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Apr 19, 2021
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Who will beat Carlsen? FIDE Candidates Tournament resumed in Yekaterinburg

One of the most important competitions of 2020, the FIDE Candidates Tournament, has started again in the Ural capital. The organizers, participants, spectators – everyone held out to the last, and only the threat of the closure of air traffic due to the spread of coronavirus forced the competition to be suspended.

Today, April 19, the best chess players in the world met face to face to still prove who is right in the battle of black and white pieces.

Delayed batch

The FIDE Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg opened on March 16, 2020, but due to the closure of the airspace, it was stopped on March 26 by FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich after the first round.

“Those who play chess know what a postponed game is. Last year, an unexpected arbiter appeared at the tournament – the coronavirus, which forced everyone to postpone their games without informing when they could be finished. In such a situation, the players and organizers needed strength, courage and flexibility to play this all-important tournament to the end. I am grateful to them for this determination and for the fact that this chess holiday will take place after all ”.

Photo: FIDE Press Service.

It should be noted that the suspension of the tournament, which lasted more than a year, is a unique case – such, according to the multiple world chess champion, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Sverdlovsk Region Chess Federation Anatoly Karpov, has never happened before in the history of chess or other sports competitions.

“We were always ready to resume the tournament, but there were difficulties with the arrival of the participants. The situation was not easy, they wanted to move the second part to another city, but thanks to the steadfastness of the organizers, we are able to determine the rival of the world champion here in Yekaterinburg.

Fight for the crown

The best players in the world from five countries – the USA, China, Russia, the Netherlands and France – opened their gaming days at the Hyatt Regency Ekaterinburg. The reigning world chess champion, Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, has serious rivals, so the fight for the chess crown is expected to be tough.

Grandmaster Anish Giri.
Grandmaster Anish Giri. Photo: FIDE Press Service / Lennart Otes.

“I am ready to play and win, like the rest of the participants who are ready to fight with all their might. We had a lot of time to prepare, so the games promise to be very interesting. A year ago, I was absolutely prepared for the fact that the tournament could be stopped at any time, since the situation in the world was already tense. Although the break took much longer than expected, I used the forced break to concentrate on my game and prepare well for the tournament. ”

Spectators will be allowed in a limited number on the playing days, but they can always follow the progress of the game online – the broadcast of the games with the comments of the grandmasters is available in three languages:

  • Russian (Sergey Shipov),
  • English (Daniil Dubov, Evgeny Miroshnichenko and Elmira Skripchenko),
  • Chinese (Hou Yifan and Peng Zhaoqin).

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