Eight of the world’s best chess players will soon gather in the Palace of Santoña in Madrid, Spain. Yes, it is time for the 2022 Candidates Tournament, which might have more on the line than in many years.
Shortly after his last successful title defense, Magnus Carlsen said he might lack the motivation to play another World Chess Championship match if the challenger was anybody but Alireza Firouzja. In April, he repeated the unlikelihood of defending his title but omitted any mention of Firouzja.
If the current world chess champion does not defend his crown, the winner and second-place finisher of this year’s Candidates Match will play for the title.
Here is GM Arkadij Naiditsch sharing a game played between two players who are contestants in the 2022 Candidates Tournament – Caruana and Duda.
2022 Candidates Tournament: Where and When?
Madrid, Spain, hardly needs an introduction and the Palace of Santoña is sure to prove a fitting venue. This mansion was built in 1730 and is currently home to the Madrid Chamber of Commerce.
The current interior reflects the changes made by the Duke of Santoña in 1874 and will provide a fitting background to the high-class chess that s sure to be on display.
Play will begin on June 16th and end on July 5th, 2022. If required, the tie-break will take place on July 5th.
The time control is one-hundred-and-twenty minutes for forty moves, sixty minutes for the next twenty moves, and fifteen minutes plus a thirty-second increment for the rest of the game.
In the event of a tie for first place, the tie-break shall be:
- Two rapid games with a time control of fifteen minutes and a ten-second increment will be the tie-break if only two players are tied for first place.
- In the event of a three to six-way tie, there will be a single round-robin.
- If seven or eight players are tied, it will also be a single round-robin but with a time control of 10 minutes and a five-second increment.
- If players are still tied after the first tie-break, they will play two three-minute blitz games with a two-second increment. A single round-robin tie-break will occur if more than two players are tied.
- And if there is still a tie, the players will play a knock-out blitz tournament with the same 3/2 time control. Each mini-match will be won by the first player to win a game.
The winner receives €48 000, second place gets €36 000, and €24 000 for third place. In addition, every player will receive €7 000 for every point they score.
The Participants in the 2022 Candidates Match
The eight participants represent seven nations – Azerbaijan, China, France, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and the United States. There are two contestants from the United States – Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana.
The eight players in this year’s Candidates Tournament are Fabiano Caruana, Ding Liren, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Alireza Firouzja, Hikaru Nakamura, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Teimour Radjabov, and Richard Rapport.
One of the original qualifiers, Sergey Karjakin, was disqualified for breaching the FIDE Code of Ethics when he voiced support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine this year. The appeal lodged on his behalf by the Chess Federation of Russia to get him re-instated was unsuccessful.
This opened a place for Ding Liren, the highest-rated player who had not qualified on the FIDE May 2022 rating list.
The Games Schedule for the Tournament
Here is how they will face off over the fourteen rounds of the 2022 Candidates Tournament.
Round 1 – 17th June
Jan-Krzysztof Duda – Richard Rapport
Ding Liren – Ian Nepomniachtchi
Fabiano Caruana – Hikaru Nakamura
Teimour Radjabov – Alireza Firouzja
Round 2 – 18th June
Richard Rapport – Alireza Firouzja
Hikaru Nakamura – Teimour Radjabov
Ian Nepomniachtchi – Fabiano Caruana
Jan-Krzysztof Duda – Ding Liren
Round 3 – 19th June
Ding Liren – Richard Rapport
Fabiano Caruana – Jan-Krzysztof Duda
Teimour Radjabov – Ian Nepomniachtchi
Alireza Firouzja – Hikaru Nakamura
Round 4 – 21st June
Richard Rapport – Hikaru Nakamura
Ian Nepomniachtchi – Alireza Firouzja
Jan-Krzysztof Duda – Teimour Radjabov
Ding Liren – Fabiano Caruana
Round 5 – 22nd June
Fabiano Caruana – Richard Rapport
Teimour Radjabov – Ding Liren
Alireza Firouzja – Jan-Krzysztof Duda
Hikaru Nakamura – Ian Nepomniachtchi
Round 6 – 23rd June
Teimour Radjabov – Richard Rapport
Alireza Firouzja – Fabiano Caruana
Hikaru Nakamura – Ding Liren
Ian Nepomniachtchi – Jan-Krzysztof Duda
Round 7 – 25th June
Richard Rapport – Ian Nepomniachtchi
Jan-Krzysztof Duda – Hikaru Nakamura
Ding Liren – Alireza Firouzja
Fabiano Caruana – Teimour Radjabov
Round 8 – 26th June
Richard Rapport – Jan-Krzysztof Duda
Ian Nepomniachtchi – Ding Liren
Hikaru Nakamura – Fabiano Caruana
Alireza Firouzja – Teimour Radjabov
Round 9 – 27th June
Alireza Firouzja – Richard Rapport
Teimour Radjabov – Hikaru Nakamura
Fabiano Caruana – Ian Nepomniachtchi
Ding Liren – Jan-Krzysztof Duda
Round 10 29th June
Richard Rapport – Ding Liren
Jan-Krzysztof Duda – Fabiano Caruana
Ian Nepomniachtchi – Teimour Radjabov
Hikaru Nakamura – Alireza Firouzja
Round 11 – 30th June
Hikaru Nakamura – Richard Rapport
Alireza Firouzja – Ian Nepomniachtchi
Teimour Radjabov -= Jan-Krzysztof Duda
Fabiano Caruana – Ding Liren
Round 12 – 1st July
Richard Rapport – Fabiano Caruana
Ding Liren – Teimour Radjabov
Jan-Krzysztof Duda – Alireza Firouzja
Ian Nepomniachtchi – Hikaru Nakamura
Round 13 – 3rd July
Ian Nepomniachtchi – Richard Rapport
Hikaru Nakamura – Jan-Krzysztof Duda
Alireza Firouzja – Ding Liren
Teimour Radjabov – Fabiano Caruana
Round 14 – 4th July
Richard Rapport – Teimour Radjabov
Fabiano Caruana – Alireza Firouzja
Ding Liren – Hikaru Nakamura
Jan-Krzysztof Duda – Ian Nepomniachtchi
Tie-Break (if needed) – 5th July
The ratings for the eight contestants range from the mid-2700s to 2800 Elo, so we can expect to enjoy lots of excellent chess during the 2022 candidates Tournament.
Will Magnus Carlsen get his wish to play Alireza Firouzja? Or will Fabiano Caruana get a second chance to challenge for the World Chess Championship early in 2023?
A Hungarian will play in the Candidates Tournament for the first time in over a decade. Do you think Richard Rapport will repeat the performance of the great Peter Leko, who won the 2004 Candidates Tournament?
In the comments, let us know who you think will emerge victorious in the 2022 Candidates Tournament.
Take your chess to the next level with Super GM Arkadij Naiditsch as he uses top-quality games to help you improve essential chess skills! GM Naiditsch covers attacking play, endgames, positional play, converting advantages, and more.
Gain insights into how the world’s best play the game and you will soon become a dangerous opponent.
Playing through games on your own often leaves unanswered questions, but with GM Naiditsch’s clear explanations you need not worry you will miss a valuable insight.