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Candidates 2022 R6: Nepomniachtchi becomes 'The Shark'

by Shahid Ahmed - 24/06/2022

It seems like Ian Nepomniachtchi took Carlsen's words, "Be a Shark!" seriously. He took his typical bold approach towards his sixth round game and won it convincingly. His opponent Duda could not manage to put up any resistance. Radjabov and Rapport had an interesting encounter. Just when it looked like Radjabov will end his Classical win drought, he missed his opportunity and the game ended in a draw. Nakamura launched a strong attack on Ding Liren's kingside. However, the World no.2 calmly defended his position without breaking a sweat. Firouzja imploded against Caruana. Today is a rest day. Round 7 starts tomorrow Saturday 25th June 2022 at 3 p.m. local time, 6:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Steve Bonhage/FIDE

Four exciting games

One thing is for sure the Candidates 2022 lineup seemed to have plenty of exciting games. So far, it is living up to the expectations. Except a very few games, almost all games have been a delight to the spectators. The World no.3 Alireza Firouzja, has slipped to World no.5 in the live ratings. He does not lack preparation, which is obvious from his games. However, translating those and keeping control of his nerves in the game is what is making the huge difference.

Ian Nepomniachtchi takes a different perspective to his position | Photo: Steve Bonhage/FIDE

Radjabov - Rapport: 0.5-0.5

Teimour Radjabov (AZE) had a great opportunity to gain decisive advantage against Richard Rapport (HUN) before the game ended in a draw.

Position after 38...Re4

Black needed to play 36...Rf8 and prevent White from gaining control of the f-file. 36...Rg4 37.Rf1 Rxh4+ 38.Kg1 Re4 now White had to play 39.Bh2 as Rf7 cannot be prevented, which means it is completely winning for White. Instead, he opted for 39.Rf7 Rxe5 40.Rbxb7 Rb5 and Black escaped with a draw.

Teimour Radjabov had a great opportunity to end his Classical win drought | Photo: Steve Bonhage/FIDE

Vidit Gujrathi tweeted his thoughts on the missed opportunity

Anish Giri echoed Magnus Carlsen's previous day words

Firouzja - Caruana: 0-1

World no.3 Alireza Firouzja (FRA) made a questionable exchange sacrifice against Fabiano Caruana (USA).

Position after 19...Nc6

20.a3 or b4 would have been a plausible choice for White. However, 20.Rxd7 is a bit outrageous as Qxd7 21.Bh3 f5 needed White to go for 22.Bxf5. Instead. he opted for 22.exf5 which obviously reduced the point of the exchange sacrifice. 22...Rce8 23.Nh4 e4 and White could not get back for the rest of the game.

Firouzja imploded against Caruana | Photo: Steve Bonhage/FIDE

Vidit shared his thoughts on the final moments of the game

Nakamura - Liren: 0.5-0.5

Hikaru Nakamura (USA) went for a kingside attack against Ding Liren (CHN). The World no.2 defended perfectly and managed to hold a draw.

Position after 33...d2

While White is attacking on the kingside, Black is threatening to promote his d-pawn. Neither side was successful in their respective attempts and the game ended in a draw.

SHEEEESH! Ding Played Perfectly! | Video: GMHikaru

Ding Liren ensured he defends the position correctly | Photo: Steve Bonhage /FIDE

Nepomniachtchi - Duda: 1-0

Ian Nepomniachtchi made his intentions clear early in the game against Jan-Krzysztof Duda.

Position after 16,f4

When White plays like this, it is evident what he is playing for.

Position after 24.e6

White's pawn storm on Black's side decided the fate of the game. There is no way for Black to save the game after 24.e6. The game continued 24...fxe6 25.g6 exf5 26.gxh7+ Kh8 27.Rb1 Qf6 28.Rxb7 Rxe2 29.Rxf5 +- became completely winning for White.

Ian Nepomniachtchi was just too strong for Jan-Krzysztof Duda | Photo: Steve Bonhage /FIDE
FIDE Candidates Tournament 2022 Round 6 Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah, Amruta Mokal and GM Avetik Grigoryan | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 6 games

Round 6 results

142753GMRadjabov Teimour½ - ½GMRapport Richard27648
252793GMFirouzja Alireza0 - 1GMCaruana Fabiano27833
362760GMNakamura Hikaru½ - ½GMDing Liren28062
472766GMNepomniachtchi Ian1 - 0GMDuda Jan-Krzysztof27501

Round 7 pairings

182764GMRapport RichardGMNepomniachtchi Ian27667
212750GMDuda Jan-KrzysztofGMNakamura Hikaru27606
322806GMDing LirenGMFirouzja Alireza27935
432783GMCaruana FabianoGMRadjabov Teimour27534



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