Candidates 2020 pairings announced

by ChessBase
2/14/2020 – The Candidates Tournament 2020 is just over a month away and today FIDE announced the results of a ceremony to determine the pairing numbers for the eight players in this highly anticipated double round-robin. Radjabov, Ding, Giri, and Grischuk will start with the white pieces on March 17th in Yekaterinburg. Read the press release... | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili (CFR)

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Press release

The drawing of lots for the Candidates Tournament was held in the Russian Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation, with the presence of the newly appointed Minister of Sports, Oleg Matytsin, the FIDE President, Arkady Dvorkovich, and the famed tennis player Anastasia Myskina (winner of Roland Garros 2004). Also present was the legendary chess coach Anatoly Bykhovsky.

The participants of the competition received the following numbers:

  1. Teimour Radjabov
  2. Ding Liren
  3. Anish Giri
  4. Alexander Grischuk
  5. Kirill Alekseenko
  6. Ian Nepomniachtchi
  7. Wang Hao
  8. Fabiano Caruana

Oleg Matytsin: “Before we started this ceremony we discussed with Anastasia Myskina that a lot of great sports are called “chess in motion”: football is “chess in motion”, tennis also, but the great game of chess is always there as the game itself and the best chess players are admired all over the world. Russia is known for its chess traditions, and we’re happy to host such a great tournament. We can guarantee that the organizational level will be top-notch as always for the events hosted by Russia.”

Matytsin, Myskina and Dvorkovich

Oleg Matytsin, Anastasia Myskina and Arkady Dvorkovich | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili (CFR)

Arkady Dvorkovich: “We’re glad that Russia, the long-time partner of FIDE, is hosting the Candidates event, the key leg of the world championship cycle. There will be players from China, Azerbaijan, Netherlands, USA, and Russia. We welcome all chess lovers to visit Yekaterinburg or to follow this amazing event online”. The FIDE President also expressed gratitude to the general sponsor of the Candidates tournament, the company Sima-Land.

The FIDE Candidates 2020 will take place in Yekaterinburg, Russia from March 15th until April 5th.  Eight top grandmasters will contest in a double round-robin tournament for the right to challenge the current World Champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway).

FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020 pairings

Round 1 (March 17, 2020)
Radjabov – Caruana
Ding Liren - Wang Hao
Giri - Nepomniachtchi
Grischuk - Alekseenko

Round 02 (March 18, 2020)
Caruana – Alekseenko
Nepomniachtchi - Grischuk
Wang Hao - Giri
Radjabov – Ding Liren

Round 03 (March 19, 2020)
Ding Liren - Caruana
Giri - Radjabov
Grischuk - Wang Hao
Alekseenko - Nepomniachtchi

Round 04 (March 21, 2020)
Caruana - Nepomniachtchi
Wang Hao - Alekseenko
Radjabov - Grischuk
Ding Liren - Giri

Round 05 (March 22, 2020)
Giri - Caruana
Grischuk - Ding Liren
Alekseenko – Radjabov
Nepomniachtchi - Wang Hao

Round 06 (March 23, 2020)
Grischuk - Caruana
Alekseenko - Giri
Nepomniachtchi - Ding Liren
Wang Hao - Radjabov

Round 07 (March 25, 2020)
Caruana - Wang
Hao Radjabov - Nepomniachtchi
Ding Liren - Alekseenko
Giri - Grischuk


Round 08 (March 26, 2020)
Caruana - Radjabov
Wang Hao - Ding Liren
Nepomniachtchi - Giri
Alekseenko - Grischuk
Round 09 (March 27, 2020)
Alekseenko - Caruana
Grischuk - Nepomniachtchi
Giri - Wang Hao
Ding Liren - Radjabov

Round 10  (March 29, 2020)
Caruana - Ding Liren
Radjabov - Giri
Wang Hao - Grischuk
Nepomniachtchi - Alekseenko

Round 11 (March 30, 2020)
Nepomniachtchi - Caruana
Alekseenko - Wang Hao
Grischuk - Radjabov
Giri - Ding Liren

Round 12 (March 31, 2020)
Caruana - Giri
Ding Liren - Grischuk
Radjabov - Alekseenko
Wang Hao - Nepomniachtchi 

Round 13 (April 02, 2020)
Wang Hao - Caruana
Nepomniachtchi - Radjabov
Alekseenko - Ding Liren
Grischuk - Giri

Round 14 (April 03, 2020)
Caruana - Grischuk
Giri - Alekseenko
Ding Liren - Nepomniachtchi
Radjabov - Wang Hao

Ornate chess set

An attractive chess set (though not an offical one) | Photo: Dmitry Zharkov


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GR2 GR2 2/16/2020 10:23
And Karjakin missing
GR2 GR2 2/16/2020 09:06
When you see the final list up in lights, some of the missing big names (from last few years) standout eg MVL, Marmedyarov, So, Nakamura, Aronian
lajosarpad lajosarpad 2/15/2020 10:56
All due respect to Alekseenko, but the reason Karpov gave for choosing him as the wildcard (he's Russian and there was no Russian qualifier yet) is strange. I'm sure Vachier-Lagrave would have different words to describe this.
jamespulles23 jamespulles23 2/15/2020 07:25
@conillet: Not coincidence, but regulations. Players from the same federation must play each other in the first rounds.
RichardEaston RichardEaston 2/15/2020 04:15
Caruana has white against Grischuk in the last round. This is the same pairing as in 2018. I’m sure that FC hopes that the result will be the same.
Aighearach Aighearach 2/15/2020 03:58
"If one or more players decline the invitation to play in the Candidates Tournament, the players with the next highest average ratings will qualify."
MVL and Mamedyarov are the next two qualifiers by rating.
conillet conillet 2/15/2020 03:14
Interesting that there are no pairings with two Russians playing each other in the last FOUR rounds. Coincidence?
Nap Lopez Nap Lopez 2/15/2020 03:12
Where is Wesley So and Nakamura?
Magic_Knight Magic_Knight 2/15/2020 02:13
Now this is all under the assumption that the coronaviral quarantine will have ended by March. Will be interesting to see what happens if the quarantine is still in place by then.
PinnacleX PinnacleX 2/15/2020 12:14
Still cant believe Alekseenko is in, hes gonna get smashed. So many other players that deserve it more.
JayPBee JayPBee 2/14/2020 11:56
Yes they are going to have 5 players playing white and only 3 black in all rounds as an experiment to reduce the number of draws at the top level! Sadly there will be no games on 1st April though.
peletis peletis 2/14/2020 10:55
5 of them start with White in the first round? That's clever! ;)
jrf1831 jrf1831 2/14/2020 08:56
Radjabov, Ding, Wang, Giri, and Grischuk will start with the white pieces

Wang will have black ...