I am rooting for Caruana in the Candidates Tournament because I think he has the best chance against Carlsen in the World Championship match. I’m not rooting for Carlsen to lose actually, but I want to see a closer match than we have seen the last couple times.
Anand actually got a quick victory early in this year’s Candidates Tournament, but then he lost in Round 4 against Karjakin (currently the leader after 5 rounds).
Back to Caruana–In Round 4, he could have just been up a full piece against Topalov, who is struggling in this tournament. Instead, he blundered the advantage right back and had to take a draw. It might not seem like such a big deal. After all, Caruana did not lose the game. But the difference between a win and a draw could be decisive, espeically given that Karjakin is already on 3.5 after 5 rounds, while Caruana is sitting on 2.5 instead of the 3.0 he could have gotten. (See current tournament standings here)
If you want to see some analysis of Caruana’s blunder, check out IM Danny Rensch’s video on the Chess.com YouTube Channel, as well as GM Jan Gustafsson’s video from the Chess24 channel. You can also check out the ChessExplained and ChessNetwork channels, as well as some others.
Of course, it’s easy to say all this as we sit back with our super powerful chess engines and no pressure, but I think it’s fair to say that Caruana should have gotten a win here–a position he probably agrees with himself. Hopefully, he won’t be bothered by the missed opportunity and will play his strongest chess moving forward.