Khanty-Mansiysk Round 7 Update

Today’s big winner was Nakamura. Not only did he literally win a game, his first of the tournament after starting with six straight draws, but he also gained ground thanks to a loss by Tomashevsky, his biggest rival in the standings. Nakamura is now a strong favorite to finish second overall behind likely winner Caruana in the Grand Prix standings:

Player Live Rating Baku Tashkent Tbilisi Khanty-Mansiysk CURRENT TOTAL ODDS (PRE K-M) ODDS (CURRENT)
 Fabiano Caruana (ITA) 2812.0 155 75 170 400 71% 97.7%
 Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 2799.5 82 125 85 292 49% 58.0%
 Sergey Karjakin (RUS) 2762.4 82 75 125 282 8% 18.8%
 Evgeny Tomashevsky (RUS) 2740.5 82 170 20 272 52% 18.9%
 Boris Gelfand (ISR) 2745.9 155 15 65 235 7% 3.7%
 Dmitry Jakovenko (RUS) 2747.2 30 140 65 235 9% 2.8%
 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE) 2735.0 35 125 75 235 0% 0%
 Teimour Radjabov (AZE) 2738.0 50 50 110 210 0% 0%
 Leinier Dominguez (CUB) 2750.0 10 75 125 210 0% 0%
 Dmitry Andreikin (RUS) 2717.9 20 170 10 200 0% 0%
 Peter Svidler (RUS) 2744.7 82 20 85 187 0.1% 0.1%
 Alexander Grischuk (RUS) 2776.3 82 40 40 162 3% 0.04%
 Baadur Jobava (GEO) 2699.8 75 40 40 155 0.2% 0.01%
 Anish Giri (NED) 2768.5 40 75 40 155 1% 0.01%
 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) 2723.3 75 40 10 125 1% 0.0%
 Rustam Kasimdzhanov (UZB) 2703.8 35 15 75 125 0% 0.0%

As we can see, if the event ended today Caruana would win the Grand Prix in dominant fashion, on the strength of a first place finish here at Khanty-Mansiysk. Nakamura would be second, 10 points ahead of Karjakin and 20 points ahead of Tomashevsky.

The bad news for Nakamura and Caruana is that the event is not over yet. There are four more rounds left to play! Although Nakamura’s odds improved drastically from the 31% mark where they sat after round 6, there is still better than a 40% chance of someone else surpassing him for the #2 spot. Most likely this “someone else” would be Karjakin or Tomashevsky, but other long shots remain mathematically in contention as well. Gelfand, for instance, is predicted by our model to climb into the top two of the Grand Prix standings roughly once every 27 tries, and Jakovenko has a 1/36 shot (the same odds as rolling snake eyes on a pair of six sided dice!) And while we’re speaking of relatively unlikely scenarios, notice also that our presumed victor, Caruana, actually has a 2.3% chance of not only failing to win the Grand Prix, but in fact falling outside of the top two in the standings!

In other words: the picture got a lot clearer today, and it’s easy to project Caruana and Nakamura to finish 1 and 2 in the standings and earn their Candidates Tournament berths. Nevertheless, nothing is set in stone yet, and the final four rounds still have the potential to bring major surprises. It’s not over yet!

Here’s our current projections for the results of just this leg, ignoring the broader standings of the multi-event Grand Prix, complete with each player’s average Grand Prix points earned and odds of winning the leg outright:

Player K-M EV Odds of Clear 1st (Pre-Event Odds)
 Fabiano Caruana (ITA) 147 47% 17%
SHARED FIRST 29% 28%
 Leinier Dominguez (CUB) 115 8% 2%
 Sergey Karjakin (RUS) 109 8% 5%
 Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 98 4% 14%
 Peter Svidler (RUS) 90 2% 2%
 Dmitry Jakovenko (RUS) 60 0.3% 3%
 Boris Gelfand (ISR) 65 0.2% 3%
 Alexander Grischuk (RUS) 50 0.05% 11%
 Anish Giri (NED) 51 0.03% 7%
 Baadur Jobava (GEO) 38 0.01% 1%
 Evgeny Tomashevsky (RUS) 34 0% 3%
 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) 13 0% 3%
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