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HomeChessNepomniachtchi, Tan Again in Sole Lead •

Nepomniachtchi, Tan Again in Sole Lead •

After in the present day’s spherical of thrilling chess, Nepomniachtchi and Tan might want to purchase some cushions as a result of definitely the match scenario continues to be not providing them any type of cushion; Nakamura and Gukesh are respiratory down Nepomniachtchi’s neck, whereas Lei is respiratory down Tan’s. For his or her half, Nepomniachtchi and Tan did what they needed to do in the present day and gained their video games in opposition to Vidit and Lagno, respectively. For Tan, her win in opposition to Lagno knocked out a close to rival, Lagno herself, with now solely Lei half some extent behind Tan — Goryachkina, who misplaced to Vaishali in the present day, Lagno, and Humpy, who gained in opposition to Salimova in the present day, are on 5.5/11, a full level and a half behind Lei. Within the Open, Nepomniachtchi is half some extent forward of Gukesh, who drew Caruana, and Nakamura, who gained in opposition to Praggnanandhaa in the present day.

In addition to broadcasting the reside video games from the 2 tournaments, Lichess is offering a reside stream for each day of the Candidates. Make sure that to tune in to our Twitch or YouTube channels, with streams ranging from 14:15 Toronto time (18:15 UTC).

*We’re additionally offering every day annotations on a few of the video games from GM Brandon Jacobson and IM / WGM Padmini Rout. The complete examine will be discovered right here.


Spherical Recap

Open Part


Nepomniachtchi continues his unbeaten streak, however it doesn’t appear to be sufficient as Nakamura and Gukesh are nonetheless in shut pursuit solely half some extent behind. Actually, Nepomniachtchi and Nakamura will be joyful to have gained as Black, however with three extra rounds to go, all potentialities stay on the desk, and it’ll once more be a take a look at of nerves to see who will be capable of make the ultimate push. If Nepomniachtchi and Nakamura tomorrow are in a position to not lose as White in opposition to Praggnanandhaa and Firouzja, respectively, their spherical 13 conflict can be of utmost significance to the conclusion of this fiery Candidates.

Vidit performed fairly calmly in the present day, however turbulence appears to comply with him regardless of his chosen fashion of play. From a 4. Nc4 Petrov, which is way much less explored than different Petrov strains, Vidit and Nepomniachtchi bought into a really unconventional place with an remoted a4-pawn and doubled c3- and c4-pawns for White. These pawns would often be terribly weak, however within the particular place kind reached within the sport, they’d their plusses and minuses. After a skillful pawn sacrifice by Vidit on transfer 23, White had a number of exercise to compensate for the broken construction and was even higher sooner or later, probably successful on transfer 37, with an especially sophisticated line starting with 37. Nxd5! Vidit didn’t discover the proper plan, nonetheless, and needed to accept an equal place which additionally regarded troublesome to play as Nepomniachtchi’s king was marching ahead. In truth, on transfer 58, Vidit made a slight inaccuracy after which outright blundered on transfer 60, permitting Nepomniachtchi’s pawn to achieve the promised land and provides Nepomniachtchi an important victory. GM Brandon Jacobson reveals us the intricacies of the sophisticated endgame place reached within the sport:

Nakamura had likelihood to be in shared 1st in the present day if it weren’t for Vidit’s unlucky loss to Nepomniachtchi. Regardless, Nakamura will be very joyful about his victory in the present day, which put him in shared 2nd place with Gukesh, solely half some extent behind Nepomniachtchi — absolutely a welcome outcome after he was some extent behind and the sphere was rather more bunched up. By all means, Nakamura’s sport in the present day was “clean” as he outplayed Praggnanandhaa from an equal queenless middlegame place. First order of enterprise was reaching house; second on the agenda was limiting White’s items, with strikes like Bb3 vastly annoying White’s improvement. Below the duress of this grand positional pressure, Praggnanandhaa blundered, ultimately dropping a knight after having dedicated to a mistaken positional concept with the White king strolling a tightrope. Nakamura transformed the ensuing piece-up place with ease and can go into tomorrow’s spherical a cheerful juicer. GM Brandon Jacobson explores how Nakamura outplayed Praggnanandhaa:

The second encounter between the present match chief, Gukesh, and Caruana, was meant to be one other draw. The 2 gamers transposed right into a Queen’s Gambit Declined place, although not one near the principle strains. Black had gained house on the kingside with h6-g5, whereas White did so on the queenside with b4-a4. Do be aware, although, that an assault in opposition to the White king isn’t actually a plan for Black; the doubled g-pawns, along with Rae1-e4 if Black makes an attempt to assault earlier than castling, will very a lot forestall it. Within the sport, White gained house on the queenside, and Black replied with a6, whereas on the opposite facet of the board Black gained more room with f5. Black could have a weak c5 sq., however the knight can be captured the second it steps there. After bxc5, the b-pawn would certainly be weak; the issue for White, nonetheless, is that the b-pawn can by no means truly be attacked as Black has sufficient items to defend it. Certainly, the light-squared bishop, whereas objectively not Black’s greatest piece, can now serve an essential responsibility very nicely — defend the b-pawn ceaselessly, if such a necessity arises. The e5 sq. was additionally a weak point, however the knight may simply be exchanged for Black’s bishop there, which additionally occurred within the sport. Alternatively, there was no straightforward method for Black to make any appreciable progress on the kingside both with out significantly simplifying. The 2 gamers ultimately watered down the place right into a queen endgame, with the sport ending in a draw by transfer 40.

After spherical 10’s missed alternative versus Nakamura, Abasov confronted Firoujza with Black, in a sport that became a fast loss for him. Firouzja went for a Nimzo-Larsen, getting a pleasing place out of the opening. After 14. Rc1, with the bishops already on d4 and f3, eyeing Black’s queenside and limiting his improvement, Abasov needed to discover a answer to this immense positional stress. Abasov tried 14…Ne8, providing to change the dark-squared bishops, and presumably aiming to re-route the knight. 15. Rc5 was performed as an intermediate transfer; had Black replied with a transfer like Qe6, it could result in a fairly playable place. As a substitute, Black went for e5. In fact, White’s bishop isn’t threatened, so he has sufficient time to play Nc4, able to take the pawn on the subsequent transfer. The choice, which was performed within the sport, was enjoying f6, which might solely additional weaken Black’s place. After 17. Rd5 Rxd5 18. Bxd5+ Kh8 19. Bc5, Black was virtually in a middlegame zugzwang with no strikes that don’t additional weaken his place or result in materials loss. An indication of how distressing the place (and presumably the match scenario) was 20…Rb8??, which not solely lets the pawn dangle, however quickly results in additional materials loss, after Nb6 — certainly, Abasov resigned after a couple of strikes.

Girls’s Part


With Goryachkina’s loss in opposition to Vaishaili and Lagno’s loss in opposition to Tan in the present day, it looks as if it is now a two-horse race between Tan and Lei, who’ve 7.5 and seven factors out of 11, respectively. Lagno faces Lei within the twelfth spherical, Goryachkina faces Tan within the thirteenth spherical, and Humpy faces Lei within the 14th spherical, although, so it’s not a foregone conclusion that solely Tan or Lei can win the Candidates.

Typically, video games in double fiacnhetto programs can look so easy. White will get long-lasting positional stress, places some items on central squares, then breaks by with the most important items — fairly easy, proper? Tan did really make it appear so easy, however, in fact, Lagno had her possibilities. Effectively, possibilities to carry, for the one time she was technically significantly better within the sport, on transfer 27, she needed to discover the fairly unbelievable and deep level, 27…f4!!, which is a powerful, delicate transfer solely the engine can actually respect. In any case, after that missed likelihood, Lagno was simply down a pawn, and Tan transformed ruthlessly. IM / WGM Padmini Rout tells us the total story in her annotations of this sport:

In a sport full of pleasure, motion, and twists, Lei Tingjie secured a draw in opposition to Anna Muzychuk — a outcome that may in all probability depart each gamers with blended emotions. With an Italian performed on the board, Lei was going to get her attacking alternatives early on within the sport. Muzychuk’s 15…h6 known as Lei to take a choice and both change the knight together with her opponent’s bishop or retreat, each coming with their very own set of benefits. Lei determined to retreat, however that h6 pawn (whose transfer was pure on this place, and objectively good), would quickly grow to be White’s goal. With Bd2 – Qc1, the Chinese language GM was now able to sacrifice her piece for that pawn — aiming to open up her opponent’s king place. With Bxh6 performed, Muzychuk determined to simply accept that sacrifice, entering into an advanced and sharp place. After 20…Ne8 21. Rd2 Qh6, Lei, presumably not having the ability to see one other solution to proceed her assault quick sufficient (or discovering the pc’s not-so-intuitive Kh2 adopted by a chaotic lengthy line) determined to sacrifice a second piece by enjoying Nxe5. This time she had a method get again the fabric, although she would get into an endgame with a rook and two pawns in opposition to two items, together with her opponent having the bishop pair. That might be dangerous information for Lei as a result of it’s solely Black who may push for a win in such a place. Certainly, Muzychuk bought the benefit, and in a last try to save lots of the sport, Lei sacrificed her rook, too, aiming to get a perpetual. With two and a half minutes left on the clock (plus the increment) to make her final two strikes till the time management, Muzychul discovered, on the final second, 40…f6 — the one transfer that maintains her successful benefit. Nonetheless, that labored if — and provided that — she gave up her bishop with 42…Ke8 Qxc6 43. Kd8, which didn’t occur within the sport. As a substitute, she performed 42… Bf7, and Lei, with some correct play and discovering a couple of solely strikes, managed to save lots of the sport and pressure a draw by repetition. IM / WGM Padmini Rout explores the sport extra deeply:

Vaishali as soon as once more tried out her trusty Alapin, going for the uncommon 8. Bc2, which Goryachkina unsurprisingly knew the right way to play in opposition to. Regardless of rising from the opening with an inexpensive place, Goryachkina quickly collapsed below the stress as White’s strong French-like d4-e5 pawn grip made it troublesome for Goryachkina to make headway with any plan. Vaishali appeared nicely on her solution to changing her benefit, however, by transfer 38, she nonetheless had not gained any materials benefit and her edge remained solely positional in nature. Goryachkina was then in a position to claw her method again to a draw, however, on transfer 64 in queen endgame, she went for a mistaken pawn push in 64…d4 and shortly needed to resign just some strikes later.

After a sluggish begin, Humpy is slowly surging and now sits on shared third. In in the present day’s sport in a topical line within the Slav, Humpy performed virtually completely — with 96 p.c accuracy (with all the caveats that include accuracy metric!). Certainly, it was troublesome to pinpoint the place precisely Salimova went mistaken. If one’s opponent is enjoying completely, only a small sequence of inaccuracies are sufficient to lose the sport. With in the present day’s excellent win, Humpy will certainly go into tomorrow’s spherical in opposition to Goryachkina with renewed confidence and vitality.

Spherical 12 Preview

Within the Open, Nakamura and Nepomniachtchi is not going to thoughts having White, and Gukesh is not going to really feel too badly about his possibilities, both, as he has Black in opposition to Abasov, who’s at all times harmful however has not been having the most effective second half of the match. In the meantime, the unstable Vidit will face Caruana as Black — if Caruana desires to stay in competition, he has to win tomorrow’s sport in opposition to Vidit.

Within the Girls’s part, Tan and Lei will play Black in opposition to Salimova and Lagno, respectively. Lei could have a troublesome take a look at as Lagno can be seeking to bounce again with the White items to stay in competition for the first place end. A surging Humpy will face Goryachkina, who after having had a stellar match, is coming off two back-to-back losses. Vaishali, who appears to be discovering her momentum now, will play as Black in opposition to Muzychuk, who has had her justifiable share of nice positions, however was unable to transform a lot of them.

Make sure that to comply with the motion with us in Spherical 12!



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