World Championship statistics: Topalov poised to win

6/30/2004 – After five rounds and two to go the four remaining players have considerably improved their chances of winning the title. Bulgaria's Veselin Topalov leads the field at 44%, followed by Michael Adams of England at 34%. Radjabov and Kasimdzhanov are at 13% and 9% respectively. Here are the latest statistics by Jeff Sonas.

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Libya World Championship Statistics (after round 5)

With only four players left, Veselin Topalov and Michael Adams remain the two statistical favorites to capture the FIDE championship. Topalov now has a 74% chance to reach the finals, and a 44% chance overall to win the tournament, whereas Adams has a 65% chance to reach the finals and a 34% chance to win the whole tournament. Those numbers indicate almost a 50-50 chance of reaching a Topalov-Adams final, where Topalov would be a slight statistical favorite. The two remaining underdogs still have reasonable chances, with Teimour Radjabov given a 13% chance to win the tournament and Rustam Kasimdzhanov a 9% chance.

An interesting side-note is that Kasimdzhanov has an actual chance of single-handedly eliminating all four of the top-seeded players in the tournament. Normally this would be a mathematical impossibility, because two of the top four seeds would be in each half of the bracket, and you could only face a maximum of one player from the other half (in the finals). But due to the absence of #2 seed Alexander Morozevich, three of the top four seeds were in Kasimdzhanov's half of the bracket, and he has already ousted two of them (#5 Ivanchuk and #4 Grischuk). If he also manages to eliminate #1 Topalov and then #3 Adams, it would be an unprecedented accomplishment.

Jeff Sonas is a statistical chess analyst who has written dozens of articles since 1999 for several chess websites. He has invented a new rating system and used it to generate 150 years of historical chess ratings for thousands of players. You can explore these ratings on his Chessmetrics website. Jeff is also Chief Architect for Ninaza, providing web-based medical software for clinical trials. Previous articles:

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