Makeup of a Championship
The 2016 Candidates Tournament, which has been mined in controversy, is finally over. In a triumphant return to the world chess stage, Sergey Karjakin of Russia has earned the right to challenge Magnus Carlsen for the World Chess Championship in New York City. Karjakin finished the tournament with a solid win over American GM Fabiano Caruana. After holding a relatively balanced position for most of the game, Caruana blundered a critical rook move:
Carlsen remains a clear favorite to retain his title, but Karjakin has an opportunity to snatch it away from Norway and bring it back to Mother Russia, whose state-funded system dominated world chess for almost a century. Congratulations and praise poured out from the community following the win.
It's @SergeyKaryakin who will try to snatch away @MagnusCarlsen's crown! #MoscowCandidates #c24live pic.twitter.com/7viWUhV57q— chess24.com (@chess24com) March 28, 2016
Vishy Anand, who challenged Carlsen in 2014 and looked poised to return to the championship at certain points in the tournament, showed an amazing depth of class by symbolically passing the torch on to Karjakin via Twitter.
"I pass the baton to you!" Last Candidates winner Vishy congratulates this year's winner Sergey. #MoscowCandidates pic.twitter.com/zeFOnjLwo4— Amruta Mokal (@amrutamokal) March 28, 2016
Giri’s Drawing Streak
As if this tournament did not already have enough oddities and challenges associated with it, Anish Giri managed to draw every one of his games in the tournament, a staggering 14/14 drawn games! Family, friends, and fans watched as Giri went from a theoretical challenger to the world champion to the subject of memes and jokes spread across the blogosphere.
Says it all, really @anishgiri #Candidates2016 pic.twitter.com/ioZf7dUjl6— Nigel Short (@nigelshortchess) March 28, 2016
I'll admit this pic was an easy one. @anishgiri @chess24com @chesscom #c24live #Candidates2016 #RobeDaScacchisti pic.twitter.com/kzs7AxkIBi— RobedaScacchisti (@RdScacchi) March 19, 2016
Perhaps nothing besides Agon’s coverage policy was as disappointing as Hikaru Nakamura’s performance in the tournament. The American GM, who was among the candidates high on the list to challenge Magnus Carlsen, literally imploded. He regained some ground in the later rounds, but it was not enough to catch Karjakin, Caruana, and Anand who had pulled well ahead of their competitors.
Now the chess world turns its attention to Norway Chess as the next major tournament gets set to begin in just a few short months. Check out the entire collection of games from the 2016 Candidates Tournament below: