FIDE believed that it would pass between the drops. But this Thursday morning, the International Chess Federation had to face the facts and announce the suspension of the Tournament of Candidates which had started in Ekaterinburg (Russia) on March 17 and was to designate among the eight players in the running, the one who will face Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen at the end of the year in Dubai.
This stoppage is not due to the contagion to Covid-19 of one of the eight candidates – a hypothesis considered which would have put the competition to an immediate halt, but because of the Moscow decree to stop from March 27 all air traffic between Russia and abroad. In its press release, FIDE explains that the suspension of the Tournament was declared in order to allow all players and officials to return to their homes before the fateful date.
The Tournament will resume its course on a date which has not yet been set. The competition, half of which has been contested, will continue, retaining the results obtained during the first seven rounds. Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is currently tied with Russian Ian Nepomniahtchi.