In 2020, the Candidates' had to be stopped because of the pandemic breaking out in Russia, as in the rest of the world.
Radjabov had renounced participating in the 2020 tournament after he asked for it to be postponed due to Covid-19, and when FIDE had to send the eight players home, Radjabov asked to be reinstated into the event when it would have been resumed. FIDE decided that the best thing to do was to give Radjabov a seat to the following Candidates, the tournament that is going to start on Friday, June 17.
Sergey Karjakin, who had qualified as the World Cup 2021 runner-up, has been disqualified for supporting Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
FIDE decided to replace Karjakin with the highest-rated player as of May 2022. Liren Ding was the owner of the highest rating but didn't have a sufficient number of games played. With the help of China federation, Liren played an astounding number of games in just one month, allowing him to play in the candidates.
The list is now complete, and, of course, it's impressive.
Ian Nepomniachtchi, 31, 2766, from Russia, qualified as the runner-up of the latest World Championship Match.
Teimour Radjabov, 35, 2753, from Azerbaijan, as we outlined above, is the candidate nominated by FIDE.
Jan-Krzysztof Duda, 24, 2750, from Poland, qualifed by winning the World Cup 2021.
Alireza Firouzja, 19, 2793, from France, won the Grand Swiss 2021.
Fabiano Caruana, 29, 2783, from the USA, was the runner-up in the Grand Swiss 2021.
Hikaru Nakamura, 34, 2760, from the USA, won the FIDE Grand Prix 2022.
Richard Rapport, 26, 2764, from Hungary, was the runner-up in the FIDE Grand Prix 2022.
Liren Ding, 29, 2806, from China, is the highest-rated player as of May 2022.
It's an extremely strong 8-player double round-robin tournament we're going to watch and enjoy starting Friday, June 17, at 9 AM EDT - 15:00 CEST (Central Europe Summar Time).
There are questions that those who follow the chess world closely will find interesting:
Ding reached the certainty of being on the list of participants quite late: how will his preparation be?
Why did Firouzja play so little after his brilliant run to the top 3, with a short visit over the 2800 barrier? Is it part of a plan or a terrible mistake?
Caruana has had a lot of "average" performances in the last 2-3 years. Will the American be able to resume his fantastic play?
Nepomniachtchi is a Russian. How will Ian be affected by what's happening in Ukraine? Not to mention his heavy loss to Carlsen in the World Championship Match, which may lead to a lack of confidence.
Rapport has been telling the chess world that he doesn't know whether chess will be part of his future. He doesn't feel supported, and that may pose a serious threat to his confidence.
Nakamura said more than once that he's a retired professional chess player, and his main job now is streaming on Twitch. What are Hikaru's priorities at the moment?
Does Radjabov even want to be there?
Duda lacks experience in such strong and closely tight events.
Anyway, every one of the super-talented participants will play the tournament of their life, that's for sure. Going on to play Magnus Carlsen in the World Championship Match that will take place later this year is not only an honor, but it also means money and glory.
The tournament is a double round-robin with eight players, making it a 14-round-three-weeks event.
Here is the schedule:
If there is a tie for first place, tiebreaks consist of up to three stages:
If two players are tied, a 15+10 two-game match is played between them, with a drawing of lots determining the colors for the first game.
If three to six players are tied, a single round-robin tournament with a 15+10 time control is played among the tied players.
If seven or eight players are tied, a single round-robin tournament with a 10+5 time control is played among the tied players.
If a tie for first place persists after stage one, stage two commences:
If two players are tied, a 3+2 two-game match breaks the tie, with a drawing of lots deciding the starting colors.
If more than two players are tied, a single round-robin tournament with a 3+2 time control is played.
If a tie for first place persists after stage two, stage three commences:
A knockout tournament decides the winner.
If there are more than two players the bracket is determined by a drawing of lots.
Each match of the knockout tournament consists of a single 3+2 game, with colors determined by a drawing of lots.
If any game of the knockout ends in a draw, players keep alternating colors and playing 3+2 games until a decisive game determines the winner.
You can find additional rules to break ties for all other positions on FIDE's regulations under section 4.4.2.
The Internet Chess Club will relay the games LIVE on its platform, Twitch, and YouTube.
We will also have video recaps on each of the rest days! (06/20 - 06/24 - 06/28 - 07/02 - 07/05)
GMs Miguel Illescas and Alex Yermolinsky will delight us with their amazing analysis and comments on the ongoing tournament.