We saw a lot of blood drawn in the opening round of the Candidates Tournament 2018, the tournament that will determine who will be this year’s challenger to Magnus Carlsen in the World Chess Championship 2018.
Candidates Tournament 2018 Round 1 Results
|Kramnik, Vladimir||1-0||Grischuk, Alexander|
|Caruana, Fabiano||1-0||So, Wesley|
|Aronian, Levon||½-½||Ding, Liren|
|Karjakin, Sergey||0-1||Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar|
We saw four draws in four classical games in the two semi-final matches (replay). Thus both match-ups headed to the playoffs.
In the match-up between Wesley So and Ding Liren, the first pair of rapid games (25mins + 10sec) ended in further draws, but in the second pair of rapid games (10mins + 10sec), Ding Liren drew first blood in the first game and in the second game he was happy enough for the draw. Replay games here.
Wesley So vs. Ding Liren match-up results – FIDE World Cup 2017 Semifinals
Big names that were not able to make it to the Final Four include Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Vladimir Kramnik, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Hikaru Nakamura, Alexander Grischuk, Viswanathan Anand, Sergey Karjakin and Anish Giri.
Remember, the winners (2) of the Semi-Final round are secured a spot in next year’s Candidates tournament.
Moreover, it should be noted that this is the first time that there are 5 2800+ players in the list, after MVL made a comeback to the 2800-club.
FIDE Top 20 — March 2017
Despite the Live Ratings indicating So as now No. 2 after Fabiano Caruana dropped some ELO points to today’s 2820, Caruana’s sub-optimal performance from Gibraltar are not yet in for the official tally.
Levon Aronian gained some ELO points as well from Tata Steel, to settle for 7th to 8th place, with a rating of 2785.