Saturday, March 23, 2013

The 2013 Candidates Tournament in London

Magnus Carlsen during one of the early rounds of the 2013 Candidates tournament
We are almost at the half-way mark of the 2013 Candidates tournament in London. Most people seem to expect Carlsen to win the tournament.
Well... time is on Carlsen's side, therefore I would like to see Aronian or maybe even Kramnik win the chance to play a match with Anand. Carlsen will become world champion sooner or later anyway. In the meantime Aronian and Kramnik deserve a shot at the title. I like Aronian for his creative and tactical play style, and Kramnik is simply one of the most solid players around. His win rate isn't quite as impressive as it used to be, but he almost never loses a game, and considering the high caliber tournaments he's playing in that really is quite an achievement. However, with almost half the games played in London it is already pretty clear that Kramnik lost his chances to take first place. Right now it's a neck to neck race between Carlsen and Aronian. I hope Aronian comes out ahead, but I fear it'll be Carlsen. I have nothing against Carlsen, in fact I admire his seemingly effortless style of winning drawish positions. I just think success is coming a little too quick for him. If he has to work for the title just a few years more, he'll most certainly become a better player overall.
Vladimir Kramnik and Levon Aronian at the opening ceremony of the FIDE Candidates
Tournament in London
Garry Kasparov is on record saying that winning the candidates tournament is more difficult than beating Anand in the subsequent match. I'm inclined to agree.

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