Chennai, Jan 16: The 2024 FIDE Candidates chess tournament to be held from April 3-23 in Toronto, Canada has several firsts to its credit and to which India too has contributed.
Announcing the general tournament regulations, FIDE said the Toronto event will be a double first for chess: the first time the Candidates are held in North America and the first time that both the Open and the Women's Candidates tournaments take place together.
The credit for the other several firsts goes to India and its players.
It will be the first time, a large contingent from India -- three in the Open category Grandmaster (GM) R. Praggnanandhaa, GM D. Gukesh and GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi and two in the Women’s section - GM Koneru Humpy and Woman GM R. Vaishali - are in the fray for the top honours.
Further, it will be also the first time where a brother and his elder sister will be competing in the open and women’s sections to become the challenger for the world title.
The credit for the brother-sister combination goes to India’s Praggnanandhaa and his elder sister Vaishali.
FIDE said the event, featuring 16 top-world players (eight in the open and eight in the Women's category), has a combined prize fund of 750,000 euros, with 500,000 allocated for the Open and 250,000 for the Women's event.
The event continues a long-term collaboration initiated in 2022 under the patronage of the Scheinberg family, demonstrating their commitment to supporting the growth of chess on the global stage, FIDE said.
The battle arena for the chess players will be Toronto's historic Great Hall.
The elite players will be dueling in a double round-robin tournament spanning 14 rounds. Spectators will be able to witness the intensity of the matches firsthand and experience the thrill of seeing top world players in person.
According to FIDE, players from the same federation shall play each other in rounds 1 and 8 (if only two) and in rounds 1, 2, 3 and 8, 9, 10 if there are up to three players from the same federation.
Withdrawals after completing 50 per cent or more of games will result in the remaining games being declared as lost by default. For withdrawals before this threshold, all results will be annulled.
FIDE said the time control for the Open category will be: 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30-second increment per move starting from move 41.
For the Women’s section it will be: 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30-second increment per move starting from move 1.
As regards the prize money, the Open category winner will take home 48,000 euros, 36,000 euros for the second place, and 24,000 euros for the third place. Additionally, players receive 3,500 euros for every half-point scored.
The prize money for the Women’s is half of what the Open section will get.
The Women’s section winner will get 24,000 euros, 18,000 euros for the second place, and 12,000 euros for the third place. Additionally, players receive 1,750 euros for every half-point scored.
Towards the tournament end, there will be an incentive for the players who are not at the top to go for a mutually agreed draw. In order to curb that, FIDE has said that there can be no draw agreement before Black’s 40th move.