Candidates to be decided in playoffs in case of a tie for first place

by ChessBase
5/11/2022 – Much has been discussed regarding the tiebreak system used in previous editions of the Candidates Tournament. Given the controversy, FIDE decided to reconsider the regulations before this year’s edition. After consulting the participants, the rules have been updated — in case of a tie for first, a rapid (and blitz, if necessary) playoff will decide who wins the tournament. | Photo: Lennart Ootes (2020)

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A new system

FIDE, International Chess FederationAs per the decision made at the FIDE Council meeting on December 27, a playoff system has been introduced for the Candidates Tournament, which will be played in case there is a tie for first place. 

This decision has been taken after consultation with all the players who have already qualified to the competition. A majority of them favoured a play-off over the tie-break system used in previous editions. The play-off will be played no matter how many players tie for first. The system includes rapid games — and blitz games, in case the tie is not broken in rapid. 

The format

In case of a tie for first place in the Candidates Tournament, a play-off will be played that may consist of up to three stages.

Stage I

  • If there are two players tied for the first place, they will play a match consisting of two rapid games (15 min + 10 sec).
  • In case of a tie involving three or more players, a round-robin rapid tournament will be played (15 min + 10 sec).

Stage II (played in case of a tie after Stage I)

  • If there are two players tied, they will play a match consisting of two blitz games (3 min + 2 sec).
  • In case of a tie involving three or more players, a round-robin blitz tournament will be played (3 min + 2 sec).

Stage III (played in case of a tie after Stage II)

In case of a tie, depending on the number of players, either a knockout match or a knockout tournament will be played. Each match consists of a single blitz game (3 min + 2 sec). The colours are determined by drawing of lots. In case of a draw, another game will be played with colours reversed. If games continue to end drawn, the opponents will play until the decisive outcome.  

The regulations for the event have been updated with the new rules, and they can be found under paragraph 4.4.2. 

The Candidates Tournament 2022 will take place in Madrid, Spain, from June 16 to July 5.

Palacio de Sabroña

The tournament will take place at the magnificent Palacio de Santoña, a centrally located historic building in Madrid


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