The 2018 Candidates Tournament will be played in Berlin on 10-28 March. The winner will get a chance to fight for the World Championship title against Magnus Carlsen this November in London. We take a look at each candidate, analyzing his previous participations in similar events and his performance during 2017 and 2018. Let’s take a look at the youngest player in the field, Wesley So.
Wesley So is currently the 4th best rated player in the world with a 2799 rating. He qualified to the 2018 Candidates thanks to his rating average in the 12 official lists of 2017. This will be his first participation in this event. However, let’s review some of his most important achievements in recent years.
At the eighth edition of the Bilbao Chess Masters, played on October 2015, So took first place after defeating Anish Giri in the tiebreaker rounds. It is worth mentioning that the other debutant of this year’s Candidates, Ding Liren, was amongst the participants in that event.
Wesley’s jump to the top of the elite came thanks to an excellent series of results in the second half of 2016, when he took first place in the last two events of the Grand Chess Tour, the Sinquefield Cup and the London Chess Classic. These results, naturally, allowed him to take the first prize in what has become the most demanding series of tournaments in the circuit (in addition to $295.000, accumulated throughout the year).
The finishing touch was his victory at the 2017 Tata Steel Masters, where he finished first with a convincing 9/13, leaving Magnus Carlsen relegated to second place. At that point in time it was declared that the American might be, in practice, the best player in the world.
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