The World Chess Federation (FIDE) has announced that the deadline for player's participation in the Candidates’ Tournament is 20 January 2014. If anyone decines to participate, first reserve is Fabiano Caruana of Italy who came third in the 2012-2013 Grand Prix Series.
Just like in 2013, the FIDE Candidates’ Tournament will be held in March, and again it will decide who will be the next opponent of the reigning World Champion. Last March it was Magnus Carlsen who edged out Vladimir Kramnik on tiebreak, and he completed his journey to the throne by beating Viswanathan Anand in a match in November in Chennai.
The next Candidates’ Tournament will be held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia from 11 March (arrivals) to 1 April 2014 (departures). The qualified players are:
- Viswanathan Anand (IND, former world champion)
- Vladimir Kramnik (RUS, World Cup 2013 winner)
- Dmitry Andreikin (RUS, World Cup 2013 finalist)
- Veselin Topalov (BUL, Grand Prix 2012-13 winner)
- Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE, Grand Prix 2012-13 runner-up)
- Levon Aronian (ARM, rating list 2012-13*)
- Sergey Karjakin (RUS, rating list 2012-13*)
- Peter Svidler (RUS, host nominee)
* Average FIDE Rating List of the 12 monthly lists starting from 1st August 2012 to 1st July 2013.
The winner of the Candidates’ Tournament will challenge Magnus Carlsen for the world championship title and this match is currently scheduled for the last quarter of 2014.
Last Monday FIDE announced a deadline for the players to participate, and a link to the players’ contract was also published. At the top it says that the “Administrator of the 2014 Candidates Tournament is FIDE, in collaboration with the autonomous institution of Khanty-Mansiysk okrug «UgraMegaSport», which is the local Organising Authority.” About the deadline, it says:
“The Qualified players reserves are expected to fax a copy of the original document of their signed contract, reaching the FIDE Secretariat no later than 20 January 2014, GMT 13:00.”
This clause seems mostly relevant to two players: Viswanathan Anand and Fabiano Caruana. After the world title match in Chennai, Anand said that he hadn't decided yet if he would play in Khanty-Mansiysk and that he wanted to make a final decision “after Zurich”. Anand referred to the Zurich Chess Challenge, but this takes place 29 January-4 February. It looks like Anand will have to make up his mind before that event.
One of Anand's opponents in Zurich will be Fabiano Caruana. The Italian GM finished third in the Grand Prix Series and because of that he is first reserve for the Candidates’ Tournament. Since his name was specifically mentioned by FIDE, apparently Caruana should sign the contract before the 20th as well. By that date we'll know who will play.
One sentence in the players’ contract is remarkable: “Players may be required to wear clothes or apparel with special branding from sponsors when specifically approved by the FIDE President.” Perhaps the word “required” should have been “allowed”, so that Anand can continue wearing his NIIT shirts and Karjakin can play with his big logos too? Or do the players really have to accept external sponsorship?
The total prize fund for the Candidates’ Tournament 2014 will be 600,000 euros and will be distributed as follows:
- 135,000 euros;
- 125,000 euros;
- 107,000 euros;
- 78,000 euros;
- 58,000 euros;
- 40,000 euros;
- 32,000 euros;
- 25,000 euros.