A Word About Caruana's Candidates Victory
Fabiano Caruana is America's first undisputed WCC qualifier since Fischer in '72!

A Word About Caruana's Candidates Victory

Mar 28, 2018, 3:27 PM |

Hello, fellow readers!

I thought as an (American) top blogger, I would take a moment to recognize the man who has been making headlines in the chess world the past 24 hours or so.

First of all, I wanted to say that I was exhilarated to see Fabiano Caruana qualify as the challenger to Magnus Carlsen in November, and he indeed deserved the victory. As an American chess player myself, I watched Caruana two years ago come so close, but falling short to Karjakin... and boy did he come back from that!

I think many of us thought Caruana's destiny was in jeopardy after his devastating loss to (you guessed it!) Karjakin in round 12. Caruana would have to face pre-tournament favorite and always tough Levon Aronian, followed by Grischuk with Black in the final round. But what did he do? He showed unbelievable nerves in the final two rounds, winning both games... something his nearest rivals could not do!

I do admit that Carlsen has to be the pre-match favorite to defend his title. However, no one can doubt that Caruana will come to the event prepared, and Caruana is always a tough game for Magnus Carlsen. I won't go into the match odds or why either player can win, but what matters is that we have our first undisputed WCC challenger since Fischer in 1972! 

Now a few words to the other players... congrats to Karjakin for pulling a 5/6 comeback from rounds 7-12 to come into winning contention despite trailing in last place! I also thought Mamedyarov did well despite not having qualified for the Candidates in forever. And kudos to Ding Liren! I'm sure he wishes he could have done better, though +1 (and undefeated!) for your first Candidates tournament is not bad at all! And he has many more playing years to go!

But one more time... congrats Fabi... I hope you are reading this, and if you are, you fully deserved this victory, you worked for it, and you are my hero!

Now quit wasting time on my low-quality blog, and go prepare for that match with Magnus!