Kramnik or Carlsen

There can be only one!

Vladimir Kramnik or Magnus Carlsen. One of both will be the next challenger of the World Champion Viswanathan Anand next year. It will be decided in the last two rounds of which is already called one of the greatest and most exciting tournaments in chess history. What makes this Candidates Tournament so outstanding? Simple, we are seeing great fighting chess and everybody is giving everything till the last moment! This is a lot more fun to watch, especially if one compares it to the last year's Candidates Tournament, where the players engaged in a dull draw festival. One great example of fighting chess was the game between Aronian and Kramnik:

Kramnik is now a half point ahead of Carlsen, thanks to an astonishing second half so far. Scoring 4,5 out of the last five games is simply amazing. Even though I am a Carlsen fan and I would like to see the world championship match Anand - Carlsen, I have to objectively acknowledge that Kramnik is playing the better chess in London. The only time he was at risk to lose was against Gelfand:

Gelfand - Kramnik Candidates Tournament

White to move

In this position Gelfand played quite unambitiously 19.Ned2 and the game soon ended in a draw. Instead both knight moves to g5 lead to a big advantage for White. Let us take a look at the simpler one, 19.Nfg5, which carries many threats, primarily Qh5. If h6, White still plays 20.Qh5 and achieves a good position after hxg5 21.Nxg5 Nf6 22.Qxf7+ Kh8 23.Nxe6 Qg8! (only move) 24.Qxb7 Rb8 25.Qxg7+ Qxg7 26.Nxg7 Kxg7. The endgame with four pawns for the piece can only be won by White.

Carlsen, on the other hand, had a difficult time twice against Ivanchuk and also against Radjabov. Ironically Ivanchuk, who normally is Carlsen's favorite opponent, is suddenly causing him a headache. In both games Carlsen was not even better a single moment.

With two more rounds to go, it is still pretty much open, even though Kramnik has the better cards of course. It is important to note that two draws for Kramnik might not be enough. If Carlsen at the same time wins one game and draws one, he is ending up first, because he has more wins than Kramnik. Check out the games, live videos and live commentary here!