London, 16st August 2018 — FIDE and World Chess are pleased to announce that both the incumbent World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen and challenger Fabiano Caruana signed contracts for taking part in the World Chess Championship Match that will take place in London, United Kingdom, in November 2018.
For 2018, the minimum guaranteed prize fund of EUR 1mln (1.25mln gross) will be increased by proceeds from sponsorship contracts and 20% of digital Pay-Per-View tickets — a novelty for World Chess Championships where prize fund has never been affected by sales of the Match broadcast. This year, subscribers and spectators will be able to increase the Prize Fund by subscribing to the official premium broadcast for $25 (free basic version will be available as well).
The organisers, with the ambition of making chess one of the world’s most popular spectator sports, are curating a phenomenal experience for fans coming to watch the games live: a dramatic venue, limited edition merchandise and the opportunity to meet the Grandmasters. Chess spectators will also be able to view the after-game press conferences and listen live to commentary by the world’s biggest chess stars and experts.
Georgios Makropoulos, FIDE Deputy President, said: “We appreciate the contract acceptance by Fabiano Caruana and Magnus Carlsen. It’s an honour for us to collaborate with them and their teams. Rules agreed between parties to regulate the Championship Match 2018 will definitely make the organization process more efficient”.
Ilya Merenzon, CEO, World Chess, said: “I am very grateful for Magnus and Fabiano for making signing the contracts an efficient process, and also happy with how these contracts evolve: they reflect the fact that chess had truly become a professional sport, and both players are professionals! We are looking forward to working with both players and hope that the Match will become an event of the century”.
The 2016 championship took place in New York with the total audience for the chess event reaching a record-breaking 1.5 billion people. For the first time in decades, the World Chess crown may return to America in 2018 after Brooklyn-born Caruana won the Candidates Tournament in Berlin and earned the right to fight Carlsen for the Championship title.