2 May 2019

Drawing of Lots for Women's Candidates Tournament Was Held in Moscow

Arkady Dvorkovich and Judit Polgar took part in the ceremony.


The Drawing of lots for the Women's Candidates Tournament took place on April 30 in the Chess Museum of the Central Chess Club named after Mikhail Botvinnik in Moscow. The Candidates Tournamentwill take place in Kazan, Russia, from May 29 to June 19, 2019. Eight strongest female grandmasters will play in the competition with a prize fund of 200,000 Euros. The participants are Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine, 2563), Kateryna Lagno (Russia, 2554), Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia, 2546), Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine, 2539), Aleksandra Goryachkina (Russia, 2522), Tan Zhongyi (China, 2513), Nana Dzagnidze (Georgia, 2510), and Valentina Gunina (Russia, 2506). The tournament is a double round round-robin.

The drawing of lots ceremony was attended by Arkady Dvorkovich, President of FIDE, and Judit Polgar, Honorary FIDE Vice-President and the strongest female player in the history of chess. According to the rules, the representatives of the same country have to play each other in the first round of the each half of the tournament. This means Muzychuk sisters must meet in the Round 1 and Round 8, while four Russian players have to play each other in the Rounds 1 to 3, and 8 to 10. Therefore, all starting numbers were divided in two brackets with numbers 1 through 4 in the first one, and numbers 5 through 8 in the second one. By drawing the number 6 for the highest rated participant Mariya Muzychuk, Judit Polgar simultaneously assigned Anna Muzychuk number 7, while numbers 1 through 4 went to the Russian players.

The further drawing of lots brought the following results:

1. V. Gunina (Russia)

2. A. Kosteniuk (Russia)

3. A. Goryachkina (Russia)

4. K. Lagno (Russia)

5. N. Dzagnidze (Georgia)

6. M. Muzychuk (Ukraine)

7. A. Muzychuk (Ukraine)

8. Tan Zhongyi (China).

Based on this, the Chief Arbiter of the tournament, Hal Bond (Canada) created a full tournament schedule that you can find attached. 

The winner of the FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament qualifies for the World Championship Match with Ju Wenjun (China), where both players will compete for a total prize fund of 500,000 Euros (after taxes).  

The venue is Nogai Hotel (16B, Profsojuznaja St., Kazan).

The Opening Ceremony will be held on May 30.

Playing days: May 31 – June 2, 4-6, 8-10, 12-14, and 16-17. Tie-breaks (if needed) and the Closing Ceremony will take place on June 18.  

The organizers are the Ministry of Sports of the Republic of Tatarstan, FIDE, and the Russian Chess Federation. 

Press release and pairings are attached. 

Photos by Vladimir Barsky