FIDE regrets to inform that GM Ding Liren will be unable to play in the second leg of the FIDE Grand Prix Series organized by World Chess, to be held in Belgrade from February 28 to March 14. Despite the will and the efforts from both parties, there are insurmountable obstacles that prevent him from playing.
According to the regulations, GM Dmitry Andreikin will take his place in Belgrade. FIDE has already communicated with Andreikin, who confirmed his readiness to compete in the event.
In the eventuality any of the participants expected for the third and last leg of the FIDE Grand Prix being forced to withdraw for whatever reason more than 15 days prior to the start of the tournament, GM Ding would be considered, by rating, the first reserve. FIDE is also willing to count on Ding in case any unforeseen circumstances force us to designate a wildcard. However, we realize that the chances of him getting to actually play in the Grand Prix this year are very slim under the current circumstances.
We are very sorry that the travel restrictions have impacted Ding's career during the past two years so dramatically. We look forward to having him compete in the international circuit again as soon as possible.