The FIDE Council approved a major reform of the qualification paths to the Candidates Tournament – the event that decides the challenger for the World Championship match.
The main innovation is creating a new qualification path through different FIDE-rated tournaments. Tournaments that meet certain criteria, like being played under standard time control, supervised by International Arbiters, and where Fair Play measures are applied (among other criteria listed below in detail), will grant points towards the "FIDE Circuit". The player with more points at the end of 2023 will get the coveted spot in the most prestigious of all chess tournaments.
The second main change consists of increasing the number of qualification spots at the World Cup from 2 to 3. Already a flagship event, the popularity and importance of the World Cup keep increasing even further, and this extra spot would add more interest for the match for the 3rd-4th place.
FIDE Candidates Tournament 2024
Eight players shall qualify for FIDE Candidates Tournament 2024 by the following criteria:
Path A. 1 spot – FIDE World Championship Match 2023, Runner-up (Ian Nepomniachtchi or Ding Liren)*
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).
Path C. 2 spots – FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament 2023 (Isle of Man 2023), two players who finish 1st and 2nd.
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 Grand Swiss via another qualification path, the qualification spot(s) shall be awarded to the highest-placed player(s) in the final standings who have not yet qualified to the FIDE Candidates Tournament 2024 at the moment of the beginning of Grand Swiss.
Path D. 1 spot – High-Level International Tournaments (HIT), the player with the best results during one year (2023) in FIDE rated tournaments satisfying the below criteria who has not already qualified from Path A, B or C. The winner becomes a qualifier before determining a qualifier by rating as in (E).
Path E. 1 spot – The highest-rated player by standard rating in the January 2024 rating list provided that the player has played at least four standard eligible tournaments according to the criteria in Article 1.1 below, who has not already qualified from Path A, B, C or D.
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.
Qualification Path D:
1. Eligible Tournaments
1.1 Eligible over-the-board tournaments are FIDE-rated individual standardplay tournaments which meet the following criteria:
For National Championships, criteria 1.1g and 1.1h are waived.
1.2 Other eligible over-the-board FIDE-rated individual tournaments are:
For National Championships eligible under 1.2e, criteria 1.1g and 1.1h are waived.
2. Points System per Tournament
2.1 Basic Points are awarded to players in one of the first 8 places in a tournament, provided that the player is in the top half of the final tournament ranking.
1st place 10 points
2nd place 8 points
3rd place 7 points
4th place 6 points
5th place 5 points
6th place 4 points
7th place 3 points
8th place 2 points
2.2 A player will only count for any calculation in Articles 1 and 2 of these rules if they played, or won by forfeit, in at least 50% of the total number of games in the tournament.
2.3 The number of basic points that tied players score shall be calculated as 50% of basic points for their final ranking determined by the tournament’s tie-break rules, plus 50% of the sum of basic points assigned for the tied places divided by the number of tied players. This also applies to players who tied for one of the first 8 places but appear below 8th place in the final ranking according to the tournament’s rules.
2.4 The event score for each player is determined by the number of basic points (see Articles 2.1 and 2.3) multiplied by a tournament strength factor calculated as follows: k=(TAR-2500)/100.
2.5 Losing Quarter Finalists in the World Cup shall be deemed to have finished in 5th place for the purpose of calculating the event score. World Cup event scores calculated using the method in 2.4 are added to 2 for the purpose of the final score calculation.
2.6 The event scores calculated using the method in 2.4 for the World Rapid and Blitz Championships are multiplied by 0.8 and 0.6 respectively for the purpose of the final score calculation.
2.7 The event scores calculated using the method in 2.4 for the Continental Rapid and Blitz Championships and other eligible rapid and blitz tournaments are multiplied by 0.6 and 0.4 respectively for the purpose of the final score calculation.
2.8 The event scores calculated using the method in 2.4 for other eligible rapid and blitz events, where the tournament is organised as a combination of rapid and blitz games (excluding their use as part of a playoff), are multiplied by 0.5 for the purpose of the final score calculation.
3. Ranking List
3.1 Each player has to play in a minimum of five eligible tournaments, including at least four eligible tournaments with a standard time control.
3.2 The final score of a player for the purposes of qualification to the Candidates is calculated as the sum of the player’s five highest event scores, of which at least four tournaments must be tournaments with standard time controls. The final score calculation can include the following eligible tournaments:
3.2.1 Official eligible tournaments: National Championships and/or FIDE competitions organised under the aegis of EVE and GSC.
3.2.2 Other eligible tournaments: A maximum of one event per country. A “country” for the purpose of this rule is defined as the territories represented by national federations.
3.3 In case of a tie in the final ranking of players, the tie will be broken by removing the lowest event score that was included in the player’s final score calculation. If this fails to resolve the tie, then this process shall be repeated until the tie is broken. If this fails to resolve the tie, there will be a drawing of lots.
3.4 FIDE shall update and publish the Ranking List on a weekly basis.
FIDE Anti-Cheating Regulations: handbook.fide.com/chapter/AntiCheatingRegulations