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World Championship Candidates Tournament

Fabiano Caruana5.5/8(+3 -0 =5)[games]
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov5/8(+2 -0 =6)[games]
Alexander Grischuk4.5/8(+2 -1 =5)[games]
Ding Liren4/8(+0 -0 =8)[games]
Sergey Karjakin3.5/8(+1 -2 =5)[games]
Vladimir Kramnik3.5/8(+2 -3 =3)[games]
Wesley So3/8(+1 -3 =4)[games]
Levon Aronian3/8(+1 -3 =4)[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 9: So - Grischuk
FIDE Candidates Round 9: Caruana - Ding
FIDE Candidates Round 9: Karjakin - Kramnik
FIDE Candidates Round 9: Aronian - Mamedyarov
FIDE Candidates Round 9: Pick Three

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 33  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Karjakin vs Mamedyarov 0-1712018World Championship CandidatesC60 Ruy Lopez
2. Aronian vs Ding Liren ½-½222018World Championship CandidatesA18 English, Mikenas-Carls
3. Caruana vs W So 1-0332018World Championship CandidatesE00 Queen's Pawn Game
4. Kramnik vs Grischuk 1-0482018World Championship CandidatesA48 King's Indian
5. Kramnik vs Karjakin ½-½552018World Championship CandidatesC67 Ruy Lopez
6. Grischuk vs W So 1-0442018World Championship CandidatesC78 Ruy Lopez
7. Mamedyarov vs Aronian ½-½242018World Championship CandidatesE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
8. Ding Liren vs Caruana ½-½462018World Championship CandidatesE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
9. Aronian vs Kramnik 0-1272018World Championship CandidatesC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
10. W So vs Ding Liren ½-½372018World Championship CandidatesC89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall
11. Caruana vs Mamedyarov ½-½492018World Championship CandidatesB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
12. Karjakin vs Grischuk ½-½302018World Championship CandidatesC50 Giuoco Piano
13. Karjakin vs Aronian 0-1682018World Championship CandidatesD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
14. Kramnik vs Caruana 0-1662018World Championship CandidatesC42 Petrov Defense
15. Mamedyarov vs W So ½-½312018World Championship CandidatesE37 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
16. Grischuk vs Ding Liren ½-½512018World Championship CandidatesD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
17. Ding Liren vs Mamedyarov ½-½312018World Championship CandidatesE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
18. Caruana vs Karjakin ½-½312018World Championship CandidatesE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
19. W So vs Kramnik ½-½572018World Championship CandidatesD41 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
20. Aronian vs Grischuk ½-½422018World Championship CandidatesA65 Benoni, 6.e4
21. W So vs Aronian 1-0782018World Championship CandidatesC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
22. Caruana vs Grischuk ½-½362018World Championship CandidatesE60 King's Indian Defense
23. Ding Liren vs Karjakin ½-½182018World Championship CandidatesD78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
24. Mamedyarov vs Kramnik 1-0642018World Championship CandidatesD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
25. Karjakin vs W So 1-0402018World Championship CandidatesE51 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 33  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-19-18  BOSTER: Game Grischuk vs Kramnik.What is the result? Thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Grischuk won
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: <nok: <Which probably means that Carlsen will retain his title> With a straight pass to the final, it's easy-peasy.>

Which means that you think Carlsen is clearly the best player and that the Candidates tournament format is often not won by the best player.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: <shach motov: ... Disappointingly, Aronian, perhaps the best challenger to Carlsen, is in bad form. >

If Aronian consistently comes up short in Candidates tournaments he would likely suffer the same fate in a title match.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Of course Carlsen had to win a Candidates tournament to earn his title shot
Mar-19-18  nok: <Which means that you think Carlsen is clearly the best player and that the Candidates tournament format is often not won by the best player.>

No. Whoever is seeded in the final has his chances grossly multiplied whether he's the best or not.

The tournament should be held frequently and include the champion, so that by the law of averages, everyone wins as often as he should.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: gris finally won that game, shoved home the extra pawn. VK eliminated.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Lambda: Ratings-based win probabilities:

Caruana 53.0%
Mamedyarov 33.9%
Grischuk 8.9%
Ding Liren 2.3%
Kramnik 1.1%
Karjakin 0.4%
Aronian 0.3%
So 0.1%
Playoff 0.1%

Most points 78.9%
H2H 9.4%
most losses 6.8%
S-B 4.4%

Winning scores:
7.5 0.4% 0.4%
8.0 8.1% 8.4%
8.5 27.1% 35.6%
9.0 33.1% 68.7%
9.5 21.1% 89.8%
10.0 8.1% 97.9%
10.5 1.9% 99.7%
11.0 0.3% 100.0%
11.5 0.0% 100.0%

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Round 9

Wes So (3) - Grischuk (4˝)
Caruana (5˝) - Ding Liren (4)
Aronian (3) - Mamedyarov (5)
Karjakin (3˝)- Kramnik (3˝)

A win for Ding (the live game) would throw this tournament wide open.

Mar-19-18  Whitehat1963: Wow! I’d forgotten that Giri drew all 14 of his games in the 2016 candidates tournament. Maybe it’s not so difficult for that to happen after all!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Annie K.: I still remember XXII Torneo Ciudad de Linares (2005) ... ok, Leko only drew 12 games, but it's not his fault there weren't any more rounds! ;p
Premium Chessgames Member
  optimal play: With 6 rounds to go we are left with 4 viable contenders.

Mathematically it would still be possible for even Wes and Lev to win, if they won all their remaining games, and other results went their way, but realistically the bottom 4 are out of it.

Of course Ding needs to start turning his draws into wins and next up against Fab will be especially difficult, but if he can make that his first victory, it will be a double blow by scoring a full point and also holding back the current leader.

Mar-19-18  MadFaqirOfSwat: It would be nice to have a Chinese world champ for men.
Mar-19-18  nok: <Leko only drew 12 games, but it's not his fault there weren't any more rounds! ;p> Still got 200 pages of comments. That's talent.
Mar-19-18  Chessinfinite: Ding 'Bruce Lee'ren is looking more like Ding 'Giri'en after his eight straight draws. He still has maybe an outside chance but he has got to take more risks and get some wins. I too think it is over for the last 4 players.. too tough for them to come back from here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  parmetd: Yikes, Vlad with such a promising start is almost eliminated after 8 rounds.
Mar-19-18  bubuli55: How come Mamedyarov’s first name is not posted up in the standings? Saving space? Not important? Special? Sexy?
Mar-19-18  Mirovsk: Grischuk played an explendid game against Kramnik --- at move 25 Grischuk was a pawn up --- it took him until move 91 to make 1 - 0 --- and all because of that extra pawn.

Will history repeats itself? And now... Caruana? --- with Aronian is always the pressure --- in 2016, Caruana faced Karjakin in the last game (and lost the game and the candidates) --- his last game here is against Grischuk.

Mar-19-18  Mirovsk: Do you remember that Caruana started 2016 (Candidates) with 7 draws? Ding is winning, he has 8 --- if Ding wins his game against Caruana, he certainly was hiding his game...

(2016) Karjakin 8.5 x 7.5 Caruana

Mar-20-18  stst: Big K!?!

Got a "great" 2nd?? Then you deserve only 2nd!! (at best, may even fail that!!)

Mar-20-18  stst: Ding is waiting... of course better might say, either for a great leap/explosion, OR, for a big bleep/implosion...

Let's see...

Mar-20-18  Tal1949: Ha! Grischuk is now sitting in third, which speaks volumes about how bad the bottom four are playing.

These guys are lucky that Carlsen and Anand are not playing this week. They would both lap the field here.

Mar-20-18  JustAnotherMaster: These are such great players, besides so-so, sad to see Lemonian near so-so...whoever wins will be a worthy challenger to the great MC. Great tournament :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <AylerKupp> LOL to the Pomerol remark. I don't drink Pomerol regularly, for sure. Thanks to Russian oligarchs and Chinese politicians the prices of some French wines have increased insanely. What an achievement for former and present communists!

For me it has never been important to come to an agreement, but I have a strong preference for friendly disagreement. One of my best friends is a staunched Christian - I am an Existentialist if anything, and we have our regular debate about the matter. Always in a friendly, humorous, teasing way. Unfortunately, in this world, disagreements are often accompanied by hostility. Too many people want everyone to follow their way, or else ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Six games to go. A painful defeat for Kramnik yesterday, but a correspondingly great victory for Grischuk. It was not an easy win by position, especially not against such a strong opponent, but he did it and is now rightfully third.

If Caruana continues his strong play, he is likely to become the next challenger. IMO he has better chances than Mamedyarov against Carlsen, although SH has raised the quality of his game immensely during the last couple of years. Carlsen and Caruana know each other very well and we could be witnesses to match of a very high level, perhaps even the highest since the famous Kasparov-Karpov matches.

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