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The pools for the second leg of the FIDE World Chess Grand Prix 2022 in Belgrade

In just two weeks, Belgrade will host the second leg of the FIDE Grand Prix Series 2022. Sixteen GMs will participate and claim their position in the 2022 Candidates Tournaments, but unfortunately, Ding Liren is not one of them.

The news that Ding Liren is likely to miss the Candidates has shocked the chess world once more. Liren missed the first leg of the Grand Prix because he failed to obtain his travel VISA in time. It seems though that Liren’s travel restrictions couldn’t be resolved after all. According to the officials, Ding was unable to get the EU visa, and now he effectively loses the chance to qualify for the Candidates Tournament that is planned for June 2022.

FIDE announced that Liren has been replaced in the Grand Prix Series by Andreikin, who also missed the first leg due to his covid-positive results.

The news has circulated on chess Twitter and Youtube with Hikaru Nakamura acknowledging that Ding Liren is the toughest opponent for Magnus, and Gothamchess referring to this incident as The Saddest Story In Chess

The distribution of the 16 players of the Belgrade FIDE World Chess Grand Prix into 4 pools was done today by drawing of lots. The drawing ceremony, held over Zoom and chaired by the Chief Arbiter, identified the pools of players for the second leg of the Series.

Pool A:

  1. Alexander Grischuk (Russia), 2764
    Qualified: Rating list (10th)
  1. Dmitry Andreikin (Russia), 2724
    Qualified: Ding Liren replacement / Rating list (23rd)
  1. Sam Shankland (USA), 2708
    Qualified: World Cup (5th-8th)
  1. Etienne Bacrot (France), 2642
    Qualified: World Cup (5th-8th)

Pool B:

  1. Anish Giri (Netherlands), 2772
    Qualified: Rating list (7th)
  1. Nikita Vitiugov, (Russia), 2726
    Qualified: Rating list (19th)
  1. Pentala Harikrishna (India), 2719
    Qualified: Rating list (25th)
  1. Amin Tabatabaei (Iran), 2623
    ​​Qualified: World Cup (5th-8th)

Pool C:

  1. Richard Rapport (Hungary), 2763
    Qualified: Rating list (11th)
  1. Vidit Gujrathi (India), 2727
    Qualified: World Cup 2021
  1. Vladimir Fedoseev (Russia), 2704
    Qualified: World Cup (4th)
  1. Alexei Shirov (Spain), 2704
    Qualified: Grand Swiss (8th)

Pool D:

  1. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), 2767
    Qualified: Rating list (9th)
  1. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), 2761
    Qualified: Grand Swiss (6th)
  1. Yu Yangyi (China), 2713
    Qualified: Grand Swiss (4th)
  1. Alexandr Predke (Russia), 2682
    Qualified: Grand Swiss (7th)

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