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World Championship Candidates Tournament

Fabiano Caruana9/14(+5 -1 =8)[games]
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov8/14(+3 -1 =10)[games]
Sergey Karjakin8/14(+4 -2 =8)[games]
Ding Liren7.5/14(+1 -0 =13)[games]
Vladimir Kramnik6.5/14(+3 -4 =7)[games]
Alexander Grischuk6.5/14(+2 -3 =9)[games]
Wesley So6/14(+1 -3 =10)[games]
Levon Aronian4.5/14(+1 -6 =7)[games]
* Chess Event Description
World Championship Candidates (2018)

Played between 10–28 March 2018 in Berlin, Germany and organized by Agon, this World Championship Candidates tournament determined who would be the challenger for the World Championship title in 2018. Fabiano Caruana emerged victorious, after leading for most of the time and clinching matters with a last-round win.

The qualifiers for this tournament were the loser of the Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship Match (2016) (Sergey Karjakin), the top two finishers of the World Cup (2017) (Levon Aronian and Ding Liren), the top two finishers in the FIDE Grand Prix 2017 which ended with the FIDE Grand Prix Mallorca (2017) (Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Alexander Grischuk), the next two highest rated players, based on the average of their monthly FIDE ratings in 2017 (Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So), and one wildcard nominated by Agon (former world champion Vladimir Kramnik).

The tiebreak criteria in order of priority were: head-to-head results between the tied players; number of wins; Sonneborn-Berger score; rapid/blitz playoffs.

Four candidates still had chances to win leading into the final round: Caruana (leading by a half point), Mamedyarov (with various favorable tiebreaks in head-to-head and Sonneborn-Berger score), Karjakin (with a favorable head-to-head score against Caruana), and Ding Liren (with a remote chance to win a three-way tie with Caruana and Mamedyarov). Caruana staved off any tiebreak scenarios by winning his last-round game against Grischuk. Crosstable ( :

Elo 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 1 Caruana 2784 ** ½½ ½0 ½½ 1½ ½1 1½ 11 9 2 Mamedyarov 2809 ½½ ** 1½ ½0 1½ ½1 ½½ ½½ 8 3 Karjakin 2763 ½1 0½ ** ½½ ½1 ½½ 1½ 01 8 4 Ding Liren 2769 ½½ ½1 ½½ ** ½½ ½½ ½½ ½½ 7½ 5 Kramnik 2800 0½ 0½ ½0 ½½ ** 10 ½½ 11 6½ 6 Grischuk 2767 ½0 ½0 ½½ ½½ 01 ** 1½ ½½ 6½ 7 So 2799 0½ ½½ 0½ ½½ ½½ 0½ ** 1½ 6 8 Aronian 2794 00 ½½ 10 ½½ 00 ½½ 0½ ** 4½

Fabiano Caruana qualifed for the Carlsen - Caruana World Championship Match (2018)

Official site: ChessBase: TWIC: See also Wikipedia article: Candidates Tournament 2018

Previous edition: World Championship Candidates (2016)

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 56  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. 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. 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. Kramnik vs Caruana 0-1662018World Championship CandidatesC42 Petrov Defense
17. Aronian vs Grischuk ½-½422018World Championship CandidatesD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
18. Caruana vs Karjakin ½-½312018World Championship CandidatesE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
19. Ding Liren vs Mamedyarov ½-½312018World Championship CandidatesE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
20. W So vs Kramnik ½-½572018World Championship CandidatesD41 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
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. Aronian vs Caruana 0-1372018World Championship CandidatesD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 56  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Here is my point about Gris: After Shak and Karjakin both managed only a draw in the last round, they pulled for a moment even on points with Caruana. The only 'hail merry' still in play for them was the still open Gris-Cauruana game itself. And the 'hail marry' was that Caruana would somehow bungle up and lose. I believe Gris could have had the draw, had he offered the deal; by accepting, Caruana would have won the Candidates right there on the spot. Instead, Gris played for whatever slim chance of Black losing blunder there was. I see that as a high level of class and integrity to the game: to all players involved, to spectators, to the tournament.
Premium Chessgames Member

2016 : Car - Kar

2018 : Car - Car

Mar-30-18  dm1991: I don't know if it's helpful or not for the discussion of Fabi/Sasha offering a draw but below is Peter Svidler's word on this (mind You, it was before the Mamedyarov's game finished). 30s or so later Jan Gustafsson said basically the same.

Here's after the Mamedyarov's game finished.

Mar-30-18  not not: The question is not: would Kasparov or Fisher, being in Caruana's shoes, offer a draw to Grischuk.

The question is: would Giri?

Mar-30-18  Petrosianic: <Sally Simpson>: <I know you do not agree with that and are just citing it.>

I suspected it at the time, but the fact that he never offered a draw seems to be a serious objection to the idea.

Mar-30-18  Petrosianic: Now another example of gamesmanship is Ayluerkupp's story. Even though he needed a win, he played a line which allowed a forced draw, because he was confident that his opponent would not take it.
Mar-30-18  Jambow:
Mar-30-18  Jambow: If it really ends up in St Louis I will send pics I promise ;0]
Mar-30-18  Jambow: Svidler only said that because he is biased for Fabiano...
Mar-31-18  jphamlore: Caruana was still wearing his suit jacket at the end of his game with Grischuk; therefore, we can infer Caruana literally was not sweating the game even at the end.

It's interesting that a fantastic player Leinier Dominguez came to help Caruana in his training camp in Miami. Although as has been suggested by <csmath>, if Caruana wants help from a player who has no fear of Carlsen, someone like Bu Xiangzhi would be excellent help.

Mar-31-18  jphamlore: There is good news and bad news from a post-victory interview given by Caruana.

The good news is that we now know that all the players at Candidates are without a shadow of a doubt scrupulously honest people who would never cheat.

The bad news is we know this because according to Caruana, it would have been possible for spectators, who were allowed phones at the site, to have communicated with the players.

Listen in around 17:00 where Caruana is saying that the bathroom was not soundproof.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Whereas my take is I can't believe anyone thinks there was anything at all wrong with either player continuing. You can be sure Maggie is going to make Caruana work to win any won position, so Fab might as well get used to it now.
Mar-31-18  Petrosianic: <OhioChessFan: Whereas my take is I can't believe anyone thinks there was anything at all wrong with either player continuing.>

I can't believe you think anyone is saying that, when the exact opposite has been said about a half dozen times.

I think it's the TV Talk Show Syndrome. They start with a Topic, taken from a news story, then rather than study the story to get the details, everyone just <guesses> what they are. Actually, it's a lot like a Game Show.

But your guess is wrong, so that brings us to Miss Kilgallen...

Mar-31-18  LameJokes55: Bobby Fisher was just 29, when he became the world champion. It was an era, where players from Soviet Union dominated the world chess. After FIDE came into being and in the non-computerized-chess age, he was the only one who had this distinction. Here non-computerized-chess age imply the period, where human capacity was superior to computer with regard to chess.

Players from Soviet Union had better access to chess literature, coaching and high-rated sparring partners. Due to cumulative effect of these factors, it was very difficult for a non-Soviet player to rise high. That’s why Fisher is considered, by many, as one of the greatest of all time. Despite the reign at top being short-lived.

I consider Fisher eccentric and not lunatic. The strange behavior witnessed, whether from an eccentric or a lunatic, is not deliberate. It happens. It is futile to look for logical reason behind eccentricities since none exist.

We do not blame the person suffering from these conditions but empathize.

Mar-31-18  Petrosianic: <I consider Fisher eccentric and not lunatic.>

I didn't realize Fischer was even in this tournament. But the point you're missing is that it's important for Fischer to be considered crazy in order to be able to give him a pass for being a Nazi. You've left him no out.

Apr-01-18  not not: Ding dong.
Whos there?
Almost Giri.
Apr-03-18  5hrsolver: This turned out to be a very exciting candidates tournament. If they can figure out a way to hold the candidates tournament every year and for the world champion to defend the title every year it will be very good for the popularity of chess.
Apr-04-18  Pulo y Gata: It would give more chances for your idol is what you mean, I'm sure.
Apr-04-18  tuttifrutty: So Caruana took it all and he deserved it. Congratulations. Go push the weak viking off the cliff and snatch his crown...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Tisdall writes again:
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Some reactions are priceless:

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Thanks for the link, <Tabanus>!
Apr-05-18  morfishine: Caruana's sweatshirt looks like a re-do of the Tennessee Titans logo
Apr-18-18  Jambow: Just contented at the moment, three Americans leading the Indycar series, starting with Alexander Rossi (Italian American)who was dejected by Formula 1 after his team folded. I was initially irritated that Haas the new <American> F1 team didn't pick him up and have no American driver in either slot. Then Andretti (Italian American) gives him a last minute ride and he wins the 100th Indianapolis 500 as a Rookie.

So now Italian American who like Rossi honed his craft in Europe is challenging for the world chess crown. Batti il ferro finché è caldo ! This should satisfy my checker pattern fetish... Grandpa Cerutti would be pleased.

Perhaps Lasagna tomorrow with a hotdog on the side.

May-29-18  mistermac: <<The Boomerang>: "It's quite simple, first to win 10 games or 7 is the champion...End of story. If they want to draw forever, then let them draw forever.


Nope...too expensive to run it forever.>

And frightfully time consuming.

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