FIDE Candidates Tournament Resumes November 1
The playing hall in March in Yekaterinburg. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

FIDE Candidates Tournament Resumes November 1

| 114 | Chess Event Coverage

The FIDE Candidates Tournament will resume on November 1, 2020, in Yekaterinburg, Russia, or Tbilisi, Georgia. This was announced moments ago by the International Chess Federation.

Earlier today, the Russian news agency TASS broke the news, quoting Sverdlovsk Chess Federation President Andrei Simanovsky. He said he is in regular contact with FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich and provided him a document saying the Yekaterinburg organizers "are ready" to hold the second half of the tournament October 28-November 11, "provided there is a stable epidemiological situation, safe for the players."

Initially, FIDE couldn't confirm the news, but it has now officially announced the tournament resumption on its website. The date for round eight of the tournament, the first one of the second half, is November 1, 2020. 

A reserve hosting city has been named as well in case the coronavirus pandemic situation in Yekaterinburg will prevent the tournament from being held there. In that case, the players will play their final seven rounds in Tbilisi, Georgia.

That city has been officially approved by FIDE as an alternate and is ready to host the tournament in the same time frame as well. "We are also in touch with other potential host cities from several countries where the event could be moved to, in case additional restrictions reappear in Russia and Georgia," FIDE added.

The first half of the tournament was played March 17-25 in Yekaterinburg. FIDE interrupted the event halfway, postponing the second half when an interruption of air traffic between Russia and other countries was imminent because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, GMs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France and Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia are both on 4.5/7 points.

Round 7 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Score SB
1 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2767 2876 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 4.5/7 15.25
2 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2774 2875 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 4.5/7 14.25
3 Caruana, Fabiano 2842 2764 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 3.5/7 12.25
4-5 Giri, Anish 2763 2775 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 3.5/7 11.25
4-5 Wang Hao 2762 2775 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 3.5/7 11.25
6 Grischuk, Alexander 2777 2773 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.5/7 12.25
7 Ding Liren 2805 2667 0 0 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 2.5/7 8.25
8 Alekseenko, Kirill 2698 2683 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 2.5/7 9.25

"I'm eager to resume the Candidates Tournament; most sports have been resuming competitions, so I think FIDE is moving forward in the right direction," Vachier-Lagrave told "At the same time, I'm hoping that all conditions will be reinstated for safely bringing all players in the best conditions so that everyone feels comfortable, and that a thorough medical protocol—covering most if not all eventualities—will be devised to have a safe and stable environment for all players."

GM Anish Giri, who declined his participation in the upcoming Norway Chess tournament saying there were too many uncertainties, refrained from commenting on the news about the Candidates.

The FIDE Candidates Tournament is one of the most important events of 2020. Eight players are fighting for a chance to play GM Magnus Carlsen in the World Chess Championship. That title match has been postponed to 2021.

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