The next FIDE World Chess Championship will be held at Expo 2020 Dubai and promises an enthralling contest that will delight chess fans and the wider public alike.

Organized by the International Chess Federation (FIDE), the postponed 2020 championship will take place between 24 November and 16 December 2021, and will see the reigning world champion, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, defend his title against the winner of the delayed Candidates Tournament, which is due to conclude in Ekaterinburg, Russia, in April. The two players will compete for a prize fund of EUR 2 million.

“A World Championship match is an outstanding event, and we are proud to team up with Expo 2020 to create a breath-taking experience not only for the hard-core chess fans but also for a wider audience.“

Arkady Dvorkovich, FIDE President

The history of chess can be traced back more than 1,500 years, and the first international tournament was held in London as part of the first World Expo – the Great Exhibition – in 1851.

The FIDE World Chess Championship will take place at the state-of-the-art Dubai Exhibition Centre, co-located at Expo 2020, where the title of best chess player on the planet will be determined in a 14-game face-off between the two finalists. The match will be broadcast around the world, with live commentary, reaching a global audience of millions, and the Championship will include a series of side events, including exhibition matches and appearances by former champions and celebrity fans.

Magnus Carlsen

A powerful educational tool, chess encourages strategic thinking and problem solving, and is played by people of all ages and backgrounds from around the globe. Spain will also host the final of the World Online School Chess Tournament at Expo 2020 Dubai, in line with the Spain Pavilion’s theme of ‘Intelligence for Life’.

It is estimated to be played by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, including more than 30 million children engaged in chess school programs around the world. Its popularity reportedly surged as chess became a favorite pastime during the global lockdowns, also fuelled by the success of the chess-themed Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit.

Dubai Exhibition Centre

Dubai Exhibition Centre

Mohamed AlAnsaari, Vice President – Communications, Expo 2020 Dubai:

“Expo 2020 Dubai will be a global celebration of the very best of humankind, held in one of the world’s most welcoming and ambitious nations – what better place to host a thrilling showdown between the brightest minds in chess?“