FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020-1

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  • #16
    Giri strikes! An incredible upset beating Caruana as Black! Two wins in a row at a crucial time in the candidates with two rounds left.


    • #17
      Agree with you Hans, great game in a black sicilian for Anish. Textbook material, But Nepo won a good ending against a dispirited Wang Hao (who resigned much too soon in my opinion). This put Nepo with ˝ pt in front of Anish, with 2 rounds to go, he is in the driver's seat to challenge Magnus.


      • #18
        Yes Nepo's in the drivers seat but Anish Giri has made the most of his chances. Should make for an exciting finish.


        • #19
          FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020-1

          April 24, 2021

          Round Twelve

          Round 12, April 24
          Caruana, Fabiano – Giri, Anish
          B40 Sicilian, Anderssen variation

          1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.a3 Be7 7.Be3 O-O 8.Be2 d6 9.Qd3 Bd7 10.f4 e5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.O-O exf4 13.Bxf4 Be6 14.Qg3 Nd7 15.Rad1 Re8 16.Kh1 Qb8 17.b4 Ne5 18.b5 Rc8 19.bxc6 Rxc6 20.Nd5 Qf8 21.c3 Rac8 22.Rc1 Ng6 23.Bd2 Bh4 24.Qe3 Rc5 25.c4 h6 26.Qb3 Bg5 27.Bxg5 hxg5 28.Qg3 Qd8 29.Rcd1 Bxd5 30.exd5 Nf4 31.Qf2 R8c7 32.Rd4 Qe8 33.Bf3 Rxc4 34.Rxc4 Rxc4 35.Qxa7 Ra4 36.Qf2 Rxa3 37.h4 Qe5 38.hxg5 Qxg5 39.Re1 Ra8 40.Be4 Ra2 41.Rb1 Ra8 42.Re1 f5 43.Bb1 Kf7 44.Re3 Rh8+ 45.Kg1 Nxg2 0-1

          Final Position


          What a blow! Anish Giri takes down Fabiano Caruana and will likely be level with Ian Nepomniachtchi going into the final two rounds of the #FIDECandidates! Fabi's hopes of a Magnus rematch are almost gone

          Anish Giri says that after 20...Qf8! Fabiano Caruana faced the tough task of switching to grim defence, and didn't manage to adapt

          Giri confirmed afterwards that he did indeed think his 40...Ra2 was winning on the spot, though no harm was done

          36.Qc7! Rxa3 37.h4! was a chance for Fabi, but after 36.Qf2? Rxa3 37.h4 it's "resigns!" according to Ganguly. The difference is that after 37...Qe5! now there's no 38. Qd8+. A huge moment, with the 2018 challenger about to be knocked out!

          Round 12, April 24
          Ding, Liren – Grischuk, Alexander
          D37 QGD, Hastings variation

          1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 O-O 6.e3 Nbd7 7.c5 Nh5 8.Bd3 Nxf4 9.exf4 b6 10.b4 a5 11.a3 c6 12.O-O Ba6 13.Ne2 Qc7 14.h4 h6 15.g3 Bc4 16.Qc2 b5 17.Rfe1 Ra7 18.Nc3 Rfa8 19.Rab1 axb4 20.axb4 Bxd3 21.Qxd3 Bf6 22.h5 Ra3 23.Qc2 Be7 24.Kg2 Bf6 25.Rec1 Bd8 26.Qe2 Bf6 27.Rc2 Qb8 28.Rbb2 Bd8 29.Nb1 R3a6 30.Ne5 Nf6 31.Nd2 Bc7 32.Nb3 Qe8 33.Nc1 Ra4 34.Ncd3 Ne4 35.g4 R8a6 36.f3 Nf6 37.Kf2 Ra1 38.Ra2 Qa8 39.Nc1 R1xa2 40.Rxa2 Ra3 41.Rxa3 Qxa3 42.Qd2 Bxe5 43.dxe5 Nd7 44.Ne2 f6 45.exf6 e5 46.fxg7 e4 47.Qc3 1-0

          Ding Liren ends Alexander Grischuk's remaining hopes of winning the #FIDECandidates, while also climbing out of last place himself

          Round 12, April 24
          MVL – Alekseenko, Kirill
          B12 Caro-Kann, Tartakower variation

          1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 dxe4 4.fxe4 e5 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.c3 Nf6 7.Bc4 Qc7 8.dxe5 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 Qxe5 10.Bf4 Qh5 11.Nd2 Nbd7 12.O-O-O Nb6 13.Bb3 Be7 14.Rhg1 Qxf3 15.gxf3 g6 16.Nc4 Nxc4 17.Bxc4 b5 18.Bb3 Nd7 19.Bxf7+ Kxf7 20.Rxd7 Ke6 21.Rc7 Rhc8 22.Rxc8 Rxc8 23.Be3 a5 24.Kd2 a4 25.f4 Rd8+ 26.Ke2 Rf8 27.Kf3 Rd8 28.Rc1 c5 29.c4 b4 30.Ke2 Rd7 31.Rd1 Rxd1 32.Kxd1 Bf8 33.Kc2 Be7 34.b3 a3 35.Kd3 Bf8 36.Bf2 Be7 37.Ke3 Bd8 38.Kf3 Be7 39.Kg4 h5+ 40.Kf3 Bf8 41.Bh4 Bd6 42.e5 Bc7 43.Ke4 Ba5 44.Bg5 Bb6 45.Bh6 1-0

          Round 12, April 24
          Wang, Hao – Nepo, Ian
          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+ Qe7 9.Qxe7+ Kxe7 10.O-O Nc6 11.c3 h6 12.Nh4 Re8 13.Nf5+ Bxf5 14.Bxf5 Kf8 15.g3 Ne7 16.Bh3 Nc8 17.Nd2 a5 18.a4 c6 19.Rd1 h5 20.Nf1 g6 21.f3 Nb6 22.b3 Kg7 23.Kf2 Nbd7 24.Bg5 Nf8 25.Re1 Ne6 26.Be3 Rac8 27.Bd2 c5 28.dxc5 Bxc5+ 29.Kg2 Bb6 30.Rab1 Rc6 31.b4 Nc7 32.Rxe8 Ncxe8 33.bxa5 Bxa5 34.Rxb7 Nd6 35.Ra7 Bxc3 36.Bd7 Nxd7 37.Bxc3+ Rxc3 38.Rxd7 Rc6 39.Re7 Rc2+ 40.Kg1 d4 41.Rd7 Nf5 42.a5 Ra2 43.Ra7 Kf6 44.a6 h4 45.Ra8 h3 46.a7 Ke7 47.g4 Nd6 48.Rb8 Rxa7 49.Rb4 d3 50.Rb3 Ra2 51.Rxd3 Nc4 52.Ng3 Rg2+ 53.Kh1 Kf8 54.Rc3 Nb2 55.Rc8+ Kg7 56.Rd8 Rf2 57.Kg1 Rxf3 58.Ne4 Re3 59.Ng3 Ra3 0-1

          Final Position


          Nepo is pushing in a hugely important ending against Wang Hao. If he draws, he's level with Giri with a better tiebreak (he won their mini-match), while if he wins he'll be half a point clear

          Shocker as Wang Hao resigns and Ian Nepomniachtchi still leads the #FIDECandidates with 2 rounds to go!

          4 decisive games have left Ian Nepomniachtchi as the big favourite to win the #FIDECandidates with 2 rounds to go, though if MVL can beat Nepo with Black tomorrow it would still set the cat among the pigeons!

          Tomorrow = Monday, as first we all have a rest day to recover!

          Wang Hao: "After move 40 I started to play like a 2200 player"

          Nepo said he was sure the final position was lost - Wang Hao simply said it was probably lost, but had clearly long since lost the will to play on in the ending

          It's down to three players left in the Chess Candidates match, and there will be no tiebreaking playoff. Nepo is the overwhelming favorite, with Giri having an outside shot, and MVL facing long odds. Caruana is eliminated

          Standings at the end of Round Twelve

          1 Nepo 8
          2 Giri 7.5
          3 MVL 6.5
          4 Caruana 6
          5 Grischuk 5.5
          6-7 Wang, Ding 5
          8 Alekseenko 4.5

          Round 13 Pairings


          Round 14 Pairings



          • #20
            Wang Hao: "After move 40 I started to play like a 2200 player"

            I have only done this twice in my life.


            • #21
              For the first time ever, a round with no draws in Candidate tournament.


              • #22
                Originally posted by Victor Plotkin View Post
                For the first time ever, a round with no draws in Candidate tournament.
                Bled/Zagreb/Belgrade 1959, rounds 2 and 8
                Curacao 1962, round 13


                • #23
                  Stephen, thank a lot for your correction. I should add "after FIDE reestablished Candidate tournaments".


                  • #24
                    Rd 13. Nepo does what he has to (draw)

                    Giri goes out without even a whimper.


                    • #25
                      FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020-1

                      April 26, 2021

                      Round Thirteen

                      Round 13, April 26
                      Wang, Hao – Caruana, Fabiano
                      B22 Sicilian-Alekhine-Alapin

                      1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.d4 cxd4 6.cxd4 d6 7.Bc4 Be7 8.O-O O-O 9.a3 Bd7 10.Bxd5 exd5 11.Nc3 Be6 12.Bf4 Nc6 13.exd6 Bxd6 14.Bxd6 Qxd6 15.Re1 Rac8 16.Qd3 f6 17.h3 Bf7 18.Rac1 Qd7 19.Nh2 Rfe8 20.Rxe8+ Rxe8 21.Nf1 g6 22.Ne3 Kg7 23.Na4 Qd6 24.Nc3 h5 25.Rd1 a6 26.Rc1 h4 27.Rd1 Na5 28.b4 Nc4 29.Nxc4 dxc4 30.Qd2 Bd5 31.b5 Bf7 32.bxa6 bxa6 33.a4 g5 34.d5 Bg6 35.Re1 Qf4 36.Qd1 Bc2 37.Qa1 Re5 38.Rxe5 Qxe5 39.a5 Kg6 40.Kh1 Be4 41.d6 Bc6 42.Qb2 Qxd6 0-1

                      Fabiano Caruana beats Wang Hao, but it now matters only for the battle for 2nd place!

                      Round 13, April 26
                      Grischuk, Alexander – Giri, Anish
                      E15 Queen’s Indian

                      1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 c5 7.Bxb4 cxb4 8.O-O O-O 9.Nbd2 d6 10.Qb3 a5 11.a3 Na6 12.Rfd1 Qe7 13.Ne1 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 h5 15.Nc2 bxa3 16.bxa3 Rab8 17.e4 e5 18.Qd3 Nc7 19.Rab1 Ne6 20.Rb5 Rfe8 21.h4 g6 22.f3 Nd7 23.Nf1 exd4 24.Nxd4 Ne5 25.Qe2 Nxd4 26.Rxd4 Nc6 27.Rd1 Qe6 28.Ne3 Ne7 29.Qd2 f5 30.Qxd6 Nc6 31.exf5 gxf5 32.Qxe6+ Rxe6 33.Nxf5 Ne5 34.Rd6 Ree8 35.Rd4 Nc6 36.Rd2 Rbd8 37.Rxd8 Rxd8 38.Rd5 Rxd5 39.cxd5 Ne5 40.Nd6 Kf8 41.Kf2 Ke7 42.Nb5 Kf6 43.Ke3 Kf5 44.Nd6+ Kf6 45.Ke4 Nd7 46.Kd4 Ke7 47.Nb5 Kf6 48.Nc3 Kf5 49.Ne4 Kg6 50.g4 b5 51.Nc5 1-0

                      Position after White’s 28.Ne3


                      Will Anish Giri be able to hold his own against Alexander Grischuk? "Anish got confused ... White [Grischuk] achieved the configuration he was aiming for during all his adult life," - GM Sergey Shipov

                      It's +7 for Grischuk, with the only hope for Giri the low time on the Russian's clock!

                      The moment Anish Giri resigned was the moment Ian Nepomniachtchi was confirmed as Magnus Carlsen's next World Chess Championship challenger!

                      Grischuk: "To lose to me you need to play badly, for sure"

                      Round 13, April 26
                      Alekseenko, Kirill – Ding, Liren
                      C54 Giuoco Piano

                      1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.c3 d6 6.O-O O-O 7.h3 h6 8.Re1 a5 9.b3 Bb6 10.Nbd2 Be6 11.Nf1 d5 12.exd5 Nxd5 13.Qc2 Qf6 14.Ng3 Qg6 15.Kh2 Rad8 16.Ba3 Rfe8 17.Nxe5 Nxe5 18.Rxe5 c6 19.Bxd5 Rxd5 20.Rxd5 Bxd5 21.c4 Be6 22.Re1 Rd8 23.Ne4 Bc7+ 24.Kh1 Qh5 25.Re3 Qe5 26.Ng3 Qa1+ 27.Kh2 Qf6 28.Bb2 Qg6 29.Kh1 Bb6 30.Rf3 Bc7 31.Bc3 b5 32.Qe2 bxc4 33.bxc4 a4 34.Qe3 Qg5 35.Qe1 Qg6 36.Qe3 Qg5 37.Qe1 Qg6 38.Qe2 a3 39.Bb4 Rb8 40.Qe1 Rd8 41.Qc3 h5 42.Bxa3 h4 43.Ne2 Bf5 44.Nd4 Be4 45.dxe4 Qxe4 46.Rd3 Be5 47.Bc5 Rb8 48.Bb4 Rxb4 49.Qxb4 Qxd3 50.Nf3 Qf1+ 51.Ng1 Bd4 52.Qb8+ Kh7 53.Qf4 Bxf2 54.Qf5+ Kh6 55.Qf4+ Kg6 56.Qg4+ Kf6 57.Qf4+ Ke6 58.Qe4+ Kd6 59.Qf4+ Kc5 60.Qe5+ Kxc4 61.Qe4+ Kb5 0-1
                      Another tough day for Kirill Alekseenko, who blundered in a close to winning position against Ding Liren and after 47...Rb8! is losing!

                      Round 13, April 26
                      Nepo, Ian – MVL
                      A15 English Opening

                      1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 b6 3.g3 Bb7 4.Bg2 g6 5.d4 Bg7 6.d5 Na6 7.Nc3 Nc5 8.O-O O-O 9.Qc2 a5 10.Rd1 Ne8 11.Bf4 Nd6 12.b3 Re8 13.Be5 e6 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.Rab1 e5 16.Nd2 f5 17.a3 Qf6 18.b4 axb4 19.axb4 Na6 20.e4 f4 21.Ne2 fxg3 22.fxg3 c5 23.bxc5 Nxc5 24.Rxb6 Qd8 25.Rdb1 Qc7 26.Nc3 Rf8 27.R6b2 Ba6 28.Nd1 Rab8 29.Rxb8 Rxb8 30.Rxb8 Qxb8 31.Qb2 Qxb2 32.Nxb2 Nc8 33.Kf2 Nb6 34.Bf1 d6 35.Ke3 Kf6 36.Be2 Ke7 37.Nb1 Bc8 38.Nc3 Bd7 39.Bd1 Be8 40.Bc2 Bd7 41.Bd1 Be8 42.Bc2 1/2-1/2

                      Our French colleagues can't understand MVL trading down into an ending he can't win and that will end his chances

                      It's Nepo 1/2-1/2 MVL and Nepo is only waiting for Grischuk to win to be confirmed as Magnus Carlsen's challenger for the World Championship match!

                      Sergey Karjakin - Congratulations to @lachesisq (Nepo) for winning candidates tournament! Very impressive play and result!
                      Now it is your turn!

                      Nigel Short - It would take a very brave man to bet against @MagnusCarlsen in the World Chess Championship Final. However, I don't think Ian Nepomniachtchi will be an easy opponent for him.

                      Pavel Eljanov - @lachesisq Congrats with your great success! I wish someone will be a World Champion with whom I have a positive score

                      Nepo - "It’s such a huge milestone in my career and perhaps in my life also. I don’t think I would want to play again a tournament that lasts over a year!"

                      Nepo says perhaps his best achievement was the technical win against Anish Giri in the first round a year ago - which also ended up being vital for tiebreaks!

                      Nepo reveals that apart from Vladimir Potkin his seconds were Ildar Khairullin, Vitiugov and Peter Leko! That's perhaps finally the answer to why Peter isn't commentating just now, but he'll be back with Tania for the last 4 days of the #NewInChess Classic!

                      Nepo leads Giri by a point & could still be caught by Anish tomorrow (his opponent Ding has just won 2 games in a row! …), but it doesn't matter now, as he would still win the #FIDECandidates on tiebreaks after winning his mini-match vs. Giri

                      Standings at the end of Round Thirteen

                      1 Nepo 8.5
                      2 Giri 7.5
                      3-4 Caruana, MVL 7
                      5 Grischuk 6.5
                      6 Ding 6
                      7 Wang 5
                      8 Alekseenko 4.5


                      • #26
                        Ding spent quite some time on 44 Be4, while Bd7 is obvious, and everyone in live broadcast did not understand until Kirill 47 Bc5, Ding was setting up the trap, do or die, no boring draw


                        • #27
                          Congratulations to Nepo in earning the right to challenge Magnus for the world championship. The win was well deserved. Steady all the way.


                          • #28
                            Great to see Nepo win the right to challenge Magnus. With any luck at all we may even have a decisive game sometime during the match.


                            • #29
                              FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020-1

                              April 27, 2021

                              From Peter Doggers at

                              With Nepomniachtchi having secured victory with a round to spare, the news of the day is the sad departure of 31-year-old Wang from competitive chess. He announced it during an interview alongside his final-round opponent Vachier-Lagrave. In their game, the Chinese grandmaster had shown another shocking collapse where he made a few bad moves in a row, this time losing in under 30 moves.

                              Asked for his plans after this event, Wang dropped the bomb: "I will probably try to do something else outside of playing professionally because I have some health issues and I just don't think that I can continue this profession. I will do coaching, I will do investment but I think I cannot do anything which gives too much stress."

                              I will probably try to do something else outside of playing professionally because I have some health issues and I just don't think that I can continue this profession.

                              Wang said the issues are related to his digestion: "I've had these problems for some years. It was very difficult. Things started to get worse since 2019."

                              After round 10, Wang even considered not finishing the tournament: "After the game against Grischuk I wanted to quit the tournament because I already saw that I couldn't continue."

                              The game itself was indeed kind of a miniature if you take away the 16 moves of Berlin theory. Interestingly, there was a difference of opinion (or memory) among the players.

                              "There's a lot of details, a lot of finesses and when I managed to get my knight to d6 unchallenged my position got borderline winning," said MVL. Wang's judgment was closer to what the engines say: "I remembered that the position after 19.Nd6 was still equal according to the computer."

                              However, the Chinese GM couldn't remember the details. "I played very badly and lost easily," he said.


                              Aronian: "I think at the moment Fabiano has more chances of beating Magnus, but Ian also has very good chances. He's diligent, and he cannot be bullied, and that's a big advantage. Magnus bullies a lot of people, but Ian is not easily bullied"