The 2020 FIDE Candidates Tournament opened officially on March 16, 2020, in Yekaterinburg, Russia, despite the threat of the pandemic, COVID-19. It was termed as one of the most important chess events of the year, where the winner will become the challenger to Magnus Carlsen at the FIDE World Chess Championship Match at the end of this year.
Today the 26th of March 2020, FIDE announced the suspension of the Candidates Tournament. The decision to suspend the tournament was based on the grounds of players’ and officials’ safe and timely return home.
According to a statement released by FIDE’s President, Arkady Dvorkovich which states:
Today, the government of the Russian Federation announced that starting March 27, 2020, Russia interrupts air traffic with other countries without indicating any time frames.
FIDE can not continue the tournament without guarantees for the players’ and officials’ safe and timely return home. In this situation and on the basis of clause 1.5. Rules of Candidates Tournament, the FIDE President decided to stop the tournament. It will be continued later, with the exact dates to be announced as soon, as the global situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic will allow. As it was stipulated by the special rules agreed with the players before the start of the event, the results of the 7 rounds played remain valid, and the tournament will be resumed in the same composition starting with the games of the 8th round. FIDE is grateful to the players, officials, volunteers and the entire team of organizers, including the Chess Federation of Russia and the main partner of the tournament – SIMA-Land.