And now? This is the big question facing the world of chess. Ian Nepomniachtchi’s challenge to Magnus Carlsen is over, but we’re already thinking about what’s to come. The cycle of the world will almost have to re-normalize, upset by the Covid-19 pandemic and in any case in need of his era. Just two days ago, a strong signal came from Arkady DvorkovichH, President of the Federation.
The latter announced, in fact, that the next candidate tournament, which will determine the contender for the world champion, will be held in the Northern Hemisphere in the summer of next year; In addition, this means that The World Championship match will be held in the first half of 2023. This is a site that has been a favorite for decades, before the many changes that led to the year-end pick.
But how are things now? This can be said at a particularly advanced stage. Or at least, that is the case for the players, because there is still no trace of the place, as for the candidates (for the match as such it is too early to speak, as usual). Let’s summarize the current situation:
Ian Nepomnyashchi (Russia), being the loser in the global comparison, automatically qualifies for the following version of candidates: This is a common automatic practice.
Timur Ragabov (Azerbaijan) instead comes from a certain date. He was supposed to be a candidate for 2020, but gave up due to concerns (which later turned out to be well-founded) about Covid-19. FIDE has given him a wild card for 2022.
Ali Reza Firouzja (France, formerly Iran) H Fabiano Caruana (US) Qualified by FIDE Grand Swiss 2021, the Swiss System Championship which saw 108 players start at Latvia, in Riga.
Jan Krzysztof Duda (Poland) e Sergey Karjakin (Russia) qualified instead thanks to the final held in the Sochi World Cup, Russia, with the participation of 206 players and fought eight knockout rounds until the last chapter, which was then won by Duda.
Two places still have to be allocated by FIDE Grand Prix, which will take place over three tournaments: February 3-17 in Berlin, February 28 – March 14 in Belgrade and March 21 – April 4 in Berlin again. They are tournaments with 4 groups of 4 and 1 elimination stage. In the groups there is a double robin role: the winners from the groups go to the semi-finals, in which mini-games are played from two classic matches followed, if necessary, by the play-offs. In groups, a tie between two or three players is also resolved by play-off matches, the sequence of which is: fast (15′ + 10 ″ for each player) – blitz (3′ + 2 ″) – Armageddon.
Players participating in the Grand Prix can compete in only two out of three stages. They are: Ding Liren, Wei Yi, Yu Yanjie (China), Levon Aronian, Wesley Sue, Linare Dominguez, Sam Shankland (United States of America), Alexander Grischuk, Nikita Vitogov, Dmitry Andreikin, Vladimir Fedoseev, Alexander Pridky, Grigory Oparin (Russia), Maxime Vacher-Lagrave, Etienne Bacruet (France), Shakhryar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), Richard Report (Hungary), Vidit Santosh Gujrati (India), Alexey Shirov (Spain), Vincent Kemer (Germany), Amin Tabatabai (Iran) in addition to a presidential and organizational appointment. Available scores: 13 for the winner, 10 for the final, 7 for the semi-final, 4 for the second in the group, 2 for the third and zero for the fourth. The winner is the one who scores the most points in the three tournaments with the above conditions.
Photo: FIDE / Eric Rosen
“Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar.”