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Berlin Wins Popular Vote; Will Host the Next Grand Prix Series and Other Events in 2022

Berlin, the capital of Germany, will be the main host of the 2022 Grand Prix Series. The Series, a part of the World Chess Championship circuit, will run from February to April in a bespoke-designed chess arena. The city was chosen by World Chess, the gaming company that organizes the Series in partnership with FIDE, as well as by chess fans from around the world.

In a survey conducted over two weeks, chess players, organizers, and federations were asked to suggest a city to host the prestigious series, and Berlin emerged as a clear favorite with 16 percent of the total votes. The runners-up were Sao Paulo and London. In total, over 4000 people took part in the survey.

Throughout the two weeks, chess lovers got the chance to cast a vote for their favorite chess city. According to the organizers, such an enthusiastic response was a little unexpected but is in line with the growing popularity of chess both online and offline.

The popular vote marks an important point in chess history because for the first time the global chess community was actively involved in the process of deciding on a new chess capital, and Berlin is indeed a worthy choice. The sport is very popular in the city: according to a YouGov study, 23% of the population there play chess regularly.

Ilya Merenzon, CEO of World Chess remarked that “Chess in Berlin has a lot of history and Berlin has a lot of love for the game, and we are looking forward not only to bringing the 3 months of top-level chess events here but also to establish a permanent home for one of the most popular games here”.

Arkady Dvorkovich, the FIDE President, says: “FIDE continues to support and bring top-level chess to the world’s cities. Chess in Berlin is a part of culture, and we are thrilled that the city and the whole of Europe will have an opportunity not only to follow the games online but also the see them life, even in these challenging times”.

Ullrich Krause, President of the German Chess Federation: “We are thrilled that World Chess is bringing the FIDE Grand Prix 2022 to Germany! And as we know from the 2018 Candidates Tournament, Berlin is the perfect city for a world-class event of this kind: a chess-loving international audience meets excellent and interesting venues. The German Chess Federation and World Chess will make these 45 days of Grand Prix a true chess festival with activities throughout the city”.

The Series will feature 24 players, each of whom will compete in two out of three tournaments. Each event will consist of a group stage and then a knockout round. In the group stage, each group will play a round-robin six-round tournament. The system has been improved based on feedback from the chess community regarding the number of classical games: there are six classical games in the first round of each competition. This further reduces the chance of random results and ensures that players with consistently high scores advance to the next stage.

The prize fund for each event is EUR 150,000 , which is a EUR 20,000 increase from 2019.

The design theme of the Series will be ‘Time to Say Berlin’. The slogan is a play on the now famous tweet by World Champion Magnus Carlsen ‘Time to Say Dubai’ once he learned the name of his challenger in the FIDE World Chess Championship which is due to  take place in Dubai in November. The Berlin Grand Prix Series marks the beginning of a new cycle. The design of the Series represents the main characters and archetypes of Berlin and is supplemented by the chess board and graffiti-style bespoke typeface.

The Series consists of three events, each featuring 16 players. Each event consists of a group stage and a knock-out. The events are planned to take place in Berlin. However, FIDE may propose a supplementary city with excellent transportation links with Berlin for one out of three events.

The FIDE Grand Prix Series 2022 is supported by the following leading global companies:

Algorand as the Official Blockchain Partner
Kaspersky as the Official Cybersecurity Partner

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