Play Magnus Group, a global leader in the chess industry has announced its partnership with a leading cryptocurrency exchange, FTX to organise the world’s first bitcoin chess tournament dubbed ‘The FTX Crypto Cup’. The tournament is the final Major in this season’s $1.5 million Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, the richest and most prestigious online chess event in history.
The Meltwater Champions Chess Tour will begin Sunday, May 23rd at 5:00pm CEST (4:00pm WAT). World Champion Magnus Carlsen will take centre stage as the current Tour leader. But he will face stiff competition in a field of 16 star names, which include all the world’s top 10. The Chess tournament promises the tantalising first match-up between Magnus Carlsen and his new world title challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi.
The competition will be a welcome return for world number 2 Fabiano Caruana, who is playing in his first Tour event this season together with the mercurial Russian Daniil Dubov and China’s top player Ding Liren who are among the 16-player line-up. Fan favourite Hikaru Nakamura will also be aiming roar back and topple Carlsen after his defeat in the New In Chess Classic final.
In a statement made by the world’s champion Carlsen, he expressed his excitement ahead of the event:
“As a big sports fan and NBA enthusiast, I was thrilled to learn that FTX is continuing its move into sports by partnering with the Champions Chess Tour. The Tour has been extremely exciting both as a competitor and a fan, and I feel a renewed sense of motivation now that we’ve found a partner in FTX that shares our common goal to grow chess and the Tour.”
According to the CEO of Play Magnus Group, Andreas Thome, added: “We are thrilled to announce that FTX is partnering with the Tour to bring the communities of chess fans and crypto enthusiasts together in celebration of these two fast growing industries. For Play Magnus Group, this is a big moment as we, along with many chess players around the world, have been following cryptocurrencies for many years and are passionate about celebrating this fast-growing industry in its very own tournament, the upcoming FTX Crypto Cup.”
CEO and Founder of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried said:
“Both online chess and digital finance are growing rapidly. Play Magnus Group has pushed the boundaries of chess and established itself as the leading professional circuit; we are thrilled to be part of this journey.”
The FTX Crypto Cup offers a record prize pot for an online tournament of $320,000. A cool $100,000 of that is a bonus paid in crypto by new sponsor FTX. Fans will be able to track the prize pot’s value in real-time throughout the broadcast to see how it fluctuates. The winner of the FTX Crypto Cup will be guaranteed a spot in the Final of the Tour in San Francisco in September.
The FTX Crypto Cup runs from May 23 to May 31 and will be broadcasted on TV2, Eurosport, Chess24; and online streaming platforms Twitch and YouTube across multiple platforms.