The Qatar Masters Chess will be back on the calendar in 2023 after a break of eight years.
Norwegian chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen will star in the return of the Qatar Masters, following an eight-year break for the tournament.
The five-time World Chess Champion, four-time World Rapid Chess Champion, and six-time World Blitz Chess Champion Carlsen will return after participating in the 2015 tournament in which he defeated Chinese Grandmaster Yu Yangyi in a playoff win.
Upon his seven-year return, Carlsen thanked QCF for supporting the chess sport once again.
“I am very happy to play in the Qatar Masters again. This tournament is very important. All means of comfort are available to all the participants, thanks to the wonderful support provided by the organisers,” said the 32-year-old brainiac.
“The atmosphere will certainly be fine and the participation is in large numbers and the competitions will be strong. I can’t wait for the start of the tournament and play in it,” the defending champion added.
With a $110,000 prize fund up for grabs, this year’s tournament between October 10-20 is expected to be a compelling contest for the world’s best chess players. There will also be nine rounds, with each winner taking home $25,000.
Qatar Chess Federation President (QCF) Mohamed Al Mudahka said the event is momentous for the country and region.
“Everyone witnessed the great success of Qatar in organising the 2022 World Cup for the first time in the Arab region and the Middle East. So other sports will certainly follow the same path of success, and we are discussing various projects besides the Qatar Masters tournament,” said Al Mudahka.
“But for me now this is an extremely important event.”
QCF initially lacked the sponsorship that prevented the event from returning. The tournament was originally expected to take place in December but was later changed by organisers.
“At first we almost agreed about December, but it appears to be tricky as many online and offline tournaments are happening in December. It was hard to choose, but Magnus is going to play, so at least we are happy with October,” Al Mudahka told Chess24.