Isle of Man International 2019
Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:18 pm
Details of the main tournament has been published. Entries for the Major & Minor are now open.
Douglas, Isle of Man, 4 June 2019 — The ‘FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss’ will be held in the Isle of Man from 10 to 21 October, and is expected to be the strongest Swiss-system tournament in the history of chess. The prize fund will be US$432,500, with a first prize of $70,000.
The tournament is part of the 2020 FIDE World Championship cycle, with the winner qualifying for the Candidates’ Tournament which will produce a challenger to Magnus Carlsen in the next FIDE World Championship Match.
The starting field of 160 players will feature 120 FIDE qualifiers, with the world’s top-100 players invited based on their average rating over a 12-month period. The other 40 participants will be chosen as “wildcards” allocated by the tournament director, Alan Ormsby, including four spots allocated to Chess.com online qualifiers.
“After five years of hosting the Isle of Man International, we are delighted to be working with FIDE to incorporate our 2019 event into the World Championship cycle, made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Scheinberg family” said Alan Ormsby. “l am using the 40 wildcards wisely, ensuring that we have the diversity that the Isle of Man International is associated with, including places for a number of world-class female players and juniors. I’m also pleased to give some local players the opportunity to play in such a prestigious event, ensuring that the Isle of Man is represented.”
"Swiss tournaments are one of the most attractive formats to compete in our sport: they produce very interesting clashes, allowing rising stars or not-so-strong players to cross swords with members of the chess elite. This democratic approach has many supporters, and it was a pending matter for FIDE to have a massive Swiss Open among our official competitions. The association with the Isle of Man organizers was a natural move, given their experience and the calibre that their tournament has reached. And making it part of the race for the World Championship title will add even more interest to an already fascinating event”, said FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich.
The FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss will be held over 11 rounds between 10 and 21 October, with a rest day on the 16th. It will be held at the Comis Hotel and Golf Resort, one of the island’s leading hotels, based 7km outside Douglas. It is expected that around 35 countries will be represented.
"We're ecstatic that our titled users will have the opportunity to qualify for an event as prestigious as the FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss" said Daniel Rensch, chief chess officer of Chess.com. "We believe in the power of online chess in producing strong players who have built their chess foundation through technology and we're excited to see Chess.com's qualifying players participate against a field featuring many of the top players in the world."
The official opening ceremony on 9 October will welcome a number of dignitaries, including Howard Quayle MHK, Chief Minister of the Isle of Man. “I am honoured to have been invited to attend the opening and closing ceremonies of this prestigious Chess Tournament” said Mr Quayle. “It is a real honour that the world of chess will be celebrated here on the Isle of Man, and I am delighted to welcome all the passionate chess players to the Island in October.”