Sunday, March 27, 2016

Karjakin vs Topalov, Candidates Tournament 2016

Unless you've been living in a cave, you probably know that the Candidates 2016 is currently underway in Moscow. With less than 2 rounds to go at the time of writing, the battle has reached its decisive phase, with Karjakin and Caruana leading and Anand following closely behind.

Let us take a look at the game which brought Karjakin to the top: His game against Topalov in Round 12. While it started out as a promising Sicilian Najdorf with typical opposite-wing attacks, Topalov made a seemingly normal developing move (moving his rook to occupy an open file) which turned out to be a serious mistake. Karjakin was quick to pounce on the error, and the game was essentially decided from then on.

Karjakin (left) vs Topalov (image from

GM Vachier-Lagrave has provided very detailed analysis of the game, thus I shall post it in its pure, unaltered form below:

Despite Topalov's mistake, I have to say it was still a very interesting game (:

So who shall be the one to challenge Magnus Carlsen in the World Chess Championship 2016? The tension is certainly in the air, so here's to two exciting final rounds in the Candidates 2016!


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