Candidates R14: Three decisive results

by ChessBase
4/27/2021 – Ding Liren, Kirill Alekseenko and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave finished the 2020-21 Candidates Tournament on a high note, scoring wins over Ian Nepomniachtchi, Anish Giri and Wang Hao respectively. Fabiano Caruana and Alexander Grischuk signed a draw. In his last interview of the event, Wang announced his retirement from professional chess. | Full report to follow shortly.

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Round 14

The eight-player Candidates tournament is one of the most prestigious global chess events, held every two years. The event will determine who will challenge the defender Magnus Carlsen for the title of the World Chess Champion. 

All the results from round 14:

Anish Giri 0-1 Kirill Alekseenko
Fabiano Caruana ½-½ Alexander Grischuk
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 1-0 Wang Hao
Ding Liren 1-0 Ian Nepomniachtchi

You can watch and replay the games of the current round, and all previous rounds, on the ChessBase Live Replay Page. It shows the times and evaluations of each move, and has machine commentary pointing to the highlights of the most interesting games. It even has an engine which answers all your “what-if...” and “why-not...” questions. It generates cross tables and allows you to download the PGN of one or all games, of the round or the even.

Replay the action of round 14 with live commentary:

Commentary by Sagar Shah, Amruta Mokal, Swapnil and Nihal

Final standings


All games



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malfa malfa 4/28/2021 12:34
@ Masquer

so according to your point of view why not to create a kind of Chess Superleague? Come on!
Masquer Masquer 4/28/2021 07:54
It was a mistake by FIDE to allow qualifiers to come in by way of a Swiss tournament or by allowing 3rd place WC finishers to be next in line for such a high level tournament. The next available spot should simply go the next highest rated active player. This would always produce a worthy 2750+ rated candidate rather than <2700 or whatever.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 4/28/2021 12:24
for those who want matches instead of tournament, keep in mind that chess is not the same as it was 50 years ago, because of opening theory the number of draws is much higher now.
Bill Alg Bill Alg 4/28/2021 12:10
If you suspect the Russians of collusion, do you also suspect the Americans, e.g. when Nakamura and So lost to Caruana in previous Candidates, did they fix the games? Or is it only the Russians for some reason?
Michael Jones Michael Jones 4/28/2021 12:03
@lstlaure Alekseenko was one of the players eligible for the wildcard and, given that Russia was hosting the tournament, it was pretty much inevitable that he'd get it - although as it happened the only other player eligible for it, MVL, got in anyway when Radjabov withdrew. Sure, at sub-2700 he was significantly lower rated than anyone else in the field (although he still didn't finish last), but he wasn't handed his spot on a plate - he earned it by virtue of his performance at the Isle of Man tournament, where he finished level with Carlsen and Aronian and ahead of a whole bunch of other higher-rated players. If David Howell had beaten Wang in the last round of that tournament instead of vice versa, he'd have qualified for the Candidates and since he has a similar rating to Alekseenko, I expect we'd now be questioning whether he was a worthy candidate. In short, unless you eliminate all other qualification methods and just state that the Candidates will always be contested by numbers 2-9 in the rankings (assuming the reigning champion is number 1), you're always likely to get a surprise or two.

And as I mentioned below, the results between the three Russians show no evidence of collusion...
lstlaure lstlaure 4/27/2021 11:12
Nepo will be a great challenger. He fully deserves this honor. I don't think there was conspiracy, but it is inevitable that this issue will be raised with three Russians in the field. Alekseenko should never have been there in the first place. Is he a worthy candidate? Maybe in the future, but not now. I miss the good old days with the Interzonals and the Candidate matches... this was by far the best formula. It is unfortunate that FIDE can't organize serious classical chess events. Just look at the last World Championship match. Did anyone appreciate the way this match was decided?
Bill Alg Bill Alg 4/27/2021 09:58
Kasparov's apology to Wang Hao should be coming any minute now (just joking, don't hold your breath).
Petrosianic Petrosianic 4/26/2021 08:27
Thanks to the suspense-killing tiebreak rules, the tournament ends anti-climatically again. Bronstein and Boleslavsky played a 12 game match to settle a tie in the Candidates. These days even a single Armageddon Game is too much bother. Tiebreak points didn't used to be good enough to settle a mere interzonal slot, now we pick the challenger with them.
malfa malfa 4/24/2021 06:53
The report is incorrect: theoretically MVL too is still in the race, though of course with little chances. But if he were to beat Nepo with the black pieces in the penultimate round, anything could still happen...
Keshava Keshava 4/24/2021 04:25
@Michael Jones,
Yes, and if you've read about the inquisition against witches, the lack of evidence was actually considered damning because we know how the crafty devil likes to hide evidence!
tom_70 tom_70 4/23/2021 11:11
I think Nepo would be the most fun to watch Magnus play in a world title match. I hope he wins.
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 4/23/2021 10:23
I wonder what Kramnik told to Grischuk after his games recently ...Grischuk is full of fire
Michael Jones Michael Jones 4/23/2021 09:12
@e-mars: yes you do. The head-to-head results between the three Russians are Nepo 2.5/4, Alekseenko 2, Grischuk 1.5. If the Russian federation wanted to maximise the chances of one of their entrants, arranging for him to score 4/4 against the other two might look a bit too suspicious, but surely they would have given him at least 3 if not 3.5? A maximum of 2.5 makes it far more likely that those were just the results obtained when all three were trying their best independently of each other, rather than there being any collusion.
sebtak sebtak 4/23/2021 07:35
@e-mars: You realise that Alekseenko beat Grishchuk in the first part, if his role was to help the other Russians, he wouldn't have. He also lost one to Giri (and could lose a second one) and one to Caruana, so he will not score worst against Nepo. The more logical explanation is that Alekseenko is young, and this is good training for him for future candidate tournaments.
e-mars e-mars 4/23/2021 07:14
@amarpan you don't need a conspiracy to tell Alekseenko was a replacement wanted by the Russian federation. You don't need a conspiracy to tell Alekseenko will do everything in his power to help out Nepo.
amarpan amarpan 4/22/2021 12:46
can we be sure that the Russians were not conspiring ?
MerryPoppies MerryPoppies 4/22/2021 12:09
My prediction: 8.5 points for Nepo
Bombo Bombo 4/20/2021 10:33
Yeah he does
tympsa tympsa 4/20/2021 01:25
It was hard to find 62 ... Nc7 to draw the game . MVL did not realiaze that in order to survive his knight has to move on g7 and stay there to protect h5 square from white king.. Caruana looked for win and found the winning idea before even low depth Stockfish found it . White king moving to Kh5 was a key. When it was achieved , game was pretty much over.Very well played. Squeezing water out of stone Carlsen style.
Steven E DuCharm Steven E DuCharm 4/19/2021 11:00
I give the current top 3 a 75% of overall victory
Drazen M Drazen M 4/19/2021 09:08
I m very glad about the win of Fabiano Caruana