Candidates Matches Topalov and Mamedyarov out!

Hello again to you all. First of all just letting you know that the poll that Sue wrote about in the below post was pulled as the voting went haywire – there were no controls on who was allowed to vote; only one vote per i.p. address and so it was unlikely to reflect public opinion. I believe they are rethinking their format.

The big chess news story currently is the Candidates Matches being played in Kazan, Russia. The format is a mockery of the old Candidate Matches with just four games in each mini-match. The biggest upset is probably the American Gata Kamsky’s victory over Bulgarian Veselin Topalov 2.5-1.5. The latter has been going through a bad patch recently while Kamsky has just won the US Championships and has good experience in match play. Elsewhere the experienced Boris Gelfand from Israel defeated the Azeri Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Two matches, Aronian-Grischuk and Kramnik-Radjabov have gone to the lottery of the rapid playoffs but Kramnik and Aronian must be favourites.

The eventual winner of all these matches will perhaps play Viswanathan Anand for the World Championship title although with FIDE constantly changing structure such a thing cannot be guaranteed. London made a bid for the match, spearheaded by IM Malcolm Pein, but FIDE got greedy asking for more money and so the offer fell apart. The match people want to see is undoubtedly Magnus Carlsen against the World Champ but he pulled out of the Candidate matches and so that won’t happen for at least a year or two.

Meanwhile the Women’s European Championships has just started in Tbilisi. Best of luck to the English contingent Jovi and Ingrid and also to my Pride and Prejudice team mate Sophie. Keep tuned!