Chess Updates | July 2022

chess updates

Be it the Candidates tournament coming to an end or a 16-year-old crossing 2700 ELO rating, July was quite a busy month for chess fans all over the world. With so much happening all around, it’s expected for you to miss one or two chess headlines.

But, not at EnthuZiastic. Here, we bring to you every head-turning news of this glorious month for all the chess enthuZiasts out there. Before I get started with the latest chess news–the winner and runner-up of the Candidates–let me tell you the greatest news of not this month but this year.

1. Carlsen Steps out of the World Championship

Magnus Carlsen
Image Credits:

Magnus Carlsen, the Norwegian chess grandmaster, won the World Chess Championship for the first time in 2013 by defeating then champion, Viswanathan Anand. He continued to defend his title in 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2021 against Anand, Karjakin, Caruana, and Nepomniachtchi, respectively.

After ruling the chess world with his title for almost a decade, Carlsen refused to defend his title in the upcoming championship in 2023. He stated, “…I am not motivated to play another match. I simply feel that I don’t have a lot to gain, I don’t particularly like it…”.

So, that’s it, readers. All the rumors of Carlsen stepping out of the World Championships are true. Although we’re collectively disheartened, I guess we should move on and anticipate the next World champion.

Now, let’s dive into the Candidates tournament news and see who’re the two luckiest chess players.

2. FIDE Candidates Tournament 2022

FIDE organized Candidates Tournament 2022 was held between 16th June and 5th July. There were a total number of 14 rounds (56 games) played by the best eight chess players (after Carlsen) in the world.

>>>The Winner | Ian Nepomniachtchi

Image Credits:

The Russian grandmaster, Ian Nepomniachtchi (2766), won the FIDE Candidates Tournaments, 2022, becoming one of the two participants in the World Chess Championship, 2023.

Nepomniachtchi, with a score of 9.5, played the fourteenth round against Jan-Krzysztof Duda, who had a 5.5 score out of 14. The match ended in a draw without much conflict, making Nepomniachtchi the winner of the tournament.

Not only that, this chess genius successfully finished the tournament without a single loss, which was quite an achievement in itself. In the closing ceremony, the winner received the trophy from FIDE President Dvorkovich.

His splendid performance in this year’s Candidates made many fans hopeful. Fingers crossed!

>>>The Runner-Up | Ding Liren

The Runner-Up | Ding Liren
Image Credits: Wikipedia

Ding Liren participated in the Candidates in the highest-rating category with an ELO rating of 2807. He had a quite turbulent start with a defeat in the very first round.

However, over the course of the tournament, he not only recovered from the first loss but also secured the second position with a score of 8/14.

Luckily for him, Carlsen has decided not to defend his title in the World championship. Therefore, the Chinese grandmaster gets an opportunity to fight for the “World Championship” title in 2023.

>>>The Final Ranks

Rank Name of the Player Score
1 Nepomniachtchi 9.5
2 Ding 8
3 Radjabov 7.5
4 Nakamura 7.5
5 Caruana 6.
6 Firouzja 6
7 Duda 5.5
8 Rapport 5.5

3. Chess Olympiad 2022 at Chennai

FIDE organized an online project called Checkmate Coronavirus in May 2020. Under this project, the organization held a chess marathon of 720 non-stop hours. Within that time span, a total of 120,000 chess players representing around140 countries came together to play a total of 2,762 tournaments.

Besides receiving prizes such as mini-matches and master classes with top GMs, participants also enjoyed 800 souvenir prizes with FIDE Checkmate Coronavirus memorabilia. On top of that, the winners were invited to the Chess Olympiad 2022 with a 6-nights trip to Chennai–the venue.

The lucky winners will get an opportunity to meet the greatest chess players of contemporary time.

Russia was the supposed host for FIDE Chess Olympiad 2022. However, after the Russia invaded Ukraine, FIDE declared to shift the Olympiad to a new venue–Chennai.

4. Carlsen Claims Victory at SuperUnited Rapid and Blitz

Chess king, Magnus Carlsen, wins the SuperUnited Rapid and Blitz–the third stage of the 2022 Grand Chess Tour only a week after withdrawing from the World Chess Championship, 2023.

While Carlsen stood firmly in the first position, it was the Iranian-French chess prodigy–Alireza Firouzja–who claimed the second position along with Maxime Vachier-Legrave. Both of them scored a perfect 9. Ian Nepomniachtchi, the winner of the Candidates, and Wesley are right after them with 6.5 points.

5. Gukesh D Crosses the 2700 Mark

The Indian chess prodigy, Gokesh. D, crosses the 2700 mark, becoming the third youngest chess player to do so. He was only 16 years, 1 month, and 17 days the day he surprised every chess fan and grandmaster by doing the impossible.

You will be surprised to know that even Carlsen was older than this when he crossed this mark. The World Champion was 16 years, 7 months, and 1 day. Other than Gukesh D., we have Wei Yi and Alireza Firouzja, who crossed this threshold even at an earlier age than Gukesh.

Indian grandmaster Anand congratulated Gukesh on Twitter.

6. Women’s Speed Chess Championship 2022

Women's Speed Chess Championship 2022
Image Credits: Times Of India

The FIDE 2022 Women’s Speed Chess Championship is a virtual tournament for female chess players that started on the 13th of June. This tournament includes blitz and bullet matches.

On 21st July, IM Vaishali R faced GM Harika Dronavalli in the first match of the quarter-finals. The former defeated the latter and successfully secured her place in the semi-finals.

The next quarter-final match is between GM Hou Yifan and GM Alexandra Kosteniuk on 28th July.


Dear readers, I know July has been quite a month. Many of us are still recovering from Magnus Carlsen’s withdrawal from the World Chess Championship, 2023.

Let’s not get disheartened, even though it’s definitely the end of an era. Who knows what’s in the future! With chess prodigies like Gukesh D, we may see a new era of chess in this decade itself.

That’s it for the month of July. I will see you with a bunch of chess news in the next month.

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