Time to say Dubai
The FIDE Candidates, the longest-ever chess tournament, came to an end, with Ian Nepomniachtchi being the next challenger of Magnus Carlsen. Although Nepo secured an early tournament win in Round 13, the final round had many surprises.
A last round defeat
Ian Nepomniachtchi is already the next challenger for the World Title, but in Round 13 he was found in a very unpleasant situation against Ding Liren. After a poor opening reaction, it was clear that the game wasn’t going to go Ian’s way. Hecouldn’t resolve any of his problems and ended up resigning on move 35.
Afterwards, Ian said: “Yesterday I was very motivated, but today when I woke up I felt like my motivation significantly went down. I wasn’t very happy that I had yet one more game to play”. On the other hand, Ding Liren wished the tournament wasn’t over and he seemed very satisfied with his three consecutive wins.
Second place for MVL
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave had a rough second-half, but at the last rounds he showed skills, like the accuracy that he handled the Berlin endgame against Wang Hao. The Chinese Grandmaster didn’t defend the position the way he should, which caused him lots of trouble and a bitterness after his defeat.
This win and Giri’s defeat against Alekseenko, gave MVL the second game of the tournament. Unfortunately, Wang’s performance wasn’t as impressive and he finished the tournament last. Right after that, he announced his retirement from professional competitive chess. Is it a disappointment or is he really retiring?
Second defeat in a row
Anish Giri was very close to the top after R12, but the last 2 rounds didn’t go as planned. After his R13 defeat from Grischuk, Anish had lost his chance to be the challenger, but R14 cost him the second place as well.
Anish seemed very optimistic in a not so clear position, sacrificed up a pawn without clear compensation, and eventually lost. Alekseenko’s win though didn’t give him the “wild” result he hoped for and he finished 7th with 5½ points.
The very last game of the tournament
At the last game, Grischuk fought impressively against Caruana’s constant pressure, and managed to win half a point. The two grandmasters were the last to finish and their game was one of those games which we are going to remember and analyze for a long time!
Live Breakdown with GM Susan Polgar
WGM Dina Belenkaya and GM Ernesto Inarkiev, as every day at 5 pm GMT, hosted the Live Breakdown LShow, and commented on the final games of R14 with GM Susan Polgar. Watch the broadcast below.
Round 14 Results:
Caruana ½-½ Grischuk
Giri 0-1 Alekseenko
Ding 1-0 Nepomniachtchi
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 1-0 Wang
Final Standings of the FIDE Candidates