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Ding Liren earns the final spot in the Candidates 2022

by Shahid Ahmed - 19/05/2022

Seven out of the eight Candidates were already determined in late March this year. Ding Liren was trying to fulfill the minimum number of rated games requirement to be eligible for Candidates 2022. He not only climbed to the World no.2 position in the process, much to nobody's surprise, he earned his way into the Candidates 2022 too. He will replace Sergey Karjakin who was banned earlier by the FIDE Ethics and Disciplinary Commission. Appeal Chamber of the FIDE Ethics and Disciplinary Commission (EDC) announced its decision to dismiss Karjakin's appeal on 6th May 2022. Candidates tournament starts on 17th June 2022 and the winner will play the FIDE World Championship Match in 2023. Photo: FIDE

Pairings and Tie-break format revealed

Ding Liren claimed the final spot of FIDE Candidates 2022 | Photo: FIDE

The drawing of lots for the FIDE Candidates Tournament was carried out on 28th April during the FIDE Council in Abu Dhabi, in a ceremony organized by the Chief Arbiter for the event, Anastasia Sorokina.

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich and Chief Arbiter of FIDE Candidates 2022, Anastasia Sorokina | Photo: Ezz

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich drew the lots for Ian Nepomniachtchi, who will play under the FIDE flag. FIDE Deputy president Bachar Kouatly drew the lots for Alireza Firouzja, Michael Khodarkovsky for Fabiano Caruana (a number was automatically assigned to Hikaru Nakamura), Mahir Mammedov for Teimour Radjabov, Zhu Chen for Richard Rapport, and Łukasz Turlej for Jan–Krzysztof Duda.

Photos from the Draw of Lots | Photo: Ezz

These are the starting numbers:

1. GM Jan–Krzysztof Duda

2. GM Ding Liren

3. GM Fabiano Caruana

4. GM Teimour Radjabov

5. GM Alireza Firouzja

6. GM Hikaru Nakamura

7. GM Ian Nepomniachtchi

8. GM Richard Rapport

Format and System

The eight players play a double round-robin tournament (14 rounds). The winner qualifies for the 2023 FIDE World Championship Match.


Round 1, June 17

Duda – Rapport

Ding Liren – Nepomniachtchi

Caruana – Nakamura

Radjabov – Firouzja


Round 2, June 18

Rapport – Firouzja

Nakamura – Radjabov

Nepomniachtchi – Caruana

Duda – Ding Liren


Round 3, June 19

Ding Liren – Rapport

Caruana – Duda

Radjabov – Nepomniachtchi

Firouzja – Nakamura


Round 4, June 21

Rapport – Nakamura

Nepomniachtchi – Firouzja

Duda – Radjabov

Ding Liren – Caruana


Round 5, June 22

Caruana – Rapport

Radjabov – Ding Liren

Firouzja – Duda

Nakamura – Nepomniachtchi


Round 6, June 23

Radjabov – Rapport

Firouzja – Caruana

Nakamura – Ding Liren

Nepomniachtchi – Duda


Round 7, June 25

Rapport – Nepomniachtchi

Duda – Nakamura

Ding Liren – Firouzja

Caruana – Radjabov


Round 8, June 26

Rapport – Duda

Nepomniachtchi – Ding Liren

Nakamura – Caruana

Firouzja – Radjabov


Round 9, June 27

Firouzja – Rapport

Radjabov – Nakamura

Caruana – Nepomniachtchi

Ding Liren – Duda


Round 10, June 29

Rapport – Ding Liren

Duda – Caruana

Nepomniachtchi – Radjabov

Nakamura – Firouzja


Round 11, June 30

Nakamura – Rapport

Firouzja – Nepomniachtchi

Radjabov – Duda

Caruana – Ding Liren


Round 12, July 1

Rapport – Caruana

Ding Liren – Radjabov

Duda – Firouzja

Nepomniachtchi – Nakamura


Round 13, July 3

Nepomniachtchi – Rapport

Nakamura – Duda

Firouzja – Ding Liren

Radjabov – Caruana


Round 14, July 4

Rapport – Radjabov

Caruana – Firouzja

Ding Liren – Nakamura

Duda – Nepomniachtchi

Tiebreaker Playoff format

As per the decision made at the FIDE Council meeting on December 27, a playoff system has been introduced for the Candidates Tournament to be played in the case of a tie for first place.


This decision has been taken after consultation with all the players who have already qualified for the competition. A majority of them favoured a play-off over the tie-break system used in previous editions. The play-off will be played no matter how many players tie for first. The system includes rapid and blitz games, in case only rapid is not enough.


Here are the key points of a new play-off system:


In case of a tie for first place in the Candidates Tournament, a play-off will be played that may consist of up to three stages.


Stage I

If there are two players tied for the first place they will play a match of two rapid games (15 min + 10 sec).

In case of a 3-6-way tie, a round-robin rapid tournament will be played (15 min + 10 sec).


Stage II (played in case of a tie after Stage I)

If there are two players tied they will play a match of two blitz games (3 min + 2 sec).

In case of a three-way tie (or more) a round-robin blitz tournament will be played (3 min + 2 sec).


Stage III (played in case of a tie after Stage II)

In case of a tie, depending on number of players, either knockout match or knockout tournament will be played. Each match consists of a single blitz game (3 min +2 sec). The colours are determined by drawing of lots. In case of a draw, another game will be played with the colours reversed. If there is another draw, the opponents will play until the decisive outcome.


The Regulations for the event have been updated with the new rules and they can be found under paragraph 4.4.2. The Candidates Tournament 2022 will take place in Madrid, Spain, from June 16 to July 5.


Official site

Draw of Lots and Pairings

Tie-break and Playoff announcement

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