Queenstown Chess Classic organiser Murray Chandler is personally underwriting the international tournament with a six-figure sum.
The New Zealand grandmaster – who owns property in the resort – also put his hand in his pocket to the tune of $30,000 for the inaugural contest three years ago.
This time the prize pot for the 10-day competition – which starts at the Millennium Hotel next Thursday – is a whopping $50,000.
“I’m underwriting the tournament again for about $100,000 as a thank you to the NZ chess community, who were fantastic to me when I started out as a professional player in 1975 when I was aged 15,” says Chandler.
“I’ve had a wonderful time playing throughout the world and will never forget the tremendous support I received as a youngster.”
About 115 competitors have registered for this year’s event, including strong representation from Europe.
An additional $6500 is also on offer in the NZ Rapidplay and Lightning Championships – and for under-18s, a Queenstown Junior Classic is being introduced over four mornings.