Two chess icons, Judit Polgar and Vladimir Kramnik, will captain two teams of exciting young players in the search for the next big talent in chess!

ABOUT

The icons

About

Judit Polgar

A living legend in chess, Judit is the all-time No.1 female player and former world No.8 who once held the record for the youngest Grandmaster of all time. The inspirational mother of two, whose sister Susan is also a Grandmaster, is now retired and turning her attention to finding the next Judit Polgar.

About

Vladimir Kramnik

A giant in chess with a unique place in its history. Vlad ended Garry Kasparov’s reign as World Champion in 2000 and reigned supreme in 2006 to become the first undisputed title-holder for more than two decades. Known for his strategic genius, every player in world chess looks up to the great Vladimir Kramnik.

GAME

Teams

Team Polgar coaches

Ju Wenjun

Surya Ganguly

Arthur Kogan

Players

Zhansaya Abdumalik

Polina Shuvalova

Nihal Sarin

Sara Khadem

Volodar Murzin

Jiner Zhu

Gunay Mammadzada

Gukesh D

Awonder Liang

Vincent
Keymer

Team Kramnik coaches

Hou
Yifan

Boris Gelfand

Anna Muzychuk

Players

Christopher Yoo

Carissa Yip

Lei Tingjie

Praggnanandhaa

Nurgyul Salimova

Leon Mendonca

Jonas Bjerre

Olga Badelka

Dinara Saduakassova

Nodirbek Abdusattorov

Standings

Team Kramnik

88

Team Polgar

96.5

#

Player

Points

1

Praggnanandhaa

15.5

2-5

Nodirbek Abdusattorov

14

2-5

Nihal Sarin

14

2-5

Volodar Murzin

14

2-5

Gukesh D

14

6

Vincent Keymer

13.5

7

Awonder Liang

12.5

8-9

Christopher Yoo

12

8-9

Leon Mendonca

12

10

Jonas Bjerre

10.5

#

Player

Points

11-12

Lei Tjingjie

10

11-12

Zhu Jiner

10

13

Nurgyul Salimova

7

14-15

Polina Shuvalova

6.5

14-15

Zhansaya Abdumalik

6.5

16-17

Gunay Mammadzada

5.5

16-17

Sara Khadem

5.5

18

Carissa Yip

4

19

Olga Badelka

3

20

Dinara Saduakassova

-

Due to a player’s withdrawal caused by connection issues, only the top 9 scores from each team count towards the Team score. 

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ABOUT

What is the Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour?

The Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour is a set of tournaments running alongside the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour featuring the world’s most exciting young chess players. These players will compete individually for their teams, either Team Polgar or Team Kramnik. Kramnik and Polgar together with their teams of world-renown coaches will provide weekly coaching sessions with the players throughout the Tour.
The Tour will feature four “Challenges” and one Final for a total of five events. The Challenges will each be four-day, round robin tournaments, while the Final will bring the top 8 players together for a thrilling knock-out tournament to decide the winner of the Tour. All tournaments will be played in rapid format (10+5) with all games played on chess24.
The Tour will bring together 20 of the most exciting young male and female chess players. There will be ten female and ten male players split into two teams: Team Polgar and Team Kramnik. Stay tuned for the announcement of the lineup!
The Tour will be broadcast live on this website as well as chess24.com, and also available on chess24’s official YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels. The first event will feature Judit Polgar and Vladimir Kramnik as commentators.

Tournament schedule

April

8-11

Polgar Challenge

$15K Prize Fund

+ Wildcard to following Meltwater Champions Chess Tour tournament

June

10-13

Gelfand Challenge

$15K Prize Fund

+ Wildcard to following Meltwater Champions Chess Tour tournament

July

15-18

Hou Yifan Challenge

$15K Prize Fund

+ Wildcard to following Meltwater Champions Chess Tour tournament

August

12-15

Kramnik Challenge

$15K Prize Fund

+ Wildcard to following Meltwater Champions Chess Tour tournament

TBA

0-0

Final

$40K Prize Fund

+ Invitation to Meltwater Champions Chess Tour 2021-2022 season

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Team Polgar: coach

Ju Wenjun

China’s reigning World Champion is the shining light of the women’s game right now. The 30-year-old from Shanghai has represented her country since 2008 and won multiple honours, including two golds at the Chess Olympiad. Ju was also only the fifth woman to cross the 2600 rating barrier after Anna Muzychuk.

Team Polgar: coach

Surya Ganguly

Six-time national champ Surya is part of the cohort of Indian stars inspired by the great Vishy Anand – and indeed he was in Anand’s team of “seconds” for three of his World Championship matches. Surya himself has a peak rating of 2676 a stack of honours including Asian champion and individual gold at the World Team event.

Team Polgar: coach

Arthur Kogan

A master trainer who has worked with some of the best players in the world. Arthur is a Ukrainian-born Israeli Grandmaster, now living in Spain, who has extensive coaching experience. He captained the Italian national team that included world No.2 Fabiano Caruana and has more recently worked with visually-impaired teams.

Team Kramnik: coach

Hou Yifan

China’s Hou Yifan is the No. 1 female player in the world and all-time No. 2 in the women’s game. She is also an Oxford scholar and last year became a Professor at Shenzhen university at just 26. Hou, now 27, is semi-retired from top chess is devoting her time to being a high-class coach for rising young talents.

Team Kramnik: coach

Boris Gelfand

Boris Gelfand is one of the great minds of world chess. Trained in the legendary Soviet-style, Boris went on to represent Israel with distinction. He won the Chess World Cup in 2009 before challenging Vishy Anand for the world title in 2012. Now 52, Boris is still active and brings a wealth of experience and know-how.

Team Kramnik: coach

Anna Muzychuk

A former world champion in both rapid and blitz, Anna is another inspirational female star who hails from a chess-playing family. The 31-year-old’s younger sister Mariya was also a world champ. But it was Anna who broke through the 2600 barrier – a feat only three women had achieved before her.