Candidates Tournament 2024: From Indians competing to full schedule, all you need to know about 2024’s biggest chess event | Chess News

Candidates 2024: Praggnanandhaa, Gukesh and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi will be flying the Indian flag in the eight-man Open event at the Candidates while R Vaishali and Koneru Humpy will in contention in the women's Candidates

FIDE Candidates Chess Tournament 2024: In a week’s time, the Candidates Chess Tournament will begin at the Great Hall in Toronto’s West End. Five Indians will be part of the 16-player field across two categories: the Open Candidates tournament and the Women’s Candidates event.

This is the first time in history that the two categories are being held side by side.

Here’s a quick guide to everything you need to know about the Candidates chess tournament from full schedule, to dress code to prize money and why Magnus Carlsen is not playing:

What’s the point of the Candidates chess tournament?

The Candidates chess tournament is held to find the challenger to the reigning world champion.

The winner of the open category at the Candidates will face off against China’s Ding Liren while the women’s Candidates winner will take on China’s Ju Wenjun.

Festive offer

Are there any Indians?

There are five Indians among the 16 Candidates across the two categories. While 18-year-old Praggnanandhaa, 17-year-old Gukesh and 29-year-old Vidit Santosh Gujrathi will be the Indian representatives in the fray in the eight-man Open event at the Candidates, 22-year-old R Vaishali and 36-year-old Koneru Humpy will compete for the women’s crown.

India's Vaishali Rameshbabu (extreme left), Praggnanandhaa (second from left) and Gukesh D (centre) will be competing at the Candidates this year. (PHOTO: FIDE/Lennart Ootes) India’s Vaishali Rameshbabu (extreme left), Praggnanandhaa (second from left), Gukesh D (centre), Arjun Erigaisi (second from right) and Nihal Sarin at the FIDE Rapid and Blitz tournament last year. (PHOTO: FIDE/Lennart Ootes)

How many players play at the Candidates?

There are eight players in each category of the Candidates. Beside the three Indians, the open Candidates category will also have Ian Nepomniachtchi, Fabiano Caruana, Nijat Abasov, Hikaru Nakamura and Alireza Firouzja.

Besides Humpy and Vaishali, the women’s event will have Lei Tingjie, Tan Zhongyi, Kateryna Lagno, Aleksandra Goryachkina, Nurgyul Salimova and Anna Muzychuk.

Why isn’t Magnus Carlsen playing?

Magnus Carlsen qualified for the Candidates chess tournament by courtesy of winning the FIDE World Cup. However, he declined to play at the Candidates because he is unhappy with the format of the FIDE World Championship and its time control. So he chose to forgo the chance to play at the Candidates to qualify for the World Championships. The Norwegian favors shorter time controls.

Magnus Carlsen at FIDE Rapid and Blitz 2023 Lennart Ootes Magnus Carlsen at the FIDE Rapid and Blitz 2023 in Samarkand which he ended up winning. (Photo: FIDE via Lennart Ootes)

World No 1 Carlsen has claimed the Classical World Chess Championship crown five times, but relinquished his crown by refusing to defend it last year.

How were the eight Candidates picked?

Here’s how the 8 open Candidates contenders were picked:

Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia, but playing under FIDE flag): 2023 World Championship Match Runner-up

Praggnanandhaa R (India): 2023 World Cup 2nd place finish

Fabiano Caruana (USA): 2023 World Cup 3rd place finish

Nijat Abasov (Azerbaijan): 2023 World Cup 4th place finish

Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (India): 2023 Grand Swiss 1st place finish

Hikaru Nakamura (USA): 2023 Grand Swiss 2nd place finish

Alireza Firouzja (France): Best by Rating

Gukesh D (India): 2023 FIDE Circuit Winner

Here’s how the 8 women’s Candidates contenders were picked:

Vaishali Rameshbabu (India): 2023 Grand Swiss 1st place finish

Humpy Koneru (India): Best by rating

Lei Tingjie (China): 2023 Women’s World Championship Match Runner-up

Tan Zhongyi (China): 2023 Grand Swiss 2nd place finish

Kateryna Lagno (Russia, but playing under FIDE flag): 1st in 2022-23 WGP

Aleksandra Goryachkina (Russia, but playing under FIDE flag): 2022-23 WGP 2nd place finish

Nurgyul Salimova (Bulgaria): 2023 World Cup 2nd place finish

Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine): 2023 World Cup 3rd place finish

Schedule of the Candidates Chess tournament

April 03: Opening Ceremony

April 04: Round 1 (14:30 Toronto time, 12 midnight IST)
Alireza Firouzja – Praggnanandhaa R
Gukesh D – Vidit Santosh Gujrathi
Vaishali Rameshbabu – Humpy Koneru

April 05: Round 2 (14:30 Toronto time, 12 midnight IST)
Hikaru Nakamura – Vidit Santosh Gujrathi
Praggnanandhaa R – Gukesh D
Kateryna Lagno – Humpy Koneru
Tan Zhongyi – Vaishali Rameshbabu

April 06: Round 3 (14:30 Toronto time, 12 midnight IST)
Gukesh D – Ian Nepomniachtchi
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi – Praggnanandhaa R
Vaishali Rameshbabu – Nurgyul Salimova
Humpy Koneru – Tan Zhongyi

April 07: Round 4 (14:30 Toronto time, 12 midnight IST)
Hikaru Nakamura – Praggnanandhaa R
Ian Nepomniachtchi – Vidit Santosh Gujrathi
Fabiano Caruana – Gukesh D
Nurgyul Salimova – Humpy Koneru
Aleksandra Goryachkina – Vaishali Rameshbabu

April 08: Rest day

April 09: Round 5 (14:30 Toronto time, 12 midnight IST)
Gukesh D – Nijat Abasov
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi – Fabiano Caruana
Praggnanandhaa R – Ian Nepomniachtchi
Vaishali Rameshbabu – Anna Muzychuk
Humpy Koneru – Aleksandra Goryachkina

April 10: Round 6 (14:30 Toronto time, 12 midnight IST)
Gukesh D – Hikaru Nakamura
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi – Alireza Firouzja
Praggnanandhaa R – Nijat Abasov
Vaishali Rameshbabu – Kateryna Lagno
Humpy Koneru – Lei Tingjie

April 11: Round 7 (14:30 Toronto time, 12 midnight IST)
Fabiano Caruana – Praggnanandhaa R
Nijat Abasov – Vidit Santosh Gujrathi
Alireza Firouzja – Gukesh D
Anna Muzychuk – Humpy Koneru
Lei Tingjie – Vaishali Rameshbabu

April 12: Rest day

April 13: Round 8 (14:30 Toronto time, 12 midnight IST)
Praggnanandhaa R – Alireza Firouzja
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi – Gukesh D
Humpy Koneru – Vaishali Rameshbabu

April 14: Round 9 (14:30 Toronto time, 12 midnight IST)
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi – Hikaru Nakamura
Gukesh D – Praggnanandhaa R
Humpy Koneru – Kateryna Lagno
Vaishali Rameshbabu – Tan Zhongyi

April 15: Round 10 (14:30 Toronto time, 12 midnight IST)
Ian Nepomniachtchi – Gukesh D
Praggnanandhaa R – Vidit Santosh Gujrathi
Nurgyul Salimova – Vaishali Rameshbabu
Tan Zhongyi – Humpy Koneru

April 16: Rest day

April 17: Round 11 (14:30 Toronto time, 12 midnight IST)
Praggnanandhaa R – Hikaru Nakamura
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi – Ian Nepomniachtchi
Gukesh D – Fabiano Caruana
Humpy Koneru – Nurgyul Salimova
Vaishali Rameshbabu – Aleksandra Goryachkina

April 18: Round 12 (14:30 Toronto time, 12 midnight IST)
Nijat Abasov – Gukesh D
Fabiano Caruana – Vidit Santosh Gujrathi
Ian Nepomniachtchi – Praggnanandhaa R
Anna Muzychuk – Vaishali Rameshbabu
Aleksandra Goryachkina – Humpy Koneru

April 19: Rest day

April 20: Round 13 (14:30 Toronto time, 12 midnight IST)
Praggnanandhaa R – Fabiano Caruana
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi – Nijat Abasov
Gukesh D – Alireza Firouzja
Humpy Koneru – Anna Muzychuk
Vaishali Rameshbabu – Lei Tingjie

April 21: Round 14 (14:30 Toronto time, 12 midnight IST)
Hikaru Nakamura – Gukesh D
Alireza Firouzja – Vidit Santosh Gujrathi
Nijat Abasov – Praggnanandhaa R
Kateryna Lagno – Vaishali Rameshbabu
Lei Tingjie – Humpy Koneru

April 22: Tie-breaks if needed (14:30 Toronto time, 12 midnight IST) and Closing Ceremony

Prize money for Candidates 2024

In the Open Candidates, the winner gets 48,000 euros (approximately Rs 43 lakh). There will be 36,000 euros (approximately Rs 32 lakh) for the second place finisher, and 24,000 euros (approximately Rs 21 lakh) for the third place. Additionally, players receive 3,500 euros (approximately Rs 3 lakh) for every half-point scored.

Dress code for Candidates 2024

There is a dress code in place for the Candidates event.

According to FIDE, the global governing body for chess, “Men are required to wear a neat shirt and formal suit, while women players should wear a neat shirt/blouse and formal suit (with slacks or skirt) or dress. Any requests to wear national or traditional dress shall be approved by the FIDE Technical Delegate.”

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