Challengers
Chess Tour

Days
Hours
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CHALLENGERS CHESS TOUR IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY

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Unique lessons from challengers coaches.

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Mentors

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.

Teams

click on the players to learn more

Team Polgar coaches

Ju Wenjun

Surya Ganguly

Arthur Kogan

Players

Vicent Keymer

Awonder Liang

Polina Shuvalova

Volodar Murzin

Sara Khadem

Marc'Andria Maurizzi

Zhu Jiner

Balaji Daggupati

Reserve Players

Leya Garifullina

Aditya Mittal

Team Kramnik coaches

Hou
Yifan

Boris Gelfand

Anna Muzychuk

Players

Nodirbek Abdusattorov

Jonas Bjerre

Leon Mendonca

Lei Tingjie

Dinara Saduakassova

Christopher Yoo

Carissa Yip

Yahli Sokolovsky

Reserve Players

Vaishali R

Yahli Sokolovsky

FINAL STANDINGS

Team Kramnik

57

Team Polgar

63

#

Player

Points

1

Vicent Keymer

11.5

2

Awonder Liang

11.5

3

Nodirbek Abdusattorov

11

4

Christopher Yoo

10

5

Lei Tingjie

9

6

Volodar Murzin

8.5

7-8

Carissa Yip

7.5

7-8

Marc'Andria Maurizzi

7.5

#

Player

Points

9-11

Dinara Saduakassova

6.5

9-11

Zhu Jiner

6.5

9-11

Polina Shuvalova

6.5

12-13

Sara Khadem

5.5

12-13

Balaji Daggupati

5.5

14-15

Jonas Bjerre

5

14-15

Leon Mendonca

5

16

Yahli Sokolovsky

3

Rounds Results

Overall Team Standings

Who's leading the race to win a trip to the World Chess Championship in Dubai?

Team Kramnik

234

Team Polgar

260.5

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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, and featuring some of the world’s most exciting young chess players. These players will compete individually as well as in their teams, and so we’ll have a tournament winner as well as a winning team on the final day.

Vladimir Kramnik and Judit Polgar, together with their teams of world-renowned 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

Presenting Partner:

August

12-15

Kramnik Challenge

$15K Prize Fund

+ Wildcard to following Meltwater Champions Chess Tour tournament

September

18-21

Hou Yifan Challenge

$15K Prize Fund

+ Wildcard to following Meltwater Champions Chess Tour tournament

October

14-17

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 Polgar

Vincent Keymer

Age: 16 | Germany | 2591

Hailed as Germany’s greatest talent since Emanuel Lasker, 16-year-old Grandmaster Vincent Keymer notched chess’ highest title just before the pandemic in 2020 and became the youngest-ever German to achieve the feat. He earned his first GM norm as a 13-year-old, winning the 2018 Grenke Chess Open with a sensational 2798 performance that beat out 49 GMs, four of them rated above 2700. Tapped by Garry Kasparov as “exceptional,” Keymer today ranks No. 5 in the world among a star-studded group of U18 players.

Team Polgar

Awonder Liang

Age: 18 | USA | 2592

Today the No. 4 under-18 player in the world and two-time World Champion in his age category, American prodigy GM Awonder Liang has been breaking U.S. records since becoming the youngest expert in the nation’s history just after his eighth birthday. Liang beat his first GM at nine and became the youngest U.S. master before he was 10, and now is a three-time U.S. Junior champion with a fifth-place finish in the 2020 U.S. Championship.

Team Polgar

Polina Shuvalova

Age: 20 | Russia | 2489

After becoming the World Girls U18 Champion in 2018, then graduating to become the World Girls U20 Champion in 2019, Russian International Master Polina Shuvalova remains at the top as the No. 1 ranked U20 female in the world today. She has won several medals for Russia in the World Youth and European Youth Championships, and in 2020 tied for first in the Russian women’s national championship.

Team Polgar

Volodar Murzin

Age: 14 | Russia | 2502

One of the youngest players in the Challengers Tour, 14-year-old International Master Volodar Murzin is perhaps Russia’s most-promising up-and-coming players. He is a two-time European Youth Champion and currently No. 4 on the world list of players under 16, and under the world-class coaching of Team Polgar, Murzin hopes to improve on his endgames and strategical pattern recognition.

Team Polgar

Sarasadat Khadem

Age: 24 | Iran | 2494

International Master Sara Khadem is the No. 1 woman from Iran and the No. 13 female player in the world, a competitor for the Women’s World Championship in 2017. She was a World U12 Girls Champion in 2009, and the World U16 Girls Blitz Champion in 2013, then finished runner-up in the World Junior Girls Championship the next year. Khadem was the 2015 Iranian Women’s Champion and has played for her national team in Women’s Chess Olympiads since 2012.

Team Polgar

Maurizzi Marc'Andria

Age: 14 | France| 2488

Team Polgar

Zhu Jiner

Age: 18 | China | 2462

Chinese Woman Grandmaster Jiner Zhu ranks as the No. 1 female player in the world under the age of 20, and the No. 24 female player overall. She was a World Youth Chess Champion for U14 girls, and qualified to compete in the 2018 FIDE Women’s World Chess Championship. She was also a bronze medalist in China’s Women’s Rapid Chess Championship in 2018, and would like to improve on her openings from the Team Polgar training sessions in the Challengers Tour.

Team Polgar

Balaji Daggupati

Age: 16 | USA| 2429

Team Polgar

Leya Garifullina

Age: 16 | Russia | 2399

Russian Woman Grandmaster Leia Garifullina is the world’s No. 1 female player under the age of 18. After finishing eighth place at the 2018 World Blitz Championship, Garifullina won her age category in the World Youth Championship in 2019 and finished third in the 2020 Russian national championship. On Team Polgar for the Challengers Tour, she hopes to improve on critical moments in her middlegame.

Team Polgar

Aditya Mittal

Age: 15 | India | 2438

One of the youngest players in the Challengers Tour, 15-year-old International Master Aditya Mittal is also one of the world’s top-10 players his age. He was awarded India’s National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement in the field of chess in 2016, pushing on to earn his IM title as a 12-year-old in 2019. Inspired by Garry Kasparov, Mittal hopes that Team Polgar will help him study dynamic middlegames and complex practical endgames.

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.

Team Kramnik

Nodirbek Abdusattorov

Age: 16 | Uzbekistan | 2634

The 16-year-old Uzbek GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov has been among the elite for a decade, since becoming the U8 World Champion in 2012. Abdusattorov broke a record as the youngest player to enter the Junior Top 100 as an 11-year-old, and then in 2017 became the second-youngest Grandmaster in history at 13 years, 1 month and 11 days, today the fifth fastest to earn the title. Now rated 2634 and No. 140 in the world, Abdusattorov hopes to improve on his middle- and endgame under the coaching of Team Kramnik.

Team Kramnik

Jonas Buhl Bjerre

Age: 16 | Denmark | 2542

As Europe’s top U16 player, Denmark’s Jonas Bjerre has placed a priority on physical fitness to stay on the top of world chess, first arrived as the U14 European Youth Champion in 2017. Two years later, Bjerre earned his third Grandmaster norm with a 2662 performance in the 2019 FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament, becoming the youngest Dane ever to reach the GM title. Already tapped by the Kasparov Chess Foundation, Bjerre is looking forward to more world-class perspective from GM Hou Yifan and Team Kramnik in the Challengers Tour.

Team Kramnik

Leon Mendonca

Age: 15 | India | 2549

After earning the International Master title in 2019 just before his 13th birthday, India’s Leon Mendonca returned after pandemic lockdowns to earn his Grandmaster title with three quick norms at the end of 2020. Ranking today as the second U15 player in the world, Mendonca plays the violin, cycles and pushes his chess to the limits, taking inspiration from several bouts of training received by living legends, including Vladimir Kramnik, Boris Gelfand and Viswanathan Anand.

Team Kramnik

Lei Tingjie

Age: 24 | China | 2505

Ranked just outside of the top-10 women in the world in a classical time control, No. 11 Chinese Grandmaster Tinjie Lei improves with speed and ranks as the No. 4 woman using a rapid clock. She earned her GM title in a big 2017 year that also included a silver medal in FIDE’s Women’s World Rapid Chess Championship in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. After tutoring under Chinese super-GM Wang Hao, Tignjie hopes to sharpen her calculation and practical endgames on Team Kramnik.

Team Kramnik

Dinara Saduakassova

Age: 24 | Kazakhstan | 2500

International Master Dinara Saduakassova is Kazakhstan’s top woman player as well as the No. 12 female player in the world. She was a two-time World Youth Chess Champion as a junior and competed for the Women’s World Chess Championship in 2017. Saduakassova participated in her first Chess Olympiad as a 15-year-old in 2012 and has since played for the Kazakhstani national team in four Olympiads, two Women’s World Team Championships and three Women’s Asian Nations Cups.

Team Kramnik

Christopher Yoo

Age: 14 | USA | 2457

Once the youngest U.S. national master at the age of nine, three years later Christopher Yoo became America’s youngest player to the International Master title and today sits just outside of the top-10 U16 players in the world. Perhaps missing his Grandmaster title only from a pandemic year away from OTB chess, Yoo finds beauty in tactical combinations and has won recognition for compositions, including a bronze medal in the FIDE World Cup in composing.

Team Kramnik

Carissa Yip

Age: 17 | USA | 2430

The No. 1 female in the world for players under 18, International Master Carissa Yip has been America’s girl since scalping her first Grandmaster as a 10-year-old in 2013. Already the fastest U.S. female to become an expert, Yip went on as a 15-year-old to set the record as the youngest U.S. female to earn the International Master title. Now a three-time U.S. Junior Girls Champion, Yip finished second in last year’s U.S. Women’s Championship.

Team Kramnik

Sokolovsky Yahli

Age: 15 | Israel | 2423

Aged 15 and his country’s top U18 player, FIDE Master Yahli Sokolovsky is Israel’s three-time youth national champion looking to tap into his potential among the heightened competition of the Challengers Tour. Fully inspired by hero Boris Gelfand, Sokolovsky is hoping Team Kramnik will help improve his thinking process during games.

Team Kramnik

Vaishali R

Age: 19 | India | 2393

Inspired by Viswanathan Anand, Woman Grandmaster Vaishali Rameshbabu is India’s No. 3 female player and part of the country’s gold-medal team in FIDE’s 2020 Online Olympiad. She was both a U12 and a U14 World Youth Chess Champion and already has a GM norm under her belt, looking to improve her endgame technique under the Team Kramnik coaching in the Challengers Tour.