2018 Berlin Candidates Tournament
finished with a clear winner, no tiebreaks necessary. Congratulations to Fabiano Caruana on earning the right to challenge World Champion Magnus Carlsen next November in a title match.
In my previous post,
Berlin Candidates - Second Week
I recorded the situation at the top after nine of the 14 rounds had been played:-
6.0 Caruana; 5.5 Mamedyarov; 5.0 Grischuk
Since the official site,
never did manage to produce a crosstable, I'll use their chart of scores per round ('Standings') to show the final scores.
The scenario for an exciting finish was set in the 12th round when the two front runners were both defeated. Playing with the White pieces, Karjakin (6.0/11 before the round) beat Caruana (7.0). Playing Black, Ding Liren (5.5 after 11 draws) beat Mamedyarov (6.5)
Many onlookers started to wonder whether we were going to see a second Carlsen - Karjakin title match, after the Russian scored +4-0=2 in rounds seven through twelve, thereby catching up with Caruana.
The two most recent posts on my main blog described the situation before the last two rounds.
With two rounds to go, in
Two Championship Qualifying Events,
The 2018 Berlin Candidates Tournament is also reaching its climax and here the results are anything but clear.
Five players are bunched within a half-point of each other.
Before the final round, in
Berlin Candidates - Tiebreaks,
The players with a chance of winning the tournament (plus their scores going into the last round) are:
8.0 Caruana; 7.5 Mamedyarov, Karjakin; 7.0 Ding Liren.
It's still not easy to calculate each player's chances to win.
Playing Black, Caruana beat Grischuk and none of the other games mattered anymore. The chart above shows that Caruana won his last two games, despite the tension. He seems to have the nerves of steel that all World Chess Champions necessarily possess.
I watched the beginning of the last few rounds on Chess24.com. For the first nine rounds, I alternated between that site and the official site, Worldchess.com, switching when the commentators on one site or the other took a break. After the Worldchess broadcasts disappeared behind the site's paywall, I settled on Chess24 exclusively. Although Judit Polgar did a capable job for Worldchess, their other commentators were not at her level.
Worldchess.com was plagued by technical and organizational problems. For the first few rounds, the site was unable to display the games in progress. News reports only started appearing after the first half of the event had been played, even though the same reports had been available on Fide.com from the beginning.
For games in progress, the main page displayed broken images for the players' caricatures, although these were working on other parts of the site (as the chart above shows).
Now I have to change the title of my 'World Chess Championship' page. Until now, it has shown
2018 Carlsen - TBA; London, XI, 2018.
After three successful title matches, GM Carlsen might be favored to win, but GM Caruana has shown that he will be a worthy challenger.