FIDE Circuit Leaderboard: Wesley So takes the lead

by ChessBase
3/1/2023 – The newly created FIDE Circuit Leaderboard tracks players’ performances in a number of eligible tournaments. At the end of the year, the top-rated player will get a spot in the 2024 Candidates Tournament. After obtaining two solid results at the Tata Steel Masters and the WR Chess Masters, Wesley So climbed to first place in this month’s list. Anish Giri and Levon stand second and third respectively. | Photo: Lennart Ootes / WR Chess Masters

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Press release by FIDE

Wesley So came out on top in the FIDE Circuit Leaderboard at the end of February, edging out the former leader Anish Giri to second place. His tally of 30.8 points is a sum of two solid results (two fourth places) in the two strongest tournaments of the year so far. Levon Aronian soared to third place following his excellent performance at the WR Chess Masters.

Another two beneficiaries of this event are Gukesh D and Ian Nepomiachtchi, who tied for first place and broke into the top 10 in the race.

As you can see, the top quartet consists exclusively of the players who did well in two points-heavy events in January and February: Tata Steel Masters and WR Chess Masters. Most likely, this will always be the case in this race for the spot in the Candidates.

The second tournament that counted for the FIDE Circuit leaderboard in February was the traditional Capelle la Grande in France. Its winner, Sethuraman S.P., picked up 6.5 points, while runner-up Harsha Bharathakoti earned 5.5 points. Both made their way into the top 20.

The top-rated player in the leaderboard by the end of the year will get a spot in the 2024 Candidates, as per the new regulations put forth by FIDE (more details below).

Sethuraman, S.P.

Sethuraman S.P. | Photo: Austin Fuller / Saint Louis Chess Club

FIDE Circuit Leaderboard

# Player Rating Fed Points
1 So, Wesley 2761 USA 30.8
2 Giri, Anish 2768 NED 29.03
3 Aronian, Levon 2745 USA 26.35
4 Abdusattorov, Nodirbek 2731 UZB 22.28
5 Carlsen, Magnus 2852 NOR 20.25
6 Gukesh D 2730 IND 19.26
7 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2795 FID 19.26
8 Donchenko, Alexander 2653 GER 13.33
9 Caruana, Fabiano 2766 USA 12.15
10 Maghsoodloo, Parham 2726 IRI 12.15
11 Yilmaz, Mustafa 2629 TUR 10.66
12 Sindarov, Javokhir 2661 UZB 9.33
13 Tabatabaei, M. Amin 2675 IRI 8
14 Ter-Sahakyan, Samvel 2616 ARM 7.4
15 Durarbayli, Vasif 2635 AZE 6.83
16 Pranesh M 2493 IND 6.76
17 Sethuraman, S.P. 2639 IND 6.5
18 Karthik Venkataraman 2516 IND 6.43
19 Petrosyan, Manuel 2634 ARM 5.92
20 Harsha Bharathakoti 2608 IND 5.49

...89 players

Qualification track

1. Eligible Tournaments

1.1 Eligible tournaments are FIDE-rated individual tournaments which meet the following criteria:

(a) Completed in the 2023 calendar year

(b) A standard play time control

(c) Average standard rating of the top 8 players at the start of the tournament (TAR) is 2550 or more

(d) Supervised by International Arbiters

(e) Recommended FPL Fair Play procedures are applied

(f) Include players representing at least 3 national federations

(g) Not more than 50% of the top-20 rated players shall represent one federation

For National Championships, criteria f) and g) are waived.

1.2 The following non-standard play tournaments are included:

  • World Rapid Championship
  • World Blitz Championship
  • Continental Rapid and Blitz Championships
  • Other Rapid & Blitz tournaments with an average standard rating of top 8 players at the start of the tournament of 2700 or higher

2. Points System per Tournament

2.1 Points are awarded to players in one of the first 8 places in a tournament, provided that the player is in the top half of the final tournament ranking.

1st place   10 points
2nd place   8 points
3rd place   7 points
4th place   6 points
5th place   5 points
6th place   4 points
7th place   3 points
8th place   2 points

2.2 A player only counts in a round-robin if they play more than half of their scheduled game, and a player only counts in a Swiss if they miss at most one round (excluding pairing-allocated byes).

2.3 The number of points that tied players score shall be calculated as 50% of points for their final ranking determined by the tournament’s tie-break rules, plus 50% of the sum of points assigned for the tied places divided by the number of tied players. This also applies to players who tied for one of the first 8 places but appear below 8th place in the final ranking according to the tournament’s rules.

2.4 The event score for each player is determined by the number of points multiplied by the tournament strength factor calculated as follows: k= (TAR-2500)/100. If rapid and blitz tournaments are taken into account (if this is provided for by these rules), the standard rating of players is taken into account.

2.5 Losing Quarter Finalists in the World Cup shall be deemed to have finished in 5th place for the purpose of calculating the event score. World Cup event scores calculated using the method in 2.4 are added to 2 for the purpose of the final score calculation.

2.6 The event scores calculated using the method in 2.4 for the World Rapid and Blitz Championships are multiplied by 0.8 and 0.6, respectively, for the purpose of the final score calculation.

The event scores calculated using the method in 2.4 for the Continental Rapid and Blitz Championships and other eligible rapid and blitz events are multiplied by 0.6 and 0.4, respectively, for the purpose of the final score calculation.

3. Ranking List

3.1 Each player has to play in a minimum of 5 eligible tournaments, including at least 4 eligible tournaments with standard time control.

3.2 The final score of a player for the purposes of qualification to the Candidates is calculated as the sum of the player’s five highest event scores, of which at least 4 tournaments must be tournaments with standard time controls. The final score calculation can include the following eligible tournaments:

3.2.1 Official eligible tournaments: National Championships and/or FIDE competitions organised under the aegis of EVE and GSC, as well as Continental Championships

3.2.2 Other eligible tournaments: A maximum of one event per country (except for official eligible tournaments in 3.2.1). A “country” for the purpose of this rule is defined as the territories represented by national federations.

3.3 In case of a tie in the final ranking of players, the tie will be broken by removing the lowest event score that was included in the player’s final score calculation. If this fails to resolve the tie, then this process shall be repeated until the tie is broken.

3.4 FIDE shall update and publish the Ranking List on a weekly basis.

FIDE Candidates Tournament 2024 Qualification Paths (PDF)

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