Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Karjakin wins Candidates - My predictions fail

Sergey Karjakin will play Magnus Carlsen in the 2016 World Championship Match after beating Fabiano Caruana in the final round of the Candidates Tournament. In a winner take all match Karjakin seized on an error by Caruana close to the first time control and sacrificed a rook for a devastating attack. It was all over a few moves later, with Karjakin outright first on 8.5/14. Caruana finished tied for second place with Viswanathan Annad, on 7.5
The other interest in the final round was seeing if Anish Giri could go through the event with 14 straight draws. He did this by drawing with Topalov, although the fact that he was the only unbeaten player in the tournament is probably not as special as it should be.
As for my pre tournament predictions, I got Karjakin very wrong (he was in my bottom 3). I did have Caruana and Anand as possible winners, but I also thought Topalov and Nakamura were in with a chance (they were struggling from the start). My other potential winner, Lev Aronian did start well, but fell away at the end.
Although it is a long way out I feel that Carlsen will retain his title against Karjakin. However it may be a matter of motivation and preparation, and Karjakin may hold the edge in both categories.

Karjakin,Sergey (2760) - Caruana,Fabiano (2794) [B67]
FIDE Candidates 2016 Moscow RUS (14.4), 28.03.2016


Graham Clayton said...

Has any other player matched Giri's feat of drawing every single game in a Candidates tournament?

OpenID said...

It's not in the Candidates, but probably the most famous recent example was Leko drawing all 12 games in Linares 2005. Though the previous year (2004) was also noted for its over 75% draw rate. Karjakin drew all 10 games in Shamkir (Gashimov Memorial) in 2014.