General Feb 20, 2018 | 7:02 PMby Carlos Colodro

The Candidates: Vladimir Kramnik

The 2018 Candidates Tournament will be played in Berlin from 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 profile of former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik.

As a Candidate

Kramnik is currently the 3rd best rated player in the world, with a 2800 rating. The Russian has been participating in World Champioship cycles of all kinds since 1994. In fact, since the unification of the world title Kramnik has been part of either the Candidates or the World Championship of all cycles, except the last one. He will be the organizers' nominee at the 2018 edition:

The chess world was split in two in 1993. Kramnik - then the greatest promise of Russian chess - participated in both cycles in 1994. In the PCA Candidates, he lost against Gata Kamsky in the quarterfinals, while in the FIDE cycle he was defeated by Boris Gelfand in the semifinals.

In 1998, he played a match against Shirov to decide who would be Garry Kasparov's World Championship challenger. The Latvian (who represented Spain at the time) won the match, but, in the absence of sponsors, Kasparov decided that he would play the match against Kramnik. "Big Vlad" won the famous London match in 2000, largely due to his excellent opening preparation.

Kramnik defended his title against Peter Leko in 2004 (the match was tied and the defending champion kept his crown), and defeated Veselin Topalov in the rapid tiebreaks of the controversial 2006 match in Elista. At the 2007 World Championship tournament in Mexico, Vladimir finished second behind Vishy Anand. The Russian used his right to a rematch and faced Anand at the 2008 World Championship match in Bonn — the Indian defended his title with a 6.5:4.5 victory.

In the Candidates matches of Kazan 2011, Kramnik was eliminated by Alexander Grischuk in the semifinals, after having qualified by rating.

Kramnik qualified for the 2013 London Candidates, once again, thanks to his rating. In the tournament, he finished tied in first place with Magnus Carlsen. The latter got the right to play the World Championship due to his superior score in the second tiebreaker criteria - highest number of wins.

In Khanty-Mansiysk 2014, Kramnik finished third with 7/14 points. He got three wins and three losses.

Finally, in the 2016 cycle, Kramnik was overtaken by Anish Giri in the fight to get the Candidates' place reserved for the second best rated player. The Russian was not nominated by the organizers despite the fact that the event was played in Moscow.

The road to Berlin

Here we present all Kramnik's results in classical tournaments in 2017 and 2018:

Vladimir Kramnik did not participate in the FIDE Grand Prix nor was he one of the regular players at the 2017 Grand Chess Tour (he was one of the wildcards in Leuven), despite having been invited by the organizers in both cases. The Russian did not get any titles at the closed elite events, but, in general, finished near the top of the standings in all of them. His second places at the Gashimov Memorial and Altibox Norway Chess stand out.

His triumphs came in team events, as he led Siberia and Globus to first places in the Russian Team Championship and the European Club Cup, respectively.

In his last event, he finished third at the Tata Steel Masters, where he defeated Caruana and lost against Karjakin (his last decisive games against other Candidates).

The tiebreak criteria in the Candidates are: 1) Direct matches, 2) Number of wins, 3) Sonneborn-Berger. Only in the extraordinary case that these three do not break the tie will they proceed to play rapid and blitz games. In any case, given the growing relevance of these time controls at the elite level, let's take a look at Kramnik's rapid and blitz results from the last year:

Big Vlad was not very active in tournaments with faster time controls. Besides the preliminary blitz tournaments in Zurich and Stavanger, he only played in the Leuven stage of the Grand Chess Tour. In all these events he finished close to the middle of the standings.

Finally, let's see the evolution of Kramnik's rating over the last 14 months:

Kramnik will be hoping for a fast start when he has White in three of his first four games, especially as he then faces Black in four of the next five!

Check out the full pairings below:

See also:

Sort by Date Descending Date Descending Date Ascending Most Liked Receive updates

Comments 53

Guest 4688689402
Join chess24
  • Free, Quick & Easy

  • Be the first to comment!


Create your free account now to get started!

I am aged 16 or older.

By clicking ‘Register’ you agree to our terms and conditions and confirm you have read our privacy policy, including the section on the use of cookies.

Lost your password? We'll send you a link to reset it!

After submitting this form you'll receive an email with the reset password link. If you still can't access your account please contact our customer service.

Data Consent Details

We respect your privacy and data protection guidelines.

Using chess24 requires the storage of some personal data, as set out below. You can find additional information in our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, Disclaimer and Terms of Website Use. Please note that your data settings can be changed at any time by clicking on the Data Settings link in the footer at the bottom of our website.

data details

Necessary Data

Some data is technically necessary to be able to visit the page at all. A so-called cookie stores identifiers that make it possible to respond to your individual requests. It contains a session ID - a unique, anonymous user ID combined with an authentication identifier (user_data). A security identifier (csrf) is also stored to prevent a particular type of online attack. All of these fields are alpha-numeric, with almost no relation to your real identity. The only exception is that we monitor some requests with the IP address that you are currently using, so that we are able to detect malicious use or system defects. Additionally, a technical field is stored (singletab) to ensure that some interactions are only processed in the browser tab that is currently active. For example, a new chess game will not be opened in all your current tabs. We use your local storage to save the difference between your local clock and our server time (serverUserTimeOffset), so that we are able to display the date and time of events correctly for you. You can also enable more data fields, as described in the other sections. Your personal decision on which data storage to enable is also stored as necessary information (consent).

Settings Data

We offer a range of personal settings for your convenience. Options include which opponents you prefer to be paired against, your preferred chessboard and pieces, the board size, the volume setting of the video player, your preferred language, whether to show chat or chess notation, and more. You can use our web page without storing this data, but if you would like to have your individual settings remembered we recommend enabling this feature. For logged-in registered users this setting is mandatory to store information about your privacy settings, users you have blocked and your friendship settings. As a registered user we also store your data consent in these settings.

Social Media Data

We embed a Twitter feed showing activity for the hashtag #c24live and also make it possible to share content in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. If you enable this option social networks are able to store data in your cookies or local storage for the purpose of these features.

Statistics Data

We would like to measure how our page is used with Google Analytics, so that we can decide which features to implement next and how to optimize our user experience. If you enable this feature Google will store your device identifiers and we will send tracking events (such as page requests) to Google Analytics. These have no direct relationship to your person except for the IP address currently being used.

Marketing Data

To help cover the cost of free services we would like to show you advertisements from our partner networks. Members of these networks store data on the banners shown to you and try to deliver ads that are relevant. If you choose not to allow this kind of data we have to show more anonymous advertisements and will be more limited in the free services we can offer.

Other Data

For registered users we store additional information such as profile data, chess games played, your chess analysis sessions, forum posts, chat and messages, your friends and blocked users, and items and subscriptions you have purchased. You can find this information in your personal profile. A free registration is not required to use this application. If you decide to contact the support team a ticket is created with information that includes your name and email address so that we can respond to your concern. This data is processed in the external service Zendesk. If you subscribe to a newsletter or are registered we would like to send you occasional updates via email. You can unsubscribe from newsletters and as a registered user you can apply several mail settings to control how your email address is used. For newsletters we transfer your email address and username to the external service MailChimp. If you buy content or subscriptions on chess24 we work with the payment service provider Adyen, which collects your payment data and processes information about the payment such as fraud protection data.