Saturday, 6 August 2016

The last minute winner

The 2016 Sinquefield Cup begins tonight in St Louis, and in the absence of World Champion Magnus Carlsen, a likely winner is a little harder to pick. Going on rating (and past performance) Fabiano Caruana is a good bet, while if current form is your guide, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. If you were a gambler you might think Lev Aronian is worth a flutter, on the grounds he's "due", but I've decided to go in a different direction altogether.
History has given plenty of examples of the last minute replacement, or the "shouldn't be playing at all" entrant, who has overcome the odds to win. Capablanca is an example of the latter, while Denmark in Euro 1992 can show it happens in other sports. Therefore I'm putting a sneaky fiver on Peter Svidler to surprise everyone. Originally Vladimir Kramnik was due to play, but back troubles have forced is withdrawal from the event. So Svidler, who often appears at such events as a commentator, has been drafted as a replacement.
Of course he may be a little rusty, and his Grunfeld keeps getting done over, but he is still a top GM and the fact that he may be under less pressure than his opponent may just be enough to cause a boilover.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More like a last minute loser (pardon the rude expression) after that bad blunder in Round 1.