Eight players will compete in the Chess Candidates 2024 including Nijat Abasov and Alireza Firouzja.
The Chess Candidates 2024 participant list is now complete. The tournament which will arrive in April 2024 is set to occur in Toronto, Canada. This significant tournament serves to determine the challenger of the current world champion, Ding Liren. Find out all the Chess Candidates 2024 players below!
All players in the Chess Candidates 2024
- Ian Nepomniachtchi
- Nijat Abasov
- R Praggnanandhaa
- Fabiano Caruana
- Vidit Gujrathi
- Hikaru Nakamura
- Gukesh D
- Alireza Firouzja
Here's the criteria for qualification:
2023 World Championship runner-up
Replacement for Magnus Carlsen who was the winner of the Chess World Cup 2023
Runner-up in the Chess World Cup 2023
Third place in the Chess World Cup 2023
Winner of the FIDE Grand Swiss tournament
Runner-up in the FIDE Grand Swiss tournament
Runner-up in the 2023 FIDE Circuit (Caruana finished first but is already invited)
Highest rating for January 2024
A bright Candidates for India
For the first time in history, India fields three representatives in the Candidates. Two of them are teenagers with Pragg being 18 and Gukesh only 17, making this Candidates an exciting spectacle. Vidit Gujrathi is the third Indian in this field of eight-man battle.
Magnus Carlsen likely withdraws, Abasov to replace
It's no secret that Carlsen doesn't want to play in the World Championship anymore following his withdrawal last year. And 2024 seems to be no different. He is one of the qualified players by criteria for the 2024 Candidates. But assuming his withdrawal, Nijat Abasov, who placed fourth in the Chess World Cup will fill in his vacant slot.
Alireza Firouzja's Race to Candidates
Firouzja's qualification to the Chess Candidates 2024 is an interesting journey. The Iranian-French player made it by an inch after his controversial "race to Candidates".
The final slot of the Candidates was for the player with the highest rating in January 2024. Firouzja was merely a few ratings below Wesley So which prompted him to participate in local Open tournaments orchestrated by the Chartres Chess Club.
The Open tournaments, which were visibly selective and arranged to help Firouzja get the needed points, are frowned upon by FIDE. The organization decided to not rate the Open ratings. This action received criticism by some people including Ian Nepomniachtchi, who pointed out Ding Liren's similar method to qualify for the 2023 Candidates.
Despite the Chartres tournaments not taken into account, Firouzja managed to farm more points through the Open de Rouen tournament, getting a perfect 7/7 score. This nudged Firouzja's classical ratings to 2759, just two points above Wesley So.
The Chess Candidates 2024 will take place from April 2 to 25, 2024. The winner of this tournament will become the challenger of Ding Liren in the 2024 World Chess Championship.