The chess tour will be digital and go under the name «The Champions Chess Tour 2021».
– Our goal is to make chess an international TV sport. The agreement with NRK and TV 2 gives us important income, but the most valuable thing is that together they contribute to promoting chess. Their expertise in broadcasting chess on TV is important to us in the job of commercializing the sport, says tour director Arne Horvei in Play Magnus Group in a press release.
Carlsen has invested heavily in his own tournaments in online chess after the corona pandemic broke out. He has hardly competed at a physical board since March, but Norway Chess in Stavanger these days is an exception.
The 29-year-old’s digital tour will consist of ten tournaments and feature the world’s best chess players. The first competition starts already in November, while the last one will take place in September next year. The total prize pool will be 1.5 million dollars, which is equivalent to 14 million kroner.
NRK and TV 2 have secured an option to broadcast the chess tour for another season.
– We have traditionally prioritized the World Cup, but chess has accelerated online at record speed. This year’s tour was of high quality and created great commitment, says NRK’s sports editor Egil Sundvor.
In recent months, TV 2 has broadcast many of Carlsen’s online tournaments.
– For us, it is natural to continue the investment in online chess after good experiences from the first season, says TV 2’s sports editor Vegard Jansen Hagen.