Aug 18, 2022 - Things to Do

Watch the "Tom Brady of chess" compete in Miami Beach

Chess champion Magnus Carlsen folds his arms across his chess as he contemplates his next move.

Magnus Carlsen has been the top-ranked chess player for more than a decade. Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Magnus Carlsen, a 31-year-old from Norway who's been dubbed the "Tom Brady of chess," has been the world champion to beat since 2011.

  • Through Aug. 21, he and seven other top-ranking chess players are facing off at the Eden Roc Miami Beach during the FTX Crypto Cup, part of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, a circuit that launched in 2020.

State of play: To no surprise, Carlsen holds the No. 1 spot this year on the Meltwater Tour, which is part of a series from his chess games and events company Play Magnus.

  • In July, Carlsen said he was "not motivated" and dropped out of the tournament that determines the world championship, thus giving up his title, but he'll continue playing competitive chess in other formats. Lately he's also been getting into professional poker.

Ka-ching!: Players at the FTX Crypto Cup will battle for $210,000 in prize money — the largest pot on this year's tour — plus an additional $100,000 tied to the price of bitcoin.

  • Online, fans can open a crypto wallet and get a key that will let them play games and win prizes.

What they're saying: "Chess is a game open to everyone and anyone, much like blockchain technology, which provides financial opportunities to everyone from those on the institutional-scale to the unbanked," Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO and founder of crypto exchange company and the Miami tournament's sponsor FTX, said in a news release last month.


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