International Chess Federation
Sunday, 05 May 2024 21:12
FIDE Circuit: Abdusattorov leads after four months

FIDE Circuit is a relatively new path to qualify for the FIDE Candidates Tournament, introduced last year. The player achieving the highest results during 2024 in eligible tournaments will get a spot in the next Candidates. Each player must play in at least five eligible tournaments, including at least four with a standard time control. The final score is calculated as the sum of the player’s up to seven highest scores. Notable, Gukesh D, who qualified for the Candidates 2024 in Toronto through FIDE Circuit, eventually won the event and became the Challenger.

The FIDE Circuit 2023 demonstrated that to qualify for the Candidates, one must score in the point-heavy tournaments, and the 2024 edition will continue this trend. 

Similar to 2023, strong performances in the point-heavy events are key to qualifying through the Circuit this year.

Let’s take a look at the FIDE Circuit 2024 first-trimester results. 

The year kicked off with one of the most important events of the year, Tata Steel Chess. The winner of the Masters, Wei Yi, immediately grabbed the lead with 20.54 points, while Gukesh D, Anish Giri and Nodirbek Abdusattorov, who tied with the Chinese GM for first place, also picked good points (14.22 each). Notably, Wei Yi hasn't played in any more eligible tournaments and has dropped to 11th place.

February saw Daniel Dardha win the Djerba International Chess Festival Masters, climbing to second position after adding points 8.6 points to his Tata Steel Challengers performance (10.3 points). Hans Niemann, sharing first place with Daniel, secured his initial Circuit points there.

Photo: Djerba Chess Festival Facebook

The third month of the year saw significant shifts in the leaderboard. Nodirbek Abdusattorov won the strong Prague International Chess Festival 2024 Masters, gaining 25 points and taking the lead, which he held till the end of April. Around this time, another point-heavy tournament took place in Shenzhen (China). It became a springboard for Bu Xiangzhi,  Yu Yangyi and Arjun Erigaisi, who tied for first place and joined the race.

March also featured the Aeroflot Open, won by Amin Tabatabaei (+19.79 points), and the Grenke Chess Open, where the top finishers got quite a few points. 

Photo: Michal Walusza

The Candidates Tournament held in April became the leaderboard changer as the winner, Gukesh D, picked up 26.94 points. Coupled with 14.22 points earned in Tata Steel Masters in January, it propelled the young Indian to the top spot.

However, his lead was short-lived. Arjun Erigaisi turned in two strong performances in the Menorca Open (1st place and 16.19 points) and the TePe Sideman & Co Chess Tournament (2nd place and 14 points) leapfrogging his compatriot.

Photo: Mikael Svensson

Still, it was not enough to reach the pole position as the winner of the latter tournament, Nodirbek Abdusattorov, added 16.21 points to his tally to overtake both Gukesh and Erigaisi and get back to the top of FIDE Circuit 2024. 

Daniel Dardha's victory at the Sardinia World Chess Festival (+14.07 points) pushed him to fourth, while the winner of the Tata Steel Challengers Leon Luke Mendonca (pictured below) lifted another trophy in the 2024 Spring Chess Classic (+13.74 points) and reached fifth.

Photo: St-Louis Chess Club / Crystal Fuller

With so many strong tournaments to come (suffice it to mention Dubai Police Global Chess Challenge, Superbet Poland Rapid & Blitz in Warsaw and 7th Sharjah Masters all to be played in May) the race for the top position remains wide open. 

We maintain a dedicated page on our website for the FIDE Circuit, offering the latest information on eligible tournaments, the current standings, and regulations. Visit: FIDE Circuit 2024.