As a Magnus Carlsen fan, it was a bit disappointing for me to see him finish clear second in Biel 2018, one and half points after Mamedyarov, after starting the tournament with two wins - and it could have been two points - had not the much lower-rated Georgiadis blundered in a drawn endgame. Although not a bad performance per se, I was wondering what were the worst tournament performances of reigning World Champions?

2 Answers 2


Looking through this list of strong tournaments, among those that stand out are:

  • The Grand Slam Masters Final may just be the worst one overall. I still remember all the "hiding prep" jokes. Aug 3, 2018 at 9:51

For Carlsen that was probably Norway Chess 2017, where he finished second to last on -1.

  • 1
    I'd say Norway Chess 2015 was even worse for Carlsen: 3.5/9 (although he finished shared 7th) and losing against Hammer, one of his seconds. Can I edit your answer or should I post it as a new answer?
    – Maxwell86
    Aug 10, 2018 at 13:44
  • I will take Anand's Bilbao 2008 as the worst performance, since he was clear last and at -2. Aug 11, 2018 at 14:05
  • He wasn't world champion at that point, though. Aug 13, 2018 at 18:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.