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Carlsen has the momentum of a tidal wave behind him. He is unstoppable.

Anand's best chance now will be to play the Fischer Gambit, and never show up.

Are you sure that is not the Fischer Hedgehog? =)

"The Fischer Gambit" HAHA I love it!

However, to the subject at hand, I expect Carlsen to win the tournament. However, I would not be shocked if Kramnik were to win an upset and take the event.

If Carlsen wins the tournament, I think he'll be able to defeat Anand in the regular title match. But if they deadlock and it goes to rapid tie-breaks ... I'm betting on Anand.

If anyone other than Carlsen wins the tournament, I suspect Anand will retain the crown. Although for some reason, I do feel Ivanchuk might be able to unseat Vishy, but I don't think he'll win the tournament, so I don't think the issue will come up.

Those are my predictions.

If someone can nick Carlsen for a win early, it could be a wide-open affair. The longer he can hang around the lead, the less likely someone else will be able to dislodge him.

What? That doesn't make any sense to me... Why would it matter when someone gets a win as long as it happens?

You're assuming that all wins put the player in the lead, which is false. Assuming the lead is a much stronger condition than that.

However, you do make a good point. I cannot find a way to argue the poster's claim either, though I initially believed it to be a truism. I would like to say something like this: Assume player X lost the lead in round n of a tounament lasting N rounds; then the probability of X winning is approximated by X winning a N-n round tournament--this may actually be true but remember X can be a half-point below the leaders after a loss; account for the possibility that X never loses their lead to break the equality.

It has nothing to do with probabilities, but a lot to do with game psychology.

If Carlsen loses a game early in the event, putting him in a hole (it will take at least +2, 8.0/14, and perhaps more, to win the tournament), the strategy changes not only for him, but for all competitors. He must undertake greater risks, which puts him at risk for another loss that might devastate his chances.

But it is even more significant the effect an early Carlsen loss would have on the field. All those ahead of him would be inspired, reinvigorated, and eager to put themselves another game ahead by beating another rival rather than settling for a draw.

Only those who have never played in a round robin tournament could possibly think that WHEN a win or loss occurs is not of great significance in the competition.

I disagree, Estragon. Psychologically, if Carlsen loses early in the tournament, he will have plenty of time to rebound from that loss. However, if he loses in the second half of the tournament and drops out of first place, it will be much more difficult for him to catch up again.

If Carlsen loses in the first half of the tournament, he will be able to say to himself that he can always make it up in the second half. If he drops out of first place by a full point in the second half of the tournament, even Carlsen may not be able to catch up. I think the tie-breaks work against him in this case because he's the highest rated player. So he needs to win the tournament outright, or at least defeat his nearest rivals in their head-to-head match ups.

^what estragon said.

Also Carlsen has stamina, so hes chances improve over time, it may only be possible to stop him early.

I disagree, Estragon. Psychologically, if Carlsen loses early in the tournament, he will have plenty of time to rebound from that loss. However, if he loses in the second half of the tournament and drops out of first place, it will be much more difficult for him to catch up again.

If Carlsen loses in the first half of the tournament, he will be able to say to himself that he can always make it up in the second half. If he drops out of first place by a full point in the second half of the tournament, even Carlsen may not be able to catch up. I think the tie-breaks work against him in this case because he's the highest rated player. So he needs to win the tournament outright, or at least defeat his nearest rivals in their head-to-head match ups.

You are assuming quite a bit. An early loss is certain to put a player behind. A loss in the second half is by no means certain to "drop a full point behind" since he could be leading by two points when it happens.

Tiebreaks do not apply in this tournament, either. If there is a tie for first, it will be played off: the challenger will not be determined by tiebreaks.

You are assuming quite a bit.An early loss is certain to put a player behind. A loss in the second half is by no means certain to "drop a full point behind" since he could be leading by two points when it happens.Tiebreaks do not apply in this tournament,either. If there is a tie for first, it will be played off: the challenger will not be determined by tiebreaks.It seems that you are the one making assumptions here. I stated that

Carlsen drops out of first place by a full point in the second half, even Carlsen may not be able to catch up.ifRegarding tie-breaks:

Here's the tournament rules:

3. 7 Tie-breaks

If the top two or more players score the same points, the tie will be decided by the following criteria, in order of priority:

a) The results of the games between the players involved in the tie.

If they are still tied:

b) The total number of wins in the tournament of every player involved in the tie.

If they are still tied:

c) Sonneborn - Berger System.

3.7.1.a If there is no clear winner with the above 3 criteria, there will be a special competition between the players who still remain

tied after using the 3rd criteria (Sonneborn - Berger): after a new drawing of colors, each tied player will play two (2) tie-break games

with the other tied opponent(s). The games shall be played using the electronic clock starting with 25 minutes for each player with an

increment of 10 seconds after each move.

3

You are assuming quite a bit. An early loss is certain to put a player behind. A loss in the second half is by no means certain to "drop a full point behind" since he could be leading by two points when it happens.

Tiebreaks do not apply in this tournament, either. If there is a tie for first, it will be played off: the challenger will not be determined by tiebreaks.

It seems that you are the one making assumptions here. I stated that if Carlsen drops out of first place by a full point in the second half, even Carlsen may not be able to catch up.

Regarding tie-breaks:

Here's the tournament rules:

3. 7 Tie-breaks

If the top two or more players score the same points, the tie will be decided by the following criteria, in order of priority:

a) The results of the games between the players involved in the tie.

If they are still tied:

b) The total number of wins in the tournament of every player involved in the tie.

If they are still tied:

c) Sonneborn - Berger System.

3.7.1.a If there is no clear winner with the above 3 criteria, there will be a special competition between the players who still remain

tied after using the 3rd criteria (Sonneborn - Berger): after a new drawing of colors, each tied player will play two (2) tie-break games

with the other tied opponent(s). The games shall be played using the electronic clock starting with 25 minutes for each player with an

increment of 10 seconds after each move.

3

You seem correct on tiebreaks.

Your defense that you said "IF Carlsen drops behind by a full point in the second half" is just a different argument than I posed. You are talking about a total score, I am talking about a single early loss and its effect on the competition.

If you wish to believe there is no such effect, that is your privilege.

It has nothing to do with probabilities, but a lot to do with game psychology.

If Carlsen loses a game early in the event, putting him in a hole (it will take at least +2, 8.0/14, and perhaps more, to win the tournament), the strategy changes not only for him, but for all competitors. He must undertake greater risks, which puts him at risk for another loss that might devastate his chances.

But it is even more significant the effect an early Carlsen loss would have on the field. All those ahead of him would be inspired, reinvigorated, and eager to put themselves another game ahead by beating another rival rather than settling for a draw.

Only those who have never played in a round robin tournament could possibly think that WHEN a win or loss occurs is not of great significance in the competition.

Again, it is seemingly so natural that I thought it was a truism. However, I am looking for more rigor. What your argument lacks is a measurement of the effects

inspiration, reinvigoration, etc., have on tournament results.Also a rational basis for reacting in such a way should be provided. For instance, rationale based on probabilities--or rather

perceivedprobabilities--would do.Btw: Your original statement is:

"If someone can nick Carlsen for a win early, it could be a wide-open affair. The longer he can hang around the lead, the less likely someone else will be able to dislodge him."Notice that the conclusion of your claim is a statement about the likelihood of an event. Compare that with the definition of probability. There is simply no way of asserting and arguing for your claim without dealing with probabilities at some level.A Carlsen loss injects new information into the system, how the system responds is less likely to be thorough near the end.

Gelfand will win again.

That would be amusing, GPG. But I liked what was said at chessvibes about him. He has the skills to win again, but this isn't a match-play tournament and he's not as young as he once was. It's just too much to ask for him to bounce back so quickly and repeat the feat of a lifetime.

Btw, Caruana, Erwin L'Ami and others (not just at ChessVibes) have also argued that one of Carlsen's greatest strengths is his stamina, both in individual games and toward the end of tournaments. The consensus seems to be that Kramnik is getting old. Kramnik's dropping points late in tournaments will happen more frequently, and sadly may happen here.