It's just what the title suggests, so I'll forgo any further description and move on to the logistical information: the show is here, it's free (with free registration), and will be available on-demand for the next month or so.
Entries in Candidates 2011 (2)
I wasn't going to post about this, as it had been known for months, ever since Carlsen decided to drop out; but now that it's officially official, or super-duper-ultra-official with cherries on top, I'll be a good lemming and follow everyone else in mentioning this non-news story. It's not such a bad thing to do in any case, because not everyone saw it the first or second time around, and also because we can go through the entertaining process of making and soliciting false prophecies on the subject. Without any further ado, here are the pairings, in bracket order (meaning the winner of the first match plays the winner of the second, and so on).
Topalov - Kamsky (Didn't we just see this movie a couple of years ago? Must be a sequel.)
Gelfand - Mamedyarov
Kramnik - Radjabov
Aronian - Grischuk
The first thing that must be said is that the brackets aren't exactly balanced. Topalov's half of the draw looks much weaker than the bottom half, which has the world's #3, 4 and - prior to his disaster in Wijk aan Zee - 5 players. Such is life. The whole set of matches is supposed to run from May 3-27, but if Topalov plays either Kramnik or Grischuk in the finals, there may be a snag, as Topalov has said he will not play a Russian in Russia (the matches are being held in Kazan, Russia). I'm tempted to reiterate criticisms I've made of Topalov and Danailov before, but I'll refrain and merely state my belief that they were wrong in their conduct and accusations, and leave it at that.
The first round matches are best of four, but if it's 2-2 after the slow games, there could be as many as 14(!) tiebreak games (best of four in rapid, then five sets of two-game blitz mini-matches) before they reach the Armageddon battle. Here are my predictions (as much sentimental as rational) for the quarter-finals:
Kamsky, Gelfand, Kramnik and Aronian.