Nakamura, Ding miss chance to win


New Delhi: In round 5 of the Candidates tournament, all four games ended in a draw. This leads to no changes in the standings with Nepomniachtchi still being at the top. Fans might feel four draws would have been a boring day, but it was a day when Nepomniachtchi narrowly escaped against Nakamura and Ding failed to convert his advantage.

Fabiano Caruana Vs Richard Rapport

Picture courtesy: Maria Emelianova

It was a short but interesting game. Rapport chose the Sicilian defence against Fabiano and played a6 on move 5. Fabiano took his time and replied with 6.g4, which was the first interesting movement of the game. Later  Rapport said, “My so-called creativity comes from the fact that I am out of book by move six already.”

Fabiano played 12.Rf1 and 15.Rd1 and by playing these moves he showed his disinterest in castling his king to safety. Fabiano gave up castling on which Anish Giri tweeted the position with a face palm.

It proved to be a cracking game but it ended in a draw by threefold repetition on move 24.

Alireza Firouzja Vs  Jan-Krzysztof Duda

Picture courtesy: Maria Emelianova

Alireza was looking to strike with white pieces but Duda chose to go solid with the Petroff. Duda is known to be well-versed in this opening. The game was equal throughout and ended in a draw on move 36 with each side having a queen and three pawns on board.

Hikaru Nakamura Vs Ian Nepomniachtchi

Picture courtesy: Maria Emelianova

It was another game in Petroff’s defence. Nepomniachtchi has played this opening in the World Championship match as well, and Nakamura seemed well prepared with it. Nepo played 16.Qe4 and 17.Qg4 which gave Hikaru some advantage. Later Nepomniachtchi said that he mixed up the lines quite badly.

Hikaru was low on time as compared to his opponent, also Ian is known to play brilliant defensive moves in tough positions. Soon, Nakamura lost his advantage and the game ended in a draw.

Teimour Radjabov Vs Ding Liren

Picture courtesy: Maria Emelianova

It was a game in the Catalan opening and Ding seemed to be well prepared for it. Radjabov did not play the opening quite well, and his move 18.f4 gave the Chinese grandmaster an advantage to play for. After playing a fine game till move number 39, Ding gave a chance for counterplay on move 40. The game eventually ended in a draw.


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