The brochure for the upcoming Oceania Zonal in Guam states:

The winners of the 2019 Guam Zonal qualify and are entitled to advance to play in the World Cup and the World Chess Championship.

I'm unclear on what exactly this means for women's chess. (Men go into the World Cup, which seems clear enough.)

Last year, WFM Kathryn Hardegen represented Australia in the November 2018 Women's World Chess Championship, and came second in the 2017 Oceania Zonal (crosstable) but the winner WFM Layla Timergazi didn't play in the Women's World Chess Championship, so Kathryn Hardegen played instead.

However, this was a knockout tournament; WFM Hardegen was knocked out by GM Ju Wenjun (who went on to win this tournament) in round 1.

However, as I understand correctly, FIDE is changing the format to no longer be a knockout tournament. Wikipedia writes:

The match marks the return to a match only format for the title with qualifying Candidates Tournament, after new FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich expressed his dissatisfaction for the knock-out tournaments and its frequent different world champions. ... The newly established candidates tournament starts on 29 May 2019 in Kazan, Russia. The format is an eight player double round-robin tournament.
Women's World Chess Championship 2019, Wikipedia

So if the candidates tournament is an 8-player round robin, it can't have all the zonal winners.

Question: Does the winner of the women's Oceania Zonal qualify to play in a world championship match?

1 Answer 1


It would seem not. According to this document from FIDE:

  1. Qualification for the 2019 Women’s Candidates Tournament
    3.1. 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.

Zonal qualifiers are nowhere on this list.

My best guess is that the brochure you linked was created before the changes to the championship were made. The brochure says that countries may nominate players for free entry before October 31 2018 (implying the brochure was created before that date), and this article from FIDE announcing the Women's Candidates Tournament is dated November 21 2018.

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