Is an Indian confirmed to play at the FIDE Candidates 2024?
The only Indian chess player to have played at the FIDE Candidates until now has been Vishy Anand. The five-time World Champion has been an absolute path breaker for Indian chess. However, after several years there is a chance for another Indian to make it to the Candidates. This time the Candidates is supposed to be held in April 2024. And it almost certain that one spot out of the 8 at the Candidates will be taken by an Indian chess player. At the currently ongoing FIDE World Cup 2023, we have 4 Indians in the final 9 players who are left. We tell you about the rules and navigate through the possibilities in this article.
Who qualifies for the Candidates 2024?
FIDE Candidates is perhaps the most important tournament in the world of chess after the World Championship. The reason? The one who wins it gets a chance to challenge the World Champion. In 2024 the FIDE Candidates will be held in Canada from 2nd April to 25th April in Toronto, Canada. There will be 8 players taking part and they will qualify via the following routes. Until now only one player's seat has been confirmed at the Candidates, and that is Ian Nepomniacthchi as the runner up of the World Championship 2023. But 7 more seats are up for grabs. This is how they are distributed:
1. World Championship 2023 Runner-up - Ian Nepomniachtchi
2. Top 3 finishers at the FIDE World Cup 2023
3. Top 2 finishers at the FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament 2023
4. Winner of 2023 FIDE Circuit
5. Highest Rating for January 2024
The FIDE World Cup 2023 is currently in progress in Baku, Azerbaijan and we are down to last 9 players in the open section. This is how the pairing tree looks like:
It's simply amazing that out of the 7 players who have qualified to the Quarter Finals of the World Cup, we already have 3 Indians. This number could become 4 if Vidit beats Nepomniachtchi in the tiebreaks today.
Let's read the important clause here:
Path B: 3 spots – FIDE World Cup 2023 (Baku 2023), three players who finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd. If any of these players already qualified for the FIDE Candidates Tournament 2024 or the FIDE World Championship Match 2024 at the moment of the beginning of World Cup via another qualification path, the qualification spot(s) shall be be awarded, in order of priority:
‐ the player who finished in 4th place in the World Cup;
‐ according to rating as in (E).
Reserve clause: If reserves are needed due to a withdrawal from the FIDE Candidates Tournament 2024, their spot is allocated to a player who has not already qualified, in the following way:
‐ In Paths B and C, the next highest‐finisher in the final tournament standings, but not beyond 4th place.
If this fails to replace a player, then the spot(s) are allocated using the process in Path E.
‐ In Paths A, D and E, using the process in Path E.
Best Case scenario
Praggnanadhaa and Arjun Erigaisi are going to play each other at the Quarter Finals of the FIDE World Cup 2023. One of them has to Qualify for the Semi-Finals. Now imagine that Gukesh manages to beat Carlsen and Vidit manages to beat Nepo in Round of 16 and then Nijat Abasov in the Quarter Finals. Then we have 3 out of 4 Indians in the semi-finals. In this case we get two Indians in the Candidates 2024 for sure and this number could even become 3.
Worst Case scenario
Imagine that Vidit loses his match either to Nepo or Abasov and Gukesh loses to Carlsen. Now we have only one Indian Pragg/Arjun in the final four. If Nepo has beaten Vidit and Abasov then he is through to the Semi-Finals to face Carlsen and as he has already qualified to the Candidates 2024 via the World Championship Runner-up spot then the next 3 in the event get a chance. So if Nepo is through to the top 4, then Pragg/Arjun will be through to the Candidates 2024. However, if Nepo doesn't make it to the semis, and in the worst case scenario the final four would be Carlsen, Abasov, Fabi/Dominguez and Pragg/Arjun. Imagine the Pragg/Arjun spot loses to Fabi/Dominguez in the Semis and then also for the 3rd-4th place match, then Carlsen is bound to finish in top 3. If that happens, then the Reserve Clause above kicks in which says If someone has qualified to the Candidates 2024 through the World Cup and withdraws from the Candidates, then this spot goes to player who finished 4th.
Do not forget!
This is just the first qualification tournament for the FIDE Candidates 2024. There is also the FIDE Grand Swiss, which is an Open tournament and top 2 finishers qualify to the Candidates and also the FIDE Circuit 2023.
Participants of the FIDE Grand Swiss
|8||GM||Dominguez Perez, Leinier||3503240||USA||2739|
|13||GM||Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi||5029465||IND||2723|
The FIDE Grand Swiss is going to be held in Isle of Man from the 25th of October 2023 to the 5th of November 2023.