In the first round of the Candidates’ Tournament in London, all four games were drawn.
I watched the last hour of the first round on ChessTV, which is broadcasting the games live in Russian with commentary from our friend GM Sergey Shipov and GM Genna Sosonko. I’m glad to see that Shipov finally found a website that would use him as a live commentator. I know that he had planned to do live video commentary for the Anand-Gelfand match, but the arrangements fell through and he had to settle for text commentary. Anyway, if you understand Russian the ChessTV broadcast is very good, and even if you don’t understand Russian you can understand the press conference after the games, which is conducted at least partially in English.
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s games, we have the following four matchups: Carlsen-Kramnik, Grischuk-Svidler, Radjabov-Ivanchuk, and Aronian-Gelfand. The Russian Chess Federation website had some great pre-match articles that gave the statistics of each player against each other player. So here is the lifetime record of each player against tomorrow’s opponent (counting only wins, not draws):
Carlsen 3, Kramnik 4. Should be a tough battle!
Grischuk 1, Svidler 7. Shipov mentioned in his commentary that Svidler has beaten Grischuk like a rug. I suspect that Grischuk will be happy with a draw in this game.
Radjabov 4, Ivanchuk 5.
Aronian 6, Gelfand 5. This one is a bit misleading because Aronian started out 0-3 against Gelfand, but has gone 6-2 against him in recent years. So I would think Aronian (especially with White) would be a distinct favorite in this game.
Who will draw first blood?