The Candidates Tournament, the biennial 8-player event that decides who will be the Challenger for the World Chess Championship title, will resume on the 19th of April in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
This double round-robin tournament kicked off on March 16, 2020. However, it had to be abruptly stopped 11 days later when the Russian government announced the closure of air traffic with other countries, amid a rapidly escalating coronavirus pandemic.
The sudden crisis left hanging this prestigious event, one of the oldest traditions in the world of sports. Since half the rounds had already been played, this interruption created an unprecedented situation, as the regulations stipulate that the results obtained until that point must stand - rather than having the tournament re-started from scratch. When the tournament was interrupted, the French Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and the Russian Ian Nepomniachtchiwere in the lead, with 4½ points after seven games. Fabiano Caruana (USA), Anish Giri (Netherlands), Wang Hao (China) and Alexander Grischuk(Russia) are in the chasing pack, all with 4½ points.
After a long wait, the challenger to Magnus Carlsen's throne will be finally known by the 28th of April.
19th April 2021, Round 8
20th April 2021, Round 9
21st April 2021, Round 10
(22nd April 2021, rest day)
23rd April 2021, Round 11
24th April 2021, Round 12
(25th April 2021, rest day)
26th April 2021, Round 13
27th April 2021, Round 14
28th April 2021, tie-breaks (if required)
The eyes of the entire chess world will be on this tournament, which is expected to receive massive coverage. The recent surge of interest towards chess and the special circumstances around the event guarantees the biggest number of spectators for any Candidates Tournament in chess history.
Standings after Round 7:
1 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 4½ (points) 2767 (rating)
2 Ian Nepomniachtchi 4½ (points) 2774 (rating)
3 Fabiano Caruana 3½ (points) 2842 (rating)
4 Anish Giri 3½ (points) 2763 (rating)
5 Wang Hao 3½ (points) 2762 (rating)
6 Alexander Grischuk 3½ (points) 2777 (rating)
7 Ding Liren 2½ (points) 2805 (rating)
8 Kirill Alekseenko 2½ (points) 2698 (rating)
Pairings for Round 8:
Fabiano Caruana (USA) - Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA)
Wang Hao (CHN) – Ding Liren (CHN)
Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS) - Anish Giri (NED)
Kirill Alekseenko (RUS) - Alexander Grischuk (RUS)