2016 Candidates - Sergey Karjakin WINS!



  1. Vishwanathan Anand (India) – The player who lost the 2014 World Championship Match
  2. Sergey Karjakin (Russia) – as winner of the FIDE World Cup in Baku
  3. Peter Svidler (Russia) – as the silver medalist of the FIDE World Cup in Baku
  4. Fabiano Caruana (USA/Italy) – from FIDE Grand Prix 2014–15
  5. Hikaru Nakamura (USA) – from FIDE Grand Prix 2014–15
  6. Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) – By rating
  7. Anish Giri (Netherlands) – By rating
  8. Levon Aronian (Armenia) – organizers nominee of rating higher than 2725 ELO


  • Dates: March 8 – 29, 2016
  • Number of players: 8
  • Format: Double round robin tournament (14 rounds)
  • Length: 22 days including arrivals, departures, opening and closing ceremonies
  • Prize fund: EUR 561,000 including FIDE fees

Winner Profile

Taken from Sergey Karjakin's Wikipedia Page

Sergey Alexandrovich Karjakin (Ukrainian: Сергій Олександрович Карякін, Serhiy Oleksandrovych Karjakin; Russian: Серге́й Алекса́ндрович Каря́кин; born January 12, 1990) is a Ukrainian-born Russian chess grandmaster. He is a former chess prodigy and holds the record for the world's youngest Grandmaster ever, having qualified for this title at the age of 12 years and 7 months.

On March 28, 2016, Sergey Karjakin earned the right to compete as the challenger to Magnus Carlsen in the World Chess Championship 2016 after winning theCandidates Tournament 2016 in Moscow.

Karjakin won the 2012 World Rapid Chess Championship and the Chess World Cup 2015. He also won the Norway Chess Tournament twice (2013, 2014) and theCorus Chess Tournament in 2009.

He has competed in six Chess Olympiads, three times for Ukraine and three times for Russia, winning three gold medals, two silver and a bronze. He was a member of the gold medal-winning Russian team at the World Team Chess Championship in Antalya in 2013.


List of Players

Final Standings

Cross Table


For your convenience all of the games from the tournament have been compiled into a PGN file for your download.  

Round Reports by GM Daniel King

Round 1

GM King takes a look at the decisive round of the day between Anand and Topalov. The game is a Berlin Spanish and King picks up the game after 14 moves when the tension in the position is mounting.

Round 2

Like round 1, only 1 game was decisive in round 2 of the Candidates tournament. GM King analyses this decisive match between the eventual winner, and the explosive US player Hikaru Nakamura.

Round 3

In round 3 GM King analyses the game between Giri and Karjakin. The game is a Queens Indian with Karjakin on the black side after playing the white side against Nakamura the day before.

Round 4

In round 4 the games between Karjakin and Anand, and Caruana and Topalov are examined by GM King. Karjakin managed to topple Anand with a nice attack after some inaccurate play, while Topalov held Caruana to a draw after he missed some chances.

Round 5

GM King analyses the game between Aronian and Caruana. Caruana played an ambitious Benoni system with an early novelty, but couldn't manage more than a draw after getting into a bit of trouble.

Round 6

In round 6 GM King takes a look at Cauana vs. Karjakin. After 28 moves the game enters a fascinating and unbalance endgame where Karjakin calculates accurately to give up a piece but hold the draw. King then looks at the game between Anand and Svidler.

Round 7

GM king analyses the game between the leaders of the Candidates tournament Karjakin and Aronian. The game is a standard King's Indian Attack. Aronian came out of the opening equal, and held Karjakin to a draw after a premature attack.

Round 8

In round 8 GM King takes a look at the US derby between Caruana and Nakamura. The game was Berlin Spanish with 4.d3 keeping the tension. Caruana played a solid game and won convincingly.

Round 9

The decisive game of the day was Anand vs Aronian, and GM King analyses the game from move 30 onwards. Anand claimed a significant positional advantage which he held on to and nurtured it home for the win.

Round 10

In round 10 Anand was in the lead with Karjakin and it seemed we were destined for another Carlsen vs. Anand match. But, it wasn't to be as Caruana defeated Anand in a standard English. After a piece sacrifice from Caruana, Anand returned the piece, but still succumbed to Caruana's attack. 

Round 11

GM King looks at all the games of round 11.

  • Topalov vs Caruana, a complex game with Caruana in the drivers seat, but in time pressure was unable to take home the point.
  • Aronian vs. Svidler with Aronian snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
  • An oversight by Giri landed him with a draw in a winning position.
  • Anand nurtured a slight advantage to out play Karjakin and claim the win.

Round 12

Round 12 sees GM King analyse Nakamura vs. Anand. In another English Anand fell as if did to Caruana, albeit in a different variation. Karjakin vs. Topalov was a Keres-style Sicilian Najdorf with Karjakin conquering with a very direct attack on the king.

Round 13

In the penultimate round GM King takes a look at Aronian vs. Karjakin, a very typical Reverse Dragon English which ended in a draw. King then examines the end game between Caruana and Svidler, a rich and complex end game with Svidler holding KR vs KRB with the "second rank" defence.

Round 14

In the last round GM King looks at the only game that mattered! Only Karjakin or Caruana could win the tournament, and they played each other in the final round. Karjakin with the white pieces only needed a draw to win, while Caruana need to win with black. In a sharp Sicilian Caruana over pressed.