Nepomniachtchi and Caruana win in Candidates Round 6

FIDE Candidates Chess Tournament 2022 (6)

Nepomniachtchi and Caruana win in Candidates Round 6

Caruana on his way to victory against Firouzja in Round 6. Photo © | https://fide.com

Ian Nepomniachtchi leads the FIDE Candidates tournament in Madrid with 4.5/6 half a point clear of Fabiano Caruana. Hikaru Nakamura and Richard Rapport are a distant joint third on 3/6. As the tournament enters its second rest day and is almost at the half way stage it already looks like a straight battle between Nepomniachtchi and Caruana for first place and perhaps indeed we’ll see these two fight the next World Championship match if Carlsen doesn’t defend his title.

Nepomniachtchi beat the hitherto undefeated Jan-Krzysztof Duda in convincing style. It’s hard to know where Duda went wrong, they followed a known game Svidler-Karjakin in a Reti and the computers think black is fine but it looks really not very nice for black at all. Nepomniachtchi won a piece for several pawns and also got an open black king, Duda tried to hide behind his opponent’s pawn on h7 but this was probably not the right idea, by which I mean it is possible capturing also loses but not capturing definitely loses.

Fabiano Caruana beat Alireza Firouzja to relegate the youngster to the tournament basement. It was always unrealistic to think Firouzja would win this event, he’s clearly a massive talent but hasn’t played nearly enough elite events yet. Magnus Carlsen’s statement that he’d probably only defend his title against Firouzja set expectations way too high and I think it was a little bit unfair of Carlsen to talk like that. At 19, the same age as Firouzja, Bobby Fischer went into the Candidates of 1962 expecting to win and was handed a bit of a lesson. Fischer then went completely off the rails after this comparative failure and it took several years for him to get his title ambitions back on track. I’m sure that won’t happen to Firouzja but he seems to me to be trying way too hard to make things happen, which was one of Fischer’s problems in 1962, and that was definitely true in today’s game. Caruana just calculated his way through the speculative complications initiated by his opponent and took the full point on offer.

Hikaru Nakamura and Ding Liren drew a sharp unbalanced Giuoco Piano where Nakamura always had perpetual check and he eventually had to use this option. Teimour Radjabov was given a brief chance on move 39 to win the game (39.Bh2!) but a little short of time he didn’t take it and the game was drawn.

Round 6 Standings: 1st Nepomniachtchi 4.5pts, 2nd Caruana 4pts, 3rd Nakamura 3pts, 4th Rapport 3pts, 5th Ding Liren 2.5pts, 6th Radjabov 2.5pts, 7th Duda 2.5pts, 8th Firouzja 2pts.

Rest Day Friday 24th June.

Round 7 Saturday 25th June 2pm: Rapport-Nepomniachtchi, Duda-Nakamura, Ding Liren-Firouzja, Caruana-Radjabov.


FIDE World Chess Championship Candidates Tournament Round 6 Commentaries















FIDE Candidates 2022 Madrid ESP (ESP), 16 vi-5 vii 2022 cat. XXI (2772)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1. Nepomniachtchi, Ian g RU 2766 * * ½ . ½ . . . 1 . ½ . 1 . 1 . 2967
2. Caruana, Fabiano g USA 2783 ½ . * * 1 . ½ . ½ . . . ½ . 1 . 4 2898
3. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2760 ½ . 0 . * * ½ . ½ . 1 . . . ½ . 3 2777
4. Rapport, Richard g HUN 2764 . . ½ . ½ . * * ½ . ½ . ½ . ½ . 3 2774
5. Ding, Liren g CHN 2806 0 . ½ . ½ . ½ . * * ½ . ½ . . . 2705
6. Radjabov, Teimour g AZE 2753 ½ . . . 0 . ½ . ½ . * * ½ . ½ . 2716
7. Duda, Jan-Krzysztof g POLI 2750 0 . ½ . . . ½ . ½ . ½ . * * ½ . 2720
8. Firouzja, Alireza g FR 2793 0 . 0 . ½ . ½ . . . ½ . ½ . * * 2 2637










Round 6 (June 23, 2022)
Nepomniachtchi, Ian – Duda, Jan-Krzysztof 1-0 35 A07 Barcza System
Nakamura, Hikaru – Ding, Liren ½-½ 42 C50 Giuoco Piano
Radjabov, Teimour – Rapport, Richard ½-½ 40 B46 Sicilian Paulsen
Firouzja, Alireza – Caruana, Fabiano 0-1 42 E06 Catalan

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