Ding Liren Officially In the Candidates As FIDE Announces Participants

GM Ding Liren is officially among the participants of the FIDE Candidates Tournament. The field of eight players was announced today by the International Chess Federation. Ding replaces GM Sergey Karjakin, who was banned for six months due to expressing his strong support for Russia’s warfare in Ukraine on social media.

Ding’s participation, which is now official, was already pretty certain when Karjakin’s appeal against his ban was dismissed. Here’s FIDE’s announcement of the participants, a month before the start of the event, on Twitter:

Ding failed to qualify directly for the Candidates, but because of Karjakin’s ban, he can now play as a substitute because he is the highest-rated player who wasn’t in the field yet. The regulations (here in PDF) state:

2.3 If any replacement is needed, the highest-rated player in the FIDE May 2022 standard rating list shall be invited, provided he/she has at least 30 standard games rated in the FIDE rating lists from June 2021 to May 2022.

When Karjakin received his ban on March 21, Ding had only played four standard games after June last year, but in March-April he played a further 28 games in China to become eligible. As the only participant with a rating over 2800, he will be the top seed in the field:

The FIDE Candidates Tournament takes place June 16-July 7, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. In this guide you will find all the information available, including all details about Chess.com’s official and Twitch-exclusive coverage from the playing hall. Also, don’t miss our SmarterChess predictions and our Meet the Candidates article where we present you all eight players extensively.

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