Candidates Tournament Goes to the Final Round

03.27.16 There's a very real possibility that the next challenger for the World Chess Championship will be an American by the name of Fabiano Caruana. It all boils down to the fourteenth and final round of the Candidates Tournament being played tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. eastern, 3:00 p.m. local in Moscow, Russia. If Caruana wins the game he is the Challenger; if he draws, the situation becomes more complicated and will depend on tiebreaks which we will decipher and explain to you with the help of

Can Fabiano Caruana become the first American challenger in a World Championship match since Bobby Fischer in 1972?

Thanks to for the images in this report.

Official website of the 2016 Candidates Tournament

This from the official rules of the tournament:

3. 7 Tie-breaks
If the top two or more players score the same points, the tie will be decided by the following criteria, in order of priority:

a) The results of the games between the players involved in the tie.
If they are still tied:

b) The total number of wins in the tournament of every player involved in the tie.
If they are still tied:

c) Sonneborn - Berger System.

We thank for the following explanation of how the tiebreaks might shake down.

So what are the options for the final round tomorrow? Here are the pairings:

Round 14, Monday, March 28, 2016
Svidler Peter--Anand Viswanathan
Giri Anish--Topalov Veselin
Nakamura Hikaru--Aronian Levon
Karjakin Sergey--Caruana Fabiano

And this is how the tiebreak scenario works - we confirmed everything with the Chief Arbiter and his assistants. Karjakin and Caruana play against each other and only one amongst the two have a chance to win. The one who wins the game becomes the champion and the Challenger.

However, in case of a draw it becomes complicated. Both Sergey and Fabiano reach 8.0/13. If Anand draws or loses to Svidler, then Sergey Karjakin is the champion because head to head is equal between him and Caruana, but Sergey has more wins, which is the second tiebreak.

However: if Vishy wins against Svidler then things change completely, because all three would be on 8.0/13. Then the three players are a group in head to head encounters, and Caruana has 2.5/4 (1.5 against Vishy and 1 point against Sergey) while Karjakin has 2/4 (1 each against Vishy and Caruana). Then Caruana wins the tournament.

We have listed the players by position on the crosstable and have indicated their score after 13 rounds.

Sergey Karjakin is tied with Caruana at 7.5

Viswanathan Anand 7.0

Anish Giri 6.5

Peter Svidler 6.5

Levon Aronian 6.5

Hikaru Hakamura 6.5

Veselin Topalov 4.0

Chief Arbiter Werner Stubenvoll

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