Remember in my previous post when I said that it’s not often the highest rated player in the world loses as White? I may have to retract that statement. Once again, Magnus Carlsen has lost, this time playing White against Peter Svidler. No, this is not an April Fools joke. He must be incredibly disappointed, right? Well, not likely, as he is still the winner of the Candidates tournament, and has earned the right to face Anand in the World Championship later this year. Congrats to MC!
It was an incredible last round, with Carlsen tied with Kramnik (but Carlsen having the better tiebreaks). While Carlsen had White and was facing Svidler, Kramnik had Black – and was facing the Carlsen-killer, Ivanchuk. Ivanchuk once again played an incredible game (the computers didn’t have any complaints with his move choices), and won – a crushing blow to Kramnik, who actually had a chance to steal the tournament from Carlsen.
This was one of the most exciting tournaments in recent memory. While some are complaining about the tiebreak order (first criteria is head-to-head result, second criteria is number of wins, third criteria is Sonnenborn-Berger, where Kramnik actually has the edge), it is hard to argue with the drama and thrilling conclusion.