2014 Candidates Preview

3. Veselin Topalov (2785)(4) Chance: 15%


The next few guys are kind of a toss up honestly. I rate Topalov’s chances slightly higher than the rest though because of a few factors: he’s been there before (he won a similar style tournament in San Luis in 2005), and he’s playing well. He’s got the style of play we all enjoy and he’s got a never say die attitude. The reason he ranks below Kramnik and Aronian for me is that he’s created a lot of bad blood between his fellow GM’s and frankly I don’t like his attitude baggage he brings with him. I could see the other GM’s in the group not taking chances against him and forcing him to play boring lines that force him into drawish positions just so he doesn’t get a chance to win (begin the conspiracy theories now). Additionally I just don’t see him scoring that well against his past foes like Anand and Kramnik (who he MUST beat in order to even have a chance at the top spot). Here is a nice game of his against Karjakin:

Here’s how he’s done against the field:

Opponent Result (W-L-D) Last 5 Games
Levon Aronian 6-3-11 0-0-5
Vladimir Kramnik 9-14-32 2-2-1
Viswanathan Anand 13-15-36 0-3-2
Sergey Karjakin 6-2-3 1-2-2
Peter Svidler 8-5-12 3-0-2
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 3-3-6 1-1-3
Dmitry Andreikin 0-0-0 0-0-0

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