The most anticipated event of 2022 – the FIDE Candidates Chess 2022 starts in three days, taking place in Madrid from June 16 – July 7. It is an 8 player double round robin qualification event for the World Championship Match later this year. The field with an average rating of 2771.9 is headed by world number 2 – Ding Liren. The chess world is pumped with the upcoming Candidates Tournament and social media is full of interesting predictions and possible outcomes. All info: Candidates Chess 2022 participants / Candidates Chess 2022 pairings / Candidates Chess 2022 LIVE
Many questions have been risen up, and one of the most intriguing is Magnus Carlsen’s comment that he will not participate in the World Championship Match unless Firouzja wins the Candidates. This didn’t only promote Alireza Firouzja as the most admirable candidate, but also put pressure on the 19-year-old prodigy. The 14th World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik believes that younger players can be handicapped and that experience is very important for the Candidates Chess.
The previous Challenger Ian Napomniachtchi seems not to be given huge odds to win the event. No chess player managed to win the Candidates Tournament two consecutive times for 66 years. The only player who achieved the “impossible” was Vasily Smyslov back in 1956. Can Nepo be the one to repeat Smyslov’s feat?
Many chess statisticians took a serious job in analysis of possible results. The “sick_rock” redditor showed the graphical review of head-to-head results between the candidates. According to the analysis, Firouzja had the biggest percentage of victories (31.58%), but also the high percentage of losses (21.05%) and only the total of 19 games against his Candidates Chess 2022 opponents. The leader of the list is Hikaru Nakamura with an overall score of 54.22% (83 games, 19.28% of victories, 69.88% of draws and 10.84% of losses).
Chess by the Numbers (@Chess Numbers) gave early odds for the Candidates Chess showing Ding Liren as the most probable winner of the event. At time the analysis was given, Ding Liren didn’t finish the quest of 28 games to be eligible for the event.
Pawnalyze has a similar prediction but shows a little bit smaller possibility (in percentages) for Liren to triumph in the event.
The Norwegian journalist Tarjei J. Svensen also shared his opinion on the Candidates final rankings:
Finally, speaking about the outcome of the Candidates, the attention is fixed on Magnus Carlsen and his possible withdrawal from the World Championship Match. The best scenario mentioned among a number of posts is Hikaru winning the Candidates, competing against Magnus for the $10 million prize fund, finally proceeding to a blitz tiebreaker. One of the worst scenarios mentioned is “Fabi or Ding wins, Naka or Firou is second, the WC match is organised with the second placed anyway as the prize money is 5x and the interest much bigger”.
What are your predictions for the Candidates Chess 2022?