The former world champion Garry Kasparov will be among the competitors in an online Nations Cup, a new chess competition featuring six teams of four players, Fide, the world chess federation, announced on Tuesday.
Some big names from recent decades will take part as Russia, the United States, Europe, China, India and a Rest of the World team compete amid the coronavirus crisis with a prize fund of $180,000 (£146,000).
Former world champions Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand as well as the 16-year-old Iranian Alireza Firouzja will be among the competitors with Fide to confirm the team lineups on Wednesday. The event will take place online and each team must include at least one female player.
In order to guarantee fair play, the players will be observed by Fide-affiliated international referees via a video conference call. To ensure that the participants do not receive any kind of external help, their webcam, computer screen and the room in which they are playing will be supervised.
Fide’s president, Arkady Dvorkovich, said: “The reasons why an official tournament like this has to be conducted online are very unfortunate – but we are happy to see that chess is providing solace to millions of people who are under a home lockdown.”
The first stage, a double round-robin will take place on 5-9 May, with a rapid-play format where each player starts the game with 25 minutes on the clock plus 10 seconds of extra time added after each move. The top two teams will meet in a Superfinal on 10 May, with Fide estimating an audience of several million worldwide.
Chess tournaments have been disrupted amid the coronavirus outbreak. The Candidates tournament, one of Fide’s flagship events, had to be halted midway through, while the Chess Olympiad had to be postponed to 2021.