The three actions marked 'OK' in red are done, leaving one action for another post. While I was updating the FIDE links, I discovered a few links concerning the forthcoming title match. I'll add that page ASAP to my index for the
World Chess Championship.
GM Magnus Carlsen will not defend his world championship title against GM Ian Nepomniachtchi next year. Carlsen announced his decision on a podcast on Tuesday. According to current regulations, FIDE Candidates tournament winner Nepomniachtchi will now play the world championship against Candidates runner-up GM Ding Liren.
Ding Liren's participation is about as accidental as things get in the real world. First, GM Karjakin lost his place in the Madrid Candidates; for details see
The Karjakin Affair
Then Ding Liren scrambled to grab that place by rating; for those details see
The Ding Liren Affair
At the half-way point in Madrid, the Chinese star had a negative score, but finished strongly to overtake his rivals for second place.
World Champion Carlsen had already announced the possibility of relinquishing his title during last year's
2021 Carlsen - Nepomniachtchi
title match (m-w.com). The players in Madrid knew that second place was worth a fight.
Classical games: Ian Nepomniachtchi beat Ding Liren 3 to 2, with 9 draws.
Including rapid/exhibition games: Ian Nepomniachtchi beat Ding Liren 13 to 9, with 17 draws.
Only rapid/exhibition games: Ian Nepomniachtchi beat Ding Liren 10 to 7, with 8 draws.
Those results include a +1-0=1 score by Nepo against Ding Liren in Madrid, where the Russian won with the Black pieces. Advantage Nepomniachtchi?
The downside of Carlsen's move is that many fans will continue to think of him as the *real* World Champion. The winner of the forthcoming title match -- venue still unknown -- will forever have an asterisk after his name. We know from the PCA fiasco that 'two world champions are [not!] better than one'; for those details see
(m-w.com; 1993-1996 and after).
One thing I can't do is explain the event's logo, shown on the left.
It's a reverse (black on white) copy of the official logo (white on black) seen on many FIDE pages.
The logo shows eight right-pointing arrows aimed at a Rook. To the left of the Rook is a small text that says 'a8'. What does it all mean?
There are still a few more actions concerning the event to be accomplished:-
Add the PGN to the m-w.com page.
Calculate the cumulative scores and add them to the same page.
These scores were compared for the previous five events in
Madrid Candidates - First Week
Last week, in
Madrid Candidates - Second Week
(June 2022), we left the tournament with GM Nepomniachtchi in first place, a point ahead of GM Caruana. I speculated,
With five rounds left to play it seems even more unlikely that anyone except Nepomniachtchi or Caruana will win the event.
The Russian finished +1-0=4 in the last five games, while the American collapsed with +0-3=2, giving him four losses in the second half of the tournament. The final tally in the following image tells the complete story.
The battle for second place was less straightforward, especially since World Champion Carlsen had teased that he might hang up his crown before the next title match is held.
That last round game 'Ding [Liren] Beats Nakamura' left the Chinese player a half point ahead of his main rival for runner-up status and a possible title match.
The applause and Nepo's reaction to it are worthy of a champion. Players who won candidates tournaments always became superstars. Players who won two --
Smyslov, Spassky, Karpov, Anand -- always became World Champions.
Re 'Players who won two [Candidate cycles] always became World Champions', wrong! A few weeks after this post, a Chessbase article,
Nepo joins the elite Two Plus Club
(chessbase.com; Albert Silver), pointed out that Korchnoi won two cycles, but lost the title match both times to Karpov.