Chess: Magnus Carlsen announces new $1m online series as viewer numbers surge

Norway’s world champion will meet rivals in five tournaments from May to August, with the first event scheduled to begin on Tuesday

Magnus Carlsen has announced a new $1m series of major online events in which he will compete, lasting all summer with a final in August. The Carlsen Tour effectively replaces the over-the-board Grand Tour organised from St Louis in the US, which was halted by coronavirus. The Carlsen series could even open up the possibility, if coronavirus continues for a long time, of moving the world championship match itself to an internet setting.

The first Carlsen Tour event has already happened. The Carlsen Invitational, where the No 1 defeated the US champion, Hikaru Nakamura, in a tense final, was watched by an online audience calculated at 114,000.

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