World Chess Candidates Tournament 2014: Predictions Part 1.

by robertcmackle

The tournament to decide who will play Magnus Carlsen for the World Chess Championship kicks off next week in the Russian town of Khanty Mansiysk, on March 11th.

The participants are:

1. Viswanathan Anand (IND, former World Champion)
2. Vladimir Kramnik (RUS, World Cup 2013 winner)
3. Dmitry Andreikin (RUS, World Cup 2013 finalist)
4. Veselin Topalov (BUL, Grand-Prix 2012-13 winner)
5. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE, Grand-Prix 2012-13 runner-up)
6. Levon Aronian (ARM, rating list 2012-13)
7. Sergey Karjakin (RUS, rating list 2012-13)
8. Peter Svidler (RUS, host nominee)


Here are my untrained predictions in reverse order, part 1:

8. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov; 4/14

– A chess player who seems to have flown under the radar to qualify for the candidates; qualifying only because of the best three results out of four rule from the Grand Prix over Fabiano Caruana. Nothing suggests to me anything other than pain for Shaka, his preference for mad positions just won’t fly at the Candidates. Prediction: 4/14, 8th position

7. Veselin Topalov; 5.5/14

– Love him or hate him, Topalov has been there and done it before. Some impressive Grand Prix displays got him the qualification. The only problem is his form has been patchy at best, Grand Prix’s aside, and I get the feeling he may just do a Chucky here, win a couple spectacularly, but completely lose it elsewhere. Prediction: 5.5/14, 7th

6. Viswanathan Anand; 6/14


– Never really showed up in his world title defeat to Magnus Carlsen and has been lacklustre ever since, especially at the Zurich Chess Challenge where he struggled to 2/5. However, his rating still stands him in good stead and he still has the ability to crush his opponents with a technical masterpiece. But unless Vishy has had some kind of divine intervention in recent weeks it’s hard to see him overcome some of the more hungry opponents and will end up nearer the bottom of the table. Prediction: 6/14, 6th

5. Dmitry Andreikin; 6.5/14

– Qualifies courtesy of a world cup final apperance. Although the lowest rated GM here, he certainly has pedigree, being World Junior Champion and Russian Champion in 2012. The only problem is, Andreikin has a bit of a habit of playing it safe and drawing more often than not. That’s fine, but not good enough to win a Candidates. Expect a Grischuk style performance with few fireworks. Prediction: 6.5/14, 5th


That’s it for part 1, part 2 will be posted later in the week. Please comment below your predictions