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Ian Rout
17-02-2020, 09:01 AM
As nobody else has started one that I can see, this is probably a good time to open a thread for the Candidates as the draw has been announced.

https://www.fide.com/news/362

The first round is:

Radjabov - Caruana
Ding Liren - Wang Hao
Giri - Nepo
Grischuk - Alekseenko

The two favourites, if you accept that Caruana and Ding are the favourites, meet in Rounds 3 and 10 (out of 14).

The venue is currently 6 hours behind Aust East Summer so assuming the start time is 2 or 3pm (can't see it mentioned but I'm sure it is somewhere) the first couple of hours at least will be at a good time for us.

Ian Rout
17-02-2020, 09:14 AM
Oh come on. No poll :)
As I couldn't see an option to add a poll to an existing thread (I think it may have been mentioned previously that only an admin can do this), I copied the opening note to a new thread and deleted the original.

The poll options are in pairing number order for the first eight. I think I've covered every scenario.

Desmond
17-02-2020, 09:33 AM
Hard to go passed Caruana in current form.

MichaelBaron
17-02-2020, 10:47 AM
Hard to go passed Caruana in current form.

I agree but form (for players other than Carlsen) is not so consistent. Other than him and Ding, Grishuk may have a chance!

Zelgiusfan5000
17-02-2020, 01:02 PM
Ding’s preparation might be affected by the situation in China, and I heard he and Wang Hao will need to be quarantined for a bit before the tournament. But his chances of winning are still good of course

MichaelBaron
20-02-2020, 10:49 AM
Russia announced that NO Chinese citizens coming from China will be allowed into the country till further announcements. While I am pretty sure that they will have to let Ding and Hao in - it is certainly a good way of putting them off their preparation.

Ian Rout
20-02-2020, 12:27 PM
Russia announced that NO Chinese citizens coming from China will be allowed into the country till further announcements. While I am pretty sure that they will have to let Ding and Hao in - it is certainly a good way of putting them off their preparation.According to other sources, Wang Hao has been in Tokyo and will cancel his return to China and go directly, so shouldn't have a problem.

Frank
20-02-2020, 12:30 PM
According to other sources, Wang Hao has been in Tokyo and will cancel his return to China and go directly, so shouldn't have a problem.

FIDE Statement:

Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 00:02
Statement regarding the Chinese delegation for the Candidates tournament


Yesterday, the Russian Federation announced that the entry of travelers from the People’s Republic of China into their territory will be temporarily suspended, amid the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Effective tomorrow, February 20, the ban will affect Chinese citizens traveling for "private, educational, working and tourist purposes".

This ban does NOT affect official, business and humanitarian visas, which for now will continue to be issued. The Chinese delegation for the Candidates tournament has been issued a humanitarian visa, which englobes travels with sport, cultural or scientific purposes. As such, they should find no impediments entering the Russian Federation, but they have been advised to travel well in advance. The Chinese Chess Association had planned to send their delegation on March 1, but now they consider arriving even earlier.

At the present time, it is not expected that the Chinese delegation should undergo a mandatory quarantine, but the situation changes by the hour, and each territory applies different measures. To be on the safe side, we are studying the possibility of offering the Chinese delegation to occupy a country house in the Moscow region upon arrival, with medical assistance at their disposal. This observation period will ensure that they will be able to continue their trip to Yekaterinburg without any issues, even if the security measures in the Sverdlovsk region are tightened in the forthcoming days.

FIDE will do everything in our hands to minimize the inconveniences to the Chinese delegation under these exceptional circumstances.

It must be noted that Wang Hao will be traveling to Russia directly from Japan, where he has been for the past few weeks.

Kevin Bonham
06-03-2020, 05:39 PM
Radjabov has withdrawn for personal reasons and been replaced by Vachier-Lagrave.

MVL finally gets to play in the Candidates! [EDIT: if it still happens.]

Bill Gletsos
06-03-2020, 09:10 PM
Radjabov has withdrawn for personal reasons and been replaced by Vachier-Lagrave.

MVL finally gets to play in the Candidates!The filling is from Radjabov on Instagram


Dear compatriots, chess fans, the entire chess community, colleagues and friends. It is not correct, I have no personal reasons to withdraw from the tournament. I will come up very soon with the statement and with letters that were sent to FIDE and their answers

Bill Gletsos
06-03-2020, 09:24 PM
And this from Chessbase:

Azerisport quotes Radjabov's statement, indicating that he fears a risk of Coronavirus infection potentially disrupting the tournament and requested that FIDE postpone the event. FIDE declined, and therefore Radjabov is withdrawing.

Kevin Bonham
06-03-2020, 09:28 PM
And here we go: here's Radjabov's letter:

https://www.chess.com/news/view/candidates-chess-radjabov-withdraws-vachier-lagrave

According to his letter he was unhappy with FIDE's response to coronavirus issues and unsuccessfully asked for the event to be postponed.

Wang Hao is also quoted as thinking it should be postponed.

Poor form if FIDE mis-characterised this as "personal reasons".

Kevin Bonham
06-03-2020, 09:59 PM
Emil Sutovsky agrees that Radjabov's reasons were as stated and says "personal reasons" was used as a euphemism to protect Radjabov from being accused of over-reacting:

"We used the explanation “personal reasons”, although perhaps it would have been more accurate to use the phrase “personal decision”, precisely so as to avoid Teimour being accused of an over-exaggeratedly sharp reaction to the possible threat."

https://chess24.com/en/read/news/mvl-to-play-the-candidates-instead-of-radjabov

I think it's best to say someone's stated reason was what it was; it's the withdrawer's problem if people then decide that reason was silly.

MichaelBaron
07-03-2020, 10:32 AM
One thing clear - Fide does not want to postpone after all the organisational efforts and even if another player (e.g. Hao) refuses to start in March, they will still run the tournament as planned.

Ian Rout
11-03-2020, 01:48 PM
The Candidates web page is up at

https://en.candidates-2020.com/

Play starts at 4pm local which is 10pm Aust Eastern Summer, except for one hour earlier in the last round. Yekaterinburg evidently doesn't have daylight saving, and Australia doesn't end until a couple of days after the finish. Rest days are 20, 24 and 28 March and 1 April.

A reminder that the poll closes on 17 March (next Tuesday). The closing time is the peculiar 10:06am, because unless I missed something the duration had to be an integer - possibly the mods can change it to the kick-off time, if not then put your vote in before morning tea. And remember that Radjabov is not a sensible option but Other is.

Kevin Bonham
11-03-2020, 02:20 PM
The closing time is the peculiar 10:06am, because unless I missed something the duration had to be an integer - possibly the mods can change it to the kick-off time, if not then put your vote in before morning tea.

Yes the polls here only accept whole days as duration lengths; I don't believe even the mods can change it.


And remember that Radjabov is not a sensible option but Other is.

I have marked Radjabov as withdrawn.

ElevatorEscapee
16-03-2020, 09:21 PM
So the voting cut-off is approximately 12 hours before the games start?

Metro
17-03-2020, 11:03 AM
Games start in 10 hours according to chess24

https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-tournaments/fide-candidates-2020/1/1/1

Ian Rout
17-03-2020, 11:52 AM
So the voting cut-off is approximately 12 hours before the games start?Yes, discussed above. Polls don't allow a closing time, only a whole number of days. If you missed the cutoff just put your choice in a post and you can still boast about it later.

Metro
17-03-2020, 12:46 PM
4122

Ian Rout
17-03-2020, 02:05 PM
4122
On a related subject, chess24 has Svidler and Gustaffson commentating and has also promised appearances by Carlsen and Short.

As chess24 is prone to taking ten-minute breaks that go for twenty minutes, even when one of their commentators hasn't just withhdrawn, it's useful to have a backup. A couple of options:

* chess.com will have guest commentators Anand, Nakamura and So.

* can't find the link again, but last time I saw it the Saint Louis Chess Club was doing "live abridged" coverage, whatever that is, led by Seirawan.

Probably others if anyone has the energy to look. Chessbase will certainly have moves but I can't find a reference to commentary. The official site has a link for video, but I'm guessing it will be the chess24 coverage. Plus Russian and other coverage for multi-linguists.

Desmond
17-03-2020, 03:05 PM
On a related subject, chess24 has Svidler and Gustaffson commentating and has also promised appearances by Carlsen and Short.
Their main banner ads show the first three and Lawrence Trent. Hopefully Short's appearance will be, uh, brief.

Ian Rout
17-03-2020, 03:28 PM
Their main banner ads show the first three and Lawrence Trent. Hopefully Short's appearance will be, uh, brief.The last I read I think the plan had been that Kramnik would do the first half and Short substitute mid-way. Simplest would be just to find another top player to replace Kramnik, or carry on without him, but we'll see.

Kevin Bonham
17-03-2020, 05:19 PM
I am reminded of Kramnik's comments this interview (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/vladimir-kramnik-i-never-considered-myself-a-genius) when I read his comments above, eg:

"I think the likelihood of a major war or some major social cataclysm has risen sharply in the last 10-15 years. It seems to me we’re approaching a point of no return, after which something very big and unpleasant will occur. That “something” will hurt, of course, everyone and all spheres of life. But then, from the ruins, something new will arise. "

ER
17-03-2020, 10:53 PM
All of the candidates keep on touching their faces, scratching their noses and sticking their fingers in their mouths, particularly Fabi!
Then they touch pieces and pawns and their opponents do the same!
At the same time the World Champion commentator takes a break to do his own laundry.
I always knew chess players are weirdos.

Kevin Bonham
17-03-2020, 11:28 PM
Really hard to concentrate on controlling such mannerisms while focused on playing. It's such a nervous business, often a player can't keep their hands still!

Maybe down the track they could look at having some kind of glove thing that a player sticks their hand into only when they're ready to play a move.

Kevin Bonham
17-03-2020, 11:54 PM
Grischuk has found an opponent who plays even more slowly than he does; I did not think that that was possible.

MichaelBaron
18-03-2020, 12:38 AM
Grischuk has found an opponent who plays even more slowly than he does; I did not think that that was possible.

Slowly..and indecisively.

Kevin Bonham
18-03-2020, 01:03 AM
Looks like Ding (who was going well early on) is going down with white here. Alekseenko seems to have escaped (lucky).

Kevin Bonham
18-03-2020, 01:13 AM
Commentators are claiming Giri is going to get a fortress but this position that could be reached:

8/8/5k2/8/4R2P/5P2/q5K1/8 w - - 0 1

looks like a fortress but is actually a loss. Often these positions once the pawn is off the second rank are losses because it gives the queen enough air to break up the fortress. (Again, memories of seven and a half hours of Kengis vs Arlandi at Mt Buller come flooding back!)

Kevin Bonham
18-03-2020, 01:29 AM
Ah Giri has avoided that by not winning the pawn. But it is still lost if the a-pawn goes off the board and the commentators have just realised this.

47.Rg4 might be a draw though, diverting the Q from taking the a-pawn.

MichaelBaron
18-03-2020, 01:32 AM
Also, very strange/weak game by Ding...

Kevin Bonham
18-03-2020, 01:39 AM
So Giri let the pawn go, unnecessarily. He's objectively lost now.

It looks like Nepo should have played ...Qf3+ instead of ...Qa1 but now it doesn't matter.

Capablanca-Fan
18-03-2020, 01:48 AM
Their main banner ads show the first three and Lawrence Trent. Hopefully Short's appearance will be, uh, brief.

Hou Yifan has proven more fluent as a commentator in English.

Desmond
18-03-2020, 11:51 AM
Good to see Magnus shaved for the occasion. :)

Capablanca-Fan
18-03-2020, 01:12 PM
Good to see Magnus shaved for the occasion. :)

Interesting comment considering your avatar ;)

Desmond
18-03-2020, 01:48 PM
Interesting comment considering your avatar ;)

:) He was looking shaggy last week. I think clean shaven suits him better.

MichaelBaron
18-03-2020, 02:57 PM
So Giri let the pawn go, unnecessarily. He's objectively lost now.

It looks like Nepo should have played ...Qf3+ instead of ...Qa1 but now it doesn't matter.

I think some players are yet to get adjusted to the tension/playing atmosphere.
Both Ding and Giri played rather strangely.

Desmond
18-03-2020, 04:05 PM
Watching the commentry replay on chess24, and have to say I'm loving it! The banter between the three of them: Magnus, Gustafsson, and Trent, so good. Magnus to Trent - "That is why you're the host, not the pundit".

Kevin Bonham
18-03-2020, 05:59 PM
Ian Rogers @GMIanRogers
2m
The #Candidates2020 protocol for coronavirus is as follows: if one of the 8 Grandmasters tests positive for #COVID19, the tournament is stopped immediately. The event will then resume later in the year with all points earned to date being carried over.
If normal flu, play on.

Garvinator
18-03-2020, 09:11 PM
Hou Yifan has proven more fluent as a commentator in English.
Whilst I had a free crack at Hou for not playing in the latest Women's World Championship cycle after demanding that the cycle be changed from the ridiculous system that was in effect before, during the Vladivostok section of the last Women's World Championship match, I was extremely impressed with both her level of commentary, and yes, her fluency in English, considering it would not be her first language.

As was said during that match, Hou's English speaking is more fluent that Nigel's :)

Desmond
18-03-2020, 09:11 PM
Instead of Carlsen today we have Firouzja, who sounds like is broadcasting from a submarine speaking into a toaster.

MichaelBaron
18-03-2020, 09:57 PM
As was said during that match, Hou's English speaking is more fluent that Nigel's :)

Not to mention her ability to tailor commentary to the audience's needs.

Kevin Bonham
18-03-2020, 10:26 PM
Ding having another bad game. Hope he doesn't have coronavirus.

MichaelBaron
18-03-2020, 11:03 PM
Ding having another bad game. Hope he doesn't have coronavirus.

Not easy for some to stay focused on chess in such atmosphere. Could be his case

Kevin Bonham
18-03-2020, 11:20 PM
Not easy for some to stay focused on chess in such atmosphere. Could be his case

Commentators saying his preparation was disrupted by a few coronavirus related issues.

Kevin Bonham
19-03-2020, 12:22 AM
Caruana - Alekseenko 1-0 was a bit of a wallop.

MichaelBaron
19-03-2020, 10:10 AM
Commentators saying his preparation was disrupted by a few coronavirus related issues.

Grishuk referred to food poisoning...

Desmond
19-03-2020, 09:02 PM
Magnus is back on commentary today :D

Kevin Bonham
19-03-2020, 09:12 PM
Nepo is playing the Winawer!

Kevin Bonham
19-03-2020, 09:27 PM
Grischuk and Wang are playing an exchange French by transposition where each side has wasted a move.

Desmond
19-03-2020, 09:55 PM
Nepo is playing the Winawer!

And Alekseenko chickened out and avoided the critical Qg4. With my bishop on a4 and kingside not decimated I'd be pretty happy as black here (at move 11).

Kevin Bonham
19-03-2020, 10:30 PM
And Alekseenko chickened out and avoided the critical Qg4. With my bishop on a4 and kingside not decimated I'd be pretty happy as black here (at move 11).

Yes 10.Be2 is a minor line (main line is 10.Bd3) and I really cannot see the point of it.

I'd be very happy with this as black.

Desmond
19-03-2020, 10:39 PM
Looks like Caruana is finally out of prep on move 18, over 1 hour ahead on the clock.

Capablanca-Fan
20-03-2020, 02:16 AM
Looks like Caruana is finally out of prep on move 18, over 1 hour ahead on the clock.

Ding scores first win, against the other main favorite. Looks liked very nimble untangling, whereupon his material advantage in the form of two central Ps would make itself known. Caruana's desperate N for 2P sac never had a real chance.

Desmond
20-03-2020, 11:41 AM
Ding scores first win, against the other main favorite. Looks liked very nimble untangling, whereupon his material advantage in the form of two central Ps would make itself known. Caruana's desperate N for 2P sac never had a real chance.

Yes not unlike Giri-Nepo in Rd1, the better prepared player ended up with the dodgy position and went on to lose.
Good to see Ding get on the board.

Desmond
20-03-2020, 07:49 PM
Yes 10.Be2 is a minor line (main line is 10.Bd3) and I really cannot see the point of it.

I'd be very happy with this as black.

Just catching up on the second half of the commentary replay.

Magnus really doesn't rate the French, does he.

Comments like "the dream French is a nightmare position".

Nepo held the draw though. Didn't really seem to be much danger for him either.

Capablanca-Fan
21-03-2020, 01:17 AM
Jan Gustafsson: Alireza, are you rooting for anyone in this field?
Alireza Firouzja: No, it doesn't matter for me
Lawrence: You've got to think of the guy you're going to play in 2022
Magnus Carlsen: Spoiler alert! It's not going to be any of those guys, Alireza

From this video clip (https://clips.twitch.tv/DullSmoothLarkBigBrother).

Frank
21-03-2020, 04:08 AM
Jan Gustafsson: Alireza, are you rooting for anyone in this field?
Alireza Firouzja: No, it doesn't matter for me
Lawrence: You've got to think of the guy you're going to play in 2022
Magnus Carlsen: Spoiler alert! It's not going to be any of those guys, Alireza

From this video clip (https://clips.twitch.tv/DullSmoothLarkBigBrother).

A compliment from his [Alireza's] elders

Desmond
21-03-2020, 07:44 AM
Jan Gustafsson: Alireza, are you rooting for anyone in this field?
Alireza Firouzja: No, it doesn't matter for me
Lawrence: You've got to think of the guy you're going to play in 2022
Magnus Carlsen: Spoiler alert! It's not going to be any of those guys, Alireza

From this video clip (https://clips.twitch.tv/DullSmoothLarkBigBrother).

Yeah Magnus is savage. Amazing commentary.

MichaelBaron
21-03-2020, 10:37 AM
Jan Gustafsson: Alireza, are you rooting for anyone in this field?
Alireza Firouzja: No, it doesn't matter for me
Lawrence: You've got to think of the guy you're going to play in 2022
Magnus Carlsen: Spoiler alert! It's not going to be any of those guys, Alireza

From this video clip (https://clips.twitch.tv/DullSmoothLarkBigBrother).

Magnus: Given the Virus I just hope they are all fine and in December I get AN opponent.

Scott Colliver
21-03-2020, 06:53 PM
We have Magnus and Svidler tonight, should be very good.

Desmond
21-03-2020, 08:47 PM
We have Magnus and Svidler tonight, should be very good.

Yes that will be good. They also were together on Rd 1. Carlsen did the first few hours, and Svidler the last few. They overlapped for a while.

Capablanca-Fan
22-03-2020, 06:31 AM
R4: all draws, but all hard fought to only a few pieces on each side. MLV v Grishchuk went to KvK.

Kevin Bonham
22-03-2020, 09:31 AM
Grischuk was lucky to survive as MVL missed 30.Re4! Grischuk's time management is so bad he might do better if there were time controls every 10 moves.

MichaelBaron
22-03-2020, 11:12 AM
Grischuk was lucky to survive as MVL missed 30.Re4! Grischuk's time management is so bad he might do better if there were time controls every 10 moves.

His time management has been that bad (and at times even worse)...every since he started playing top level chess. He is used to it and so are his opponents :). Also, Nepo was in trouble at some point.

Garvinator
22-03-2020, 08:44 PM
Grischuk was lucky to survive as MVL missed 30.Re4! Grischuk's time management is so bad he might do better if there were time controls every 10 moves.
Some players are time trouble addicts. They need to double and triple check everything all the time and the result is that they run themselves wayyyy short of time. The advancing shortness of their time on the clock forces them to start making moves. I think Grischuk has commented previously that he feels that when he is short of time, he has spent so much time getting a feel for the position that the lack of time is not that much of a disadvantage (I am paraphrasing something I recall quite a time ago).

I think this just trying to justify his poor time management. Quite often in a lot of games, there are a few moves where you do not need to think much at all. Just making five moves like this for Grischuk would make his playing much better.

I think the time control does not matter for Grischuk. Even if the time control was every ten moves, he would still be chronically short of time at each point.

Desmond
22-03-2020, 10:34 PM
Some craziness going on in Alekseenko-MVL game. Gustafsson - we need a piece counting expert on this program!

Kevin Bonham
22-03-2020, 11:33 PM
Some craziness going on in Alekseenko-MVL game. Gustafsson - we need a piece counting expert on this program!

And through all the carnage the computer barely moves off 0.00.

Giri just missed one very strong line but is still well placed.

Kevin Bonham
23-03-2020, 12:53 AM
I thought Wang might have resigned prematurely but no this is lost.

https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-tournaments/fide-candidates-2020/5/1/4

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bf5 7. O-O Be7
8. Re1 O-O 9. Nbd2 Nd6 10. Nf1 Bxd3 11. Qxd3 c6 12. Bf4 Na6 13. h4 Nc7 14.
Ng5 Bxg5 15. Bxg5 f6 16. Bf4 Qd7 17. Ng3 Rae8 18. Bxd6 Qxd6 19. Nf5 Qd7 20.
Qh3 Kh8 21. h5 Rxe1+ 22. Rxe1 Re8 23. Rxe8+ Nxe8 24. g4 a6 25. b3 Qe6 26.
Ne3 Nd6 27. h6 g6 28. c4 dxc4 29. bxc4 Kg8 30. Qh2 Kf7 31. c5 Nb5 32. Qb8
Qd7 33. Qh8 Ke6 34. f4 Nxd4 35. Qg8+ Qf7 36. Qc8+ Qd7 37. Qg8+ Qf7 38. Qd8
Qd7 39. f5+ gxf5 40. gxf5+ Nxf5 41. Qxd7+ Kxd7 42. Nxf5 Ke6 43. Ne3 1-0

Kevin Bonham
23-03-2020, 01:22 AM
This is the sort of line that shows why it is lost


Bonham,Kevin - Club player (Fritz)
Fritz 16 Easy Game

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Bf5 7.0-0 Be7 8.Re1 0-0 9.Nbd2 Nd6 10.Nf1 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 c6 12.Bf4 Na6 13.h4 Nc7 14.Ng5 Bxg5 15.Bxg5 f6 16.Bf4 Qd7 17.Ng3 Rae8 18.Bxd6 Qxd6 19.Nf5 Qd7 20.Qh3 Kh8 21.h5 Rxe1+ 22.Rxe1 Re8 23.Rxe8+ Nxe8 24.g4 a6 25.b3 Qe6 26.Ne3 Nd6 27.h6 g6 28.c4 dxc4 29.bxc4 Kg8 30.Qh2 Kf7 31.c5 Nb5 32.Qb8 Qd7 33.Qh8 Ke6 34.f4 Nxd4 35.Qg8+ Qf7 36.Qc8+ Qd7 37.Qg8+ Qf7 38.Qd8 Qd7 39.f5+ gxf5 40.gxf5+ Nxf5 41.Qxd7+ Kxd7 42.Nxf5 Ke6 43.Ne3 Ke5 44.Kf2 Kf4 45.Nc4 Kg5 46.Na5 Kxh6 47.Nxb7 Kg5 48.Na5 Kf5 49.Nxc6 Ke6 50.Nd4+ Kd5 51.c6 Kd6 52.Kg3 Kc7 53.Kg4 h6 54.Kf5 h5 55.Ke6 h4 56.Kd5 h3 57.Nf3 f5 58.a4 a5 59.Kc5 f4 60.Kd5 Kc8 61.Kd6 Kd8 62.c7+ Kc8 63.Ne5 h2 64.Nc6 h1=Q 65.Ne7+ Kb7 66.c8=Q+ Kb6 67.Nd5+ Line

Kevin Bonham
23-03-2020, 01:25 AM
Grischuk wants the tournament stopped.

Capablanca-Fan
23-03-2020, 07:43 AM
Another line, if Black hopes for a rare case where KNP v K is drawn:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Bf5 7.0-0 Be7 8.Re1 0-0 9.Nbd2 Nd6 10.Nf1 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 c6 12.Bf4 Na6 13.h4 Nc7 14.Ng5 Bxg5 15.Bxg5 f6 16.Bf4 Qd7 17.Ng3 Rae8 18.Bxd6 Qxd6 19.Nf5 Qd7 20.Qh3 Kh8 21.h5 Rxe1+ 22.Rxe1 Re8 23.Rxe8+ Nxe8 24.g4 a6 25.b3 Qe6 26.Ne3 Nd6 27.h6 g6 28.c4 dxc4 29.bxc4 Kg8 30.Qh2 Kf7 31.c5 Nb5 32.Qb8 Qd7 33.Qh8 Ke6 34.f4 Nxd4 35.Qg8+ Qf7 36.Qc8+ Qd7 37.Qg8+ Qf7 38.Qd8 Qd7 39.f5+ gxf5 40.gxf5+ Nxf5 41.Qxd7+ Kxd7 42.Nxf5 Ke6 43.Ne3 Ke5 44.Kf2 Kd4 45.Ng4 Kxc5 46.Nxf6 Kd6 47.Nxh7 Ke7 48.Ke3 Kf7 49.Ng5+ Kg6 50.h7 Kg7 {Black might have tried to head for this position, because if all Q-side Ps were swapped, this would be a draw. White move his N without losing the Ph7, but any move to protect it with the K is stalemate. But Black can't arrange to swap his 3 Ps for White's 1 P on the Q-side} 51.Kd4 b6 52.Ke5 Kh8 53.Kd6 c5 54.Kd5 Kg7 55.Ne6+ Kxh7 56.Nc7 a5 57.Kc4 {now the Black Ps are fixed, and White wins them all} 57...Kg6 58.a4 Kf6 59.Nd5+ Ke6 60.Nxb6 Kd6 61.Kb5 c4 62.Nxc4+ Kc7 63.Nxa5 Kb8 64.Kb6 Ka8 65.Nb3 Kb8 66.a5 Ka8 67.a6 Kb8 {Now White must avoid that drawing position by pushing the P further until the N can keep the K out of there—or mate him} 68.Nc5 Ka8 69.Ne6 Kb8 {If this position occurred with Black to move, it would still lose by 70... Ka8 71.Nc7+ Kb8 72.a7+ Kc8 73.a8=Q#} 70.a7+ Ka8 71.Nc7# Line

machomortensen
23-03-2020, 08:49 AM
It seems, as Kevin Bonham mentioned, that Alexander Grischuk finally woke up ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmr3LJ_zT98

ER
23-03-2020, 10:29 AM
wow when is he withdrawing then? he 'd play with the white pieces vs Fabi tonight! :(

Kevin Bonham
23-03-2020, 10:44 AM
wow when is he withdrawing then? he 'd play with the white pieces vs Fabi tonight! :(

I hope he's just having a whinge.

ER
23-03-2020, 11:07 AM
I hope he's just having a whinge.

oh ok thanks. I remember one of his statements before the start, giving a 50% chance for the tournament to continue or cancelled / postponed.

I found that source with his exact words!

.. Alexander Grischuk told TASS: ... that the tournament will start but won't finish is around 50%.

Frank
23-03-2020, 11:09 AM
wow when is he withdrawing then? :(

At 3 min 55 sec: "No, I'm not talking about myself, I'm talking in general. I'm not saying it should be stopped because I don't want to play, that's not what I'm trying to say."

ER
23-03-2020, 11:19 AM
At 3 min 55 sec: "No, I'm not talking about myself, I'm talking in general. I'm not saying it should be stopped because I don't want to play, that's not what I'm trying to say."

Thanks Frank, going to watch / listen to it later on. Actually, I find most of his interviews interesting as well as entertaining!

Ian Rout
23-03-2020, 12:59 PM
I hope he's just having a whinge.It doesn't hurt to prepare an excuse in case you don't win; it's not so plausible if you wait until the end and then say it should have been stopped.

He's right in saying that most sport around the world has been suspended, but then many people are still going to work. It depends which you think the conditions of the event most closely resemble.

MichaelBaron
23-03-2020, 02:04 PM
Nepo got a chance...he is one of those least concerned about the virus :)

ER
23-03-2020, 02:55 PM
It doesn't hurt to prepare an excuse in case you don't win; it's not so plausible if you wait until the end and then say it should have been stopped...

Absolute nonsense, completely out of character for Grischuk to come up with such shitty excuses.
If you don't pick on him for whatever reason, then why you don't express similar views for the GMs
whom he shares 3rd place with or those who are even placed lower than him in the ladder at present?
Caruana complained about not having enough time to prepare, and Ding demanded to change hotels because there was no window in his room!

Ian Rout
23-03-2020, 04:12 PM
Absolute nonsense, completely out of character for Grischuk to come up with such shitty excuses.
If you don't pick on him for whatever reason, then why you don't express similar views for the GMs
whom he shares 3rd place with or those who are even placed lower than him in the ladder at present?
Caruana complained about not having enough time to prepare, and Ding demanded to change hotels because there was no window in his room!I didn't say that there was anything wrong with it or that I wouldn't do the same myself.

However somebody changing their hotel room is their own business and doesn't really require discussion. Arguing that the Candidates should be cancelled, especially when nearly half-way through, is a bit more significant.

ER
23-03-2020, 05:00 PM
I or that I wouldn't do the same myself.

I don't believe you would, I can't recall you finding excuses when you didn't win tournaments.

Desmond
23-03-2020, 07:15 PM
And through all the carnage the computer barely moves off 0.00. Yes, in the post game, MVL indicated he thought after Rxg6 that all lines will be leading to a draw. Carlsen also seemed very familiar with all of it during the commentary. Alekseenko was up to the challenge.

Ian Rout
23-03-2020, 08:32 PM
I don't believe you would, I can't recall you finding excuses when you didn't win tournaments.I find lots, but I only tell them to myself. Others wouldn't be interested. All chess players make excuses - Tartakover (I think) noted that he never won against a completely healthy opponent.

On the subject of Grischuk's complaint, the Candidates obviously won't be stopped now it's in progress (barring a positive test result). I think there are two reasons that FIDE was adamant about going ahead. One is that they only got the cycle back on track a few years ago and don't want to have to do it again. The other is that the World Championship stages are the mileposts that everything else is built around; in most other things you can interrupt, truncate or even cancel the season and start the next year as normal, in chess it's a rolling cycle.

MichaelBaron
23-03-2020, 08:34 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaczLYSrIKM&feature=youtu.be
Grishuk is right!

Kevin Bonham
23-03-2020, 11:52 PM
1r1b2k1/5pp1/1PQ5/r7/3p2q1/3P2Pp/1R2NP1P/1R5K b - - 0 33

Ding missed the ridiculous swindle 33...Rxb6!! drawing here.

Peter Heine Nielsen @PHChess
12m
33...Rxb6! 34 Rxb6 Qxe2 35 Rb8 Re5!! 36 Rxd8+ Kh7 Threatening 37...Qe1+ secures the draw. Never seen that theme before!

Kevin Bonham
24-03-2020, 12:18 AM
Nepo wins.

Kevin Bonham
24-03-2020, 12:36 AM
Think the commentators said Ding is unwell.

Kevin Bonham
24-03-2020, 01:41 AM
Think the commentators said Ding is unwell.

Actually they may have said Nepomniachtchi is. He was obviously coughing during the press conference but says he has tested negative for coronavirus.

machomortensen
24-03-2020, 01:48 AM
FIDE, not Grischuk, is responsible ... I know that FIDE has long traditions for being immune for bad press in the west, but ...

MichaelBaron
24-03-2020, 02:48 AM
FIDE, not Grischuk, is responsible ... I know that FIDE has long traditions for being immune for bad press in the west, but ...

Dvorkovich was told to go ahead and complete the tournament....so he will.

Capablanca-Fan
24-03-2020, 04:18 AM
Actually they may have said Nepomniachtchi is. He was obviously coughing during the press conference but says he has tested negative for coronavirus.

That's good. Not affecting his play since he is now on an impressive +3 and a full point lead after R6.

ElevatorEscapee
24-03-2020, 01:09 PM
Amusing quote from Anish Giri as he was thinking his 6th round game was going to be a draw (Giri later won), "This tournament is like a birthday of Ian, except the other kids, they're coming, they're giving him presents, but they're not really happy to be there, nor are they really happy for the birthday boy. They pretend to be his friends, but in fact, he's the only one happy with his presents."

Leonid Sandler
24-03-2020, 03:01 PM
Russian SBS Radio reporting about Candidates and other chess stuff.

https://www.sbs.com.au/language/russian/audio/empty-bleachers-and-refusal-of-handshakes-the-chess-tournament-of-challengers-2020

Ian Rout
25-03-2020, 01:51 PM
That's good. Not affecting his play since he is now on an impressive +3 and a full point lead after R6.
Tonight's round is crucial as MVL plays White vs Nepo. If MVL wins he is level on points and ahead on the first tie-break (head to head), though there is still the reverse colours game to go.

Arguably the best placed player of those three wins behind is Grischuk, as he has White vs Nepo in the second cycle and a win would put him ahead on tie-break (though still needing another win to make a tie). Caruana has Black vs Nepo, Wang would only be level with Nepo on the second (number of wins) even if he gets into a tie, as well as head to head, so would go to S-B or playoff. Giri has both of those problems. [I think I got all that right, but check it before placing any bets.]

We also have Caruana v Wang and Giri v Grischuk tonight, pairing the four players in equal third, so that could shake things up.

Kevin Bonham
25-03-2020, 09:03 PM
Nepo plays the Winawer again!

Desmond
25-03-2020, 09:09 PM
Nepo plays the Winawer again!

You beat me to it :)

Desmond
25-03-2020, 10:01 PM
Magnus continues to be unimpressed by the French. Is it impossible to imagine a Carlsen-Nepo championship featuring the French? :)

Had a look at his games, the most recent one I could find with the winawer was a rapid but rather unfortunate ending. Just a rapid, but still.

Magnus Carlsen vs Vassily Ivanchuk
20th Amber Tournament (Rapid) (2011) (rapid)

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.Qg4 Ne7 6.Qxg7 Rg8 7.Qxh7 Qa5 8.Bd2 cxd4 9.Nb1 Nbc6 10.Nf3 Bd7 11.a3 O-O-O 12.c3 dxc3 13.Nxc3 d4 14.Nb5 Bxd2+ 15.Nxd2 Nf5 16.Rc1 Kb8 17.b4 Qa6 18.Qh3 Nxe5 19.Nxd4 Qd6 20.N4b3 Bc6 21.Rg1 Bd5 22.Qc3 Bxb3 23.Nxb3 Nh4 24.Be2 Nxg2+ 25.Kf1 Nf4 26.Qe3 Rxg1+ 27.Kxg1 Qd5 28.Bg4 Qg2# 0-1

Kevin Bonham
25-03-2020, 10:08 PM
I think I've seen that game somewhere before. It wasn't just the ending that was unfortunate for Magnus, it was most of the game.

Desmond
25-03-2020, 10:13 PM
I think I've seen that game somewhere before. It wasn't just the ending that was unfortunate for Magnus, it was most of the game.

Yes looks like he was worse for much of it. And he appears to avoiding similar lines since.

Kevin Bonham
25-03-2020, 11:07 PM
Not sure what Nepo was doing with 18...c4.

Kevin Bonham
26-03-2020, 01:39 AM
Still not sure. I've always understood you just don't do that in the vast majority of positions because locking the Q side just gives white a free hand on the K side.

Capablanca-Fan
26-03-2020, 05:38 AM
Still not sure. I've always understood you just don't do that in the vast majority of positions because locking the Q side just gives white a free hand on the K side.

I've always understood the same. But computers don't seem to mind it as much. Ian Rogers said something similar after 8... c4 in Anand - Carlsen World Championship Match (2013), Chennai IND, rd 9, Nov-21 (https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1737896). On the Chess24 site, the on-site computer thought that it was only 0.23 worse than its favoured choices, and still "equal" at 0.46. Even in the following line entered into Stockfish 8, 6... c4 is not the first choice (which is 6.. Nge7), it is still only 0.37, hardly worse than the ~0.2 assessment after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5.

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 (4...c4 {maybe a bit too early because it can be undermined, but even this is not terrible: ~0.7 at move 6} 5.b3 b5 6.a4 Qa5) 4... Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 c4 [6...Nge7] line

Ian Rout
26-03-2020, 10:04 AM
Magnus continues to be unimpressed by the French. Is it impossible to imagine a Carlsen-Nepo championship featuring the French? :)You'd think Nepo might put it back in the bag now.

But it would be entertaining. The last Winawer in a World Championship match looks like 1961 (though the Tarrasch appeared in 1978).

MichaelBaron
26-03-2020, 10:39 AM
According to Bareev - the overall standard of play is poor and players are in ''no mood to play chess'' (well understandably).

According to me - agreed with Bareev.

Kevin Bonham
26-03-2020, 05:55 PM
Candidates Stopped!

Today, the government of the Russian Federation announced that starting March 27, 2020, Russia interrupts air traffic with other countries without indicating any time frames.

FIDE can not continue the tournament without guarantees for the players' and officials' safe and timely return home. In this situation and on the basis of clause 1.5. Rules of Candidates Tournament, the FIDE President decided to stop the tournament. It will be continued later, with the exact dates to be announced as soon, as the global situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic will allow. As it was stipulated by the special rules agreed with the players before the start of the event, the results of the 7 rounds played remain valid, and the tournament will be resumed in the same composition starting with the games of the 8th round. FIDE is grateful to the players, officials, volunteers and the entire team of organizers, including the Chess Federation of Russia and the main partner of the tournament - SIMA-Land.

Sincerely,
Arkady Dvorkovich,
FIDE President

machomortensen
26-03-2020, 06:19 PM
Good, but unfortunately much to late ...

Garvinator
26-03-2020, 06:22 PM
You'd think Nepo might put it back in the bag now.

But it would be entertaining. The last Winawer in a World Championship match looks like 1961 (though the Tarrasch appeared in 1978).
The first game of the 1960 World Championship match between Botvinnik - Tal was a Winawer, with Botvinnik as black. Tal won that game convincingly and Botvinnik never used the French again for the whole match.

In the 1961 re-match, in game 12, Botvinnik played the Winawer as black and Tal won that game also.

Having had a look at all the results from 1960 onwards, the 1961 match was the last time the Winawer appeared in a World Championship match (be it the official Fide version, or the matches involving Kasparov 1993-2000)

It seems at the very highest of levels, the Winawer is looking suspect for black.

As noted by Ian, a few other French's have appeared, but still the record is not great for black in those either.

Magnus's commentary on the French certainly appears accurate at the highest level.

Garvinator
26-03-2020, 06:53 PM
Candidates Stopped!

Today, the government of the Russian Federation announced that starting March 27, 2020, Russia interrupts air traffic with other countries without indicating any time frames.

FIDE can not continue the tournament without guarantees for the players' and officials' safe and timely return home. In this situation and on the basis of clause 1.5. Rules of Candidates Tournament, the FIDE President decided to stop the tournament. It will be continued later, with the exact dates to be announced as soon, as the global situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic will allow. As it was stipulated by the special rules agreed with the players before the start of the event, the results of the 7 rounds played remain valid, and the tournament will be resumed in the same composition starting with the games of the 8th round. FIDE is grateful to the players, officials, volunteers and the entire team of organizers, including the Chess Federation of Russia and the main partner of the tournament - SIMA-Land.

Sincerely,
Arkady Dvorkovich,
FIDE President

With Russia shutting the door to international flights, the decision to postpone the tournament is warranted, but geez it is going to make things awkward from now on for the rest of the cycle.

Assuming that the second half of the match will be held at the same venue, it is likely that this postponement will be at least two months, if not more. That pushes the second half to restart in about June, finishing July.

Despite the contracts, I would not be surprised if the second half of the match is played somewhere as soon as a country has re-opened their borders to air traffic and all the players can get to that country from their home country.

Arkady Dvorkovich was hoping to play the 2020 World Championship Match between Carlsen and the winner of this event at the 2020 World Expo in December in Dubai.

If Dvorkovich attempts to keep to that timetable, that is only five months for the winner of the Candidates to be prepared for the World Championship Match, and also in that time contracts need to be organised and signed.

Tight timetable with the international air travel having been completely halted.

MichaelBaron
26-03-2020, 07:26 PM
But first round results remain...what about those who were affected by the conditions more than others? Ding for instance?

MichaelBaron
26-03-2020, 07:38 PM
And the official reason given ''Russia closing the borders''....how pathetic...even now FIDE is not remorseful!

Garvinator
26-03-2020, 09:13 PM
But first round results remain...what about those who were affected by the conditions more than others? Ding for instance?

As Kevin has stated about the playing contract that they all signed:


As it was stipulated by the special rules agreed with the players before the start of the event, the results of the 7 rounds played remain valid, and the tournament will be resumed in the same composition starting with the games of the 8th round.

So, in the contract, the wording would be to the effect of: If the tournament has to be postponed, it will re-commence from the next round and all previous game results still count.

I think saying that Ding has been affected as an excuse for his poor results does not hold much water. All the players have been playing under not ideal circumstances. MVL was a late substitute and is equal first. So he did not have the preparation time of the other players.

MichaelBaron
27-03-2020, 11:48 AM
As Kevin has stated about the playing contract that they all signed:



So, in the contract, the wording would be to the effect of: If the tournament has to be postponed, it will re-commence from the next round and all previous game results still count.

I think saying that Ding has been affected as an excuse for his poor results does not hold much water. All the players have been playing under not ideal circumstances. MVL was a late substitute and is equal first. So he did not have the preparation time of the other players.

Ding did not plan quarantine the way it turned out (at some obscure place near Moscow). The Russian players were certainly in a better boat.

Desmond
27-03-2020, 06:44 PM
You'd think Nepo might put it back in the bag now.

But it would be entertaining. The last Winawer in a World Championship match looks like 1961 (though the Tarrasch appeared in 1978).

There were also games between Kasparov and Short in the 1990's, albeit not in their WC match itself.

I think it would have been worth a try to surprise Carlsen, though with Nepo having wheeled it out twice in the candidates you'd have to expect Carlsen to be well prepared for it now.

ElevatorEscapee
27-03-2020, 09:39 PM
Dvorkovich was told to go ahead and complete the tournament....so he will.

Hi Michael, just curious about this comment. Who do you think told Dvorkovich to go ahead and complete the tournament?
I'm not being critical or attacking you in any way, just curious, (and also after a bit of scuttlebut for tomorrow morning's radio show...)
Also, I won't quote your name personally.
"One unconfirmed source indicates that the FIDE president was instructed by ******* ***** to continue with the tournament"!

ER
27-03-2020, 10:20 PM
"One unconfirmed source indicates that the FIDE president was instructed by ******* ***** to continue with the tournament"!

and then?
Did the FIDE president disobey ******* *****'s instructions?
Did ******* ***** changed his (her) mind?
None of the above? :doh:

ElevatorEscapee
27-03-2020, 11:07 PM
Thank you **,

The travel ban decree was from the office of Russian Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin.
I suspect a current Russian Prime Minister outranks a former deputy Prime Minister, (Arkady Dvorkovich) in political clout in the Russian Federation, but I don't understand the politics.
(From an Aussie perspective, this would be like Scott Morrison telling Barnaby Joyce what to do - and we all know how that turns out!)
Given his background, I believe that Michael may have more of an idea of the subtleties and nuances of Russian politics, hence my question.

With regard to who I was referring to by ******** *****, let's just say he's not a member of the Toolbox (at least not that we know!)
:D

Kevin Bonham
27-03-2020, 11:18 PM
MVL @Vachier_Lagrave
2h
Made it to Paris! Weird feeling and challenging times ahead. We are in this together #stayhome

Garvinator
28-03-2020, 12:24 AM
Even if Dvorkovich wanted to restart the tournament now, the players have either returned home, or are on their way home. As soon as they arrive home, they will have to start the 14 days of self-isolation, so they can not just return back to the Russia. They would be stopped at immigration and turned back as it would be clear they have not served the 14 days self-isolation.

And still further more, the Russia air flight ban is still in effect.

ER
28-03-2020, 12:38 AM
With regard to who I was referring to by ******** *****, let's just say he's not a member of the Toolbox (at least not that we know!)
:D

:D :P as long as his party membership is up to date fine with me! :whistle:

machomortensen
28-03-2020, 06:12 AM
From Newyorker.com ...

https://www.newyorker.com/sports/sporting-scene/the-chess-world-finally-pauses-for-the-coronavirus?fbclid=IwAR1tiiPdK6-UgEnxj9JEKV5fgPYcVFy1pIICc0OgdwHn7mT8zoF6XU0xSvs

Kevin Bonham
28-03-2020, 08:39 AM
Dvorkovich on restarting:

"The second half will be played when the situation will normalise. Hopefully it will not be later than September, to have sufficient time for the [winner] to prepare for the World Championship match. If it can be earlier it will be even better. I think we will have it in the same location but if our key partner Simaland will be flexible we can also do it somewhere else, but the baseline scenario is to have it in Yekaterinburg."

https://chess24.com/en/read/news/carlsen-dvorkovich-kramnik-on-ending-the-candidates

ER
28-03-2020, 10:03 AM
Not without me says Teimour Radjabov (right on the picture) and plans to take FIDE to court!
Does he have a case?

4134

Linked please find latest and interview …

https://www.chess.com/news/view/teimour-radjabov-interview-fide-candidates-chess

MichaelBaron
28-03-2020, 11:18 AM
Hi Michael, just curious about this comment. Who do you think told Dvorkovich to go ahead and complete the tournament?
I'm not being critical or attacking you in any way, just curious, (and also after a bit of scuttlebut for tomorrow morning's radio show...)
Also, I won't quote your name personally.
"One unconfirmed source indicates that the FIDE president was instructed by ******* ***** to continue with the tournament"!

The Russian authorities of course. In Russia, everyone is a muppet of the regime. Dvorkovich is actually a normal (very smart) sensible person. It is just that given the current political climate in Russia, you can not allow Russians to lead international organisations if you want to be sure that there will be no politics involved behind the scenes.

MichaelBaron
28-03-2020, 11:21 AM
Not without me says Teimour Radjabov (right on the picture) and plans to take FIDE to court!
Does he have a case?

4134

Linked please find latest and interview …

https://www.chess.com/news/view/teimour-radjabov-interview-fide-candidates-chess

The core problem is...when he protested - others did not support him...including players from Holland and USA (countries where they have little pressure from national federations to play/not to play). When Maxime got offered a place in the Candidates..he accepted. It is understandable..they want to fight for the crown ...but would it happen in other sports? Would Federer or Nadal play?

Ian Rout
28-03-2020, 01:03 PM
Not without me says Teimour Radjabov (right on the picture) and plans to take FIDE to court!
Does he have a case?The difficulty is that even if you think he suffered an injustice, the only way to deal him back in is to restart the tournament which would be a greater injustice to other players.

Legally, well who can say? But it's not obvious on what grounds. FIDE can choose to start a tournament, and at the time they did so many other things, sporting and otherwise, were proceeding. They can set deadlines to sign contracts. They can decide to suspend a tournament, and the cause was not the risk of infection but the logistics of players getting home.

One scenario floated in the interview is Radjabov getting the wild card in 2022, which sounds like as good a method as any of allocating the wild card on the way to transitioning to a better system. So it's possible to imagine that being the eventual compromise.

ER
28-03-2020, 04:56 PM
... Radjabov getting the wild card in 2022, which sounds like as good a method as any of allocating the wild card on the way to transitioning to a better system. So it's possible to imagine that being the eventual compromise.

Most logical and fairest!

ER
28-03-2020, 05:02 PM
The core problem is...when he protested - others did not support him …

Well he did it on time and didn't blow the whole tournament up if he withdrew at the last moment!


. When Maxime got offered a place in the Candidates..he accepted. It is understandable..they want to fight for the crown

he jumped on the opportunity and none can blame him!



...but would it happen in other sports? Would Federer or Nadal play?

no way they have both made their position very clear. I think Nadal has initiated a campaign a fund for covid-19 affected people!
Yea he's a part of the initiative

https://www.majorcadailybulletin.com/news/local/2020/03/26/64665/two-sportsman-want-raise-11m.html

MichaelBaron
02-04-2020, 10:52 AM
chess.com shared an april fool's joke about moving the champs to...Antarctica :).

Kevin Bonham
08-09-2020, 10:50 PM
https://chess24.com/en/read/news/fide-candidates-tournament-to-resume-in-november

Desmond
09-09-2020, 08:43 PM
^ That's good news and now confirmed by FIDE.

It will be interesting to see how the second half goes, after the year of the online rapid.

ER
17-10-2020, 01:34 PM
The second leg of the Candidates Tournament is postponed to the spring of 2021
details here:
https://www.fide.com/news/777

Garvinator
17-02-2021, 10:58 PM
Press release by FIDE

The Candidates Tournament, the biennial 8-player event that decides who will be the Challenger for the World Chess Championship title, will resume on the 19th of April in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

This double round-robin tournament kicked off on March 16, 2020. However, it had to be abruptly stopped 11 days later when the Russian government announced the closure of air traffic with other countries, amid a rapidly escalating coronavirus pandemic.

The sudden crisis left hanging this prestigious event, one of the oldest traditions in the world of sports. Since half the rounds had already been played, this interruption created an unprecedented situation, as the regulations stipulate that the results obtained until that point must stand — rather than having the tournament re-started from scratch. When the tournament was interrupted, the French Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and the Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi were in the lead, with 4½ points after seven games. Fabiano Caruana (USA), Anish Giri (Netherlands), Wang Hao (China) and Alexander Grischuk (Russia) are in the chasing pack, all with 3½ points.

After a long wait, the challenger to Magnus Carlsen’s throne will be finally known by the 28th of April.

This is the detailed schedule for the second half of the tournament, to which all players have agreed on and expressed their readiness to take part in:

19th April 2021, Round 8
20th April 2021, Round 9
21st April 2021, Round 10
(22nd April 2021, rest day)
23rd April 2021, Round 11
24th April 2021, Round 12
(25th April 2021, rest day)
26th April 2021, Round 13
27th April 2021, Round 14
28th April 2021, tie-breaks (if required)

The eyes of the entire chess world will be on this tournament, which is expected to receive massive coverage. The recent surge of interest towards chess and the special circumstances around the event guarantees the biggest number of spectators for any Candidates Tournament in chess history.

Ian Rout
18-02-2021, 09:08 AM
this prestigious event, one of the oldest traditions in the world of sports. .Not that old. The first one was in 1950 and the format has changed a few times in the intervening period.

MichaelBaron
18-02-2021, 09:18 PM
Wan Hao started his preparation already...by getting vaccinated (good move!)~!

Metro
10-04-2021, 02:47 PM
Press conference with online broadcast on the FIDE Candidates Tournament will be held in Moscow
On April 13, at 11.00, a press conference will be held at the Rossiyskaya Gazeta Media Center
before the resumption of the FIDE Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg.https://en.candidates-2020.com/news_1_4_04_2021

MichaelBaron
10-04-2021, 10:42 PM
Looks like all of the 8 players agreed to resume play...this is already quite an achievement!

Metro
14-04-2021, 04:40 AM
Considering the eight participants in the FIDE Candidates Tournament, GM Sergey Karjakin named GM Ian Nepomniachtchi as the most difficult opponent for GM Magnus Carlsen in the world championship.
https://www.chess.com/news/view/fide-candidates-2021-press-conference-karjakin

Desmond
14-04-2021, 11:53 AM
Considering the eight participants in the FIDE Candidates Tournament, GM Sergey Karjakin named GM Ian Nepomniachtchi as the most difficult opponent for GM Magnus Carlsen in the world championship.
https://www.chess.com/news/view/fide-candidates-2021-press-conference-karjakin

Interesting take. I've heard some other commentators say that, of the players at this level that Nepo works less hard (relatively speaking).

Desmond
15-04-2021, 07:24 AM
This is going to be awesome:

Magnus Carlsen to commentate on the Candidates (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/magnus-carlsen-to-commentate-on-the-candidates)
World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen will commentate on the event that decides his next challenger when the FIDE Candidates Tournament finally resumes with Round 8 in Yekaterinburg, Russia on Monday April 19th. For Rounds 8-10, Magnus will be joined by Tania Sachdev and David Howell, while for the last four rounds Judit Polgar will team up with Tania and guests for live commentary, with player cameras, here on chess24. ...

Capablanca-Fan
16-04-2021, 09:58 AM
This is going to be awesome:

Magnus Carlsen to commentate on the Candidates (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/magnus-carlsen-to-commentate-on-the-candidates)
World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen will commentate on the event that decides his next challenger when the FIDE Candidates Tournament finally resumes with Round 8 in Yekaterinburg, Russia on Monday April 19th. For Rounds 8-10, Magnus will be joined by Tania Sachdev and David Howell, while for the last four rounds Judit Polgar will team up with Tania and guests for live commentary, with player cameras, here on chess24. ...

I would prefer Magnus + Judit or Magnus + Yifan.

Desmond
16-04-2021, 01:28 PM
I would prefer Magnus + Judit or Magnus + Yifan.

I would too but I'm happy to get Magnus with anyone! And Judit is awesome too.

Metro
17-04-2021, 05:02 PM
Schedule
All rounds begin at 16:00 local time (21:00 AEST,13:00 CEST,7:00 EDT)

April 19 2021, Round 8

Caruana - Vachier-Lagrave
Wang Hao - Ding Liren
Nepomniachtchi - Giri
Alekseenko - Grischuk

April 20 2021, Round 9

Alekseenko - Caruana
Grischuk - Nepomniachtchi
Giri - Wang Hao
Ding Liren - Vachier-Lagrave

April 21 2021, Round 10

Caruana - Ding Liren
Vachier-Lagrave - Giri
Wang Hao - Grischuk
Nepomniachtchi - Alekseenko

April 22: Free Day

April 23 2021, Round 11

Nepomniachtchi - Caruana
Alekseenko - Wang Hao
Grischuk - Vachier-Lagrave
Giri - Ding Liren

April 24 2021, Round 12

Caruana - Giri
Ding Liren - Grischuk
Vachier-Lagrave - Alekseenko
Wang Hao - Nepomniachtchi

April 25 2021: Free Day

April 26 2021, Round 13

Wang Hao - Caruana
Nepomniachtchi - Vachier-Lagrave
Alekseenko - Ding Liren
Grischuk - Giri

April 27 2021, Round 14

Caruana - Grischuk
Giri - Alekseenko
Ding Liren - Nepomniachtchi
Vachier-Lagrave - Wang Hao

April 28: Tiebreaks (if required)

MichaelBaron
18-04-2021, 03:48 PM
Took me a while to remember the progress scores. Been a long break!

Scott Colliver
19-04-2021, 01:24 AM
I think Caruana will win the candidates, he will beat MVL in round 8 to get off to the best restart of the event. Nepo and Giri will draw.

Desmond
19-04-2021, 08:01 PM
I think Caruana will win the candidates, he will beat MVL in round 8 to get off to the best restart of the event. Nepo and Giri will draw.

Yes those seem to be the 2 key games to watch. Starts at 9pm AEST.


1 GM Caruana, F. (3½) 2820 — — GM Vachier-Lagr. (4½) 2758
2 GM Wang, Hao (3½) 2763 — — GM Ding, Liren (2½) 2791
3 GM Nepomniachtc. (4½) 2789 — — GM Giri, Anish (3½) 2776
4 GM Alekseenko (2½) 2696 — — GM Grischuk, A. (3½) 2777

MichaelBaron
19-04-2021, 10:44 PM
Caruana-Lagrave opening line looks like home preparation by both.

Desmond
19-04-2021, 11:30 PM
Fabi looks to have pretty good chances (at move 31)

HAHAHAHA
20-04-2021, 12:37 AM
This is going to be awesome:

Magnus Carlsen to commentate on the Candidates (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/magnus-carlsen-to-commentate-on-the-candidates)
World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen will commentate on the event that decides his next challenger when the FIDE Candidates Tournament finally resumes with Round 8 in Yekaterinburg, Russia on Monday April 19th. For Rounds 8-10, Magnus will be joined by Tania Sachdev and David Howell, while for the last four rounds Judit Polgar will team up with Tania and guests for live commentary, with player cameras, here on chess24. ...

Call me lazy but can someone please provide the link. I will look on chess24 in the interim. Yes, Carlsen commentary will be gold but me thinks he will keep some/a lot? to himself. Should be good regardless.

HAHAHAHA
20-04-2021, 12:39 AM
Caruana-Lagrave opening line looks like home preparation by both.

Yes this line is extensively analysed and book theory goes deep.

HAHAHAHA
20-04-2021, 12:41 AM
My Gentlemen s bet ($1) is for Nepo to win. If for no other reason than the pressure doesn't seem to get to him,,... as much.

Kevin Bonham
20-04-2021, 01:13 AM
Caruana - MVL (white to play move 47) is fascinating with Carlsen going into possible tablebases from here.

Kevin Bonham
20-04-2021, 03:24 AM
Amazing game! Did go backwards and forwards draw-win-draw-win in the tablebase ending over several moves but Vachier-Lagrave had to see the almost impossible 62...Nc7 to save.

Kevin Bonham
20-04-2021, 03:48 AM
Nice win by Alekseenko too.

Capablanca-Fan
20-04-2021, 06:08 AM
Amazing game! Did go backwards and forwards draw-win-draw-win in the tablebase ending over several moves but Vachier-Lagrave had to see the almost impossible 62...Nc7 to save.

This seems beyond the horizon of the Chess24 onsite computer. I suppose the idea is to prevent the winning plan of the game: marching K up h-file to get close to the f-P? If the WK is forced to go the other way, then his g-P can come under fire.

Desmond
20-04-2021, 10:57 AM
Amazing game! Did go backwards and forwards draw-win-draw-win in the tablebase ending over several moves but Vachier-Lagrave had to see the almost impossible 62...Nc7 to save.

Did seem a very tough tightrope to walk. Perhaps keeping the rooks on was better.

Desmond
20-04-2021, 10:59 AM
This seems beyond the horizon of the Chess24 onsite computer. I suppose the idea is to prevent the winning plan of the game: marching K up h-file to get close to the f-P? If the WK is forced to go the other way, then his g-P can come under fire.Yeah it didn't seem to switch over to tablebase mode at any point. I believe Premium users get a better engine than standard users.

Ian Rout
20-04-2021, 11:40 AM
I believe Premium users get a better engine than standard users.I could be wrong, but I think both use the latest Stockfish (currently 13) for the main game, but Premium also uses it when you try out other variations whereas standard uses an older variation. Or something like that.

Although those who are really serious can download the latest Stockfish free and run it on their own computer.

Desmond
20-04-2021, 12:31 PM
I could be wrong, but I think both use the latest Stockfish (currently 13) for the main game, but Premium also uses it when you try out other variations whereas standard uses an older variation. Or something like that.


I'm not really sure as I'm not premium. But the site does say this is one of the benefits of going premium:

Get accurate evaluations of any move across the site by consulting our powerful cloud engine

MichaelBaron
20-04-2021, 01:45 PM
A couple of very interesting endgames: not many pieces on the board - but very complex in rd8: Alekseenko-Grishuk & Caruana-MVL.
Plenty of mistakes in both - simply showing how complex chess is.

pappubahry
20-04-2021, 02:58 PM
Yeah it didn't seem to switch over to tablebase mode at any point. I believe Premium users get a better engine than standard users.

Definitely no tablebase mode for premium members -- for me, after 62. Ke4 it shows both 62... Nc7 and 62... Ne7 as +0.62, using Stockfish 13 from its 'Premium cloud'.

Desmond
20-04-2021, 11:13 PM
Definitely no tablebase mode for premium members -- for me, after 62. Ke4 it shows both 62... Nc7 and 62... Ne7 as +0.62, using Stockfish 13 from its 'Premium cloud'.

Thanks for confirming. I didn't think there was, but I thought perhaps Premium users got a stronger version of the engine.

Anyway MVL looks in danger of of going 0-2 down in his resumed campaign, currenly 2.1 down against Liren. If the game v Caruana tells us anything, it's that it takes a hell of a lot to convert vs MVL!

Kevin Bonham
21-04-2021, 12:08 AM
Feel sorry for MVL, I think the epic loss yesterday took a lot out of him and today he's just rolled over and played badly.

MichaelBaron
21-04-2021, 12:17 AM
Thanks for confirming. I didn't think there was, but I thought perhaps Premium users got a stronger version of the engine.

Anyway MVL looks in danger of of going 0-2 down in his resumed campaign, currenly 2.1 down against Liren. If the game v Caruana tells us anything, it's that it takes a hell of a lot to convert vs MVL!

Yes, Looks like MVL is heading towards second consecutive loss....and Fabi appears to be playing confidently today again.

MichaelBaron
21-04-2021, 12:19 AM
And Grischuk's Rxf7 vs Nepo looks way too risky!

Kevin Bonham
21-04-2021, 12:20 AM
That said, the box on chess24 says that Ding has just stuffed up and blown most of his advantage.

Kevin Bonham
21-04-2021, 01:32 AM
And now looks rather likely to be drawn.

MichaelBaron
21-04-2021, 12:10 PM
Caruana truly missed some chances :(. And the win would elevate him to equal 1st.

Metro
21-04-2021, 02:33 PM
Caruana truly missed some chances :(. And the win would elevate him to equal 1st.In commentary today Magnus said of the 3 WC opponents Caruana, Anand and Kariakin, Fabi was the most difficult.

Desmond
21-04-2021, 02:50 PM
Another comment I thought was interesting was he said, these guys are both better calculators than me (of Ding and MVL).

Metro
21-04-2021, 03:11 PM
Magnus said only one of the first 4 can win now.

Standings

1 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 5½/9 2789
2 Caruana, Fabiano 5/9 2820
3 Vachier-Lagrave, M 5/9 2758
4 Giri, Anish 5/9 2776
5 Alekseenko, Kirill 4/9 2696
6 Wang, Hao 4/9 2763
7 Grischuk, Alexander 4/9 2777
8 Ding, Liren 3½/9 2791

Garvinator
21-04-2021, 04:22 PM
Magnus said only one of the first 4 can win now.
You can put that prediction in the category of, not the boldest prediction ever!

Garvinator
21-04-2021, 04:25 PM
It does look like MVL is staying true to the openings that he knows well, which are openings that for us as spectators are enjoyable to watch.

Therefore, if you are a neutral spectator, I think you should be supporting MVL to win this and hope he stays true to his openings against Carlsen. At least we might get some entertaining games. Of course, there is no guarantee that Carlsen will want to engage is any opening battles.

But at least we can hope.

MichaelBaron
21-04-2021, 05:19 PM
It does look like MVL is staying true to the openings that he knows well, which are openings that for us as spectators are enjoyable to watch.

Therefore, if you are a neutral spectator, I think you should be supporting MVL to win this and hope he stays true to his openings against Carlsen. At least we might get some entertaining games. Of course, there is no guarantee that Carlsen will want to engage is any opening battles.

But at least we can hope.
Many have pointed out that MVL is out of sorts after the long layoff. Therefore, I do not think his chances of winning are as high as Fabis or Nepos or even Giri's

Desmond
21-04-2021, 05:51 PM
Many have pointed out that MVL is out of sorts after the long layoff. Therefore, I do not think his chances of winning are as high as Fabis or Nepos or even Giri's

Yes totally. In Tata he had a really rough time especially with black. People speculated that he was hiding his Candidates prep, but now he's still playing the same stuff. Seems his repertoire is close to busted.

Kevin Bonham
21-04-2021, 11:52 PM
Nepomniachtchi crushes Alekseenko, so the three on five need to win to stay within half a point of him with four to go.

https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-tournaments/fide-candidates-2020/10/1/4

Kevin Bonham
22-04-2021, 12:59 AM
Nepomniachtchi crushes Alekseenko, so the three on five need to win to stay within half a point of him with four to go.

Which they didn't; one point lead for Nepo with four rounds to go.

Garvinator
22-04-2021, 01:12 AM
22nd April 2021, rest day

Kevin Bonham
22-04-2021, 02:14 AM
Grischuk almost won a crazy game after spending over an hour on move 11 for no reason any other human could fathom.

MichaelBaron
22-04-2021, 02:35 AM
Nepo has been taking his chances while others do not.

MichaelBaron
22-04-2021, 02:36 AM
Grischuk almost won a crazy game after spending over an hour on move 11 for no reason any other human could fathom.

Short referred to that long think as ''diving deeply into the position''.

Vlad
22-04-2021, 09:27 AM
Grischuk almost won a crazy game after spending over an hour on move 11 for no reason any other human could fathom.

What a patzer, he does not know any theory! Any Aussie player would just bang the first line without thinking.:lol:

Kevin Bonham
22-04-2021, 09:57 AM
The position where Grischuk spent all that time was not even new, having also been seen in Kamsky-Ding 2011 and Fedoseev-Morozevich 2016. The 72-minute move was a novelty though.

Desmond
22-04-2021, 11:12 AM
Nepo at +3 still has:
white vs Fabi
black vs Hao
white vs MVL
black vs Ding.
Hard to see him not winning from here.

Ian Rout
22-04-2021, 12:07 PM
Hard to see him not winning from here.He's looking good but if he loses on Friday then Fabi has the edge because in a tie-break he beats both Nepo and MVL on head-to-head (first tie-break); Nepo also trails MVL on that one so far. Depending on other results Nepo is most likely to win the second (number of wins) if he gets that far, and Caruana most likely would win the third (S-B) against anybody.

Strange things can happen in the last rounds when games hinge on players with nothing much to play for except a bit of cash. Not that they won't be trying but it must be hard to focus.

Garvinator
22-04-2021, 12:26 PM
He's looking good but if he loses on Friday then Fabi has the edge because in a tie-break he beats both Nepo and MVL on head-to-head (first tie-break); Nepo also trails MVL on that one so far. Depending on other results Nepo is most likely to win the second (number of wins) if he gets that far, and Caruana most likely would win the third (S-B) against anybody.

Strange things can happen in the last rounds when games hinge on players with nothing much to play for except a bit of cash. Not that they won't be trying but it must be hard to focus.
On the flip side, it is not easy going wire to wire. Nepo has been sole leader or co-leader from the outset. 4 rounds to go. 1 point advantage. All to play for.

Desmond
22-04-2021, 05:52 PM
He's looking good but if he loses on Friday then Fabi has the edge because in a tie-break he beats both Nepo and MVL on head-to-head (first tie-break); Nepo also trails MVL on that one so far. Depending on other results Nepo is most likely to win the second (number of wins) if he gets that far, and Caruana most likely would win the third (S-B) against anybody.

Strange things can happen in the last rounds when games hinge on players with nothing much to play for except a bit of cash. Not that they won't be trying but it must be hard to focus.

Yes the game against Fabi will be critical. I expect Nepo to score say +1 from the last 3 games. Hao, MVL out of sorts with black, and Ding out of form is about the best last 3 you could have. Maybe better than +1. Fabi will need to win to have any chance.

Desmond
23-04-2021, 08:47 AM
Snippet from the commentary, Magnus discussing Nepo - on his best day he can match me, on his bad day I beat him 7-8 times in a row. Savage!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKmrpd4ldCg

MichaelBaron
23-04-2021, 11:44 AM
Interesting ''Round Table'' by the Chess-News Portal about the Candidates. It was in Russian but just a couple of extracts: According to Dreev - nobody can stop Nepo now and the tournament is anything but over. According to Rauf Mamedov - it is far from over yet!

ER
23-04-2021, 11:54 AM
Interesting ''Round Table'' by the Chess-News Portal about the Candidates. It was in Russian but just a couple of extracts: According to Dreev - nobody can stop Nepo now and the tournament is anything but over.

I agree with GM Dreev - I presume you are talking about Russian GM Aleksey Dreev - Nepo's too strong and in great form!

Capablanca-Fan
23-04-2021, 12:38 PM
Snippet from the commentary, Magnus discussing Nepo - on his best day he can match me, on his bad day I beat him 7-8 times in a row. Savage

Thanks for posting.

That might be true in fast games, but in classical games, Magnus has not proven that. Nepo has a +4-1=6 in classical games, but Magnus has +20-10=31. So Nepo will want to win it in the classical games so it doesn't get to the tiebreak. Probably the best thing for chess is for Nepo to become challenger. Magnus is probably right that he is more consistent—nearly always at the highest level.

Desmond
23-04-2021, 08:57 PM
Thanks for posting.No worries. :) I've enjoyed Magnus' commentary a lot, I think it's over to Judit now. I agree with what you said before - Howell and Magnus is not a great fit. They don't seem to bring out the best in each other.


That might be true in fast games, but in classical games, Magnus has not proven that. Nepo has a +4-1=6 in classical games, but Magnus has +20-10=31. So Nepo will want to win it in the classical games so it doesn't get to the tiebreak. Probably the best thing for chess is for Nepo to become challenger. Magnus is probably right that he is more consistent—nearly always at the highest level.
I mentioned in the shoutbox, but not sure if you saw it. Of those +4 only 1 is from the last 10 years, 2 were under 12/u14 I believe. So ancient history really.

Magnus also mentioned he felt the best WC match challengers to him were Caruana, then Ding, he also mentioned So. Though he may be starting the psychological warfare against Nepo already, as the presumptive challenger at this point. :)

Kevin Bonham
23-04-2021, 11:40 PM
Now one up with three to play.

ER
23-04-2021, 11:52 PM
Now one up with three to play.

if Giri wins (which is not unlikely at all) it 'll only be half a point though!

Kevin Bonham
24-04-2021, 12:00 AM
if Giri wins it 'll only be half a point though!

Indeed. He could well do it too.

Kevin Bonham
24-04-2021, 12:24 AM
Great win by Giri. His run home is black vs Caruana, black vs Grischuk, white vs Alekseenko. He has a worse tiebreak too, so it's still not easy for him, since he probably needs a full point more than Nepo.

Kevin Bonham
24-04-2021, 02:05 AM
MVL defeated by Grischuk so now probably out of it.

Scott Colliver
24-04-2021, 11:51 AM
Caruana - Giri looks like a battle for second place and main challenger to Nepo. Looks like a must win for Caruana which might give Giri good chances even though he is black. A Nepo draw and a Giri win would make things very interesting.

Ian Rout
24-04-2021, 01:57 PM
Caruana - Giri looks like a battle for second place and main challenger to Nepo. Looks like a must win for Caruana which might give Giri good chances even though he is black. A Nepo draw and a Giri win would make things very interesting.Caruana's problem is that if he wins one and Nepo loses one then he loses out to Nepo on the second tie-break (number of wins), in contrast to the scenario of winning last night when he would win a tie-break on head-to-head. On the other hand Giri would lose to Nepo on head-to-head. So Nepo has a sort of extra quarter-point, barring fantasy scenarios like Grischuk winning his last three. Still, it only needs two inconvenient results to change the outcome.

ER
24-04-2021, 02:36 PM
... barring fantasy scenarios like Grischuk winning his last three. Still, it only needs two inconvenient results to change the outcome.

Grischuk is quite unpredictable.
His chances of making it 3/3 with whatever tie-break possibilities are minimal if not impossible at all.
However, I agree, his results can affect the tournament's outcome.

Scott Colliver
24-04-2021, 05:50 PM
If Nepo does not lose a game he will get to at least 8.5 which means Caruana or Giri need to get to 9.
That is 2.5/3 for Giri a difficult but not unrealistic proposition. Drawing with Caruana and beating Grishuk and Alekseenko could happen given the form Giri has shown this year.
3/3 for Caruana is probably less likely as I feel a draw against Giri is the most likely result, but if he does win against Giri then beating Grischuk and Wang Hao is a small possiblity.

Of course Nepo might win one or two games and make catching him impossible.

Scott Colliver
25-04-2021, 01:50 AM
Giri defeats Caruana with black while Nepo is still trying to win against Wang Hao

Scott Colliver
25-04-2021, 02:13 AM
Nepo wins as well as all 4 games are decisive to maintain his half point lead and heavy favouritism for the tournament win. Giri needs to win both his remaining games and hope.

Garvinator
25-04-2021, 07:10 AM
Full scores are:

Nepo 8.0
Giri 7.5
MVL 6.5
Caruana 6.0
Grischuk 5.5
Ding 5.0
Wang 5.0
Alekseenko 4.5

With 2 rounds to go, only Nepo and Giri have realistic chances. MVL can get back in the hunt if he can win against Nepo and Giri loses against Grischuk, but with how MVL has been going with the black pieces in the second half of this event, that has to be long odds for him to win.

Importantly as well, Giri does have white against Alekseenko in the final round.

Round 13, Monday 26th April

Wang Hao - Caruana
Nepomniachtchi - Vachier-Lagrave
Alekseenko - Ding Liren
Grischuk - Giri

Round 14, Tuesday 27th April

Caruana - Grischuk
Giri - Alekseenko
Ding Liren - Nepomniachtchi
Vachier-Lagrave - Wang Hao

Patrick Byrom
25-04-2021, 10:56 PM
Half a point behind, but with easier opponents, Giri looks slight favourite to me.

MichaelBaron
26-04-2021, 01:40 AM
Van Hao's early resignation against Nepo was truly unprofessional according to many...including Kasparov

MichaelBaron
26-04-2021, 01:41 AM
Half a point behind, but with easier opponents, Giri looks slight favourite to me.

Not sure his opponents are that much ''easier'' also - we should bear in mind that in case of a tie - there will be no playoff and Nepo will qualify.

Garvinator
26-04-2021, 01:56 AM
I have just read the regulations for this event, in an effort to clarify the tie breaks. The regulations state:

If two (2) or more players score the same number of points, the tie is decided by the following criteria, in order of priority:

a) The results of the games between the players involved in the tie.
b) Each tied player’s total number of wins in the tournament.
c) Sonneborn-Berger System

Assuming that this is accurate.

A Nepo - Giri tie results in a win for Nepo via a)

A Nepo - MVL tie results in a win for MVL via a) MVL would have defeated Nepo twice

A Giri - MVL tie results in a win for ...... hard to tell. They drew their two individual games, so it would go to, most wins, so the last two games count. Giri currently has 4 wins, MVL has 3 wins. As already stated, MVL needs a win against Nepo to catch up. So if MVL wins against Nepo, then MVL and Giri are on 4 wins each. Could then go down to SB tie break.

With a win for MVL against Nepo, there is even the potential for a three way tie for first.

Desmond
26-04-2021, 11:43 AM
I have just read the regulations for this event, in an effort to clarify the tie breaks. The regulations state:

If two (2) or more players score the same number of points, the tie is decided by the following criteria, in order of priority:

a) The results of the games between the players involved in the tie.
b) Each tied player’s total number of wins in the tournament.
c) Sonneborn-Berger System

Assuming that this is accurate.

A Nepo - Giri tie results in a win for Nepo via a)

A Nepo - MVL tie results in a win for MVL via a) MVL would have defeated Nepo twice

A Giri - MVL tie results in a win for ...... hard to tell. They drew their two individual games, so it would go to, most wins, so the last two games count. Giri currently has 4 wins, MVL has 3 wins. As already stated, MVL needs a win against Nepo to catch up. So if MVL wins against Nepo, then MVL and Giri are on 4 wins each. Could then go down to SB tie break.

With a win for MVL against Nepo, there is even the potential for a three way tie for first.

Thanks for providing this breakdown Garvin.

If MVL can beat Nepo that would certainly make things very interesting. But also seems incredibly unlikely at the moment, given his recent form particularly with black.

Giri was +0 on resumption of the tournament, Nepo was +2. Giri has scored +3 so far in the second leg, Nepo +2. It would be a great shame if Giri does better in 2021 but does not qualify.

Patrick Byrom
26-04-2021, 02:49 PM
Thanks for providing this breakdown Garvin. If MVL can beat Nepo that would certainly make things very interesting. But also seems incredibly unlikely at the moment, given his recent form particularly with black. Giri was +0 on resumption of the tournament, Nepo was +2. Giri has scored +3 so far in the second leg, Nepo +2. It would be a great shame if Giri does better in 2021 but does not qualify.Thanks from me as well. I just assumed there would be a play-off.

Ian Rout
26-04-2021, 03:39 PM
Thanks from me as well. I just assumed there would be a play-off.This is explained in posts 187 and 201 above, among others.

Personally I wouldn't feel at all aggrieved if Giri comes second in spite of scoring more in the final seven rounds. It's a bit of an ask to insist that a player both win the tournament and "win" the second half, and I'm sure none of the players are attaching any priority to the latter.

Desmond
26-04-2021, 07:16 PM
This is explained in posts 187 and 201 above, among others.

Personally I wouldn't feel at all aggrieved if Giri comes second in spite of scoring more in the final seven rounds. It's a bit of an ask to insist that a player both win the tournament and "win" the second half, and I'm sure none of the players are attaching any priority to the latter.

Yes if this were to happen, Nepo would be the rightful winner, no question. But it would just be a shame in the sense that the current best form challenger was potentially not selected.

Also I saw on c24 forum a user posted this. Not sure if it's 100% correct, and incredibly unlikely to happen, but an interesting thought:


If Nepo loses twice, Giri loses twice, MVL draws with Wang, and Fabi wins twice - then Fabi will win the tournament and qualify for the match

Ian Rout
26-04-2021, 07:43 PM
Yes if this were to happen, Nepo would be the rightful winner, no question. But it would just be a shame in the sense that the current best form challenger was potentially not selected.

Also I saw on c24 forum a user posted this. Not sure if it's 100% correct, and incredibly unlikely to happen, but an interesting thought:


If Nepo loses twice, Giri loses twice, MVL draws with Wang, and Fabi wins twice - then Fabi will win the tournament and qualify for the match

On a quick check I don't believe the last para is correct. Nepo and Caruana would tie on head-to-head and then Nepo win on number of wins. But I'm prepared to be corrected.

It's true that Giri could have more points than Nepo in the 2021 section but there was always a good chance that one of the bottom six could win the second half without winning the event. Ding could have won four more games than Nepo and fallen short. I don't think it means that Giri is in better form, rather that the player in the lead is prioritising winning the tournament (if he does).

Desmond
26-04-2021, 07:54 PM
It's true that Giri could have more points than Nepo in the 2021 section but there was always a good chance that one of the bottom six could win the second half without winning the event. Ding could have won four more games than Nepo and fallen short. I don't think it means that Giri is in better form, rather that the player in the lead is prioritising winning the tournament (if he does).
Yes I was thinking of this too. Potentially Ding could have scored +5 or even +6 in the second half and still not caught Nepo. In my mind that would make him the best in form player. All hypothetical though, of course.
I hope Nepo finishes the tournament strong so such questions are not there.

Garvinator
26-04-2021, 08:22 PM
Also I saw on c24 forum a user posted this. Not sure if it's 100% correct, and incredibly unlikely to happen, but an interesting thought:


If Nepo loses twice, Giri loses twice, MVL draws with Wang, and Fabi wins twice - then Fabi will win the tournament and qualify for the match

Considering that Fabi is two points behind Nepo with two games to go, if you want Fabi to win, then I would be backing that Nepo, Giri and MVL get ruled out through a positive Covid test. That has a much higher chance that any otb result!

Ian Rout
26-04-2021, 08:35 PM
On a quick check I don't believe the last para is correct. Nepo and Caruana would tie on head-to-head and then Nepo win on number of wins. But I'm prepared to be corrected.
On reflection, I think the trick is that there is a three-way tie with MVL who beat Nepo twice, so Nepo never gets to the second tie-break. So it's probably right.

MichaelBaron
26-04-2021, 09:14 PM
Nepo will certainly be careful not to lose as white...

MichaelBaron
26-04-2021, 09:15 PM
Considering that Fabi is two points behind Nepo with two games to go, if you want Fabi to win, then I would be backing that Nepo, Giri and MVL get ruled out through a positive Covid test. That has a much higher chance that any otb result!

Nepo is now the only person who can stop Nepo..particularly given that he beat Giri in rd1 and has a better tie-break.

Kevin Bonham
27-04-2021, 01:13 AM
Nepomniachtchi is a World Championship Challenger!

The sole successful punter in the poll, Ian Rout, may now collect his winnings.

Ian Rout
27-04-2021, 02:06 PM
For those interested in such things, Nepo's games to date have evidently taken him to number 3 on the "live" rating list at 2796.9. A win tonight would be worth more than the 3.1 needed for 2800 so he might not be seeking a quick draw (though in his place I suspect I would).

James Peirce
27-04-2021, 02:47 PM
Interestingly Nepo is also one of the few with a + record against Carlsen in classical games (+4 =6 -1)

Desmond
27-04-2021, 04:05 PM
Nepomniachtchi is a World Championship Challenger!

The sole successful punter in the poll, Ian Rout, may now collect his winnings.

Nice one, great performance by Nepo. And kudos to Ian Rout. :)

MichaelBaron
27-04-2021, 11:19 PM
According to Andreikin, this was the Candidates tournament with the poorest quality of play out of all played in recent years.

Capablanca-Fan
28-04-2021, 02:46 AM
Well, since Nepo had already won the tourney with a round to spare, he slacked off and lost to Ding. MLV beat Wang when the latter disintegrated after getting an acceptable Berlin wall, but that merely put MVL half a point behind Nepo. Giri had a chance to equal Nepo's score, albeit losing on tie-break, if he had beaten Alekseenko with White, but instead got nothing out of the opening, then miscalculated and lost an important P with positional collapse besides. Fabi is trying to grind down Grischuk in a slightly better double-R endgame.

MichaelBaron
28-04-2021, 12:09 PM
Nepo played his worst chess..when it mattered least! :)
Amazing that MVL finished outright 2nd after all.

MichaelBaron
28-04-2021, 12:10 PM
Wan Hao says that he had enough and he is now retiring from chess...hopefully he will change him mind once he cools down.

Garvinator
28-04-2021, 02:40 PM
Wang Hao says that he had enough and he is now retiring from chess...hopefully he will change him mind once he cools down.

Yes, I had heard during the commentary after his game with Fabi that he turned up to the second half disinterested and did not want to be there as he believed he was out of the running for 1st and going through all the Covid protocols for an event he could not win was a waste of time.

This would also then help explain his 'premature' resignation against Nepo.

Garvinator
28-04-2021, 02:48 PM
If I had a magic wand and were able to make changes to this event.

1) Keep the current tie break formula

Its evolution over the years to what we have now is a breath of fresh air in helping to produce exciting games to watch and encouraging players to try and win games, rather than go, short draw, short draw, short draw, short draw etc

A lot more organisers could do well to consider adopting this tie break format for double round robins

2) When the sole purpose of the event is to decide a challenger for the next stage, ditch the remaining round (s).

In effect, announce at the start that the event will continue until the challenger has been decided. Then no further rounds will be played. After Nepo was declared the winner, the 14th round was a real 'going through the motions' type of round. It would not have surprised me at all if everyone would have preferred to be preparing to go home, rather than sitting at a chess board for a game that counted for nothing.

Garvinator
28-04-2021, 02:55 PM
According to Andreikin, this was the Candidates tournament with the poorest quality of play out of all played in recent years.

He is free to qualify for the next Candidates and show everyone how it should be done :whistle:

It should not be that much of a surprise that this event might be slightly down on quality play compared to previous years, or at least feel like it. Event played in two stages, one year apart. One player turning up completely disinterested for the second half. Another player who, to be honest, shows the weakness of the wildcard rule, and having the two stages being a year apart does make comparing first half to second half difficult.

I did notice quite a few comments saying, I want this player to qualify because their form in the second half is great and they are in form, which did imply that memories from the first half were not that strong or that those results were not being considered as current indicators for who would be a good challenger to Carlsen.

Garvinator
28-04-2021, 02:57 PM
Nepomniachtchi is a World Championship Challenger!

The sole successful punter in the poll, Ian Rout, may now collect his winnings.

I have heard that Fabi is considering a protest with the stewards. He has realised that his saddlebags were overweight due to chesschat predictions :P

ER
28-04-2021, 03:49 PM
...

The sole successful punter in the poll, Ian Rout, may now collect his winnings.

Congrats to Ian for the excellent prediction!

Garvinator
28-04-2021, 07:59 PM
https://en.chessbase.com/post/candidates-2020-r13


FIDE couldn’t make one more day available for a tiebreak? For God’s sake, they have a World Championship match ending in a tiebreak — Magnus Carlsen played two tiebreaks for the title, and they couldn’t afford to spend one day for a tiebreak? [...] It’s not any criticism on Nepo, who wins the tournament by the rules, but it’s about the integrity of the competition.

As noted by Kasparov — and also by Giri himself — this whole discussion about tiebreaks should not take away from the fact that Nepo played “two great halves” (Giri) and is a completely deserving challenger for the world title. The discussion has more to do with how the event should be set up in the first place.

After beating Giri, Grischuk was asked about Kasparov’s remarks. Grischuk then noted that he had read not only Kasparov’s opinion but also that of Aleksey Dreev’s. He concluded that this tournament shows the disadvantages of playing a round-robin instead of matches — since results by players not in the fight for first have a massive effect on the outcome — and that it does not make sense not to have a playoff in case of a tie for first.

Once the discussion about the Candidates returning to the knockout format arises, chess fans surely go back to Kazan 2011, when a lack of entertainment value due to the high percentage of games resulting in draws also raised plenty of negative criticism. In fact, the fact that FIDE decided to hold the 2013 Candidates Tournament as a round-robin was mostly celebrated by the chess community. However, it is hard to argue against Kasparov and Grischuk’s assertions regarding the procedure to break a potential tie for first in such an important event.


This is the detailed schedule for the second half of the tournament, to which all players have agreed on and expressed their readiness to take part in:

19th April 2021, Round 8
20th April 2021, Round 9
21st April 2021, Round 10
(22nd April 2021, rest day)
23rd April 2021, Round 11
24th April 2021, Round 12
(25th April 2021, rest day)
26th April 2021, Round 13
27th April 2021, Round 14

28th April 2021, tie-breaks (if required)

Oh dear, look at that. It is such a shame that poor Garry could not be bothered to either learn to read or look at the tournament schedule before having a rant about the tie break regulations. What is that that I put in bold? Clearly something that Fide COULD be bothered making an extra day for. Don't worry Garry, don't let the facts get the way of a good rant.

Desmond
28-04-2021, 08:24 PM
As noted by Kasparov — and also by Giri himself — this whole discussion about tiebreaks should not take away from the fact that Nepo played “two great halves” (Giri) and is a completely deserving challenger for the world title. Nepo did not win the second half.
Ding did with +2.
Nepo, Fabi and Giri all got +1.
MVL, Grischuk =
Kirill -1
Hao -4.


Yes, I had heard during the commentary after his game with Fabi that he turned up to the second half disinterested and did not want to be there as he believed he was out of the running for 1st and going through all the Covid protocols for an event he could not win was a waste of time.Let's face it, this is a pretty bad attitude. Hao was co-leader for first 4 rounds. At the break he was =, 2 points behind the leaders. 2 points is 2 points, but not impossible. He had 4 whites in the second 7 games.

I saw his post-game after rd 12 with Nepo, the first of 3 consecutive defeats. He seemed in a pretty bad funk, said he just couldn't calculate.

Garvinator
28-04-2021, 09:21 PM
Nepo did not win the second half.
Ding did with +2.
Nepo, Fabi and Giri all got +1.
MVL, Grischuk =
Kirill -1
Hao -4.

I think you are missing two important points.

1) Those results include the final round, when for Nepo, he had already won the event and so the final round meant nothing. Your results should be re-calculated as up until Round 13.

2) Nepo did not need to win both halves individually. All he needed to do was win the event overall. He turned up for the second half tied for first with MVL. Therefore, 'all' he had to do was score more than MVL and keep his lead over the rest. That he did.

And as all sites announced - Nepo was the winner of the Candidates at the end of Round 13 and the challenger for the World Championship. So the tie break rules were fully taken into account and the players not only were aware of them, but arranged their playing strategies in accordance for them.

If the tie break procedure was different, then everyone would have adopted a different tournament strategy. The easiest example. Nepo knew he could cruise to an easy draw against MVL in round 13 when he saw Giri floundering. If a different set of tie breaks were used, then everything would be different.

I do not put any time at all in any arguments other than - All the players knew the rules at the start of the event. They knew the tie break procedure and Nepo came out the winner based on those results.

If someone wants to debate that the next Candidates should be a different format, have a different tie break, qualify players by a different method, then by all means, start up a different thread and have at it.

Capablanca-Fan
29-04-2021, 03:50 AM
FIDE couldn’t make one more day available for a tiebreak? For God’s sake, they have a World Championship match ending in a tiebreak — Magnus Carlsen played two tiebreaks for the title, and they couldn’t afford to spend one day for a tiebreak? [...] It’s not any criticism on Nepo, who wins the tournament by the rules, but it’s about the integrity of the competition.
Has Garry forgotten that Carlsen qualified to meet Anand only on the second tiebreak from Kramnik? At least Nepo won this tournament outright.

Desmond
29-04-2021, 07:06 AM
I think you are missing two important points.

1) Those results include the final round, when for Nepo, he had already won the event and so the final round meant nothing. Your results should be re-calculated as up until Round 13.The results I posted are for the second half of the tournament, played 12+ months after the first half. It was not a "miss" to include round 14, it was by design. The second half includes round 14. Why wouldn't it?

I think it's quite natural to compare performances when the event ended up being split the way it was. It is quite natural for players to move in and out of form from one year to the next. Especially with the year 2020 was, it would be amazing if no one's form had changed.

Nepo scored +1 in the second half. This included a win over Hao towards the end in which Hao may have resigned in a drawn position* because he didn't care anymore.

*I don't know if the position was a win for Nepo or a draw. I was listening to Judit Polgar's commentary. She gave a line to exchange knights that would have lead to a 2v1 R endgame that she said was identical to one she had had against Spassky. She was sure it was a draw. She seemed to know. Either way, you shouldn't be resigning there. Everyone was shocked when Hao resigned, including Nepo.


2) Nepo did not need to win both halves individually. All he needed to do was win the event overall. He turned up for the second half tied for first with MVL. Therefore, 'all' he had to do was score more than MVL and keep his lead over the rest. That he did.This is not disputed. Nepo qualified. I hope he gives us a great WC match.


All the players knew the rules at the start of the event. They didn't know there would be a gap year between round 7 and 8.

Garvinator
29-04-2021, 05:20 PM
Has Garry forgotten that Carlsen qualified to meet Anand only on the second tiebreak from Kramnik? At least Nepo won this tournament outright.

Garry seems to also be having selective memory regarding players retaining Championships or earning qualifications via a tie break system. He seems have no issue with the fact that he had to win the 24th game against Karpov in the 1987 World Championship match to draw that match to retain the title. That's right. He only drew the match, but kept the title for another three years under the rules, but now has an issue with the current tie break rules.

Desmond
29-04-2021, 09:04 PM
2013 Candidates
Winning score: 8.5/14 (+3)
Winning margin: 0 (tiebreak)
Qualifier's # of losses: 2
Qualifier's last round result: 0.

2014 Candidates
Winning score: 8.5/14 (+3)
Winning margin: 1 (+2)
Qualifier's # of losses: 0
Qualifier's last round result: 1/2.

2016 Candidates
Winning score: 8.5/14 (+3)
Winning margin: 1 (+2)
Qualifier's # of losses: 1
Qualifier's last round result: 1.

2018 Candidates
Winning score: 9/14 (+4)
Winning margin: 1 (+2)
Qualifier's # of losses: 1
Qualifier's last round result: 1.

2020 - 2021 Candidates
Winning score: 8.5/14 (+3)
Winning margin: 0.5 (+1)
Qualifier's # of losses: 2
Qualifier's last round result: 0.

Kevin Bonham
29-04-2021, 09:58 PM
2) When the sole purpose of the event is to decide a challenger for the next stage, ditch the remaining round (s).

It's not the only purpose though; it also determines a reserve in the unlikely event of the challenger withdrawing for whatever reason. Though maybe that's another argument for ending it at that point rather than having meaningless games contribute to who the reserve might be.

Patrick Byrom
30-04-2021, 12:03 AM
Has Garry forgotten that Carlsen qualified to meet Anand only on the second tiebreak from Kramnik? At least Nepo won this tournament outright.Has tiebreak become another term for play-off :) Maybe it would be better to use the term "tiebreaker" to refer to them, and leave "tie-break" to refer to ways of breaking ties that don't involve extra games.