Ding Liren on his way to the Candidates

by André Schulz
4/11/2022 – Ding Liren, currently the world's number three, has very good chances to play in the Candidates Tournament as the highest-rated, eligible player in FIDE’s ranking list published on 1 May. However, to qualify and to replace the suspended Sergey Karjakin, Ding needs to have played 30 FIDE-rated games from May 2021 to May 2022. When Karjakin was suspended by the FIDE for supporting Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Ding had just played four of the required 30 games, but now he is catching up: after a four-player, twelve-round tournament in Hangzhou, he played a six-game match against Wei Yi. After five draws, Ding won the last game and the match. | Photos: Imedia

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Ding wins match against Wei

The Corona pandemic has hindered Ding Liren's career. For a long time he has been one of the world's top players, and in the Candidates Tournament 2019-2021 he was one of the favourites. But the pandemic forced him to spend the two weeks before the beginning of the Candidates in quarantine and isolation in a cottage near Moscow, and he scored only 3.0/8 in the first part of the tournament. Then, after eight rounds, the tournament was suspended for more than a year, and Ding played much better in the second part of the tournament, scoring 4.0/8, but in the end he finished only fifth.

Ding was also supposed to take part in the Grand Prix series in Berlin and Belgrade. But the Chinese government is taking a very restrictive course to combat the pandemic, only allowing foreigners into the country under the strictest security precautions, and preferring not to let their own people out of the country at all. Ding received his exit permit too late to get an entry visa to Germany and could not play in Berlin.

During the second Grand Prix tournament in Belgrade, Russia invaded Ukraine, and on his Twitter channel Karjakin expressed solidarity with the Russian war. The FIDE Ethics Commission found that advocating a war of aggression was not in line with the ethical principles of the World Chess Federation and banned Karjakin from all official events for six months.

This meant that Karjakin could not take part in the Candidates Tournament in Madrid in June/July though he had qualified by becoming second in the World Cup. According to the rules, the player with the highest rating behind the already qualified players in the world's ranking list of May would replace Karjakin. Currently, Ding is third on the list, behind World Champion Magnus Carlsen and Alireza Firouzja who has already qualified for the Candidates. However, the player in question needs to have played at least 30 FIDE-rated games from May 2021 to May 2022. Ding had played only four games but the Chinese Chess Federation quickly organised a series of events to help Ding Liren reach the required number of games.

First Ding played in a twelve-round-four-player tournament in Hangzhou with three other Chinese players and took clear first with 10.5/12 while the three Chinese players all scored 4.5/12. They drew all their games against each other while Ding defeated each of them 3.5:0.5. Ding won ten Elo-points in this tournament and is currently the world's number two on the live-rating list.

This was followed by a six-game match against Wei Yi, also in Hangzhou. The first five games ended in a draw but then Ding won the sixth game and the match.

Finally, from 14 to 24 April Ding will take part in a ten games qualifying tournament for the 19th Asian Games and then he will have played enough games for the Candidates.





Translation from German: Johannes Fischer


Ding wins quadruple round-robin in Hangzhou

André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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Keshava Keshava 4/16/2022 06:04
Thanks for that info Frits Fritschy.
arzi arzi 4/14/2022 06:17
To FF, maybe Chessbase didn’t want more than 200 of heated posts in the comments section?
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 4/13/2022 10:25
Sadly, the comment section seems to have been closed in 'Winter has come' and other articles. Whether this is a technical glitch or policy, I don't know. But it keeps us from asking questions and getting answers from really initiated (I'm not). Although these might be snowed under by people just wanting to express their opinion.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 4/13/2022 07:15
One of the things I understand from the previous comments here, is that the Karjakin's appeal may not be heard before the Candidates anyways. There is a bit more details in the article published on Apri 13, 2022 on this site, "Winter has come", very interesting for many reasons, but still not presenting a complete picture of the appeal itself, which was not the only subject of the article.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 4/13/2022 06:58
Thank you very much for all those precisions. Really appreciated, and probably not only by me. An article explaining all that would still be welcome.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 4/12/2022 09:18
https://handbook.fide.com/files/handbook/EthicsAndDisciplinaryCode2022.pdf, art. 17.3. Filatov can't file an appeal with the CAS before the EDC has decided.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 4/12/2022 12:48
Before being able to go to the CAS, Karjakin must put his case before the Ethics and Disciplinary Commission's (EDC) Appeal Chamber.
Keshava Keshava 4/12/2022 08:41
Because FIDE has chosen to be part of the IOC, the CAS has jurisdiction. An appeal by Karjakin could result in the court ruling that Karjakin may serve his suspension after the Candidates. They have made similar rulings like that in the past. ref: https://www.tas-cas.org/
arzi arzi 4/12/2022 07:22
After all, Fide owns the rights to the WC match and has defined the so-called players' rules of conduct. Fide has a good case against Karjakin, bullet proof.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 4/12/2022 03:45
Can we consider as a possibility that Karjakin win his appeal? Many articles are written as if it was not a question that he will lose it. Can we really be so sure? He may have some arguments, such as: he did meet the qualification criteria. It would be interesting to have an article or something about that appeal - which would, between other things, cover this: do we have a date for that appeal? Who will hear the appeal? What are both sides' arguments, etc.
abhishikt abhishikt 4/12/2022 02:43
Couldn't Fide just give an exception to the "number of games played" rule, considering the pandemic?
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 4/11/2022 11:12
It is quite telling that people finding something fishy in the results of this and the other tournament never seemed to have been looking at the games themselves. Smearing is easy when you skip looking at hard evidence. Again: who with any slightly serious knowledge of chess could suggest that for instance game 5 in the Hangzhou tournament was fixed?
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 4/11/2022 11:05
Early still-in-prep draws at nearly 35 moves per game? In game 2 Ding refusing a repetition on move 28? Are you serious or is this supposed to be irony?
Mamack1 Mamack1 4/11/2022 10:57

So every tournament that contains *that* Berlin Defence draw should be disqualified for rating too?
mc1483 mc1483 4/11/2022 09:25
It's worth something to notice this outcome is the one that most satisfies the players with regard to "not losing ELO points" Wei Yi gains one, Ding loses one. 3-3 would have meant Ding losing 6 points, 4-2 would have meant Wei losing 4. 3.5-2.5, everyone is good.
Aighearach Aighearach 4/11/2022 08:56
Hopefully FIDE rejects the tournament since it was obviously fake with all the early still-in-prep draws.
chessgod0 chessgod0 4/11/2022 08:01
I'm glad he's going to qualify---he deserves to be in the Candidates. I don't even care how shady the tournaments are--I'm perfectly willing to look the other way on this.