Caruana is New Leader in Moscow
Caruana beat Anand at his own attacking style in Round 10 of the 2016 Candidates Tournament to tie Karjakin at 6.0/10. Caruana holds a slim tiebreak advantage of 0.5 Sonneborn-Berger points, but Karjakin holds the more important tiebreak with most wins.
You can view the game pgn on the official WorldChess site.
Caruana played a nice Bishop sacrifice on h6. Stockfish 7 confirms the sacrifice as sound, giving White a small but clear edge. Caruana proceeded to convert the advantage. Anand tried to give the material back and hold, but a couple of inaccurate moves led to the end. In the final position, the rook trade is forced, and then Caruana will start picking up pawns.
For a full game analysis, check out ChessNetwork‘s postmortem coverage of this game.
And here is the position just before Caruana sacked his Bishop. Can you see some of the continuations that might follow?
With four rounds to go, the question is whether Caruana can pull out the tournament win. He has mostly played well but has already left two wins on the table earlier in the tournament. That amounts to a full point lost, and this could come back to hurt him, as Karjakin is also playing strong chess.
Still in the Hunt
Anand and Aronian are still sitting at 5.5/10 and can’t be counted out. Giri is at 5.0/10 but plays such a drawish style that it’s hard to imagine him catching up. The rest of the field seems too far behind at this point, practically speaking if not mathematically speaking.
Who Will Win?
I’ve been pulling for Caruana from the start because he has beaten Magnus before and seems to play him well. At least, the world championship match should be more interesting if Caruana plays than a third time for Anand. Karjakin is playing great though, too, so if he earns the opportunity, he would seem to make a good match as well. Still, Caruana is higher rated than Karjakin and seems to be the stronger candidate. We won’t have to wait long to find out, as the tournament wraps up after just four more rounds, and could potentially be decided in fewer than that.