A Pictorial Look-Back At The Candidates'

A Pictorial Look-Back At The Candidates'

| 22 | Chess Event Coverage

A week ago Sergey Karjakin emerged as the winner of the Candidates' Tournament in Moscow. Let's look back one more time at this historic event.

Our photographer Lennart Ootes, who was present during the last five rounds, shot many more photos than were used in our reports. But they deserve to be published as well! So why not go through those, and relive some of the moments of the decisive phase in the tournament?

Karjakin could actually be found at the top of the leaderboard from round two, and only left that top spot once. He first shared with Vishy Anand, then Levon Aronian joined them, but he was in clear first place after rounds four and five. Aronian then joined him in first place for three rounds.

Round 9

From that point things started to change each round. It turned out to be easier to reach the top than to stay there!

In round nine Anand defeated Levon Aronian and took over his shared first place. Karjakin drew his game with Hikaru Nakamura.

It was also the round where, after seven hours and seven minutes of play, Anish Giri had to settle for a draw after getting a winning position against Fabiano Caruana. Veselin Topalov and Peter Svidler also drew their game.

The podium had nice design in black and white, with the logos of Agon, FIDE and Tashir.

Anand and Aronian, walking towards the studio to do their post-mortem.

By that point Hikaru Nakamura was on a disappointing 3.5/9.

Anish Giri and Fabiano Caruana played one of the most thrilling and memorable games of the tournament... of the games Giri was incredibly close to win.

Vishy Anand established himself once again as a clear contender in this tournament.

Round 10

Anand couldn't keep his place at the top. In round ten he lost to Fabiano Caruana in an English, the opening of the tournament. Caruana thus joined the group of favorites with four rounds to go. The American GM shared first place with Karjakin, who drew with Giri.

Caruana, getting ready for his game with Anand...

...who was going to have a tough day at the office.

Winners tend to get interviewed...


...and photographed.

Meanwhile Topalov wasn't exactly having his tournament.

Co-leader Karjakin facing the man of many draws, Anish Giri.

The game seen from the Beluga sponsored VIP room.

Karjakin was sporting an almost pompadour hair style this day.

An enjoyable post-mortem with Giri, Karjakin and Ian Nepomniachtchi...

...with a TV in the studio showing what the internet viewers see.

Karjakin was obviously most popular with local media.

Round 11

This time it was Karjakin's turn to drop down, whereas Vishy Anand was fully back again. In round 11 it was the Indian who beat Karjakin (in a great game), who thus was not in the lead for only two of the 14 rounds. It was one of the rounds Caruana might still be thinking about sometimes: he drew with Veselin Topalov but could have won.

Chief Arbiter Werner Stubenvoll starts the clock...

...of a game that starts with the 3...Nf6 a.k.a. as the infamous Berlin.

For a moment Karjakin must have felt his tournament was slipping away.

Anand was proud of his game and enjoyed explaining it. 

A dark moment for the eventual winner...

...but a glorious one for the five-time world champion.

Giri and Nakamura the start of their game... by Giri's wife Sopiko Guramishvili and his coach Vladimir Tukmakov.

Svidler was under pressure but in the end defeated Aronian in this round.

Topalov escaped with a draw vs Caruana.

Perhaps one of Caruana's crucial games?

Round 12

Making his tournament a real rollercoaster, Anand followed his good win with another loss in round 12. Again in the English, against against an American: Hikaru Nakamura prepared and played well. Karjakin beat Topalov surprisingly easily and now shared with Caruana. The topic of tiebreaks started to become important: Karjakin was doing better on the (second) tiebreak: number of wins.

Caught in Nakamura's prep in the English, Anand hardly got into the game.

Karjakin grabbed his chance to bounce back with an easy win vs the tail-ender.

Caruana and Aronian are just told that the latter could have won at one moment.

Giri and Svidler on their way to the post-mortem studio, one floor higher.

Round 13

Nakamura continued strongly and beat Topalov in round 13. With draws in the other games, nothing changed at the top: Caruana and Karjakin went into the final round sharing first place, and had to play each other on that last day. Karjakin would only need a draw, except in the unlikely scenario that Anand would beat Peter Svidler in the last round.

Nakamura always had a can of Red Bull by his side at the start of the rounds.

The two main characters at the end of the tournament.

Peter Svidler in a first pose of concentration...

...and another one for retrieving preparation. 

Round 14

Anand drew his game and so Caruana really had to beat Karjakin in that final round. And we all remember what happened: he got his chances in a Classical (Rauzer) Sicilian, Karjakin found a promising pawn sacrifice, and in a sharp position Caruana miscalculated. With a nice rook sacrifice Karjakin decided the game, and the tournament.

Before the final round Topalov joined his friend Silvio Danailov briefly in the press room.

The players always met in a glass room, a few minutes before the round.

Karjakin's second Vladimir Potkin wished his boss luck before every round. 

The game of the tournament has begun!

The playing hall was packed with media.

Fittingly, the other three games ended first so everyone could focus on this one.

Spectators watching digital screens just outside the playing hall.

At some point players joined them!

Karjakin wins, and first meets his manager Kirill Zangalis...

...who gives him the hug of all hugs!

Then he brings his Sergey towards the awaiting media.

Meanwhile Caruana gives his version of the story as well...

...and even shares a smile or two.

But the big man of course is Karjakin...

...with a proud Andrey Filatov, President of the Russian Chess Federation, behind him.

Sergey Karjakin, Magnus Carlsen's next opponent for the world title.

Our photographer Lennart Ootes, Politeia on, was present during rounds 9-14. He used a Sony a7II mirrorless digital camera suitable for interchangeable lenses. Most photos were shot with a Carl Zeiss 85mm f1.8 lense. For wide-angles, a Sony 28mm f2 was used.

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