Round 1 of Candidates Tournament
Excitement as round 1 starts!
The Candidates Tournament is the unique event that will decide who will be the challenger for the World Championship match (against Carlsen), later this year. As such, all the players will be especially careful not to risk anything unnecessary at the beginning.
Being a double round event, I suspect that most of the players who have a real chance to win will wait until the second half before they make their play for winning. But, ofcourse, everything depends on circumstances, and should a player start to run away with the tournament in the first half, then the others will have to react.
Up until now I have not written much about the chances of the players. I don’t see anyone particularly better than the others, though of course the Armenian star Levon Aronian has had the best results in the past year.
But form is more important than results! It is very difficult to maintain top form for more than 3 months at a time, let alone an entire year. Though Aronian emerged on top in Gibraltar last month, his play showed signs of fatigue.
Otherwise I would have chosen Aronian as the favourite in Berlin.