Breathe better, play better



December 15, 2020

The top chess players in the world will monitor air quality in their homes during the Champions Chess Tour

Airthings, makers of the best-selling indoor air quality and radon monitors for consumers, businesses, and professionals announced today a partnership with Play Magnus Group for the 2021 Champions Chess Tour. The tour brings together the best chess players in the world to compete in a total of ten tournaments of rapid chess online. As the official Air Quality Partner of the Champions Chess Tour, Airthings will monitor and stream the air quality levels in the players’ homes to raise awareness about the importance of good indoor air and how it impacts our cognitive abilities, decision making, and health.  

Poor air, lower performance 

On average, the air in our homes is typically 2 to 5 times worse than outdoors. When CO₂ builds up in poorly ventilated spaces, it can cause lower productivity, drowsiness, headaches, loss of concentration, and poor decision-making. Scientists have found that decision-making capabilities decline when levels rise to 1,000 ppm, while 1,400 ppm sees a 50 percent drop in cognitive ability. Other conditions such as temperature, humidity, and pressure can also affect our wellbeing, and are linked to headaches, skin and eye irritation, or even trigger asthma.

“For chess, esports, and gamers, concentration and response time is key, and with players sitting for hours in a room, the air they breathe plays a key role in how well they perform, make decisions, and reason,” says Oyvind Birkenes, CEO at Airthings. “By monitoring the air quality in the room, chess players can make sure they breathe healthy air, boosting their cognitive performance and staying on top of their game throughout a tournament.”

Going digital

As the world went on lockdown due to the current pandemic, sports events around the world had to shut down. Chess, on the other hand, has found a way to thrive in the digital world. Instead of live tournaments in arenas or convention halls, chess players now compete from the comfort of their homes, and there’s been a surge in interest to watch and participate in these games. With new shows popping up, such as The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, the popularity of chess keeps on growing.

Sebastian Kuhnert, Chief Business Development Officer of the Play Magnus Group, the company behind the Champions Chess Tour and tournament host at, said: “Chess has become more popular than ever and millions of people are following the Champions Chess Tour. The tour means high-stakes decision-making, often under time pressure. It will be fascinating to see how 16 of the world's best chess players perform in the Airthings Masters and see how the air quality is different in each of their homes using Airthings’ technology.”

Game on

The next tournament in the Champions Chess Tour will be The Airthings Masters, kicking off on December 26th and running until January 3rd. Grandmasters like Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So, and Hikaru Nakamura will be competing to win a prize fund of 1,500,000 USD. Viewers will be able to see live readings of the players’ indoor air quality during the tournament and get an insight into how it affects their performance. The season will culminate in a final tournament to name the world’s best chess player. Follow the tour on and learn about your favorite players’ air quality and how it impacts their game!


About Play Magnus Group

The Play Magnus Group is a global leader in the chess industry focused on providing premier digital experiences for millions of chess players and students. The company offers e-learning and entertainment services via its market leading brands: chess24, Chessable, CoChess, the Play Magnus App Suite, and the Champions Chess Tour. The Group’s mission is to grow chess to make the world a smarter place by encouraging more people to play, watch, study, and earn a living from chess.

About Airthings

Airthings is a global technology company and producer of award-winning radon and indoor air quality monitors for homeowners, businesses, and professionals. Founded in 2008, Airthings is on a mission to ensure that people around the world recognize the impact of indoor air quality and take control of their health through simple, affordable, and accurate technology solutions. Airthings’ products have made radon detection and indoor air quality monitoring easy to deploy, accurate, and user friendly, and have received several accolades including the TIME's Best Inventions of 2019 award and CES 2019 Innovation Award. Headquartered in the heart of Oslo, and with offices in the US, Sweden, and Canada, the company has over 100 employees from more than 25 nationalities—and counting. For more information, visit



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Nora Perez
PR & Events Manager