Charity Cup Raises Over $150K for Ukraine

Leon Watson
31 March 2022

The fast response and support from partners, players and the chess community in tandem with new charitable activities enabled Play Magnus Group to raise over $150,000 for UNICEF during the Charity Cup, the second leg of the 2022 Meltwater Champions Chess Tour.

“With the world in shock due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we decided to shift the focus of the second leg of the Tour to support those in need and affected by the war. It gave additional meaning to collaborate with UNICEF on rapidly organizing a fundraiser during the tournament,” said Arne Horvei, Tour Director at Play Magnus Group.

The Meltwater Champions Chess Tour was founded by Play Magnus Group in 2020 and takes the form of nine tournaments throughout a full year of online chess. Magnus Carlsen has a central role in the Tour and leads the field of 26 players who have participated so far after the first two tournaments.

“We took several proactive steps, and our partners answered the call on short notice. Partners including Puma, FTX, Airthings, Julius Baer, and NEAR Foundation contributed their own donations to the fundraiser. During the broadcast, we also invited guests to try their luck playing against the ten-year-old version of Magnus Carlsen through the Play Magnus app. These guest participants donated in accordance with how many moves they managed to last against Magnus,” said Horvei.

Viewers also responded well to the fundraiser according to Horvei, with contributions coming in from more than 60 countries. 

“During the broadcast we notably auctioned off a chessboard signed by Magnus Carlsen for $8,600. Seeing high numbers is fun when it is for a good cause,” said Horvei.  

The tournament ended on March 26th, however donations are still welcome via

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