FIDE Candidates Tournament To Resume In April
The playing hall in Yekaterinburg in March 2020. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

FIDE Candidates Tournament To Resume In April

| 60 | Chess Event Coverage

What was mentioned by FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich in mid-January is now official: the FIDE Candidates Tournament will resume in the second half of April in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The news was announced today by FIDE.

The new official dates for the second half of the tournament are April 19-29, with the eighth round to be played on April 20. 

The first half of the tournament was played March 17-25, 2020, also 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. 

The event was initially planned to resume on November 1, 2020, but had to be postponed once again. The bottleneck was the situation with the Chinese participants, GMs Ding Liren and GM Wang Hao, who had not received clearance to travel abroad and play.

This time this should not be an issue, FIDE President Dvorkovich told "We have been in contact with the Chinese Chess Association and the Chinese embassy. Although we're still waiting for a formal response, we received the assurance that traveling for the players will be possible."

On returning to China, Ding and Wang will most probably need to go in quarantine, which might also be the case for other participants. Back in October, Wang shared his worries about his safety if the tournament were to be resumed in November. According to Dvorkovich, all players have responded positively although some of them had "questions about logistics."

The playing conditions will be similar to those in March 2020 and during the recent tournament in Wijk aan Zee, which means the players will need to undergo a COVID test at arrival and one or two more times during the event. According to Dvorkovich, the playing hall is likely going to change from the Hyatt to another hotel because some players had complained that the windows in their rooms could not be opened. 

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

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 announced to take place November 24-December 16, 2021 alongside the Dubai World Expo. 

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Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

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