Throughout chess history, there have always been great players who we admire and look up to. But every now and then, we get to witness true chess legends—those who push the game to new heights. And now, for the first time, anyone in the world will have a chance to play against them!
Legends like GMs Viswanathan Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, Hou Yifan, Alexei Shirov, Vasyl Ivanchuk, and others are all confirmed to play in the knockout phase of the Chess.com Global Chess Championship.
With the last few qualifiers approaching this weekend, titled players are getting ready to play those who qualified for the Play-in phase to see who moves on to the knockouts. The top 32 players of the Play-ins will join the above-mentioned legends (and more) in the knockout phase!
Meet The CGC Legends
Undoubtedly the strongest Indian player in history and a five-time world champion, Anand is a force to be reckoned with. Even though he rarely plays in elite events anymore, Anand demonstrated his prowess in the recent Norway Chess tournament. After defeating the fiercest opposition (including the world champion Magnus Carlsen), Anand finished in third. Now, the Tiger of Madras is hungry for more and will pounce at whoever comes his way during the CGC Knockouts.
Some legends tell the tale of a heroic figure who stops a powerful mythical creature. Legendary Kramnik fits this: he’s the only man who could stop the vicious Beast from Baku, Garry Kasparov, and snatch his World Champion title. After this, the mighty Kramnik won world championship matches thrice more, including in the reunification match against GM Veselin Topalov.
Speaking of Topalov, the 2005 FIDE world champion is another legend playing in the knockouts. Peaking at number one in the world twice and reaching the 10th highest rating in history, few players have been so dominant in their prime. Topalov is now back in the ring to fight once more to take over the globe.
The youngest woman to become a grandmaster and a four-time Women’s World Champion, Hou Yifan’s achievements speak for themselves. The Chinese legend is still the highest-rated active woman in the world and the second highest-rated woman in history. Hou has been ranking as the number one woman in the world since 2015 and is ready to face whoever comes her way in the CGC.
The number-two player in 1994, Shirov has been dazzling the chess world with his brilliant sacrifices and imaginative play for over three decades. The super grandmaster defeated Kramnik in a match in 1998 to play Kasparov for the world championship, but the match never happened. The Latvian chess legend currently has a rating over 2700.
A chess genius, Vasyl Ivanchuk is another player who’s no stranger to playing for world titles. A blitz and rapid world champion, Ivanchuk has carved his name into chess history and is now coming back to play in yet another global tournament. With his imaginative and uncompromising style, Chuky is another legend who will bring fire to the board during the CGC Knockouts.
A seven-time British champion and four-time semifinalist in the FIDE World Championship, GM Michael Adams is an all-time legend of British chess. He is the highest-rated player in the country’s history (2761 in 2013) and remains active on the tournament circuit. Adams is another player you won’t want to miss in action at the Chess.com Global Championship.
Play Against The Legends
If you’ve ever dreamed of facing chess legends, now is your chance! If you’re a titled player, get verified to play in the Chess.com Global Championship Play-in phase to get your chance to face Anand, Kramnik, Hou, Shirov, Ivanchuk, Topalov, Alexander Grischuk, Fabiano Caruana, Ding Liren, and many more.
If you’re not a titled player, make sure you play in the last six CGC Qualifiers this weekend and give it your best to advance to the Play-in Phase.