FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Chess.com Announces FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Championship
Oslo, April 20, 2019—The World Fischer Random Chess Championship is now officially recognized by FIDE and will start on Chess.com.
This historic event will feature an online qualifying phase on Chess.com, beginning April 28, and is open to all players. The finals will be held in Norway this fall, with a prize fund of $375,000 USD.
The International Chess Federation (FIDE) has granted the rights to host the inaugural FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Championship cycle to Dund AS, in partnership with Chess.com. And, for the first time in history, a chess world championship cycle will combine an online, open qualifier and worldwide participation with physical finals.
“With FIDE’s support for Fischer Random Chess, we are happy to invite you to join the quest to become the first-ever FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Champion” said Arne Horvei, founding partner in Dund AS. “Anyone can participate online, and we are excited to see if there are any diamonds in the rough out there that could excel in this format of chess,” he said.
"It is an unprecedented move that the International Chess Federation recognizes a new variety of chess, so this was a decision that required to be carefully thought out,” said FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich, who recently visited Oslo to discuss this agreement. “But we believe that Fischer Random is a positive innovation: It injects new energies an enthusiasm into our game, but at the same time it doesn't mean a rupture with our classical chess and its tradition. It is probably for this reason that Fischer Random chess has won the favor of the chess community, including the top players and the world champion himself. FIDE couldn't be oblivious to that: It was time to embrace and incorporate this modality of chess."
The 2019 FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Championship features chess superstars such as World Champion Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, and Fabiano Caruana. Wesley So, Alexander Grischuk, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Peter Svidler are also confirmed to play. This historic event will feature a qualifying phase open to all players beginning April 28. Players can enter at www.FRChess.com, and the qualifying rounds will be hosted by Chess.com.
"We are thrilled to be the organizing partner for the 2019 FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Championship," said Daniel Rensch, chief chess officer of Chess.com. "We're excited to be teaming up with Dund AS to provide an accessible path to stardom for players around the world!"
About Dund AS:
Dund AS organized the 2018 unofficial Fischer Random (FR) world title match between classical chess champion Magnus Carlsen and recognized Fischer Random ace Hikaru Nakamura, who won the final Mainz tournament in the discipline in 2009. The enormous interest generated by the event, which stole nearly two million Norwegian television viewers away from the national obsession of the Winter Olympics, showed that the world was ready for more FR chess.
Chess.com is the world’s largest chess site, with a community of more than 27 million members from around the world playing millions of games every day. Launched in 2009, Chess.com is the leader in chess news, lessons, events and live entertainment. Visit Chess.com to play, learn and connect with chess—the world’s most popular game.
The Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) is the governing body of international chess competition. Founded in 1924, it was one of the first institutions of its kind and it is now one of the largest, with a total of 190 affiliated national chess federations.
Founding Partner Arne Horvei
Chief Communications Officer David Llada
Director of Esports Nick Barton