Caruana favourite as Candidates begins while Carlsen wins sixth event in a row

Contest to decide Ding Liren’s challenger began on Thursday, while the world No 1 kept up his winning streak in the Grenke ClassicThe eight potential challengers who began the Candidates tournament in Toronto on Thursday have an ­unfamiliar feeling. Whoever wins will be a firm favourite to ­capture the crown from the struggling holder, Ding Liren, instead of being the ­outsider of two against Magnus Carlsen, who abdicated his title while still at his playing peak. For the first time, the Women’s Candidates is being held simultaneously.The games will be shown live on Fide YouTube starting at 7.30pm BST daily, with commentary from the ­former world champion, Vishy Anand, and the No 1 US woman, Irina Krush. The best viewing site is likely to be on Chess24’s channel where England’s David Howell and the all-time No 1 woman, Judit Polgar, are the lead commentators. Another excellent choice is the ad-free Lichess commentary by England’s Matthew Sadler and others. All first-round games bar one were drawn, with China’s Tan Zhongyi beating her compatriot Lei Tingjie in the women’s event. Continue reading…

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