Caruana to Challenge Magnus Carlsen for World Title

03.27.18 Fabiano Caruana won the Candidates tournament in Berlin in dramatic fashion. He finished a clear point ahead of the pack with the plus-four score of 9.0 points, scored back-to-back victories in the final two rounds, and avoided the need for tiebreak calculations. Caruana will face World Champion Magnus Carlsen in London in November of 2018 in a match for the world title. Congratulations Fabi!

Fabiano Luigi Caruana is the official Challenger for the World Chess Championship title.
(image courtesy

With apologies to Mel Brooks, Tiebreaks? We don't need no stinkin' tiebreaks!

Final Standings

Incredibly, at the beginning of the fourteenth and final round, there were four players in three out of four games still in contention to win the Candidates. As we analyzed in yesterday's report, there were many scenarios that were possible right up to the eleventh hour of the tournament. All these scenarios would have come into play in the event of Caruana either drawing or losing today's game with Alexander Grischuk.

Taking matters into his own hands and determining his own fate, Caruana, playing the black pieces, convincingly beat Grishuck in the final round of the Candidates thus making all tiebreak discussion moot.

After the results of Round 12--a dismal loss to Karjakin that put Caruana and Karjakin tied at the top of the crosstable with Karjakin having the better Direct Encounter tiebreak (1.5 - 0.5)--the tournament situation was looking eerily similar to the 2016 Candidates where the same two players were tied and Karjakin got the nod to face the World Champion in a match in New York City based on higher tiebreaks.

With remarkable fortitude, Caruana did what he had to do and won his remaining two games rendering unquestionable his claim on the World Championship Challenger title.

The World Championship Match will be played in London from November 9-28, 2018

Official Site of the Candidates Tournament

Full Regulations of the Candidates Tournament

Link to all games played at the 2018 Candidates

Official Schedule of the 2018 Candidates Tournament
Most games begin at 10:00 a.m. eastern US time
except those games indicated with ** which begin at 9:00 a.m. eastern US time

March 9 -- Friday Opening Ceremony
March 10 -- Saturday Round 1**
March 11 -- Sunday Round 2
March 12 -- Monday Round 3
March 13 -- Tuesday Rest Day
March 14 -- Wednesday Round 4
March 15 -- Thursday Round 5
March 16 -- Friday Round 6
March 17 -- Saturday Rest Day
March 18 -- Sunday Round 7
March 19 -- Monday Round 8
March 20 -- Tuesday Round 9
March 21 -- Wednesday Rest Day
March 22 -- Thursday Round 10
March 23 -- Friday Round 11
March 24 -- Saturday Round 12
March 25 -- Sunday Rest Day
March 26 -- Monday Round 13**
March 27 -- Tuesday Round 14/Closing Ceremony**
March 28 -- Wednesday Tie Breaks/Closing Ceremony**

Pairings for each round


YES! Anyone want to go to London? ;)

Go Caruana!

This is great! The first American to challenge for the world championship title since Gata Kamsky in 1996 (22 years ago). However, at that time the title was split between 2 rival organizations, FIDE and the PCA. Kamsky challenged for the FIDE "official" title, but many considered the PCA world championship title to be more legitimate because their world champion was also the world #1 on the FIDE ELO ranking lists: Garry Kasparov. Caruana will be the first American to challenge for the undisputed world championship title since Bobby Fischer in 1972, an astonishing 46 years!!!

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