Chess masters from Azerbaijan and Russia finished amongst the top three during the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) Candidates 2018 competition held in Berlin, after playing 14 rounds.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov from Azerbaijan played a draw on March 27 with the former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik from Russia in the last and fourteenth round in which Mamedyarov gained eight points, which secured second standing among eight mega brains of the world.
Russia’s Sergey Karjakin squared off against Chinese chess master Dong Liren on the same day, which ended all square and put Karjakin in third spot behind Mamedyarov, also with eight points.
American grandmaster Fabiano Caruana won the tournament with nine points after playing all 14 games. He will be competing against the world’s number-one chess player, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, in the World Chess Championship 2018 in London in November.
Vladimir Kramnik and Alexander Grischuk, both from Russia, completed the Candidates 2018 tournament in fifth and sixth places, respectively, with 7.5 points each.
Eight of the world’s top grandmasters gathered at the Kühlhaus (“Cool House” in English) events center from March 10 – 28. The event was organized by the World Chess Federation (FIDE), technically the game’s governing body.
The Candidates 2018 competition was played in the double round-robin style, whereby 14 rounds are played in which each player faces his seven rivals twice: once playing the black figures and once with the white figures. The best personal result in the wake of all 14 rounds was taken as the main criteria to announce the winner and runner ups.
Mamedyarov ranks as the world’s number two behind Carlsen in the FIDE world ranking in standard chess, as of this month. Karjakin occupies the same spot in the blitz version of world chess, also coming behind Carlsen, who leads the world chess since 2013.
Azerbaijan will be playing a host to a traditional tournament called Gashimov Memorial 2018 in Shamkir city, from April 19-28. The annual championship, which is dedicated to the memory of the country’s world-renowned grandmaster Vugar Gashimov, will welcome the world’s best players including the reigning world champion Carlsen, as well as Mamedyarov and Kramnik.