Chess World Cup 2023 Betting Preview


It’s time for the Chess World Cup 2023– one of the biggest events in the sport. 206 players have qualified for the event, so the competition will be intense!

My Chess World Cup 2023 preview includes information on the tournament and top contenders. Can Ian Nepomniachtchi redeem himself after struggling against Liren at the World Championship?

We don’t have Chess World Cup betting odds yet, but we know enough to try and predict the outcome of the tournament.

7/26 Update: the Chess World Cup betting odds for 2023 are now available at 22Bet. You can bet on the eventual winner, but the bookie offers a few other cool markets, such as reaching the semifinals and quarterfinals.

Chess World Cup 2023 Format

The Chess World Cup is a single-elimination tournament with eight total rounds of competition. This is also the 10th edition of the Chess World Cup that will take place from July 30 through August 24 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The top 50 seeds are based on the FIDE Official Rankings and receive an automatic bid into the second round. Matches in each round follow the classical time limit. Games are 90 minutes long, plus 30 minutes on Move 40. The rapid chess format will settle tiebreakers.

Every round of the tournament will last three days. Two of those days will be for players to compete in classical time-control games. The third day will be to settle tiebreakers.

This year, a lot of prize money is up for grabs. The total prize pool is worth over $1.8 million, with $110,000 going to the tournament winner. Players eliminated in the first round will still be rewarded with $3,000.

The best three players also qualify for the Candidates Tournament next year, so that’s another reason to expect strong performances.

Chess World Cup 2023 Top Favorites

This section highlights the top players competing in the Chess World Cup 2023. Former world champion Magnus Carlsen is in the mix along with Fabiano Caruana, a two-time chess champion of the U.S. Reigning world champion Ding Liren won’t be competing.

Magnus Carlsen

  • Age: 32
  • Country: Norway
  • World Ranking: 1
  • FIDE Rating: 2835

The Chess World Cup betting odds haven’t been published, but Magnus Carlsen is the top favorite. He’s a five-time former world champion, having held the title from 2013 to 2023. Carlsen is widely regarded as one of the best modern chess players ever.

It was the end of an era when Carlsen decided not to defend his world title. He stated that he’s “not motivated to play” another world championship match. However, Carlsen also admitted that he’s not ready to retire and will continue to play the game he loves.

Carlsen is one of the most talented players of all time because he has a strong innate sense of how to play the game. He’s known for his ability to remain calm in every situation and force mistakes from his opponents. Carlsen also became a grandmaster at just 13 years old.

The Chess World Cup is a tournament that Carlsen has surprisingly never won. Everyone will be watching him as he attempts to claim the elusive title. Carlsen’s got what it takes to win this thing, but he’ll need to be close to his best.

No other player wins as consistently as Carlsen. He’s got thousands of victories in his career, and the World No. 1 ranking has been his since 2011. Carlsen seemingly can’t fail while competing against the world’s best players.

Honestly, it’s difficult for me to bet against Carlsen. This guy is one of the most unstoppable players on earth and often at his best in the biggest moments. Furthermore, Carlsen hasn’t won the Chess World Cup, which should supply him with plenty of motivation.

Fabiano Caruana

  • Age: 30
  • Country: United States
  • World Ranking: 3
  • FIDE Rating: 2782

Another chess player who has an incredible skill set is Fabiano Caruana. He’s also won plenty of major tournaments, which includes a previous victory in the FIDE Grand Prix Series. In 2018, Caruana played against Carlsen in the World Chess Championship and lost.

Although he was a more aggressive player in his early playing days, Caruana is now known for his preparation. He studies his opponents and tries to anticipate their moves. Caruana often demonstrates incredible maneuverability, no matter the position he’s in.

It’s an understatement to say that Caruana was a prodigy. He became a grandmaster at just 14 years old, which was the youngest ever for an American and Italian player at the time. Caruana also won four Italian championships before the age of 20.

Caruana has also beaten the best players in the world, including Carlsen and Nepo. He’s not the most conventional competitor in terms of his playing style, but he knows when and how to attack his opponents.

Ian Nepomniachtchi

  • Age: 33
  • Country: Russia
  • World Ranking: 5
  • FIDE Rating: 2779

When betting on the Chess World Cup, you also have to consider targeting Nepo. He’s a world-class player who just finished runner-up at the World Chess Championship. He will be eager to get redemption after he falls short of a world title for the second time.

Nepo was the favorite to defeat Liren before the Chess World Championship. In fact, he was supposed to play against Carlsen, who chose not to defend his title. The match against Liren went to a rapid tiebreak, and Nepo lost with 1.5 points to Liren’s 2.5 points.

Obviously, devastation doesn’t begin to describe Nepo’s defeat. However, he now has a chance to change the narrative and claim a major tournament. Nepo is a two-time winner of the Candidates Tournament and a two-time Russian national champion.

What I like about Nepo is his consistency. His game is also predicated on intimidating his opponents, even when he’s navigating complex positions.

Overall, Nepo is a well-rounded player in peak form despite suffering the upset against Liren. He won in the 2022 Candidates Tournament before the last round took place!

Chess World Cup Sleepers

You should also consider targeting a few sleepers competing at the Chess World Cup. Plenty of underdogs in this tournament are capable of winning it all if they play close to their best.

  • Teimour Radjabov. Radjabov was born and grew up in Azerbaijan, which is where the tournament will take place. He’s regarded as an excellent defensive player who is very hard to beat.
  • Sam Shankland. The American grandmaster is a talented player who’s yet to maximize his full potential. Shankland, a former U.S. champion, is known for his risk-taking style of play.
  • Daniil Dubov. The reigning Russian national champion is peaking at the right time. He recently won a Tuesday Blitz early tournament, securing the highest score in over a month with 10 points.

Chess World Cup 2023 Prediction

I will go the easy route here and pick Carlsen. The legendary player has never won this tournament before, so that should bring back the best of him. This is the reasonable prediction for the Chess World Cup 2023, and I don’t see enough to pick another player.

The betting odds are now available, and you can get +175 for Carlsen to win, which is enough for me.

My Pick:
Magnus Carlsen