Candidates Tournament

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The Candidates Tournament (or in some periods Candidates Matches) is a chess tournament organized by FIDE, chess's international governing body, since 1950, as the final contest to determine the challenger for the World Chess Championship. The winner of the Candidates earns the right to a match for the World Championship against the incumbent world champion.

Before 1993 it was contested as a triennial tournament; almost always held every third year from 1950 to 1992 inclusive. After the split of the World Championship in the early 1990s, the cycles were disrupted, even after the reunification of the titles in 2006. Since 2013 it has settled into a 2-year cycle: qualification for Candidates during the odd numbered year, Candidates played early in the even numbered year, and the World Championship match played late in the even numbered year. The latter half of the 2020 Candidates Tournament was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was only played in April 2021.[1][2] The latest tournament, the 2022 Candidates Tournament, took place as scheduled in 2022.[3]

Precursors[edit]

Before 1950, a number of tournaments acted as de facto candidates tournaments:

Organization[edit]

Candidates Tournament 1956 Amsterdam: 10 players

The number of players in the tournament varied over the years, between eight and fifteen players. Most of these qualified from Interzonal tournaments, though some gained direct entry without having to play the Interzonal.

The first Interzonal/Candidates World Championship cycle began in 1948. Before 1965, the tournament was organized in a round-robin format. From 1965 on, the tournament was played as knockout matches, spread over several months. In 1995–1996, the defending FIDE champion (Anatoly Karpov) also entered the Candidates, in the semi-finals, so the winner was the FIDE world champion.

During its 1993 to 2006 split from FIDE, the "Classical" World Championship also held three Candidates Tournaments (in 1994–1995, 1998 and 2002) under a different sponsor and a different format each time. In one of these cases (Alexei Shirov in 1998) no title match eventuated, under disputed circumstances (see Classical World Chess Championship 2000).

After the reunification of titles in 2006, FIDE tried different Candidates formats in 2007, 2009 and 2011, before settling on an 8 player, double round robin Candidates tournament from 2013 onwards.

Results of Candidates Tournaments[edit]

Paul Keres vs. Bobby Fischer, 1959 Candidates Tournament in Bled; Pal Benko watching

The tables below show the qualifiers and results for all interzonal, Candidates and world championship tournaments.

  • Players shown bracketed in italics (Bondarevsky, Euwe, Fine and Reshevsky in 1950, Botvinnik in 1965, Fischer in 1977, Carlsen in 2011 and 2024, and Radjabov in 2020) qualified for the Candidates or were seeded in the Candidates, but did not or do not plan to play.
  • Players shown in italics with an asterisk (Stein* in 1962 and again in 1965, and Bronstein* in 1965) were excluded from the Candidates by a rule limiting the number of players from one country.
  • Karjakin* in 2022 was disqualified by FIDE after his qualification for the Candidates: the FIDE Ethics and Disciplinary Commission ruled that he breached Article 2.2.10 of the FIDE Code of Ethics after he made public comments approving of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. He is shown bracketed, in italics, and with an asterisk.
  • Players listed after players in italics (Flohr in 1950, Benko in 1962, Geller, Ivkov and Portisch in 1965, Spassky in 1977, Grischuk in 2011, Vachier-Lagrave in 2020, and Ding in 2022) only qualified due to the non-participation (withdrawal) of the bracketed players or players with an asterisk.
  • Incumbent champions' names are struck through when they refused to defend their title (Fischer in 1975 and Carlsen in 2023).

Normally, the incumbent champion is seeded directly into the final against the challenger (who had to pass through the Candidates qualification), but there have been exceptions:

  • The World Chess Championship 1948, in which five players were seeded into the championship tournament (the previous champion, Alexander Alekhine, having died in 1946). A sixth player, Fine, was also seeded into the championship tournament but chose not to play; he is shown in brackets.
  • The FIDE World Chess Championship 1996, in which the FIDE World Champion Anatoly Karpov was seeded in the Candidates semi-finals (not finals).
  • The Classical World Chess Championship 2000, in which two players were seeded into the championship final (one of them being incumbent champion Kasparov), and there were no previous qualifying stages.
  • The FIDE championships of 1999–2004 (during the split-title period), in which the incumbent champion had no special privileges.
  • The FIDE World Chess Championship 2005, in which eight players (including incumbent FIDE champion Kasimdzhanov) were seeded into the final championship tournament.
  • The FIDE World Chess Championship 2007, in which four players (including incumbent champion Kramnik) were seeded into the final championship tournament.

The incumbent champion Bobby Fischer refused to defend his title at the World Chess Championship 1975, and his challenger Anatoly Karpov won by forfeit (at the time, the Candidates was a knock-out event, so the 1974 Karpov–Korchnoi Candidates final arguably became a de facto world championship in retrospect). Magnus Carlsen refused to defend his title at the World Chess Championship 2023 and was replaced by the runner-up of the Candidates Tournament, Ding Liren.

Interzonal and Candidates tournaments (1948–1996)[edit]

World Championship selection cycles from 1948 to 1996
Year Selection of participants Championship
1948 In 1946–1947, FIDE planned the 1948 championship tournament,
selecting six notable players for the reasons shown.
Fine withdrew from the tournament.
1938 AVRO winners:
 • Keres
 • (Fine)
Former world champion:
 • Euwe
Multiple US champion:
 • Reshevsky
Soviet Champion:
 • Botvinnik
Soviet grandmaster:
 • Smyslov
The Hague/ Moscow 1948
Quintuple round robin:
1 Botvinnik 14/20
2 Smyslov 11
3-4 Keres 10½
3-4 Reshevsky 10½
5 Euwe 4
Year Interzonal tournaments Candidates tournaments Championship
Format Results Seeded Results Contestants Results
1948–51 Saltsjöbaden (Stockholm) 1948:
Single round robin
20 players
8 qualified
1 Bronstein
2 Szabo
3 Boleslavsky
4 Kotov
5 Lilienthal
6-9 Najdorf
6-9 Ståhlberg
6-9 (Bondarevsky[6])
6-9 Flohr
 • Smyslov
 • Keres
 • (Euwe)
 • (Fine)
 • (Reshevsky)
Budapest 1950
Double round robin
10 players
1-2 Boleslavsky
1-2 Bronstein
3 Smyslov
4 Keres

Playoff:
 • Bronstein beat Boleslavsky
Candidates winner:
 • Bronstein

Defending champion:
 • Botvinnik
Moscow 1951
24 games match
Drawn 12–12
Botvinnik retained title
1952–54 Saltsjöbaden (Stockholm) 1952
Single round robin
21 players
8 qualified
1 Kotov
2-3 Taimanov
2-3 Petrosian
4 Geller
5-8 Averbakh
5-8 Ståhlberg
5-8 Szabo
5-8 Gligorić
7 more:
 • Bronstein
 • Boleslavsky
 • Smyslov
 • Keres
 • Reshevsky
 • Najdorf[7]
 • Euwe[8]
Zürich 1953
Double round robin
15 players
1 Smyslov
2-4 Bronstein
2-4 Keres
2-4 Reshevsky
Candidates winner:
 • Smyslov

Defending champion:
 • Botvinnik
Moscow 1954
24 games match
Drawn 12–12
Botvinnik retained title
1955–57 Gothenburg 1955
Single round robin
21 players
9 qualified
1 Bronstein
2 Keres
3 Panno
4 Petrosian
5-6 Geller
5-6 Szabo
7–9 Filip
7–9 Pilnik
7–9 Spassky
Smyslov Amsterdam 1956
Double round robin
10 players
1 Smyslov
2 Keres
Candidates winner:
 • Smyslov

Defending champion:
 • Botvinnik
Moscow 1957
Smyslov won 12½–9½
1958 Rematch  • Botvinnik
 • Smyslov
Moscow 1958
Botvinnik won
12½–10½
1958–60 Portorož 1958
Single round robin
21 players
6 qualified
1 Tal
2 Gligorić
3-4 Petrosian
3-4 Benko
5-6 Olafsson
5-6 Fischer
 • Smyslov
 • Keres
Yugoslavia[9] 1959
Quadruple round robin
8 players
1 Tal
2 Keres
3 Petrosian
4 Smyslov
Candidates winner:
 • Tal

Defending champion:
 • Botvinnik
Moscow 1960
Tal won 12½–8½
1961 Rematch  • Botvinnik
 • Tal
Moscow 1961
Botvinnik won 13–8
1962–63 Stockholm 1962
Single round robin
23 players
6 qualified
1 Fischer
2-3 Geller
2-3 Petrosian
4-5 Korchnoi
4-5 Filip
6-8 Stein*
6-8 Benko[10]
 • Tal
 • Keres
Curaçao 1962
Quadruple round robin
8 players
1 Petrosian;
2 Keres[11]
3 Geller
4 Fischer
Candidates winner:
 • Petrosian

Defending champion:
 • Botvinnik
Moscow 1963
Petrosian won
12½–9½
1964–66 Amsterdam 1964
Single round robin
24 players
6 qualified
1-4 Smyslov
1-4 Larsen
1-4 Spassky
1-4 Tal
5 Stein*
6 Bronstein*
7 Ivkov
8-9 Portisch[12]
 • Keres
 • (Botvinnik)
 • Geller
1965:
8 players, matches

Semi-finals winners:
 • Spassky beat Geller
 • Tal beat Larsen
Finals:
 • Spassky beat Tal
Candidates winner:
 • Spassky

Defending champion:
 • Petrosian
Moscow 1966
Petrosian won
12½–11½
1967–69 Sousse 1967
Single round robin
23 players
6 qualified
1 Larsen
2-4 Korchnoi
2-4 Geller
2-4 Gligorić
5 Portisch
6-8 Reshevsky[13]
 • Spassky
 • Tal
1968:
8 players, matches
Semi-finals:
 • Korchnoi beat Tal
 • Spassky beat Larsen
Finals:
 • Spassky beat Korchnoi
Champions winner:
 • Spassky

Defending champion:
 • Petrosian
Moscow 1969
Spassky won
12½–10½
1970–72 Palma de Mallorca 1970
Single round robin
24 players
6 qualified
1 Fischer
2-4 Larsen
2-4 Geller
2-4 Hübner
5-6 Taimanov
5-6 Uhlmann
 • Petrosian
 • Korchnoi
1971:
8 players, matches
Semi-finals:
 • Petrosian beat Korchnoi
 • Fischer beat Larsen
Finals:
 • Fischer beat Petrosian
Candidates winner:
 • Fischer

Defending champion:
 • Spassky
Reykjavík 1972
Fischer won 12½–8½
1973–75 1973:
Two single round robins
18 players each
3 qualified from each
Leningrad 1973:
1-2 Korchnoi
1-2 Karpov
3 Byrne
 • Spassky
 • Petrosian
1974:
8 players, matches

Semi-finals:
 • Korchnoi beat Petrosian
 • Karpov beat Spassky
 • Karpov beat Korchnoi
Candidates winner:
 • Karpov

Defending champion:
 • (Fischer)
1975:
Karpov won on forfeit
Petropolis 1973:
1 Mecking
2-4 Portisch
2-4 Polugaevsky[14]
1976–78 1976:
Two single round robins
20 players each
3 qualified from each
Biel 1976:
1 Larsen
2-4 Petrosian
2-4 Portisch[15]
 • Korchnoi
 • (Fischer)
 • Spassky
1977–78:
8 players, matches

Semi-finals:
 • Korchnoi beat Polugaevsky
 • Spassky beat Portisch
Finals:
 • Korchnoi beat Spassky
Candidates winner:
 • Korchnoi

Defending champion:
 • Karpov
Baguio 1978
Karpov won 6–5
after 32 games
(draws not counting)
Manila 1976:
1 Mecking
2-3 Polugaevsky
2-3 Hort
1979–81 1979:
Two single round robins
18 players each
3 qualified from each
Riga 1979:
1-2 Tal
1-2 Polugaevsky
3-4 Adorján[16]
 • Korchnoi
 • Spassky
1980:
8 players, matches

Semi-finals:
 • Korchnoi beat Polugaevsky
 • Hübner beat Portisch
Finals:
 • Korchnoi beat Hübner
Candidates winner:
 • Korchnoi

Defending champion:
 • Karpov
Meran 1981
Karpov won 6–2
after 18 games
(draws not counting)
Rio de Janeiro 1979:
1-3 Portisch
1-3 Petrosian
1-3 Hübner
1982–85 1982:
Three single round robins
14 players each
2 qualified from each
Las Palmas 1982:
1 Ribli
2 Smyslov
 • Korchnoi
 • Hübner
1983–84:
8 players, matches

Semi-finals:
 • Kasparov beat Korchnoi
 • Smyslov beat Ribli

Finals, 1984:
 • Kasparov beat Smyslov
Candidates winner:
 • Kasparov

Defending champion:
 • Karpov
Moscow 1984–85
Unlimited match
abandoned after 48 games
with Karpov leading 5–3
(draws not counting)
Toluca 1982:
1-2 Portisch
1-2 Torre
Moscow 1982:
1 Kasparov
2 Beliavsky
1985 Replay  • Karpov
 • Kasparov
Moscow 1985
24 games match
Kasparov won 13–11
1986 Rematch  • Karpov
 • Kasparov
London/Leningrad 1986
Kasparov won 12½–11½
1985–87 1985:
3 single round robins
16–18 players each
4 qualified from each
Biel 1985:
1 Vaganian
2 Seirawan
3 Sokolov
4-6 Short[17]
Seeded in tournament:
 • Korchnoi
 • Ribli
 • Smyslov
 • Spassky[18]
Seeded in 1987 final:
 • Karpov
Montpellier 1985:
Single round robin tournament
16 players
1-3 Yusupov
1-3 Sokolov
1-3 Vaganian
4-5 Timman[19]

1986:
Two rounds of matches
4 players
 • Yusupov beat Timman
 • Sokolov beat Vaganian and Yusupov.

Finals, Linares, 1987:
 • Karpov beat matches winner Sokolov
Candidates winner:
 • Karpov

Defending champion:
 • Kasparov
Seville 1987
24 games match
Drawn 12–12
Kasparov retained title
Taxco 1985:
1 Timman
2 Nogueiras
3 Tal
4 Spraggett;
Tunis 1985:
1 Yusupov
2 Beliavsky
3 Portisch
4-5 Chernin[20]
1987–90 1987:
Three single round robins
17–18 players each
3 qualified from each
Subotica 1987:
1-3 Sax
1-3 Short
1-3 Speelman;
 • Sokolov
 • Timman
 • Vaganian
 • Yusupov
 • Spraggett[18]

Seeded in 2nd round:
 • Karpov
1988:
One round of matches
14 players

1989:
 • Karpov
(joined winners in quarter finals)

Semi-finals (1989):
 • Karpov beat Yusupov
 • Timman beat Speelman

Finals (1990):
 • Karpov beat Timman
Candidates winner:
 • Karpov

Defending champion:
 • Kasparov
New York City/Lyon 1990
Kasparov won
12½–11½
Szirák 1987:
1-2 Salov
1-2 Hjartarson
3-4 Portisch[21]
Zagreb 1987:
1 Korchnoi
2-3 Seirawan
2-3 Ehlvest
1990–93 Manila 1990
64 players Swiss
11 qualified
1-2 Gelfand
1-2 Ivanchuk
3-4 Anand
3-4 Short
5-11 Sax
5-11 Korchnoi
5-11 Hübner
5-11 Nikolić
5-11 Yudasin
5-11 Dolmatov
5-11 Dreev
 • Timman
 • Yusupov
 • Speelman

Seeded in 2nd round:
 • Karpov
1991:
One round of matches
14 players

1991:
 • Karpov
(joined winners in quarter-finals)

Semi-finals (1992):
 • Short beat Karpov
 • Timman beat Yusupov
Finals (1993):
 • Short beat Timman
Candidates winner:
 • Short

Defending champion:
 • Kasparov
London September–October 1993:
Kasparov defeated Short 12½–7½
under the auspices of the PCA;
Candidates finalist:
 • Timman

Former world champion:
 • Karpov
Netherlands[22] /Jakarta[23]
September–November 1993:
Karpov defeated Timman 12½–8½
under the auspices of FIDE
1993–95
(PCA)
Groningen December 1993
54 players Swiss
7 qualified
1-2 Adams
1-2 Anand
3-7 Kamsky
3-7 Kramnik
3-7 Tiviakov
3-7 Gulko
3-7 Romanishin
Short 1994–95:
8 players, matches
Semi-finals:
 • Kamsky beat Short
 • Anand beat Adams
Fonals (1995):
 • Anand beat Kamsky
Candidates winner:
 • Anand

Defending PCA champion
 • Kasparov
New York City
September–October 1995
20 games match
Kasparov won 10½–7½
1993–96
(FIDE)
Biel July 1993
73 players Swiss
10 qualified
1 Gelfand
2-9 Van der Sterren
2-9 Kamsky
2-9 Khalifman
2-9 Adams
2-9 Yudasin
2-9 Salov
2-9 Lautier
2-9 Kramnik
10-15 Anand[24]
 • Timman
 • Yusupov
1994:
Two rounds of matches
12 players
Semi-finals (February 1995):
Karpov beat Gelfand
Kamsky beat Salov
Elista 1996
20 games match
Karpov won 10½–7½
Seeded in semi-finals:
 • Karpov
1995:
 • Gelfand
 • Kamsky
 • Salov

Split titles (1997–2005)[edit]

After 1996, interzonals ceased to exist, but FIDE continued to organize qualifying zonal tournaments.

Classical championships (1998–2004)
Years Candidates format Seeded into Candidates Candidates Winner(s) Seeded in Final Championship Final
1998 (Classical) Cazorla, May–June 1998
10-game match
Kramnik, Shirov
(on rating)[25]
Shirov won 5½–3½ Kasparov
(1995 champion)
Match never took place
2000 (Classical) None Two players seeded in final:

Kasparov (1995 champion);
Kramnik (on rating)[26]
London: October-
November 2000
16-game match
Kramnik won 8½–6½
2002–2004 (Classical) Dortmund July 2002
preliminaries: two four players double round robins;
Semi-finals: the first from each group met the second from the other group in mini-matches
Preliminaries:[27]
group 1:
1 Shirov
2 Topalov
3 Gelfand
4 Lutz

group 2:
1 Bareev
2 Leko
3 Adams
4 Morozevich
Semi-finals :
Leko beat Shirov and Topalov beat Bareev.
Leko
(beat Topalov in the final)
Kramnik
(2000 classical champion)
Brissago:
September–October 2004
14-game match
drawn 7–7,
Kramnik retained title
FIDE championships (1997–2005)
Years Candidates format Seeded into Candidates Finalists Championship Final
1997–1998 (FIDE) Groningen
December 1997,
7 round, mini-match, knockout tournament
Winner plays 6-game championship match against Karpov
97 players,[28]
Quarter-finalists:
Adams, Van Wely, Short, Krasenkov, Gelfand, Dreev, Anand and Shirov.[29]
Anand (beat Adams in candidates final)
Karpov (1996 FIDE champion)
Lausanne:
January 1998
6-game match
Drawn 3–3;
Karpov won rapid playoff 2–0
1999 (FIDE) Las Vegas
July–August 1999,
7 round, mini-match, knockout tournament
100 players,[30]
Quarter-finalists:
Kramnik, Adams, Movsesian, Akopian, Shirov, Nisipeanu, Khalifman and J. Polgar[31]
Semi-finals:
Khalifman beat Nisipeanu,
Akopian beat Adams
Las Vegas 1999
6-game match
Khalifman won 3½–2½
2000 (FIDE) New Delhi (6 rounds)/final in Tehran
November–December 2000
7 round, mini-match, knockout tournament with final match played in Tehran
100 players,[32]
Quarter-finalists:
Anand, Khalifman, Adams, Topalov, Tkachiev, Grischuk, Shirov and Bareev[33]
Semi-finals:
Anand beat Adams,
Shirov beat Grischuk
Tehran
December 2000
6-game match
Anand won 3½–½
2001–2002 (FIDE) Moscow
7 round, mini-match, knockout tournament with relatively quick time controls
first part (6 rounds): 25 November– 14 December 2001
final: 16–24 January 2002
128 players,[34]
Quarter-finalists:
Anand, Shirov, Ivanchuk, Lautier, Svidler, Gelfand, Ponomariov and Bareev
Semi-finals (4-game matches):
Ponomariov beat Svidler,
Ivanchuk beat Anand
Moscow
January 2002
8-game match
Ponomariov won 4½–2½[35]
2004 (FIDE) Tripoli
June–July 2004
7 round, mini-match, knockout tournament with relatively quick time controls
128 players,[36]
Quarter-finalists:
Topalov, Kharlov, Kasimdzhanov, Grischuk, Radjabov, Dominguez, Adams, Akopian[37]
Semi-finals:
Adams beat Radjabov,
Kasimdzhanov beat Topalov
Tripoli July 2004
6-game match
drawn 3–3;
Kasimdzhanov won rapid playoff 1½–½[35]
Years Candidates format Seeded in Final Championship Final
2005 (FIDE) None 8 players seeded in final:

Kasimdzhanov (FIDE champion);
Adams (as FIDE 2004 finalist);
Anand, Morozevich, Topalov (on rating),
Leko (as classical 2004 finalist),[38]
J. Polgár and Svidler (on rating)
San Luis: 8 players,
double round robin,
September–October 2005
1 Topalov: 10/14
2-3 Anand 8½/14
2-3 Svidler 8½/14
4 Morozevich 7/14

Reunified title (since 2006)[edit]

After the reunification of the FIDE and "classical" titles, the Chess World Cup and FIDE Grand Prix series were introduced as qualification for the Candidates Tournament. The Swiss-system FIDE Grand Swiss was introduced in the latter half of 2019, acting as another qualification path for the 2020 Candidates Tournament.[39]

Reunification
Years Seeded in Final Championship Final
2006 Reunification match Topalov (FIDE champion),
Kramnik (classical champion)
Elista October 2006
12-game match
drawn 6–6,
Kramnik won rapid playoff 2½–1½
Years Qualification format Qualifiers Seeded into Candidates Candidates Format Candidates Winner(s) Seeded in Final Championship Final
2005–2007 Chess World Cup 2005
Khanty-Mansiysk
November–December 2005
128 players, 7 round, mini-match, knockout tournament;
+ mini-matches to establish places 1 through 16.
top 10 qualify
1 Ponomariov
2 Aronian
3 (Bacrot[40])
4 Grischuk
5 Bareev
6 Gelfand
7 Rublevsky
8 Gurevich
9 Kamsky
10 Carlsen
11 Malakhov
Kasimdzhanov
(2004 FIDE champion)

Leko, Adams, J. Polgár, Shirov, Bacrot
(on rating)
Candidates Matches 2007
Elista:
May–June 2007
16 players,
two rounds of matches,

4 players qualify for championship tournament
Aronian,
Gelfand,
Grischuk,
Leko[41]
Anand, Svidler, Morozevich
(2nd–4th in 2005);

Kramnik[42]
(2006 Champion)
Mexico City:
September 2007
8 players,
double round robin
1 Anand 9/14
2-3 Kramnik 8/14
2-3 Gelfand 8/14
2008 Rematch Kramnik, Anand Bonn October 2008
12-game match
Anand won 6½–4½ to retain the title.
2007–2010 Chess World Cup 2007
Khanty-Mansiysk
November–December 2007
128 players, 7 round, mini-match, knockout tournament
Kamsky
beat A. Shirov 2½-1½ in the final.
Topalov
(2005 FIDE champion)
Candidates Match 2009
Sofia
February 2009,
8-game match
Topalov won 4½–2½ Anand
(2008 champion)
Sofia April–May 2010
12-game match
Anand won 6½–5½ to retain the title.
2008–2012 FIDE Grand Prix 2008–2010
2 qualified[43]
Aronian, Radjabov (Carlsen on rating)
Grischuk (replacement of Carlsen)[43] Kramnik
(on rating),

Kamsky,[44]
Topalov,[45][46]

Mamedyarov (wildcard)[47]
Candidates Tournament 2011
Kazan,
May 2011,[48]
8 players, matches

Semifinals:
Gelfand defeated Kamsky;
Grischuk defeated Kramnik
Gelfand defeated Grischuk in the final 3½–2½ Anand
(2010 champion)
Moscow May 2012
12-game match drawn 6–6,

Anand won rapid playoff 2½–1½
to retain the title

Chess World Cup 2009
Khanty-Mansiysk
November–December 2009
128 players, 7 round, mini-match, knockout tournament (1st qualifies)
Gelfand (beat Ponomariov in the final)
2011–2013 Chess World Cup 2011
Khanty-Mansiysk
August–September 2011
128 players, 7 round, mini-match, knockout tournament (top three qualify)
Svidler, Grischuk, Ivanchuk Gelfand[49]

Carlsen, Aronian, Kramnik (ratings)[50]

Radjabov (wildcard)[47]
Candidates Tournament 2013
London[51]
March 2013
8 player double round-robin tournament
Carlsen
(won Candidates Tournament on tie breaks)
Anand
(2012 champion)
Chennai, November 2013
12-game match
Carlsen won 6½–3½
2012–2014 FIDE Grand Prix 2012–2013
2 qualified
Topalov, Mamedyarov Anand[52]

Aronian, Karjakin (ratings)[53]

Svidler (wildcard)[47]
Candidates Tournament 2014
Khanty-Mansiysk,[54]
March 2014[55]
8 player double round-robin tournament
Anand Carlsen
(2013 champion)
Sochi, November 2014
12-game match
Carlsen won 6½-4½ to retain the title
Chess World Cup 2013
Tromsø
August–September 2013
128 players, 7 round, mini-match, knockout tournament (top two qualify)
Kramnik, Andreikin
2014–2016 FIDE Grand Prix 2014–15
2 qualified
Caruana, Nakamura Anand[56]

Topalov, Giri (ratings)[57]

Aronian (wildcard)[57]
Candidates Tournament 2016
Moscow, March 2016
8 player double round-robin tournament
Karjakin Carlsen
(2014 champion)
New York City, November 2016
12-game match drawn 6–6
Carlsen won rapid playoff 3–1 to retain the title
Chess World Cup 2015
Baku
October 2015
128 players, 7 round, mini-match, knockout tournament
(top two qualify)
Svidler, Karjakin
2017–2018 FIDE Grand Prix 2017
Two qualify
Mamedyarov, Grischuk Karjakin[58]

Caruana, So (ratings)[59]

Kramnik (wildcard)[59]
Candidates Tournament 2018
Berlin, March 2018
8 player double round-robin tournament
Caruana Carlsen
(2016 champion)
London, November 2018
12-game match drawn 6–6
Carlsen won rapid playoff 3–0 to retain the title[60]
Chess World Cup 2017
Tbilisi
September 2017
128 players, 7 round, mini-match, knockout tournament
(top two qualify)
Aronian, Ding
2019–2021 FIDE Grand Prix 2019
Two qualify
Grischuk, Nepomniachtchi Caruana[61]

Giri (ratings)

Alekseenko (wildcard)

Vachier-Lagrave (ratings, as replacement for Radjabov)
Candidates Tournament 2020–21
Yekaterinburg,
Mar-Apr 2020, Apr 2021
8 player double round-robin tournament
Nepomniachtchi Carlsen (2018 champion) Dubai, Nov-Dec 2021
14-game match

Carlsen won to retain title, 7½–3½

Chess World Cup 2019
Khanty-Mansiysk
September–October 2019
128 players, 7 round, mini-match, knockout tournament
(top two qualify)
(Radjabov), Ding
FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament 2019
Isle of Man, October 2019
Swiss tournament
(top player qualifies)[39]
Wang
2021–2023 FIDE Grand Prix 2022
February–April 2022
Top two qualify
Rapport, Nakamura Nepomniachtchi[62]

Radjabov (wildcard)

Ding (ratings, as replacement for Karjakin)
Candidates Tournament 2022
8 player double round-robin tournament
Madrid, June–July 2022
Nepomniachtchi Carlsen (2021 champion)[63]

Ding (Candidates runner-up, as replacement for Carlsen)
Astana, April–May 2023
14-game match[64] drawn 7–7
Ding won rapid playoff 2½–1½
Chess World Cup 2021
Sochi
July–August 2021
206 players, 8 round, mini-match, knockout tournament
Top two qualify
Duda, (Karjakin*)[65]
FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament 2021
Riga, October–November 2021
114-player Swiss tournament
Top two qualify[39]
Firouzja, Caruana
2023–2024 Chess World Cup 2023
Baku

Jul-Aug 2023
206 players, 8 round, mini-match, knockout tournament
Top three qualify[66]

(Carlsen), Praggnanandhaa, Caruana Nepomniachtchi[67]

Firouzja (ratings)

Abasov (World Cup 4th place, as replacement for Carlsen)
Candidates Tournament 2024
8 player double round-robin tournament
Toronto, April 2024[68]
Ding (2023 champion) TBD
14-game match
(presumably late 2024)
FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament 2023
Isle of Man

Oct-Nov 2023
114-player Swiss tournament
Top two qualify[66]

Vidit, Nakamura
FIDE Circuit 2023
Top player qualifies[66]
(Caruana,[69]) Gukesh
2024–2026 Chess World Cup 2025
Top three qualify[70]
(ratings) Candidates Tournament 2026
8 player double round-robin tournament
(2024 champion) TBD
FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament 2025

Top two qualify[70]

FIDE Circuit 2024
Top player qualifies[70]
FIDE Circuit 2025
Top player qualifies[70]
Years Qualification format Qualifiers Seeded into Candidates Candidates Format Candidates Winner(s) Seeded in Final Championship Final

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "FIDE Stops the Candidates Tournament".
  2. ^ FIDE resumes the Candidates Tournament, FIDE, February 16, 2021
  3. ^ Emilchess on Twitter, Twitter, April 28, 2021
  4. ^ Israel Horowitz, From Morphy to Fischer, Batsford, 1973, page 52
  5. ^ Israel Horowitz, From Morphy to Fischer, Batsford, 1973, page 116
  6. ^ Bondarevsky was replaced in Candidates tournament because of illness
  7. ^ from previous Candidates
  8. ^ from 1948 Championship
  9. ^ Bled, Zagreb, Beograd
  10. ^ In the play-off, Stein finished first before Benko, and Gligorić third. Stein was eliminated because only three Soviet players could qualify from the interzonal to the candidates tournament.
  11. ^ after playoff match against Geller
  12. ^ Portisch beat Reshevsky in play-off.
  13. ^ Hort and Stein were eliminated having a worse Berger tie-break (Neustadtl score), the play-off had ended with all players having 4 / 8.
  14. ^ Geller eliminated after play-off
  15. ^ Tal eliminated after play-off
  16. ^ Ribli eliminated after playoff
  17. ^ Van Der Wiel and Torre eliminated after playoff
  18. ^ a b chosen by the organizating federation
  19. ^ Timman eliminated Tal in play-off
  20. ^ Gavrikov eliminated after playoff
  21. ^ Nunn eliminated after Playoff
  22. ^ Zwolle (games 1-3) / Arnhem (games 4-6) / Amsterdam (games 7-12)
  23. ^ (games 13-21)
  24. ^ Epichine, Lputian, Shirov, Ivanchuk and I. Sokolov were eliminated by the tie-break (sum of the opponents Elo ratings).
  25. ^ Anand, as a participant in the FIDE world championship cycle, believed he was contractually obligated to not participate in a rival cycle.
  26. ^ Negotiations for a 1999 match with Shirov or Anand failed, as did negotiations in 2000, with Anand expressing dissatisfaction with the contract.
  27. ^ Kasparov declined the invitation, as did Anand and other players engaged in the FIDE championship.
  28. ^ Top seed Kramnik refused to participate on the grounds that 1996 FIDE champion Karpov's direct entry into the final was unacceptable;
    1995 classical champion Kasparov, 1996 finalist Kamsky and 1996 Women champion Z. Polgar refused in advance to participate.
  29. ^ Topalov, Ivanchuk, Beliavsky, Salov, Bareev, Georgiev, J. Polgar, Sadler, Akopian, Lautier were eliminated
  30. ^ 1998 FIDE champion Karpov, 1998 FIDE finalist Anand (Anand was negotiating to play a match against Kasparov for his title) and 1995 classical champion Kasparov refused to participate
  31. ^ 1998 classical championship candidates Shirov and Kramnik were eliminated by Nisipeanu and Adams in quarterfinals.
  32. ^ Classical champions Kasparov, Kramnik and 1998 FIDE champion Karpov didn't participate
  33. ^ Morozevich, Leko, Krasenkov, Kasimdzhanov, Svidler, Gelfand, Short, Smirin, Dreev, Azmaiparashvili, Rublevsky, Almasi, Xu Jun, Gurevich were eliminated
  34. ^ Classical champions Kramnik and Kasparov didn't participate. All other strongest players of the world took part, including former winners of the FIDE World Championship Anand, Khalifman (eliminated in third round) and Karpov (eliminated in first round).
  35. ^ a b Reunification Match with Kasparov never took place
  36. ^ Kasparov, Anand, Kramnik, Svidler, Shirov, Ponomariov, Leko, J. Polgár, Gelfand, Bareev, Karpov and Israeli players refused to participate, Morozevich was absent before the first round
  37. ^ Ivanchuk, Short, Malakhov, Nisipeanu, Sokolov, Dreev, Akopian, Bacrot, Gurevich, Rublevsky, were eliminated
  38. ^ Kramnik (as classical 2004 finalist) declined the invitation, and Kasparov, who had retired from competition, were replaced by J. Polgar and Svidler on rating
  39. ^ a b c "FIDE Grand Swiss update (archive)". FIDE. 19 February 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-03-07. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  40. ^ Bacrot was qualified on rating
  41. ^ Aronian beat A.Shirov ; Leko beat Bareev ; Grischuk beat Rublevsky ; Gelfand beat Kamsky
  42. ^ Topalov was replaced by Kramnik (2006 Champion)
  43. ^ a b Grischuk, third of FIDE Grand Prix, replaced Carlsen after he withdrew.
  44. ^ 2009 candidate, loser of the 2009 Challenger Match
  45. ^ 2010 finalist, loser of 2010 World Chess Championship match
  46. ^ FIDE to move Candidates Matches, Topalov threatens boycott
  47. ^ a b c Nominee of the organizing committee.
  48. ^ chessbase.com; Pairings for Candidates Matches are released
  49. ^ Loser of the 2012 World Championship match
  50. ^ Top three rated players not already qualified
  51. ^ Levitov announces FIDE plans for Candidates Tournament in the 2014 World Championship cycle
  52. ^ Loser of the 2013 World Championship match
  53. ^ Top two rated players not already qualified
  54. ^ FIDE Calendar 2014
  55. ^ "FIDE announces dates for world chess championship cycles". Archived from the original on 2013-03-18. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  56. ^ Loser of the 2014 World Championship match
  57. ^ a b "World Chess Candidates Tournament (FIDE)". Archived from the original on 2015-11-12. Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  58. ^ Loser of the 2016 World Championship match
  59. ^ a b Kramnik to play 2018 Candidates
  60. ^ "World Chess London". Archived from the original on 2017-12-07. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  61. ^ Loser of the 2018 World Championship match
  62. ^ Loser of the 2021 World Championship match
  63. ^ Carlsen refused to defend his title.
  64. ^ "Astana to host FIDE World Championship match 2023". fide.com. FIDE. 19 January 2023. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  65. ^ Disqualified by FIDE
  66. ^ a b c "FIDE reforms the qualifications paths to the Candidates Tournament". FIDE.
  67. ^ Runner-Up of the 2023 World Chess Championship
  68. ^ "FIDE Candidates and Women's Candidates 2024 to be Held in Toronto".
  69. ^ Caruana qualified from the World Cup, so Gukesh qualified as the top player in the FIDE Circuit not already qualified
  70. ^ a b c d "Changes to qualification paths for the Candidates Tournament". FIDE.

References[edit]