FIDE changes qualification paths for the Candidates 2026; No direct spot for World Championship runner-up

The most significant change is that the runner-up in the World Championship will no longer receive automatic qualification for the subsequent Candidates Tournament.

Published : Jan 28, 2024 18:24 IST , CHENNAI - 2 MINS READ

Current lineup for the Candidates 2024.
Current lineup for the Candidates 2024. | Photo Credit: FIDE
infoIcon

Current lineup for the Candidates 2024. | Photo Credit: FIDE

FIDE, the world chess governing body, announced changes to the qualification path for the next Candidates Tournament in 2026 on Saturday.

The most significant change is that the runner-up in the World Championship will no longer receive automatic qualification for the subsequent Candidates Tournament.

The most significant change is that the runner-up in the World Championship will no longer receive automatic qualification for the subsequent Candidates Tournament.

According to FIDE, these changes are aimed to improve competition, boosting player involvement, and ensure fair representation of top contenders.

ALSO READ | Tata Steel Chess 2024: Gukesh lets Firouzja off the hook, slips to second spot; Vidit’s brilliance floors Maghsoodloo

The key changes and renewed qualification paths for the 2026 Candidates are as follows:

World Championship Runner-Up - No Automatic Spot:

The runner-up in the World Championship must now navigate the qualification process instead of automatically securing a spot in the next Candidates Tournament. To offset this change, the World Championship Match 2024 is recognized for FIDE Circuit eligibility, and the runner-up receives special bonus points based on match performance.

Highest-Rated Player - 1 Spot:

The spot for the highest-rated player now depends on a six-month average rating, exclusive to the player ranked first in the FIDE rating list. If the player withdraws, the spot goes to the second-highest rated player, redirecting to FIDE Circuit 2025 if already qualified. The six-month average rating rule eliminates the “last chance” tournament possibility.

FIDE Circuit - 2 Spots:

Two spots in the FIDE Circuit for 2024 and 2025 will serve as qualifying paths for the 2026 Candidates. The final score is the sum of a player’s highest event scores (up to seven), with changes to point distribution in round-robin tournaments and added bonuses for sole 1st place without tie-break criteria. An unlimited number of tournaments in one country is allowed under certain conditions.

FIDE World Cup - 3 Spots:

The FIDE World Cup 2025 will offer three qualifying spots for players finishing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.

FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament - 2 Spots:

The FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament provides two qualifying spots for the Candidates Tournament, awarded to players finishing 1st and 2nd.

The table illustrates the distinctions between the previous and new qualification systems for the Candidates.

Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment