So... Who Will Win The Candidates?
Magnus will have some competition later this year!

So... Who Will Win The Candidates?

EOGuel
EOGuel
Mar 9, 2018, 1:58 PM |
34

I apologize if this post is going to be somewhat lame. I just got back from a beach vacation, and I am currently preparing for the Texas Scholastic Championships. I hope I can get this post done in time!

Well... anyways... most of you probably know about the Candidates tournament. If you don't, then ask your chess playing brother.  But in this dense and competitive field, who will come out on top? Will we see Carlsen-Karjakin 2.0? Will we have an American (finally!) represent? Someone else? After all, every top blogger and chess personality needs to make their predictions and analysis known! Without further ado, let's meet the players, and see their chances for a shot at Magnus for the coveted world crown:

#8: Ding Liren

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Advancing to the World Cup finals is no small feat. Going into his match against Aronian, Ding posted an impressive +6 score out of 19 games (including tiebreaks), including a win against fellow candidates competitor Wesley So! However, Ding Liren will be the underdog going into his first Candidates tournament, and I don't think anyone wants to see him rematch Carlsen...

#7: Alexander Grischuk

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Simply hard to vote against a former #3 player in the world. Grischuk will be one of Russia's three representatives going into the event... will he prosper like Karjakin did two years ago? The pressure is on...

#6: Wesley So

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It's tough to do this, given the brilliant 2016 Wesley So has had. How many tournaments has Wesley So won since his magical Grand Chess Tour run? Don't count him out, though it will be tough for him to endure 14 games against such monsters in his first shot at a world championship crown.

#5: Shakhiyar Mamedyarov:

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I know you are screaming at me. HOW DARE you rank the world #2 this low like that? How disrespectful! Well... reborn into the 2800 club, Mamedyarov will be making his return for the first time in many years. Will he be successful?

#4: Sergey Karjakin:

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That's right. Sergey did it once, and he can do it again. Won't the players (especially those who played two years ago) give him the respect/fear he deserves? Being the lowest rated player will not be easy, though, in these tournaments, ratings mean nothing... period.

#3: Fabiano Caruana:

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Fabi is new to super-tournament wins, though I would not be shocked at all to see him win his second major tournament (he won London last year). Fabiano has shown in recent years that he can contend for world championship glory. As a bonus, if Giri has a successor (14 draws), I would pick him. But I don't think anyone will walk away with 14 draws.

#2: Vladimir Kramnik:

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Vladimir Kramnik vs. Magnus Carlsen is one of those matches with potential we never got to see in a world championship. Vladimir Kramnik is 42 years old, still in the 2800 circuit, and he may have some finishing touches to do before retirement. Could this be his last Candidates event?

#1: Levon Aronian:

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I don't even need to explain this. Somehow, the words "Levon Aronian" and "Candidates" go together well. Aronian could very well be the one to win the Candidates and ultimately dethrone Magnus Carlsen. But if another wins? I would not be shocked at all.

So... who do YOU think will win the Candidates? Please comment and discuss!