Candidate's Tournament Selection
Just going by the latest rankings (http://www.2700chess.com/), how good has the candidates selection been over the last two years? For placing, tie breaks are considered, which is only truly important for 2013, where Carlsen beat Kramnik on tie breaks.
- 1. Carlsen - 2013 1st, 2014 champion.
- 2. Aronian - 2013 4th, 2014 6th
- 3. Anand - 2013 champion, 2014 1st
- 4. Kramnik - 2013 2nd, 2014 3rd
- 5. Caruana - n/a
- 6. Grischuk - 2013 6th
- 7. Karjakin - 2014 2nd
- 8. Topalov - 2014 8th
- 9. Nakamura - n/a
- 10. Mamedyarov - 2014 4th
- 13. Svidler - 2013 3rd, 2014 7th
- 15. Gelfand - 2013 5th
- 16. Ivanchuk - 2013 7th
- 29. Andreikin - 2014 5th
- 33. Radjabov - 2013 8th
I think it's pretty clear that the candidates tournament has done its job well, putting most of the top players into the field of 8, with a little bit of opportunity for "lower" rated players to get in. Radjabov peaked at 4th in the world, and was much higher rated last year, so his current rating of 33rd (still 2700+) should not be considered low. Andreikin, though only 29th, took second in the 2013 Chess World Cup, beating Karjakin, Svidler, Tomashevsky, before losing in the final to Kramnik. Note that's two candidates.
The two highest rated players not selected, Caruana and Nakamura, don't seem like they're going anywhere. Anyone handicapping next years candidate's would be hard-pressed to give much less than even money for either of those players. In that World Cup, Nakamura was upset in the 4th round, and Caruana lost to MVL (11th right now), who in turn lost to Kramnik.
I think missing out on the candidate's tournament this year was actually good for Nakamura in the long run, and that will be the subject of my next post.