FIDE didn’t guarantee Ding place

Ding Liren told German Press Agency that he dropped out of the Grand Prix, because FIDE refused to guarantee him a place in the third tournament and would only let him play if a place opens up and his visum for Germany was still not granted. The world number 3 also didn’t like the prospect to be put in quarantine upon his return to China. So the top player was replaced before the second tournament in Belgrade starts on 28 February.