Can Radjabov and MVL make it to the Candidates?

by Sagar Shah
11/16/2017 – The Grand Prix series until now was not the most exciting string of tournaments held, mainly because of the high number of draws in the past events. But the last leg held at Palma De Mallorca, Spain, which will begin November 16th, is extremely exciting, because two spots from the Candidates 2018 will be decided from here! Two players who have the best chance to make it are Teimour Radjabov and MVL. We have the pictures from the grand opening ceremony that was held in a Gothic Castle.

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Final Leg of the World Chess Grand Prix 2017

Palma de Mallorca is now looking forward to nine days of intense chess battles, which will finally determine the two winners of the series — participants of the Candidates 2018.

We previously reviewed all the qualification routes in some detail. These are the current standings of Grand Prix 2017, for those who have a chance to qualify. 

The following are the number of points that players would get if they finish in top 5:

Place Grand Prix Points
1st 170
2nd 140
3rd 110
4th 90
5th 80

Radjabov has the best chance. He has to finish sole third and he will qualify for the Candidates. As Ding Liren has already qualified for the Candidates via World Cup, chances of MVL have also increased. If MVL finishes first or second, he makes it through. In case Radjabov or MVL tie with Mamedyarov or Grischuk, the following are the tiebreak rules:

  1. Number of actual game result points scored in the three tournaments entered
  2. Number of games played with black

This promises to be a very exciting last leg of the Grand Prix to determine the two players who would qualify for the Candidates 2018.

The Opening Ceremony

Press release

November 15, 2017 – The world’s best chess players and chess establishment came together in Bellver Castle to celebrate the opening of the final leg of the FIDE 2017 World Chess Grand Prix Palma de Mallorca — a prestigious qualifier for the World Chess Candidates Tournament.

The Opening Ceremony was held at the landmark hilltop Bellver Castle, former residence for the Kings of Mallorca built in the 14th century in a Gothic style. At the castle’s unique circular yard guests had a good opportunity to mingle with each other and enjoy modern Spanish guitar music.

The Gothic castle where the opening ceremony was held Photo: Agon Limitied

The setup for the opening ceremony Photo: Agon Limitied

Javier Ochoa, Honorary FIDE Vice President and President of the Spanish Chess Federation, thanked FIDE for the opportunity to host the tournament and welcomed the participants. “Spain is a country with a great Chess tradition and a thousand-year long history of playing chess,” he added.

Sebastia Nadal, President of the Winter Chess: “It is very rewarding to know that one of the best Spanish chess players of our time, Francisco Vallejo Pons, who was born and who resides here in our islands, could take part in this cycle of the World Chess.”

All the participants captured in one frame at the Gothic castle Photo: Agon Limitied

And in front of the World Chess Grand Prix banner Photo: Agon Limitied

In the drawing of colours, the top player of the tournament according to the FIDE rating Levon Aronian chose black pieces for the first round.

The pairings are the following: Dmitry Jakovenko (Russia) –  Levon Aronian (Armenia), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) – Boris Gelfand (Israel), Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine) – Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Ding Liren (China) – Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spain), Evgeny Tomashevsky (Russia) – Peter Svidler (Russia), Anish Giri (Netherlands) – Richard Rapport (Hungary), Ernesto Inarkiev (Russia) – Li Chao (China), Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan) – Alexander Riazantsev (Russia), Jon Ludvig Hammer (Norway) – Harikrishna Pentala (India).

The Palma Grand Prix is supported by Official Partner EG Capital Advisors, an international asset management company, Kaspersky Lab, World Chess and FIDE Official Cybersecurity Partner, S.T. Dupont, Official Writing Instrument, and Isklar, Official Water.

Where there is Anish, there has to be Erwin! Photo: Agon Limitied

Will Radjabov show us some of his lethal King's Indian at this event? Photo: Agon Limitied

What's the latest update in the Grunfeld?! Photo: Agon Limitied

MVL tells us how to become better at Najdorf! Photo: Agon Limitied

The two World Cup finalists! Photo: Agon Limitied

Such opening ceremonies give the players time to catch up with each other and share some light moments Photo: Agon Limitied

Ernesto Inarkiev Photo: Agon Limitied

First round starts tomorrow at Hotel Iberostar Bahia de Palma, the official partner of the Series. Watch it broadcast at the World Chess website.

The games begin on November 16th. Who do you think will win? | Photo: Agon Limitied

Julia Taranova, Communications Manager
World Chess by Agon Limited


Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India, the biggest chess news portal in the country. His YouTube channel has over a million subscribers, and to date close to a billion views. ChessBase India is the sole distributor of ChessBase products in India and seven adjoining countries, where the software is available at a 60% discount. compared to International prices.


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