Dream Start for Vladimir Kramnik at the Candidates 2018!

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The FIDE Candidate Tournament 2018 in Berlin had a spectacular start. We saw several decisive games in the first three rounds. Vladimir Kramnik seems to be extremely motivated and well prepared for the tournament as he is the sole leader with 2.5/3 points, after defeating Alexander Grischuk and Levon Aronian in round-1 and round-3 respectively!

Kramnik is followed by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Fabiano Caruana with 2.0 points. While, it’s been a bad start for Wesley So, as he has lost 2 out of his 3 games.
vladimir kramnik fide candidates 2018 berlin

(photo: World Chess)

The Twitter Battle between Anish Giri and Magnus Carlsen!

The reason for Kramnik’s great start could be the fact that Anish Giri is working with him, seconding Kramnik during the Candidates. When it came to public, the World Champion Magnus Carlsen posted the following tweet:

(Carlsen subtly referring to Giri’s victory against Kramnik in the Tata Steel Chess in January 2018)

Giri replied with his tweet:
anish giri tweet candidates carlsenA few days before the Candidates, MVL wrote an article, in which he said “In my opinion, Vlad is probably the player in the world who best understands chess. You can show him whatever position, his instincts will seldom let him down. He will always find what the evaluation of the position is and which plan to adopt.” And this did not interest Magnus Carlsen.

Giri (Kramnik’s second) backed up MVL with his tweet:

And it seems that Carlsen lost it, as he tweeted……..

… to which Giri responded with:
anish giri tweet candidates carlsenThanks to this Twitter War, it seems that Giri is motivated to make sure that Kramnik wins the Candidates, as it’s been a dream start for the Russian! What do you think – could it be Kramnik vs Carlsen for the World Championship?  🙂 Please, share your thoughts in the comments below.
designFinally, let’s take a look at some of the interesting games from the starting rounds. Please, take the tests seriously and try to find the best moves. After that, you can check the complete games below:

Black has a passed pawn. Can you find the winning plan for Black?

White has the perfect placement for his pieces. How should he proceed here?

White’s isolated d4-pawn is targeted by Black’s pieces. How would you play here as White?

It’s only the third round and it’s only the 15th move, and Kramnik has already gone aggressive against Aronian. Can you find the winning plan for Black?

After calculating, you can check the complete games below:

P.S. Who is your favorite to win the Candidates and why? 🙂 Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below. You can also cast your vote in our YouTube Channel’s Community page – click here!
how to analyze chess games

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