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2021 World Chess Tournament

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The FIDE World Chess Championship between GM Magnus Carlsen and the winner of the FIDE Candidates Tournament will be held November 24-December 16, 2021 alongside the Dubai World Expo. Chess.com will be an official broadcast partner. The new dates for the match were announced today by FIDE.

The world championship will be played over 14 classical games for a 2 million euros prize fund, with 60 percent going to the winner and 40 percent to the runner-up. It was originally scheduled to start December 20, 2020, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The location did not change. The match will still take place at the state-of-the-art Dubai Exhibition Centre, located just 300 meters from the heart of the world-class Expo 2020 site. The World Expo was also postponed due to the pandemic and will now take place from October 1, 2021, until March 31, 2022.

The confirmation of location, new dates, and prize fund comes two months after Chess.com became the first company to acquire the rights to broadcast the match. This groundbreaking agreement between FIDE and Chess.com, the leading chess broadcaster, will bring the world chess championship to a wider audience than ever before.

Chess.com will broadcast its official coverage across multiple platforms in the world’s most popular languages, featuring commentary from some of the biggest names in chess and entertainment.

The opponent for Carlsen in the match will be the winner of the 2020 FIDE Candidates Tournament, of which the second half was also postponed and which is currently scheduled to take place in Yekaterinburg, Russia, in the second half of April 2021. Chess.com also acquired broadcast rights for this event.

FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020-2021
The playing hall in Yekaterinburg during the first half of the FIDE Candidates Tournament in March 2020. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

The world championship will also include a series of side events in Dubai, including exhibition matches and appearances by former champions and celebrity fans. Commenting on today’s announcement, Mohamed Al Ansaari, Vice President of Communications at Expo 2020, said:

“Expo 2020 Dubai will be a global celebration of the very best of humankind, held in one of the world’s most welcoming and ambitious nations—what better place to host a thrilling showdown between the brightest minds in chess?

“Just as chess unites people of all ages and backgrounds from across the world, and encourages strategic thinking and problem solving, Expo 2020 will also bring the world together to build bridges and inspire solutions to some of the most pressing shared challenges of our time. The FIDE World Chess Championship will be an exciting highlight of Expo’s events calendar, enjoyed by millions of physical and virtual visitors worldwide.”

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich said: “The World Championship Match is an outstanding event, and we are proud to team up with Expo to create a breath-taking experience not only for the hardcore chess fans but also for the wider audience. Ever since the first international tournament, held in London in 1851 as a part of the Great Exhibition, chess is strongly connected to the events epitomizing human’s mind progress and strive for excellence.

“This year’s match will be exceptional in many ways, and I believe it is going to be an event to remember for the years to come. Chess, a game with hundreds of years of history but still enigmatic, is going to manifest its beauty in this competition of two best chess minds, and thanks to the cooperation between Expo and FIDE we shall see the entire chess world following this battle.”