Friday 1 July 2022

It might be all over

 The 2022 Candidates tournament has turned out to be a real bloodbath, with almost every round seeing 2 or 3 decisive games, every player scoring t least one win, but at the same time 7 of the 8 players suffering at least one loss.

The only thing that is clear at this stage is that Ian Nepomniachtchi would have to suffer a mind blowing collapse to not win the tournament, as he is 1.5 points in front with 4 rounds to play. This sets up a potential rematch with magnus Carlsen for the World Championship, although this may be one thing that isn't certain. While I'm not convinced by Carlsen's suggestion that he won't defend his title, he may be less inclined to play Nepo than any other challenger. Not for political reasons, but because he has already won a match against him. The same could be said of playing Caruana a 2nd time, but Carlsen may be motivated to win this time, as the previous match ended with 12 draws over the classical games.

For what it is worth, I expect another Carlsen v Nepo match, although finding a bidder might be tricky (due to political reasons). If the Olympiad proves to be a success, India might go for another high profile event, but it would most likely return to the Middle East.

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