Reports | September 18, 2009 0:07

(Almost complete) list World Cup participants published

After publising a provisional list of qualifiers for the 2009 World Cup last month, FIDE has now put online the (almost complete) list of confirmed players who will travel to Khanty-Mansiysk in December. Only the 4 nominees of the local organizers have yet to be announced; the top seeds in Siberia will be Ivanchuk, Morozevich and Radjabov.

The FIDE World Cup 2009 will be a knockout tournament of 128 players, held from November 20th till December 15th, 2009 in Khanty-Maniysk, Russia, just like the previous two World Cups won by Levon Aronian and Gata Kamsky respectively.

Khanty-Mansiysk is an oil boom town in Russia, the administrative center of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug. It is located on the Irtysh River, 15 km from its confluence with the Ob. Besides the World Cups, Khanty-Mansiysk was the venue of the 2003 Biathlon World Championships, and in 2005 the first Mixed Biathlon Relay (4×6 km) took place there.

World Cup format

There shall be 6 rounds of matches comprising two 2 games per round, with the winners progressing to the next round, plus the final seventh (7th) round comprising of four (4) games.
Round 1 (November 21-23): 128 players
Round 2 (November 24-26): 64 players
Round 3 (November 27-29): 32 players
Round 4 (November 30-December 2): 16 players
Round 5 (December 3-5): 8 players
Round 6 (December 6-8): 4 players
Round 7 (December 10-14): 2 players

The time control shall be 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an addition of 30 seconds per move from move one. For the first 6 rounds, each match shall be played over 2 games and the winner of a match shall be the first player to score 1.5 or more points. The final 7th round will be a match played over 4 games and the winner of the World Cup will be the first player to score 2.5 or more points.

Extended tiebreak

This edition will feature an extended format for tiebreaks. A maximum of four rapid games will be played, and if the score is still equal, there will be up to five pairs of blitz games. If the tie is broken after any pair of games, the tiebreak will end. Failing that, an armageddon game will be played, where players will have three-second increments beginning with move 61.

Prize fund

Round 1 losers:   64 x   USD   6,000  (net 4,800)  USD 384,000 
Round 2 losers:   32 x   USD  10,000  (net 8,000)  USD 320,000 
Round 3 losers:   16 x   USD  16,000  (net 12,800) USD 256,000 
Round 4 losers:    8 x   USD  25,000  (net 20,000) USD 200,000 
Round 5 losers:    4 x   USD  35,000  (net 28,000) USD 140,000 
Round 6 losers:    2 x   USD  50,000  (net 40,000) USD 100,000 
Runner-up:         1 x   USD  80,000  (net 64,000) USD  80,000 
World Cup winner:  1 x   USD 120,000  (net 96,000) USD 120,000 
Total:                                           USD 1,600,000

Who qualify?

  • World Champion;
  • 4 semi-finalists from the World Cup 2007;
  • Women's World Champion;
  • World Junior U-20 Champions 2007 & 2008;
  • 20 rated players;
  • 90 players from Continental Championships;
  • 6 FIDE President nominees;
  • 4 organiser nominees.

For the purpose of deciding the 20 rated player qualifiers, as well as any replacements, the average from the following lists will be used; rating of July 2008 plus rating of January 2009 divided by 2.


a) From World Cup 2007:

01. G. Kamsky (USA)
02. A. Shirov (ESP)
03. S. Karjakin (UKR)

b) Women's World Champion 2008:

04. A. Kosteniuk (RUS)

c) Junior World Champions 2007 & 2008:

05. A. Adly (EGY)
06. A. Gupta (IND)

d) From FIDE Rating List, 22 players, average 7/2008 & 1/2009:

07. V. Ivanchuk (UKR) 2780,00
08. A. Morozevich (RUS) 2779,50
09. T. Radjabov (AZE) 2752,50
10. D. Jakovenko (RUS) 2734,50
11. S. Mamedyarov (AZE) 2733,00
12. P. Svidler (RUS) 2730,50
13. A. Grischuk (RUS) 2730,50
14. B. Gelfand (ISR) 2726,50
15. R. Ponomariov (UKR) 2722,00
16. Wang Yue (CHN) 2721,50
17. V. Gashimov (AZE) 2720,00
18. E. Alekseev (RUS) 2713,00
19. L. Dominguez Perez (CUB) 2712,50
20. Ni Hua (CHN) 2707,00
21. E. Bacrot (FRA) 2706,50
22. Bu Xiangzhi (CHN) 2706,00
23. P. Eljanov (UKR) 2704,50
24. J. Polgar (HUN) 2702,00
25. S. Rublevsky (RUS) 2700,50
26. K. Sasikiran (IND) 2697,50
27. Wang Hao (CHN) 2691,00
28. V. Malakhov (RUS) 2690,50

e) 46 players from European Championships 2008 & 2009

29. S. Tiviakov (NED) 2008
30. S. Movsesian (SVK) 2008
31. S. Volkov (RUS) 2008
32. P. Tregubov (RUS) 2008
33. E. L'Ami (NED) 2008
34. M. Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) 2008
35. B. Grachev (RUS) 2008
36. V. Baklan (UKR) 2008
37. Y. Kryvoruchko (UKR) 2008
38. T. Nyback (FIN) 2008
39. E. Sutovsky (ISR) 2008
40. V. Laznicka (CZE) 2008
41. D. Pavasovic (SLO) 2008
42. Z. Efimenko (UKR) 2008
43. I. Papaioannou (GRE) 2008
44. A. Khalifman (RUS) 2008
45. E. Najer (RUS) 2008
46. D. Andreikin (RUS) 2008
47. G. Sargissian (ARM) 2008
48. J. Gustafsson (GER) 2008
49. L. Fressinet (FRA) 2008
50. I. Smirin (ISR) 2008
51. V. Bologan (MDA) 2008
52. E. Tomashevsky (RUS) 2009
53. B. Jobava (GEO) 2009
54. E. Inarkiev (RUS) 2009
55. I. Sokolov (NED) 2009
56. A. Naiditsch (GER) 2009
57. D. Navara (CZE) 2009
58. M. Kobalia (RUS) 2009
59. G. Guseinov (AZE) 2009
60. G. Meier (GER) 2009
61. F. Nijboer (NED) 2009
62. S. Fedorchuk (UKR) 2009
63. A. Timofeev (RUS) 2009
64. S. Sjugirov (RUS) 2009
65. M. Bartel (POL) 2009
66. R. Mamedov (AZE) 2009
67. B. Savchenko (RUS) 2009
68. K. Sakaev (RUS) 2009
69. N. Vitiugov (RUS) 2009
70. T. L. Petrosian (ARM) 2009
71. L. Nisipeanu (ROU) 2009
72. C. Lupulescu (ROU) 2009
73. A. Motylev (RUS) 2009
74. A. Areshchenko (UKR) 2009

f) 19 players from Americas

75. I. Morovic Fernandez (CHI) Zonal 2.5
76. A. Rodriguez Vila (URU) Zonal 2.5
77. R. Hess (USA) Zonal 2.1
78. A. Onischuk (USA) Zonal 2.1
79. V. Akobian (USA) Zonal 2.1
80. Y. Shulman (USA) Zonal 2.1
81. J. Friedel (USA) Zonal 2.1
82. A. Fier (BRA) Zonal 2.4
83. R. Leitao (BRA) Zonal 2.4
84. L. Bruzon (CUB) Zonal 2.3
85. E. Iturrizaga (VEN) Zonal 2.3
86. J. Hebert (CAN) Zonal 2.2
87. J. Ehlvest (USA) Continental 2008
88. A. Shabalov (USA) Continental 2009
89. F. Corrales Jimenez (CUB) Continental 2009
90. J. Granda Zuniga (PER) Continental 2009
91. G. Milos (BRA) Continental 2009
92. D. Flores (ARG) Continental 2009
93. A. Ivanov (USA) Continental 2009

g) 19 players from Asia/Oceania

94. S. Ganguly (IND) Continental
95. Zhou Weiqi (CHN) Continental
96. Yu Yangyi (CHN) Continental
97. Yu Shaoteng (CHN) Continental
98. Le Quang Liem (VIE) Continental
99. A. Rogelio Jr (PHI) Continental
100. Hou Yifan (CHN) Continental
101. C. Sandipan (IND) Continental
102. A. Kunte (IND) Continental
103. Negi Parimarjan (IND) Continental
104. Zhou Jianchao (CHN) Zonal 3.5
105. Li Chao (CHN) Zonal 3.5
106. D. Smerdon (AUS) Zonal 3.6
107. J. Sriram (IND) Zonal 3.2
108. D. Laylo (PHI) Zonal 3.3
109. Wesley So (PHI) Zonal 3.3
110. Al Sayed, Mohamed N. (QAT) Zonal 3.1
111. Amonatov, A. (TJK) Zonal 3.4
112. Filipov, A. (UZB) Zonal 3.4

g) 6 players from Africa

113. B. Amin (EGY)
114. K. Abdel Razik (EGY)
115. E. El Gindy (EGY)
116. W. Sarwat (EGY)
117. M. Ezat (EGY)
118. A. Rizouk (ALG)

h) 6 nominees of the FIDE President

119. Robson, Ray (USA)
120. Tkachiev, Vladislav (FRA)
121. Ghaem Maghami, Ehsan (IRI)
122. Caruana, Fabiano (ITA)
123. Cheparinov, Ivan (BUL)
124. Pelletier, Yannick (SUI)

i) 4 nominees of the local Organising Committee

125. To be announced...
126. To be announced...
127. To be announced...
128. To be announced...

Total = 128 players

Who declined participation?

What FIDE didn't publish is the list of players who appeared on the provisional list, published at the end of August 2009, but declined participation. They are:

  • World Champion Viswanathan Anand, who had qualified from the World Championship Match 2008;
  • Magnus Carlsen, who qualified from the World Cup 2007;
  • Veselin Topalov, who qualified from the FIDE Rating List, 20 players, average 7/2008 & 1/2009;
  • Vladimir Kramnik, who qualified from FIDE Rating List, 20 players, average 7/2008 & 1/2009;
  • Peter Leko, who qualified from FIDE Rating List, 20 players, average 7/2008 & 1/2009;
  • Levon Aronian, who qualified from FIDE Rating List, 20 players, average 7/2008 & 1/2009;
  • Michael Adams, who qualified from FIDE Rating List, 20 players, average 7/2008 & 1/2009;
  • Hikaru Nakamura, who qualified from the Americas;

A surprising name in the qualifiers list is that of Ni Hua, wo plays in the London Chess Classic from December 7th to 15th together with Nigel Short, Michael Adams, Luke McShane, David Howell, Vladimir Kramnik, Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura. It's hard to believe the Chinese grandmaster counts on an early elimination in Khanty-Mansyisk, and indeed plans to play in both events.

Another, positive surprise is the participation of Judit Polgar, who hasn't played very much in recent years. She will first play in Hoogeveen in October, where she meets Ivanchuk, Giri and Tiviakov in the crown group of the Univé Chess Tournament. Apparently a month later she'll be entering the World Championship cycle in Khanty-Mansiysk. The last difference between the provisional list and the current one are the names of Parimarjan Negi and Li Chao as confirmed players. [ebutaljib explains below.]

What's also relevant here is the fact that FIDE still hasn't mentioned anything yet about the 6th Grand Prix event, which was scheduled to be held in December 2009 as well. The overall winner is already known (Levon Aronian) but a 6th GP is necessary to determine the runner-up, who will qualify for the 2010 Candidates Tournament together with Aronian. A GP always runs 17 days (last year the dates were December 13-29) and since several World Cup participants will also play in that last Grand Prix tournament, it's quite unlikely that a last edition will still be squeezed into the calendar before the end of the year.

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


me's picture

Umm, Malakhov, Sasikiran and Wang Hao ARE participating.

Everything else is as expected: Anand and Topalov will be in middle of the preparation for their world championship match, Carlsen, Kramnik, Nakamura and Adams are playing in London (I guess Ni Hua doesn't expect to reach more than round 5 in Khanty-Mansisk), Aronian is already qualified for Candidates, and Leko looks like to concentrate on the last Grand Prix and wants to qualify from there (which will be dificult).

Peter Doggers's picture

Oops, corrected. They moved from other lists to the FIDE Rating Lists average 7/2008 & 1/2009 list.

ebutaljib's picture

Rating list has priority over continental/zonal event, unless that event was organized before January 1st 2009 (like 2008 European championship).

Since two of the "special invitees" (anand and Carlsen) declined, they were replaced from the rating list (thats why 22 players instead of 20.

Continental/Zonal qualifiers are replaced from that event. Due to above mentioned cancelations Malakhov (who otherwise quliafied from the 2009 European championship) was "promoted" to rating qualifier, thus Areschenko (first reserve from 2009 European championship) got his spot. Same with Sasikiran (otherwise qualified through 2009 Asian championship) and was also "promoted" to rating qualifier, was replaced by Parimarjan Negi (first reserve from 2009 Asian Championship). Wang Hao was replaced by Li Chao (first reserve from the 3.5 Zonal), because he otherwise qualified from the 3.5 Zonal. Friedel replaced Nakamura as the first reserve from 2009 US championship.

Peter Doggers's picture

Aha, thanks!

ebutaljib's picture

P.S.: If it still not clear you can review it again here:

Thomas's picture

Peter, sorry for hijacking the other thread - but I only did so because of Ni Hua's "London connection". Indeed Ni Hua could still play five rounds of the World Cup - but IF he reaches round 5, he "has to lose" to catch his plane to London!!?? Or would a win in round 5 be "force majeure" and a reason for cancelling London at very short notice?

ceann's picture

Thomas why do you constantly annoy everyone with youre nonsense posts....

tackhead's picture

well this is just "thomas über alles"!

me's picture

Oh my god, Jurgen! You are so out of date ans so uninformed that I can't even know where to start explaining :)

In short: NO, it's not the same "construction".

Castro's picture

Go Gata!!

Alexander's picture

Thomas, i think Ni Hua will most definitely chose the London tournament. After 4 won rounds he would already gain some rating points, thus making the WC worthwhile. Plus, no one in a right set of mind would cancel an invitiation to his first super-tournament.

me's picture

It's unlikely that Ni Hua makes it past round 3 or 4. So there will be no schedule problem.

Castro's picture

Long live W. Cup! Down with stupid London other-game tournament! If well-payed, even striptease some players will do. Must we call striptease "chess"?

Thomas's picture

Actually I agree with both Alexander (Ni Hua will choose London) and "me" (it's unlikely that there will be a schedule problem). But "unlikely" is not the same as "impossible". If Ni Hua does/did make it past round 4, what would he do? Either not play at all, or somehow manage to lose (at the latest in the tiebreak)?

Of course it would be even stranger if Kramnik or Carlsen wanted to play World Cup [but only the first four rounds!] AND London .... .

Maybe all this is nonsense, but it's not my fault - don't blame the messenger.

WGIFM's picture

I do not see Almasi on the list unfortunately. How is it possible? Couldn't he qualify from the European Championships?

ebutaljib's picture

Well, the dates for World cup were known for the past year, long before we heard of the London chess classic, so if anyone is to blame for this clash of schedules it's the London organizers, not FIDE.

FIDE is to blame for organizing World Cup (November 20th - December 15th) and last Grand Prix tournament (December 17th - January 2nd) so close together.
Dates for Grand Prix were known since early 2008! So they could (and should) schedule World Cup two weeks earlier. But then it would collide with Tal Memorial and World Blitz Championhip (which is NOT sanctioned by FIDE, and is thus not a FIDE event) :)

me's picture

"I do not see Almasi on the list unfortunately. How is it possible? Couldn’t he qualify from the European Championships?"

What on earth are you talking about? He was 155th in 2008 and didn't even take part in 2009. So on what grounds exactly should he be qualified for world cup???

ebutaljib's picture

P.S.: Whoops. Looks like World Blitz Championship is a FIDE event - at least the 2006, 2007 and 2008 editions were, but the 2009 edition is not in FIDE calendar. So either FIDE discontinued to sanction Blitz championship or (more likely) they forgot to add it into their calendar on their website.

Jurgen's picture

Is this only for the prize money or is there a qualification involved. Last year the winner (Kamsky) could play the "runner-up World Champion" Topalov. Is it the same construction for this World Cup?

Thomas's picture

Another post to explain what I actually mean to say. Ni Hua's attitude towards the World Cup seems to be: "I will go there, play a few games, gain a few rating points if things go reasonable well, and - last but not least - earn some money (the "appearance fee" for players losing round 1 is already 4,800$ for two games played). That's it, and then comes London." IMO such an attitude is OK for maybe the lower half of the field, not for someone rated ~2700.

And surprises DO happen in knockout tournaments. Two years ago, who would have predicted Kamsky's victory? Going further back in time to the Las Vegas WCh in 1999: The semifinalists were Adams (#5 of the start list), Akopian (#31), eventual winner Khalifman (#36) and Nisipeanu (#46).
Ni Hua is currently #40 on the September 2009 ELO list, at least seven higher-rated players do not participate in the World Cup (the top 6 and Nakamura). So his "status" in the World Cup is comparable to the last three names in the previous paragraph - the "tourists" according to Kasparov's (in)famous comment back in 1999.

Bottom line: I am still a bit puzzled, I think the organizers (World Cup and maybe London) should also be puzzled.

lapdancer's picture

The World Cup is my favorite chess tournament.

Misja's picture

Just an observation: more Egyptians (6) there than Armenians (2), Bulgarians (1), Georgians (1), and Hungarians (1) together... :)

me's picture

Count again when the first round is over ;)

Bartleby's picture

I think the winner gets a place in the next candidates tournament (eight players mini-matches).
But FIDE made a lot of changes and announcements so I'm not too sure I've got it right.

Thomas's picture

@ebutaljib: I wouldn't rally blame the London organizers either - there are simply so many top events that it is hard to impossible to find a completely free time slot. Presently there is a break between Bilbao and Nanjing, but it is a short one - which would have been even shorter if Bilbao had kept last year's format (6 players, 10 rounds).
And last year, Nanjing collided with a FIDE Grand Prix tournament. Actually, it seems that Carlsen was invited to Nanjing, but (at that time) felt bound to his GP contract ... and later dropped out of the GP.
Anyway, it is understandable that the World Cup organizers at least don't want a collision with another top event in the same country ... .
Regarding the next GP: Dates (announced in 2008) may change anyway!?

@Jurgen: A simple question can get a simple answer: The World Cup winner qualifies for the candidates tournament. The "construction" for the previous World Cup was unique, some people think it was an unwarranted privilege for Topalov.

me's picture

"Regarding the next GP: Dates (announced in 2008) may change anyway!?"

With all the changes in Grand Prix, one thing did not change - the dates!

zemiggel's picture

I hope Nigel Short will be included.

me's picture

Included where? In World Cup?

Sorry, but he didn't qualify for it.

silvakov's picture

short can be one of the organizers invited players (but i doubt...)
top seeds according to september list would be radjabov, gelfand and ivanchuk. moro is number 4. i dont know why people keep forgetting gelfand...

Thomas's picture

Last time the organizer's nominees were Alekseev (apparently then still a rising star who hadn't qualified by other means) and three unknown local(?) Russian IMs.
As far as top seeds are concerned, I guess Peter Doggers looked at the list of ELO qualifiers (relevant is average 7/2008 & 1/2009). The official ranking list - to determine the pairings - will use the forthcoming 11/2009 list. It will thus depend on, among other results, the outcome of Nanjing and European Club Cup.

chessfan's picture

Quote: "Most likely, the last Grand Prix will take place early next year."


"Therefore decided to transfer the last stage for the next year at the request of participants of the Grand Prix."

source: with Georgios Makropoulos), 19.09.2009

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