2007 Candidates matches (2008 cycle)

The candidates matches were supposed to be held in last quarter of 2006, but they got delayed for unknown reasons (probably due to lack of interest to organize them). In the meantime Topalov lost the unification match against Kramnik, and complications about Topalov's status occured (see previous post). It didn't feel right to exclude the #1 rated player on the world out of the whole cycle. It was speculated whether FIDE should put Topalov into the Candidates or not. Also FIDE proposed that the 16 qualifiers play a round robin tournament instead of matches. Players protested, pointing out that they signed to participate in matches, not tournament. The Candidates were eventually played as originally planed.

Match condititons:
  • matches were played from May 26th to June 14th, 2007 in Elista, Russia
  • Candidates matches consisted of two rounds, with one player qualifying from each quarter of the draw (4 players in total)
  • 2005 World Cup winner (Aronian) was the top seed, with the remaining players seeded in rating order according to the January 2006 ratings list (pairings were announced in early 2006). In the second round, the #1 vs. #16 winner played the #8 vs. #9 winner, #2 vs. #15 winner versus #7 vs. #10 winner, and so on.
  • the time controls were 120 minutes for first 40 moves, followed by 60 minutes for next 20 moves, followed by 15 minutes for the rest of the game with 30 seconds per move increment starting with move 61
  • best of 6 games (in both rounds)
  • if the match was tied, 4 rapid (25min+10sec) games were played. If still tied, 2 blitz (5min+10sec) games were played. If still tied, an armageddon game was played (white has 6 minutes and must win, black has 5 minutes and only needs to draw)
  • 4 second round winners qualified for the 2007 World Championship in Mexico
The Matches
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Aronian, Leko, Gelfand and Grischuk qualified for the 2007 World Championship.