World Chess Championship 2021
The World Chess Championship 2021 will be a chess match between reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen and challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi to determine the World Chess Champion. It will be held under the auspices of FIDE, the world chess federation, and played in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, between 24 November and 16 December 2021. The match was originally scheduled for the latter half of 2020, but was postponed until 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Magnus Carlsen||Ian Nepomniachtchi[a]|
|Born 30 November 1990
30 years old
|Born 14 July 1990|
31 years old
|Winner of the World Chess Championship 2018||Winner of the Candidates Tournament 2020–21|
|Rating: TBD||Rating: TBD|
|← 2018||2022 →|
The challenger is Ian Nepomniachtchi, who qualified by winning the Candidates Tournament, an eight-player double-round robin tournament played in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Originally scheduled for 15 March to 5 April 2020, the tournament was halted at the halfway point on 26 March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The second half of the tournament was played between 19 April and 27 April 2021, also in Yekaterinburg.
|2018 World Championship runner-up||Fabiano Caruana|
|The top two finishers at the Chess World Cup 2019|| |
|Ding Liren (runner-up)|
|The top finisher in the FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament 2019 (who does not qualify by one of the above methods, and is not Carlsen).||Wang Hao (winner)|
|The top two finishers in the FIDE Grand Prix 2019 (who do not qualify by one of the above methods).||Alexander Grischuk (winner)|
|Ian Nepomniachtchi (runner-up)|
|Highest average rating (who does not qualify by one of the above methods, and is not Carlsen).||Anish Giri|
|Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (replacement for Radjabov)|
|Wild card chosen by organizer, subject to eligibility criteria||Kirill Alekseenko (highest non-qualifier in Grand Swiss)|
If one or more players declined the invitation to play in the Candidates Tournament, the players with the next highest average ratings would qualify. On March 6, 2020 Teimour Radjabov withdrew because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, and this rule was used to select Maxime Vachier-Lagrave as his replacement.
|1||Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS)||8.5||—||5||55||Advance to title match||½||0||½||1||½||½||1||0||½||½||1||½||1||1|
|2||Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA)||8||—||4||53.75||1||½||½||½||½||0||1||½||½||0||1||½||1||½|
|3||Anish Giri (NED)||7.5||1.5||4||50.5||0||½||½||½||½||1||1||½||½||0||0||1||1||½|
|4||Fabiano Caruana (USA)||7.5||0.5||3||50.5||½||½||1||½||0||½||½||0||½||½||1||½||½||1|
|5||Ding Liren (CHN)||7||1.5||4||48.75||1||0||½||0||½||0||1||½||1||½||½||1||0||½|
|6||Alexander Grischuk (RUS)||7||0.5||2||50.5||½||½||1||½||1||½||½||½||½||0||½||0||½||½|
|7||Kirill Alekseenko (RUS)||5.5||—||2||38.5||½||0||½||0||0||1||½||0||0||½||1||½||½||½|
|8||Wang Hao (CHN)||5||—||1||34.5||0||0||½||0||½||0||0||½||½||1||½||½||½||½|
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) head-to-head score among tied players; 3) total number of wins; 4) Sonneborn–Berger score (SB); 5) tie-break games.
Note: Numbers in the crosstable in a white background indicate the result playing the respective opponent with the white pieces (black pieces if on a black background).
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.
The prize fund is US$ 2 million split 60/40. 
Bids were originally to be presented no later than on 1 March 2019 to World Chess, with an inspection at the proposed venues to be made between 1 July and 15 August 2019.
Early interest was expressed in 2018 by Monaco and Vienna, though nothing came of these. Stavanger, Norway announced a bid in March 2019, but withdrew its bid in June 2019, after Carlsen expressed reluctance to play the match in Norway. In November 2019, FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich announced that FIDE had received bids from Dubai and Argentina to host the match. In February 2020, Dvorkovich announced that the match would most likely take place in Dubai.
Sanctions against RussiaEdit
Due to WADA sanctions against Russia, FIDE has confirmed that Nepomniachtchi will not compete under the Russian flag. He will play as a neutral player under the FIDE flag. The sanctions only apply to the world championship match, not to other FIDE events such as the Candidates Tournament. The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld a ban on Russia competing at World Championships, and it is implemented by WADA in response to the state-sponsored doping program of Russian athletes.
- Expo 2020 Dubai to host FIDE World Chess Championship, FIDE, 28 January 2021
- Doggers, Peter (2020-06-29). "World Chess Championship Match Postponed To 2021". Retrieved 2020-06-30.
- Dates for the Candidates and the 44th Chess Olympiad announced, FIDE, 12 Nov 2019
- Barden, Leonard (26 Mar 2020). "Chess: Candidates stopped at midway point after Russia suspends air traffic". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 Mar 2020.
- FIDE resumes the Candidates Tournament, FIDE, February 16, 2021
- Bidding Procedure for the FIDE Candidates' Tournament 2020, FIDE, 8 March 2020
- Regulations for the FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020, FIDE
- "Teimour Radjabov to be replaced by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the Candidates Tournament". FIDE. 6 March 2020.
- "MVL to play the Candidates instead of Radjabov". chess24.com. 6 March 2020.
- “Ruchess - Statement of the CFR President:"Andrey Filatov: Kirill Alekseenko to Get Wild Card from Organizer of FIDE Candidates Tournament (23 December, 2019)”
- "Bidding opens to Host the 2020 World Chess Candidates Tournament". FIDE. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
- FIDE updates and the World Championship cycle, Chessbase, April 26 2019
- "World Chess Championship 2021: Carlsen vs Nepomniachtchi". Chess.com. 30 April 2021. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
- "Championship Match 2020 - The Bidding Procedure" (PDF). WorldChess. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
- "Vienna vies for 2020 World Championship". chessbase.com. 13 September 2018.
- Norway not to bid for the 2020 World Chess Championship, Norway Chess press release, June, 27 2019
- "Stavanger, Norway Withdraws 2020 World Champs Bid After Carlsen Pressure". chess.com. 9 July 2019. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
- Hamburg GP starts as Candidates race heats up, chess24.com, 5 November 2019
- World Championship match almost certain to take place in Dubai, Chessbase, 2/29/2020
- Nepomniachtchi Can't Play Carlsen Under Russian Flag, Peter Doggers, chess.com, April 30 2021
- Ian Nepomniachtchi will not be able to play next to Russia flag against Carlsen, Leonard Barden, The Guardian, 1 May 2021