Candidates stopped at midway point after Russia suspends air traffic

France’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Russian Ian Nepomniatchi led after seven of the planned 14 rounds, as global body Fide plans a later resumption with points already scored still counting.

The world championship Candidates in Ekaterinburg was abruptly stopped on Thursday morning, with seven of 14 rounds played, after the Russian government announced international air traffic would be suspended from Friday. Fide, the global chess body, planned a charter flight to Amsterdam enabling the Chinese, Dutch, French, and US grandmasters plus their aides and tournament officials to leave before the deadline.

Seven of the 14 rounds have been completed and these scores will stand when it becomes possible to resume the postponed tournament. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) and Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) led with 4.5/7, ahead of Fabiano Caruana (US), Anish Giri (Netherlands), Alexander Grischuk (Russia) and Wang Hao (China) all 3.5/7, Kirill Alekseenko (Russia) and Ding Liren (China) 2.5/7.