The FIDE World Cup is a major chess event organized by FIDE, the international governing body. Three different formats have been used:

Similarly named tournaments

Before FIDE introduced the Chess World Cup, the breakaway Grandmasters Association (GMA) organised six tournaments in 1988–1989 which they termed the 'GMA World Cup'. Participants were high-ranking grandmasters; each round was a large round robin termed a 'Grand Prix'. They were considered the flagship tournaments of the GMA but were abandoned as the association gradually collapsed in the early 1990s.[1][2]

FIDE World Cup (2000–2002)

In 2000 and 2002 FIDE, the International Chess Federation, staged their "First Chess World Cup" and "Second Chess World Cup" respectively. These were major tournaments, but not directly linked to the World Chess Championship. Both the 2000[3] and 2002[4] events were won by Viswanathan Anand of India.


Year Dates Host Players Winner Runner-up Third place Fourth place
2000 1–13 Sep China Shenyang, China 24 India Viswanathan Anand Russia Evgeny Bareev Israel Boris Gelfand and Brazil Gilberto Milos
2002 9–22 Oct India Hyderabad, India 24 India Viswanathan Anand Uzbekistan Rustam Kasimdzhanov Slovenia Alexander Beliavsky and Russia Alexey Dreev

Both tournaments began with a round-robin stage, consisting of four groups of six players each. The top two players from each group were subsequently seeded into an eight-player single-elimination bracket.

FIDE World Cup (2005–present)

See also: FIDE World Chess Championships (1998–2004)

Since 2005, a different event of the same name has been part of the World Chess Championship cycle. This event is being held every two years. It is a 128-player knockout tournament, in the same style as the Tilburg tournament between 1992 and 1994, or the 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2004 FIDE World Championships.

The event was held in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011 in Khanty-Mansiysk, and subsequently FIDE has given preference to bids for the Olympiad that also contain a bid for the preceding World Cup.[5][6] During the 2015 finals of the World Cup, the main organizer commented "We received the right to host the Olympiad and then we were given an additional event – the World Cup."[7]

The Chess World Cup 2005 qualified ten players for the Candidates Tournament for the World Chess Championship 2007. Since then, every World Cup has qualified between one and three players for the Candidates Tournament.

Two World Cup qualifiers (Boris Gelfand in 2009 and Sergey Karjakin in 2015) won the subsequent Candidates tournament and played in the World Championship match, in 2012 and 2016 respectively.


Since 2005, the format has been 128 players with 7 single-elimination rounds of "mini-matches", which are 2 games each followed by a series of rapid then blitz tiebreaks if necessary. The final usually has 4 games before the tiebreaks start. Since 2015, an extra rest day has recently been added before the semi-finals, in addition to before the final.[8]

Some criticism has been leveled at the scheduling effects, with the event being rather long (26 days), particularly with almost all of the players having left long before the end.[9] Fatigue thus plays a critical role, and while some players seek to conserve energy by avoiding tiebreaks, others "agree" (either explicitly or implicitly) to make short draws in the 2 long games and decide the winner in tiebreaks. It is often remarked that the system is mostly a lottery of who survives, though better players have more chances on the whole.[10] The anticlimax of the 4-round final, with both players now already qualified for the Candidates, has also been criticized.[11]


"Qual" refers to the number of players who qualify for the Candidates Tournament (marked with green background). For example, in 2015, the top 2 finishers qualified for the 2016 Candidates Tournament.

Year Dates Host Players Qual. Winner Runner-up Third place Fourth place
2005 27 Nov – 17 Dec Russia Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia 128 10 Armenia Levon Aronian Ukraine Ruslan Ponomariov France Étienne Bacrot Russia Alexander Grischuk
2007 24 Nov – 16 Dec Russia Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia 128 1 United States Gata Kamsky Spain Alexei Shirov Norway Magnus Carlsen and Ukraine Sergey Karjakin
2009 20 Nov – 14 Dec Russia Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia 128 1 Israel Boris Gelfand Ukraine Ruslan Ponomariov Ukraine Sergey Karjakin and Russia Vladimir Malakhov
2011 26 Aug – 21 Sep Russia Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia 128 3 Russia Peter Svidler Russia Alexander Grischuk Ukraine Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine Ruslan Ponomariov
2013 10 Aug – 4 Sep Norway Tromsø, Norway 128 2 Russia Vladimir Kramnik Russia Dmitry Andreikin Russia Evgeny Tomashevsky and France Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
2015 10 Sep – 5 Oct Azerbaijan Baku, Azerbaijan 128 2 Russia Sergey Karjakin Russia Peter Svidler Netherlands Anish Giri and Ukraine Pavel Eljanov
2017 2–27 Sep Georgia (country) Tbilisi, Georgia 128 2 Armenia Levon Aronian China Ding Liren United States Wesley So and France Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
2019 9 Sep – 4 Oct Russia Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia 128 2 Azerbaijan Teimour Radjabov China Ding Liren France Maxime Vachier-Lagrave China Yu Yangyi
2021 12 Jul – 6 Aug Russia Sochi, Russia 206 2 Poland Jan-Krzysztof Duda Russia Sergey Karjakin Norway Magnus Carlsen Russia Vladimir Fedoseev
2023 29 Jul – 25 Aug Azerbaijan Baku, Azerbaijan 206 3 Norway Magnus Carlsen India Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa United States Fabiano Caruana Azerbaijan Nijat Abasov

All tournaments since 2005 were played in single-elimination format, as seen in the format section above.

See also


  1. ^ Garry Kasparov: A History of Profesional Chess, Mig Greengard, Chessbase, 4/8/2002
  2. ^ Skelleftea World Cup 1989,
  3. ^ The Week in Chess 306 (web archive) 18 September 2000
  4. ^ The Week in Chess 415 (web archive) 21 October 2002
  5. ^ "Bidding Procedure for 2014 Olympiad". Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-12-19.
  6. ^ FIDE General Assembly Minutes (2012), section 18.5
  7. ^ Armenian chess players have no problems in Baku
  8. ^ World Cup 2015 Regulations
  9. ^ Svidler and Karjakin on the World Cup final (Chess24)
  10. ^ Chess World Cup 2013, War of Attrition (
  11. ^ World Cup 2013 Chess-News comments about Tromso