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World Chess Nominates Daniil Dubov to the Grand Prix Series; Fears Mild Outrage from Nepo’s Fans

World Chess has nominated Daniil Dubov (25, ELO 2720, Russian Federation) as the final Wild Card to the 2022 Grand Prix Series. Dubov will join 23 elite chess players, including Wesley So, Anish Giri, FIDE-nominated Hikaru Nakamura, and others who will compete for two spots in the Candidates Tournament, the final qualifier for the World Chess Championship.

Photo: World Chess

The nomination comes amid a controversy linked to the 2021 World Chess Championship: Dubov, who was part of the Magnus Carlsen team, was criticized by some of the Russian chess experts and commentators for allegedly helping the opposing team instead of helping the Russian challenger or staying neutral. Ian Nepomniachtchi, the challenger, dismissed the claims stating somewhat defiantly that the ideas that Dubov contributed to the Match in fact were helpful to his team.

World Chess listed the following reasons for nominating Dubov:

— Dubov is one of the top players and is at the top of the rating list among those who did not qualify for the Series;
— Fans and chess players alike appreciate Daniil in the top events, such as Grand Prix, for his inventive play and clear fighting spirit;
— After working with Magnus Carlsen’s team, Dubov usually appears at the top of his game. Following his last session with the World Champion, Dubov won the World Rapid Championship, and we hope the trend continues;
— Despite not yet reaching the top-10, Dubov is one of those players who receives substantial media coverage, which is in line with World Chess’ mission to bring more attention to the sport and the FIDE Grand Prix Series.

Ilya Merenzon, World Chess CEO, comments on nominating Dubov: “We enjoy following and working with Dubov and appreciate his openness and clear passion for chess. We are sure the chess fans will support our decision and we are also developing ways to make more people meet Daniil: in the next few weeks we will introduce the official Daniil Dubov bot on FIDE Online Arena — the bot is trained to play in the signature Dubov style, so don’t expect many draws! This is the second time World Chess nominates Dubov to the Grand Prix, and it would be fantastic to see him in the Candidates this time around,’ — adds Merenzon.

FIDE Grand Prix, organized by World Chess, is a 3-event series that features 24 players, each of whom will compete in two out of three tournaments. Two winners of the Grand Prix Series will qualify for the Candidates Tournament. The series will take place in Berlin, Germany, and Belgrade, Serbia.

The prize fund for each event is EUR 150,000, which is a EUR 20,000 increase from 2019.

The FIDE Grand Prix Series 2022 is supported by Algorand as the Official Blockchain Partner, Kaspersky as the Official Cybersecurity Partner, FIDE Online Arena as the official gaming platform, and Prytek as the Technology Transfer Partner of the Series.

Photos: World Chess
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