Giri, Carlsen Face Off On Twitter As FIDE Candidates' Tournament Starts

Giri, Carlsen Face Off On Twitter As FIDE Candidates' Tournament Starts

| 121 | Chess Event Coverage

Tonight is the official opening, and tomorrow the first round of one of the biggest events of the year: the FIDE Candidates' Tournament in Berlin, Germany. Anish Giri, who has been revealed as Vladimir Kramnik's second, faced off with Magnus Carlsen in a Twitter feud.

The FIDE Candidates' is a tournament with eight players who will be playing a double round robin of 14 rounds in total. These are the participants:

2018 FIDE Candidates' Tournament | Participants

# Fed Name Rtg Rnk Age Qualification
1 AZE Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2814 2 32 Grand Prix
2 RUS Vladimir Kramnik 2800 3 43 Wildcard
3 USA Wesley So 2799 4 25 Rating
4 ARM Levon Aronian 2797 5 35 World Cup
5 USA Fabiano Caruana 2784 7 26 Rating
6 CHN Ding Liren 2769 11 25 World Cup
7 RUS Alexander Grischuk 2767 12 34 Grand Prix
8 RUS Sergey Karjakin 2763 13 28 Runner-up 2016

The total prize fund is €420,000 / $515,000, which is the minimum prize fund stipulated by FIDE in the regulations (here in PDF). The amounts are net and cleared of local taxes. 
1st place: €95,000
2nd place: €88,000
3rd place: €75,000
4th place: €55,000
5th place: €40,000
6th place: €28,000
7th place: €22,000
8th place: €17,000

The full pairings for the tournament were done in advance (see our report here). In the first round, on March 10 at 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. Eastern, 6 a.m. Pacific), we will see the games: Levon Aronian vs Ding Liren; Vladimir Kramnik vs Alexander Grischuk; Sergey Karjakin vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov; and Fabiano Caruana vs Wesley So.

During the whole event, the Chessbrahs will bring you live coverage for free on both and with commentary by GMs Yasser Seirawan, Eric Hansen, Robin van Kampen and Aman Hambleton.


The winner of the tournament earns the right to challenge Magnus Carlsen for the 2018 world title match, scheduled for November.

Carlsen was involved in a Twitter feud this week together with Anish Giri, after the big news was revealed that Giri is seconding Kramnik for this Candidates'. A source told that the two started working together after Wijk aan Zee.

It was this news that prompted Carlsen to send the following tweet, and Giri quickly reacted to it.

Soon after that, Carlsen tweeted about a comment made by French top grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. In an excellent article posted on his own website, MVL wrote about Kramnik:

"In my opinion, Vlad is probably the player in the world who best understands chess. You can show him whatever position, his instincts will seldom let him down."

Carlsen tweeted a 'face with tears of joy'... which Giri responded:

That's when Carlsen "had enough" and things got less friendly. His response:

Giri's reply to that:

America's top GM Hikaru Nakamura supported the world champion (and his tweet was retweeted by Giri with the same emoji used earlier by Carlsen):

Back to the tournament. Below are some more details—for instance, in case of a tie, the following tiebreak rules will be used:

a) The results of the games between the players involved in the tie.
b) The total number of wins in the tournament of every player involved in the tie.
c) Sonneborn - Berger System.

In the unlikely event that players are still tied, a playoff will be played on March 28.

The time control is 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, 50 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move 1.

The tournament will be held in the Külhaus Berlin, a "factory"-style building that used to be a cooling place to keep foods fresh but nowadays is being used for art, concerts, and exhibitions. It consists of seven floors, of which five will be used during the tournament.

Külhaus Berlin Chess Candidates Tournament

An interior photo courtesy of the Kühlhaus website.

Tickets will cost from €20 to €40 a day, and tournament passes will be €170. VIP options will also be available. Following the match online will cost $15.

You can follow the games of the tournament live on our server and watch the commentary by the Chessbrahs on

Play Candidates' Tournament Sweepstakes!

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Correction: an earlier version of this report erroneously stated that the tournament runs 13 rounds (instead of 14).

Previous reports:

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