Blog - February 8, 2024

What is the GOAT Free Chess Challenge and where can you watch it?

One of the largest chess960 (also known as Fischer Random) tournaments of all time and one of the first to feature classic time control, the GOAT Freestyle Chess Challenge is an innovative ​originality of Magnus Carlsen and his supporters to promote a different type of chess competition. .

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It features a handpicked cast of some of the world’s brightest players — including Carlsen’s successor as world classical chess champion, Ding Liren.

GOAT Freestyle Chess Challenge Explained

A chessboard with chess piecesFischer came up with the original idea. Image via Piqsels

The strangely named GOAT Free Chess Challenge is an invitational chess tournament featuring a famous variation of the royal game, in which the main pieces are randomly shuffled in the first rank before the match Fight to create unique positions.

This is the brainchild of former world chess champion Bobby Fischer, who modestly named this variation “Fischer Random” to counter the importance of theory and memorization at the playing level tallest. It is also sometimes called chess960 based on the number of possible starting positions.

Since 2019, the World Chess Federation has hosted an officially recognized world championship event for the format — but this competition is a bit special, and not just because of the star-studded lineup.

This is one of the first featured events to feature classic time control for competitive Fischer Random matches. Games in the round robin have a quick time control of 25 + 10, but the playoffs use the standard 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, plus an additional 30 minutes in addition to the extra 30 minutes. second. If the two matches are drawn, the faster time control will be used for the ties in the knockout round.

The following players will participate in the GOAT Free Chess Challenge:

  • Magnus Carlsen
  • Fabiano Caruana
  • Dinh Lap Nhan
  • Alireza Firouzja
  • Vincent Keymer
  • Nodirbek Abdusattarov
  • Dommaraju Gukesh
  • Levon Aronian

Where can you watch the GOAT Freestyle Chess Challenge?

The competition will take place from February 9 to 16 and will be broadcast on the YouTube and freestyle_chess Twitch channels, with commentary provided by Tania Sachdev and Péter Lékó.

The schedule is as follows:

  • February 9-10 – round-robin play for seeding in the playoffs
  • February 11 to 12 – quarterfinals
  • February 13 to 14 – semi-finals
  • Days seven to eight – finals

You can also follow its social media content on X, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. One of the stated goals of the tournament is to focus on the players’ personalities and skills, while also featuring some interesting pre-produced video content about them throughout the course of the tournament, so it’s certainly There will certainly be many interesting things to find.