The FIDE Candidates Chess Tournament 2022 decides the qualifier for the FIDE World Chess Championship Match and kicks off on Friday, June 17th, with the first round. The 1st round is scheduled to start at 15:00 CET and brings the following encounters: Duda – Rapport / Ding Liren – Nepomniachtchi / Caruana – Nakamura / Radjabov – Firouzja
24-year-old Polish grandmaster Jan-Krzysztof Duda meets 26-year-old Hungarian Richard Rapport who decided to switch federation to Romania just before the Candidates Tournament 2022. The players met five times in classical tournaments with Duda having a slight advantage in the overall score leading with 3-2. The last game was played this year in January at Tata Steel Chess 2022 where Duda defeated Rapport with Whites.
Replay the game – Duda – Rapport 1-0, Tata Steel Chess 2022:
The Chinese grandmaster Ding Liren faced many difficulties in reaching the 2022 Candidates Tournament. He first needed to complete 28 games in a short time to be eligible to qualify for the event, and then had to avoid the current pandemic lockdown to get to Madrid. Meanwhile, the Russian grandmaster and 2021 Challenger of Magnus Carlsen in the World Chess Championship Match, Ian Nepomniachtchi, prepared for the Candidates with a super-computer. The last classical game between the two players happened in Yekaterinburg at the 2021 Candidates Tournament when Ding Liren defeated Nepo having White pieces.
Replay the game – Ding Liren – Ian Nepomniachtchi 1-0, Candidates Chess 2021
American grandmasters Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura have played a total of 174 games. A greater number of games happened in Online events, as Nakamura didn’t play many OTB tournaments before his triumph in the FIDE Grand Prix 2022. One of their interesting games was seen at the 10th London Chess (December 2018) with Hikaru winning the game as Black.
Replay the game – Fabiano Caruana – Hikaru Nakamura 0-1, 10th London Chess
Azerbaijani grandmaster Teimour Radjabov will meet the Iranian-French prodigy Alireza Firouzja in the first round of the event. Radjabov’s last tournament before the Candidates was Norway Chess 2022, and for Firouzja it was the Grand Chess Tour Romania 2022. Interestingly, the players never met before at the classical OTB tournament, and the last game they opposed each other was the blitz game in Paris at the 2021 Grand Chess Tour. Firouzja scored as Black.
Replay the game – Teimour Radjabov – Alireza Firouzja 0-1, Grand Chess Tour Paris (Blitz)