FIDE Candidates Chess Tournament 2022: All the information

This guide contains all the information about the FIDE Candidates Tournament 2022: player details, schedule, results, rules, etc.

The cover of Chess.com FIDE Candidates Tournament 2022 Short of June 16 to July 7. This event is the biggest of the year as the best players in the world come together to fight for a chance to face GM Magnus Carlsen for the title of world champion in 2023.


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Program

Matches in the event start on June 17 and end on July 4 (or July 5 if there are tie-breaks). We will provide you with more information about the start time of each round once FIDE releases the official schedule.

Format

  • Eight players compete in a double round robin (14 rounds)
  • Time control: 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, 50 minutes for the next 20 moves, then 15 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move from the first move.
  • Draws by mutual agreement are not allowed before black’s 40th move
  • Players earn 1 point for a win, 0.5 points for a draw, and 0 points for a loss
  • The player with the most points at the end of 14 rounds becomes the champion
  • The winner earns the right to face Carlsen in the 2023 FIDE World Chess Championship.

Tiebreaker

If there is a tie for first place, the tiebreakers consist of a maximum of three stages:

Step 1

  • If two players are tied, a two-game 15+10 match is played between them, with a coin toss determining the colors for the first game.
  • If three to six players are tied, a single round robin with a time control of 15 + 10 is played between the tied players
  • If seven or eight players are tied, a single round robin with 10+5 time control is played between the tied players.

2nd step

If a tie for first place remains after the first stage, the second stage begins:

  • If two players are tied, a two-game 3+2 match breaks the tie, with a coin toss deciding the starting colors.
  • If more than two players are tied, a single round robin with 3+2 time control is played.

Step 3

If a tie for first place remains after the second stage, the third stage begins:

  • A knockout tournament decides the winner.
  • If there are more than two players, the draw is determined by a draw.
  • Each knockout tournament match consists of a single 3+2 match, with colors determined by a coin toss.
  • If a knockout match ends in a draw, players continue to alternate colors and play 3+2 matches until a deciding match determines the winner.

You can find additional rules for breaking ties for all other positions at FIDE Rules under section 4.4.2.

Players

The 2022 Candidates Tournament brings together eight of the best players in the world. Seven players have already qualified, with the highest-rated player according to FIDE’s May 22 list taking last place and replacing GM Sergey Karjakin after his suspension.











Ian Nepomniachtchi (31)

Ian Nepomniachtchi (2773, Russia) qualified as the 2021 FIDE World Vice-Champion. Nepomniachtchi won the 2020-2021 Candidates Tournament with one round to spare but ultimately lost to Carlsen in Dubai.

Candidates 2022 Participants Ian Nepomniachtchi Finalist of the World Championship

Teimour Radjabov (34)

Teimour Radjabov (2753, Azerbaijan) was invited by FIDE to play Candidates 2022 after qualifying for the previous edition of the event and refusing to participate due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Candidates Participants Teimour Radjabov FIDE invited

Jan-Krzysztof Duda (23)

Jan-Krzysztof Duda (2760, Poland) qualified by winning the 2021 FIDE World Cup, even beating Carlsen in the process. He is also the player who ended the world champion’s 125-game unbeaten streak in 2020.

2022 Candidates Duda World Cup Winner

Alireza Firouzja (18)

Alireza Firouzja (2804, France) qualified after winning the FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss 2021. Firouzja broke the record for the youngest player to break the 2800 mark.

2022 Candidates Participants Alireza Firouzja Grand Winner Switzerland

Fabien Caruana (29)

Fabiano Caruana (2792, USA) qualified to finish the Swiss FIDE Chess.com Grand 2021 in second place. Caruana won the 2018 Candidates and drew 12 games against Carlsen in the World Championship match.

2022 Candidates Participants Fabiano Caruana Swiss Grand Finalist

Top FIDE Rated Player (May 2022)

The top-rated player who qualifies to play in the Candidates will replace GM Sergey Karjakin after the Russian was banned from official FIDE events for six months from March 21, 2022.

2022 Candidates Participants Highest Rated FIDE Player as of May 22

Hikaru Nakamura (34)

Hikaru Nakamura (2758, USA) qualified by finishing in the top two of the 2022 FIDE Grand Prix. This will be his second Candidates Tournament appearance (2016).

FIDE 2022 Candidates Hikaru Nakamura Grand Prize Participants

Richard Report (26)

Richard Rapport (2776, Hungary) qualified by finishing in the top two of the FIDE Grand Prix 2022. This will be his first appearance in a Candidates Tournament.

2022 Candidates Participats Richard Report Grand Prix

Prize fund

The 2022 Candidates Tournament has a minimum prize pool of €500,000, distributed as follows:

  • 1st: €48,000
  • 2nd: €36,000
  • 3rd: €24,000

The prize money is divided equally between players with an equal score after 14 rounds. Players also receive €3,500 for each half point scored.

The winner of the tournament earns the right to play against Carlsen at the 2023 FIDE World Chess Championship.

Location

In December 2021, FIDE announced that Madrid would host the 2022 Candidates Tournament. Spain is well known for its chess tradition. The country has hosted every major chess event at least once, including two previous Candidates’ Finals (1987 and 1993).

Regulations

You can find the official rules in this PDF.

History of the Candidates Tournament

The Candidates Tournament has a long tradition. Its first edition took place in 1950 in Budapest, when GM David Bronstein and Isaac Boleslavsky are tied for first place. Bronstein then won a match against Boleslavsky to earn the right to play for the World Championship title against GM Mikhail Botvinnik. The World Championship match ended in a tie, and according to the rules at the time, Botvinnik retained his title.

The 1953 Candidates Tournament in Zurich was the second and perhaps the most famous edition of the event. GM Vassily Smyslov won this tournament and then tied for the World Championship with Botvinnik. Three years later, Smyslov won the next contenders in Amsterdam, then beat Botvinnik to become the world champion.

GMs Boris Spassky, Viktor Korchnoi, Anatoly Karpov and Viswanathan Anand are the only other players to qualify for another title match (not counting rematches guaranteed to a defeated champion) after losing the first match.

Spassky became the world champion after beating GM Tigran Petrosian in 1969, but not before losing to him in 1966. Korchnoi was not as successful as Spassky and lost his matches to Karpov in 1978 and 1981. Karpov himself had to win the 1989 contenders to play for the world title after losing the match to GM Garry Kasparov in 1987.

More recently, the 2013 Candidates Tournament in London was particularly spectacular. In a close battle for first place between Carlsen and general manager Vladimir Kramnik, the two lost their final round match and were tied. Carlsen won the tournament based on the second tie-break (number of wins) and beat Anand later that year to become the new world champion.

Another historic edition of the event happened between 2020 and 2021, this time for reasons unrelated to chess. FIDE has decided to suspend the tournament mid-term due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented event in chess history. Nepomniachtchi, who finished the first half in second place, won the event with one set to spare after the tournament resumed.

Carlsen successfully defended his title against Anand, who won the 2014 Candidates Tournament, Karjakin (2016), Caruana (2018) and Nepomniachtchi (2021). The winner of the 2022 Candidates Tournament will define the world champion’s next opponent.

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