Chess.com’s flagship Speed Chess Championship presented by Coinbase, the stellar event to find the world’s top player over fast time controls, will kick off next month with GM Hikaru Nakamura gunning for an incredible sixth title in a row.
The fast-paced tournament that combines 5m+1s and 3m+1s blitz with 1m+1s bullet starts at the beginning of September before a grand final later in the month. The Speed Chess Championship is presented by Coinbase, the world’s leading crypto exchange, and carries a $150,000 prize pool.
Nakamura tops a star-studded bill that includes his great rival GM Magnus Carlsen, the only other previous winner of the tournament in its inaugural year of 2017.
The cream of the chess world make up the rest of the invited spots hoping to disrupt the big two’s dominance. They are GMs Gukesh D and Nihal Sarin from India; American stars Wesley So, Fabiano Caruana, and Levon Aronian; China’s reigning world champion Ding Liren; Alireza Firouzja and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France; and Uzbek sensation Nodirbek Abdusattorov. All are renowned for their prowess in speed chess. One more name will be invited after the FIDE World Cup concludes later this month.
The remaining four spots will be decided by qualifiers held on Chess.com between August 21 and 24. All titled players are eligible to compete for a place and there is a $10,000 prize pool. Final dates for the main event in September will then be announced.
So far, the championship—a real fan favorite on the chess calendar—has been mostly carved up by the two old foes Nakamura and Carlsen. No other event has brought their rivalry into sharper focus.
Nakamura, the reigning Bullet Chess Championship winner, has won an incredible five out of the six previous editions, beating Carlsen along the way in both the 2020 and 2022 finals. While for Carlsen’s sole win in 2017, the Norwegian had to overcome Nakamura in the final to take the crown.
Last year, the pair’s rivalry reached fever pitch. Nakamura and Carlsen duked it out in an epic final that ended 14.5 – 13.5. The match was one of Chess.com’s most viewed streamed events ever and could not have been closer.
This year Carlsen will be out to wrestle back the prestigious title. Will we see another classic Nakamura vs Carlsen face-off in the final? Or will a new name emerge to challenge them?
The 2023 Speed Chess Championship presented by Coinbase will be broadcast across Chess.com’s channels from the start of September. Exact dates will be announced after the qualifiers on August 21 to 24. More details to follow.