Candidates Tournament

Candidates Tournament

The Candidates Tournament was a triennial chess tournament organized by the world chess federation FIDE as the final contest to determine the challenger for the World Chess Championship. The winner of the Candidates earned the right to a match for the World Championship against the incumbent World Champion.

The numbers in the tournament varied over the years, between eight and fifteen players. Most of these qualified from Interzonal tournaments, though some gained direct entry without having to play the Interzonal.

The first Interzonal/Candidates World Championship cycle began in 1948. Before 1965, the tournament was organized in a round-robin format. From 1965 on, the tournament was played as knockout matches, often spread over several months. In 1995-6, the defending champion also entered the Candidates, so the winner was the FIDE world champion.

FIDE discontinued the Candidates tournaments after 1996, though they have returned in a different form for the FIDE World Chess Championship 2007.

During its 1993 to 2006 split from FIDE, the "Classical" World Championship also held three candidates tournaments, under a different sponsor each time. In one of these cases (Alexei Shirov in 1998) no title match eventuated, under disputed circumstances (see Classical World Chess Championship 2000).

Results of Interzonal and Candidates Tournaments

The table below shows the qualifiers and results for all Candidates tournaments. Players shown in bracketed in italics ("like this") qualified for the Candidates, but did not play. Players shown bracketed in italics with an asterisk ("like this*") were excluded from the Candidates by a rule limiting the number of players from one country. Players listed "after" bracketed players only qualified due to the non-participation of the bracketed players.

The "Seeded into Championship" column usually refers to the incumbent champion, but this has a different meaning for the FIDE World Chess Championship 2007, in which four players were seeded into the final championship tournament.


* [ FIDE World Championship events 1948-1990] , Mark Weeks' chess pages
* [ World Championship events 1991-present] , Mark Weeks' chess pages

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