The Isle of Man hosts a major chess tournament that will be watched by millions worldwide, providing a boost to the local economy and raising the profile of the sport.
A major chess tournament is currently taking place on the Isle of Man, with players from 45 countries competing for a prize fund of £495,000 ($600,000). The International Chess Federation (FIDE) Grand Swiss, held at the Villa Marina, is set to be watched by millions around the world via online streams.
Tournament director Alan Ormsby believes that hosting this tournament will put the Isle of Man at the center of the chess world for two weeks. Financed by the Sheinburg family, who are based on the Isle of Man, the competition was deliberately scheduled outside of the traditional summer season for chess in order to provide an economic boost to the local community.
Around 250 people, including officials and family members accompanying the players, have traveled to the island for the event. The tournament features three of the world’s top five players, including Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana, alongside 164 players in total. Local competitors Li Wu and Dietmar Kolbus are also participating.
The chairman of the Isle of Man Chess Association, Howard Dobson, expressed his delight at watching some of the best players in the world in action and hopes that the tournament will raise the profile of the sport and inspire more people to join the local chess club.
Since the Isle of Man last hosted this tournament in 2019, it has been recognized as a separate host from England by FIDE, allowing local players to compete under the Manx flag and potentially enter a team into the Chess Olympiad in Budapest next year. This recognition further enhances the Isle of Man’s status in the world of chess.
The tournament’s online streams are expected to attract millions of viewers, providing global exposure for the Isle of Man and highlighting its commitment to hosting major sporting events. With the involvement of top players and the substantial prize fund, this event is likely to be a significant moment in the world of chess.
By hosting this tournament, the Isle of Man is not only promoting the sport but also benefiting its local economy and showcasing its ability to organize and host international events. The success of this tournament could inspire other locations to consider hosting similar events, further boosting the profile and popularity of chess worldwide.