The 2019 FIDE World Cup will be officially opened tomorrow in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. The first round, with 128 players from all over the world, is scheduled for Wednesday. In this tournament preview we’re answering seven key questions.
- What is it about?
- Where is it held?
- Who is playing (and who isn’t)?
- What are they playing for?
- When is it?
- What is the time control?
- How can I watch?
1. What is it about?
The 2019-2020 world championship cycle took off earlier this year with the new Grand Prix series, from which the top two players will qualify for the 2020 candidates’ tournament. It’s the same for the World Cup, from which both finalists will qualify as well.
The other four participants of the candidates are:
- the winner of next month’s FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss;
- one player by average rating over 12 months;
- the loser of the previous title match (Fabiano Caruana);
- one wild card.
2. Where is it held?
The 2019 FIDE World Cup takes place September 9 – October 4 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. It’s the fifth time that the event takes place in the oil-rich, Siberian city, 2,575 kilomters (1,600 miles) northeast of Moscow. It will also host next year’s Olympiad.
As always, the venue will be the Ugra Chess Academy, opened in 2010 and designed by the Dutch architect Eric van Egeraat. Numerous chess events have taken place there in the last decade, the last one being the 2017 World Team Championships.
3. Who is playing (and who isn’t)?
Unlike two years ago, Magnus Carlsen (Norway) won’t be playing this time and world number two Fabiano Caruana (USA) isn’t gonna be there either. We also won’t see former winners Vishy Anand (India) and the retired Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), as well as Richard Rapport (Hungary) and the semi-retired Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria).
This makes Ding Liren (China), who came second in the 2017 World Cup, the top seed in Khanty. Other big names that are making the long trip to Siberia are Anish Giri (Netherlands), Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), Wesley So (USA), Yu Yangyi (China), Leinier Dominguez (USA) and Sergey Karjakin (Russia).
You’ll find many lower rated players as well, who entered the tournament from different qualifying events such as continental championships and zonal tournaments.
For instance, the lowest seed is FM Shaun Press (Papua New Guinea), an international arbiter and modest chess player himself, with a rating of 1954. He qualified as the runner-up in the 2019 Oceania Zonal because the winner, GM Max Illingworth (Australia), had to decline participation due to personal circumstances.
Press will be playing top seed Ding, so his chances to reach the second round are, well, let’s say not very high.
Heading off to Siberia to play in the 2019 Chess World Cup
— shaunpress (@shaunpress) September 7, 2019
I’m sure I will spend more time in transit than in the tournament
— shaunpress (@shaunpress) September 7, 2019
The tournament has 128 players from 47 countries. The biggest contingent of participants is from Russia: 28 players, followed by India (10), China (7) and USA (6). The 14-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzbekistan) is the youngest player of the field. The Indian prodigy Nihal Sarin is only a couple of months older. The oldest player is Essam El-Gindy (Egypt) who is 53.
You can find the full pairings tree here in PDF.
FIDE World Cup | Round 1 matchups
|1||GM||Ding Liren||–||128||FM||Press Shaun|
|2||GM||Giri Anish||–||127||FM||Mohammad Fahad Rahman|
|3||GM||Vachier-Lagrave Maxime||–||126||IM||Anwuli Daniel|
|4||GM||So Wesley||–||125||IM||Duran Vega Sergio|
|5||GM||Nepomniachtchi Ian||–||124||Gan-Erdene Sugar|
|6||GM||Aronian Levon||–||123||GM||El Gindy Essam|
|7||GM||Mamedyarov Shakhriyar||–||122||IM||Rakotomaharo Fy Antenaina|
|8||GM||Dominguez Perez Leinier||–||121||GM||Escobar Forero Alder|
|9||GM||Grischuk Alexander||–||120||IM||Pultinevicius Paulius|
|10||GM||Radjabov Teimour||–||119||GM||Ziska Helgi Dam|
|11||GM||Artemiev Vladislav||–||118||GM||Iljiushenok Ilia|
|12||GM||Yu Yangyi||–||117||GM||Ghaem Maghami Ehsan|
|13||GM||Karjakin Sergey||–||116||GM||Megaranto Susanto|
|15||GM||Andreikin Dmitry||–||114||GM||Mekhitarian Krikor Sevag|
|16||GM||Wojtaszek Radoslaw||–||113||GM||Christiansen Johan-Sebast|
|17||GM||Harikrishna Pentala||–||112||GM||Gonzalez Vidal Yuri|
|18||GM||Duda Jan-Krzysztof||–||111||GM||Henriquez Villagra Cristo|
|19||GM||Svidler Peter||–||110||GM||Albornoz Cabrera Carlos|
|20||GM||Vitiugov Nikita||–||109||GM||Urkedal Frode Olsen Olav|
|21||GM||Wei Yi||–||108||GM||Santos Ruiz Miguel|
|22||GM||Le Quang Liem||–||107||GM||Aleksandrov Aleksej|
|23||GM||Navara David||–||106||GM||Yuffa Daniil|
|24||GM||Bu Xiangzhi||–||105||GM||Xu Xiangyu|
|25||GM||Wang Hao||–||104||GM||Pridorozhni Aleksei|
|26||GM||Shankland Sam||–||103||GM||Safarli Eltaj|
|27||GM||Matlakov Maxim||–||102||GM||Abdusattorov Nodirbek|
|28||GM||Tomashevsky Evgeny||–||101||GM||Petrov Nikita|
|29||GM||Vidit Santosh Gujrathi||–||100||GM||Pichot Alan|
|30||GM||Jakovenko Dmitry||–||99||GM||Martinez Alcantara Jose|
|31||GM||Xiong Jeffery||–||98||GM||Lysyj Igor|
|32||GM||Firouzja Alireza||–||97||GM||Pashikian Arman|
|33||GM||Dubov Daniil||–||96||GM||Cordova Emilio|
|34||GM||Amin Bassem||–||95||GM||Tabatabaei M.amin|
|35||GM||Jones Gawain||–||94||GM||Flores Diego|
|36||GM||Grandelius Nils||–||93||GM||Rakhmanov Aleksandr|
|37||GM||Adams Michael||–||92||GM||Aravindh Chithambaram VR.|
|38||GM||Gelfand Boris||–||91||GM||Lu Shanglei|
|39||GM||Cori Jorge||–||90||GM||Nihal Sarin|
|40||GM||Rodshtein Maxim||–||89||GM||Bartel Mateusz|
|41||GM||Inarkiev Ernesto||–||88||GM||Karthikeyan Murali|
|42||GM||McShane Luke||–||87||GM||Delgado Ramirez Neuris Ramirez Neuris|
|43||GM||Korobov Anton||–||86||GM||Gupta Abhijeet|
|44||GM||Anton Guijarro David||–||85||GM||Narayanan.S.L|
|45||GM||Naiditsch Arkadij||–||84||GM||Huschenbeth Niclas|
|46||GM||Ponomariov Ruslan||–||83||GM||Esipenko Andrey|
|47||GM||Nabaty Tamir||–||82||GM||Sethuraman S.P.|
|48||GM||Fedoseev Vladimir||–||81||GM||Ganguly Surya Shekhar|
|49||GM||Alekseenko Kirill||–||80||GM||Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son|
|50||GM||Berkes Ferenc||–||79||GM||Jumabayev Rinat|
|51||GM||Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter||–||78||GM||Parligras Mircea-Emilian|
|52||GM||Sevian Samuel||–||77||GM||Tari Aryan|
|53||GM||Adhiban B.||–||76||GM||Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo|
|54||GM||Cheparinov Ivan||–||75||GM||Adly Ahmed|
|55||GM||Sjugirov Sanan||–||74||GM||Mareco Sandro|
|56||GM||Saric Ivan||–||73||GM||Bok Benjamin|
|57||GM||Piorun Kacper||–||72||GM||Abasov Nijat|
|58||GM||Kasimdzhanov Rustam||–||71||GM||Bareev Evgeny|
|59||GM||Maghsoodloo Parham||–||70||GM||Chigaev Maksim|
|60||GM||Sarana Alexey||–||69||GM||Predke Alexandr|
|61||GM||Demchenko Anton||–||68||GM||Hovhannisyan Robert|
|62||GM||Kovalenko Igor||–||67||GM||Lupulescu Constantin|
|63||GM||Gledura Benjamin||–||66||GM||Najer Evgeniy|
|64||GM||Movsesian Sergei||–||65||GM||Oparin Grigoriy|
4. What are they playing for?
Besides the two spots in the candidates’ tournament, there’s obviously the prize money. The total prize fund is $1,600,000 (1,450,000 euros).
2019 FIDE World Cup | Prizes
5. When is it?
The opening ceremony will be held on September 9, at 7 p.m. local time—not in the Ugra Chess Academy by the way, but in the Arts Center for Gifted Children of the North. The draw of colors for round one will take place during the ceremony.
The tournament itself will have the well-known schedule of two classical games per round, and tiebreaks for each match that ended in 1-1 on the third day. The final will have four classical games instead of two. September 19 and 29 are rest days.
- Round 1: Sept. 10-12
- Round 2: Sept. 13-15
- Round 3: Sept. 16-18
- Round 4: Sept. 20-22
- Round 5: Sept. 23-25
- Round 6: Sept. 26-28
- Round 7: Sept. 30-Oct. 4
Each day play starts at 3 p.m. local time which is 12:00 (noon) in Central Europe, 6 a.m. Eastern and 3 a.m. Pacific time.
6. What is the time control?
The classical games are played with the standard, FIDE time control: 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one.
If the score is level after the two regular games, tiebreaks will first have rapid games with 25 minutes for each player + 10 seconds increment per move, starting from move one. If the score remains tied, two blitz games will follow with 10 minutes + 10 seconds per move. The next step are two games played with five minutes + three seconds per move.
Finally, if the score remains level, then one sudden-death (“armageddon”) game is played. The player who wins the drawing of lots may choose the color. The player with the white pieces receives five minutes, the player with the black pieces four minutes; after move 60, both players receive an increment of two seconds per move. In case of a draw, the player with the black pieces is declared the winner.
— International Chess Federation (@FIDE_chess) September 9, 2019
7. How can I watch?
You can follow the games here as part of our live portal Chess.com/events. Besides the commentary on the official website we’d like to inform you about the daily coverage by our Twitch partner, the Chessbrahs.
GMs Yasser Seirawan, Eric Hansen and Aman Hambleton will be covering the tournament each day on their channel Twitch.tv/Chessbrah. Each day play starts at 3 p.m. local time which is 12:00 (noon) CEST, 6 a.m. Eastern and 3 a.m. Pacific time.