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The Candidates

On April 28, 2021, the world will know who will face Magnus Carlsen in his 5th World Chess Championship match that is scheduled for Dubai in November 2021–if all goes as planned.

The Candidates Tournament resumes with Round 8 on April 19th in Yekaterinburg, Russia–389 days after the event was suspended midway due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Candidates Tournament will conclude on April 28, 2021.


Rest Days

April 22nd & 25th, the days after Rounds 10 & 12, will be days off.

Tiebreaks/Closing Ceremony

Tiebreaks, if necessary, and the Closing Ceremony will be on April 28th.

Round 8 Pairings
April 19, 2021

Round 8 Pairings April 19, 2021

Round 8 Starts with a Bang!

In Round 8, the 2018 Challenger, USA’s Fabiano Caruana with 3.5 points and playing the white pieces will face one of the leaders, France’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

Round 8 is an opportunity and a crucial game for Fabiano if he wants to repeat as the 2021 Challenger!

Only one of these eight top rated chess players in the world will earn the right to challenge Magnus Carlsen for the World Chess Championship match scheduled for November-December 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Standings after Round 7

Candidates Tournament Suspended

March 25, 2020

Round 7 Standings when FIDE suspended 2020 World Chess Candidates Tournament

At the midpoint when the Tournament was suspended due to Covid-19, Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi and France’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave were tied for 1st place.

See Postponed Pairings below.

Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi

Tied for 1st Place

7 Rounds to Go!

Ian Neopmniachtchi Round 6 with man bun looking over the chessboard at 2020 World Chess Candidates Tournament

#5 Rated Chess Player in the World

France’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Tied for 1st Place

7 Rounds to Go!

Round 7 France's Maxime Vachier-Lagrave wins at 2020 World Chess Candidates Tournament

#8 Rated Chess Player in the World

The 2020-21 Candidates Tournament

The 14-round Candidates Tournament started in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Yekaterinburg, Russia–an 8-player double round-robin that will decide who challenges Magnus Carlsen for the World Championship match that’s set to take place in Dubai in November-December 2021.

Who’s Playing?

Candidates’ March 2020 World Chess Ratings

1. #2 Ranked – Fabiano Caruana, USA, rated 2842, 27 years old.

2. #3 Ranked – Ding Liren, China, rated 2805, 27 years old.

3. #4 Ranked – Alexander Grischuk, Russia, rated 2777, 36 years old.

4. #5 Ranked – Ian Nepomniachtchi, Russia, rated 2774, 29 years old.

5. #9 Ranked – Teimour Radjabov, Azerbaijani, rated 2765, 33 years old. ***

5. #8 Ranked – Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, France, rated 2767 – 29 years old.

6. #11 Ranked – Anish Giri, Netherlands, rated 2763, 25 years old.

7. #12 Ranked – Wang Ho, China, rated 2762, 30 years old.

8. #39 Ranked – Kirill Alekseenko, Russia, rated 2698, 22 years old.

*** Two weeks before the Candidates Tournament, Azerbaijani’s Teimour Radjabov withdrew from the Candidates Tournament, citing personal reasons.

The # 8 ranked chess player in the world, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave from France, is his replacement in Yekaterinburg.

USA’s Fabiano Caruana

Rated 2842

Born: July 30, 1992 (28 years old) in Miami, Florida, USA

Fabiano Caruana sitting at chessboard #2 in World March 2020

#2 Rated Chess Player in the World

Fabiano challenged Magnus in the 2018 World Chess Championship in a 12-game match in London, and played to 12 draws in Classical Chess, only to lose the match in a Rapid Chess tie-break playoff.

Fabiano must win the Candidates Tournament to challenge Magnus in the World Chess Championship match in November-December 2021.

Norway’s Magnus Carlsen

World Chess Champion

Rated 2862

Born: November 30, 1990 (age 29 years) in Tønsberg, Norway

2020 March - Magnus Carlsen is the #1 chess player in the world

#1 Rated Chess Player in the World

2021 Candidates Tournament


Although the dates will be different in April 2021, the pairings below will remain the same for Rounds 8-14.

Pairings Round by Round for 2020 FIDE Candidates Tournament

In the meantime…

Chess Champions Start Here!

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Beginner’s Book – Chess Rules For Students

Chess Rules For Students workbook

Chess Rules For Students is a workbook for students learning the game of chess and for beginning students returning to the game. No previous knowledge of chess is necessary. Parents unfamiliar with chess will find this booklet a valuable guide to their child’s new interest.

Chess Rules For Students is designed with students, coaches, and parents in mind. Reading level is appropriate for grade-school use. All major rules of chess are covered, and algebraic notation worksheets are included. Each page is in easy-to-use worksheet format.

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Beginners & Intermediate Book – Checkmate! Ideas For Students

Checkmate! Ideas For Students

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Intermediate & Advanced Book – Chess Tactics For Students

Chess Tactics For Students workbook

Chess Tactics For Students contains 434 carefully selected problems in worksheet format.

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Solve a chess puzzle, enter the weekly drawing as often as you like, and win awesome prizes! Winners’ prizes are listed below. If you don’t win this week, try again next week! New puzzles are posted daily!


Below are the weekly prizes we send out! If you don’t win, try again the following week for your chance to win! Click on the prize to learn more about it.

Checkmate In One Prize
Chess Rules For Students Workbook
An instructional workbook designed for students learning the game of chess. Click here to learn more!
Checkmate In Two Prize
Checkmate! Ideas For Students
An instructional workbook containing tactics in worksheet format used to checkmate--like Pins, Sacrifices, Removing the Guard, Attraction, Clearance, and Attacking Flight Squares!
Checkmate In Three Prize
Chess Tactics For Students
An instructional workbook containing 434 carefully selected problems presented in worksheet format.

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