The second leg of the Candidates Tournament is postponed to the spring of 2021

by ChessBase
10/16/2020 – The second leg of the Candidates Tournament was supposed to resume on November 1 in Yekaterinburg, but due to the “concern related to the well-being of the players in the midst of the second wave of the pandemic”, FIDE has decided to postpone the resumption of the event until the spring of 2021. “We understand this announcement might be a disappointment for the chess community. However, it is FIDE’s responsibility to ensure [...] the safety of the players and their general well-being during the tournament”. | Photo: FIDE

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Press release published by FIDE

Unfortunately, FIDE is forced to postpone the resumption of the Candidates Tournament until the spring of 2021.

The main reason for rescheduling the event is, of course, the concern related to the well-being of the players in the midst of the second wave of the pandemic. FIDE was ready to provide special travel arrangements and hospitality, including dedicated charter flights, and a high-class hotel being converted into an isolated environment. We have discussed all the details with each one of the players, and we'd like to thank them for their honest opinions, which helped us to weigh all pros and cons.

Till now, we have not received clearance for all players to participate in the tournament. Two players from one country are awaiting permission from their national authorities. While having full respect for the respective national procedures, FIDE will take further decisions about both the location and timing of the event based on our organization’s internal rules.

With the World Championship Match being scheduled for November-December 2021, we have some margin to adjust the reschedule of the Candidates Tournament. Holding the event in the spring of 2021 increases significantly the possibility of staging this very important event in a safe environment, minimizing the stress on the participants.

FIDE confirms that the second leg of the event will in any case take place in the spring of 2021. FIDE does not consider any changes to the cycle regulations. The venue and exact dates will be approved by FIDE two months before the resumption of the competition. The protocol for the event will be developed taking into account the practice of other top-level tournaments and the recommendations from local authorities.

We understand this announcement might be a disappointment for the chess community. However, it is FIDE’s responsibility to ensure not only the safety of the players and their general well-being during the tournament, but also to provide the best possible conditions for the course of such high-level event.

Finally, FIDE would like to express its gratitude to the host city of Yekaterinburg, which did a splendid job organizing the first leg of this competition under very challenging circumstances. Likewise, we are very thankful to the Georgian authorities, who generously stepped in to offer us an alternative in case of need. Finally, we would like to thank our sponsors for their patience and commitment.

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fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 10/17/2020 09:44
Radjabov must be let back in. There were many calls for him to receive an automatic entry into the 2021 candidates (since the world championship was supposed to be in 2020). Now the candidates will be finished in 2021. Clearly he was right about covid and that the initial candidates could not be held.
ChessSpawnVermont ChessSpawnVermont 10/17/2020 03:03
Injections of the Sputnik 5 vaccine didn't convince everyone to play?? I'm shocked. Shocked!
Keshava Keshava 10/17/2020 04:59
Like in an athletic sport, upsets can happen. GM's Gelfand and Karjakin were both up a point in their World Championship matches against Anand and Carlsen. If either would have played solidly from that point on then history would be different. Now even if they were both 'destined' to lose, one could still not argue that their matches were not competitive (at least in the classical portion).
sebtak sebtak 10/17/2020 12:47
Carlsen won the last two World championship matches in rapid tie-breaks.
He is the best, but clearly at least two of the current candidates have a realistic chance of beating him.
tom_70 tom_70 10/17/2020 12:06
It doesn't really matter. None of the current candidates have a realistic chance of beating Carlsen anyway. Might as well wait a few years to see if Firouzja develops.
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