He is not too strong. Gelfand, Kramnik and Ivanchuk are better players.
(Chucky loses two games in 2 days, Carlsen has lost 2 classical games in, what, 18 months?)
'Ivanchuk and Gelfand.'
Look like the players for easy wins (well as much as any win vs a super GM is going to be 'easy') in the tourney. Perhaps Grishcuk too.
No-one is going to target Carslen, Lev or Vlad. Svidler seems on top form. Teimour is the unknown - he was just too wild vs Svidler from the off, but he demolished Chuk's Leningrad so impressively.
@ Winnie_Pooh: "What a crazy set-up - why not simply take the top ten of the actual FIDE list?"
Why don't you read up on the FIDE's dirty politics? Their Istanbul torunament for example? Many officials vote for whoever pays for their trip and / or a bribe. otherwiese, Karpov would be the chairman (or whatever the boss is called) of FIDE.
Carlsen has such a huge rating that he is already used to having to play for a win against everyone in the world. It's not like something has changed. If this "make draws against Magnus, press for a win against everyone else" scenario was easy to implement, people would be doing it in every tournament.
It seems the crisis has killed even your notion for freedom. Keep pushing!Opa-Opa bikan ta gidia sto madri...!
So far you have succesfully found the two players that will take the last two places, but I think your third choice (Kramnik) will do better than sixth place. Other than that, your prediction seems 100% correct, but you hold the final standings upside down by accident.
No one seriously suspects Ivanchuk is Carlsen's equal, but do not underestimate him either: there is probably no other player as capable of reeling off several wins in a row in top competition.
But that would be a chess earthquake. Carlsen is only one win off the pace now and, given his history of slow starts and strong finishes, one supposes he is not losing any sleep at this point.
The "slow" start is due to the draw. He played Aronian with black in round 1 and Kramnik in round 2 (who is extremely tough to beat, even with white). And he now beat Gelfand with black, which is tough, too.
All 3 rounds were games, he was supposed to draw in my opinion. So he actually is ahead of his pace.
You are quite right about the early games with Aronian and Kramnik, with Carlsen's tendency to start slow he would be satisified with two draws with them. But I think he fully expects to beat Gelfand every time out. And the record shows he already owns Chucky, he will look to score against Grischuk and Svidler, too.
If Carlsen is no worse than +2 at the turn, he still has a chance if he finishes strong. If he is +3 or better, he will be hard to beat.
Svidler may well be the wild card in this tournament: if he has little chance of winning the title shot, he may still be able to determine who does get it.