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The World Chess Championship 2020 will be a chess match between the reigning World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen, and a challenger to determine the World Chess Champion. It will be held in the latter half of 2020, under the auspices of FIDE, the world chess federation, with the organisation rights belonging to World Chess, its commercial partner.[1]

Defending champion Challenger
Magnus Carlsen
 Magnus Carlsen (NOR) TBD
Born 30 November 1990
28 years old
Winner of the World Chess Championship 2018 Winner Of The Candidates Tournament 2020
Rating: TBD Rating: TBD
2018 2022 →


Candidates TournamentEdit

The challenger will be the winner of a Candidates Tournament, which will be an eight-player tournament played in the first half of 2020. The qualifiers for the Candidates Tournament will be:[2][3]

  • The loser of the 2018 Championship match, Fabiano Caruana.
  • The two finalists of the Chess World Cup 2019.
  • The top finisher in the FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament 2019 (who does not qualify by one of the above methods).
  • The top two finishers in the FIDE Grand Prix 2019 (who do not qualify by one of the above methods).
  • One player qualifying by rating: highest average of the 12 rating lists February 2019 to January 2020 (who does not qualify by one of the above methods).
  • One wild card selected by the organizer. This player must participate in at least two of the three qualifying tournaments (World Cup, Grand Swiss and Grand Prix), and be either the highest non-qualifier in the World Cup, Grand Swiss or Grand Prix, or in the top 10 by average rating from February 2019 to January 2020.

Grand SwissEdit

The Grand Swiss is a new addition to the qualifying cycle. It will be an 11-round Swiss-system tournament, with 120 players invited, including 100 qualifying by rating.[4][5] The rating qualifying is on the average of the 12 rating lists from July 2018 to June 2019. The list of qualifiers (except for those qualifying by Continental championships) was published on 10 June 2019.[6]

The tournament will be played on October 7 to 21 2019,[7] on the Isle of Man.[8]

Qualifiers by ratingEdit

The previous three cycles (2014, 2016, 2018) had two players qualify by rating, but on this cycle only one player qualifies by rating, to accommodate the Grand Swiss into the cycle.

The following table shows the ratings (offset by 2700) of the players leading the race to qualify by the 2019-2020 rating lists.[9] The table shows all players within 250 points of the leader, except for world champion Magnus Carlsen, and the automatic qualifier Fabiano Caruana. To be eligible, players must play at least 18 rated games in the last six rating periods (and 30 games in all 12 rating periods, but all contenders will achieve that if they play at least 18 in the last six rating periods).[3]

Player Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan 2020 Total Games in final 6 months
  Ding Liren 112 112 109 105 105 112 105 760 19
  Anish Giri 97 97 97 87 79 79 79 615 13
  Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 90 90 93 81 74 65 64 557 19
  Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 80 75 73 80 79 75 78 540 19

Championship matchEdit


The match will be a best-of-14 match, with tie breaks. This was increased from best-of-12 (in place for every world championship match since 2006), after all 12 regular games were drawn in the previous match in 2018.[4]


Bids should be presented not later than on 1 March 2019 to World Chess. An inspection at the proposed venues will be made between 1 July and 15 August 2019. Each bidder will bear all travel and hotel expenses for three inspectors of World Chess and FIDE.[10] In March 2019 Stavanger was chosen by the Norwegian Chess Federation as its official bid for the match, in a fierce battle against Oslo, Baerum and Kragerø. Magnus Carlsen's father, Henrik Carlsen, asked the Stavanger organizers to withdraw the bid in a Facebook post on 9 July 2019.[11]


  1. ^ "Bidding opens to Host the 2020 World Chess Candidates Tournament". FIDE. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  2. ^ Bidding Procedure for the FIDE Candidates' Tournament 2020, FIDE, 8 March 2020
  3. ^ a b Regulations for the FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020, FIDE
  4. ^ a b FIDE updates and the World Championship cycle, Chessbase, April 26 2019
  5. ^ Rules for the FIDE Grand Swiss 2019, FIDE
  6. ^ List of players qualified for the FIDE Grand Swiss, FIDE, 10 June 2019
  7. ^ Isle of Man to host the FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament, FIDE, 16 February 2019
  8. ^ FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament, FIDE, April 19 2019
  9. ^ FIDE Top 100 lists for 2019: February, March, April, May, June, July, August
  10. ^ "Championship Match 2020 - The Bidding Procedure" (PDF). WorldChess. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  11. ^ "Stavanger, Norway Withdraws 2020 World Champs Bid After Carlsen Pressure". 9 July 2019. Retrieved 23 July 2019.