China's Wang Hao won his opening match of the event ©Getty Images

Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi earned victory on the opening day of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg.

The event began today amid the coronavirus pandemic, with a series of measures introduced by organisers to protect participants, officials and visitors.

Pre-game handshakes are optional, while facemasks and hand sanitizer will be available.

Spectators will not be able to access the playing area at Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Nepomniachtchi won his opening match of the double-round-robin tournament, as he overcame The Netherlands' Anish Giri.

China’s Wang Hao, the 2019 Grand Swiss Tournament champion, overcame his compatriot Ding Liren.

France's Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and United States’ Fabiano Caruana drew their opening match of the event.

Caruana won the Candidates Tournament in 2018.

Alexander Grischuk drew with Kirill Alekseenko in an all-Russian contest.

The tournament is to decide who will face Norway's Magnus Carlsen at the World Chess Championship later this year.

Competition will continue tomorrow.

The final round of games is scheduled to conclude the tournament on April 3.

The prize pot for the Candidates Tournament - €500,000 (£453,000/$556,000) - is the largest amount to date.