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Candidates Day Three: No Luck on The Draw

Credit: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

The third day of the Candidates Event in Madrid has concluded with 4 attracts – however don’t be fooled, it wasn’t a day with completely no motion!

Day by day, Lichess is offering a broadcast of the video games performed in real-time. We even have a choice of annotated video games by GM Nijat Abasov and video recaps by WGM-elect Jesse February.


Can a top-10 participant discover themselves in a seemingly a lot worse place with black consecutive instances and handle to carry the draw? Nicely, for an “escape artist” like Rapport, the reply is sure!! With the 2 gamers enjoying the mainline of Grünfeld Protection (change variation) till transfer 10, Rapport determined to go for the much less frequent line of 10… b6 adopted by 11… Bb7. Just a few strikes later, and after Ding performed h4, Rapport performed Rfd8 and after 18. Bg5, he instantly sacrificed the change with 18…Nxd4 (be aware that attributable to black’s items placement and white’s d5 concepts, the one different would have been f6 – however f6 was undoubtedly not a part of his plans). A vital second struck solely a few strikes later, when, along with his place wanting not so nice, Rapport performed 22… Nxe2; this transfer permits Qxd8 and after Qxe4 Bxe2 Qxg2+ Ke1 white would find yourself with two rooks for a bishop and three pawns however fairly an open king. Whereas it will have been attainable to get out of the checks, consolidate the place and convert the benefit, Ding, having solely 17 minutes for 18 extra strikes and no increment, performed Qxe2 nearly instantly. With the sunshine squared bishops and the h pawns exchanged, some piece maneuvering and e5 performed, Rapport received an equal place. Ding, with lower than a minute on the clock and nothing to hope for, gave again the change for the a-pawn and the sport led to a draw by repetition.


Credit: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

Channeling Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, the elite French grandmaster extensively thought of as one of many biggest residing authorities on the Sicilian Najdorf, Caruana and Duda went right into a line of the Sicilian Najdorf identified properly on the prime stage. For 22 strikes the gamers adopted the sport performed between Dominguez and Anand in 2009 nearly identically, lastly diverging at transfer 23 (though this was not a brand new transfer both, simply much less examined on the elite stage). We solely entered correct uncharted territory round transfer 25, however there was little life within the place for both participant. After every participant traded off their last rooks on the board, a draw appeared the one seemingly consequence. Certainly, at transfer 51 solely black’s knight was left on the board, and the sport led to a draw attributable to inadequate materials.  


Credit: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

Earlier Candidate’s winner, Ian Nepomniachtchi and FIDE wildcard, Teimour Radjabov, handled us with some of the peaceable and quick video games of the event up to now. With the Catalan on the board, the 2 gamers exchanged queens no later than transfer 7, and all minor items by transfer 20, stepping into an equal two rooks endgame with nearly symmetrical pawn construction. Nepomniachtchi attacked the a-pawn putting his rook on a3 whereas Radjabov ready to, and later executed the plan of doubling up rooks on seventh file. Nevertheless there was no possible way of constructing progress for both facet; white places strain on – however won’t ever have the ability to truly seize – the f7 pawn; black’s king is caught defending the f7 pawn (so long as rooks are doubled on the seventh rank) however equally white’s king can’t go far both – the a-pawn is falling at any time and white must return defending his personal pawn on f2. Capturing the a-pawn wouldn’t get black far both although; if for instance at this place 27… Rxa2 was performed, 28. Ra7 Rb8 29. Raxa7 can be a reasonably easy draw (amongst others). The gamers, realizing there’s just about nothing to push for, went for a a lot sooner draw by repetition.


Credit: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

Recreation 4 of this spherical was a matchup a portion of the chess followers was ready for; some of the promising skills of the youthful era (but removed from newcomer to prime stage chess) – and by some thought of a future world champion, Alireza Firouzja,  going through the favored chess streamer and elite chess veteran,, Hikaru Nakamura. Regardless of enjoying many on-line video games in sooner time controls, this was the primary FIDE-rated classical size recreation between the 2 gamers. The 2 gamers received into the classical variation of Nimzo-Indian Protection; The previous mainline on this place is 6…b6 7. Bg5 Bb7; as an alternative Nakamura went for d5. A few strikes later b6 was performed; nonetheless the concept was completely different; on this place black has the choice to develop his gentle squared bishop on a6 – which occurred within the recreation. This meant that white finally needed to change the sunshine squared bishops and quit castling rights – making ready a fianchetto would simply be too sluggish and doubtless get white into hassle in the intervening time. With 15…g5 performed, Firoujza took with the knight on g5 (in contrast to his first recreation, the “sacrificed” materials may be taken again at any time), and after a sequence of strikes, he managed to get a greater place within the endgame. On the key second at transfer 41, Nakamura solely had one transfer out there to carry the draw 41… c3 which he performed instantly. The transfer precipitated Firouzja to assume for 62 minutes on his reply – presumably a report within the trendy period of chess. Even after the rook change (which was in all probability not his best choice) and the ensuing place, Nakamura nonetheless must be very cautious of his opponent’s concepts! For instance, after 46. Ke1, any transfer apart from b4! can be dropping, giving sufficient time to white to make the most of the extraordinarily harmful a1-h8 diagonal. Nevertheless, he managed to take care of Firoujza’s threats and the sport led to a draw.


Credit: FIDE/Stev Bonhage



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