Reports | December 24, 2010 7:12

FIDE confirms participants Candidates

On Thursday the World Chess Federation (FIDE) has announced on its website that Levon Aronian, Boris Gelfand, Alexander Grischuk, Gata Kamsky, Vladimir Kramnik, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Teimour Radjabov and Veselin Topalov have all confirmed their participation for the 2011 Candidates Matches. Grischuk replaces Magnus Carlsen, who declined his participation early November.

The following announcement was published on the FIDE website:

FIDE announces that the following players have confirmed their participation for the Candidates Matches in Kazan this May, an event which will determine the next challenger of the World Champion Vishy Anand:

1. Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria, runner up of the previous World Championship)

2. Vladimir Kramnik (Russia, qualified by rating)

3. Levon Aronian (Armenia, winner of the FIDE Grand-Prix 2008-2009)

4. Boris Gelfand (Israel, winner of the FIDE World Cup 2009)

5. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan, wild card)

6. Alexander Grischuk (Russia, qualification from the FIDE Grand-Prix)

7. Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan, qualification from the FIDE Grand-Prix)

8. Gata Kamsky (USA, runner up of the Challengers Match 2009).

GM Magnus Carlsen has informed FIDE that he will not participate and was therefore replaced by GM Alexander Grischuk as per regulations. The full technical regulations of the Candidates Matches are available on the FIDE website.

The dates for the 2011 Candidates matches are 3 to 27 May 2011. The matches will be held in Kazan, Russia.


Share |
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.


ebutaljib's picture

To elaborate:

Radjabov had that right by original regulations for the 2010 Candidates. However those Candidates were never contested.

So if Radjabov can demand to get a bye into the 2nd round, then by the same regulations ALL participants have right for a World championship match (because none of them was eliminated in the 2010 Candidates) :)

ebutaljib's picture

And who gave him that right?

Levon's picture

Difficult job for Levon...

blueofnoon's picture

Hope we don't see another 100 posts on Carlsen's withdrawal!

Castro's picture

Yeah, he doesn't deserve it!
(here's one post adding to your's :-) )

Bert de Bruut's picture

I also will not post anything on it!

VladimirOo's picture

Surely not. I will speak only if he comes back!

Castro's picture

Go Gata!!

Castro's picture

Fooled he was (is), but it seems not that simple. Anyway, good and funny point!

crazyivan's picture

Fooled by? Not sure K would have any input on the decision - he's not the coach, trainer nor manager. Besides based on his rating, if he played to form in short matches he might only have a 10 to 20 percent chance of making it through to a Championship match.

Reality based humor usually works better.

Castro's picture

Better than? Itself? Is there other kind of humour? Or maybe you meant something other than "based"? Besides, what does Kasparov's formal relation have to do, here? Couldn't he have some influence regardless? Anyway, one thing they were recently: Joint supporting Karpov.
By the way, the eternal question, what if Karpov had won?

call_me_ishmael's picture

Kasparov fooled Carlsen into backing out so he wouldn't become the youngest undisputed World Champion.

lefthandsketch's picture

Go Gata!

Beating Topalov is a tall order considering their record, but perhaps now that topalov has been softened up in his last few showings gata will be able to pick some low hanging fruit.

john's picture

I think Radjabov has every right to refuse to play Grischuck and demand he goes to the next round as if he beat Carlsen.

Castro's picture

Well, you have a point (as I said in previous articles), and ebutaljib also has some reason.
Obviously thje cycle is not the same, neither Radja nor Grish have any guilt in whatever (of course), they anyway have some time to prepare, and for spectacle sake maybe it's understandable that there is a match.
But (and it is not a paradox) I do believe that FIDE's position should be of having the courage to pass Radjabov directely to 2nd round, at least for a matter of principle, and to distribute imediately and honestly among us all the FULL consequences of BOTH their bad management AND Carlsen's bad move.

christos (greece)'s picture

In that case, if the match is really Radjabov - Grischuk and Radjabov does not play, Grischuk has every right to demand he goes to the next round as if he beat Radjabov.

S's picture


A) Topalov - Kamsky
B) Kramnik - Radjabov
C) Aronian - Grischuk
D) Gelfand - Mamedyarov

winner of A will play D , B against C.
Topalov, Kramnik, Aronian and Gelfand will probably advance, imo. Grisch/Aronian have the hardest road ahead.

damilola's picture

Aronian will definitly be Anands challenger he is the fastest player in the world rightnow so he stands a great chance in the tie breaks. Remember he is also grand prix champion.

Stanley Peters's picture

I still had hopes of Carlsen playing. Well, that's gone now.

Indeed, he is missing a golden opportunity.

The biggest prospect in world chess today is not going to be the near-future of chess - that is a pity.

Having said that, the Candidates field is probably too strong for Carlsen to have overcome in match-play, even if it is a short series of matches. His hit-and-miss style is probably not suited to taking on super-strong players in match-play.

At this stage of his career, Carlsen perhaps wants to continue to play this style of chess and gain a better understanding of chess in general rather than compete for world championship glory.

bhabatosh's picture

He knew he would not win in Candidates matches. Better to say I dont like it and tell everyone see I am winning all the tournaments and my rating is huge .
Who cares about his rating and his tournament wins.
We want to see candidates matches.

gg's picture

"Who cares about his rating and his tournament wins"

Some people with an interest in chess do.

noyb's picture

Looks like a very strong field, should be a good set of candidate matches. Only a pity that Carlsen "went mad".

Castro's picture

It's the comeback (posibly with some big "reasons" and sponsors/money backing, but vitimising chess even more) what worries me!

donald von lieiter's picture

not mad, just arrogant :)

Yandr0s's picture

i really miss ivanchuk in this list...

kostas's picture

My two favorites for Anands challenger are Kramnik and Aronian. The first one is still a fox and could pull something like that and the second one seems to be doing real good these days. we willll see:).

Castro's picture

I'm rooting for him! :-)

As for 4 games, that's not enough, but... let's hope for better cycles.
Rapid and blitz are indeed stupid tiebreaks. I realy prefer a coin toss (or a casino roulette, as has been done before). But after a good number of classic games, of course, not 4!

blueofnoon's picture

Well, in 4 games match anything can happen...

At least, in women's championship Ruan Lufei held her own against 100 points higher rated Hou Yifan in classical games, and rapid & blitz tie-breaker is a lottery.

Considering their relative strength in classical chess tournaments, it is safe to predict either Aronian or Kramnik will face Anand, but I wouldn't be surprised even if Kamsky should become a challenger.

S's picture

no, I bet you wouldn't.

Eiae's picture

Mamedyarov wins if he can avoid his usual moments of madness.

Zeblakob's picture

no, 30%(Kramnik) + 30%(Aronian) + 6* 10 % (Remaining players) = 120 % ????

Did y check your probabilities? The sum of all propabilities should equal to 1 :)

Castro's picture


Maybe it is meant 30 Kramnik, 30 Aronian, 10 Remaining (all!) and 30 The cycle is aborted because Carlsen is coming, and from now on "chess" will mean "the until now variant played in London Classic Fraud".

columbo's picture

the sum and the sun :)

Magnus's picture

Go Carlsen!

Castro's picture

And pls come back some day, but in a saner mood :-)

das's picture

I think Kramnik and Aronian has 30% chance to be the winner, with all others stand with a 10% chance. Considering the recent form, aronian might be able to get past Vlad in tie breakers and i am rooting for a aronian-topalov final round

VladimirOo's picture

Castro, do search further away. Some people do not appreciate humour when related to Carlsen.

Reminds me of Fischer's fans.

Castro's picture

Hehehe I'm a Fischer fan, and I love humour (even related to him).
For instance, did anyone talk about "the youngest undisputed World Champion"? :-)

Castro's picture

Interesting nuances, good points.
In fact, whatever of the 8 should become the candidate, it shouldn't be that BIG of a surprise, but of course odds (elo) favour Kramnik, Topalov and Aronian.
Gata to WC!

Thomas's picture

Yep, Carlsen finished in third place scoring less than 50% (Bilbao), while Kramnik's 50% score at Tal Memorial meant 7th place ... :)

gg's picture

That was Carlsen's worst tournament result in several years and still he was only behind Kramnik and Anand. Anyway, calling Kramnik's play in the latest events superb is probably over the top when he was 7th and 5th in his last starts. I'd ask more of such a player to call his play superb. Carlsen was obviously very far from superb in Bilbao (and in London as well) but has still won 5 of his 6 latest super tournaments. To me only Aronian has been superb lately but that could change quickly.

columbo's picture

it's very sad to measure by the 7th and 5th ... just watch the games ... I found KRAMNIK way of playing superb in many games these last months ... i didnt mean either than carlsen played badly, FAR FROM IT ! concerning Aronian, i agree, he is fantastic too. So what ?

gg's picture

"it’s very sad to measure by the 7th and 5th … just watch the games … I found KRAMNIK way of playing superb"

Yeah, even if I ask more of Kramnik to be really impressed. He has finished behind Naka in the latest tournaments and should be able to do better than that. But he's still good enough to be a threat to anyone when he's at his best.

Thomas's picture

"he [Carlsen] was only behind Kramnik and Anand" - true, for the sake of completeness it may be worthwhile mentioning that he was only ahead of Shirov ... hence 3rd out of 4 is roughly comparable to 7th out of 10.

Your selective presentation reminds me of a cold war joke: "Our Soviet running hero finished in excellent second place, his American competitor was next to last (read: a capitalist won ahead of a communist)".

"Carlsen's worst tournament result in several years" - people (at least Carlsen fanboys) tend to forget that his current status holds for, by now, a bit more than a year [since Nanjing 2009], not several years. What's a bad result? At Corus 2009 he was shared 5th, just +1 in a relatively weak field.

Note that I have nothing against Carlsen, but something against Carlsen fanboys distorting facts ... . columbo already clarified that he meant Kramnik's play, not just the bare result.

S's picture

Rogge, why is Thomas a Kramnik fanboy when it was not him who said he was impressed by Kramnik?
I can see why you dislike Kramnik fans (after all Krammy finished above MC in Bilbao and tied with him at London) but it's not clear if Thomas is a fan so relax.

rogge's picture

Sitzkrieg, Thomas is a Kramnik fanboy, but in the name of objectivity he'll never admit it. Kramnik fans (in general) are all right. Kramnik is one of my favourite players btw, but I'm hardly a fanboy ;)

someone's picture

Well obviously wrong:

In a match, say Karpov-Kasparov that Kasparov won 12.5-11.5 makes Karpov being last in this (two players) tournament, which according to your view is clearly worse (since he is last) than a 13th place out of the 14 in a Corus tournament...

or maybe not?

In a tournament with only 4 players, where 2 of them is Anand and Kramnik (Carlsen and Shirov being the other two) one can easily come last performing better (rating performance) than the second in Corus.

Therefore, the third place is failure due to low rating performance and not for being 3rd out of 4...

rogge's picture

"Note that I have nothing against Carlsen, but something against Carlsen fanboys distorting facts … . columbo already clarified that he meant Kramnik’s play, not just the bare result."

Note that I have nothing against Kramnik, but something against some Kramnik fanboys in denial. Since you are a Kramnik fanboy, Thomas, I guess it's better for you to focus on Kramnik's fantastic play rather than his mediocre results recently. Too bad Kramnik's superb play didn't produce the desired results.

I find Kramnik's games (well, some of them) aesthetically pleasing, but he isn't the best tournament player (and he never was).

S's picture

not of Kramnik, at least ?;)

S's picture

"That was Carlsen’s worst tournament result in several years and still he was only behind Kramnik and Anand"
This reminds me of news reports in the former USSR.
Fanboys are really funny. In Magnus'case they forget the Olympiad, they forget everything before 2009, and they think that every loss is because MC was trying to hard to win or write it off as "should-have-wons"-whereas every close escape or lucky win is ignored.
Come to think of it, the fanboys hardly ever talk about the games themselves at all. And like Colubo said, it's kind of sad when so called chess fans only look at results and ignore the quality of games.


Latest articles