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?


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

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  • The Grand Slam Masters Final may just be the worst one overall. I still remember all the "hiding prep" jokes. – BlindKungFuMaster Aug 3 '18 at 9:51

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

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    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 '18 at 13:44
  • I will take Anand's Bilbao 2008 as the worst performance, since he was clear last and at -2. – A. N. Other Aug 11 '18 at 14:05
  • He wasn't world champion at that point, though. – Cam McLeman Aug 13 '18 at 18:17

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