Lausanne, 15 December 2020 — The International Chess Federation (FIDE) has signed a contract with IOM International Chess Limited to organise and host the FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss and the inaugural FIDE Chess.com Women’s Grand Swiss. Subject to COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in time, the tournaments will be held concurrently in the magnificent Royal Hall of the Villa Marina in Douglas, Isle of Man from 25 October to 8 November 2021. There will be 164 players from approximately 35 countries and a combined prize fund of USD 550,000, made possible by the generosity of the Scheinberg family.
The FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss is returning to the island after a successful first edition held in 2019. The 2021 edition will have a field of 114 players, mainly from the world’s top-100, and is expected to be one of the strongest Swiss events ever held in the history of chess. The prize fund will be USD 425,000, including the first prize of USD 70,000. Just as important is the fact that the winner and runner-up will advance to the eight-player Candidates Tournament, the next stage of the World Championship Cycle that will produce a challenger to the World Champion in 2022, a title currently held by Magnus Carlsen of Norway. Five participants will be chosen as “wildcards” allocated by the tournament director, Alan Ormsby, including two places for Isle of Man players and a place for a Chess.com online qualifier.
The FIDE Chess.com Women’s Grand Swiss will feature 50 of the strongest female players, with invitations to the world’s top-40, competing for a prize fund of USD 125,000. The winner will progress to the Women’s Candidates Tournament which will produce a challenger to the Women’s World Champion, a title currently held by Ju Wenjun of China. There will be three “wildcards” in the Women’s event, including one place set aside for a Chess.com online qualifier.
“We are thrilled to be hosting the FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss for the second time after successfully organising the inaugural event in 2019. Hosting the Women’s version at the same time will make the event even more special, ensuring that we have the diversity that the Isle of Man International has been associated with since our first tournament in 2014” said Alan Ormsby. “We’re also pleased to be helping local guest houses, hotels and restaurants by attracting around 180 players and officials to the island for 14 nights in the off-season.”
In recognition of the island’s continued contribution to chess, FIDE recently approved the admission of the Isle of Man Chess Association as an Affiliated Organisation, the highest level of status available to a country or territory that is not recognised by the United Nations. Isle of Man Chess Association is the organisation responsible for promoting the playing of chess on the island and works closely with Isle of Man International Chess.
“FIDE’s motto is ‘we are one family’, and like any other family would, we are extremely happy to welcome a new member. The island is home to a tournament, the Chess.com Isle of Man International, that has already earned its place in chess history. Very few events have left such a strong mark after only six editions, but the Isle of Man has done so thanks to a combination of professionalism, determination, and profound respect to chess and chess players. We incorporated this event as a part of the World Championship cycle in 2019, and it was a resounding success. Now, women players will also get the opportunity to play in an event that didn’t exist for them before,” said FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich.
"It’s incredible that in such a short amount of time, the FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss has become one of the strongest and most important events in chess," said Daniel Rensch, chief chess officer of Chess.com. "Not only is the event a critical step in determining the outcome of the World Chess Championship cycle, it also serves as a leading example for how a chess event can function as a beacon for competitive diversity and inclusion. We couldn’t be more proud to be working alongside FIDE and IOM International Chess Limited in making this special event possible for a second time."
About IOM International Chess Limited:
IOM International Chess Limited, led by Tournament Director, Alan Ormsby, is the organiser of the Chess.com Isle of Man International, the world’s strongest open event. All six editions of the tournament (including the 2019 FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss) have been sponsored by the Scheinberg family.
Chess.com is the world’s largest chess site, with a community of more than 47 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 International Chess Federation (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 196 affiliated national chess federations.
IOM International Chess Limited:
Tournament Director Alan Ormsby
+44 7624 453200
Tournament website: iominternationalchess.com
Director of Esports and Events Nick Barton
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer David Llada