BOTW: Candidates 2018

2018 Candidates Tournament

8-player double RR to determine the Challenger for Magnus Carlsen in the next World Championship match runs March 10-28, 2018 in Berlin.

Name Country FIDE Rank
Shahkriyar Mamedyarov Azerbaijan 2809 2
Vladimir Kramnik Russia  2800 3
Wesley So USA  2799 4
Levon Aronian Armenia  2794 5
Fabiano Caruana USA  2784 7
Ding Liren China  2769 11
Alexander Grischuk Russia  2767 12
Sergey Karjakin Russia  2763 13

Tie-break is most wins (a.k.a.: most losses).

Pairing note: the three Russians are scheduled to play each other in the first three rounds, as are the two Americans, thus reducing the opportunity for a "friendly loss" to a countryman in the last rounds.


Live Games (Rounds start at 3pm local, 9am 10am EST after daylight savings. Schedule is: 1 game per day, 3 days on, one day off. )

ChessBrahs free twich channel features GM Eric Hansen & guests, including Yasser Seirawan on day 1.

Chess24 has free live commentary in English by GM Jan Gustafsson & IM Sopiko Guramishvili, as well as Spanish and German commentary by other titled players.

ChessBase has live commentary for PlayChess members, as well as computer annotated live games for everyone:

If you want to see live video of the players (including any post-mortem interviews), your only choice is the event homepage, which offers PPV video, and live games with commentary by GM Judit Polgar. It is not a good sign that less than one day before the first round their site's links to "pairings" and "news" do not work. OTOH, during the 2016 World Championship match they made part of their round 1 coverage free, and they have said they will make the first three rounds available free to everyone, You can find it here:

For the first three rounds, alternate video options will be available on the World Chess facebook page:

 UPDATE: Agon has made their PPV video feed and commentary free for the first 8 rounds (so far). This may be due to serious problems with their site which could not show live games until round 5, but it means there's one more free choice of commentary -- usually with GM Judit Polgar and IM Lawrence Trent -- but also the live post mortem interviews. These interviews show Caruana is seeing much more than his opponents, especially late in complex games -- a good sign if you're rooting for him.

Even more on the Candidates...

Free Candidates issue of NiC

New in Chess has a free 46 page PDF preview of the Candidates, featuring articles by Timman and Giri, and one game played and annotated by each of the Candidates. A nice freebie and a good introduction to the style and content of the world's best chess magazine. You can download the PDF here.


MVL on the Candidates

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave nearly qualified for the Candidates, and many think his recent results were more deserving of the wild-card entry than Kramnik's. He gives his thoughts on each of the players on his site: