World's Best 32 Internet Chess Players Will Play 32 World Top Grandmasters, Including Anand, Karpov, Kasparov, Kramnik, and Polgar

Biggest Online & Off-Line Chess Event Announced: Online World Chess 2002

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, Oct. 24th, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- Today Online World Chess announces the start of the biggest combined online and off-line chess event ever: the Online World Chess Event 2002. During the presentation today, Grandmasters such as Judit Polgar, Loek van Wely, Genna Sosonko and Yasser Seirawan were present to give their support to this event, with Garry Kasparov calling in as well.

Thousands of players from all over the world are expected to participate in the event, that starts on January 15th 2002. The 32 winners of the Online Event qualify for the Live Finals that start on April 20th 2002. These finalists will be invited to the Netherlands, all expenses paid, to play 32 of the world's leading grandmasters for the grand prize of $500,000. The participating grandmasters include Viswanathan Anand, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Judit Polgar and many others. The total prize fund exceeds US$ 1.4 million. Registration starts today at

The Grandmasters confirmed their participation in the Live event. It's the first time in over fifteen years that the Top 10 Grandmasters of all major international rankings play in one and the same event together. Additionally, the Online World Chess Event will be the only chess event in 2002 where the Top 3 players of the world compete.

Floris Italianer, CEO of Online World Chess B.V., stated: "This is huge! It took many months of preparations and now it's really happening. We set up the technology with our partner KPN, got the international grandmasters involved with the help of international law firm Allen & Overy, and prepared the launch of our website with promotional partner IMG. This is the first time ever that the international chess community en masse grants its support to an Internet chess Event."

Judit Polgar, Grandmaster, said: "Unlike most other sports, chess can be played on the Internet, and I believe the Online World Chess Event can play an important role in the promotion of chess in general."

People who register (via the site, for US$ 32.95) are enrolled in the Online World Chess Event and also get premium content on the site as well as special online features. All participants will receive a special Certificate of Participation. In addition to the Grand Prize of $500,000, more than half of the participants will receive prizes, ranging from signed chess boards to cash prizes.

Chess and the Internet

It is estimated that 600 million people worldwide know how to play chess. Of these 600 million approximately 7 million are registered chess players, covering 159 countries worldwide, making chess one of the most popular sports around the world. Being this widespread, chess players were among the first to discover the boundless possibilities of computers and the Internet. Today, more than 283 million people play chess with others from all over the globe via the Internet. The Online World Chess Foundation has the objective of bringing this truly international community of chess players together in the biggest online chess event ever: the Online World Chess Event 2002.

For more information about the Event, please visit


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