Four draws for Round 3 of the 2022 Candidates
Round 3 of the 2022 Candidates Tournament ended with no decisive game. All four games ended in a draw with Firouzja – Nakamura gaining the most interest.
The round started with the ceremonial first move made by Risto Mejide, television star and chess fan, at the Alireza Firouzja – Hikaru Nakamura game.
Ding Liren – Richard Rapport
The Liren – Rapport game kicked off with the Gruenfeld Defence, Exchange Variation and very quickly black moved to an exchange sacrifice.
Ding Liren found a way to neutralize Rapport’s tactical play but not a way to exploit his winning chances to enter a completely equal endgame. The Chinese GM decided to force a draw and lose another potential point with the white pieces.
This is the second draw for Rapport with black – and in worse positions – when Magnus said he couldn’t see him surviving 7 games with the black pieces in Madrid. This makes him for sure one of Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs”!
Teimour Radjabov – Ian Nepomniachtchi
The first game to finish was Radjabov – Nepomniachtchi. The game started with the Catalan Opening and queens were off in only 7 moves. Eventually, the game ended in a peaceful draw after 30 moves.
“Let’s move to some more interesting games” GM Daniil Yuffa said during the broadcast and switched to Firouzja – Nakamura.
Fabiano Caruana – Jan-Krzysztof Duda
The Caruana-Duda game started with the Sicilian Najdorf, English Attack, and entered the 0.00 team pretty soon. The ending position was just two kings as an indication of an absolute draw! After Round 3 results Caruana and Nepomniachtchi remain in the lead with 2/3.
Alireza Firouzja – Hikaru Nakamura
The most interesting and entertaining was Firouzja – Nakamura. Nakamura initiated the NImzo-Indian Defense, and in the 6 previous games where Hikaru chose this sequence of moves, no-one had played Firouzja’s 13.Qc2!? against him!
On move 16 Firouzja sacrificed a full piece to leave Naka’s king at the center. Soon the material was equalized to enter a bishop-knight endgame with winning chances for white. Once more Nakamura was into an endgame with passed pawns for both pieces but this time it was an easy draw.
Join our broadcast with GM Daniil Yuffa and IM/WGM Elizabeth Paehtz, on Tuesday the 21st of June, at 13:00 UTC.
Round 4 Pairings:
Richard Rapport – Hikaru Nakamura
Ian Nepomniachtchi – Alireza Firouzja
Jan-Krzysztof Duda – Teimour Radjabov
Ding Liren – Fabiano Caruana