The next World Chess Championship will be played in November 2020, a duel of old custom. In the spring, the challenger of the world champion is determined in a tournament under eight candidates and now - in the fall of 2019 - it is clear who these eight will be.
Below the title and the challenge, the Candidates Tournament is the biggest goal of all the great champions. There are some ways, none is easy. Since the 8th of October, the British Isle of Man hosted an elfrundial open that was more crowded than any before, taking the number of participants from all over the world and the share of grandmasters among them. It goes without saying that they, too, had to have certain entry requirements.
Another name to remember!
Of the 154 players who started, only one was able to gain access to the Candidates Tournament: the first. So you do not have to be very good and well prepared, you have to be able to "call" the performance, as the grandmasters of football always say.
Before the last round on Monday of this week, seven champions had chances to win, among them, ironically, the reigning World Chess Champion, which provoked ridicule. If Magnus Carlsen had won and he would also win the Candidates Tournament, in the end he could challenge himself: He would certainly be a worthy opponent.
But Carlsen, who had scored seven points in ten rounds, like the six others next to him, could not beat the Armenian Aronian over a draw. Only the dynamic and confident Chinese Wang Hao, who had been in the lead for much of the tournament, had a victory in the final round. Happiness is the right word, because its counterpart, the Briton David Howell, made a tough stand by being inattentive. So the Chinese moved on points with the American Caruana and overtook him by rating.
Surprised by your own success
The subsequent video interview on the chess24 streaming platform will have followed the chess world with great attention. Another name to remember! Unlike Carlsen, whose self-confidence may still be uncomfortable in self-criticism, the new man practices modesty. Actually, he did not want to participate in the tournament because he was exhausted after the World Cup in Siberian Khanty-Mansiysk. And he actually only prepared himself in conversation with his students. Student? Which students? Does he train a team? No, no, he says, there are seven or eight masters he teaches privately.
Will he be more concerned with his own chess than with his students? A difficult question, he says, he has not decided yet. The surprise about his own success is clearly visible to him in front of the camera.