Airthings year in chess 2023



December 5, 2023


It was another amazing year for Airthings in the world of chess. As longstanding partners of the Champions Chess Tour, we are continually on a mission to inspire and empower the chess world and the world at large to breathe better. In that respect, this year was in many ways our most successful ever, with more viewers, interest, and enthusiastic Airthings users than ever before.

In this article, we'll run through our favorite moments from 2023, including not one but two viral videos. 

Magnus Carlsen wins the Airthings Masters (again)

We swear it's not as easy as he makes it look, but the 2022 Airthings Masters champion successfully defended his crown after a dominating week. His tournament culminated in a convincing performance against rival Hikaru Nakamura in the grand final to take the 2023 Airthings Masters title.

You can watch the winning moment here

MIT study finds chess players perform worse when air quality is low

The chess world held its breath as MIT released the findings of a study that showed that chess players perform objectively worse and make more suboptimal moves when exposed to air pollution. The performance of over 100 players was measured by a computerized analysis of their games when there is more fine particulate matter or PM in the air. Specifically, the researchers found that the more air pollution players were exposed to, the more mistakes they would make. The study was published by, The Independent, and the Journal of Management Science

Chess players face a tough foe: air pollution | MIT News | Massachusetts  Institute of Technology

The world's best chess player using an air monitor

To help improve the air they breathe and educate viewers about air quality, we supply our monitors to many of the tour's stars including, Anish Giri, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, and of course, Magnus Carlsen. During the 2023 Airthings Masters, Magnus was playing from the home of fellow chess Grandmasters Eric Hansen and Aman Hambleton in Toronto (aka the chessbrahs). While the conditions were mostly good in their game room, after blundering in a tight game in his match against Indian superstar Arjun Erigaisi, Magnus noticed his CO2 levels were far too high and thus were affecting his play. So what did he do? He opened his window, lowered his CO2 levels and proceeded to see out the match to a victory.  

Check out the Magnus' opening move below, which received over 2 million views on TikTok


Magnus Carlsen gets up to take a breath of fresh air during his Grand Final match against Hikaru 😅 #chess #magnuscarlsen #chesschamps #airthingsmasters

♬ original sound -

During every Tour event, we monitor and display the players' air quality on our dedicated chess page What's amazing to see is how seriously the players take their air quality. We can see how they almost always keep their levels optimal for cognitive performance. We like to think we play a small but important part in helping the best chess minds in the world perform at their peak.  

Learn more about the air quality monitor used by over 100,000 people and the  world's best chess players 

Supporting growing content creators

For a company supporting the world of chess, it would be easy to focus only on just the big names, but chess itself is much much bigger than that. That's why we were happy to support amazing emerging content creators like KDLearns and WFM SimplyDevina with Airthings products to give away during their streams to aid in growing their channels and, in doing so, growing the incredible game of chess! 


The Airthings Challenge ft. Magnus Carlsen and David Howell

As winner of the Airthings Masters 2023, we invited Magnus Carlsen to take on "The Airthings Challenge". When designing our challenge, we wanted to truly test the mind of the world champion. Chess is hard enough as it is, right? How about you're playing against Britain's best chess player? How about instead of regular chess pieces you have black and white Airthings devices? Is it impossible yet? Well... not for Magnus Carlsen. 

Watch the full video of Magnus battling David here or below.

Then, maybe even more astoundingly... Magnus was challenged to recognize and solve chess positions without seeing the pieces, just Airthings Wave Plus devices. 

Watch the full video of Magnus' incredible pattern recognition skills here or below. 

Both videos have amassed over 3 million views on all platforms. 

Thank you for an amazing year of chess 💛