Blitz chess will be included in the upcoming inaugural Olympic Esports Series 2023 with Chess.com playing host to a unique qualifying event.
The world’s leading online chess platform has been selected by FIDE, recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the game’s governing body, to run a mass participation pre-event tournament—and you are invited to enter.
Attention all Esports players!
— The Olympic Games (@Olympics) March 1, 2023
The qualifiers have three phases which start with a 3+2 blitz tournament open to any non-titled player on Chess.com starting on April 1. The winners will then progress to the Trials stage when the titled players enter the competition.
The top 16 from that phase then go through to a Preliminaries event between May 1 and 5. Eight will be eliminated and the final eight will progress into a live in-person tournament, the first of its kind, held during the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore from June 22 to 25.
Chess.com CEO Erik Allebest said: “As the top platform for chess, we are excited to host these online qualifiers. We believe chess belongs on the biggest stages and are proud to see it recognized as an esport alongside so many other great disciplines.”
FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich said: “After almost one year of work behind the scenes, we are very excited to see this event coming to fruition. We believe that the Olympic Esports Series marks a new stage in the cooperation between FIDE and the International Olympic Committee since our institution was recognized as an international sports federation by the IOC in 1999.
“I would like to highlight the perfect alignment between FIDE values and the strategic roadmap outlined in the Olympic Agenda 2020+5. This project, and the ones that we expect to follow, has the potential to bring enormous benefits to players and national federations.”
The Olympic Esports Series is a global virtual and simulated sports competition, created by the IOC in collaboration with International Federations (IFs) and game publishers.
Chess will feature for the first time alongside archery, dance, baseball, taekwondo, cycling, motor sport, sailing, and tennis. It will be the highlight of the Olympic Esports Week, a four-day festival at Singapore’s Suntec Centre designed to showcase the best in virtual sports.
The Olympic Esports Series will culminate in live, in-person finals for the first time with players having the opportunity to progress to the Olympic Esports Finals 2023. Players will compete in front of fans for the prestigious title of the first Olympic Esports Series winner.
The finals action will be streamed globally across Olympics.com and Olympic social channels. The Olympic Esports Series builds on the successes of the 2021 precursor event. More than 250,000 participants from across 100 countries took part two years ago.
FIDE was recognized by the IOC as an International Sports Federation in 1999. It is now one of the largest international federations, encompassing 199 countries as affiliate members.
Chess.com is the world’s biggest chess platform. It has more than 120 million registered users and hosts around 12 million games daily.