The sixteen for the world chess championship

1/5/2006 – FIDE has just announced the 16 participants of the Candidates Matches for the World Chess Championship 2007. These are players who have qualified in different ways, and they will play two rounds of matches against each other. The four finalists will then join Topalov, Anand, Svidler and Morozevich for the 2007 championship. Details.

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Here is a list of the 16 qualifiers for the Candidates Matches, together with their exact ratings as calculated for the January 2006 list.

No. Name Title Country Rating
 01 Levon Aronian  GM
ARM
 2751.70
 02 Peter Leko  GM
HUN
 2740.40
 03 Ruslan Ponomariov  GM
UKR
 2723.10
 04 Boris Gelfand  GM
ISR
 2722.80
 05 Etienne Bacrot  GM
FRA
 2716.80
 06 Alexander Grischuk  GM
RUS
 2716.50
 07 Judith Polgar  GM
HUN
 2710.60
 08 Alexei Shirov  GM
ESP
 2709.40
 09 Michael Adams  GM
ENG
 2707.40
 10 Evgeny Bareev  GM
RUS
 2698.40
 11 Vladimir Malakhov  GM
RUS
 2694.20
 12 Gata Kamsky  GM
USA
 2686.00
 13 Rustam Kasimjanov  GM
UZB
 2670.00
 14 Sergei Rublevsky  GM
RUS
 2664.90
 15 Mikhail Gurevich  GM
TUR
 2632.60
 16 Magnus Carlsen  GM
NOR
 2624.90

Note that Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik would have been eligible but, we assume, informed FIDE that they would not participate – Kasparov has retired from competitive chess, Kramnik has his classical chess world championship title and expects to play a reunification match against the winner of the FIDE event at some stage. For these two players Shirov and Bacrot jumped in. Ivanchuk, who is currently number eight in the world, missed out narrowly (he is first reserve). If you are interested: in a recent article Jeff Sonas described the qualification process in detail.

The above 16 players will be fighting for four spots in a final San Luis style double round-robin tournament. The other four will be Topalov, Anand, Svidler and Morozevich.

The pairings for the first round are according to the rating on the January 2006 list. This is what we will get to see:

No.
Pairings
 1 Levon Aronian Magnus Carlsen
 2 Peter Leko Mikhail Gurevich
 3 Ruslan Ponomariov Sergei Rublevsky
 4 Boris Gelfand Rustam Kasimjanov
 5 Etienne Bacrot Gata Kamsky
 6 Alexander Grischuk Vladimir Malakhov
 7 Judith Polgar Evgeny Bareev
 8 Alexei Shirov Michael Adams

According to the FIDE regulations the Candidates Matches for the 2007 World Chess Championship will be organised in 2006/07, and will represent an integral part of the World Chess Championship regulations for the cycle 2005-2007. The first round of matches will consist of six games, with the eight winners qualifying for the second round. This will start two days after the the end of the first round, with the winner of the first match playing the winner of the eighth match, the winner of the second against the winner of the seventh, etc. Once again there will be six games in each match, with a rest day after game three. The four winners will qualify for the World Chess Championship Tournament 2007. FIDE reserves the right to hold the Candidates Matches either together or in different dates and separate locations.

Full regulations for the Candidates Matches can be found at the FIDE web site.



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