Khanty-Mansiysk Round 3 Update

In a critical crash among the most likely Candidates, Fabiano Caruana defeated Evgeny Tomashevsky and reasserted himself as the most likely player to earn one of the two open spots in next year’s Candidates Tournament. Caruana is now in a three-way tie for first place in this event, and is once again the second highest rated player in the world (by live ratings). These two facts combine to give him an almost one in four chance of winning this final leg of the Grand Prix outright, which is of course far more success than he even needs to assure himself a top two finish in the overall standings.

Here are our updated projections for this event:

Player K-M EV Odds of Clear 1st (Pre-Event Odds)
 Fabiano Caruana (ITA) 119 24% 17%
 Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 94 10% 14%
 Peter Svidler (RUS) 89 8% 2%
 Leinier Dominguez (CUB) 87 7% 2%
 Alexander Grischuk (RUS) 84 6% 11%
 Sergey Karjakin (RUS) 72 4% 5%
 Evgeny Tomashevsky (RUS) 68 3% 3%
 Boris Gelfand (ISR) 63 2% 3%
 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) 61 2% 3%
 Anish Giri (NED) 60 2% 7%
 Dmitry Jakovenko (RUS) 45 1% 3%
 Baadur Jobava (GEO) 28 0.2% 1%

As for the second berth in the Candidates Tournament, there is far more uncertainty. With today’s loss, Tomashevsky fell back into the middle of the pack at 1.5/3, along with Nakamura and four others. Right now it looks likely that the ultimate top two finishers will be Caruana and one of either Nakamura or Tomashevsky, although a few other names are still alive.

Folding each player’s average expected score (“EV”) from above into the current standings, here is how we currently project the final Grand Prix standings to look – along with each player’s odds of finishing in the top two of those standings:

Player Baku Tashkent Tbilisi Khanty-Mansiysk EV TOTAL EV Top-Two Odds
 Fabiano Caruana (ITA) 155 75 119 349 82%
 Evgeny Tomashevsky (RUS) 82 170 68 320 58%
 Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 82 125 94 301 43%
 Boris Gelfand (ISR) 155 15 63 233 6%
 Sergey Karjakin (RUS) 82 75 72 229 6%
 Dmitry Jakovenko (RUS) 30 140 45 215 2%
 Alexander Grischuk (RUS) 82 40 84 206 2%
 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) 75 40 61 176 0.3%
 Peter Svidler (RUS) 82 20 89 191 0.3%
 Anish Giri (NED) 40 75 60 175 0.2%
 Baadur Jobava (GEO) 75 40 28 143 0.03%
 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE) 35 125 75 235 0%
 Dmitry Andreikin (RUS) 20 170 10 200 0%
 Teimour Radjabov (AZE) 50 50 110 210 0%
 Rustam Kasimdzhanov (UZB) 35 15 75 125 0%
 Leinier Dominguez (CUB) 10 75 87 172 0%

Key Games In Round 4:

Caruana has established himself as the commanding leader, but he does have to handle the black pieces tomorrow against Vachiere-Lagrave. Our model gives MVL an 18% chance of winning that game, which would make the race for the top more competitive.

Nakamura also has black, against co-leader Dominguez who has looked strong through the first three rounds. As you can see in our predictions above, we do model Nakamura as a favorite to eventually outpace the lower rated Tomashevsky in this event (although by slightly less than he needs to, on average, to pass him in the final standings), but he’ll probably need to win some games at some point to live up to that projection. So far he’s drawn his first three. Our model does give him a 23% chance to get his first win here, despite having black.

Tomashevsky is the only one of the major contenders to wield white tomorrow, against Jakovenko. We give him a 29% chance of winning that game, and bouncing back from today’s setback.


3 thoughts on “Khanty-Mansiysk Round 3 Update

  1. Tomashevsky is not in his ‘clutch’ form as manifested by his erratic three games. His guards are down. I believe it’s human psychology, i.e., when you are perched atop the pedestal, you exhume an air of ‘overconfidence’ and will overlook the nitty details.

    To reiterate, Khanty-Mansiysk is up for grabs between my bets Caruana and Nakamura, though I see Karjakin as dark horse. Tomashevsky cannot finish in the Top 3 of Khanty-Mansiysk leg but will be amongst the Top 3 in the whole GP series.


    • Mathematically, there’s no reason to rule Tomashevsky out. He has the same score as Nakamura after four rounds, and since he entered the event in first place in the standings, “the same” is a win for him. Tomashevsky certainly isn’t likely to win Khanty-Mansiysk (Caruana is the most likely one to do that, at this point), but I still have Toma as a favorite to finish in the top two of the overall series and earn a Candidates Tournament berth.


      • After 5 rounds, Khanty-Mansiysk is shaping as a Caruana and Naka-Karjakin showdowns. Since Toma entered this leg in first place in the GP standings, he still have a mathematical chance to grab one Candidate slot. That chance is fast fading; Toma must wake up, go down from his pedestal and touch ground now!


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