BREAKING: FIDE stops Candidates 2020
The Postponement of the Candidates 2020 was hanging on the heads of the players, organizers, and spectators like a damocles sword throughout the last ten days. Finally it has happened. The Russian Government announced that starting from 27th of March 2020, Russia will interrupt air traffics with other countries without indicating any time frames. This could mean that the players could be stuck in Russia for months together. As a result FIDE has stopped the tournament and the FIDE President Arkadij Dvorkovich has published a press release on the FIDE website. What's interesting is that the tournament has only been postponed and not cancelled. It will resume from round 8 onwards after the Covid19 pandemic situation cools down.
FIDE stops the Candidates Tournament
On the FIDE website, the following letter by Arkadij Dvorkovich is published:
Today, the government of the Russian Federation announced that starting March 27, 2020, Russia interrupts air traffic with other countries without indicating any time frames.
FIDE can not continue the tournament without guarantees for the players' and officials' safe and timely return home. In this situation and on the basis of clause 1.5. Rules of Candidates Tournament, the FIDE President decided to stop the tournament. It will be continued later, with the exact dates to be announced as soon, as the global situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic will allow. As it was stipulated by the special rules agreed with the players before the start of the event, the results of the 7 rounds played remain valid, and the tournament will be resumed in the same composition starting with the games of the 8th round. FIDE is grateful to the players, officials, volunteers and the entire team of organizers, including the Chess Federation of Russia and the main partner of the tournament - SIMA-Land.
From the above letter, the following points come up:
1. The players and officials just have one day left to leave Russia and make it safely back to their home country before the Russian air traffic is interrupted.
2. According to clause 1.5 of the Candidates Tournament (1. 5. At any time, any circumstance or unforeseen situation not covered in these Regulations shall be referred to the FIDE President for final decision) the FIDE President has stopped the event.
3. The results of seven rounds will remain valid and the games will begin from 8th round.
4. The dates of when the event will be resumed will be announced only after the situation of Covid19 pandemic settles down.
Standings after round 7
FIDE stops #FIDECandidates— International Chess Federation (@FIDE_chess) March 26, 2020
Official announcement - Starting March 27, 2020, Russia interrupts air traffic with other countries without indicating any time frames. In this situation FIDE President decided to stop the tournament.https://t.co/bnDDJhFuiG pic.twitter.com/YYo3SMidqj
I hope at least now @FIDE_chess will accept responsibility and apologize to the whole chess community for not postponing the World Senior Team in Prague as well as #FIDECandidates in Yekaterinburg. What happens to @rajachess now?— Harikrishna (@HariChess) March 26, 2020
It was clear the Candidates would stop at some point. But the break will feel much better as MVL is in the lead! #FIDECandidates— Romain Edouard (@romain_edouard) March 26, 2020
#FIDECandidates Fairest thing would be to finish this tournament at a later date, and then seed Radjabov through to the next one in 2022 automatically.— Daniel Gormally (@elgransenor1) March 26, 2020
Watch this space for more updates.