Leading After 6
After 6 rounds of the 2016 Candidates Tournament, GM Sergey Karjakin is leading the field with 4.0 points (with a slight tiebreak edge over Levon Aronian). Karjakin was the lowest rated of the eight players coming into the tournament. If he manages to pull off this upset victory for a ticket to challenege Carlsen for the World Championship crown, will he have a chance?
Karjakin vs. Carlsen History
A quick look at the history between Karjakin and Carlsen shows that Karjakin has his fair share of wins against the champ. I doubt that is a complete listing, as games are often missing from the ChessGames.com online database, but it gives a general impression. Karjakin has beat Carlsen several times actually, including a nice win at least year’s World Blitz Tournament (watch: Karjakin Beats Carlsen). Karjakin also drew Carlsen in the previous year’s blitz tournament.
Carlsen vs. Karjakin Hypothetical Prediction
Of course, for the World Championship Match, a classical time control will be used, so that will be different. I hadn’t really considered Karjakin’s chances against the World Champ, but he has been extremely sharp and well prepared during the Candidates Tournament. He even managed to draw against Caruana after giving up his Queen, although Caruana probably should have won that game. Still, Karjakin looks like one of the more dangerous players halfway through the tournament. Whether he could beat the reigning champ is another question. So what do you think, could Karjakin beat Carlsen?