Computer predictions of Candidates after round five

by ChessBase
3/17/2016 – Readers will no doubt recall the fascinating statistics produced on the Candidates with millions of simulations and weighted data, to get a feel as to the statistical favorites, the probable score needed to win, and more. Five rounds have passed, and you might wonder how the numbers will have changed. Here are the updated results of the computer simulations.

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Computer predictions of Candidates after round five

By James Jorasch and Chris Capobianco

As the number of remaining rounds dwindle, and with only one result in the minds of these competitors, we have been looking for more players outside the leaders to take more risks. This seemed to fit the actions in round five of Caruana who decided to add a little chaos to the opening phase by surprising Aronian with the Benoni -- which is rarely played at the elite level. Perhaps he is exploring more dynamic parts of his repertoire in order to generate more chances.

Karjakin is the primary benefactor from all of the draws this round. To find out what happens if this trend continues, we simulated millions of tournament runs in which the next four rounds were set to all draws.

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The result of this simulation is quite clear. Draws over the next four rounds are a big boost to Karjakin, increasing his winning chances from 28.0% to 42.7%. Aronian remains relatively level, dropping a bit from 26.8% to 25.7%. The rest of the pack sinks downward, with Caruana holding up best.

Yesterday saw Russia (Karjakin and Svidler) surpass the Americans (Caruana and Nakamura) in total chances to win the tournament. And while both teams gained today, the Russians continue to widen the gap.

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The expected winning score for the tournament drops a bit to 8.6. Our new score frequency chart illustrates the frequency of the most common final winning scores. We can now see clearly the rise and fall of possible final scores as tournament rounds are completed.

Note that a winning score of 9.0 started the tournament as a more likely winning score than 8.0, but now the two final scores are neck and neck. We ran a test simulation with all four games of Round 6 as draws to see what would happen. The results showed a score of 9.0 representing 223,000 final scores while 8.0 represented 262,000 final scores.

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The number of tournaments expected to be decided in a tiebreaker inches upward, reaching its highest level of 26.7%.The following chart shows how that 26.7% is broken down by tiebreak type. Note that the possibility of the tournament being decided by one or more game playoffs is vanishingly small - just 0.7%.

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With all draws there were no large moves in expected prize winnings. But Karjakin had the largest gain so far in the tournament without winning a game with a boost of €2,800.

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If you have questions about tournament statistics that we have not covered, please leave feedback.

About the authors
James Jorasch is the founder of Science House and an inventor named on more than 700 patents. He plays tournament chess, backgammon, Scrabble, and poker. He lives in Manhattan and is a member of the Marshall Chess Club.
Chris Capobianco is a software engineer at Google. He is a two-time finalist at the USA Memory Championships and has consulted on memory for finance, media, advertising and Fortune 500 companies such as Xerox and GE.

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


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