Added on 3/8/2020

UPDATE (03/12 - 11:03 AM EDT) It seems like FIDE wants the Candidates' to take place. Caruana will make it, according to this tweet: UPDATE: The spreading of the virus is forcing countries to lock down, and airlines to cancel flights all over the world. Today Fabiano Caruana used Twitter to let people know he probably won't make it to Yekaterinburg.

CoronaVirus. This is what everyone is talking about. In the media, on every social, everywhere. And such a pandemic has already affected most of our habits. In Italy, they are seriously thinking about stopping the soccer premier league. It has never happened after WWII. And it gives the picture of how serious the situation is, considering how important soccer is in Europe.  Most of the northern part of the country is a "red zone," isolated and guarded by troops. In the chess world, the next super-event is going to take place starting March the 17th, in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Russia has not been affected as heavily as other countries, at least so far. The fearful map that all of us check daily reports "only" 15 confirmed cases in the vast region. But some of the players have been asking to postpone the Candidates' tournament, and one, Teimour Radjabov, decided to withdraw, for fear of the virus. The French superGM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave will replace the Azeri.  Somewhat strangely, this sounds a bit like karma, after all the polemics that came out when the Russian Federation chose Alekseenko as the tournament's wild card. The tournament, a 14 rounds double-round-robin, will determine who is the next challenger to Carlsen's throne. Here is the list of participants, and the way they have qualified:

Fabiano Caruana

2842 World Champ. Match runnerup

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

2767 Replaces Radjabov

Anish Giri

2763 Highest Average Rating

Wang Hao

2762  FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament 2019

Ding Liren

2805 Chess World Cup 2019

Alexander Grischuk

2777 FIDE Grand Prix 2019

Ian Nepomniachtchi

2774 FIDE Grand Prix 2019

Kirill Alekseenko

2698 Wild Card

Games start at 5 AM EST - 11:00 CET. Rest days are on March 20, 24 and 28 and April 1.  In the rest days, ICC will have GM Alex Yermolinsky go LIVe on ICCTV to report on the tournament. Check out the ICC Google Calendar to be sure you don't miss the shows!