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FIDE Candidates Tournament

Ian Nepomniachtchi9.5/14(+5 -0 =9)[games]
Ding Liren8/14(+4 -2 =8)[games]
Teimour Radjabov7.5/14(+3 -2 =9)[games]
Hikaru Nakamura7.5/14(+4 -3 =7)[games]
Fabiano Caruana6.5/14(+3 -4 =7)[games]
Alireza Firouzja6/14(+2 -4 =8)[games]
Richard Rapport5.5/14(+1 -4 =9)[games]
Jan-Krzysztof Duda5.5/14(+1 -4 =9)[games]
* Chess Event Description
FIDE Candidates (2022)

The original eight qualifiers for this tournament were Ian Nepomniachtchi, the loser of the 2021 World Championship; the winner (Jan-Krzysztof Duda) and runner-up (Sergey Karjakin) of the 2021 World Cup; the winner (Alireza Firouzja) and runner-up (Fabiano Caruana) of the FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament 2021; the winner (Hikaru Nakamura) and runner-up (Richard Rapport) of the FIDE Grand Prix 2022; and FIDE designee Teimour Radjabov. FIDE selected Radjabov as atonement for his absence from the World Championship Candidates (2020/21), which he had withdrawn from due to what proved to be well-founded concerns about COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic had ended up interrupting that event after it had been halfway completed; the second half of the tournament was played the following year.

In March 2022, the FIDE Ethics and Disciplinary Commission ruled that Karjakin had breached the FIDE Code of Ethics by making a series of public statements supporting Russia's February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. It barred him from playing in FIDE-related tournaments, including the 2022 Candidates tournament, for a period of six months. The Russian Chess Federation appealed this ruling, but FIDE affirmed it.

This opened up another spot in the tournament. FIDE stated that it would go to the highest-rated player, based on the May 2022 FIDE rating list, who had not already qualified and who had played at least 30 officially rated games between June 2021 and May 2022. Ding Liren was the highest rated player who was not world champion or already qualified. However, he had only played four of the required thirty rated games due to his inability to travel to tournaments outside China during the COVID-19 pandemic. He thus needed to play at least 26 rated games in March and April, and to maintain a high rating while doing so, lest he be overtaken in the rating list by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov or Levon Aronian. The Chinese Chess Association organized three different rated events involving Ding on short notice, thereby allowing him to meet the minimum games requirement. He performed well in those events, moving from No. 3 to No. 2 on the rating list, and thus qualified for the Candidates tournament.

In the Candidates tournament, typically only first place is important, since the winner goes on to play the world champion for the title. This tournament had added drama: world champion Magnus Carlsen had stated that he might not defend his title the following year. FIDE announced that if he did not do so, the top two finishers in this tournament would compete for the title in 2023. The players competed in the Candidates tournament with this uncertainty hanging over their head.

The tournament was held at the Palacio de Santoña in Madrid, Spain, from June 16 to July 5, 2022. As at the 2020/21 Candidates tournament, Nepomniachtchi won with a round to spare. He led from start to finish and won handily, winning five games and drawing the rest. He thus joined a distinguished handful of players - Smyslov, Spassky, and Korchnoi being the others - to win two consecutive Candidates tournaments.

Apart from Nepomniachthi's runaway victory, the tournament ended up being a fight for second among the other players, who had difficulty getting over 50%. The marquee game of the last round was between Hikaru Nakamura, who was in second with 7.5/13, and Ding Liren, his closest rival, just half a point behind. Ding had a slight advantage in the endgame, and ground out a win to finish second, 1.5 points behind Nepomniachtchi. This proved to be critical when Carlsen announced two weeks later that he would not defend his title. This meant that Nepomniachtchi and Ding would face off the following year in the Nepomniachtchi - Ding World Championship Match (2023).

Wikipedia article: Candidates Tournament 2022

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 56  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Duda vs Rapport ½-½692022FIDE CandidatesB44 Sicilian
2. Radjabov vs Firouzja ½-½712022FIDE CandidatesD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
3. Caruana vs Nakamura 1-0502022FIDE CandidatesC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
4. Ding Liren vs Nepomniachtchi 0-1322022FIDE CandidatesA20 English
5. Rapport vs Firouzja ½-½602022FIDE CandidatesB53 Sicilian
6. Nakamura vs Radjabov 1-0752022FIDE CandidatesC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
7. Nepomniachtchi vs Caruana ½-½332022FIDE CandidatesC50 Giuoco Piano
8. Duda vs Ding Liren ½-½412022FIDE CandidatesC53 Giuoco Piano
9. Radjabov vs Nepomniachtchi ½-½302022FIDE CandidatesE04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
10. Ding Liren vs Rapport ½-½402022FIDE CandidatesD86 Grunfeld, Exchange
11. Caruana vs Duda ½-½512022FIDE CandidatesB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
12. Firouzja vs Nakamura ½-½532022FIDE CandidatesE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
13. Rapport vs Nakamura ½-½442022FIDE CandidatesC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
14. Ding Liren vs Caruana ½-½642022FIDE CandidatesD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
15. Duda vs Radjabov ½-½412022FIDE CandidatesC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
16. Nepomniachtchi vs Firouzja 1-0392022FIDE CandidatesB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
17. Firouzja vs Duda ½-½362022FIDE CandidatesC42 Petrov Defense
18. Caruana vs Rapport ½-½242022FIDE CandidatesB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
19. Nakamura vs Nepomniachtchi ½-½342022FIDE CandidatesC42 Petrov Defense
20. Radjabov vs Ding Liren ½-½472022FIDE CandidatesE00 Queen's Pawn Game
21. Radjabov vs Rapport ½-½402022FIDE CandidatesB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
22. Nepomniachtchi vs Duda 1-0352022FIDE CandidatesA06 Reti Opening
23. Nakamura vs Ding Liren ½-½422022FIDE CandidatesC53 Giuoco Piano
24. Firouzja vs Caruana 0-1422022FIDE CandidatesE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
25. Ding Liren vs Firouzja ½-½542022FIDE CandidatesA20 English
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 56  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 46 OF 46 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: The stupid thing is that article never says what opinions of Kasparov and Kramnik Carlsen is calling stupid.
Jul-27-22  Olavi: Surely that they criticized Carlsen for taking a draw in game 12 in a very promising position?
Jul-27-22  Cassandro: <CIO> I suppose it probably had to do with both Kasparov and Kramnik being heavily critical of Carlsen's decision not to play for a win in game 12.
Jul-27-22  Chessius the Messius: The night was young, it must be said.
And the king ran away,
After the chicken lost its head.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <Check It Out> As guessed by Olavi and Cassandro: Kramnik also criticises Carlsen's overall mindset. Kasparov's comment is in "Reactions from the Twitterverse" section.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <Sally Simpson: I think between us we have completed the dossier on Carlsen.> 👍 BTW the two options are not exclusive.

<Carlsen is giving up after a few years after Caruana bored him (and us) to tears.> 👍 However deceived we are Carlsen dropped out, Nepo - Ding will probably be full of action.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Teyss,

But that is sometimes next year. Meanwhile we can bore each other to tears talking about it.

Did You Know:
Two words you can get from the letters in 'Nepo Ding' is Opening and Ending.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: If you want "creative middlegame" you need the letters from "undisputed Sven Magnus Carlsen."
Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: Hi Sally,
<Meanwhile we can bore each other to tears talking about it.> With your posts we can laugh about it... to tears.

Did you know, a title you can get from the letters in 'Ian Aleksandrovitch Nepomniachtchi - Ding Liren' is "China: nigh mondial chance to advertise".

Since it's riddle time, what is that noise?
Dong dong ding dong dong.


Nakamura still banging his head on the wall (the occasional 'Ding' because it's now cracked).
(The wall.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Atterdag: Another question: What is it with high end chess that it can't produce a player, who is remotely interesting in other subjects than chess?

Who would spend a dinner and an evening with Carlsen, Caruana, Ding Liren, Nepo, MVL, Radjabov, So, Nakamura if discussion topics were art, literature, music, politics, philosophy and the likes? And chess talk would be forbidden!

Only Kasparov stands out as having a wider horizon than chess, but I'm not sure I'd endure his monologue for a whole evening. Aronian, perhaps, but I'm a bit uncertain.

Any suggestions?

Jul-28-22  Olavi: <Atterdag>
The young folks treat chess as a sport.

(Well, in truth, you can have profound discussions about literature with Ivanchuk, Grischuk, Svidler, I'm sure with many more...)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <Atterdag> Karjakin, about Russian politics. Or Kramnik and Topalov. Together (bring popcorn and army helmet).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Atterdag: <Olavi> Ivanchuk? You know something about him that I don't know. No offense to the great Ivanchuk, of course. Svidler, yes!

<Teyss> LOL - you jester you!

Jul-28-22  stone free or die: RE: entitled to their stupid opinions...

Straight from the "horse's" mouth:

Magnus has a trollish sense of humor.

Jul-31-22  whiteshark: A long interview w/ Nepo after the Candidates:

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Atterdag: Another question: What is it with high end chess that it can't produce a player, who is remotely interesting in other subjects than chess?>

Some time back, I ran across the following, courtesy of Charles Krauthammer:

<Well, then, this must be monomania of a certain sort. Chess is a particularly enclosed, self-referential activity. It’s not just that it lacks the fresh air of sport, but that it lacks connections to the real world outside — a tether to reality enjoyed by the monomaniacal students of other things, say, volcanic ash or the mating habits of the tsetse fly. As Stefan Zweig put it in his classic novella The Royal Game, chess is “thought that leads nowhere, mathematics that add up to nothing, art without an end product, architecture without substance.”

But chess has a third — and unique — characteristic that is particularly fatal. It is not just monomaniacal and abstract, but its arena is a playing field on which the other guy really is after you. The essence of the game is constant struggle against an adversary who, by whatever means of deception and disguise, is entirely, relentlessly, unfailingly dedicated to your destruction. It is only a board, but it is a field of dreams for paranoia.>

Aug-01-22  devere: <Another question: What is it with high end chess that it can't produce a player, who is remotely interesting in other subjects than chess?>

It wasn't like that in the past. Lasker, Euwe, and Nunn had doctorates in math, Botvinnik and Vidmar were electrical engineers, Reshevsky was an accountant, Fine was a psychologist, Smyslov was an opera singer, Taimanov was a concert pianist, and Unzicker was a judge. It seems that it is no longer possible to combine high-level chess with another career(and actually Fine gave up chess for psychology).

Aug-01-22  SChesshevsky: < can't produce a player, who is remotely interesting in other subjects than chess?>

As a general rule, most have some interest and knowledge in sports and/or other games and puzzles.

Grischuk is serious about poker and I believe various online games. Magnus is clearly a sports fan and at least has an interest in poker.

Ivanchuk went into top level checkers. But also has/had a lot of wide ranging interests like sophisticated math puzzles and literature. Shirov definitely had opinions on literature. As did Kramnik. Who also was deeply interested in art and maybe especially music. Even heard Anand was taken with astronomy.

Of course the top players are going to be most expert at chess, which they've been predominantly working at since around seven years old or so. But I'd bet they all have other interests. Probably the older, the more varied. And that they have more of an expertise in these areas than the general fan.

Aug-01-22  Olavi: <Atterdag: <Olavi> Ivanchuk? You know something about him that I don't know. No offense to the great Ivanchuk, of course.>

His knowledge of Ukrainian and Russian literature is impressive.

Aug-01-22  nok: <Shirov definitely had opinions on literature. As did Kramnik.>

I'm curious now

Aug-01-22  Shangri La: Helter skelter, hang sorrow, care will kill a cat, up-tails all, and a pox on the hangman
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <nimrod: <Naka never misses such chances, even though according to <harrylime>, Naka has Zero Technique>

Spot the LOSER mentioned in that sentence.>

Only the poster comes up loser.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: testing 1 2 3
Jan-03-23  Ninas Husband: <Cassandro> <Atterdag> Is it your mission to make as many stupid comments here as possible?> No, that would be ME! :P
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: As you can see, I did a write-up of this tournament, which now appears in place of the former blank space. Let me know if you think I should change or add anything.
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