FIDE Confirms Candidates Matches Pairingshas confirmed the pairings for the Candidates Matches that will take place in Kazan, Russia, from 3-27 May 2011.
The pairings are exactly as expected according to the regulations, so the first round matches are as follows:
Each match in the first round will last just four games, with rapid tie-breaks if needed. The second round of matches, also over four games will then be:
|Topalov or Kamsky||Gelfand or Mamedyarov|
|Kramnik or Radjabov||Aronian or Grischuk|
The final will then consist of six games between the two gladiators left standing. The winner becomes the challenger to reigning champion Vishy Anand, with that match tentatively scheduled for the first half of 2012.
Whether by lucky accident or design, the draw keeps Topalov apart from both the Russians, Kramnik and Grischuk, until a possible final. (Topalov's manager Silvio Danailov has stated that his man would refuse to play against a Russian in Russia. This is clearly a reaction to the 'toiletgate' incident in Elista in 2006). So, this threat will only be tested if Topalov gets to the final and faces either Kramnik or Grischuk. We shall see...
Of course, the ghost at the feast will be Magnus Carlsen who withdrew from the cycle last year.
So what do you predict? Will Kamsky get revenge on Topalov for his loss in 2009? Can Kramnik earn a shot at regaining the title? Or are the matches so short that it's like a lottery anyway?
And can anyone dethrone Anand in 2012?