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Ian Nepomniachtchi wins Candidates 2022 with a round to spare

by Shahid Ahmed - 04/07/2022

Ian Nepomniachtchi won the FIDE Candidates 2022 with a round to spare. This is his second consecutive Candidates triumph. He drew his penultimate round game comfortably against Richard Rapport. He will face Jan-Krzysztof Duda in the final round. However, that result will be a non-factor because no one can equal Nepomniachtchi's score 9/13. Hikaru Nakamura scored the sole victory of the round. He defeated Duda to move to sole second place 7.5/13. Nakamura will face Ding Liren in the final round. A win guarantees the Speed King a sole second place, while a draw should also be enough for the same, as he has better tie-breaks. Final Round 14 starts today at 3 p.m. local time (6:30 p.m. IST). Photo: Steve Bonhage/FIDE

Nakamura keeps things interesting

Ian Nepomniachtchi might not have been the odds on favorite. So did Nakamura. However, despite not playing Classical chess for quite sometime until the FIDE Grand Prix, Nakamura not only won the event and qualified for Candidates, but also on the verge of a second place finish. Why second place is so important? In case the current World Champion, Magnus Carlsen decides not to defend his world title for whatever reason, Nakamura will face Nepomniachtchi for the World Championship. Of course, Nakamura has to finish second in that case. We all know, if Carlsen is not playing in the World Championship Match, Nakamura getting included in it will definitely be a big-money match. He has already proved on multiple occasion that he can draw very good numbers.

Ian Nepomniachtchi wins his second Candidates tournament in-a-row with a round to spare | Photo: Steve Bonhage/FIDE

Ian Nepomniachtchi - Richard Rapport (HUN): 0.5-0.5 | Photo: Steve Bonhage/FIDE

"I am extremely happy and extremely thankful to everybody who helped me. I am also extremely exhausted, it's a very long tournament. Basically it's not over yet. I still have a game tomorrow. I think we partially have this feeling that the main goal is achieved but still it's a game tomorrow. I don't want to spoil it like last year.” - Ian Nepomniachtchi on winning the tournament

Nakamura - Duda: 1-0

Hikaru Nakamura (USA) sacrificed a pawn in the middlegame to get some activity against Jan-Krzysztof Duda (POL). He felt that it would be worth more than the pawn. It turned out not to be the case.

Position after 35.Bd6

After about a minute thought, White decided to play 35.Bd6 because it avoids any kind of danger. He felt that he might have to do it eventually, so why not now? The game continued 35...Rxe2 36.Bxc7 Nc5 37.d6 Nd7 38.Bxa5 and White got a long term advantage with a strong passed pawn at d6. 37...Nxd3 38.d7 Ra8 39.Rxd3 a4 would have been better for Black to get a draw.

Dear YouTube, I Won On Demand! | Video: GMHikaru

Hikaru Nakamura is playing fantastic in this event | Photo: Steve Bonhage/FIDE

The Greatest Female Chess Player of all time - Judit Polgar makes the ceremonial first move of Round 13 on Nakamura-Duda's board | Photo: Steve Bonhage/FIDE

Alireza Firouzja (FRA) - Ding Liren (CHN): 0.5-0.5 | Photo: Steve Bonhage/FIDE

Teimour Radjabov (AZE) - Fabiano Caruana (USA): 0.5-0.5 | Photo: Steve Bonhage/FIDE

The playing arena at the Palace de Santona in Madrid, Spain | Photo: Steve Bonhage/FIDE

The World Champion Magnus Carlsen was in Madrid | Photo: Steve Bonhage/FIDE

"He is playing very well. He is making the most of his chances. There have been many interesting games but he has converted all of his advantages very well and saved bad positions. So he has been by far the best... No I didn't expect it. I thought he was criminally underrated by the pundits and betting odds but I still thought that Ding and Fabiano were bigger favorites. But kudos, he has done very well." - Carlsen on Nepomniachtchi winning the Candidates 2022.

Vishy Anand was there too | Photo: Steve Bonhage/FIDE
FIDE Candidates Tournament 2022 Round 13 Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 13 games

Round 13 results

172766GMNepomniachtchi Ian½ - ½GMRapport Richard27648
262760GMNakamura Hikaru1 - 0GMDuda Jan-Krzysztof27501
352793GMFirouzja Alireza½ - ½GMDing Liren28062
442753GMRadjabov Teimour½ - ½GMCaruana Fabiano27833

Round 14 pairings

182764GMRapport RichardGMRadjabov Teimour27534
232783GMCaruana FabianoGMFirouzja Alireza27935
322806GMDing LirenGMNakamura Hikaru27606
412750GMDuda Jan-KrzysztofGMNepomniachtchi Ian27667


Standings after Round 13

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
17GMNepomniachtchi IanFID27669,054,2550,0
26GMNakamura HikaruUSA27607,546,0040,0
32GMDing LirenCHN28067,042,0030,0
44GMRadjabov TeimourAZE27536,543,0020,0
53GMCaruana FabianoUSA27836,542,7530,0
68GMRapport RichardHUN27645,535,2510,0
71GMDuda Jan-KrzysztofPOL27505,031,2510,0
85GMFirouzja AlirezaFRA27935,030,5010,0



Official site

Tournament Regulations

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