Wesley So set to defend his Fischer Random title

Wesley So already knows the complete list of players who will challenge him for the Fischer Random world title, which will be held in Reykjavik from 25–30 October. With a prize fund of USD 400,000, this is the second edition of the FIDE World Fischer Random Championship, a discipline officially recognized by the International Chess Federation in 2019.

“I am so excited to be competing in Fischer Random again! And in Iceland! It couldn’t be more special than to compete in that particular place, defending my title against the best players in the world. To play in Reykjavik, fifty years after the match between Fischer and Spassky, gives it a historical perspective that cannot be matched,” commented Wesley So.

Photo: David Llada

Along with the reigning Champion in this variety of chess, 29-year-old Wesley So from the USA, the current World Champion and World’s number one in Classical Chess, Magnus Carlsen, will also compete. The Norwegian was automatically qualified as the runner-up in the previous edition, held in Oslo.

Ian Nepomniachtchi, Hikaru NakamuraVladimir FedoseevNodirbek AbdusattorovMatthias Blübaum and Hjörvar Steinn Grétarsson complete the field for this interesting event, which will be broadcast live by NRK, the largest media organization in Norway, and RUV, Iceland’s major national broadcast company.

These were their respective qualification paths:

Wesley So (2774)
2019 World Fischer Random Chess Champion

Magnus Carlsen (2856)
2019 World Fischer Random Chess Championship runner-up

Vladimir Fedoseev (2688)
Winner of the Online Knock-out Qualifier 1 at Chess.com

Matthias Blübaum (2647)
Winner of the Online Knock-out Qualifier 2 at Chess.com

Nodirbek Abdusattorov (2713)
Winner of the Online Knock-out Qualifier 1 at Lichess, organized by Offerspill Sjakklubb

Hikaru Nakamura (2768)
Winner of the Online Knock-out Qualifier 2 at Lichess, organized by Charlotte Chess Center, and the North American Corporate Chess League

Ian Nepomniachtchi (2793)
FIDE’s wildcard, as the third top finisher in the 2019 World Fischer Random Chess Championship and the world’s third highest-rated player

Hjorvar Steinn Gretarsson (2533)
Wildcard from the local organizing committee as the strongest Icelandic Grandmaster.

What is Fischer Random Chess? 

Fischer Random is a chess variant invented by legendary Bobby Fischer, 1972-75 World Chess Champion. The game’s rules are the same as standard chess, but the starting position of pieces is randomly shuffled. It reduces the impact of opening theory and makes players contemplate game development from the first moves.

Regulations for the 2022 FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Championship (pdf)