World Chess Championship 2016

Strong Contenders

It may seem a little bit keen to speculate about any definite outcomes of the 2016 Chess World Championship, but if you don’t already know, there are quite a few details that are known about this forthcoming event. After all, even though the 2015 World Chess Championships are only just getting underway, players such as Magnus Carlsen are already a definite for the match. In addition, players like Viswanathan Anand are also in strong contention for facing off against the reigning champion. Here you will find a summary of all that is known about the 2016 World Chess Championship thus far, including a rundown of the Candidates Tournament, itself an event that is worthy of coverage.

General Information

Though it is early days yet for the 2016 World Chess Championship, we know a fair bit about the event itself. We know with a high degree of confidence that the 2016 Championship match will be held in the United States since the FIDE President announced this in the closing ceremony of the 2014 World Chess Championship in which Magnus Carlsen overcame Anand to defend his 2013 World Championship win. The 2016 World Championship will be held under the authority of FIDE

The only certainty in regards to the players that will be present is the presence of Magnus Carlsen. After all, Carlsen secured the defending position with his performance in the 2014 World Championships. The player that will face Carlsen is to be determined by the highly-coveted Candidates Tournament, an event which will be held in 2016 and whose only known key players are Viswanathan Anand, Fabiano Caruana, and Hikaru Nakamura of India and the United States respectively. Anand qualified for the Candidates Tournament by being the loser of the 2014 World Champsionship match; Caruana and Nakamura both qualified by being the top two finishers of the 2014-15 FIDE Grand Prix.

Championship Bids

Since there is still at least a year to go until the 2016 World Championship match, the precise nature of the bids for the championship has yet to be determined. In fact, there have been multiple bids for the Championship, each stipulating their own conditions for the 2016 match.

Originally, a “Memorandum of Understanding” was agreed between the FIDE VP and the Los Angeles 2016 Organising Committee which stipulated a prize fund of 2.5 million Euros as well as a proposed match date that would fall in October 2016. However this memorandum, which also proposed that the Candidates Tournament be held in Los Angeles, was not signed by the president of FIDE.

The most recent and relevant bid for the 2016 Tournament – made by the aforementioned committee and was at the time of writing still under consideration at the beginning of September 2015 – proposed a significantly increased prize fund of 5 million Euros and that the Candidates Tournament be held in the San Francisco Bay area of the US. In addition to the 2016 Championship Match and the Candidates Tournament, the bid also proposed an accompanying arts festival and around 21 games in total.

Candidates Tournament

The Candidates Tournament will be the deciding event that will determine Magnus Carlsen’s Opponent in the 2016 Championship match. As has been mentioned above, Anand, Caruana, and Nakamura have already secured their places in the tournament.

There are still five players yet to be determined for the Candidates Tournament, however. Two of these players will be the top two finishers of the 2015 World Cup whilst another two players will be decided by an average of FIDE rating pending the outcome of the 2015 World Cup (Grand Prix results will also play a part here.

The most exciting unknown for the Candidates tournament however goes to the final place: the wild card. The Wild Card candidate will need to have a FIDE rating of at least 2725 as of July 2015.

Likely Contenders

It is pretty easy to determine who is likely to be among the contenders in the Candidates Tournament. All you have to do is look at the top 10 players of the moment. It is quite likely that Topalov will be in attendance, as will Giri and Grischuk. However, don’t be surprised if names lower down in the top 10 also break through to be in tournament. Players like Boris Gelfand and Levon Aronian cannot be dismissed as being potential successes in the tournament after all.