The Candidates 2020

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  • #91
    The last important chess tournament postponed. Its online action only now.


    • #92
      I want to thank the players for the great entertainment and hours of pleasure. It brought highlights to my day, every day for more than a week.


      • #93
        I also want to thank all the excellent commentators and guests for all their stories and witty comments and all their variations be they real or fantasy.


        • #94
          The Candidates 2020

          March 26, 2020

          From the official site:

          FIDE stops the Candidates Tournament

          Today, the government of the Russian Federation announced that starting March 27, 2020, Russia interrupts air traffic with other countries without indicating any time frames.

          FIDE can not continue the tournament without guarantees for the players' and officials' safe and timely return home. In this situation and on the basis of clause 1.5. Rules of Candidates Tournament, the FIDE President decided to stop the tournament. It will be continued later, with the exact dates to be announced as soon, as the global situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic will allow. As it was stipulated by the special rules agreed with the players before the start of the event, the results of the 7 rounds played remain valid, and the tournament will be resumed in the same composition starting with the games of the 8th round. FIDE is grateful to the players, officials, volunteers and the entire team of organizers, including the Chess Federation of Russia and the main partner of the tournament - SIMA-Land.

          Arkady Dvorkovich,
          FIDE President


          From Emil Sutovsky’s Facebook page:

          The candidates tournament has been suspended. No, we had to make this difficult decision after the publication of the Russian government's decision to suspended flights outside of Russia from tomorrow. We cannot continue the tournament without the opportunity to guarantee the departure of participants, judges and officials home. It could be hard and try to solve the problems as they arrived. But we think it would be irresponsible. We continue to believe that the difficult decisions we made before were reasonable and true in the opinion of the situation. We managed to finish half of the tournament, and according to the rules agreed before the competition with players, it will continue with the same number of points as soon as the situation in the world is normal. We have taken this responsibility, and we will continue to make responsible hard decisions - no matter how bad it sounds - for the benefit of chess. Thank you to everyone who supported us in a difficult situation.


          Other comments

          Anand Nair - Very unfair to Radjabov. Extremely short sighted to proceed with the event when everything else was shutting down. Probably a 9-player double RR starting from scratch is the best solution now. If not, Radjabov should sue FIDE.

          Chris Rice - Not that I have a vote but if I did I would scrap the tournament results so far and start again with a nine player Candidates to include Radjabov.

          Daniel Gormally - Fairest thing would be to finish this tournament at a later date, and then seed Radjabov through to the next one in 2022 automatically.

          Fabiano Caruana - The Candidates is over for now. The hard part still remains: getting home. I expect to re-enter a world I'll hardly recognize

          Olimpiu G. Urcan - If history has taught us anything, it is that one should never celebrate a Frenchman's victory in Russia too early.

          Olimpiu G. Urcan - Vachier-Lagrave gets an unexpected chance to actually prepare, Nepomniachtchi to fix his coughing and his Winawer, Caruana to recharge, Wang Hao to delve into Persona 5 Royal, Grischuk to get some proper sleep, Ding and Alekseenko to lick their wounds, and Giri to tweet at will.

          Chess24 - Vladimir Kramnik joins the calls for Teimour Radjabov to be given a wild card in the 2022 Candidates Tournament, calling it the only option, otherwise it's "total zugzwang"


          • #95
            Is total zugzwang worse than zugzwang?


            • #96
              Originally posted by Hans Jung View Post
              Is total zugzwang worse than zugzwang?
              I literally laughed out loud, thanks Hans!


              • #97
                Probably necessary but too bad. The kids and I really enjoyed watching everyday, especially the St Louis coverage. They really hit a very nice balance with the 3 commentators there.


                • #98
                  The Candidates 2020

                  March 26, 2020

                  Tweet from FIDE:

                  Most players and officials have already left Yekaterinburg. A first group flew to Moscow in the afternoon and will continue from there on to their final destination.

                  A smaller group will fly to Rotterdam around 10pm local time on a direct charter flight provided by FIDE.



                  • #99
                    The Candidates 2020

                    March 26, 2020

                    Tweet from Fabiano Caruana:

                    Charter flight delayed to 4:50am. Not entirely sure we'll be let out of the country. Complete farce.

                    Tweet from Anish Giri:

                    Pity this unfortunate situation is used by people to push their political or selfish agenda. My usual childish puns would feel out of place on this hostile chess-twitter day. I am merely going to let my fans know I have safely made it to Amsterdam! And we will be back!


                      "We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." - Aesop
                      "Only the dead have seen the end of war." - Plato
                      "If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination." - Thomas De Quincey


                      • The Candidates 2020

                        March 26, 2020

                        From the FIDE site:

                        Arkady Dvorkovich: "We are ensuring the safe return of players to their homes"

                        Following the announcement of the government of the Russian Federation about suspending all flights to and from the country as of March 27, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) has decided to halt the 2020 Candidates Tournament which was taking place in Yekaterinburg. In an interview for the Russian news agency TASS, FIDE President explained his decision.

                        Q: Has FIDE discussed this decision to stop the event with the players, what do they think?

                        Arkady Dvorkovich: We have been in touch with the players every day during the event and we were weighing all the risks all the time. FIDE believes that this is the best course of action under these circumstances. We remain committed to popularising chess and raising the spirits at this grave time, but we have always said that people's lives and health are a priority for us.

                        Q: Air traffic with other countries has been suspended by Russia. Won't it be a problem for all the chess players to go home?

                        Arkady Dvorkovich: This unique situation transpired suddenly. We are doing everything we can to provide the necessary support to everyone and get them home safely. Tickets for all the players and most other people involved in the tournament have already been purchased, and we are organizing all necessary logistics. FIDE is organizing and paying for all the travel costs and is working closely with everyone to ensure all is done safely and efficiently.

                        Q: In your opinion, will the tournament be finished this year or when? Will Yekaterinburg remain the host?

                        Arkady Dvorkovich: We will do our best for everything to be sorted out as soon as possible, following regulations and protecting the safety and interests of all involved. We remain confident that the event will be completed this year, in cooperation with our main partner – SIMA-land. The issue of exact dates and locations will be resolved in the near future, as soon as the global situation stabilizes.

                        Q: Why did you decide to start the tournament when the virus was already spreading strongly around the world?

                        Arkady Dvorkovich: This is a very important event for the players and the chess world. The situation in Russia was different at the beginning. We looked at different trajectories of the situation, including potential cancellations. At the same time, in terms of the medical safety measures, the Candidates Tournament was well prepared.

                        All the players, arbiters and staff had medical checkups twice a day, tests for the detection of COVID-19 have been done and all came back as negative. Also, the spectators have been banned from the venue and the interaction between the players and the media has been put to a minimum.

                        However, we concluded that the flight ban announced this morning would put too much pressure on the players and participants in terms of how and when they will be able to return home. Unfortunately, the situation with the pandemic is developing in the most negative scenario. We, therefore, believe that our decision to suspend the Tournament at this moment was correct. Again, we are doing everything we can to ensure the safe and secure return of everyone to their homes.

                        Q: Is there a significant financial loss for FIDE due to the transfer?

                        Arkady Dvorkovich: Our priority was and remains to make sure that everyone involved is safe and returns to their home. Losses are minimal and definitely not a factor in making this decision. We have a mutual understanding with our partners and sponsors, and we are grateful for their support.

                        Q: In general, what is your view of what is happening in the spirting word and how things will develop?

                        Arkady Dvorkovich: It is difficult to give estimates - no one knows for how long the acute phase of the crisis caused by the coronavirus will last. There are different opinions about how long the events should be postponed – 2-3 months or six months to a year. I believe that with the joint efforts of all countries and tough measures, we will be able to defeat the pandemic. Of course, it will be a slightly different world afterwards, but we will be stronger.

                        The coming period will be used by FIDE to search for and find new ways and ideas, expand links between national federations, strengthen partnerships and share experiences. Nowadays we must use all the latest online formats to communicate with current and potential chess fans. We will, therefore, step up our online activities and do more to attract chess audiences to our online services and platforms through training, tournaments, and conferences.

                        These are challenging times, but we see this as an opportunity and want to do our best to help the chess community and promote the game.

                        Q: And an important question about the match for the title of World Champion. Is the match also being postponed?

                        Arkady Dvorkovich: The match for the chess crown is due to take place at the end of the year. There is no question of changing dates.