The 2022 Candidates Guide: Just the Facts

We get it. You’re busy, but you’re curious about the Candidates.

So here it is: the who, what, when, and where (to watch). We’ll leave the why to you.

2022 Candidates Preview Podcast GM Jacob Aagaard

First, be sure to check out our Candidates preview podcast with CLO editor John Hartmann and GM Jacob Aagaard. And don’t forget to come back to Chess Life Online each day to catch up with the results and Aagaard’s exclusive Game of the Day analysis.


Who (and How)

Ian Nepomniachtchi

Qualified via the 2021 FIDE World Championship (runner-up)

Fabiano Caruana

Qualified via 2021 FIDE Grand Swiss

Alireza Firouzja

Qualified via 2021 FIDE Grand Swiss

Jan-Krzysztof Duda

Qualified via 2021 FIDE World Cup

Hikaru Nakamura

Qualified via 2022 FIDE Grand Swiss

Richard Rapport

Qualified via 2022 FIDE Grand Swiss

Teimour Radjabov

Direct seed via FIDE nomination

Ding Liren

Highest rated non-qualifier on May 2022 FIDE rating list (replaces Sergey Karjakin, who qualified via the 2021 World Cup)



Held in Madrid, Spain, the 2022 FIDE Candidates Tournament is a double-round-robin event that will determine the challenger for Magnus Carlsen’s world championship title sometime in 2023. Should Carlsen refuse to defend his title, as he has suggested may be the case, it is assumed that the top two finishers in Madrid will play a match for the world championship. The first round will be played on Friday, June 17.

The players are competing for a total prize fund of €500,000, with €48,000 going to the winner, along with €3,500 for every half-point scored.

New to this year’s Candidates is a rapid playoff system to produce a winner over-the-board.

Complete regulations are available at the FIDE website.



The opening press conference took place on June 15.

The opening ceremony is scheduled for today, June 16. As of yet, it is not available online, but FIDE has posted a “teaser” video.

Each round begins at 9 a.m. ET (15:00 local time). Play begins on June 17 with the first round, followed by thirteen more games and four rest days:

June 17

Round 1

June 18

Round 2

June 19

Round 3

June 20


June 21

Round 4

June 22

Round 5

June 23

Round 6

June 24


June 25

Round 7

June 26

Round 8

June 27

Round 9

June 28


June 29

Round 10

June 30

Round 11

July 1

Round 12

July 2


July 3

Round 13

July 4

Round 14

July 5

Tiebreaks (if needed)


Where (to watch)

Chess fans will have multiple options for their Candidates viewing pleasure. What follows is a non-exhaustive list of some of the most popular options: will have GMs Robert Hess (after he recovers from COVID!), Daniel Naroditsky, and IM Danny Rensch on-site in Madrid to helm their coverage. GM Jan Ludwig Hammer will pinch-hit for Hess until he is able to join the team.

Direct link: YouTube, Twitch


After some time spent in the German-language streamosphere, everyone’s favorite OG streamer GM Jan Gustaffson will lead the Chess24 coverage. His main partner will be the legendary GM Judit Polgar, with some special apperances by PlayMagnus namesake and FIDE world champ Magnus Carlsen.

Direct link: YouTube, Twitch

Saint Louis Chess Club

The triumphant trio of Alejandro (Ramirez), Cristian (Chirila), and Yaz (Yasser Seirawan) will head up the coverage from Saint Louis.

Direct Link: YouTube, Twitch

World Chess

Tournament organizers World Chess will have GM Daniil Yuffa as the main commentator, with a cast of rotating guest hosts including IM Elizabeth Paehtz and WIMs Jesse February, Anna-Maja Kazarian, and Fiona Steil-Antoni.

Direct Link: Youtube

Hikaru Nakamura’s Twitch Channel

Of course Hikaru Nakamura will have coverage on his Twitch channel.

Tweet URL

Among the many guest hosts will be IM Levy Rozman, FM James Canty, and our own WGM Jen Shahade. Taking the hot seat for the first round will be GM Benjamin Bok and GM Irina Krush.

Direct Link: Twitch


And in case you forgot,  be sure to check out our Candidates preview podcast with CLO editor John Hartmann and GM Jacob Aagaard. Come back to Chess Life Online each day to catch up with the results and Aagaard’s exclusive Game of the Day analysis.

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