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Free Webinar: 2018 Candidates Tournament Review – IM Valeri Lilov

The 2018 Candidates Tournament was one of the most entertaining Candidates we’ve seen. It went down to the last round, where four players could have come out on top.

Of course, we now know that Fabiano Caruana will face Magnus Carlsen later this year in November for the World Chess Championship. And it was well deserved – Caruana’s hard work preparing for the tournament was obvious, and he remained calm even after losing to Karjakin in the penultimate round! Whatever happens in November, it should prove to be interesting.

There were plenty of interesting games involving all the Candidates – Levon Aronian, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Grischuk, Ding Liren, Wesley So, Fabiano Caruana and Sergey Karjakin.

Fabiano Caruana wins the Candidates 2018 TournamentThe path to the World Chess Championship wasn’t easy for Caruana, but he seemed to play on a whole other level. Mamedyarov played exceptionally well, and performed well enough to win any other day – he was probably simply unlucky to run into a Caruana who was playing as well as he was.

Elsewhere, Ding Liren was the only player in the tournament not to lose a game. On paper, it looks like he simply drew loads of games, but that isn’t really the full story – he played active, dynamic and exciting chess and come the 2020 Candidates, should he continue to improve, he has to be one of the favourites.

What of Kramnik? He went all out in his games, but it wasn’t to be. Despite a brilliant victory over Aronian in week 1 that raised people’s eyebrows, the field threw strong player after strong player at him until his chances of a tournament victory slipped away. Perhaps it was overconfidence after that Aronian game that led him to throw caution at the wind and unwisely attack endlessly in the remaining games.

And talking of Aronian… oh dear. Perhaps the pressure just got to him. It is strange that a player of his calibre seems to struggle when he gets this close to a World Chess Championship, but that’s exactly what happened, complete collapse and finishing dead last, along with the also arguably under-performing Wesley So.

Karjakin proved again that he was strong enough to play at this level (did any of us doubt it?) gaining a victory over Caruana and leading the Candidates for a while. Finally, Grischuk had a distinctly average tournament – he played good chess, but rarely shone with amazing chess that would have taken him further up the standings – his post-game interviews were certainly entertaining!

In this live stream, IM Valeri Lilov picks out the games he enjoyed the most from the second week of the Candidates tournament and analyses them, explaining some of the creative ideas behind the best moves from the greatest players in the world. Tune in to IM Lilov March 31st at Noon EST.

What’s one thing that separates the 2018 Candidates players from the rest of us? 🤔 Their mastery of the middlegame! Learn to handle any middlegame position with GM Lemos’ Middlegame Masterclass. Click here to get it with 50% off!

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