Why Everybody Is Stupid - A Factual Opinion Piece
With the Candidates starting in ... a couple hours... I thought I'd throw my two cents in and make a prediction about who is going to win the whole thing.
By the way, this really shouldn't surprise anybody.
Okay so for starters, I've heard Giri's name tossed around as though he's likely to win the whole thing. The explanation (I kid you not): "Giri is the only one with a plus score against Carlsen" well if it's not already apparent, here's why everybody is stupid: CARLSEN ISN'T PLAYING IN THE CANDIDATES. Just because Giri would (arguably) have the best chance of actually beating Carlsen in a match, does not mean that he deserves to have that match.
Think about it... It's a slight exaggeration but Giri hasn't won a tournament in his life. Yeah, sure, everybody has a chance if they stumble into the best tournament of their life, but I don't see why anybody would start betting on Giri.
So WHO WILL WIN THE RIGHT TO PLAY MAGNUS CARLSEN?
Let's pretend there is no Candidates and a statistician was told to go pick somebody who deserves to play Carlsen. How would he decide?
Would he compare head to head results? Yes. Would he compare results in top tier tournaments? Yes. Would he pick somebody who has maintained the highest average rating over the past year? Yes.
Is the person our imaginary statistician picks likely to win the real-world Candidates tournament? Of course.
Well guess what, the same person finishes at the top of all those categories.
The man who will win the Candidates (and then get smushed by Carlsen) is Hikaru Nakamura.