General Jan 21, 2014 | 10:45 AMby Colin McGourty

Anand to fight to regain his crown

Vishy Anand - ready to renew his battle against Magnus Carlsen? | photo: Anastasiya Karlovich

The World Chess Federation today announced that all the players qualified to play in the March 2014 Candidates Tournament have confirmed their participation. Former World Champion Viswanathan Anand will therefore be one of eight players competing to challenge Magnus Carlsen to a new match this November.

In the wake of Anand’s defeat to Carlsen in Chennai in November 2013 he said he was yet to decide whether to take up his automatic place in the next qualifying tournament. In December this year the Times of India even reported him as saying “most likely I won’t play”, although it seems a journalist may simply have misheard.

Anand’s confirmation now is bad news for Fabiano Caruana. The Italian-American just missed out on qualification through the FIDE Grand Prix series (see our round-up of the last tournament in Paris), but is the first reserve in case anyone pulls out. Many see him as a future World Championship contender, but it now looks as though he’ll have to wait another two years for his chance.

Magnus Carlsen won the London 2013 Candidates Tournament | photo: Anastasiya Karlovich

The Candidates Tournaments is an 8-player double round-robin (each player plays two games against everyone else), which will run from 13-31 March in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. 

Here are the players and how they qualified - note you can click on any name to see our chess24 profiles:

1. Viswanathan Anand  (India, former World Champion) 
2. Vladimir Kramnik  (Russia, 2013 World Cup winner) 
3. Dmitry Andreikin  (Russia, 2013 World Cup finalist) 
4. Veselin Topalov  (Bulgaria, 2012-13 Grand Prix winner) 
5. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov  (Azerbaijan, 2012-13 Grand Prix runner-up) 
6. Levon Aronian  (Armenia, 2012-13 rating list) 
7. Sergey Karjakin  (Russia, 2012-13 rating list) 
8. Peter Svidler  (Russia, host’s nominee) 

Pairings will be announced on 13 February, and the schedule is as follows:

11 March: Arrivals 
12 March: Opening ceremony & players meeting 
13-15 March: Rounds 1-3 
16 March: Free day 
17-19 March: Rounds 4-6 
20 March: Free day 
21-23 March: Rounds 7-9 
24 March: Free day 
25-27 March: Rounds 10-12 
28 March: Free day 
29-30 March: Rounds 13-14 
31 March: Tiebreaks / Closing ceremony 
1 April: Departures 

The only position that matters in the Candidates Tournament is first, with the winner qualifying to play a match against Magnus Carlsen. As we reported earlier, the dates for that match have been set for the 6-25 November, though the venue is as yet unknown.

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