Anand: will he, won't he? He will!

by Frederic Friedel
1/21/2014 – We recently informed you that former World Champion Viswanathan Anand appeared to be vacillating on a decision whether to play in the March Candidates Tournament for the next Championship cycle. At least that is the way the media portrayed it. Decision day was January 20, and today FIDE published the official list of participants, which is topped by Anand. Participants and regulations.

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Anand to play in the 2014 Candidates

On December 23, 2013, FIDE announced that the deadline for player's participation in the Candidates Tournament is 20 January 2014. At the time Anand seemed reluctant to commit to participating in the next cycle, and a number of newspapers and chess blogs had already written him off and naming Fabiano Caruana as the replacement.

Read the full report in the Times of India here

However, when the decision day for inclusion or rejection, January 20, arrived, FIDE published the official list of participants, which is topped by Anand. In the following table we have included the ratings and world rankings of the players taken from the January 1st 2014 FIDE list.

Candidate Country
1. Vishy Anand India
Previous World Champion
2. Vladimir Kramnik Russia
World Cup 2013 winner
3. Dmitry Andreikin Russia
World Cup 2013 finalist
4. Veselin Topalov Bulgaria
Grand Prix 2012-13 winner
5. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Azerbaijan
Grand Prix 2012-13 runner-up
6. Levon Aronian Armenia
Rating list 2012-13
7. Sergey Karjakin Russia
Rating list 2012-13
8. Peter Svidler Russia
host nominee

The event will be held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia from 11 March (arrivals) to 1 April 2014 (departures). Here the exact schedule:

11 March Arrivals
12 March Opening ceremony, players' meeting
13-15 March    Rounds 1-3
16 March Free day
17-19 March Rounds 4-6
20 March Free day
21-23 March Rounds 7-9
24 March Free day
25-27 March Rounds 10-12
28 March Free day
29-30 March Rounds 13-14
31 March Tiebreaks / Closing ceremony
1 April Departures

And here are some technical details from FIDE's Rules & regulations for the Candidates Tournament of the FIDE World Championship cycle 2012–2014

3.1 Tournament Format & System
The 8 players shall play a double round robin tournament (14 rounds). The players who are from the same federation will play each ot her in rounds 1 and 8 (if only two) and if up to four players are from the same federation in rounds 1, 2, 3 and 8, 9, 10. If a player withdraws after completing 50% or more of the games, the rest of his games are lost by default. In case a pla yer completes less than 50%, all his results are annulled.

3.4 Pairings and draw of colours
The draw for pairings and colours will be conducted in the FIDE office in Athens, one month before the start of the event. For tiebreak games, there shall be a separate drawing of lots conducted by the Chief Arbiter.

3.5 Time control.
The time control for each game shall be: 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move 61.

3.7 Tiebreaks
If the top two or more players score the same points, the tie will be decided by the following criteria, in order of priority:
a) The results of the games between the players involved in the tie. If they are still tied:
b) The total number of wins in the tournament of every player involved in the tie. If they are still tied:
c) Sonneborn-Berger System.

If there is no clear winner with the above 3 criteria, there will be a special competition between the players who still remain tied. After a new drawing of colors, each tied player will play two tiebreak games with the other tied opponent(s). The games shall be played using the electronic clock starting with 25 minutes for each player with an
increment of 10 seconds after each move.

If after the games in Article 3.7.1a there are still players tied for 1st place then, after a new drawing of colours, these players will play blitz games. Each tied player will play two games with the other opponent(s). Each player will receive 5 minutes on his clock + 3 seconds for each move starting from move. If there is a tie again, this process will be repeated for the tied players, for a maximum of two (2) more times.

After this, if only two players are still tied, sudden death games will be played: the player who wins the drawing of lots, may choose the colour. White shall receive 5 minutes on the clock and Black shall receive 4 minutes. Both players shall receive an increment of 3 seconds starting from move 61. In case of a draw the player with the black pieces is declared the winner. If three players are tied, sudden death games will be played too. The three players will be initially ranked according to their average FIDE rating; the players ranked No. 2 and No. 3 will play first, and the winner will face the player initially ranked No. 1. If four players are tied, No. 1 plays No. 4 and No. 2 plays No. 3. The two winners play the final match. If five players are tied, the players initially ranked No. 4 and No. 5 will play first and the winner will join the three remaining players. If 6 players or more still tied, sudden death games will also be played in accordance with the spirit of the above rules. There shall be a pause of 10 minutes between all tiebreak games, unless the Chief Arbiter decides otherwise.

3.8 Prizes for the Candidates Tournament
The total minimum prize fund of the Candidates Tournament amounts to 420,000 euros. The amount is net and cleared of any local taxes. All prize money will be divided equally where players have the same score in the tournament (after 14 rounds). The money prizes and stipends to be paid to the Principals of the WCC Candidates Tournament are as follows:

1st place 95,000 Euros   Chairman of Appeals Committee  7,000 Euros
2nd place 88,000 Euros   Two members of Appeals Committee 10,000 Euros
3rd place 75,000 Euros   Chief Arbiter  6,000 Euros
4th place 55,000 Euros   Deputy Chief Arbiter  4,500 Euros
5th place 40,000 Euros   Arbiter  3,000 Euros
6th place 28,000 Euros   Press Officer  3,500 Euros
7th place 22,000 Euros   FIDE Medical Commission  2,000 Euros
8th place 17,000 Euros      

3.9 Playing Conditions
Only the players, principals and steward(-ess)s shall be allowed in the actual playing area except with the permission of the Chief Arbiter. A player may communicate with an arbiter or a steward. During the playing session the following additional regulations shall be in force:

  1. The players are not permitted to bring into the playing area telephone, technical and other equipment extraneous to play, which may in any way disturb or upset the opponent. The Chief Arbiter shall decide what constitutes extraneous equipment liable to offend the opponent.
  2. The players cannot draw a game by agreement before Black’s 30th move. A claim for a draw before Black’s 30th move is permitted only through the Chief Arbiter (or his Deputy) in the cases of perpetual check or threefold repetition.
  3. During the playing session, a player may leave the playing area only with the permission of the Chief Arbiter and only if he is accompanied by one of the arbiters.

We remind you of the reasons we gave in late December for Anand's participation:

  1. Anand loves chess, and when you are as good as he is at anything, you are going to want to do it.
  2. He has practically finished preparation for the event, from his work for Carlsen.
  3. As the former world champion Anand has a free ticket to the final stage of the coming cycle, something many players would give their back teeth for.
  4. One billion people are hoping that he will play, and will be rooting with all their hearts for him (it behooves us not to apply pressure, but those are the facts).
  5. Anand is a great player who was in contention for the World Championship when Magnus Carlsen was barely able to say the word "sjakk". Magnus and Fabiano are young guys with at least twenty years of top class chess ahead of them.
  6. Anand has won or defended the title five time, and a half-dozen would be a nice number.
  7. He's a seriously nice guy.

Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.


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