The field includes six of the top 10 players in the world. The tournament will be held from March 10 to 30, 2016.
The World Chess Federation and Agon Limited, its commercial partner, have announced that the Candidates tournament to select a challenger for the world championship will be held in Moscow from March 10 to 30, 2016.
The winner will play a match for the title against reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen next November. The match is scheduled to be in the United States.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, president of the World Chess Federation, said in a statement, “We are looking forward to an exciting tournament in Moscow. The Candidates tournaments usually receive wide media attention, and this one is likely to be one of the most televised chess events as FIDE and its partners are working to make chess a spectator sport. We hope chess fans around the world will follow the tournament and will enjoy it.”
The eight participants in the Candidates tournament will be Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Anish Giri of the Netherlands, who qualified based on their ratings; Viswanathan Anand of India, the loser of the last championship match in 2014; Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana of the United States, who were the top two finishers in the last Grand Prix; Sergey Karjakin and Peter Svidler of Russia, the winner and runner-up, respectively in the last World Cup; and Levon Aronian of Armenia, a wild card choice.
The field includes six of the top 10 players in the current rankings — all of the players are among the the top 17.
The prize fund will be at least 420,000 euros, or about $455,000 at the current exchange rate.
The venue for the tournament has not been finalized, but will be announced within the next month.
Tashir Group, a large real estate developer in Russia, is one of the principal sponsors. The company is run by Samvel Karapetyan, an Armenian-born businessman whose net worth is about $4.8 billion according to Forbes magazine.
The Russian Chess Federation is also involved in supporting and organizing the tournament.