The Candidates 2020

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  • #46
    The resulting position has Nepo's bishop stuck on a4 but he's up the exchange. Will the resulting play be on the kingside?


    • #47
      Nepo opened up the queenside with 32...a5. Why? Couldnt he first consolidate and then play on the G file? The way he played allowed the white queen to capture on f7 and e6 and then swing across with perpetual = draw.


      • #48
        Giri - MVL draw.


        • #49
          Grischuk can focus in on the isolated D pawn. Could be a very interesting endgame.


          • #50
            Wang Hao had the tactic 34...Ne4+ which exchanges into a crazy double rook endgame. A good example of how tactics change a position.


            • #51
              Ding has a + 5 advantage. He missed the idea Ng4, Ne3, Nf5 but can still play it. All of his pieces are heading to active squares and he has the open G file against the black king. Could be an interesting finish.


              • #52
                Its not often you see Fabulous Fabi crushed like this. Its not quite computer precision but Ding has been steadily building pressure and the commentators are saying Fabulous Fabi should just resign. The position should collapse soon.


                • #53
                  The squeeze could have gone on for another 20 moves but Caruana chose to resign.


                  • #54
                    Ding Liren comes back with a big win and is now back in it at -1. The numerous fans commenting that he was out of the race will have to get a grip as its still early in the tournament. 11 rounds to go. Tomorrow is a rest day.


                    • #55
                      The Candidates 2020

                      March 19, 2020

                      Round Three

                      ChessBase –

                      The Candidates Round 3: Ding bounces back, beats Caruana

                      The battle between pre-tournament favourites Ding Liren and Fabiano Caruana ended up favouring the Chinese, who responded convincingly to Caruana's provocative play in the opening to get his first win of the tournament after back-to-back losses in the first two rounds. The remaining games finished drawn, which means Wang Hao, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave are sharing the lead on 2 out of 3.

                      Round 3, Mar. 19
                      Ding, Liren – Caruana, Fabiano
                      D17 QGD Slav, Wiesbaden variation

                      1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 e6 7.f3 Bb4 8.Nxc4 O-O 9.Kf2 e5 10.Nxe5 Bc2 11.Qd2 c5 12.d5 Bb3 13.e4 Re8 14.Qf4 c4 15.Nxc4 Nbd7 16.Be3 Nf8 17.Bd4 Ng6 18.Qf5 Bxc4 19.Bxc4 Qc7 20.Be2 Bc5 21.Bxc5 Qxc5+ 22.Kf1 h6 23.Rd1 Qb6 24.Rd2 Qe3 25.Rc2 a6 26.Qh3 b5 27.Qg3 b4 28.Nd1 Qb3 29.Rd2 Qxa4 30.Qf2 Qd7 31.g3 Qh3+ 32.Kg1 a5 33.Qd4 Nh5 34.Nf2 Qd7 35.f4 Nhxf4 36.gxf4 Nxf4 37.Kf1 Qd6 38.Rg1 f6 39.Bb5 Re7 40.b3 Rf8 41.Rc2 Ne6 42.Qe3 Ng5 43.h4 Nf7 44.Rc6 Qb8 45.Qc5 Qd8 46.Rxf6 Kh8 47.Rf5 Rc7 48.Bc6 a4 49.bxa4 b3 50.Rg3 b2 51.Rb3 Nd6 52.Rxf8+ Qxf8 53.Rxb2 Qf4 54.Rb8+ Kh7 55.Qc2 Re7 56.e5+ Nf5 57.Qe4 Qc1+ 58.Kg2 g6 59.Rb3 1-0

                      Position after Black’s 16…Nf8


                      Position after White’s 40.b3


                      Round 3, Mar. 19
                      Giri, Anish – MVL
                      D85 Grunfeld, Exchange variation

                      1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bd2 Bg7 6.e4 Nxc3 7.Bxc3 c5 8.d5 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 O-O 10.Qd2 Qd6 11.f4 e6 12.Bc4 b5 13.Bxb5 exd5 14.Bc4 Bb7 15.Nf3 Nd7 16.O-O Nb6 17.Be2 d4 18.e5 Qd7 19.cxd4 Rad8 20.Rad1 Bxf3 21.Rxf3 Qxd4+ 22.Qxd4 Rxd4 23.Rxd4 cxd4 24.Rd3 Rd8 25.Bd1 Nc4 26.Kf2 Nb2 27.Rd2 Nc4 28.Rd3 Nb2 29.Rd2 Nc4 30.Rd3 1/2-1/2

                      Round 3, Mar. 19
                      Grischuk, Alexander – Wang, Hao
                      C01 French, Exchange

                      1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d3 Nf6 6.d4 d5 7.Bd3 Bd6 8.Qe2+ Be6 9.Ng5 Qe7 10.Nxe6 fxe6 11.c3 c5 12.Nd2 Nc6 13.Nf3 O-O 14.O-O cxd4 15.cxd4 e5 16.dxe5 Nxe5 17.Nxe5 Qxe5 18.Qxe5 Bxe5 19.f3 Bd4+ 20.Kh1 Rac8 21.Rd1 Rfe8 22.g3 Kf7 23.Kg2 g6 24.Bd2 Be3 25.h4 Re6 26.Bxe3 Rxe3 27.Kf2 Re6 28.Rd2 Ke7 29.Rad1 Rec6 30.g4 a6 31.h5 Kf7 32.a3 Re8 33.hxg6+ hxg6 34.g5 Ne4+ 35.Bxe4 dxe4 36.Re1 exf3 37.Rd7+ Kf8 38.Rh1 Kg8 39.Rxb7 Rc2+ 40.Kxf3 Rc5 41.Rh4 Rxg5 42.b4 Rge5 43.Rd4 Re3+ 44.Kf4 Rxa3 45.Rd6 Ra1 46.Rxg6+ Kh8 47.Rh6+ Kg8 48.Rg6+ Kh8 49.Rh6+ Kg8 1/2-1/2

                      Position after White’s 34.g5


                      Round 3, Mar. 19
                      Alekseenko, Kirill – Nepomniachtchi, Ian
                      C18 French, Winawer, Advance

                      1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.h4 Qc7 8.Nf3 b6 9.Bb5+ Bd7 10.Be2 Ba4 11.O-O Nd7 12.Be3 h6 13.Ra2 Nf5 14.Bf4 Qc6 15.Rb2 a6 16.dxc5 Qxc5 17.Rb4 b5 18.Bd3 Ne7 19.Bd2 Nc6 20.Qe2 Nxb4 21.axb4 Qc7 22.Re1 Nb8 23.Nd4 Nc6 24.Qg4 Nxd4 25.cxd4 g6 26.h5 gxh5 27.Qxh5 O-O-O 28.f4 Kb8 29.c3 Bb3 30.f5 Bc4 31.Bc2 Rdg8 32.Kf2 a5 33.bxa5 Qxa5 34.Qxf7 Qa2 35.Qxe6 Qxc2 36.Qb6+ Kc8 37.Qc6+ Kb8 38.Qb6+ Kc8 39.Qc6+ Kb8 40.Qb6+ 1/2-1/2

                      Standings after Round Three

                      1-3 Nepomniachtchi, MVL, Wang Hao 2
                      4-5 Caruana, Grischuk 1.5
                      6-8 Ding Liren, Giri, Alekseenko 1

                      Tomorrow is a free day. Play resumes Saturday, March 21.

                      The other scheduled rest days are Tue Mar 24, Sat Mar 28 and Wed Apr 1

                      Chat Room Comments

                      Olimpiu G. Urcan - Fabiano Caruana has unleashed the intriguing 9...e5!?, surprising Ding Liren and pretty much everyone else.

                      Chess24 - 15...Nbd7! Magnus: "Nothing makes sense anymore, this is the post-apocalyptic world"

                      Magnus Carlsen: "Fabi's playing fast, but it seems he's heading to his doom!"

                      Nigel Short - The Chinese have halted the advance of Corona, and a Chinaman, the advance of Caruana.

                      Chess24 - What a difference a day made for Ding Liren, who's now right back in business after beating top seed Caruana!

                      Maurice Ashley – Be wise. Sanitize!

                      - Caruana followed in the footsteps of Giri (two days ago) and Kramnik (longer ago in his WCh match against Leko): confidently losing from home preparation. Giri and Kramnik managed with the white pieces, any other cases at world-top level (not necessarily in WCh-related events)?

                      Or was it what Topalov second Jan Smeets once said during Dutch-language live commentary at the venue in Wijk aan Zee? "Topalov always plays the opening quickly. Sometimes it's preparation, sometimes it's bluff, the opponent doesn't know".

                      - As we reach the first rest day, here is my verdict on the candidates so far.

                      Caruana: For some reason, he seems to have it in his head that he needs to play sharper. While this maybe true for the WC match itself if he qualifies, in a field like Candidates where the opposition is dynamic, principled play (like himself in 2018, Karjakin in 2016, Anand in 2014...make a lot of solid draws, win the odd game) has proven more successful.

                      Liren: Truly can't say anything so far. Nightmare start, has struck back. A couple of wins (let's say against Kiril and Giri) and he will be right back in it.

                      MVL: This guy is the early front runner to win this entire thing. He has the theoretical know-how to keep playing Grunfeld and Najdorf and make draws as black and strike late. with wins as white. Already leading his mini tournament table with Caruana and Ding.

                      Nepo: The co-front runner to win this entire thing. Nepo has done the opposite of what Giri and Caruana have and has tightened up things. If he makes a series of draws, he will be within striking distance.

                      Grischuk: His perfectionist nature is his biggest hindrance so far. It's notable that he has not been worse in any of the 3 games and was almost winning against Nepo and Hao. No one will dare test his Berlin or his Grunfeld as black.

                      Wang Hao: The unsung knight. Should have converted against Giri yesterday. His talent can never be in question. Showing Ding who the OG Chinese G is .

                      Giri: Terrible display so far but solidified things a bit today. Bit of a pathetic draw against MVL's well known Grunfeld. Stayed well off experimental English lines or Najdorf theoretical discussions that he usually has with MVL.

                      Kiril: Aside from stage fright against Caruana, he is doing as fine a job as any. Against Grischuk, he did suffer but held the ending. Draws against Nepo are not easy either.
                      Last edited by Wayne Komer; Thursday, 19th March, 2020, 03:34 PM.


                      • #56
                        All the games in Rd 4 entered interesting endings.


                        • #57
                          Although two are now headed to clear draws.


                          • #58
                            The games that still have some play left are MVL - Grischuk and Wang Hao - Alekseenko


                            • #59
                              Wang Hao played the tactically tricky 29.e4! and now the endgame has exploded into deep complications. Just what the fans are wanting to see! Shows how dangerous passed pawns can be.


                              • #60
                                MVL missed 30.Re4 (or somewhere along that forcing line) and that was his only chance for advantage as his central play became balanced by Grischuks outside passed pawn. Result draw.