Karjakin, Kramnik At Charity Event: Reflections On The Candidates
Karjakin and Kramnik playing blitz with amateurs. | Photos: Maria Emelianova/

Karjakin, Kramnik At Charity Event: Reflections On The Candidates

| 28 | Chess Event Coverage

Last Saturday Sergey Karjakin and Vladimir Kramnik were in Nice, France to participate in a one-day charity event that supported the Red Cross. took the opportunity to ask them about their recently concluded FIDE Candidates' Tournament.

The two Russian grandmasters gave a simul and a masterclass and also participated for a few rounds in the "super blitz" tournament that took place the famous Hotel Negresco. The event, which was dedicated to the memory of Alexander Alekhine, was organized by Nouveau Souffle sur nos ȊIes, a charity that collects funds for victims of hurricanes on French isles in 2017. More info can be found in our preview article.

Karjakin, Kramnik Nice Charity 2018

Karjakin and Kramnik were the stars at the charity event in Nice, France. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/ interviewed both players on camera and asked them how they looked back on their Candidates' Tournament. We give some excerpts (full video interviews below); first Kramnik:

"With mixed feelings. I'm happy the way I played, I mean, I think it was interesting for me and for the public. But I am not sure if the strategy of being very aggressive and very uncompromising was very good from the practical point of view, that's hard to say. But mostly of course there were a few moments, a few really wrong decisions, maybe even bad luck, but I've missed too many opportunities. It's normal that I miss a bit here and there. In the Candidates' it was too much. I had the feeling that if something would go better—maybe it's not possible, maybe my blunders are part of my game, part of my age and of course there were too many of them—I had the feeling I could have even [fought] for the first place if I would have avoided some blunders but maybe it's unavoidable, I don't know, it's hard to say.

"But in any case, I would say that if I don't win the tournament then I prefer to play like I played. I mean, it's only about the first place in this tournament; second or fifth doesn't really matter so much for me. At least I felt that I really played. I really [fought], there [were] a lot of interesting games, a lot of adrenaline, positive and negative emotions. Well, that's life you know, that's what we are living for.

"In this way I am satisfied, that I was not just there present as one of the players who was there and went unnoticed. Clearly I was noticed! [Smiles.] Many games were really crazy, complicated, beautiful, bad, blunders, some very good moves, so in this sense I am quite happy with it.

"But of course, the result not. Not that I feel that I am better than anyone, no. Anyone can have such a result and I didn't have the worst result. For example Levon, he is a fantastic player... It's too tough [a] tournament to be sure you'll do well."


"It was [a] very difficult event and I'm still not completely recovered since it's just three days [ago]. OK, it was a terrible start for me. It was very important to recover and then to win one game. I was happy to beat Wesley So, OK it was a bit with his help, and then after I won one game I started to play much better and I won three more games. I was at least fighting and feeling much better.

"Basically I think that Fabiano deserved to win the tournament. I was upset of course but the result was quite fair." also asked the two players what they think about Fabiano Caruana's chances against Magnus Carlsen in this year's World Championship. Kramnik:

"He has chances definitely. OK, Magnus is a bit of a favorite, always, against any player in the world. He is the best, there is no doubt about it. But Fabiano is a very strong player. When he's in good shape, he can be very dangerous. I think he played the best chess in Berlin, he won absolutely deservedly, he was really the best. Especially some of his games he played, I was really impressed, I mean, this was a really high level. So, if he manages to get in the top for, or at least in the form he was in Berlin, he definitely has chances. Of course Magnus is great, but he is a very strong opponent. I'm looking forward to this match; I think it's going to be extremely interesting, and most probably it will be a very narrow match, that's my feeling."


"I have a feeling that if he will be in a good form, like in the Candidates', then he will have good chances. It actually depends very much on his form because in general he played very badly in Wijk aan Zee but then he clearly worked and he was already much, much stronger in this [tournament].

Asked if he has advice for Caruana, Karjakin replied:

"He didn't ask me but if he will, why not, I can give him advice!"

Karjakin, Kramnik Nice Charity simul 2018

Karjakin asking Kramnik if he needs advice too. | Photo Maria Emelianova/

Karjakin, Kramnik Nice Charity Simul 2018

An enjoyable simul! | Photo Maria Emelianova/

Drawing Kramnik Karjakin Nice

One of the kids had more time on his hands. | Photo Maria Emelianova/

Karjakin Simul Nice

Meeting one of your heros is a moment you won't forget... | Photo Maria Emelianova/

Karjakin blitz Nice charity

...but getting close while he's playing is not bad either. | Photo Maria Emelianova/

Karjakin Galiya Nice Charity

Galiya, Karjakin's wife, participated. Her husband didn't mind holding her bag. | Photo Maria Emelianova/

Galiya Sergey Karjakin Nice Charity

The two, who brought their two sons with them for a small holiday in the sun, talking to the sponsors. | Photo Maria Emelianova/

Kramnik Master Class

Kramnik giving a master class in the afternoon. | Photo Maria Emelianova/

Children playing chess Nice Charity

The start of one of the rounds in the children's section of the blitz. | Photo Maria Emelianova/

Kramnik, Karjakin prize giving children Nice charity

Prize giving with the two stars. | Photo Maria Emelianova/

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