Handbook ::  D. Regulations for Specific Competitions

10. Rules for the FIDE Women's Candidates Tournament 2019

Rules for the FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament 2019





The Women’s Candidates Tournament shall be organized in the first half of 2019.



Governing Body is the World Chess Federation (FIDE).



FIDE Global Strategy Commission (hereinafter referred to as GSC) is in charge for issuing regulations, communicating with the participants and the organizers.



FIDE, or its appointed commercial agency, retains all commercial and media rights of the Women’s Candidates Tournament, including internet rights. These rights can be fully or partially transferred to the Tournament's organizer upon agreement.



The body responsible for any changes to these Regulations is the FIDE Presidential Board, upon recommendation by the Global Strategy Commission.



At any time in the course of the application of these Regulations, any circumstances not covered or any unforeseen event shall be referred to the FIDE President for final decision.


Selection of the Organizer



Any federation member of FIDE or any sponsor supported by the national federation may bid for the right to organize the Women’s Candidates Tournament. The support shall be expressed officially in the attachment to the bid letter.



FIDE shall open a bidding procedure for the Women’s Candidates Tournament.












Each bid should contain the following:

  1. Proposed exact place and dates of the event.
  2. Proposed tournament venue.
  3. Proposed prize fund for the players (minimum 200,000 euros should be offered net of any applicable local taxes).
  4. The contribution to FIDE (net of any applicable local taxes and not less than 20% of the prize fund in addition to the prize fund).
  5. Commitment to cover all financial obligations to FIDE, including all the stipends.
  6. Commitment to cover all organizational costs, in accordance with the regulations of the event.
  7. Category of official hotel (minimum 4 stars), and its name, with special room rates including meals.
  8. A statement that the applicant accepts the regulations of the event without any reservations.
  9. An invitation for at least two members of the GSC to inspect the proposed venue and examine the other conditions, with all travel and hotel expenses paid by the bidder.
  10. The applicant's name, signatures and authentication
  11. Letters of support from the national federation and relevant local authorities.



Each applicant shall pay a non-refundable fee of 1,000 euros to obtain the obligatory bidding form and the necessary information from the FIDE Secretariat.
















The FIDE Presidential Board shall decide which applicant shall be chosen. The decision reached shall be based on the following criteria, which are to be viewed as a whole:

  1. prize fund
  2. covering of organizational costs
  3. playing conditions
  4. providing visas to all players, trainers and officials
  5. security assistance for all players and officials
  6. chess activity both actual and potential in the country hosting the event
  7. media possibilities
  8. potential development of chess worldwide, including continent rotation principle
  9. climate conditions during the period of the tournament
  10. taxation conditions in the hosting country in respect of the prize fund.



Once FIDE makes its decision on the organizer of the event, a contract is to be signed between FIDE and the organizer regarding all financial and commercial aspects of the event. The organizer is required to present all necessary bank guaranties for the whole amount of the prize fund all expenses related to the event.


Qualification for the 2019 Women’s Candidates Tournament






Players who qualify for the Women’s Candidates Tournament are determined according to the following criteria, in order of priority:

  • Women’s World Championship KO 2018;
    Three (3) players who reach the semi-finals of the 2018 Women’s World Championship (excluding the Women’s World Champion 2018 who qualifies directly to the World Championship Match).
  • Winner of the Women’s World Championship Match 2018 (GM Ju Wenjun);
  • Average FIDE Rating of the 12 monthly lists starting from 1st January 2018 to 1st December 2018.
    Four (4) players will qualify by their average rating.
    For the purpose of deciding the four qualifiers by rating, the average ELO from the twelve standard FIDE rating lists from 1st January 2018 to 1st December 2018 will be used. In case of equality, two decimals will be taken into consideration.  If the numbers are still equal then the total number of rated games in all 12 standard rating periods shall be decisive: the player with the bigger number of games qualifies.



If any replacements are needed including due to a withdrawal or a refusal of participation, the average rating list will serve for the purpose, as described in article 3.1.


Confirmation of Participation



The list of qualified players and reserves is to be published on the FIDE website together with the player’s contract.



 All qualified players should sign their respective contracts and send it to the FIDE Secretariat within two weeks after they receive their copy from FIDE by email.  Additional contracts between the organizer and the players may be signed if needed.



It is each player’s responsibility to download a copy and send it signed to the FIDE Secretariat by fax or by the registered mail. A player who does not submit her contract within the deadline shall be replaced according to article 3.2 (FIDE may accept late contracts received after the deadline only for serious reasons). Players qualified as replacements will have one further week to send their signed contracts.



A player who signs her contract but withdraws  is to be replaced by a player as described in article 3.2.



Players that fail to provide a satisfactory reason for withdrawal, after they have signed the player's contract, could be sanctioned by the decision of the FIDE Presidential Board.


Women’s Candidates Tournament Regulations



Format & System




 The 8 players play a double round robin tournament (14 rounds).




The winner qualifies for the Women’s World Chess Championship Match of the 2019-20 Cycle.



Travel and Accommodation




Each player gets her travel expenses reimbursed (based on the standard economy class or comparable tariffs).




Each player is provided with two free single rooms in the official hotel, including full board, for the whole duration of the event.




For security and administrative reasons, all participants are expected to stay in the officially designated hotel.



Playing venue




The GSC shall ensure the playing hall and its environs meet the requirements of the FIDE Regulations for the organization of Top Level Tournaments (FIDE Handbook C.01).




The playing venue shall be decorated with the FIDE flag, IOC flag, the flags of the host nation and the participating countries.




The Organizer provides, free of charge, coffee, tea and soft drinks for the players, principals and accredited media.




1 day

Opening Ceremony & Players Meeting:

1 day

Round 1:

1 day

Round 2:

1 day

Round 3:

1 day

Free day:

1 day

Round 4:

1 day

Round 5:

1 day

Round 6:

1 day

Free day:

1 day

Round 7:

1 day

Round 8:

1 day

Round 9:

1 day

Free day:

1 day

Round 10:

1 day

Round 11:

1 day

Round 12:

1 day

Free day:

1 day

Round 13:

1 day

Round 14:

1 day

Tiebreaks / Closing ceremony:

1 day


1 day




22 days

The playing schedule can be changed only upon approval of the FIDE President.



Pairings and draw of colors




The draw for pairings and colors is conducted in the FIDE Secretariat, four (4) weeks before the start of the event.




Players from the same federation play each other in rounds 1 and 8 (if only two) and if up to four players are from the same federation in rounds 1, 2, 3 and 8, 9, 10.




If a player withdraws after completing 50% or more of the games, the rest of her games are lost by default. In case a player completes less than 50%, all her results are annulled.




No postponement of any game is allowed.




For tie-break games, there is a separate drawing of lots conducted by the Chief Arbiter.



Time control




The games are played using the electronic clocks and boards approved by FIDE.




The time control for each game is: 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move 1.



Draw by mutual agreement



The players cannot draw a game by agreement before black’s 30th move. A claim for a draw before black’s 30th move is permitted only through the Chief Arbiter (or his Deputy) in case of threefold repetition.



Conditions of victory




The player with the most points (1 point for each win, half a point for each draw, 0 for each loss) will be the winner of the tournament and qualifies for the Women’s World Championship Match of 2019-2020 Cycle. A tie shall be broken according to article 5.8.2 below.











If the top two (2) or more players score the same points, the tie is to be decided by the following criteria, in order of priority:

  1. The results of the games between the players involved in the tie.
  2. The total number of wins in the tournament of every player involved in the tie.
  3. Sonneborn - Berger System.




If there is no clear winner with the above 3 criteria, there will be a special competition between the players who still remain tied after using the 3rd criteria (Sonneborn – Berger) – Annex 1







The total minimum prize fund of the Women’s Candidates Tournament amounts to 200,000 (two hundred thousand) euros. The amount is net and cleared of any local taxes. The money prizes shall be allocated as follows (minimum in euros):

1st place:


2nd place:


3rd place:


4th place:


5th place:


6th place:


7th place:


8th place:


All prize money are divided equally where players have the same score in the tournament (after 14 rounds).







Payment of Prize Money
The prize money are paid by direct banker’s order drawn in euros.
Upon completion of the event, FIDE transfers players' prize money to a country of her choice.




If a player withdraws after the start of the tournament, FIDE decides upon paying out her prize money depending on particular circumstances (as a rule, proportional to a number of games completed provided there has been a satisfactory cause for a withdrawal).




Although FIDE endeavours to sign an agreement with the Organizer stating that the prize funds are net and free of all local taxes, FIDE is not responsible for any national local tax deducted from the prize money. FIDE gives all necessary assistance to the players if the Organizer acts to the contrary.



Playing Conditions




The anti-cheating measures are applied according to the FIDE anti-cheating regulations for the top official events. The organizer covers all the related costs up to 5,000 (five thousand) euros.




Only the players, principals and steward (-ess)s are allowed in the actual playing area except with the permission of the Chief Arbiter. A player may communicate with an arbiter or a steward.




The players are not permitted to bring into the playing area telephone, technical and other equipment extraneous to play, which may in any way disturb or upset the opponent. The Chief Arbiter shall decide what constitutes extraneous equipment liable to offend the opponent.




During the playing session, a player may leave the playing area only with the permission of the Chief Arbiter and only if she is accompanied by one of the arbiters.







The Organizers provide scoresheets according to the specifications provided by FIDE.





At the end of each game the players' original scoresheets is to be given to the Chief Arbiter, who shall hands them to FIDE .
Refusal of either player to sign the score sheets shall be penalized according to Article 13.4 of the Laws of Chess. After the players have signed the score sheets, the Arbiter countersigns to confirm the results.




In tie-break games, the players and the Arbiter sign a result sheet.



Players conduct




The players are required to attend the Players' Meeting on the day of the Opening Ceremony at a time to be decided by the Chief Arbiter and the Organizers. If necessary, the Chief Arbiter may call other Players' Meetings.




The players are expected to co-operate reasonably with the media. General interviews with them have to be arranged through the FIDE Press Officer, the same day or the next day after the end of the event.



5. 12. 3.

The players are required to make themselves available for post-game press conferences, of not more than 20 minutes duration, immediately after the game. All winners and medallists are obliged to attend the final press conference after the event has ended and to provide an exclusive interview for the FIDE website, if requested by the FIDE Press Officer.




The players are required to be present at all official functions approved by the FIDE President or his Deputy during the event including official receptions, the opening ceremony and the closing ceremony.




The players are requested to note the requirements of FIDE Regulations C.01 (Article 8.1) in respect of their dignified appearance at all times during the event.




If a player fails to appear at the Players' Meeting, the Opening or Closing Ceremony or any approved function of the Championship such as official receptions, press conferences or interviews, or conducts herself in a manner contrary to the spirit of sportsmanship or the FIDE Code of Ethics, she shall suffer the following penalty: 5% of her prize money shall be forfeited to the Organizer and a further 5% to FIDE for each breach. In cases of serious misconduct the player may be disqualified from the event and the World Chess Championship Cycle.



The Principals are:

  1. President and Deputy President;
  2. Members of the Appeals Committee;
  3. Arbiters;
  4. Press Officer;
  5. Representative of FIDE Medical Commission;
  6. 2 GSC members;







The arbiters of the Candidates Tournament are nominated by FIDE. No arbiter may belong to the same federation as any of the players.




During play either the Chief Arbiter or his Deputy must be present in the playing area.




Immediately after the end of the event the Chief Arbiter shall submit a report in one of the official FIDE languages and send it without delay to the FIDE Secretariat. The report contains the result of each individual game as well as the final standings and also a general description of the course of the event.  If there were any difficulties, conflicts or incidents, they shall be described together with the measures taken to deal with them. The report shall be supplemented by adding two copies of the bulletins and the score sheets of the games.




The Chief Arbiter may, in consultation with the GSC, and with the approval of the FIDE President, issue additional written regulations to inform the exact playing hours and take care of other details not covered by these regulations.



Appeals Committee




FIDE nominates the Chairman and the other 2 members of the Appeals Committee, all from different Federations. None of 3 members of the Appeals Committee sits in judgment in a dispute involving a player from his Federation except where the dispute is between two players from his Federation.




All protests must be submitted in writing to the Appeals Committee not more than two (2) hours after the relevant playing session, or the particular infringement complained against.




Each protest must be accompanied by a deposit fee of EUR 500 (five hundred euros) or the equivalent in local currency. If the protest is accepted, the fee shall be returned. If the protest is rejected, the fee may be forfeited to FIDE.









The Committee may decide on the following matters:

  1. an appeal against a decision by an arbiter,
  2. a protest against a player's behaviour,
  3. all other matters which the Committee considers important.




The Committee shall endeavour to find binding solutions that are within the true spirit of the FIDE motto, Gens Una Sumus. 
If possible, the Committee reaches a decision not more than two (2) hours after submission of a protest.




The written decision of the Appeals Committee arising from any dispute in respect of these regulations is final.




Immediately after the end of the event, the Chairman of the Appeals Committee submits a report in one of the official FIDE languages and send it without delay to the FIDE Secretariat.



FIDE Press Officer




The Organizer shall co-operate with the Press Officer concerning the accreditation and hospitality of journalists and the media and the facilities available at the Press Centre. The Press Officer shall be a member of the panel at Press Conferences conducted during the event. In cases of conflicting information and press statements, the views expressed by the Press Officer shall be the authentic version.




The organizer is responsible for managing, updating and reviewing the official web domain which is used for the event: wct.xxxx2019.fide.com where xxxx refers to the city where the event is being held. All content is reviewed and approved by the FIDE Press Officer. All live images, live broadcasting (Internet TV) pictures and all the other content for the full event details are carried on the official domain. The organizer shall not develop any other website.




All activities of both FIDE and the organizer shall identify FIDE being the Governing Body of the World Chess Championship. The organizer shall warrant that the official domain for the event is managed in a professional way and furthermore that it is capable of handling the traffic and publicity that is required for such events. Statistics of traffic and full reports on web performance are provided to both FIDE and the organizer.



Photography and Television




Only photographers and camera crew expressly authorized by the Press Officer may work in the playing venue.




Flash may be used only during the first five (5) minutes. In tie-break games, flash may only be used in the first three (3) minutes. In case of 5 minutes + sudden death games, flash is not permitted, the use of cameras without flash may be permitted if the Arbiter in charge deems their use to be unobtrusive.




Television cameras must be unobtrusive and may only be used if the Arbiter in charge deems their use to be unobtrusive.







The Opening Ceremony takes place the day prior to the first round.




The program of the Opening Ceremony shall be approved by FIDE. Cultural program and speeches totaling up to 60 minutes are usually welcome. FIDE Anthem and the Anthem of the hosting country shall be played.




The Closing Ceremony shall take place not later than one day after the end of the event. The Organizers shall provide a trophy for the winner and medals (gold, silver, bronze) for the top three winners. The FIDE Anthem, the Anthem of the winner’s country and the Anthem of the hosting country shall be played.


Commercial and Financial issues



Before the end of the event, FIDE shall be reimbursed for its direct expenses incurred in the organization of the Candidates Tournament. This shall be a fixed sum agreed in the contract between the Organizer and the GSC. This sum shall include stipends, pre-expenses (inspections) and tournament expenses (traveling and boarding) for the principals. The GSC shall advise and help the Organizer on protocol, budget, infrastructure, media, commentary, bulletin and other technical problems.



FIDE has the exclusive commercial rights of  the Candidates Tournament and is free to exploit them commercially, including entering into advertisement agreements either with the Organizer(s) or Sponsors of the event requiring players to wear clothes with the branding of sponsors. Players shall not wear, use or display any apparel, footwear, accessory or other item, including but not limited to any piece of attire or any article that is of an accessory nature (e.g. bag, eyewear, arm bands, gloves, socks, charms, beverage bottles etc.), bearing an identification of or advertising or otherwise promoting the players' sponsors, without prior written permission by FIDE or FIDE’s commercial agency.



The income provided by the Candidates Tournament through admission charges goes to the Organizer.



The radio and television rights, including photo, video and film rights, shall belong to FIDE or its appointed agency. The right as described here and in the previous paragraph can be granted by FIDE to the organizer.



FIDE or its appointed agency has the exclusive rights for live games transmission on Internet and provides the necessary equipment such as electronic boards and clocks to cover the event. FIDE provides to the Organizer the signal for online game display in the different function rooms as agreed between the parties. These rights as described here can be granted by FIDE to the organizer.



The Organizer shall draw up a budget as detailed as possible. This shall be subject to the approval of GSC and FIDE.



The stipends to be paid to the Principals of the WCC Candidates Tournament by the organizer are (in EUR):

Chairman of Appeals Committee:


Two members of Appeals Committee:

  3,000 each

Chief Arbiter:


Deputy Chief Arbiter:


Press Officer:




Traveling and of the FIDE officials
The FIDE President has the right to business class travel by air, sea or rail, at the Organizers` expense. The FIDE Deputy President has the right to business class travel by air, sea or rail, at the Organizers expense. All other Principals shall be provided with transport by air, sea or rail or, if they prefer, any other mode of transport that is not more costly to the Organizers than economy air travel or business class if traveling from another continent. Any Principal making his own travel arrangements without the agreement of the Organizers does so entirely at his own risk.



Accommodation of the FIDE officials
For the FIDE President a suite in a 4-5 star hotel should be provided and for the Deputy President one junior suite in the same first class hotel. For each Principal or GSC member - a double room in the same hotel. Extra expenses are covered by the Organizers only for the FIDE President.



Food and drinks.   Provision for food and drinks shall be provided for all the Principals. This shall be provided by a specified allowance in local currency per day or by the provision of all meals in the restaurant of the hotel. The nature and amount shall be agreed between the Organizers and GSC.



Local transportation.   Transfer from and to the airport will be provided by the organizers, if necessary.   For FIDE President, a chauffeur-driven car. For the other Principals, a number of cars shall be made available; their use will depend on the position of the hotels, playing hall and media center, and on the leisure activities of the Principals. Alternatively, a daily allowance in local currency may be provided, the amount to be agreed between the Organizers and GSC.  Local transport shall also be provided for players to official functions if necessary.



Personnel – The Organizers should provide sufficient personnel to assist in the playing hall, press room, VIP room, and at ceremonies according to the agreement made with the GSC.



Procedures concerning commercial aspects




FIDE, or its appointed commercial agency, retains all commercial and media rights of the Women’s Candidates Tournament 2019, including internet. These rights can be transferred fully or partially to the organizer upon agreement.




No proposed sponsor shall be in conflict with the regulations of the International Olympic Committee.




The FIDE logo and the head of the corporate logo are displayed below:

The FIDE logo is represented above and will be displayed in a dark blue colour on a white background. The text describing any event must not be larger than twice the size of the word FIDE reproduced in the logo.


The event title of the tournament is represented below. The corporate logo should include the above on top and the text in any kind of printed or electronic media must not be larger than twice the size of the word FIDE reproduced in the logo.



Tie-break system

After a new drawing of colors, each tied player will play two (2) tie-break games with the other tied opponent(s). The games shall be played using the electronic clock starting with 25 minutes for each player with an increment of 10 seconds after each move.


All tie-break games shall be played according to the following:

  1. Play is governed by the World Championship Technical Regulations (annex 2), which apply with the exceptions mentioned below in (b), (c) and (d).
  2. The players do not need to record the moves. An arbiter shall record the moves.
  3. The player who has the move may stop the clocks and consult the Arbiter’s score sheet and if her next move will produce a threefold repetition of position (according to Article 9.2a of the Technical Regulations), or the 50 moves rule (according to Article 9.3a of the Technical Regulations), he himself must write the intended move on the score sheet and claim the draw if he wants. A player can also claim a draw according to Articles 9.2b and 9.3b of the Technical Regulations. If the claim is found to be correct, the game is immediately ended as a draw. If the claim is found to be incorrect, the Arbiter shall add three (3) minutes to the opponent’s remaining time and the game continues with the intended move in accordance with Article 4 of the Technical Regulations. A maximum of two (2) incorrect claims for a draw can be made by each player. If a player makes a third (3rd ) incorrect claim, the arbiter shall declare the game lost for this player.
  4. If a game has ended by resignation, checkmate, time loss, stalemate, triple repetition or any other of the ways described in Article 5 of the Technical Regulations, no claim for irregularities shall be accepted (irregularities include clock settings and all other described in Article 7 of the Technical Regulations).
2. If after the games in Article 1 there are still players tied for 1st place then, after a new drawing of colors, these players will play blitz games. Each tied player will play two games with the other opponent(s). Each player will receive 5 minutes on her clock + 3 seconds for each move starting from move 1. If there is a tie again, this process will be repeated for the tied players, for a maximum of two (2) more times.
3. After the games in Article 2, and if we have only two players still tied, sudden death games will be played. The player who wins the drawing of lots, may choose the color. White shall receive 5 minutes on the clock and Black shall receive 4 minutes whereupon, after the 60th move, both players shall receive an increment of 3 seconds starting from move 61. In case of a draw the player with the black pieces is declared the winner.
4. After the games in Article 2, and if we have three players still tied, sudden death games will be played too. The three players will be initially ranked according to their average FIDE rating. The players initially ranked No.2 and No.3 will play first and the winner will face the player initially ranked No.1. The sudden death games will be played as described in article 3. above. The winner of this procedure is No.1 in the final standings and the loser of the final match is No.2 in the final standings.
5. After the games in Article 2, and if we have four players still tied, sudden death games will be played too. The four players will be initially ranked according to their average FIDE rating. Then No.1 plays No.4 and No.2 plays No.3 and the two winners play the final match. All the sudden death games will be played as described in article 4 above. The winner of this procedure is No.1 in the final standings and the loser of the final match is No.2 in the final standings.
6. After the games in Article 2, and if we have five players still tied, sudden death games will be played too. The five players will be initially ranked according to their average FIDE rating. The players initially ranked No.4 and No.5 will play first and the winner will face the three remaining players as in article 5 above. All the sudden death games will be played as described in article 3 above. The winner of this procedure is No.1 in the final standings and the loser of the final match is No.2 in the final standings.
7. After the games in Article 2, and if we have 6 players or more still tied, sudden death games will also be played in accordance with the spirit of articles 3, 4, 5 and 6 above. Further details will be announced by the Chief Arbiter.


If tie-breaks are needed to determine any other possible qualification spots for the next World Championship cycle, then the procedure described in article 1 will be applied as well, including articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

There shall be a pause of 10 minutes between all tie-break games, unless the Chief Arbiter decides otherwise.



(FIDE Laws of Chess)

The FIDE Laws of Chess are Annex 1, as valid since 1 January 2018 and published on the FIDE website:








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