’s enough time to put some serious thought in too. As a result, the games haven’t just been full of drama, they’ve also been very interesting for the chess aficionados. We’ve seen new moves and novelties, exciting openings plus plenty of instructional endgames. Then there’s David Howell’s Grandmaster insights. If you want to improve your game, there’s no better place to get inspiration!

While cheating may have affected other online events, the Tour has taken robust steps to make sure that does not happen at the top level. Even in their homes, the players are watched at all times by multiple webcams and have to share their screens. In the Finals, the players had to have an arbiter in the room with them! For more information on this, check out the Tour Regulations.

The 2021 Tour was a blast, but the 2022 Tour will be bigger and better. The Tour has signed deals with big name sponsors like Mastercard to ensure its future and will receive coverage from networks like Norwegian station TV 2. The Tour is now a fixture in the chess calendar and is here to stay. This is the future of chess.

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