Chess.com's 3rd Death Match Qualifier will take place from December 1st 2013 to January 1st, 2014 and will determine the participants for the 21st Chess.com Blitz Death Match - set to be held on Saturday, February 8th 2014.
The rules and format for this Death Match Qualifier will be the same as those before it (see below), however December's event will also be the first of our now regularly planned series of "qualifying events". All details can be found below, and are also explained here in IM Danny Rensch's blog.
December's Blitz Death Match Qualifier Rules:
As of January 1st 2014 - at midnight Pacific time - the highest-rated active blitz player and the highest-rated active bullet player on Chess.com will be invited to participate in February's Death Match. Should either player decline, the invitation will be extended to the next highest-rated player in that category (blitz/bullet), until the matchup is set.
Requirements for Qualification Eligibility:
- Qualifiers must play a minimum of 100 rated blitz (or 100 rated bullet) games played between December 1st 2013 - January 1st 2014 in order to be considered "active" (i.e. you must play 100 games in the category that you are qualifying in);
- Qualifiers must be available to play the Death Match on February 8th 2014;
- Qualifying accounts must have a "confirmed identity" on Chess.com by the end of the qualifying period (ie, anonymous accounts will not be eligible);
- Qualifier cannot have previously competed in a Death Match (*see note of possible exceptions below);
*In the event that the top qualifier declines his / her seat, when selecting the "next highest-rated player in that category" (as stated above) Chess.com may also select players whom have competed in previous Blitz Death Matches (depending on the circumstances) as they move through the list of potential qualifying players.
Complete Death Match Rules, here.
Complete Archive of Previous Winners, here.
If you skipped Danny's blog - the pertinent information regarding the upcoming system of qualifying events is here:
"Below is the projected schedule of qualifying and seated events for 2014. December's qualifier will seat the players for February 2014's match. January 2014 will see the matchup of Grandmaster Yuri Shulman vs Grandmaster Daniel Fridman (look for the official announcement separately). During the month of February another qualifier will be in place, determining the players for April 2014's matchup, while March will again feature a "seated matchup."
This "rotation" will continue throughout the year, with usual break months in August and December.
2014 Death Match Schedule:
- December Qualifier 2013 - Qualifying for February 2014;
- January 2014 Seated Matchup;
- February 2014 Match (December's Winners); Also Qualifyfing Month for April 2014;
- March 2014 Seated Matchup;
- April 2014 Match (February's Winners); Also Qualifyfing Month for June 2014;
- May 2014 Seated Matchup;
- June 2014 Match (April's Winners);
- July 2014 Seated Matchup;
- August Break;
- September 2014 Seated Matchup; Also Qualifyfing Month for November 2014;
- October 2014 Seated Matchup;
- November 2014 Match (September's Winners); No Qualifier set yet;
- December 2014 Knockout Tournament of Champions - tentatively set for Saturday and Sunday December 6th;
*Every Death Match will continue to offer a $1k prize fund, with $750 to the winner and $250 to the loser. Though the prize fund for the Knockout Tournament will be higher - we cannot *officially confirm* the total prize fund for that just yet .
In Blitz Death Match 4: On April 28, 2012, IM Conrad Holt defeated IM Eric Hansen by a score of 15-11 to win a prize of $788.46.
In Blitz Death Match 15: On June 15th 2013, GM Fabiano Caruana defeated GM Valeriy Aveskulov by a score of 16-9 to win $750.00
Cheaters beware! As usual, Chess.com will run extensive cheat detection and anyone who uses computer assistance of any kind will be permanently banned from the site. In addition, extensive "IP Address" diagnostics will be run against qualifying accounts to ensure no "thrown games" or other forms of foul play.