The sixth spherical of the Candidates Event in Madrid has concluded with two wins and two attracts – together with a missed alternative. This leaves, nearly midway by way of the event, Nepomniachtchi sole chief with 4.5/6 intently adopted by Caruana with 4/6; Nakamura and Rapport have 3/6 every, Ding, Radjabov and Duda 2.5/6 whereas Firouzja is final with 2/6.
Every day, Lichess is offering a broadcast of the video games performed in real-time. We even have a collection of annotated video games by GM Nijat Abasov and video recaps by WGM-elect Jesse February.
Teimour Radjabov has confronted Richard Rapport with the white items 4 occasions in his profession in classical tournaments, with all video games ending in a draw. Candidates 2022 have been nearly the event to vary this; nevertheless the chance was missed and the sport was agreed drawn, in sight of a pressured threefold repetition. With the Taimanov Sicilian performed, the primary main deviation from the primary strains got here already at transfer 7, when Radjabov performed 7. Qd3. The 2 gamers adopted, till transfer 15, a recreation between Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Ian Nepomniachtchi in Grand Chess Tour Fast, Croatia 2021. As a substitute of 16. c3 which was performed within the aforementioned recreation, Radjabov determined to play Bg6+ first – with the c3 concept coming a few strikes later. After 23…Rxb2 24. Nc4 Bb4+ 25. Kf1 and Ng4! (threatening Rfxf2+ – which may even be performed if Nxb2, getting in complete 2 pawns and a bit for the rook), a sequence of exchanges begins. The result of it’s a rook and reverse colored bishops endgame, during which Radjabov is 2 pawns down, however in trade his opponent has a really dangerous bishop and weak additional pawns, whereas he can goal to get the initiative. The crucial second struck just a few strikes later with 37. Rf1. White is able to make the most of the black bishop’s uncomfortable placement, with a rook already attacking the bishop from the b-file, and being able to play Rf7 on the subsequent transfer. Right here 37…c5 would stop this menace and after 38. Rf7 Rxg2+ 39. Kh3 Re2 40. Bd6 (exchanging the bishop with Rbxb7 is instantly) a pressured draw Rd2 41. Rb6 and black must give again the trade with …Rxd6 42. Rxd6 however maintain the draw. Rapport as an alternative determined to play 37… Rxh4+ 38. Kg1 Re4; This is able to permit 39. Bh2, with 40. Rf7 incoming and no solution to stop it. After, 39…Rd8 40. Rf7 Rd2 41. Rf8+ Rd8 42. Rxd8+ Kxd8 43. Rxb7 g6, white would have truthful profitable probabilities. White missed this nevertheless, and as an alternative performed 39.Rf7 instantly, which after 39.Rxe5 Rbxb7 40.Rb5, white solely had a pressured draw.
Alireza Firouzja, with quite a lot of strain to deal with on this event, was defeated by Fabiano Caruana, towards whom he had, in classical tournaments, a destructive report of two losses – with the latest in spherical 9 of Grand Swiss 2021- and 4 attracts. This was the third loss and first loss with white items. Firouzja performed the Catalan, and already by transfer 6, he went for the extraordinarily uncommon Qd3 – not the primary time on this event we witness gamers selecting very uncommon continuations. Already by transfer 12, black appeared to have a neater place – even when it’s objectively near equal. White performs Nd2 – Nf3, in all probability to play towards Caruana’s dark-squared bishop getting ready to supply a commerce with Bg5 – which occurred a few strikes later. Nonetheless this allowed black to get a really snug place with 14. Rac8 e5! 15. Qh5 Nb4, whereas white must be very correct to keep away from entering into extra bother. Firouzja certainly provided and traded the dark-squared bishops, however a crucial mistake was performed just a few strikes later. On this place, he performs 20. Rxd6, aiming to simplify the place with …Qxd7 21. Bh3 Qd6 22. Bxc8 Rxc8; What he in all probability missed although, was 21…f5! which Caruana performed after considering for round 10 minutes, and now Firouzja is shedding materials! With him beneath extreme positional, psychological and shortly time strain failing to discover a transfer that will give him any sensible probabilities, Caruana went on clinically changing his benefit right into a win.
Nakamura has confronted Ding 7 occasions in his profession in classical tournaments, having misplaced none. With some additional effort, he managed to take care of this in spherical 6 of the Candidates as properly. The Italian recreation was performed, with the 2 gamers being into identified territory and till transfer 13. cxd4 following a recreation between Anish Giri and (once more) Liren Ding in 2019, the place Ding had performed 13… Bb4 adopted by 14. a3 Bxd2 and the sport resulted in a, for more often than not, uneventful draw. On this recreation nevertheless, he performed 13…Bb6 with Nakamura replying, inside just a few seconds, with 14. a4 Re8 15. Ra3- one other concept examined by Giri in The European Groups Championship 2019 in Batumi, towards Anton Guijarro. Right here, as an alternative of 15… Qb7 and white persevering with his plan with 16. Rae3, Ding performs 15…Qa7 and after 16 Nf1 d5 17. e5 (Ng3 could be one other, presumably barely higher, choice) and the subsequent few strikes, Ding finally ends up with a doubtlessly threatening d-pawn which he went on to push – whereas white’s e-pawn isn’t actually threatening a lot. Certainly, Nakamura, who had spent solely 8 minutes for 26(!!) strikes, took his time to determine how one can proceed, spending 75 minutes for his subsequent 4 strikes, out of which 50 for 30.Rg3. With Ding nonetheless pushing and making an attempt to create one thing out of his place and the d-pawn, this place is reached, and Nakamura finds a solution to drive a draw with 35. Bxg7 Nxg7 36. Rxg7+ (transfer order wouldn’t make a distinction) …Kxg7 37. Qg5+ Kf8 38. Qh6+ Kg8 (observe that 37…Ke7 making an attempt to flee from the queenside doesn’t assist ding due to 39.Qf6+ Kd7 40.Qxf7+) and the sport resulted in a draw by repetition
Within the first recreation on this Candidates event up to now with 1.Nf3 performed, Ian Nepomiachtchi managed to convincingly defeat Jan-Krzysztof Duda in 35 strikes, proving himself as one of many clear favorites to win the Candidates. With each gamers having adopted one of many foremost strains in Reti, Nepomniachtchi determined to play 9. Ne5, and after …Nxe5 10.dxe5, this pawn can be an asset for his kingside assault, with the pawn march beginning quickly, after 14. Kh2. Duda’s place began getting more and more tough after 20…hxg5 21. hxg5 Bb4 22. Bxb4 Qxb4, and finally ended up ready together with his opponent having a bishop for 3 pawns. 26…Kh8 is a typical concept, utilizing the opponent’s pawn to guard your personal king with the opponent having difficulties making progress, nevertheless on this place 26… Kxh7 might have been higher; if he will get to gather the a and g pawns and trade queens, the sport could be a draw. The ultimate blow struck after 32…g4, with Nepomniachtchi taking part in 33. Rg5 Qd6 34. Qf2 Qa3 and 35. Qa3! Duda resigned in sight of the incoming Rfxg7. Notice nevertheless that 35. Rfxg7 wouldn’t work due to …Qe3! And after the queen trade – which can’t be averted – the sport could be a draw.
With this win Nepomniachtchi maintains his lead (nearly) half-way by way of the event.