A total of 15 qualifiers, including wildcard entrant GM Alexander Grischuk of Russia, have advanced to face 7-time world champion and defending champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the 2nd edition of the Katara International Chess Tournament 2021 which began on Sunday.
The qualifiers emerged from among 5143 participants worldwide. Grischuk was extended the wild card by the organizers – the Qatar Chess Federation (QCF) in cooperation with the Cultural Village Foundation – Katara – given his stature as World No.7 and FIDE Rating (2776).
With $12,800 in prizes up for grabs, the action will continue today with the Knockout Final of Online Bullet Chess on lichess.org.
The top seven finishers in two arena qualifiers (#1, #2) battled for the right to join Carlsen and Grischuk in the 16-player Knockout Final. The star power in both events was off the chart with GM Alexander Grischuk, GM Andrew Tang, GM Ray Robson, GM Nihal Sarin, GM Praggnanandhaa, GM Dimitry Andreikin, GM Vladislav Artemiev, and many others battling keen contests.
After the dust settled, the 14 qualifiers to make the list are: GM Vladislav Artemiev (RUS), IM Thomas Beerdsen (NED), IM Yoseph Taher (INA), GM Rasmus Svane (GER), GM Gyula Pap (HUN), GM Olexandr Bortnyk (UKR), GM SL Narayanan (IND), GM Sergei Zhigalko (BLR), GM Ray Robson (USA), IM Artyom Zubritskiy (RUS), GM Andrew Tang (USA), GM Vugar Rasulov (AZE), GM Dmitry Andreikin (RUS), FM Jose Gabriel Cardoso (COL).
The final will be played today from 6pm Doha Time and is expected to attract a large worldwide audience virtually live on YouTube and other social media channels.