The World’s Elite Are Playing in the 2022 Candidates Tournament

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

Smyslov quote, "In chess, as in life, man is his own most dangerous opponent." Who will master themselves well enough to win the 2022 Candidates Tournament?

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

"Fischer quote, "All that matters on the chessboard is good moves." Bobby Fischer produced astound results in the Candidates Tournaments he played. Will the winner of the 2022 Candidates Tournament go on to become a world champion as he did?

In Conclusion

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.

Grab your copy of “Naditsch’s Knockouts” and knock out your opponents today! Get instant access and save 50% now!

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