The 2nd edition of the $ 12,800 Katara International Chess Tournament 2021 (Online Bullet Tournament) got off to a brilliant start with the qualifying rounds on Sunday in different time zones around the world.
The event is open worldwide and is being carried out by the Qatar Chess Federation (QCF) in cooperation with the Cultural Village Foundation – Katara from June 20th to 23rd.
There were a whopping 5,143 entrants in the qualifying phase, including some of the world’s best and emerging stars. The list includes 110 Grand Masters and 223 International Masters.
In addition to the seven-time world champion Magnus Carlsen from Norway, who is also the defending champion and world number one (FIDE rating 2847), there are several Russian top stars, namely world number 7 Alexander Grischuk (rating 2776), Russia’s number 4 Dmitry Andreikin (2724) , Russia’s number 7 Daniil Dubov (2714), Russia’s number 10 Vladislav Artemiev (2704) and number 12 Vladimir Fedosaeev (2696).
Azerbaijan ace and number 5 in the world, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2770), who won the Superbet Chess Classic 2021 a few days ago, is also taking part. The other top players from Azerbaijan are Nidjat Mamedov (2609) and Eltaj Safarli (2598).
From the USA, the list includes new generation stars like Jeffery Xiong (2709), Ray Robson (2673) and Samuel Sevian (2660), all of whom are in the top ten in the USA.
Other notable players in the fight are: GM David Paravyan (Russia), GM Sanan Sjugirov (Russia), GM Maksim Chigaev (Russia), GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzbekistan), GM Sergei Zhigalko (Belarus), GM Vladislav Kovalev (Belarus), GM Oleksandr Bortnyk (Ukraine), GM Matthias Bluebaum (Germany), GM José Carlos Ibarra Jerez (Spain) and India’s 15-year-old chess prodigy GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa.
In the qualifiers, only 15 of these players will manage to join Carlsen in the finals.
The pulsing start – in accordance with the remote game system via the lichess.org website with the “Bullet” chess system, in which players can freely participate and participate in any of their preferred time zones – saw tangible excitement, camaraderie and intense competition with Live -Transmissions.
The finals will be played from 6:00 p.m. Doha time tomorrow and is expected to attract a large global audience virtually.
The online organization of this tournament was born after Qatar’s precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in 2020, but the event has already become a guaranteed world event.