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Radjabov Gets Direct Spot In 2022 FIDE Candidates

Radjabov Gets Direct Spot In 2022 FIDE Candidates

PeterDoggers
| 80 | Chess Politics

The International Chess Federation today confirmed what had been suggested earlier: GM Teimour Radjabov gets a direct place in the 2022 Candidates Tournament. FIDE's new qualification system does not include another wildcard and neither a qualifier by rating.

Earlier today FIDE announced the qualification paths for the 2022 Candidates Tournament on its website:

  • One spot – FIDE World Championship Match 2021, Runner-up
  • One spot – Radjabov (winner of the FIDE World Cup 2019)
  • Two spots – FIDE World Cup 2021
  • Two spots – FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss Tournament 2021
  • Two spots – FIDE Grand Prix Series 2022

Radjabov's direct qualification has everything to do with what happened in the previous Candidates Tournament. When the coronavirus pandemic started to become a global threat in March 2020, the Azerbaijani grandmaster withdrew from the Candidates citing concerns. When FIDE had to interrupt the tournament halfway, Radjabov's decision became all the more understandable. In a long interview with Chess.com, he even stated that he was considering legal action.

Candidates participant GM Kirill Alekseenko stated that it would be logical to provide Radjabov with a wildcard for the next Candidates, something FIDE President Dvorkovich also suggested. Back then, World Champion Magnus Carlsen did not agree and even called the idea "ridiculous."

"You could make the case that he should actually play in this one now that it's been postponed and the situation is different," said Carlsen. "I don't feel that way, I don't know the law, I don't know what is supposed to happen there, but to me, it doesn't feel justified that he should play even if it resumes, but I would understand it. But 2022, no!"

One consequence of Radjabov's inclusion is that there won't be a wildcard that can be chosen by the sponsor this time. Another big change is the lack of a qualifier by rating. Instead, not one, but two spots are coming from the FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss, to be held Oct. 25-Nov. 8, 2021.

Besides the traditional world championship runner-up and the two spots from the World Cup (to be held in July of this year), two other spots come from a new Grand Prix Series. No further details have been provided yet, except that FIDE plans to hold the series in a rather short timeframe: between February and April 2022. In which month the 2022 Candidates is planned to be held is not known either. The whole plan, however, is likely to end with another world championship match in 2022, one year after the Carlsen-Nepomniachtchi clash.

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