Skilling Open: Vidit faces Firouzja in campaign-opener

On a day when five rounds are scheduled, Vidit’s other rivals are Armenia’s Levon Aronian (white), Poland’s Jan-Krzysztof Duda, (black), China’s Ding Liren (white) and the Netherlands’ Anish Giri (black).

Vidit Gujrathi will take on Iranian teenager Alireza Firouzja in his campaign-opener on Sunday.   -  FILE PHOTO/RAJEEV BHATT

Armed with white pieces, Vidit Gujrathi will take on Iranian teenager Alireza Firouzja in his campaign-opener of the star-studded Skilling Open online chess tournament on Sunday.

On a day when five rounds are scheduled, Vidit’s other rivals are Armenia’s Levon Aronian (white), Poland’s Jan-Krzysztof Duda, (black), China’s Ding Liren (white) and the Netherlands’ Anish Giri (black).

READ| Nakamura, Firouzja to feature in Skilling Open online chess tournament

The first round begins at 10.30 pm IST and the official broadcaster is chess24.com.

World champion Magnus Carlsen begins by playing black against Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi while second seed Ding Liren, with black pieces, takes on another Russian Sergey Karjakin.

READ| Magnus Carlsen: Future of classical chess a little bit dubious

Fifteen rounds, spread over the first three days, will be played in this 16-player all-play-all league phase. Thereafter, the top eight performers will advance to the knockout phase.

The quarterfinals, semifinals and the final will be over two days each. Each knockout round comprises two 4-game rapid matches. In case of a 1-1 deadlock, two blitz games will follow. If the tie persists, then an Armageddon game will decide the winner.

Out of the prize-fund of $100,000, the winner gets $30,000 and the runner-up, 15,000. Losing semifinalists get $7,500 each, losing quarterfinalists, $5,000 while those failing to make the knockout phase receive $2,500.

The 1.5-million Champions Chess Tour comprises 10 events - six Regular, three Major and the 10-player Finals. Skilling Open falls under the Regular category. Regular events offer $100,000 while the prize-money is raised to $200,000 for Majors. The Finals is worth $300,000, with the winner taking home $100,000.

The winner of a Regular event qualifies to the next Major while the winner of a Major makes it to the Finals.

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