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World Championship Candidates Tournament

Fabiano Caruana7/11(+3 -0 =8)[games]
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov6.5/11(+2 -0 =9)[games]
Sergey Karjakin6/11(+3 -2 =6)[games]
Alexander Grischuk6/11(+2 -1 =8)[games]
Ding Liren5.5/11(+0 -0 =11)[games]
Vladimir Kramnik5/11(+3 -4 =4)[games]
Wesley So4.5/11(+1 -3 =7)[games]
Levon Aronian3.5/11(+1 -5 =5)[games] Chess Event Description
World Championship Candidates (2018)

Starting March 10th in Berlin, eight of the world's strongest players compete to earn the right to challenge Magnus Carlsen.

Players: Mamedyarov, Kramnik, So, Aronian, Caruana, Ding Liren, Grischuk, Karjakin.

Pairings published by FIDE:

Official site:

Live games:

ChessBookie Action:
FIDE Candidates Round 12: Karjakin - Caruana
FIDE Candidates Round 12: Mamedyarov - Ding
FIDE Candidates Round 12: Grischuk - Aronian
FIDE Candidates Round 12: Kramnik - So
FIDE Candidates Round 12: Pick Three

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Caruana vs W So 1-0332018World Championship CandidatesE00 Queen's Pawn Game
2. Karjakin vs Mamedyarov 0-1712018World Championship CandidatesC60 Ruy Lopez
3. Aronian vs Ding Liren ½-½222018World Championship CandidatesA18 English, Mikenas-Carls
4. Kramnik vs Grischuk 1-0482018World Championship CandidatesA48 King's Indian
5. Grischuk vs W So 1-0442018World Championship CandidatesC78 Ruy Lopez
6. Mamedyarov vs Aronian ½-½242018World Championship CandidatesE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
7. Ding Liren vs Caruana ½-½462018World Championship CandidatesE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
8. Kramnik vs Karjakin ½-½552018World Championship CandidatesC67 Ruy Lopez
9. Karjakin vs Grischuk ½-½302018World Championship CandidatesC50 Giuoco Piano
10. Caruana vs Mamedyarov ½-½492018World Championship CandidatesB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
11. W So vs Ding Liren ½-½372018World Championship CandidatesC89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall
12. Aronian vs Kramnik 0-1272018World Championship CandidatesC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
13. Kramnik vs Caruana 0-1662018World Championship CandidatesC42 Petrov Defense
14. Grischuk vs Ding Liren ½-½512018World Championship CandidatesD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
15. Mamedyarov vs W So ½-½312018World Championship CandidatesE37 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
16. Karjakin vs Aronian 0-1682018World Championship CandidatesD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
17. Caruana vs Karjakin ½-½312018World Championship CandidatesE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
18. W So vs Kramnik ½-½572018World Championship CandidatesD41 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
19. Ding Liren vs Mamedyarov ½-½312018World Championship CandidatesE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
20. Aronian vs Grischuk ½-½422018World Championship CandidatesA65 Benoni, 6.e4
21. Mamedyarov vs Kramnik 1-0642018World Championship CandidatesD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. W So vs Aronian 1-0782018World Championship CandidatesC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
23. Ding Liren vs Karjakin ½-½182018World Championship CandidatesD78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
24. Caruana vs Grischuk ½-½362018World Championship CandidatesE60 King's Indian Defense
25. Grischuk vs Mamedyarov ½-½162018World Championship CandidatesD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 82 OF 82 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <saffuna> Yes, since Weaver was a terrific user of stats. I always loved this Earl Weaver quote: "The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three run homers."


Mar-23-18  lorker: <jphamlore> <The irony about his reputation is that when Karjakin has an advantageous position and knows it, he is an amazingly precise finisher. He just doesn't have the opening prep to get those positions often.> Nonsense. Karjakin has great preparation. You have to learn chess isn't all about openings. Theory absolutely makes a difference, especially at the top level (and I'd guess far less at your level) but there is a lot more to chess than the opening...
Premium Chessgames Member
  rogge: I feel sorry for Aronian, total meltdown.
Mar-23-18  stst: with a 1.5-2 pts lead, and just about 3 more rounds, Caru is looking forward to recover from last candidates.

yet the pack is picking up, still possible to have a dead-heat fight.

anybody got straight W from now on will overtake and forge ahead!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: Everybody feels sorry for Aronian. I heard that same comment at least 20 times on C24. Even before it was sure he was going to lose, people were sorry he'd lost.
Mar-23-18  stst: ,..Aronian living rent free in the cellar. >

10 times the rent is no compensate for losing this chance...

maybe a new song?

"Don't cry for me Armenia?!"

Mar-23-18  jphamlore: Karjakin has never had opening prep that is usable for him. Yes at times the Russians have tried to splurge on him for one event, but it not consistent and it is not tailored for him to actually be able to use it. For example, for the world championship match, one million euros were supposedly spent to help him. And what did that money buy?

<Karjakin: I spent a lot of time to prepare to Magnus but it didnít really work and he was jumping to different openings and I didnít really use my preparation. I can admit a few times I completely forgot my preparation and I mixed up my preparation - in the classical games, but also in the rapid. There were so many things to prepare that I didnít manage to remember everything. Maybe it was better to have a fresh head and not to repeat so much.>

Similarly for Candidates 2014, one gets this tidbit from Naiditsch

<Naiditsch: Karjakin said in his interview that he was preparing for a month with 4 trainers and here he opens with the Queen's Gambit, an opening he rarely played before.>

In that game versus Kramnik, Karjakin played the Queen's Gambit Accepted and was defeated after Kramnik unleashed a novelty, a game that buried Karjakin in a hole for the entire event that he eventually was not able to recover from.

Yes Karjakin gets fed massive amounts of opening prep from time to time for big events when the Russians feel like it. But it is not <usable> prep for him.

Mar-23-18  devere: <I always loved this Earl Weaver quote: "The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three run homers.">

"We need just two players to be a contender. Just Babe Ruth and Sandy Koufax." Whitey Herzog

The truth was if you had Koufax you could win without a Ruth. The Dodgers proved that.

Mar-23-18  JimNorCal: Congrats Grischuk on the narrow escape against GM Ding.

Wow. Just wow.

Mar-23-18  JimNorCal: <Petrosianic>: "You never know which Kramnik is going to show up at the board on any day."

It's true, as you say, that you don't know if the Vlad who makes blunders will show up or not!

The Kramnik that plays and fights hard till the very last move has been showing up every day. I admire that combative spirit.

There's a perhaps second-rate movie called Meatballs. At one point in the movie, a "motivational" speech is given to a frustrated, discouraged group. The rallying cry, LOL, is "IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER!" Vlad has come through that stage and reached the other side. Now he is getting decent results again.


Mar-23-18  nok: Nothing changed much odds-wise.

Fabi still an even bet, Mame 2:1.

The Russians still longshots at 10 and 5%.

Mar-23-18  not not: Karjakin Caruana is must win for Karjakin. Last Candidates was the opposite, must win for Caruana.

Karjakin can still nick it.

Mar-23-18  not not: Even 15+ comp evaluation would not stop Ding from drawing a game. That's how you show true Drawmaster's strength!
Mar-23-18  devere: Karjakin is back in the hunt. He has the White pieces against Fab next round, and if he wins while Shak draws with Ding and Grischuk beats Aronian, there would be a 4-way tie for first place with +2. Who would be in the lead? I'm not at all sure (it would depend on how many times they use the head-to-head tie-breaker to break a multi-player tie), but I am guessing it would be Grischuk edging out Shak on most-wins, after Fab and then Sergey were eliminated on head-to-head.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Not not> I am afraid you have managed 101 draws in succession, by constant repetition.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <devere> Yes, Karjakin is alive after winning 3 of the last 5 games. Next game is critical for him.
Mar-23-18  madlydeeply: I heard someone pronounce it err-verr
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: karjakin is indeed on the move. I think he's the most serious threat to Caruana. Fabs will have to win at least one more game here.
Mar-23-18  jphamlore: I think Caruana will successfully hold versus Karjakin in a very long game just like Anand did in 2014:

Karjakin vs Anand, 2014

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Ding had a fantastic, winning position today, but then ...

11 draws in 11 games - strange achievement by a contender in the candidates.

Aronian - I can't help feeling sorry for this great player. Having to play the final three games must be painful.

Mar-23-18  Olsonist: In fairness to Ding Liren, if he finishes this Candidates tournament undefeated if undefeating then that's a decent result for a first time Candidate.

Caruana played in the 2016 Candidates. Mamedyarov played in the 2011 and 2014 Candidates. Karjakin has previously competed in 2 Candidates (2007, 2013). Karjakin won the Candidates in 2016.

He's finishing ahead of Kramnik, So and Aronian. That's a decent result in a brutal tournament.

Mar-23-18  That Roger: The "patzer sees check, patzer gives check" dictum I think is bad, at least if players let it negatively effect them, fearful that in a certain position if they give a check they will be taunted by this phrase: I think in that early Ding Grischuk draw where Grischuk had a win initiated by a bishop check that wasnt given, and the recent Ding Caruana draw the ended on a move in which a knight check would have led to win I think. So a phrase of my own, 'Absolutely beware of all absolute statements'
Mar-23-18  jphamlore: Like I have been saying, if one wants fewer blunders at time controls, keep increasing the increment and reduce the pre-allocated time accordingly. I still think at classical time controls, at least a 90 second increment is desirable. I suspect this will also increase the number of decisive results, because these days with such good opening prep, accumulated advantages are not obvious wins, and it is more likely a point is reached in a game where an only move is needed for a win and not a draw.

The latter rounds seem to have settled into a pattern where there is only a single decisive result, and arguably, that decisive result is due to the player in worst form collapsing at the moment. If Giri and MVL can replace the more unsteady players next Candidates, perhaps we will have the event where the standard of play results in much more than 75% of the games being drawn.

Mar-23-18  nok: <Ding had a fantastic, winning position today, but then ... 11 draws in 11 games>

And the LORD spake, saying, "To be a Master of the DRAW thy name shall contain four letters, no more, no less."

Mar-23-18  Starfire: I still think MAMEDYAROV Will come through as Contender
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