Feature

FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020

This March, many chess fans will be glued to their screens for days as they follow the world’s greatest chess players compete in one of the most important tournaments in their careers. And one of the most demanding. The Candidates tournament, a bi-annual double round-robin event determines who will challenge the World Champion for the title later this year. The fans will also have to learn the name of the hosting city – Ye-ka-terin-burg.

Dates and venue

The tournament is taking place in the Hayatt Hotel in Ekaterinburg, Urals. One of the largest cities in Russia, it’s situated 2000 km north of Moscow.

The FIDE Candidates 2020 scheduled for 16 March – 4 April 2020, will be held in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The tournament is an 8-player event to determine the challenger for the 2020 Championship Match against the defending world champion Magnus Carlsen. It will be Carlsen’s fifth match: after gaining the title in November 2013 in Chennai from Vishy Anand, defending it in 2014 in Sochi against the same opponent, then beating Sergey Karjakin in New York in 2016 and Fabiano Caruana in 2018, Carlsen will defend it in November of 2020.

The tournament runs from 16 March-4 April in the Hyatt Regency Ekaterinburg and features a prize fund of €500,000.


Who will play: Grand Prix + Rating + Wild Card

Ding Liren, along with Fabiano Caruana, is the favorite.

There are 8 players in total, but they qualified via different events: Caruana qualified as the challenger of the last title match in 2018, Teimour Radjabov and Ding Liren entered the Candidates’ as winners of the FIDE World Cup 2019. Wang Hao joined the tournament as the winner of the FIDE Grand Swiss 2019. Anish Giri qualified by rating. Russian Chess Federation, who had a Wild Card option as the hosting federation, nominated Kirill Alekseenko.

Alexander Grischuk and Ian Nepomniachtchi qualified as the winner and runner-up of the FIDE Grand Prix 2019 organized by World Chess, the publisher of this site.

The Grand Prix

The Grand Prix is a four-leg series taking place over the course of the year. It took place in Moscow, Russia; Riga, Latvia; Hamburg, Germany and Jerusalem, Israel. Each tournament, organized as a knock-out , had 16 players at the start. To win the Grand Prix, a player had to defeat opponents in four rounds. Each round consisted of two games with classical time control and a series of tie-breaks in case of an even score. Unlike in many other chess events, there were very few draws and a clear winner in every round.

Top Grandmasters from 12 countries took part in the FIDE World Chess Grand Prix Series 2019. They competed for a total prize fund of €800,000 and two spots in the FIDE Candidates 2020. These two spots were won by the winner of the Grand Prix Alexander Grischuk and one of two top finishers Yan Nepomniachtchi. These are the players who will compete in the FIDE Candidates 2020 in March this year. You can find a recap of the Grand Prix here

Ian Nepomniachtichi (Nepo) performed well in the first event of the series, but was on the brink of being knocked-out during his second event. Nepo managed to win the final leg of the Grand Prix and received his first ever ticket to the Candidates Tournament. Nepo was once a second to Magnus. They are friends, but Nepo is considered a strong opponent for the Champion.
Anish Giri secured a place in the Candidates via ratings. 
For the entire year, top players travelled the world and showed amazing fighting spirit. 
MVL, the world’s number 4, ended up losing in the final event of the Series. 
Spectators came to see their favorite players in person, but majority of the fans were following the games online.
Each Grand Prix featured 16 players, the knock-out system was thrilling for spectators. 

Pairings 

FIDE rules require pairings to be announced not later than thirty days before the beginning of the Candidates’. Players from the same federation play each other in earlier rounds: Ding Liren and Wang Hao will play each other in rounds 1 and 8; Alexander Grischuk, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Kirill Alekseeko – in rounds 1, 2, 3 and 8, 9, 10.

The drawings and pairing ceremony took place in the Russian ministry of sports. It was done by FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, former deputy PM of Russian Federation. Sports ministry officials were also present. 

ROUND 1 – March 17
Radjabov Caruana
Ding LirenWang Hao
Giri Nepomniachtchi
GrischukAlekseenko
ROUND 2 – March 18
CaruanaAlekseenko
NepomniachtchiGrischuk
Wang HaoGiri
RadjabovDing Liren
ROUND 3 march 19
Ding Liren Caruana
GiriRadjabov
Grischuk Wang Hao
AlekseenkoNepomniachtchi
ROUND 4 MARCH 21
Caruana Nepomniachtchi
Wang HaoAlekseenko
RadjabovGrischuk
Ding Liren Giri
ROUND 5 MARCH 22
GiriCaruana
GrischukDing Liren
Alekseenko Radjabov
NepomniachtchiWang Hao
ROUND 6 MARCH 23
GrischukCaruana
AlekseenkoGiri
NepomniachtchiDing Liren
Wang HaoRadjabov
ROUND 7 MARCH 25
CaruanaWang Hao
RadjabovNepomniachtchi
Ding Liren Alekseenko
GiriGrischuk
ROUND 8 MARCH 26
Caruana Radjabov
Wang HaoDing Liren
NepomniachtchiGiri
AlekseenkoGrischuk
ROUND 9 MARCH 27
AlekseenkoCaruana
GrischukNepomniachtchi
Giri Wang Hao
Ding LirenRadjabov
ROUND 10 MARCH 29
CaruanaDing Liren
RadjabovGiri
Wang HaoGrischuk
NepomniachtchiAlekseenko
ROUND 11 MARCH 30
NepomniachtchiCaruana
AlekseenkoWang Hao
Grischuk Radjabov
GiriDing Liren
ROUND 12 MARCH 31
CaruanaGiri
Ding LirenGrischuk
Radjabov Alekseenko
Wang HaoNepomniachtchi
ROUND 13 APRIL 2
Wang HaoCaruana
NepomniachtchiRadjabov
Alekseenko Ding Liren
GrischukGiri
ROUND 14 APRIL 3
Caruana Grischuk
GiriAlekseenko
Ding LirenNepomniachtchi
RadjabovWang Hao

Broadcast 

World Chess will organize a free broadcast on the official website: https://worldchess.com. The broadcast will feature moves and analysis as well as video commentary, organized by the Russian Chess Federation. 

The rounds start at 2 PM Moscow time (or 4PM local time). Please note that because this starting time (the latest was 3PM local time), and because there was no official confirmation, the time is subject to confirmation.

Take me to the broacast (when it starts)!

Partners of the FIDE Candidates Tournament

Leading partners supporting the FIDE Candidates 2020 include: Algorand as the Official Blockchain Partner  and Kaspersky as the Official Cybersecurity Partner. The event is organized in Yekaterinburg and financed by Sima-land. 

About Algorand: Based in Boston and founded by cryptography pioneer and Turing award winner Silvio Micali, Algorand is an open-source software company building technical innovation for the borderless economy with a platform that delivers decentralization, scalability and security. Algorand’s first-of-its-kind, permissionless, pure proof-of-stake protocol supports the scale, open participation, and transaction finality needed by users to build opportunity and fulfill the promise of blockchain technology. For more information, visit https://www.algorand.com/

About Kaspersky: Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.