Svidler is FIDE Candidates Wildcard

  • FM MikeKlein
  • on 11/5/13, 6:29 AM.

The Russian organizers have chosen GM Peter Svidler as the lone wildcard to the 2014 FIDE Candidates Tournament, to be held in Khanty-Mansisyk in Siberia from March 12-30. The official statement on FIDE's web site is here.

They were free to choose any player rated above 2725; Svidler is currently 2752 on the live ratings list, ranking him 13th in the world.

Svidler finished third at the 2013 Candidates Tournament, the event that GM Magnus Carlsen won to challenge for the world title. Just three weeks ago, Svidler won his seventh Russian Championship.

Svidler (left) winning the 2013 Russian Championship. Photo courtesy Eteri Kublashvili, Russian Chess Federation

Svidler joins the other seven players who are already qualified - GMs Vladimir Kramnik, Dmitry Andreikin, Veselin Topalov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Levon Aronian, Sergey Karjakin, and the loser of this month's World Championship Match.

Organizers passed over other possible nominations, including GMs Hikaru Nakamura (world number four), Alexander Grischuk (number five), Fabiano Caruana (number six), prior World Champion Runner-Up Boris Gelfand (number seven), and Leinier Dominguez (number 12).

A recent poll asked members which of these players they would like to see get the wildcard. With more than 3000 respondents, Nakamura had the highest share with around 40 percent of the voters choosing him.

10149 reads 55 comments
4 votes


  • 3 years ago


    I somehow can't picture Svidler as champion, he doesn't give the impression that he is burning inside with that kind of desire. I would rather see Nakamura as well, considering his live rating and ambitions. But still, Svidler's a valid choice, he is the current Russian champion, he is a great player, and has performed well in previous candidates events as far as I remember. 

  • 3 years ago


    Naka's play is inspiring and aggressive. 

  • 3 years ago


    Svidler is a good choice.

  • 3 years ago


    GoatsRUs you are american of course you want naka to get the wildcard!

  • 3 years ago


    Of course the Russians are going to cheat. Whats new? Who got paid off is the only question. Nakamura deserved it.

  • 3 years ago


    Good choice! He would have been my choice as well (either him or possibly Grischuk) - hope he lives up to his (massive) potential in the tournament! Smile

  • 3 years ago


    Much agreed, Svidler would have been my choice for his Russian Championship, World Cup and Candidates performance.

  • 3 years ago


    @MikeKlein, indeed has members all over the world, but americans are, by far, the highest percentual (check it out). 

    Of course the comparison with the other poll does not hold: how many american chess players care anything about Edison and a hypothetical chess tourney?

  • 3 years ago


    Awesome, SVIDLER ON THE ROOF!!!!!!!

  • 3 years ago

    NM Petrosianic

    interesting but understandable svidler over grischuk given grischuk's unambitious play with white at previous candidates matches, although grischuk's strategies tend to work...

  • 3 years ago


    Of course the Russians have the selection of who gets in. They got the rights to host the event it is their call. When Rex Sinquefield buys the rights in the next two cycles then Nakamura will get in if he cant on his own marits. Too bad Caruana plays for Italy but he is still an American and I believe he is vacationing in his old stomping grounds in Florida right now.

  • 3 years ago


    True, MikeKlein! That did slip my mind...!

    Just to add that I voted for Gelfand in pole, so Svidler wasn`t my first choice. 

    There are players who are very very interesting to watch and follow, but can`t actually go too far. 

    For example, Morozevich is very exciting player, very talented, but he suffers from the very same problems as Nakamura. Maybe they are simply too `adventureous` for a Tourney such as Candidates.

  • 3 years ago


    Naka record vs current top 10 players

    Classical games: Magnus Carlsen beat Hikaru Nakamura 7 to 0, with 15 draws.

    Classical games: Levon Aronian beat Hikaru Nakamura 6 to 4, with 7 draws.

    Classical games: Hikaru Nakamura beat Vladimir Kramnik 4 to 3, with 7 draws.

    Classical games: Alexander Grischuk beat Hikaru Nakamura 3 to 2, with 5 draws.

    Classical games: Hikaru Nakamura beat Fabiano Caruana 3 to 0, with 8 draws.

    Classical games: Boris Gelfand beat Hikaru Nakamura 6 to 2, with 5 draws.

    Classical games: Hikaru Nakamura beat Viswanathan Anand 3 to 0, with 8 draws.

    Classical games: Hikaru Nakamura tied Veselin Topalov 1 to 1, with 4 draws.

    Classical games: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov beat Hikaru Nakamura 4 to 3, with 2 draws.

    Not great but not bad either. If he was facing Anand or Caruana he would have a great chance to win but vs Carlsen or Gelfand his chances would look grim.

  • 3 years ago

    FM MikeKlein

    @Nao83 - I was reporting on the results of the poll on this site without comment. That is not biased. In a recent poll about scientists being good chess players, the Serbian Nikola Tesla won, with the only American, Thomas Edison, finishing last. We have members from all over the world.

    @Eeyore12 - You may have forgotten that Nakamura has won Wijk aan Zee in 2011.

  • 3 years ago


    Caruana would have been a decent choice, but he is very young and sure will have many chances in years to come.

    Nakamura has terrible record against top players, never won any super tournaments...though I do fancy his fighting spirit.

    Grischuk had a poor year for his standards, especially way too many drawn games...

    So I would pick either Svidler (who can fight the giants: Kramnik, Carlsen, Aronian...) or Gelfand (because of his dedication and brilliant year).

    Svidler is a very good choice!

  • 3 years ago


    I don't agree with ChessPlayer6033... Grischuk is not a good choice... but Svidler is very deserving despite being ranked lower... I will not even be surprised if he ends up surprising everybody in the Candidates... though I still hope that Kramnik eventually will get another shot at the championship...

  • 3 years ago


    Nao83 We don't have to ask you who is your favorite right? Cool Sei italiano, mi sembra ovvio, Caruana?

  • 3 years ago


    Let's get real, Naka fans.  Cool Choosing the wildcard is one of the perks of organizing the site for the match.  Is the Russian Chess Federation going to pass over a well qualified and very popular Russian Champion for Naka, or Caruna?  How would they explain that their own members?

    When the US hosts a Candidates Tournament Naka will get his shot.

  • 3 years ago


    Caruana has been steadily increasing his rating and ranking, and is still only 21. I expect him to have other chances to play in Candidates events in the future (and even play for the title IMO), but it would have been nice to see him thrown into the mix this time as well.

    Svidler is one of my favourite players, by all accounts a very likeable guy, and I hope he will do himself justice in the event, but I don't think he is a potential world champion.

  • 3 years ago


    My vote would have gone to Grischuk or Naka

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