Kramnik to play 2018 Candidates

by ChessBase
10/30/2017 – Vladimir Kramnik has received the organiser's wild card for the March, 2018 Candidates tournament in Berlin, according to an official release by Agon Ltd. Only two spots remain to be filled via the FIDE Grand Prix. As of now the players will be Sergey Karjakin as the previous World Championship runner-up, Levon Aronian and Ding Liren via the World Cup and Wesley So and Fabiano Caruana thanks to rating qualification. | Photos: Amruta Mokal

ChessBase 15 - Mega package ChessBase 15 - Mega package

Find the right combination! ChessBase 15 program + new Mega Database 2019 with 7.6 million games and more than 70,000 master analyses. Plus ChessBase Magazine (DVD + magazine) and CB Premium membership for 1 year!


Wild Card

In a letter dated October 26th, and published today, World Chess, the organizer of the 2018 FIDE World Chess Candidates Tournament, nominated GM Vladimir Kramnik (Russian Federation) as a "wild card" choice for the Candidates Tournament that will take place in Berlin, Germany from March 10th — 28th, 2018. World Chess and FIDE have decided to issue the nomination before the final leg of the Grand Prix in Palma, Majorca, in case the choice affects the preparation and determination of players who are fighting for the Candidates qualification there.

Update 14:55 (CET) — Reached for comment Monday, Kramnik tells ChessBase he was surprised to learn of the decision, that he hadn’t advocated for a wild card spot, and had resigned himself to missing the Candidates. He was unaware of any decision on the wild card during the recent European Club Cup in Antalya, and believes such decision had not yet been made.

Vladimir Kramnik

Ilya Merenzon, World Chess CEO, is quoted as saying:

We believe that inviting Mr. Kramnik to the Candidates will make the Tournament line-up the strongest possible and will ensure the choice of the best challenger to incumbent World Champion, Magnus Carlsen.

Vladimir Kramnik, the 14th World Champion, comments:

I’d like to thank everyone who helped my nomination to the Candidates. Usually, the chess world’s attention is drawn to the tournament and taking part in it is a challenge for any grandmaster. I hope to show a worthy performance and fight for first prize!

Andrey Filatov, President of the Russian Chess Federation adds:

I am pleased that FIDE and World Chess had selected Kramnik. For over 20 years he is in the top three world’s strongest chess players, and for seven years he’s been the World Champion. Kramnik is extremely popular among chess players and his participation will certainly generate additional attention and drama. Now Russia has at least two players who have a chance to become the challenger to the incumbent World Champion. With a bit of luck, the third contender, Alexander Grischuk, can join them. I very much hope that a Russian chess player will 'capture Berlin' and will face Magnus Carlsen in the Match in November of 2018.

My Path to the Top

On this DVD Vladimir Kramnik retraces his career from talented schoolboy to World Champion in 2006. With humour and charm he describes his first successes, what it meant to be part of the Russian Gold Medal team at the Olympiad, and how he undertook the Herculean task of beating his former mentor and teacher Garry Kasparov.


Candidates 2018

The Candidates tournament, as previously announced, is slated to take place at Kühlhaus Berlin with the following players:

  • Sergey Karjakin (previous world championship runner-up)
  • Levon Aronian (World Cup winner)
  • Ding Liren (World Cup runner-up)
  • Wesley So (rating qualification)
  • Fabiano Caruana (rating qualification)
  • Vladimir Kramnik (wild card)

The top two qualifiers from the FIDE Grand Prix series will be known on November 26th. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Alexander Grischuk, Teymour Radjabov, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave have chances. The latter two will play in Palma and seek to overtake the leaders in the overall Grand Prix point tally.

Players leading Grand Prix

Mamedyarov, Grischuk, Radjabov, and Vachier-Lagrave | Source:

World Chess nomination letter candidates 2018 to Kramnik

Official nomination letter (PDF)


Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register

imdvb_8793 imdvb_8793 11/10/2017 02:37
And I also agree MVL probably deserved the spot more. I'm just personally happy with the outcome as it is - has nothing to do with Kramnik being more deserving, or less.
imdvb_8793 imdvb_8793 11/10/2017 02:31
"In fact, in my opinion, BY NATURE, this wildcard system is arbitrary. This is the very essence of such a system.

If FIDE's idea had been to create a system selecting the "best" eighth participant, for the Candidates, specific rules for it would have been implemented. The very idea of the wildcard is to permit FIDE to choose a player without any objective justification."

Exactly. Not good...
imdvb_8793 imdvb_8793 11/10/2017 02:26
"Doug is right. The participants to the Grand Prix deserved to know in advance that they had no chance to be chosen as a wild card and that the Grand Prix was their last possibility to qualify. Better to know before than after."

This is, of course, a tricky question, but I tend to agree with this point of view. I know that, were I in MVL or Radjabov's shoes, I would 100% prefer to know in advance what the situation was. Kramnik, for example, before playing in Isle of Man, didn't (presumably) have the advantage of knowing, whether he assumed it was the case or not.
imdvb_8793 imdvb_8793 11/10/2017 01:59
Awesome! Best possible outcome! A bit of a shame for MVL (though he still has his chances in the Grand Prix), but I don't think he's ready to beat Magnus Carlsen quite yet, anyway (assuming he ever will be.)

Too bad they didn't do this two years ago, and invited Levon instead. Kramnik was in better form back then.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/6/2017 12:56
@ lajosarpad :

Yes, we agree indeed !...
lajosarpad lajosarpad 11/6/2017 12:13

I absolutely agree with you. The main problem is the wildcard slot's existence. An objective way of decision is to be preferred. However, even though I share your strong disagreement with the wildcard slot's existence, I expect the wildcard choice to be more-or-less plausible. I agree that Kramnik is a plausible choice, however, MVL is at least as plausible, but arguably more plausible a choice. Of course, if MVL would have been chosen, a lot of players would disagree with the choice and would tell us Kramnik would have been better. It is difficult to guarantee that the choice will be plausible and, paradoxically, a case when a Russian is the most plausible choice, choosing a non Russian to avoid bias-based accusations is another potential problem, which did not arise in this case, but could arise in the future.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/6/2017 01:31
@ Resistance : But don't you think that the "real culprit" is this wildcard system ? That this wildcard system has precisely been chosen to permit the choice of a player who wouldn't be otherwise the most logical choice ?
Resistance Resistance 11/5/2017 09:23
Although I consider it an honor having a player of Vladimir Kramnik's caliber at the Candidates Tournament next year (2018), an ex-World Champion and highly talented player, this nomination does seem to be about money, ultimately (I agree with Arminio12 on this).

It is not about Kramnik's age, nor his credentials: it is about motivation. Vladimir Kramnik has lost his World Champion's drive. It is not that he wouldn't like it being the World Chess Champion once again (ask any ex-World Chess Champion!), but about how much he WANTS it to; about how much he's willing to sacrifice in order to regain what was once his. And anybody following his recent tournaments these past years will attest to the same thing: that he isn't playing with the same drive, with the same thirst for blood that he once possesed. Though you might say his talent is still there ('intact'), he's clearly not the same dude from 2000 (against Kasparov) or 2006 (against Topalov ---his last true rival). He had something to prove back then, to himself...

That's why his nomination resonates today as being unfair: because ultimately he doesn't want it (--and so, in consequence, he doesn't deserve it--). Much more in the spirit of a Candidates Tournament was Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (agree with lajosarpad here): he had a huge victory this year in Saint Louis against the strongest of fields (he beat none other than World Champion Magnus Carlsen in their personal encounter, and many of the players there will be participating in next year's Candidates Tournament!), and has shown some great chess throughout the year, too. It would be truly a pity not having Maxime participating in the next Candidates... (--it is about money, yes; it's FIDE, and they seem to be putting profits far, far above chess these days... --).
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/5/2017 01:00
@ lajosarpad : I agree on your reasoning on the most logical choice for the Candidates' eighth place.

But, in my opinion, it should rather be a discussion on what would be the best system to choose the Candidates' eighth participant, because, in fact, the wildcard system has precisely been chosen, in my opinion, to permit a "subjective" choice, rather than the most logical participant.

For example, in the previous Candidates, Aronian was chosen - seemingly - because the sponsor company was managed by an Armenian millionaire - quite a subjective choice, but rather "normal" for a wildcard choice, in my opinion. If this "wildcard system" has been chosen, it is in my opinion precisely to permit the organizers to chose a player who wouldn't be the most logical choice otherwise...

The real question still being, nonetheless : "is a wildcard system satisfying ?" !... But we agree to the answer to this question ! (...and our answer is : "no" !...)
lajosarpad lajosarpad 11/4/2017 01:59

you are right that this system is arbitrary and I agree with your opinion that this is less than satisfactory. However, starting from the factual properties of the current system we see that Kramnik was the wildcard choice and shown my opinion that MVL, who dropped out from the World Cup in the semifinals, reaching sudden death against the eventual winner and therefore showing tougher resistance than the runner up, who did not reach sudden death seems to be a better choice for the wildcard slot to me than Kramnik. Kramnik seems to agree with me when he shows the honest surprise that he happened to be the choice. Note, that I actually prefer Kramnik to be the player in he Candidates over Maxime Vachier Lagrave on subjective terms, but still, the objective fact is that MVL played very convincingly at the World Cup missing the slot by sheer unluck, while Kramnik, who had to pack the baggage in the World Cup at the third round, without tiebreaks against Ivanchuk, who later lost to Aronian, without going into the tiebreaks shows that the performance of the players in the World Cup clearly favors MVL. He has also played in the Grand Prix and is very highly rated. Kramnik has a higher ÉLŐ average than Kramnik, however, in contrast to that, at the latest FIDE ratings list, MVL is on fifth spot, with 2796 points, while Kramnik is behind him, on seventh spot, with 2787 points. So, even though the average ÉLŐ favors Kramnik, it is not 100% convincing in terms of player quality due to the current standings and from all other points of view, MVL seems to be a better candidate. Therefore the choice seems to be biased even compared to the arbitrary system we have for finding the candidates.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/3/2017 02:34
In fact, in my opinion, BY NATURE, this wildcard system is arbitrary. This is the very essence of such a system.

If FIDE's idea had been to create a system selecting the "best" eighth participant, for the Candidates, specific rules for it would have been implemented. The very idea of the wildcard is to permit FIDE to choose a player without any objective justification.

So, in my opinion, the question is not to determine if Kramnik's choice (for example) is the best or not, but to decide whether a purely arbitrary system for the designation of the eighth participant is satisfying or not ( my personal opinion, the answer is "not satisfying"...).
lajosarpad lajosarpad 11/3/2017 09:43
@maxharmonist, you have a great point.

Also, reading the article we can see Kramnik was surprised to be the wildcard choice, which, in my book means that he agrees with me that he should have not been the first choice for the wildcard spot. Kramnik cannot be accused for being against himself, he is not biased and he is honest, but if he were biased, he would tell us that he expected the wildcard spot. Therefore, Kramnik is a good candidate for the wildcard spot, but looking at the others' achievements, he would not be my first choice.
maxharmonist maxharmonist 11/2/2017 08:20
"If MVL qualifies, it is the proof that he would have been a deserving wild card but, in that case, he could not be the wild card, having qualified otherwise"

If MVL had announced that he declines the last event in which he could qualify, like Kramnik did, but a week earlier than him, the press release by organisers, FIDE and Russian Chess Federation would surely have given the wild card to MVL "just to motivate Kramnik for his last event"? :-)
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 11/2/2017 04:20
Amusing paradoxes. If MVL qualifies, it is the proof that he would have been a deserving wild card but, in that case, he could not be the wild card, having qualified otherwise. In the same manner, if Kramnik almost qualified by rating, he does not deserve to be the wild card and if he would have qualified by rating, that would be the proof that he would have been a legitimate wild card choice, but then, he could not be a wild card because he would have qualified otherwise.
Arminio12 Arminio12 11/1/2017 08:39
The real issue here is that the wild card was issued before the last tournament was finished and that the 'organisers' defended this decision by stating that they deliberately wanted 'to affect' the players still involved in the race. The normal and necessary thing to do is exactly the opposite: you do not interfere, you do not try to affect one player but not the other, you just give all players equal treatment. Whether Kramnik 'deserves' the wild card, whether he is a valuable candidate, whether he could, only mathematically, still catch up with So and Caruana, whether rating is the most objective criterion and thus favouring Kramnik ... is completely irrelevant (apart from the fact that none of these reasons is as sound as those who give them assume). You cannot counter the argument by trying to 'prove' that the choice was, all things considered, the best choice. It's not very different from shooting all serious competitors first and giving the wild card to Kramnik, and then say that everything's well because Kramnik deserved it, or was 'objectively' the best candidate.
maxharmonist maxharmonist 11/1/2017 01:11
In short, the official argument is the same as in the discussions at (at the Kramnik page): One can't argue that MVL could be a better pick than Kramnik since MVL still can qualify, which Kramnik can't. But this argument can only be made by making the pick in advance of the last qualification event. If it had been made after it, as previously, it could be argued that MVL was indeed a better pick than Kramnik. As stated at, MVL would only deserve a place if he could qualify for it, while Kramnik deserves it since he can't qualify for it (after declining to play the ETC).
maxharmonist maxharmonist 11/1/2017 12:05
"The participants to the Grand Prix deserved to know in advance that they had no chance to be chosen as a wild card and that the Grand Prix was their last possibility to qualify"

No one questioning the official statement about this? Everyone seem to agree with the stated idea that this was all done for the benefit of MVL and not at all for the benefit of AGON/FIDE etc... If MVL is the player closest to qualify from both qualifying events/series, was the higher rated player, had the best results in classical chess during the year, maybe also won the Grand Chess Tour, etc, it could be argued when the decision came that Kramnik wasn't the most deserving wild card. And it can be argued that MVL of course doesn't expect the Russian sponsors to get him a spot in the Candidates, but knows he has to get there by himself.

But now, when it was stated publicly that the selection of Kramnik was made purely based on results and not at all influenced by sponsors or nationality, how is it so clear that MVL is less deserving, and that it is better to give it to Kramnik in advance instead of waiting until after the Grand Prix to give it to the most deserving then?
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 10/31/2017 07:52
Preventive clarification. I am not saying that the criterion I mentioned (first three by rating or, if you prefer, third)was the one which determined the choice of Kramnik. I am saying that if we had used that reasonable criterion, this would have resulted in Kramnik to be chosen. Hence, the result is good whether or not, in reality, other considerations led to that choice.
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 10/31/2017 05:39
kramnik is the well-protected chess player by the establishment next only to karpov....

he lost in the candidates to kamsky and others .....didn't qualify in the fide / PCA WCC matches...he won against kasparov in a match.... this he won after losing to shirov at cazorla ....then he was called world champion..... he was allowed to play a candidates-winner leko (a candidates to which vishy was not invited) .....then kramnik was seeded to meet vishy directly in a WCC ....... they should have arranged for a miny match among the non-qualifiers from the top ten to choose the 'wild card' .....this would have been a fair play way...
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 10/31/2017 04:07
Doug is right. The participants to the Grand Prix deserved to know in advance that they had no chance to be chosen as a wild card and that the Grand Prix was their last possibility to qualify. Better to know before than after.

For example, it could have been reasonable for MVL to envisage that he had some chances to be chosen as a wild card - is it not better that he knows before the tournament that it will not be the case?
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 10/31/2017 04:03
"The argument of the third place in the Elo rating 2017 is dubious: the rules mention that the two best are qualified, not the three best."

Yes, "the rules mention that the two best are qualified, not the three best" - and there is no rule for the wild card, except for the minimal ranking (2725 FIDE for at least one of the 2017 months).

Given the absence of rule for the wild card (except for minimal ranking), any better suggestion as choice criterion than just pushing the existing rule to one rank more? It is "dubious" because...?

"As you may or should know, Kramnik's chances of catching up with either So or Caruana are virtually non-existent."

That is true. I was overcautious as the chances for Kramnik are still there mathematically to be 2nd or 1st, even if almost non-existent - that little "almost" bugged me. But this is a non-determinant consideration.

The important point is that the result of choosing Kramnik as a wild card you will have the three first using the rating criterion - the fact that it is almost certain that Kramnik will be the third is not relevant for the choice of the criterion.

Let us say that Kramnik did have better chances to end second, and did become second, and that So passes third, the result of having chosen Kramnik as a wild card would still to have the first three chosen.

And no one else than Kramnik, Caruana or So has any mathematical chance to be among the first three.
doug6352 doug6352 10/31/2017 03:42
I believe that the organizers are telling us all that no matter what the merits of the other possibilities they were going to pick a Russian, and Kramnik is certainly the best qualified Russian. So it is courteous of them to let MVL and Radjabov know in advance that the Palma Grand Prix is their last remaining chance to qualify.
e-mars e-mars 10/31/2017 02:49
Kramnik does deserve the wild card but I can't stop thinking, you know... I am sick and tired of Russia influence... and with Agon and Merenzon things are not getting any better.
Bojan KG Bojan KG 10/31/2017 09:24
Kramnik was the last world champion from Russia and as it stands we are unlikely to see Russian world champion in forthcoming years, maybe even longer. Karjakin was close last time around but close is not enough since many other players came close to winning a title (Leko, Gelfand ...). Do not get me wrong, Russia is still a chess powerhouse with abundance of talents but it seems they struggle to make amends having been great players at junior level. If I were big Vlad that last round defeat at hands of Chucky in Candidates 2013 would hunt me forever - luckily he was able to bounce back and stay in chess elite till now.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/31/2017 08:47
The wildcard choice should have been done when every qualification race is over and we can see who failed. MVL would have been a better choice than Kramnik in my opinion. He lost against the winner in the World Cup, taking the match to sudden death and showing more resistance than Ding Liren against Aronian. However, Kramnik is certainly a good choice, a player who deserves to be there, especially after failing to qualify to the 2013 match due to an unintuitive tie-break rule, but MVL would have been a better choice. However, he is not Russian.
amarpan amarpan 10/31/2017 08:44
If Kramnik does win the candidates and beats Carlsen, he will have the distiction of beating two seeminly invincible players, Kasparov and Carlsen. I will hope that will happen.
oldsalt7 oldsalt7 10/31/2017 07:23
The wild card selection was premature.
scoobeedo scoobeedo 10/31/2017 06:20
I am so happy for Vladimir Kramnik!

Hey Vlad, but you have to promise now the chess world:
You got a Wild Card, you have to play a Wild tournament!


I wish you all the best against this teenagers which will for sure try to play against you wild games!

Wild Boys!!!
parselmouth parselmouth 10/31/2017 03:36
I would have preferred Naka . But Kramnik is very near second. Other players would be Grischuk/Svidler (already wildcard once) / Ivanchuk...I wouldn't pick Anand or Topalov. If MVL doesn't make it, I would pick him over all players.
Leavenfish Leavenfish 10/31/2017 01:36
No Naka. :-)
BeachBum2 BeachBum2 10/31/2017 01:27
I guess it would be fair if they picked MVL or Kramnik (others in the top 8 either already qualified or most likely will when the last grand prix is done). I though they would pick MVL but Kramnik is IMHO an equally valid choice.

I like the wild card system as it adds flexibility to add somebody who "deserve to be there" but could not due to some circumstances/bad luck etc. In the sport I play (hobby level) wild card this year allowed a team that deserves to be there but could not (injuries during qualification process) to enter - and they actually won the finals (well - they were kind of fan favorites too)!
lopak lopak 10/31/2017 12:56
Only one solution: clear regulation for qualification! With wild card it will ever be the law (or the suspicion) of corruption. The argument of the third place in the Elo rating 2017 is dubious: the rules mention that the two best are qualified, not the three best...
Arminio12 Arminio12 10/30/2017 10:26
@ Raymond Labelle: As you may or should know, Kramnik's chances of catching up with either So or Caruana are virtually non-existent. To do so he should play, and if he does play he must gain some 16 points before 1st November (and then stay on that level) or about twice as much before 1st December. So let's not pretend that this wild card "secures" Caruana's and So's spots for the next Candidates. They are quite safe as it is.

There is nothing much wrong with the idea of Kramnik getting the wild card. It's the way he got it. That was very unfair and premature for the remaining candidates in the Grand Prix cycle, i.e. Mamedyarov, Grischuk, Radjabov and Vachier-Lagrave. The 'organiser' didn't even have the decency to wait until they had finished their last chance tournament, after which all wild card candidates could have been judged on an equal basis. Apparently, the situation in which, say, Mamedyarov or Vachier-Lagrave, both presently higher ranked than Kramnik, would ultimately fail to qualify and thus be eligible for the wild card, had to be avoided: better to choose Kramnik now then to do that when other candidates may look just as eligible (or have the same sort of sponshorship support now favouring a Russian candidate). So let's not pretend either that this choice for Kramnik is just a case of him being the "objectively fairest" candidate. To paraphrase a former US president: It's the money, st...!
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 10/30/2017 08:30
@ Jarman : AWSoP already answered you quite excellently, in my opinion ("just think a little bit further. Your argument is valid for EVERYONE who gets the wild card, not only for Kramink, right? So whats's your point? If you want to say that the whole concept of a wild card has flaws then yes, I agree with you, but why all this Kramnik talk?").

And the rest of your posts is only a pure "anti-Kramnik rant" (not saying that what you say is true or false, but it hasn't any link whatsoever with this "wildcard problem").

As an aside, I don't really understand why you seem to be so strongly "anti-Kramnik", today ; last year, you said about Kramnik that he was "a still very strong world title contender" (under an article about a Kramnik - Hou Yifan match), so, at that time, at first view, you didn't seem to be so strongly "anti-Kramnik" as today ; this is rather strange !
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 10/30/2017 08:27
There is a close race for qualification for the 2 spots by rating at the Candidates and Kramnik is the only one who could catch up Caruana and/or So, the two currently leading.

Choosing Kramnik is objectively very fair: assuming the existence of a wild card, it is difficult to imagine a more objective criterion as a wild card than one of the only three possible contenders by rating, given that the two other ones would then necessarily qualify.

This wild card criterion adds the player with the 3rd highest average FIDE rating for 2017 to the first two. Any better suggestion as an objective criterion for choosing a wild card?

And for the US fans' legitimate subjectivity, having Kramnik as a wild card has the side effect of totally securing Caruana's and So's spots for the next Candidates.
Jarman Jarman 10/30/2017 07:15
Maybe the fact that Kraminik is accepting this wild card is hardly surprising, after all. Do you guys have any idea about what he said in 2005? Here you go: "Interviewer: You say that the main point is that Kasparov lacks justification to play you? Kramnik: I think so. At the moment, yes. It is very sad to say but his only justification at the moment is a big name. It’s not his play, not his results, not anything. Of course he is a great player and I have great respect for him. He is a fantastic player, a huge name and the public likes him very much and justifiably so, but this is the world championship, not some private business. Peter Leko won the Candidates. He deserved to play a match. I beat Garry and now I have won this match and deserve to be World Champion. You cannot just make some deals and present some names and do whatever you want." (source: Of course he conveniently omitted to mention that he got the match with Kasparov after "some deals" were tailor-made in his favor, as he was soundly beaten by Shirov with the score of 3,5–5,5 and had failed to qualify for the title match. So this is how today he is able to accept this joke of a wild card with a straight face.
weerogue weerogue 10/30/2017 04:28
Brilliant - this is shaping up to be amazing.
Three players were extremely close to one-another in qualifying by rating (the least 'random' selection criteria for the Candidates), so makes perfect sense to have all three play at the event. Bravo!
Arminio12 Arminio12 10/30/2017 04:02
Surely Kramnik has lots of merits, but giving him a wild card way before all qualifier tournaments have been finished is utterly ridiculous and outrageous. Read CEO Merenzon's motivation: "World Chess and FIDE have decided to issue the nomination before the final leg of the Grand Prix in Palma, Majorca, in consideration of the fact should the Wild Card choice be announced, it might affect the preparation and determination of players who are fighting for the Candidates qualification via the Grand Prix series." Just look at whose "preparation and determination" may be affected: Radjabov's and Vachier-Lagrave's (no more wild card should they fail to qualify), but not the other two candidates to qualify, Mamedyarov and Grischuk, because they can't play any more. Nothing whatsoever can justify that you treat these four players differently or that you 'interfere' with the last Grand Prix Leg (and not elsewhere). There was absolutely no reason to announce the wild card nominee before the final leg of the Grand Prix. It is clear that this choice was meant to favour Russia and settle the matter before any of the remaining candidates is definitely out, hence also 'eligible' for a wild card nomination. The fact that "World Chess" and "FIDE"could not wait until 1 December, is proof that this was a 'political' decision (as in 'bad politics'), nothing less. High time Ilyumzhinov, Merenzon ... and the likes of them are replaced by more decent people.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 10/30/2017 03:57
@ fixpont : I am always surprised by all this "age-oriented" theories... If a player has the necessary playing level, why should he retire, not participate in the Candidates, etc., etc. ??

For example, when Anand qualified, in 2014, his victory was objectively quite convincing, and he was older than Kramnik today. Would you mean that, simply because of his age, Anand wasn't a legitimate challenger ? But he beat the other players, so who could have been more legitimate than him ?? This isn't logical !...

As for me, it is quite the contrary : I like very much this age diversity : between a Wei Yi and an Anand, there is a full range of different players of different ages (...30 years separate Anand from Wei Yi !), and, in my opinion, chess is MORE interesting because of this, and not the opposite...

And I am not biased : I follow with completely equal interest a young player and an old player, if their results are the same. But the question in precisely : Why would the older player be less interesting to follow, if his level is the same ? For a painter, a musician, a writer, an engineer, an architect, etc., no-one would even think necessary to eliminate what they produce after the age of 40 ; why would it be necessary to do this for a chess player ??
macauley macauley 10/30/2017 03:12
@ashperov - Sure. Aronian in 2016, Radjabov in 2013. @fixpont - It's pretty strange to suggest he's "not good enough" considering he nearly qualified by rating! He also was rated number 2 at the time of the 2016 Candidates but was absent, and he finished 3rd in 2014 and tied with Carlsen in 2013 (but lost on tiebreak rules). We don't know at this point the influence of the Russian Chess Federation or the Russian company sponsorship (though certainly *some* can be assumed), but it was still a logical choice.